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The Twilight Zone: A Game of Pool (1961)
The game of choice
Enough has been said about the episode, as far as the story goes. But I have yet to see anyone make note of the technical aspects of this episode.
First, I am a pool player, not just a fan of TZ. So when I saw they had an episode about pool, I had to see it. I was surprised they put as much detail as they did in this one. It's not just about pool, it's about a specific game, 14.1 rotation or straight pool.
When Fats asks Jesse what game he wants to play, he says "lets see how good you really are", and decides on 14.1 pool to 300 points. For the uninformed, 14.1 pool is one of the most difficult games in pocket billiards. Jesse really picked a game that would test Fats skill. And it is certainly one of the longest games, with championship matches lasting several hours. Make no mistake about it, a game to 300 points can easily clock in at 3 hours. That is at least 15 racks, assuming one person runs out the game without his opposition ever making it to the table.
Considering toward the end of the episode, both Fats and Jesse are almost tie at about 295, that means they have played about 40 racks. Which would probably take somewhere between 5 and 6 hours. Hell, I have a straight pool match on DVD (Eberle vs Hohmann,2006) that clocks in at 3.5 hours, and that's just to 200 points! Bare in mind, we are talking about a single game of pool!
Also, another thing I would like to point out is the opening break at the beginning of the match. Fats states that the man who shoots first is at a disadvantage as he will break the rack open. Which Fats, then plays a safety shot which knocks two balls toward the rail and then back to the rack. That shot was a textbook example of an opening break shot in 14.1. I hope to get that good! Who ever did played pool for a long time.
Anyhow, I don't know who acted as a technical adviser, but their expertise can be appreciated by anyone who is knowledgeable about pool.
Vendredi soir (2002)
It is life
This was a damn good movie. Very different, the closest movie that comes to the feel and over all effect is The Loss of Sexual Innocence. Movies such as this catch many off guard because they don't follow the de facto movie format. Meaning, an event happens, people react to said event, drama, conclusion, resolution.
This movie takes a totally different approach, and that's what makes it shine. This movie defies being labeled as a movie altogether. People say this movie is boring, that nothing happens, there are almost no words. They'd be right, there is no real drama, conclusion, resolution. I don't believe that's what this movie is even about.
From the opening moments of the Paris rooftops I knew I was in for something special. The long shots, the turning off of lights, the gazes at the Paris skyline. This was a visual feast with poetic credentials, and I expected as much.
Folks, this movie was not about Jean and Laure. I believe thats where all the critical flack stems from. This movie isn't about a brief encounter that is over by sunrise. The plot that you all speak of, that's secondary.
The movie tends to focus on their surroundings more so then them. A cluttered car, a heater, traffic, boxes. A best example of this is their skin, during the sex scenes there are close ups of their skin rather then showing them making love. As if the plot, in this case, making love, is secondary to the poetic element of the story.
In any given event, the surroundings are just as important as the story itself. This movie displays that perfectly. That is the purpose of this movie, that is it's beauty, that is what it is about.
If this movie is about the surroundings rather then a plot or story, then what would be the purpose of showing rooftops, skin, lamps, boxes? Because is it life, and it is poetic and beautiful. What is the purpose of a rose? Why take a picture of it, or give it to someone? A rose simply is, this movie simply is. The nuances of life deserve appreciation and this movie pays homage to that fact. That is what this movie is about.
It is life, it is the beauty of everything around you.