Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Movie Review: The Nines

What is, or are, The Nines?

I'm fresh from this fantastic freak fest of a film, and I use that term not lightly. This film is a mesmerizing, if at times unpolished, masterpiece that not only intrigues right to the end, but at the end leaves you as if you have just done three Kaiser Sozes, two Matrix trilogies and half a dozen Monkeys.

It’s like one of the best quirky tales from 2000AD but made into a modern, well acted movie with great production. It has an unusually compelling style - and oodles of conceptual layers. But it’s complex and weird and hard to follow in a close to exhilarating way.

We just kept asking... "but?"... "how?" I think one of the brightest aspects of the movie is that it doesn't try to out weird you. So unlike, say, Eraserhead or Jacob’s Ladder (both great films, mind), there is always the chance that everything you see could be normal. And maybe, at the end it is all normal. Even with the revelation (I won’t spoil it by telling you what that is), even if you accepted it as this reality, even then, it could still be normality for all of us.

Q: Is it complex and weird like The Number 23?
A:No, the biggest part of The Number 23 is a number two.

I won’t tell you what The Nines is about, but I will tell you the nearest thing it reminds me of. My wife and I both will testify that my clothes (and of this weekend some soft toys) sometimes duplicate. Literally. As if someone has logged into reality, taken an unusual T-Shirt bought in a "London fashion sample sale" and then made an exact copy of it (except that one now has an oil stain that cannot be removed. I think it’s probably WD-40, so any tips appreciated). An exact copy. The same with a pair of brown trousers that I know, and would testify in a court of natural laws, that I only bought one pair of. No questions. I now have two pairs of them.

I think it also happens with socks, but my wife is sceptical of this.

Sure, the trousers and T shirt spontaneous duplications are mindboggling in the degree to which they render all notions of laundry normality.... abnormal, but it gets worse:

There have also been discoveries of soft toys that there were never, until recently, two of. One of the ontological clones was won five years ago by my dad in a raffle (probably Rotary) and could not possibly be duplicated (OK it’s possible. But I don’t think so). We have debated the possibilities. All of them, with a Doyleian keenness to the causal and material structures of our domestic reality that could allow this. Sure, perhaps the crazy lady across the road saw me wearing the shirt, spent four months on Ebay to get a copy, bought it with Paypal and slipped it in my smalls one spring morning. Maybe so. Maybe my brother in law, when he bought me the shirt, bought two, one for me and, knowing I'm a sharp dresser, one for him. And then at Easter three years ago accidentally left it in my house. Maybe....

It is rare in these days to have even the smallest of epiphanies.

Just as The Nines has lots of "buts", this crazy flux in our existential architectonics makes us have many more "maybes" than simple folk deserve. If you have objects disappear in your house, it can be weird. In English we call this "losing things". But when things don't vanish, rather they are duplicated... that’s mega weird... there is no word in any language for that kinda spooky. No word (ED, how about "isoanatanmorphic?", but that only applies to fruit.?).

These events, along with some before the little people came and took all my liberty away, have made me question the nature of reality at a very fundamental level, or at least, the nature of the material world.. and I guess I mean "material" in both senses here.

I wouldn't wish these kind of metaphysical palpitations on anyone, but luckily for you, you can experience even more weirdness than this by watching The Nines, without any actual weirdness in your clothing inventory. What is more, the weirdness The Nines can massage into your porridge is a kind of meaningful weirdness... a thought pumping weirdness... a metaphysical maelstrom... set conveniently in the Hollywood Film and TV world.

The Nines is in my Top Ten. That’s top ten of all time.

9/10 (duh!)

(Note: If there is a word for a review trying to represent what it describes, then I want that word to apply to this review).


Kendal King Pin said...

Now if ever a word deserved a wiki-link, it's isoanatanmorphic (or did you mean isoanatamorphic, or isoanatomorphic or isoanamorphic?)

All you've got to do is go on to Wikipedia and creat an entry first.

Tell me when you've done it - I'm eager to expand my vocabulary...

Mat Ripley said...

But If I did that then i would bee feeding the wikipuppy for my own glorification, which is wrong, verging on the isoanatanmorphic.

Anonymous said...

i've never a read a film review like it! what does any of it mean - apart from that you like it?

Mat Ripley said...

Maybe you need to see the film to make sense of the review...there is no spoon.


Anonymous said...

where is the cinema in truro? my poor brain?