In Bruges

Posted On: Thursday - April 20th 2023 8:43PM MST
In Topics: 
  Humor  Movies

Bruges, pronounced Broozh (one syllable) best I can do it, is a pretty, very historical city in the northwest of Belgium, about 15 miles from coast near the south end of the North Sea.* Wiki says "The medieval architecture in Bruges is mostly intact, making it one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Europe." (Hmmm, I can't detect an agenda, so far...) This fairytale-like city of 120,000 or so is the setting of one of my new favorite movies, something I hardly ever write, because "new", as in more recently made, favorites come once in a blue moon.

It's not the scenery that makes the movie, but the fun and twisting story that's set in Bruges**. I don't keep up with these people, but it's Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson that play the buddy-movie, no not cops this time, but hit-man buddies. They are Irishmen who've been sent to Bruges for a couple of weeks to lay low by their bad-ass boss after some problem back in London.

One big thing to keep in mind this whole movie. It was made in '07. There were plenty of security cameras up here and there already, maybe not so much in this old European city, but mainly no ubiquitous smart phones. This is an important part of any movie or reality in which you are to lay low and "keep out of sight". How's that possible now? COVID-19 masks help, I guess...

The older, fatter guy is the experienced and the wiser one, and he spends time trying to rein in the younger guy who wants to party and go out on dates. There's one cutie in the movie. All the while, these two are supposed to be awaiting an important phone call from the boss on the hotel land-line. That may sound boring, but all manner of fun things go on.

The big relief for me is this movie was devoid of Wokeness. It was a different time, you understand ... no, not that different - maybe it's just due to a producer, director, what-have-you with some integrity. There are no black characters in non-black roles or ass-kicking women. There is the a part of the plot involving a dwarf, which might be considered woke, but it is done distastefully enough to be honest.

Well, I won't spoil the movie either, except to tell you it's very humorous while being suspenseful, with lots of plot twists and even some serious philosophy of life stuff thrown in. Instead, I'll insert in a scene here, for something different in a movie review. There's a minor theme in the movie about Americans, and, well, when you're right, you're right, so I took it well. I think you will too. Remember that these two guys are supposed to be laying low. The older guy understands that, but the younger guy doesn't:

Oh yeah, there's a couple of lines here that remind me of the ideas, and even a "law" we read from a certain blogger. Harry, the head hitman out of London had to come to Bruges at one point to straighten things out. He walked into his arms dealer Yuri's house and saw the collection of about 50 or so guns for his selection, one of them being an Uzi. He picked it up and mused:
An Uzi? I'm not from South Central Los fucking Angeles. I didn't come here to shoot twenty black ten year olds in a drive-by. I want a normal gun for a normal hit.
Flat-out Steve Sailer material, that is! Steve likes the movies a lot, so I recommended this one to him too.

Two thumbs way up for In Bruges!

* The weather in Bruges is very similar to that in Seattle, Washington - highs, lows, and precipitation

** My strong suggestion for the PS reader is to not even read the IMDB page I linked to here if you want to see the movie. It gives away WAY too much of the story.

Saturday - April 22nd 2023 7:20PM MST
PS: I'm no kind of art aficionado, Mr. Blanc, but I do remember that I liked one of Mr. van Eyck's paintings that I've seen. I'm not near the neighborhood, but there's no reason I couldn't end up there for a visit someday. I would go up the bell tower too, hopefully uneventfully, haha.

Mr. Hail, I think Steve Sailer would love that project, had he the time. (I think he's working on a compilation book now besides his posts and Takimag columns ... and golf architecture studies. That last part could be done by anyone who knows lots of movies. IMDB is pretty helpful but now very woke itself from what I see on the front page. (Due to all that graphic stuff, It loads that much more slowly, when all I usually use if for is looking up movies for some details.)
Saturday - April 22nd 2023 5:39PM MST

SafeNow evaluates trends in film with these words:

"Severe decline, with perhaps a few dozen movies falling into the “superb” category since I was a young man"

In these sorts of discussions, I commonly see people seek to dismiss such comments by saying a bias exists such that people of all ages tend to say "There has been a real decline in 'x' since I myself was in age-range 'y'..."

It can be hard to really evaluate such things objectively. However, at some point proto-Wokeness began to affect movies, which is probably a useful signal of -something- declining in that Wokeness and Excellence are often opposites (and, when not true opposites, they at least tend toward that direction).

Some ambitious blogger out there should make a project of plotting graphs of Wokeness in movies, but it won't be me. One such graph could be: Number of movies by five-decade period in which a Black character appears as either God or the U.S. president.
Saturday - April 22nd 2023 11:42AM MST
PS It’s been almost 50 years since I was there, so my memories have faded a bit. But I do remember finding it delightful. It was the home of one of my favorite painters, Jan van Eyck. If you’re ever in the neighborhood….
Saturday - April 22nd 2023 5:42AM MST
PS: Thanks, Alarmist. That's funny you brought up that falcon over the food, as I was about to put in an anecdote about a different bird involved in this sort of thing at our Florida spot in that previous post.

SafeNow, I do remember writing that (on the Unz Review), but, yeah, I was exaggerating that time. I thought back to the oldest really great movie I've watched. (Just that *I've* watched, mind you.)

What was to be your 2nd "aha!"?
Dieter Kief
Saturday - April 22nd 2023 1:48AM MST
SafeNow - - which are the twelve of your most favourite movies?
Friday - April 21st 2023 9:58PM MST
1. I second two thumbs way up for Bruges.
2. Aha!, Mr. Moderator. You once said the last great movie was Bridge on the River Kwai, and this proves my suspicion I had at the time that you didn’t really mean it literally - - rather, you were just frustrated at the severe decline in quality in recent times, and were exaggerating to make your point. As for me: Severe decline, with perhaps a few dozen movies falling into the “superb” category since I was a young man, and I am ancient. Anyway before I go, one more “Aha!”
The Alarmist
Friday - April 21st 2023 9:55AM MST

It was about a decade ago. It was a recreation of a royal wedding, with old tyme food and entertainment, including a falcon flying over our food, which was not so cool as a falconry show would normally be.
Friday - April 21st 2023 8:57AM MST
We friends often met in Brügge - - for the night or for a few days while travelling to Londonor Ireland etc. - - - - even though it is not that different from the German medieval towns we were used to - or maybe because of that. Now I live in and at and aroubd such a town for decades - - - after a few years in Heidelberg. - - These towns are one reason, I studied medieval history. There is something profoundly right about them. You can also sense that very strongly on Elba (Portoliveri) , in Parma or in Basel, Sankt Gallen, Chur and Zürich (Nördlingen/ Dinkelsbühl - - -).

The clip is nice and all Mod. - - a friend of old, who was amongst the group who met in Brügge at times, stopped looking at movies at around this time (late 7oies) - - - and switched to photography, where I had been already for more than a quarter of found that interesting. And I too went fewer and fewer times into a movie theater. Haven't been in one for months now. No TV and video 'n' stuff either.
Friday - April 21st 2023 5:37AM MST
PS: How long ago was that, Alarmist? Was it a pretty decent crowd of tourists you were among?
The Alarmist
Friday - April 21st 2023 4:55AM MST

I went to a wonderful Medieval dinner in Bruges. Bot some very pricey chocolates there too. Wonderful day or weekend trip.
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