Chambre 212 [On a Magical Night] (Christophe Honoré, 2019)

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soundchaser
Leave Her to Beaver
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2016 12:32 am

Chambre 212 [On a Magical Night] (Christophe Honoré, 2019)

#1 Post by soundchaser » Fri Feb 28, 2020 11:56 pm

I’ll try to do a more detailed write-up tomorrow at work, but I really enjoyed On a Magical Night, even if I can see why it would absolutely enrage others. It’s tonally wild in a way that’s right up my alley, but definitely inconsistent and occasionally frustrating. Still, I suspect folks here will like it!

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therewillbeblus
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Re: Festival Circuit 2020

#2 Post by therewillbeblus » Sat Feb 29, 2020 11:05 am

That’s good to hear, soundchaser, I’m seeing it tonight!

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soundchaser
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Re: Festival Circuit 2020

#3 Post by soundchaser » Sat Feb 29, 2020 11:50 am

Oh, fab! Looking forward to seeing what you think of it.

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therewillbeblus
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Re: Festival Circuit 2020

#4 Post by therewillbeblus » Sun Mar 01, 2020 1:34 am

On a Magical Night (or its French title, Chambre 212, which I dislike enough to swap for its American one- even if the French one has actual thematic connection in its numerics) is exactly what I've come to expect from a French comedy, which is a messy blending of moods that doesn't play by the rules. However, this film outdoes most because it doesn't even play by its own wavering internal logic. The film begins by (and continues to operate intermittently as) embodying a slightly humorous but still raw take on marriage a la Scenes From a Marriage before venturing into fantastical territory, with a twist where
SpoilerShow
the apparitions as guides wind up as the characters who are most in distress and require the most resolve, with the main characters helping them work through their resentments and angst! And of course, the internal logic of these apparitions as only being apparent to Chiara Mastroianni, or being externalized parts of her psyche, or any other single allegory, is continuously disproven by another great idea. I did enjoy the use of IFS internal 'parts' though, especially her 'conscience' who was hysterical (there's a great subtle gag I didn't recognize until later, when he smirks as Mastroianni introduces him as "like family" to a lover, after a certain risqué reveal), but ultimately even this wonderful portrait of that process had to be surrendered to the diverse space this film operated in.
Part of why this very disorganized film worked so well for me is that the subject and its message about the subject is itself so ineffable, so the wild structure matched the impenetrable content. Love as impermanent, defined by the past, from memory, but necessary to experience in the present, is explained in contradictory attitudes by the couple that are both correct, indicating the illogical nature of evolving personalities in relationships and the possibility of two opposing perspectives as not mutually exclusive, but mutually valid within this hazy relativist context of authenticity to the self and/or the system. There was a very realist element to this film that acknowledged the challenges of growing together and impossibility of knowing another or even oneself through rational thought that was not so much sad as piercingly true, and I admired this film for allowing that to exist sans faux-answers. This is a very, very deep film, and safe to say one of the most complex I've ever seen. For something to be so funny, bizarre, creative, honest in its pathos, and beautiful in its celebration of life, and above all agency, well it's one of the best films of the year.

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therewillbeblus
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Re: Chambre 212 [On a Magical Night] (Christophe Honoré, 2019)

#5 Post by therewillbeblus » Sat May 16, 2020 1:03 am

I got a notification that this was playing (via virtual screening) from the Coolidge Corner theatre in the Boston area, and sure enough it's currently at a bunch of arthouse theatres across the country

I can't recommend this one highly enough.

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