Monday, March 07, 2011


There have been quite a few films in the past number of years about 60's and 70's era revolutionary/terrorist figures and organizations. I haven't seen all of them (I still plan on one day seeing Che) but they all kind of blur into one confusing movie for me.

The Baader Meinhof Complex was a perfect example - everything felt rushed. Two and a half hours just wasn't enough time to do that story justice.

Carlos definitely does not feel rushed. At five and a half hours, Oliver Assayas gave himself ample time to tell the story of Carlos the Jackal. And he needed every minute. Yes, things slow way down in the third part but I was expecting that. Things slowed way down in Carlos' life so why not in the movie? His fall wasn't as dramatic as I thought it would be - just a bit frustrating for the dude as his important role in the world had become slowly eroded.

But how about that first incredible part? And the 1st half of the 2nd part continued the fun. Very Three Days of the Condor 70's fun. Unbelievable how lax security used to be.

Other thoughts:
1. I loved the soundtrack. SHR saw a few minutes in passing here and there and thought that the music was a little distracting. The only song that really took me out of the movie was the late 80's sequence scored to the Lightning Seeds. But the Wire songs were perfect for the scenes they were in as was the Feelies' Loveless Love - easily the best use of that song in a movie since Smithereens.

2. At times, the globetrotting adventures reminded me a bit of the Bourne movies. And there was at least one reference to The Conformist that I caught.

3. Never ever open a door without looking to see who it is. It could be someone ready to shoot you as soon as you open the door. And for that matter, never ever walk down a dark stairwell. You will definitely be waylaid. And finally, don't ever go into your apartment without being heavily armed. Someone is definitely behind the door waiting for you.

4. When is a movie about the Red Army Faction going to be made?

Directed by Oliver Assayas
2009, Year of U.S. Release: 2010
Sundance on Demand


Crispin H. Glover said...

i don't think i could handle a 5 1/2 hour film.

Listmaker said...

i watched it in 3 installments! you can handle it.

Matt Moline said...

The answer to number 4 is "this year"...United Red Army opened up this weekend.