Pin It
Favorite

Take Two 

Youth Without Youth & r & & r & by LUKE BAUMGARTEN & r & & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & I & lt;/span & had a friend in college -- a philosophy nerd like me -- who'd spend his free moments talking idly about his plans to write the definitive text in the history of philosophy. From Plato to Heidegger. He'd talk about the patterns he'd seen in the works of certain thinkers. Unconnected by time period or world-view really, these philosophers would nonetheless have a certain something -- something my friend was never able to, you know, quantify -- that he believed linked their various philosophies. He'd talk at length about this all-unifying je ne sais quoi (he spoke a little French -- seriously), trying to say everything there was to say about the nature and history of existence without really saying anything at all. I'd listen good naturedly for a bit, even engage him with questions some days. Invariably, though, I'd just stop listening, turn back to my game of FIFA and wait for him to leave the room.





Deep into act two of Youth Without Youth, Francis Ford Coppola's first film since 1997's The Rainmaker, I found myself thinking about this friend for the first time in years.





By that point, Dominic (Tim Roth), a 70-year-old linguist and compulsive researcher had been struck by lightning, found his youth restored, grown a new set of teeth, had his psyche split in two, been chased by Nazis and watched the world explode in countless nuclear detonations (not just Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but Stalingrad and Beijing as well). Along the way, Dominic realizes he intuitively understands every language, realizes he can read entire books just by running his hand over them, finds his long-lost love reincarnated in the hills of Switzerland, only to watch that love be struck by lightning, throwing her into a past life regression that may allow him to unlock the secret to all of his studies: the theoretical proto-language upon which all languages evolved. In order to get that most coveted of trophies, he might have to sacrifice his (reincarnated) love's life.





There's a trip to India in there somewhere, a lusty Aryan mistress who has swastikas embroidered into the lace of her stockings and dozens of scenes of Tim Roth either (a) speaking in languages from antiquity or (b) writing in them.





The film takes place roughly between the early 1930s and the late '60s, using filming techniques and effects from those periods to achieve a look that's one part Casablanca, one part Unbearable Lightness of Being. Coppola uses half-dissolves to create dream-like states and stop-motion trickery to make roses appear from thin air on Dominic's lap. Long shadows and dark alleyways reminiscent of The Third Man haunt him as he flees the Nazis. There's even a swatch -- one single scene that comes from out of nowhere -- of Exorcist-esque possession.





Like my friend with the desire to sew together all of philosophy's many disparate threads, Coppola has gone to great pains here to be exhaustive, to try and meld snatches of literally every existential and religious theory with every genre, camera trick and plot contrivance at his considerable disposal to create a kind of universal film of everything. What does it all amount to? In both cases, I think: intense intellectual masturbation endlessly fascinating to the maker and of very little interest to everyone else. (One night only, Thursday, 2/14, at AMC; Rated R)

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Crash > Click > Cash
  • Crash > Click > Cash

    Lawyers and chiropractors already have your name, your address and the police report from your car accident — and they want you to hire them
    • Jul 21, 2016
  • Starting Small
  • Starting Small

    A village of tiny houses in Spokane Valley could serve as a model for fighting homelessness in the region
    • Jul 21, 2016
  • Drastic Action
  • Drastic Action

    Spokane among seven school districts sued by State Superintendent of Public Instruction; plus, trio of police-chief finalists are in town
    • Jul 21, 2016
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon
Bodies Human: Anatomy in Motion

Bodies Human: Anatomy in Motion @ Mobius Science Center

Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through Dec. 31

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by n/a

  • Iron Upgrade
  • Iron Upgrade

    The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.
    • May 12, 2010
  • Seeing Gay
  • Seeing Gay

    A festival showing GLBT from all angles
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • Get Out the Vote
  • Get Out the Vote

    With all the uncertainty in the world these days, hot wings and cold beer are two things we can get behind
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Lane Ends Ahead

    Spokane wants to improve a mile-long section of Monroe — but that means taking away two lanes
    • Jul 7, 2016
  • Too Smart for School

    What happens when a 12-year-old prodigy tries to go to college in Spokane?
    • Jun 30, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

green zone


marijuana


Briefs


election 2016


trail mix


Readers also liked…

  • Extraordinary Ordination
  • Extraordinary Ordination

    Meet the first woman to be ordained as an Ecumenical Catholic priest in Spokane
    • Nov 19, 2015
  • Game Changer
  • Game Changer

    Since Condon became mayor, Jan Quintrall has been responsible for some of the biggest changes in the city of Spokane — and some of its biggest controversies
    • Dec 17, 2014

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation