I watched "The Apartment" again tonight. Lovely, lovely, lovely. (This is similar to my "gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous" assesment of "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?")
While I was watching the movie, I realized how much I appreciate films where "high-concept scenarios" grow out of everyday human behavior and in effect, generate honest insight into people. For instance, if you described "The Apartment" and said "it's about a guy who lends out his apartment to his bosses for them to have affairs in," that'd sound pretty high-concepty. To me anyway. Maybe not "Die-Hard-on-a-spaceship" high concept-like, but still.
But when you discover that the whole scenario simply comes from a guy's desire to "move up in the ranks and be respected," then it makes a little more sense. And when it leads to the final conclusion that a guy learns to have integrity and girl allows herself to be treated better... then the high-concept becomes a regular, perfect, everyday occurence. And that's great.
Same with "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" It's a bizarre scenario - a dance marathon where people dance to exhaustion for 5 weeks - but it comes out of people wanting to have purpose and be famous and... get fed and not be hungry anymore. And by the end, this scenario that sounded so ludicrous beforehand suddenly seems downright ordinary.
My favorite part in movies (which rarely happens) is when you realize that somebody is doing something completely out-of-the-ordinary, but it makes perfect sense when you see how it got there by playing by its own rules and logic. It simply went where it was supposed to go.
But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe all movies do this. After all, dreck like "The Wedding Planner" takes a high-concept and makes it human, right? I don't know.
As for my own movie, I completed shooting "Wet Cotton" this morning after a continuous 14-hour shooting session. It was rough, but I was able to stay energized the whole way through. Cuz making movies is fun.