13 March 2010

Rage (Sally Potter, 2009)

One day I was brainstorming about female auteurs and somebody suggested Sally Potter. I'd only seen two of her movies (Orlando and The Man Who Cried) and I liked them both, especially Orlando, which I sort of love. I added this movie to my instant queue over on Netflix because it was there and because I'd heard it mentioned on the radio...
The filmmakers reportedly referred to this movie, Rage, as the first of a new genre of filmmaking called naked cinema, which to the best of my understanding seems to refer to the stripped down production. It's also pretty well-known for being released via cell phone. Or something. The story is basically that a student of some sort, going by the name Michelangelo, has gotten permission to video tape interviews with several people involved in a fashion show with his camera phone. As a week goes by, people start dying. It's really kind of a ridiculous mess but the generally strong cast and intermittent fabulousness make it all watchable. It's essentially just people in front of mostly brightly colored monochromatic screens. Or actually it looks like they were filmed in front of a blue screen and later each character was given a different color. Judi Dench, Jude Law, Dianne Wiest, Lily Cole, Steve Buscemi, and intermittently Eddie Izzard give strong performances. John Lequizamo is all right but has been better. The guy who plays the designer is really bad. There's a Latina woman who seems to be one of their mothers but I wasn't sure what was going on at that point so I can't say how effective she was since I was mostly just confused. It was a total mess but I'd watch it again. C

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