Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Great New Cinema: Zero Theorem

Tonight I was in a bad mood because of something that happened earlier in the day that was just just bad.  I won't go into details nor would you really want to hear about it since this is a blog about films and stuff.  When I got home, I decided to browse the Apple TV for anything to make my day better.  I went through everything on Netflix and just wasn't interested.  So I went to the pay movies where I found a piece of Cinematic Gold.  You see I am very interested in strange and wonderful movies.  I noticed that there was a Pre-Release download of the movie by director Terry Gilliam the maker of 12 Monkeys and the crazy movie Brazil.  Zero Theorem is a crazy film that makes me have faith in film again.  The synopsis on the about page for the movie does absolutely no justice to the actual story of the film.

Don't worry, No spoilers here.  The film is about a man who always refers to himself as "We" instead of I or me.  It is distracting for about a minute but it becomes endearing.  Making you want to feel for the man and his plight.  The character Quohen Leth (played by Austrian actor Christopher Waltz) is a simple and delicate man who is stuck in a job he likes but is always in a hurry to go home to catch a phone call from a mysterious being.  The cast of actors grows from there, David Thewlis (Prof, Lupin from Harry Potter fame), and Matt Damon to name a couple of better known folks.  The acting is very good with no flaws other than some minor characters who are there for their looks more than their acting abilities.  The characters are fleshed out with little hints of back-story here and there, just enough to make me feel like I understand them.
The filmmaking is absolutely great, as you would expect from Gilliam.  Crazy shots that span the close but expansive sets that litter the film.  In fact, most of the film takes place in the home of Quohen, which is a burnt out church he got at an insurance auction, but you never feel like you are constrained by the walls of the building, in fact, just the opposite.  And, of course, the dark comedy of Gilliam comes out through out the film.  Remember the church that he lives in?  It was inhabited by monks who took a vow of silence so meaningful to them that no one bothered to yell "fire".  Its not a direct quote, but it gets the point across about the morbidity and darkness of the subtle comedy that is very pervasive within the film itself.

One of the things that I really liked was the color scheme of the film.  All the tones match very nicely with Tacky notes of crazy costumes thrown in.  It hearkens back to his earlier works and holds true to the stylistic tones that are always very interesting.  The good news is that these aren't too overdone like the seventies counterparts to this film and it's genre making this a real pleasure to watch.  Every scene and shot was not only there to show the action but to tell its own story in conjunction with the narrative itself.  Something that modern cinema lacks, as I have stated before in my past blogs.

If you are looking for something different and true to the art of filmmaking, I recommend seeing this one.  Zero Theorem is most positively one of the films I recommend for any cine-file in 2014.  It turned my Very Bad Day into one that I am glad to have lived.

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