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Quirky Movies

Being John Malkovich

Director: Spike Jonze (1999, English, 112 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (93%), IMDB (7.8), Wikipedia, Amazon, Roger Ebert.

Similar movies: quirky.

Summary: A quirky movie with an imaginative plot and plenty of humor. It was nominated for three Oscars including Best Screenplay. What's the key idea? By entering a tunnel, it is possible to enter the mind and body of John Malkovich for 15 minutes. At one point, Malkovich himself is able to enter his own mind and body - that scene is amazing! In the hands of an Eastern director like Miyazaki, a movie based on this idea would have been much more satisfying. But the effort by Spike Jonze is not bad. It was quite enjoyable. I laughed heartily in the first half hour in which "Floor 7 1/2" is revealed, where everybody has to walk bent.

 

Barton Fink

Director: Coen Brothers (1991, English, 116 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (91%), IMDB (7.7), Wikipedia, Amazon, Roger Ebert.

Similar movies: crime, quirky, suspense.

Summary: Yet to write.

 

Forrest Gump

Director: Robert Zemeckis (1994, English, 142 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (71%), IMDB (8.8), Amazon, Roger Ebert.

Watch online: NetFlix.

Similar movies: quirky.

Summary: The story telling technique in Forrest Gump is unique. The movie traces major political events in USA by interleaving them in the personal life story of Forrest Gump, a man with low IQ but immense focus and endurance. The sense of humor in the movie resonated with me.

Two memorable dialogues: (1) On his first day to school, young Forrest meets a little girl. They become best friends. "Jenny and I were together, like peas and carrots." :) (2) Forrest's mum teaches him, "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you gonna get."

 

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Director: Michel Gondry (2004, English, 108 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (93%), IMDB (8.4), Wikipedia, Amazon, Roger Ebert.

Similar movies: quirky, romance, separation.

Summary: An intriguing movie that explores selective erasure of memories. Storyline: To ease his pain, a heartbroken guy decides to undergo an operation to permanently erase all memories of his beloved. While the operation is in progress, he starts having second thoughts. He realizes that many moments being erased were really pleasant and he doesn't want to lose them.

A memorable quote from the movie:

"How happy is the blameless vestal's lot!
The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!
Each pray'r accepted, and each wish resign'd"

The above lines are from a poem 'From Eloise to Abelard' by Alexander Pope. Explained very well here. Cut n paste from the article:

The first line states that an innocent pure woman is a happy one.

The second line is reinforcing the first, stating that the woman's happiness is due to forgetting about the world's woes, and being forgotten by the world. In other words, she neither worries about the world, nor does the world worry about her. She has forgotten, and has been forgotten.

The third line is again referencing forgetfulness, stating that a mind unclouded or spotted by memory is in eternal brightness, or sunshine.

The fourth line states that her every prayer has been accepted (her prayer is for forgetfulness), and that she's given up all claims on any wishes she might have, save to forget.

In short, she is happy only because she has prayed for and received the gift of forgetting everything she's been concerned about. There is an old adage that ignorance is bliss, and such is the case for this woman.

Incidentally, the words may come from the movie, but they are originally from a poem by Alexander Pope titled Eloisa to Abelard."

 

2 Nov 2013
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