Watching Silk Dry
Starring: Michael Pitt, Keira Knightley,
Koji Yakusho, Alfred Molina,
Miki Nakatani, Mark Rendall,
Sei Ashina, and Kenneth Welsh
Runtime: 109 minutes
Director: Francois Girard
Executive Producer: Tom Yoda, Yasushi Shiina,
Akira Ishii, Camela Galano,
Jonathan Debin, Patrice
Theroux, and Alessandro
Producer: Niv Fichman, Nadine Luque,
Domenico Procassi, and Sonoko
Writer: Francois Girard and Michael
Address Comments To:Bob Berney, President
(A division of New Line Cinema)
597 Fifth Avenue, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10017
Phone: (212) 303-1700
Fax: (212) 421-1163
Herve marries Helene and then is immediately sent to Africa to find silkworm eggs because a disease is devastating the French silk industry. His trip to Africa fails, because the disease has already reached the African silkworms. So, he sets off in 1862 to Japan, which takes months. Japan is a closed country, so he has to be smuggled into Japan blindfolded to a tiny village in the mountains to buy the silkworm eggs. Herve falls in lust with the main shogun’s concubine. He heads back to France and his beautiful wife who cannot conceive children.
Rather than appreciating his wife, Herve looks forward to going back to Japan. He does so, and on this trip has a very explicit affair with the concubine. He returns to his dying wife, reconciles with her before she dies and goes back to Japan. Japan is in the midst of wars and rumors of wars, and things may not work out the way he wants.
Some of the scenery in SILK is beautiful but discussing it with other reviewers who have been to some of these places in the movies just as I have, we wondered why the scenery had nothing to do with the place being described. That is, there are no mountains around Kiev, Ukraine. The mountains in Japan do not look like the Japanese mountains in this movie. In fact, the whole movie looks like a stylized figment of the director’s imagination. From his past work, he has been known to be a visual poet. This time he lets the visuals overwhelm any poetry.
The acting is so dull and off-putting that it is hard to watch the characters. One reviewer was playing on his iPhone while watching the movie and yet didn’t miss a beat or a line. The full nudity and sex scenes are so blasé that they are induce lethargy too. The best part about SILK is it will make very little money at the box office and thus help bring down the averages for Romantic movies, movies with a non-Christian worldview and movies with explicit sex and nudity.
SILK is so dull and languid that it could even destroy the silk futures market if anybody bothered to see it. The director is known for his visual poetry, but this time he lets the visuals overwhelm any poetry. The acting is so dull and off-putting that it is hard to watch the characters. Finally, SILK contains explicit sex and nudity.