8:00 PM, 21st August, 2004
Milan (Hallyday) comes into town to rob the local bank and, for no particular reason, ends up staying with a complete stranger, a semi-retired teacher named Manesquier (Rochefort). The casting here is bolder than most people will notice. Hallyday is France's biggest ever rock star; Rochefort is a respected classical actor. It's like watching Elvis Presley and Alec Guinness... but only if you're French, since you never get the sense that one of the two is the "real" actor; nor do you get the sense that you're watching two people who don't belong together. Milan and Manesquier circle each other warily at first. It seems they have little in common. But Milan has long been fed up with crime, and wishes he could spend the rest of his days in a comfortable house in a provincial town. Manesquier is fed up with this, and is starting to dwell more and more on his lifelong dream of being an outlaw. Out of these simple ingredients the film weaves a magic spell. Neither man can really walk over into the other's life, but each can, in a sort of a way, get a taste of what he longs for.
9:51 PM, 21st August, 2004
Being John Malkovich is a very good example of a post-modern film. It is about a puppeteer (Cusack) who works on the 7((frac12))th floor for a man who is 105 years old. He and his wife (Diaz) live with many pets, including a chimp who has an ulcer due to feelings of inadequacy and repressed childhood memories. When Craig, the puppeteer, discovers a tunnel in his office that leads into the mind of John Malkovich, he tells his co-worker Maxine (Keener), whom he has fallen in love with. She decides they will sell tickets so people can be John Malkovich for 15 minutes. Craig's wife decides she has to try being John Malkovich and ends up falling in love with Maxine as well. When John Malkovich finds out about this, he decides to try the portal himself. After that it gets creative.
This is a film well worth watching if you like off the wall ideas. It is much better than Adaptation, which was shown by the ANU film group in May 2003 and is by the same writer and director. I would recommend this film to anyone who enjoys a great story.