Friday Night In: The Wisdom of Crocodiles


There are a few questions about film that leave me stumped. Whenever I mention that I work in the industry the immediate response is one of intrigue and an eagerness to delve into conversation about what movie they recently saw or absolutely hated. But the most present question is one that every film geek gets bombarded with and consequently judged by: What is your favorite film? I would bet my life that the most common response is something along the lines of denying the plausibility to even be able to limit oneself to a handful of films let alone just one.  Recently, this question has been following in my shadow. I cannot seem to shake it. And, I too lay claim to that card-toting group of people who snootily remark that such a title is impossible to label onto any film.

That being said, of course I have a set list that I quickly refer to because people want an answer. They want to discuss these films and they want to see what kind of a person you are based on your film choices. I can deal with it. I have had my top 5 list, with the ever-changing subsequent 5 to round out my top 10, for a solid 7 plus years now. As such, I realized that I have not offered even one film from my “top ten” yet. A situation that needed to be remedied.


In what will now become the first in a series of recommendations of my fave films , I present The Wisdom of Crocodiles. I am not quite sure when I first saw this film, directed by Po-Chih Leong and written by Paul Hoffman, but I remember that instant feeling of awe and perhaps obsession. Since I was quite young I was a fan of British Cinema–something I haven’t quite figured out how to kick–and this film was one of the top three that solidified my favoritism to that country’s hand in the industry.

Jude Law stars in what I describe as a modern take on Beauty and the Beast. The story follows Steven Grlscz, an attractive and charming man who is one-of-a-kind. Literally. He is his own breed. Which is where the title comes into play. The film is narrated with bits of wisdom and insight by Grlscz, who is a serial killer that kills in order to survive. He seduces women, gets them to fall for him, murders them and lives off the emotions that they experience and embody. Steven is in search of the perfect woman and the perfect love; as he explains this will be able to cure him of his demons.  When Steven meets Anne, who is a strong-willed and minded woman, his entire world begins to become challenged. The title also refers to a Francis Bacon quote, who wrote about crocodiles who shed tears as they devour their prey.


This film is about the story. It is a unique tale of love and the determination to push through obstacles. I myself am consistently drawn to multi-layered characters. Steven Grlscz might be one of my favorite characters in film. He is a monster but with an innocence and vulnerability that pulls you into him.

Quick Note: Americans have a tendency to believe they know how to market a film better than any other country. As such, they believe in re-naming films for the American market. Ridiculous concept considering that titles are given for appropriate reasons. The US title for this film was changed from the aptly titled The Wisdom of Crocodiles to the absurdly point-lacking Immortality.

“ARGH, I’ve Already Seen This Movie!”

Cool. Way to go, you. You have something in common with friends that got to watch this over and over in college (thanks Drew!) But check out: The Lives of Others, Boy A, The Talented Mr. Ripley.

Wisdom of Crocodiles TRAILER

original post 7/30/09 @16:38


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