This film is zany fun. You will either like it or hate, much like the Marx Brothers. What makes this film special is it’s enormous amount of self-referential jokes. Other than that, if you want laughs and very heavy slapstick is your thing than you will love this movie. Otherwise steer clear of this one.
The film is about a girl played by the beautiful Gong Li who becomes the fourth concubine to a local lord or something, they never really explain it. What is important is that the lord has set up an incentive system to get the four concubines to try and please him the most. The one that he chooses to spend the night with gets red lanterns lit within and outside as well as a foot massage. Obviously there’s the sex, but it isn’t that important. What is important is keeping and establishing your place in the pecking order. It’s this fighting for position that is ultimately Gong Li’s undoing.
Like I said at the beginning, I have no clue why I loved this film so much, but I highly recommend it.
This movie is just fun. It’s got a simple plot about a tailor who gets mistaken for a baron. The baron then falls in love with a princess. You can guess the rest. Normally this would be something really lame, but instead it’s full of laughs and enjoyment.
I think the main reason is because of lead actor Maurice Chevalier. He’s charming, elegant, and he comes across like Cary Grant in the sense that you feel like you have an inside man. He may be elegant, charming, and beautiful on the outside but we get the feeling that he is just your everyday man trapped inside of the perfect body.
As such, Maurice Chevalier makes this movie just pure enjoyment. Check it out.
If you liked Slumdog Millionaire or City Of God then you will like this film. It’s about a gypsy in Yugoslavia who is tempted into a life of crime by a local mob boss. The story chronicles his descent into crime and ultimate loss of his world upon trying to return to his former life.
The magic of this film is in the story. Lets face it, we love this kind of story. I am not immune and must say this film is worth a look.
I will keep this long and notorious film’s review short. No, it will burn your eyes out. However, it won’t impress you all that much either. The film is beautifully composed and the use of color is amazing. The buildings are wonderful as well. You can appreciate how every over budget dollar was spent.
Basically, it wasn’t as bad as people made it out to be, but it’s no masterpiece.
Hotel Terminus is a documentary about a man named Klaus Barbie. This man went from being a nasty SS officer to a collaborator with the United States government to being a revolutionary in South America before his sorry ass was dragged back to France to be charged for crimes against humanity.
The film is directed by Marcel Ophuls, Max Ophuls’ son, and he approaches the film much in the same that French director Claude Lanzmann did for his film Shoah. Instead of relying upon archival footage, Ophuls leans heavily in favor of interviews and footage shot on the spot. Oddly enough, Lanzmann is actually interviewed in the film by Ophuls.
I am not going to summarize the film more than the first paragraph has, but let me tell you that you are left thinking that not only is Barbie a scumbag, but so is everyone that makes up the pipeline that finally brought Barbie back to France for his crimes. Especially, the incompetent United States intelligence.
Check this film out.
I cannot recommend this film because even after watching it I could make absolutely no sense of it. If anybody can help me, please make a comment on this review. Otherwise I will just have to revisit this film when I have more information.
Update: Thanks to ThatFilmGirl what I thought the film was about was correct. The film is about several young adults who are trying to navigate the world of the 1960’s with it’s conflicting ideologies and commercialism, all the while trying to start and maintain a relationship. They are the children of Marx and Coca-Cola as the film says.
One problem with the film is that Godard employs Brechtian distancing and it just makes you hate everything you watch. There is a scene in the film where the characters are in a theater. They are watching the screen and falling asleep because it is so boring. That is how I felt and still feel about this film even though I now know what the film is about. Seek out better Godard films like A Woman Is A Woman and Band Of Outsiders.
Watching a Yasujiro Ozu film is like going to Cheers. All the same characters are there, many times the same actors, and the story is always the same. Yet, it never gets boring. It gets more comforting each time you watch it. Like a warm blanket you can always wrap yourself in.
While some directors get worse with age, Yasujiro Ozu only got better. In the late 1940’s, 10-15 years into his career, he made Late Spring. From then on he could do no wrong. An Autumn Afternoon is no exception despite being his last film. The film is essentially Late Spring and half a dozen other Ozu films, there’s a family with a daughter who is of marrying age and the wheels are set in motion. Everything from then on moves towards it’s inevitable conclusion. You feel sad for the girl who is forced into marriage, but at the same time the film makes you understand that this isn’t about love, but rather a right of passage. The father doesn’t want to let her go, in fact he needs her to care for him, but he understands that he must let her go.
Mixed in with the main story are great conversations such as the conversation at a bar where two guys tentatively agree that it was better that American’s won the war because while they can put up with Japanese boys and girls shaking their butts to rock and roll, they just can’t picture American’s done up in the latest Japanese fashion.
I can’t do Ozu’s work justice by any sentence or paragraph. Nor have I even tried to cover all the magic that is Ozu such as his shot composition and editing. See this film, see any Ozu film, see all of Ozu’s films. You won’t be sorry.
I’m a fan of Andrei Tarkovsky, but like a lot of great directors, when they get into their late period their work suffers. Tarkovsky is no exception. Once he left the Soviet Union and started working in Italy and Sweden, his films went down the drain. First with Nostalghia, now with The Sacrifice.
The film is about an elderly gentlemen played by the great Swedish actor Erland Jospehsen. Friends and family come to visit his secluded home. While they are there an announcement comes on the television saying the equivalent of WWIII starting. Soon the home is buzzed by fighter planes. This scares Erland so much that he makes a deal with god that he will essentially sacrifice everything in his life if he can make it through this crisis. Part of that sacrifice entails burning the house to the ground. Ultimately, he does burn the house to the ground.
If you can find something truly meaningful in this story tell me. Aside from the story, the film is pure Tarkovsky from the mixed use of color and black and white to the tracking shots within homes that make the scenery appear theatrical while simultaneously composed beautifully in depth. I really didn’t enjoy this film and cannot recommend it.
This film is about, as the title suggests, a ball for firemen. They are honoring one of their own who is turning 86 and is dying of cancer. What ensues is pure wackiness. To give you an example. There is a table with all the prizes that can be won in the lottery they are holding. Slowly but surely prizes keep disappearing from this table. Eventually it turns out that the culprits are the firemen themselves. And don’t get me started on their search for the beauty queen who will hand the golden axe to the old fireman.
It’s funny, but your waiting for something, anything, plot or meaning. Instead you just get more humorous realism. Check out Forman’s film Amadeus before you check out this or his other Czech film Loves Of A Blonde.