Good and bad movies

I went to see a double billing this week, of Still Life and Una Pistola en Cada Mano (A Pistol In Each Hand). The first one was disappointing, but I loved the second.

There were some redeeming aspects to Still Life. It started with an intriguing concept, and was aesthetically stunning. Beautiful shots, some lovely scenes; where it fell apart for me was the story. There was no real explanation of why the main character is the way he is (which is important; part of the movie’s appeal is how unusual an individual he is). And the story itself felt poorly paced; too long dragging out what should have been an introduction, and the final few minutes felt so forced they almost seemed like they came from an entirely different film. It’s beautiful movie, and if I could find a few of the better scenes I’d link to them, but I wouldn’t recommend watching the whole thing.

I really enjoyed A Pistol In Each Hand. It’s a sequence of conversations, all demonstrating or discussing the failings of middle aged men. That may sound underwhelming, but it’s done incredibly well. Excellent dialogue manages to be both hilarious at points, but also touching on difficult topics sensitively, pulling out stories and characters that felt real and that I cared about, in the space of minutes.

Individually, some of these stories would be outstanding short films. Together, they build to a melancholy but warm reflection on what’s hard about getting older, and the different ways things can fall apart. Seriously, go watch it.


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