Netflix January 2015_day.19 – Amelie (2001)

_I wouldn’t consider myself as a die hard Packers fan. I’m a casual fan.I’ll always have a rooting interest for them to do well, and once they’re done for the season, my interest in the NFL is pretty low. Even still, the loss yesterday was rough. It’s one of those situations where you can’t help but see sports as a kind of allegory for life. In that respect, there are two ways to view the game last night. From the perspective of the Seahawks, you can see someone trying their hardest, but nothing seem to go right for them, no matter what. Every small mistake they make, there’s someone ready to jump down their throat and make them pay. But they keep trying, and suddenly, they find themselves in the right place at the right time, and everything works out. It’s the age old story of persistence: Keep getting back on the horse. Everything will work out in the end.

From the other angle, there’s somebody doing everything right. They’re the steady worker, doesn’t stand out, but is competent in all facets. They’re living comfortably. Maybe they’re the grunt worker who does all of the jobs nobody else wants to do who goes unnoticed. Suddenly, they get one chance to impress the boss, and suddenly, everything falls apart. Some it it due to a bad day, other parts due to unavoidable bad luck. All of the hard work put in amounted to nothing. He got one chance to be in the right place at the right time, and when it happens, bad luck struck.

On the one side, you can be happy that sometimes you can be rewarded when you don’t deserve it. On the other, you’re miserable that you can do so much right for so long and lose out because of a 5 minute stretch.

Keep in mind, that’s a very basic look at the game last night. There are a lot of reasons it turns out the way it did that had a lot to do with the first 55 minutes of game time. But that’s gonna be as much as I go into sports, and allegory-wise, it works better that way.

_So now, join me, as I am transported to the magical world of Amelie.

_You want to know what I feel really makes an indie movie indie? When the plot synopsis on the back of the DVD case or on the movie’s Netflix page can’t adequately describe the movie you’re going to watch. Netflix describes this as “Amelie finds a long-hidden stash of toys in her apartment and is inspired to return them to their owner”. That’s the plot of the movie for about 20 minutes. A better description would be to say Amelie is a strange, introverted young woman who becomes struck with the desire to try to anonymously brighten people’s lives. But even then, it’s not totally apt.

It’s the difference between describing what a movie is about and what a movie’s plot is. Fight Club‘s plot is about Ed Norton starting a fight club and then things going batshit crazy. But that’s not really what Fight Club is about. Eternal Sunshine‘s plot is as “Joel decides to get some memories erased and changes his mind.” Again, that’s the plot, but not what it’s about. Generally, it’s easy to explain what movies that make a shitload of money are about. Look at the highest grossing movies of all time: All pretty easy to describe, and a lot of it isn’t much deeper than the plot. Nothing really wrong with that, it just is what it is. That’s why I consider crap that’s hard to explain indie.

_So, it’s hard to explain Amelie.

Oh wait, no it’s not.

Amelie is French. There you go, I just described it, I take it all back

_You know how I feel about Audrey Tautou? She shares a first name with my wonderful sister, and she inspired Brand New’s beautiful intro track to Deja Entendu. So I feel she’s p.awesome.

_One of the reasons Amelie works is the atmosphere the movie has to it. The world doesn’t seem fake, but there’s a kind of otherworldly quality to it. The entire world is super saturated with color. Amelie lives in a world where paint doesn’t seem to ever fade with age. It’s something that you only kind of subconsciously notice. It’s not that you never see bright greens and reds anywhere, it’s just that when you think about it, you realize you never see them as often as you do in Amelie’s world. So much of the scenery in the movie are various combinations of 255 and 0.

This adds a bit of whimsy to the entire movie, so when all of the characters do their slightly eccentric things, they don’t seem like complete weirdos, it’s more like…this is just the way people in Amelie’s world are.

_Amelie is a really charming film. I sometimes wish the world was more like this movie, where people do kind of weird, overly complicated things just because it’s more fun that way.

But meeting up via tons of copied posters and blown up photo booth pictures seems kind of irritating if you just wanted to get together for a coffee or something. It’d be pros and cons.

_Stop by tomorrow, cause there won’t be anymore sports talk and we’ll be watching Moonstruck. See you~


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