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The Platform

The Platform on IMDB

This is a Spanish film dubbed by Netflix for world-wide play on their service. I had it recommended to me by a Swede. Some people have compared it to Waiting for Godot and other Beckett works. It's certainly heavy (and heavy-handed). If you interpret it as a parable of modern capitalism, you can find a message here, but the parable is a bit flawed.

The general set up is there is a vertical hole-in-the-ground prison. One cell per level, two people per cell, very little in the way of rules enforced. Saving food is the only thing we ever see punished. And food is a problem. Once a day a platform (the one of the title) is lowered through the prison for people to eat at for two minutes, then it is on to the next floor. When the film starts, a new prisoner has just started on level 48. The platform is a complete mess, and he is surprised his roommate can eat at it. Level 48, his roommate explains, is so much better than the deeper levels.

Not much about this prison arrangement makes much sense. It becomes clear that between the monthly floor assignment resuffles a lot of people die from hunger, murder, and suicide thus freeing up space for newer prisoners. Nothing about this experience will make anyone better negating all benefits of this over a fast execution. The food prepared is lavish at Level 0 and nothing but broken plates by Level 100 or so. It does not look like enough food for the 250 levels the main character guesses the place has. Why go to all that trouble preparing it?

That said it does leave an impression.

Four snails out of a plate of twelve.

Casino Royale (1967)

Maybe, like me, you've never seen it and been waiting for an opportunity. If so, perhaps your chance has arrived. Or maybe you don't subscribe to HBO. I watched it on HBO Now this week.

It's ... got continuity problems. But it's also a very over the top spoof. In one sequence Mata Hari's daughter Mata Bond leaves MI-6, gets in a cab and goes to Berlin (the London cabbie is rather angry at the pedestrians blocking the streets of the red light district next to the Wall). Then Mata Bond enters a dance school that is a cover for a spy organization which specializes in placing au pairs in important households. As soon as she enters the door it becomes a German Expressionist film, you know like Nosferatu. So with sequences like that, I can forgive the muddy story line. YMMV.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0061452/ "Casino Royale at IMDB"

Scott Dorsey, who gave me the dud recommendation for Vanishing Point, believes this movie has Woody Allen's best role. I can't say I've watched enough of his films to agree 100%, but the small time he's on the screen is better than the Allen directed Match Point.

Crazy Rich Asians

My wife loved it, I thought it was okay. Most of the Goh family (Ken Jeong is the patriach there) stuff was pretty funny to me. It's getting Chinese subtitled showings in mass-market theatres in San Francisco. That's pretty extra-ordinary right there.

I've been to Singapore, back in 2002 or so. Some of it I recognized, but a lot of the city has changed since then. That alone was interesting to me, but will be less so to others.

Isle of Dogs

Just saw it this morning (well, partially in the morning; 11am start). It was very, very Wes Anderson. I did not, however, think the puppies at the end looked cute. They looked like sick guinea pigs to me.

My favorite part was how the Oracle dog had her visions. 32 out of 37 military-grade tooth-bullets. I liked it, but I certainly don't feel the need to rewatch anytime soon. I think I might have prefered fewer recognizable voices.