Posted by: kfugrip | May 16, 2007

Pre-Post-Modernism… ?

Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story, by Michael Winterbottom, in the Stallion realm is a 2 star movie. Why only two stars? It has many things that I like or have liked in the past. It’s a movie that contains movie making scenes, thus it’s a movie about movies. I like those movies, All that Jazz, 8 1/2, Stardust Memories, Living in Oblivion, all movies I like and all “about” movies. It’s got Steve Coogan in a very funny and smart performance. It’s directed by Michael Winterbottom, whom I like quite a lot. It’s intelligent and well crafted. What’s the problem, you ask? It left me cold.

Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story, is a book about a man telling the story of his life that goes off on one tangent after another until the book is over and he has only just been born. Or so I’m told. I’ve not read the book and hadn’t heard of it prior to seeing the film. Perhaps reading the book, or at least familiarizing myself with the “jist” of it, would have increased my enjoyment of the picture, but we’ll never know if that is true because it didn’t happen that way. The actual film is about Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon making a film version of the book. The problems of adaptation are touched upon, as are the egos of actors. It’s a comedy in the most British sense of the word.

My issue with the film, it’s coldness, wasn’t due to lack of tenderness in the film, there is some. It’s due to the fact that if one is going to mix comedy with some drama then I need to feel for and care about the characters. Holding a baby and cooing over it doesn’t make me emotionally involved. The films post modern aparatus is something that normally appeals to me, thus the rental, but I will acknowledge that my tastes are changing again and that level of post modernism is so distancing that my enjoyment of the movie suffers to the point of disinterest.

Glad I saw it, and while I didn’t expect greatness, I was let down. When a bit of physical comedy is the funniest part of your movie then you may be in trouble.

2 stars (as mentioned before)

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