Friday, July 2, 2010

The Pillow Book (1996)

The Pillow Book was Weirdy McWeirderson. Practically the definition of a foreign film - it's about this girl whose father used to write on her face every birthday. She fetishizes this to such an obsessive extent that she searches for fantastic calligraphers to sleep with. The film is broken up by readings from a Pillow Book - which seems to be a diary - of an ancient woman with ties to our protagonists family (I think). Then, Ewan McGregor shows up and is naked a lot, and there's a revenge plot against her father's ex-publisher, and she has lots of sex with naked Ewan McGregor and then it ends tragically (and strangely).

It was weird. But - it wasn't bad. It had some fantastically enthralling romance scenes between her and Ewan McGregor and there were moments when the story managed some clarity and ingenuity. I wish there was a slightly stronger structure - only slightly - it could still be foreign filmy and amoeba-like - but it needed more time with its story (because it had one, it just didn't hang around it all that often) and less time with her sexual exploits and calligrapher searches.

It was interesting. Weird. Unlike pretty much anything else I've seen and that's always enough for me to recommend something. But I doubt this film will ever be a topic of conversation at some cocktail party where you'll feel left out if you miss it. If you like foreign films where they're all erotic and like "nakedness is awesome because we're foreign and we're not scared of our sexuality (but we are sorta against violence)" you might enjoy The Pillow Book.

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