Friday, February 15, 2008

The Ice Storm (1997)


I watched The Ice Storm for the fifth or sixth time last night, cementing its place as one my best loved films of all time. I'm not sure I could accurately pin-point why this film feels to important to me, but the fact remains that every time I decided to watch it I get utterly absorbed. The ending still shocks me, every single time. It happens on every viewing; the clenching of my stomach, my heart beginning to pound, the "It's going to be different this time" feeling...and then BAM. Of course, it's not just the ending that gets to me. Every frame is integral to the film, every fumbled line and moment of humour ( Paul Hood standing on the steps and hopefully yelling "The Idiot!" at the retreating Libbets Casey, Wendy's inappropriate Thanksgiving speech, the original discussion of the Key Party, the tuba...). In my head, this film is perfect.

"To find yourself in the negative zone, as the Fantastic Four often do, means all every day assumptions are inverted. Even the invisible girl herself becomes visible and so she loses the last semblance of her power. It seems to me that everyone exists partially on a negative zone level, some people more than others. In your life, it's kind of like you dip in and out of it, a place where things don't quite work out the way they should. But for some people, the negative zone tempts them. And they end up going in, going in all the way."


What are the films that are special to you? That you could watch on repeat for eternity quite happily? Do spill.

6 comments:

Damien Kelly said...

Star Trek II...I mean, when Spock sacrifices himself to save the Enterprise, himself and Kirk share a moment....almost brings a tear to my eye...except my tear ducts were removed.

OR MAYBE, YES, TEAM AMERICA, laugh after laugh..never gets old! ;)

Cinemaniac said...

I absolutely adore this movie. I rarely come so close to crying/breaking things as I do at the end of this movie.

By the way, hi! I've been meaning to respond to your comment on my blog from a while back, but I've just now got back into posting again. I'm linking you though, so I hope you'll do the same and we can frequent each other's and yadda yadda. I really dig this blog of yours =).

Ann Marie said...

You know me I'll watch anything. That said I keep going back to 'Pride and Prejudice' Aside from my love of the book, I just love how I can watch it in unashamedly shallow romantic way or go in deeper for the class, gender and society stuff. Gotta love the influence of English.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Art School Confidential.

The Science of Sleep.

Planet of the Apes. (the original)

Star Wars (the first one).

About a Boy.

Stranger Than Fiction.

Fight Club.

Bend it Like Beckham.

Anonymous said...

If I only had to choose ONE, which is really impossible, it would be "The Night of The Iguana", based on Tennessee Williams' play. Richard Burton is superb (well, they ALL are),funny, pathetic and well, BURTON-esque, as the "De-frocked" minister, Rev. T. Lawrence Shannon. He now runs cheap tours of Mexico, this time carting around a bus of sexually repressed ladies and one nymphet ("Lolita"'s Sue Lyon). His panic and alcoholism take over when the nymphet comes after him and he heads for refuge at a shabby hotel run by his friend's wife, Maxine (played by Ava Gardner, who can mash about 15 emotions into one minute). He is helped through his ordeal, not by the willing Maxine, but by a lonely yet brave, New England spinster, Hannah (Deborah Kerr) and her 90-year-old grandfather poet. What makes this film so great, other than the performances, is the tolerance engendered for all the messed-up tricks we humans use to fend off what Hannah calls "The long dark night of the soul", whether those tricks involve alcohol, sex (Maxine as two young "beach boys" on retainer for pleasure), or, as Hannah puts it, "a few deep breaths."

Shannon has been looking in all the wrong places for solace and redemption and finds at least some of it in the unlikely musings of a woman who has never had any intimacy.

Maxine, too, seizes on the old Poet's last work (SO beautiful!) to realize how she needs to change her life if she is to survive the death of her husband...or really, just survive.

John Huston's direction is so off-beat, yet precise and delicate, "Playing God", as Shannon puts it watching the captured title Iguana, yet with the touch of a parent soothing his children's night terrors.

EVERYONE should watch this film at least once a month, to gain back a bit of humanity and quietude.

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing.