Sunday, 15 March 2009

"I guess I gotta keep creating or I just die"

Last weekend we saw Eagle vs. Shark, a very funny and endearing independent film born and bred in New Zealand. I read a lot of good things about this movie and accidently stumbled across it on one of my favorite online shopping sites. The movie was never released in Belgium which is a shame seeing as it is one of the funniest films I've seen in a while.

The movie was directed by New Zealand born Taika Cohen who co-wrote it with his leading lady Loren Horsly. It kicked off the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. The story revolves around Lilly, a shy and awkward girl, and Jarrod, an odd and deluded nerd. Lilly desperately wants Jarrod to love her but sadly he is too blinded by his quest for vengence to notice. He wants to get even with his high school nemesis and she decides to help him along the way, hoping that their quality time will change his mind from war to love.

The story is quite simple but what make Eagle vs. Shark so unique are its quirky and higly loveable characters who usually end up in the strangest situations. This mix of absurdities and honest yet highly unconventional characters creates a very distinct style aided by various animated interludes.

A style, that despite it's original nature (compared to most romantic comedies at least), is incredibly reminiscent of the equally hilarious Napoleon Dynamite staring Jon Heder although the latter was definitely less subtle in portraying its protagonists emotional development. Both have an oddball cast, unusual situations and are covered by a certain melancholic ironie that makes everything endearingly plausible.

Eagle vs. Shark's leading man, Jemaine Clement, who was blessed with the face of an ├╝ber geek went on the reap the benifits of his peculiar appearance by starring it the critically acclaimed series The Flight of the Conchords about two New Zealand friends (you just gotta love their accent) who go to America to try and make it big with their folk band. Naturally, nothing goes quite as planned seeing as their entire fanbase is a semi hysterical girl and their only gig is at the aquarium. HBO immediately snapped up this smartly written and well acted jewel in disguise. Too bad we Belgians have such a hard time getting quality TV.


Niels said...

Thanks for the recommendations... I loved "Napoleon Dynamite", so I'll both check out the movie and series!

Belgatom said...

Hmm, I hated Napoleon Dynamite but will be checking out that NZ movie. Quirkie stuff like that is mostly hit or miss with people.

I watched one episode of Flight of the Conchords but still pretty undecided on that.