VALERIE AND HER WEEK OF WONDERS. The pan-and-scanned Redemption Video DVD is pretty bad, with a ratty, fizzy-facky print, but the film still rewards viewing. In fact, the crackle, splotch and jolt have kind of bonded with my thoughts about the film itself, so that if I were ever to see a restored and pristine VALERIE I might not recognise the old girl.
Some book or other on the Czech New Wave compared the storytelling to Rivette’s fantastical films: you can tell there are RULES to the magic in these films, but you DON’ T KNOW WHAT THEY ARE. Which makes things a bit scary.
Some of this stuff reminds me of schizoid patricidal Victorian painter Richard Dadd’s work. The long lens flattens perspective to create a similar effect to Dadd’s strangely compressed planes of hot faerie action.
Ran this stuff (all from ONE SCENE) past ace cinematographer Scott Ward, and we agreed that “People In Trees is THE WAY FORWARD.”
Shadowplay’s chief curmudgeon-in-residence Comrade K was less taken with the movie, as this quick email reaction suggests:
‘boy, i watched abt 20 mins of that VALERIE, and the only way i made it that far was by pretending it was SCTV’s parody of an eastern bloc film’
I suggested he was too sour to see its magic (he had just suggested the same of my failure to be enchanted by the title UNION DEPOT) and he continued:
‘man, if that’s magic for you keep me the hell away from magic! i gave it 10 shots of pigeons splashing in fountains before i bailed. likewise the nasty guy looked kind of cool the first time he removed his mask, but it lost some of its kick the 500th. the “sexual awakening” stuff was laid on w/ a hammer (oy that drop of menstrual blood on a dewy flower! and jesus, you want to know a description that, in general, will indicate, to me, a movie i won’t care for? “a magical fantasy of a young girl’s sexual awakening.” or sub out a young GUY’s or ANYONE’s). man, i just thot it was awful. let’s just say “not my sort of thing”‘
Such is the beauty and variety of human perception! We all see things differently, which allows us to have wars and stuff.