Today I watched The Dead, directed by John Huston. It wasn't really a bad movie, but I couldn't get into it. After finding out it was an adaptation of a James Joyce story, I sort of understood why it fell so flat for me today. I'm not really able to just "read Joyce" - I sort of need to be in the mood for his style. Tonight was not one of those nights. I was fidgety and antsy because I had so much other stuff to do, and I just wasn't able to slow down to really lose myself in the film. I kept drifting off and thinking of other things, and reminding myself of things I still needed to take care of. I would just blame myself, but I watched the movie with my parents and Anthony, and no one really liked it much more than I did.
IMDB describes the film as, "delicate and unhurried, detailing a Christmas dinner at the house of two spinster musician sisters and their niece in turn-of-the-century Ireland, attended by friends and family. Among the visiting attendees are the sisters' nephew Gabriel Conroy and his wife Gretta. The evening's reminiscences bring up melancholy memories for Gretta concerning her first, long-lost love when she was a girl in rural Galway. Her recounting of this tragic love to Gabriel brings him to an epiphany: he learns the difference between mere existence and living..." It sounds sort of better than it actually was. It leave out the point where for an hour and 20 minutes, you watch people have a really boring dinner party.
I felt like all the meaning and action was right at the end, and it made me frustrated because I felt like I watched the whole movie for no reason. I know that I wasn't in the mood to watch people read entire poems, sing songs, pass goose slowly around a table, and talk about things that were seemingly random...but it just didn't work for me. I just felt so bored, like I was missing something. I'm probably dumb, or just too antsy about leaving tomorrow, but I really couldn't get into it.
I feel bad about not liking this film, like if I had just not watched it today and instead saw it the Monday that I come back, I might have liked it. There's clearly something I don't get. But when I started this blog, I said I would be honest, and I'm not really going to lie here - I just found the movie very tiring and boring.
The frustrating part is I liked the message at the end, and the epiphany that the characters have. Ebert says the whole movie is like a prologue to this scene. I sort of like that idea - just not tonight. Does that make sense? In any other mood I would appreciate the concept and execution, but today I just felt like, "Meh, prologue. When is it over so I can finish packing and get to bed?"
Maybe some point when I'm not rushing to pack I can sit down and watch the movie again. I want to! I know that there is something in it I might like because I liked the ending so very much. I just couldn't get over how bleh the whole rest of the film is. Too much nothing for my excited mood. Too slow paced for my frantic last minute packing and planning. I'll definitely be revisiting this one after the project, to see if I just didn't like the movie because of it's dull pacing and plot, or if I was just in a mood.
So, this is my last post for the week, I'll be back and watching movies again next Monday night. Hope everyone stays safe and has a nice week!
Ebert's Great Movie Essay on The Dead
Buy it on Amazon