The Great Randomizer has spoken (this is the first time in a while I've actually had to use it, so that's nice) and it has selected me to pick this week's film! And we will be watching...
Schizopolis (1996, Steven Soderbergh, USA)
I'm not even going to try to describe the film's plot, so let's just leave it at this: it's an experimental comedy from the guy who had previously helped to spark the indie revolution of the '90s with sex, lies, and videotape and would go on to make the Ocean's Eleven movies (among lots of other things). It's hilarious, absurd, and bizarre, and you'll never see anything else like it. The movie is positively bursting with playful twists of language and scrappy energy, and I hope you guys get as much of a kick out of it as I do!
Angel's Egg was an interesting one. Most of the Christian symbolism sailed straight over my Jewish kepi, so for me the whole thing largely functioned as a really effectively eerie mood piece. Obviously it's quite visually striking, with some outstanding art and animation work. I really liked how the film uses extremely wide shots and minimalist, often almost completely still animation to underline its atmosphere of downcast loneliness. Those kinds of scenes also make the rare moments of fluid action that much more intense and eye-popping. The giant shadow fish and the droves of ghostly-looking fishermen failing to catch it is an incredible, standout scene.
Still, it does kind of drag and repeat itself quite a bit, and I wonder if maybe it wouldn't be better served as a short instead of a feature. Then again that languid pace kind of seems to be the point, so who knows.
Also, between the vast, gloomy and barren world riddled with ancient ruins and restless spirits, the bond forged between the only two inhabitants of that sparse world, the sacrificial porcelain-skinned waif, and the constant sight of capes blowing in the wind, this movie reminded me an awful lot of the games of Fumito Ueda (never a bad thing). I wouldn't be surprised to learn that it was an influence on the visual style of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus.
In other news, I'm still far too verklempt over Boyhood to say anything coherent about it right now, but everything @TheMaster said about it is spot-on. It just absolutely floored me. Easily the best film of the year so far and unlikely to be topped. You guys seriously have to go see it, this is some generation-defining shit we're talking about here.