On this month's KMUW Movie Club, the guys discuss the many forms of "the film trilogy."
I actually bought Before Sunset on a whim. There was a surplus of copies of it in a bargain bin at a Blockbuster I worked at and I had good things. My passion for it, and the trilogy, was immediate and grows with every viewing. While the trilogy is relatively simple in its concept, the interactions between Jessie and Célene is dense, and I unpack something new every time I watch it.
Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years served as my introduction to this trilogy. I read the title in a music magazine and thought for sure it was a joke: You know, heavy metal is the second decline of the western civilization, etc. A few of the bands profiled in the film were longtime favorites of mine, others the subject of scorn. Today, I appreciate that Spheeris was able to get inside the lives of the young people she filmed and get them to speak in their own language. I think that can be said for all three of the Decline films. Although Penelope Spheeris has made a number of films, including comedies, it’s her documentary work that I believe shows off her greatest talents.
I also talked a little bit about my love of Wes Craven’s films. I think Craven had an interesting mind and an interesting take on the world around him. That’s reflected in many of his pictures, including the first Nightmare on Elm Street, something that fits with The Hills Have Eyes and Last House on the Left. I can’t watch Last House. It’s too brutal. Still, I believe that Craven wanted us to have exactly that reaction. He wanted us to be moved in some way, even if the movement was out of our seat to eject the video tape or up the aisle toward the exit sign.
I burned through the entire 6 hours and 40 minutes of the Paradise Lost trilogy in about a day and a half. It's riveting and stomach-churning and I just know I'm glad I watched it after these men were out of prison, because I'm not sure I could've handled it otherwise.