Sunday, May 2, 2010

Double Trouble

When it comes to my movie selections I try to make my choices as scatter shot as possible. For example, if I just finished watching a Western I'll try to find something for my next viewing that doesn't involve cowboy trappings. But even when I try to randomize my choices as much as possible I don't always succeed.

For instance, take two movies I watched recently. The first was An American in Paris. To refresh your memory that's the one where Gene Kelly is in Paris in order to... um, well, whatever it is, he ends up dancing a lot. Great stuff, either way. The second film was Tokyo Gore Police/Tôkyô zankoku keisatsu. That film opened with the heroine propelling herself through the air with a bazooka and then hacking a zombie to death with a chainsaw. This film was also not without merit.

After watching the third or fourth character blast themselves into the air in Tokyo Gore Police I realized that the two films had far more in common than what I had initially expected. Before the double feature I thought they had nothing in common so that's not saying much but nevertheless the movies were stylistically similar. Both movies were built around show-stopping moments. The bits of dialogue and character development were nice but those served as moments for the audience to catch its collective breath as much as anything. While watching both films I found myself marking time until the next dance or dismemberment number. The two movies served as wonderful examples of cinema as spectacle. I'm certain that the creators of An American in Paris would be horrified at the comparison -come to think of it, the people behind Tokyo Gore Police might not be thrilled with it either- but I found both films worked for me on the same level.

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