Sunday, February 7, 2010

#391: If....

(Lindsay Anderson, 1968)

Intellectually, I dug this movie, but the payoff wasn't enough to reward the work put in. And most of this movie does feel like work: the build up to the orgasmic violent outburst is mostly very British societal repression of the kind that only a British person can really appreciate.

In fact, this movie really was made for British people in the 60s struggling with the new world order. The movie dances between fantasy and reality effortlessly, fighting to merge the two in an anarchic dance. Malcolm McDowell is naturally excellent in his lead role, and certainly any fan of Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange needs to see this movie like Kubrick clearly saw it and found everything he was looking for to fill his own shocking vision.

But the movie didn't thrill me anything like that later film did, and feels much less timeless than that film, despite obvious efforts to the contrary (avoiding pop music, any seriously dated clothes, etc.). Despite these issues, I am certainly looking forward to watching This Sporting Life, as Anderson is clearly a challenging and engaging filmmaker.

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