Thursday, June 15, 2006

Of Tow Trucks and Danish Provocateurs

Long time, no post. Suffice it to say that the combination of end of the school year work and dissatisfaction with some written but unposted until retooled reviews has fed this recent blogging malaise. So what's up in my little corner of the world?

As a big fan of DOGVILLE, I've been chomping at the bit to see MANDERLAY. It finally arrived in town courtesy of the Wexner Center, and I was all ready to see Lars von Trier's latest provocations. The trouble was that as I went to stop at the light at 15th and Indianola I heard and felt a clunk as I depressed the brake. It went down a lot easier than it should have, but thankfully the car came to a stop and didn't hit anyone or anything. (Better for this to happen here than on I-71 at rush hour.)

I was meeting a friend for a bite to eat before the movie, so I was on campus plenty in advance to have dinner and call AAA to tow the car back to Westerville. Since my experience with tow trucks typically has meant waiting a long time, I decided that I ought to have one come before the film. With an hour until start time and an estimate of an hour or less for a truck, I bit the bullet on possibly missing a few minutes of the film rather than waiting an hour afterwards. Of course, after an hour was up a AAA agent called to say that the towing company was busy and that another truck was being dispatched. Estimated arrival: 30 minutes or less. On a zero to thirty minute scale, guess when the truck came.

So I missed the first forty minutes--chapters one and two--but was undeterred in watching the remainder. I liked what I saw of MANDERLAY, but I'll have to see the whole film to render any verdict on it. I've waited since Cannes 2005 to see it, so what's another two months to see the rest on DVD. I'm not surprised that the critics are evenly divided--currently 51% on the Tomatometer--in part because it seems made to offend the very people who would see it in the first place.

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