Joe Abbott comments:
"I saw *12 Monkeys* last week and found it entertaining enough. I
didn't know going in that it had been "inspired" (I think was the
term) by Chris Marker's *La Jetee*. Oddly enough (for me at least) I
much preferred the French film. It has an experimental edge to it
that 12 Monkeys doesn't. There's certainly a publishable paper in
comparing the two. I must say, however, that Brad Pitt is astounding
in this film."
I'd agree that Pitt is very good, but I hope people don't overlook Madeleine
Stowe's performance, which I thought equally good. She strikes a remarkable
balance in moving from skeptical but compassionate objectivity to being a
True Believer. I was especially struck by the scene when she's been kidnapped
by Willis and she manages to convey stark terror at her situation while still
engaging intellectually to find a way around this apparent madman *and* feeling
some pity for him.
LA JETEE is one my favorite shorter films, but I don't think a full comparison
with 12 MONKEYS is quite fair. Gilliam was "inspired" by Marker's film to
take the basic premise of time travel and psychology and flesh them out within
a full-length narrative format. I liked that it was true to its source while
still doing something different.
Don Larsson, Mankato State U (MN)
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