Friday, September 15

Das Experiment & del Toro love.

title screen from Das Experiment

So. Das Experiment. I admit, it really surprised me. Sometimes I don't really read up on films before I watch them; a friend's recommendation or stills that I've seen can be enough for me to go on. That was the case with this one - Brian wanted to see it and, well, Moritz Bleibtreu is awesome. I assumed that Das Experiment was going to be more of a sci-fi jaunt, judging mostly by the DVD cover.

Wrong, wrong, wrong. Turns out, Das Experiment is all about psychology (and a little bit of violence). It's a reinterpretation of the Stanford Prison Experiment - which I am, and anyone else who's taken a social psychology class is, quite familiar with.

from Das Experiment

It was really interesting to see all the concepts I'd studied in class come into play - how quickly the guards took to authority just from donning their uniforms, how their roles became so deeply internalized. There are shades of the actual footage from Stanford, and although the film is ficionalized, the similarity of the narratives is striking. Of course, Das Experiment takes the concept to extremes, but the situation escalates in a way that is not entirely unthinkable. It's scary to see people behave the way they do in the film. It's even more unsettling to know that some people did, and to such an extent that the real experiment was aborted after only 6 days. Human nature - it's a bitch.

More movie news: as some of you might be aware, the Toronto International Film Festival is drawing to a close. I've been keeping track, casually, of what's been screened and how things are being received. I'd say the film I'm most excited about (excited isn't even the word... I can't even sit still) is Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth.

from Pan's Labyrinth
The same still that's floating around a ton of other blogs.

His last Spanish-language film, The Devil's Backbone, is a favorite of mine; gorgeous and complicated, frightening and... to me, flawless. You should see it. Pan's Labyrinth looks to be in the same vein, stylistically - a rich horror/fantasy story immersed in a politically volatile time in Spain's history. The world that del Toro has created, both the real and the fantasy, look spectacular, and, well... there's this. The reviews I've read have all been overwhelmingly positive (it got a standing ovation in Toronto), and it's really tearing me up that we have to wait until December 29th to see it. But. What a Christmas present it will be!

PS - started the Sock Hop toe-ups. Looooooove 'em. Someday I will spin sock yarn of my own like this, I hope I hope.