Elle

I watched CBS Sunday Morning.  One segment was about Nicole Kidman.  I spoke with my mother on the phone briefly, but she seemed too sleepy and cold from the freezing morning to talk.  I went out to Trader Joe’s.  I watched the Chiefs game on the television, but left before the end to walk over to the theatre that was showing “Elle.”  The director was the notorious Paul Verhoeven, and the star was Isabelle Huppert, who played a character named Michèle.  She is raped, but doesn’t report the crime to the police.  She has something in her past, and in fact just about every character is hiding something.  A lot of actresses reportedly turned down the role, including Sharon Stone.  I thought this character did things that didn’t make too much sense.  Perhaps she felt guilt and was punishing herself in a masochistic way.  There was an incident with her father back in 1976, when she was ten years old.  She has a son whose girlfriend is making a fool of him.  Her neighbors to be unusually religious.  The employees at her video game software company hate her.  The current game under development doesn’t exactly encourage positive attitudes towards women.  The characters in this film sure have emotional problems.  Michèle is not only self-destructive, but she also does damage to other relationships.  She also had a problem with the one employee who seemed to like her.  For some moments, I thought back on the movies from the 1980s, like “Coup de Torchon” and “Entre Nous.”  We learn more about both Michèle and the rapist as the story progresses, and it is all quite strange.  The woman who sat behind me in the theatre kept saying “Oh my God” with every revelation.  It was too much to take, especially for American audiences.  Maybe in France they tolerate more of this nonsense than we do, although I really wouldn’t know why.  One person at work tried to warn me about this movie, but I failed to heed the warning.  I never thought that Paul Verhoeven’s strength was showing nuances of character and morality.  He never tried to be like Jean Renoir.  Besides “Basic Instinct,” the movie I thought about while watching this one was “Fatal Attraction.”  The movie was too unpleasant for most of us to watch without squirming a lot.  The women behind me laughed and thought it was trash.  I was glad when it was over.  It made me miss the previous decades of foreign film, and French films in particular.  I thought that Isabelle Huppert looked exhausted, as if the plot was too much for her.  Does anyone in France create decent video games.  I thought about how Curt Schilling was going broke with his video game company.  I was able to catch the fourth quarter of the game between the Raiders and the Chargers.  I was surprised that the Chiefs lost their game when they were ahead by ten points.  I listened to the Robert Hilburn Rock ‘n’ Roll Times radio program on KCSN.  He said that he still had a cold, and he played songs by Elvis Presley and Elvis Costello.  Two of the good songs during the hour were “Suspicious Minds” and “Chemistry Class.”  I heard about the death of Zsa Zsa Gabor at age 99.  She had been struggling with health problems for years.  The Columbo episode on Me TV was “The Bye Bye Sky High IQ Murder Case” with Theodore Bikel.  The mistake was a plan that was too elaborate, leaving behind clues.  Some of the people who died on December 19 include Emily Brontë (1848), Marcello Mastroianni (1996), Dedmond Llewelyn (1999), and Hope Lange (2003).  Today is a birthday for Jennifer Beals (53) and Mike Lookinland (56).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for December 19, the Spencer Tracy film “Judgment at Nuremberg” was released in 1961.  In 1974, the James Bond film “The Man with the Golden Gun” had its premiere in London.  In 1986, Oliver Stone’s “Platoon” was released.  Also in 1986, “Little Shop of Horrors” was released.

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