Now With More Than 3000 Reviews! Go Nuts - Read 'Em All!!

WELCOME! Use the search engines on this site (or your own off-site engine of choice) to gain easy access to the complete MAKSQUIBS Archive; over 2500 posts and counting. (New posts added every day or so.)

You can check on all our titles by typing the Title, Director, Actor or 'Keyword' of your choice in the Search Engine of your choice (include the phrase MAKSQUIBS) or just use the BLOGGER Search Box at the top left corner of the page.

Feel free to place comments directly on any of the film posts and to test your film knowledge with the CONTESTS scattered here & there. (Hey! No Googling allowed. They're pretty easy.)

Send E-mails to MAKSQUIBS@yahoo.com . (Let us know if the TRANSLATE WIDGET works!) Or use the Profile Page or Comments link for contact.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY (2007)

Julian Schnabel split critical opinion as a painter & with BASQUIAT/’96, his debut film. But his second pic, BEFORE NIGHT FALLS/’00, earned well-deserved kudos. Now, he pushes his luck with his third film, again about an artist/writer who dies prematurely. It’s been rapturously received for the extravagant visual palette that uses subjective POV techniques to take us inside the mind of a man paralyzed by ‘locked-in’ syndrome. (He communicates by blinking his left eye.*) But overdosing on subjective POV, as Orson Welles discovered on his aborted HEART OF DARKNESS project, doesn’t so much take us inside a mind as inside a camera. And any tale of the literary triumph of a severely handicapped writer begs comparison to MY LEFT FOOT/’89 (MY LEFT EYE?), a parallel that favors neither this writer nor this film. (On the other hand, the French socialized medical system seen here looks fabulous!) Ultimately, the film’s engine is fueled with the same bludgeoning morbid sentimentality of bestsellers like THE LAST LECTURE or TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE, if that’s your bag. Still, Mathieu Amalric does himself proud as the writer, and Max Von Sydow, as his frail papa, goes him one better & does the film proud.

*SCREWY THOUGHT OF THE DAY: The transcribing technique relies on reading off the alphabet until the right letter is said. BLINK! Wouldn’t it have been easier and far more efficient to teach the poor guy Morse Code?

No comments: