This film made me cringe even more than Alphaville.
Just because you have some interesting color scheme, make nonsensical literature/art/film reference, make weird cuts (aka looking like a rough cut), features Anna Karina, make self-reflexive statements doesn’t make it a great or even good film.
I’m not against Godard and I really liked his Breathless and Contempt.
But damn he can be such a self-absorbed show-off.
My rating 2.2/10.
Grave of the Fireflies is another seemingly touching anti-war film that’s actually an anti-losing-the-war film like In This Corner of the World.
I don’t know much about live action but Japanese “anti-war” anime all seem to have a tendency to moan for the fact that their soldiers failed to invade other countries. And by telling it from kids’ perspectives the films gain sympathy from the international audience.
They have never seemed to reflect on the nature and absurdity of war…
Burning is a slow burn full of mystery and ambiguity.
You can simply enjoy seeing the characters talking because of their interesting philosophy and enjoy watching them doing solo act because of the inherent tension going on inside them or in the atmosphere.
I’m no expert on Murakami but the film does feel like a great Murakami novel adaptation with his typical characters.
In summary, without the mystery, Burning is still a great piece of literature; without the literature, it is still a great mystery.
My rating 8.9/10.
I agree with this comment from a critic that this movie “has enough poetry for several great movies, but not enough push for one”. How I wish that this film can be dissected and has its limbs to be fed to many other great films, coz Synecdoche, New York on its own is as whiny, pretentious and meaningless as the protagonist’s play.
This is not 8 1/2, this is just Charlie Kaufman trying too hard to squeeze too much information into one film to prove that he’s better than any other directors who directed his screenplays.
My rating 5.1/10.