“The Slap” and “Midnight in Paris.”
Over the last few weeks I watched short segments of the TV series The Slap. They were short bits that I watched, so don’t take my observations as too factual or writ in cement, more like cast in yoghurt. Take what you like and chuck the rest.
Yesterday, with all the turmoil on the Inebriates and their Bleached Bones etc, Helvi and I went to see Woody Allen’s ‘Midnight in Paris’ here in Bowral. The difference between the two films could not be starker. I don’t know about you but I find watching The Slap almost unbearable. The negativity is just seeping out from almost every sequence. One can’t fault the acting, the filming and the expert casting, or indeed the story which is based on the book by Christos Tsiolkas… I am usual the first one to admit that the ‘art of things’ is what matters almost more than the technique or even the story. If it works it works, is my motto. The Slap works in the sense of a well made series, well acted but the unrelenting emptiness of the couples lives just spoils it for me. Too depressing!
The main character, the slapper, the son of Greek parents, is just about the pits. He seems to go through life between short bursts of ejaculating around the place and walks to the fridge grabbing a beer. All is enjoyed with the minimum of care or pleasure. He cuts an apple with utter contempt. He chucks his mobile phone about. He struts around his pool and house which would have to be the ultimate in hideous empty totally impersonal architecture. He runs a business whereby his only involvement seems to be the money. His son, a sad boy, whereby at one segment is seen to watch with his brutal father some segment of music with gyrating hip swinging female hopping dancers. Before that he watched his mother being brutalised by his father.
The only people who seemed to have some humanity about are the Greek parents and to some extent, the breast feeding mother of the slapped kid and her partner. (I even saw some books in their poor little house.) I remember the ABC making good TV, especially comedy. What with that silly Julia series and now the Slap. What’s cooking next?
Compare this with Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris. Well, there is no comparison. We walked out jubilant. What a lovely story. The wife of the French president, Carla Bruni, is stunning as a tourist guide doing the rounds through Le Louvre or was it The Jardin the Versailles? The main character is forced to face the shortcomings of his shopping addicted American wife and their divergent aims. No matter how Woody Allen faces the cynicisms of the world he lives, his rather disappointing and glum view of so much of the culture he was born into, he dresses them up in artistry and above all humour. He gave us (and still is giving) wonderful films. I liked his “ not only do I not believe in a God, but try and get a plumber on a Sunday!.