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Ik zie haar (2018)
A Small and Sincere Gem
The biggest challenge for a short is, paradoxically, not to make it too long. And how well they have succeeded with 'Ik Zie Haar' (2018; 'I See Her') !
This tale of love and death and sadness has been well crafted by a skeleton crew, which boasts a number of multi-taskers doing superb jobs here. Is the film perfect ? No, but it is true and honest and very pretty.
A wonderful nine minutes of your life for everybody who is willing to sit down and watch this gorgeous film, hopefully they will get an English Subtitled version out soon. And I sincerely hope it will prove to be a stepping stone for this talented Crew & Cast !
Història de la meva mort (2013)
The everlasting question of Love and Death
Director Albert Serra did miracles with Don Quixote and the Three Magi, and dares to juxtapose Casanova and Dracula in this thrilling film. Choosing a leisurely pace, so we can ponder and think while we are watching, the story unfolds and becomes more and more dark. Why does Casanova laughs so much, and why is he almost always in the shades or in the dark, where Dracula can walk around in the sunlight ? This film raises many questions and we are allowed to answer them ourselves, Albert Serra does not dictate anything.
There is no gore, even the bite marks and blood by the vampires are sheer poetry, but the film crawls under the skin. Music is spot on and never in the way of the story.
Lighting is breathtaking. Or better: the lack of lighting... Based on the experiments of our Peers Nestor Almendros and John Alcott, d.o.p. Jim Gimferrer dares to go all the way in low key lighting. It is truly magnificent.
What a film !!
La chambre verte (1978)
What about the kid ?
Most reviews here are positive, and luckily so: this is a tremendous film. Thought provoking, even disturbing a bit. And wonderfully photographed by Maestro Nestor Almendros. The film simply looks stupendous !
What seems odd is that not one review here, against or for this film, mentions the mute child.
Is there significance to his part, other than to show that Julien Davenne cannot communicate with the world except in obituaries and in sign language ? It is hard to tell, but the role played by the blonde kid is quite poetic, and maybe for that reason alone an asset for this 'La Chambre Verte', which is as wonderful as it is unsettling.
Mahler auf der Couch (2010)
Alma Mahler: Femme Fatale
Gustav & Alma Mahler have been the stars of films like 'Mahler' (Ken Russel; 1974), 'Bride Of The Wind' / 'Alma' (Bruce Beresford; 2001), and of course there is Visconti's 'Morte A Venezia' (1971), where the names are changed to Gustav and Frau von Aschenbach.
All these films are totally different from one another, and now there is 'Mahler On The Couch', which continues the tradition. A unique film, a feast for the eyes and breathtaking beautiful music.
Portraying a true but neurotic genius and a femme fatale who holds her ground next to Helena of Troy, isn't easy, and probably accounts for the diversity between all these films. It must be a marvel to play these characters, and in this Mahler On The Couch all actors are very convincing. It's hard to single out anyone, but if we should, then ... Well, Barbara Romaner is amazing as Alma Mahler. That bigger than life character is surrounded by thousands of pages of biography, even more letters, and a shipload of mystification (mainly fabricated by herself, it's true). But Barbara shows the fun side and the seducing powers of the lady as well as her intelligence and passion and wish for spiritual freedom.
All in all a wonderful, glowing film, giving us Sigmund Freud as a wonderful bonus. Brilliantly acted, also ! 9 stars, and waiting for many more Alma and Gustav films, maybe even the ultimate one...
Fantastic Film That Will Stick In The Mind For Quite Some Time...
MULTIPLE is not meant for an escapist public, but will give the viewer sweaty hands for 100 minutes and a heart that's throbbing in the throat !
For a film that is not meant to be a thriller, but a true story based on 'medical cases', that is an enormous accomplishment. Every time the story reaches yet another heart wrenching moment, language seizes and music takes over. There is just so much we can express in words...
MULTIPLE deals with schizophrenia, and Liz -the main protagonist- struggles with her multiple personalities. She is hauntingly portrayed by breven angaelica warren. What a superb actress ! The doctor too gives a fine performance, and those two drive the entire film up to its nerve wrecking end. The camera subtly follows both these key players, not shying away from gorgeous extreme close ups when the story gets claustrophobic. There are lush wide shots too, of which one in particular will linger long in the mind: as a Kurosawian moment to get our heads in order before the story continues (a little breather, so to speak) we are shown a wonderful mountain panorama. Then the camera pens of to the left, and reveals a road, where Liz and her father are taking a walk, with their car parked in the background.
As a footnote within the film, there is the reference to 'Sybil', (the film in which Sally Field plays a woman who harbors 13 different personalities within her self) which is so respectfully done, that I had to mention it here.
MULTIPLE is terrific, and will keep you busy long after the film has finished. The film looks beautiful, the opening scene is simply fantastic, the story is mind twitching, and the acting is superb ... Try and get the chance to see much more of breven angaelica warren !
Huge References For A Lush Short Film...
When CANBURY starts, one feels the atmosphere and vulnerable serenity of the opening shot of 'The Garden Of The Finzi-Continis'. But the grand director of photography Ennio Guarnieri was not at the helm of this English short film, and the panorama is not Italian.
For a brief moment another Italian maestro comes to mind, but no, CANBURY isn't 'Blowup' either.
Writer/Director Alex Barrett is a master of mood, and uses his keen eye for photography to his, and our, advantage within the boundaries of Canbury Gardens, a park in which three different couples tell us much more from what remains unspoken, than from what they do utter. Reflective and non-obtrusive, the portraits of six young adults are to the point, and of a shining integrity. Beautifully shot by three different cinematographers (one for each part of this trilogy), which lends the 12 minutes extra tension, CANBURY gets better and better after each viewing.
Please try and find (at Film Festivals and websites) more work of this young English filmmaker, who's 'Hungerford: Symphony Of A London Bridge' and 'Andrew' are also fantastic. Alex Barrett, a name to remember well !
Deceivingly Simple Short With Great Depth & Humanism...
The short film ANDREW lasts but 15 minutes, but like a true Short it surpasses its boundaries majestically. What a wonderful film !
Shorts almost beg to be watched more often, and ANDREW grows stronger and more poignant after each viewing.
Labeled as a 'psychological romantic drama', it is much more than that. Yes, there is the mess the modern human being makes of love & relationships. And sure, this is a serious and profound work, without much space to show some of the great humor this director is blessed with. (Yet ... his cheekiness does show for a mere second in the reaction of the Don Juan when asked "How could you"...)
Again, I agree that this film is about guilt and infidelity and the (im)possibility to live truly together. Beautifully written, and the director gets the absolute best out of his cast. All actors are superb, showing great finesse in their roles. They are not playing, they ARE Sue & Robert & Jennifer & Will & ... Andrew. Boy oh boy, would it be marvelous to see these actors (much) more often !
So, what has not yet been mentioned, which makes ANDREW so much more than merely a very good short film ? It's the Impossible Struggle of Mankind, which principal character Andrew has to deal with. Andrew IS Good, feels that he has to DO Good, refuses to cut corners or react Badly, and yet hate is raging in his blood and brain. Because of what is happening to him, AND because of the decisions he has to make in order to remain Good. What a dilemma. ANDREW is as philosophical as it is psychological.
That fight is the core of ANDREW, and makes this wonderful Short a powerful and lasting experience.
Now, let's all hope that Alex Barrett is going to tread us to a lot more of his exciting work !
De schaduwlopers (1995)
Wales & Italy Meet in Deventer, Between The Dikes of The Low Countries...
With an ensemble cast which makes one think about Robert Altman, and in which excels yet again Jeroen Willems, shows that Pierre Bokma is a marvelous actor who can't seem to shake of his theater-persona, Ariane Schlüter is simply wonderful in her small roll as the waitress, and ... well ... there are so many great performances to choose from here (Han Kerckhoffs !) !
The film's backdrop is the lovely provincial town Deventer, which works very well here. Unobtrusive, stilled, but it seems to envelop the stories of Dylan Thomas and Gianni Celatti (which sounds like an Italian ice cream, but this writer seems to be for real...) calmly and majestically.
The character's have the Dylan Thomas quality: all of them fading effortlessly in and out of a surreal dimension. That touch of poetry makes the film all the more special, and is a must see for anyone who likes a touch of the bizarre, which nevertheless is rooted in realism.
A wonderful film, and great fun !
It's Magic: The 2nd Part of Nacer Khemir's Desert Trilogy...
The films of writer, poet & filmmaker Khemir all stand on their own, but his personal signature is easily traceable in his 'The Dove's Lost Necklace', his second film after the sensational 'Wanderers Of The Desert'.
Things are quite different too between the two films; where there was magic in the realism of 'Wanderers...', there is some mundane stuff in the magic of 'The Dove...'. Which is a big difference.
A lush and beautiful film, 'The Dove...' is very entertaining, indeed as if experiencing an unknown chapter of the 'Arabian Nights'. Even the desert in 'The Dove...' seems to be cleaned up. The film is smooth and polished as a fairy tale, and this is a pity when judged against 'Wanderers...', where every detail of the film rings out as true and real, which envelops the make-believe within the story to make it all seem very possible.
'The Dove...' is beautiful and worthy of your time and attention, where 'Wanderers...' is a breathtaking experience.
It does make one yearn to see the last of Khemir's Desert Trilogy -Bab'Aziz- which promises to use yet another way of storytelling.
Nacer Khemir is a gifted filmmaker, and a superb storyteller. I for one would love to read his books and poems, as well as watching many more films from his hand !!
Pure Poetry In A Dreamlike Tale That Could Last A 1001 Years...
Tunisia has yet to reveal (much) more of her many wonders of Art to the world, but nonetheless the work of Nacer Khemir must be one of their crowning achievements.
This poet, writer & cineast has created a truly grand film with his WANDERERS OF THE DESERT, which makes one hunger after the other two installments of his 'desert-trilogy'. Judging by the superb acting which the entire cast shows, Khemir must be a fantastic director !
In a well balanced pace Khemir shows us past & present, myths & everyday life & legends, life & death and much beyond that. This epic in a forgotten village is not into finding answers, but the questions which are raised are truly wonderful.
The ever-present desert is breathtakingly beautiful, and enhances the atmosphere of mystery that surrounds this saga from beginning till the end.
It is hard to single out something in this beautiful film, but if something may be highlighted, it must be the costume department. What eye for detail, what a profound feeling for richness and diversity, without ever going over the top ! But then again, this could be said about all the aspects of this rich and glorious film.
Thank you, Nacer Khemir !! Where can I find your books !
Âme noire - Black Soul (2001)
Go With The Flow...
My Goodness, this is one astonishingly beautiful film ! Breathtaking !
(Dark) Ages of history are shown floating by, going seemingly without any effort (and boy must thát have taken a lot of work to accomplish !) from one epoque to the next. This is glorious storytelling of the highest level.
Sensational & Superbly Skilled Film-making !
But it doesn't end here. The film is made as if the viewer is watching an oil paint painting in progress, which progresses along the story and keeps on moving. Moving us deeply and astonishes us maybe even more due to this breathtaking technique. As if Van Gogh or Gaugain is sitting next to us painting this story while we are watching it.
It is só beautiful, só overwhelming; this is truly a major accomplishment in film-making.
Or better yet: this must be one of the most wonderful films ever made !
Bij nader inzien (1991)
Breathtakingly Beautiful + Some Missed Opportunities...
Watching this 6 hour long epic 16 years after its initial release is sheer joy, and helps to crumble some ancient Dutch prejudices.
BIJ NADER INZIEN shows us that it IS possible to have an ensemble cast à la Robert Altman in such a tiny country as the Netherlands. Of course, one needs a maverick director; and Frans Weisz is just the ticket there !
The story uses a 1200 pages novel, but that is merely the foundation. The novel depicts the Past, whereas the epic continues into a Present, that brings together all the different threads of the plot in a tremendously exciting way ! It also eliminates the chance that the story can be regarded as a mere trip to 'Memory Lane'.
So instead of breaking down a work of Literature, it feeds upon it and goes beyond the covers of the book, leaving the viewer with a big appetite towards that book ! Pretty clever, and very appealing. What makes this 'schism' even more exciting in the film/series is, that two different & Grand Ole' Dutch cinematographers are at the helm of Past (Goert Giltay) & Present (Jules Van Den Steenhoven). The beauty and power of the work of these two are so great, that it sizzles and jumps of off the screen !
There are not enough words to give the cast justice. One wishes to see the protagonists much more often in shining roles like these, and after watching Rik Launspach in what must be his pivotal performance, makes it unbelievably sad that we cannot go back and watch him in his breakthrough role in OEROEG. This film has been on the market as a DVD for quite a while, but sloppy enough it is a 4:3 Pan & Scan-version of the film, which was filmed in glorious widescreen. Incredible that such atrocities still occur...
Talking about DVD's: BIJ NADER INZIEN has finally been released on DVD, but it is very hard to find. A visit to www.bij-nader-inzien.nl is the only link to be able to find this Grand Piece Of Dutch Culture, which should be seen as Glorious International Art House. And there is one of the missed opportunities: the DVD-release has no Subtitles whatsoever, so unfortunately it is for non-Dutch speaking viewers impossible to follow. Which is a bummer; I for one would love to tell the whole world about the sheer beauty of BIJ NADER INZIEN !!
Last but not least, there should go some very big compliments indeed towards Art- & Costume Department. What incredible eye for detail and perfection they have shown ! What an incredible amount of time and hard work this must have cost !
Their moment of glory is the bicycle ride of the two female leads through a Holland of the late '40-ies.
All in all there is not one weak link in BIJ NADER INZIEN, as if it is truly possible that a film team of cast & crew inspires each other to greater heights, under the incredible craftsmanship of maverick director Frans Weisz.
Thank you all for an experience that is both profound and uplifting !
Les Paladins (2005)
Multi-Media Spectacle = A Tombola Of Different Styles & Techniques...
What a feast this production is ! Completely in touch with the Barock era it searches for the excessive and the grandeur, and boy, did they find it here !
Wat a treat for the eyes, what an explosion of colour and movement !!
Again an opera coming from the Chatelet theatre, which gave us already the fabulous Rameau 'Les Indes Galantes', the wonderful Janacek 'The Cunning Little Vixen' and many others; it is almost as if Chatelet stands for a few hours of 'FEEL GOOD ENTERTAINMENT'.
Because FUN it is. As star Laurent Naouri points out: 'Le Plaisir' / FUN is the keyword in Rameau's oeuvre.
This spectacle will have you sitting up in front of your screen with a smile on your face all the time. The only regret you might have is that you only have one pair of eyes; The exuberance and pleasure occurs in three layers simultaneously.
The interaction between live action and video-performance, between singers and dancers (again from very many different backgrounds) AND from single persons with themselves (thanks to those video-performances) is quite simply breathtakingly beautiful.
What a great day we had watching this Jose Montalvo-production; and the 1-hour long 'making of' called 'Barock That Rocks', which is to be found on the Art House DVD, did indeed live up to the expectations which the treat for eyes & ears had set.
The Human Voice (1966)
Another gem from that amazing 'BROADWAY THEATRE ARCHIVE', which brings superb stage performances of so many stars into our homes (what a pity though the USA DVD's have no -English or H.O.H.- subtitles).
Here the suave icon Ingrid Bergman enthralls in a solo-performance; we all know she is a fantastic actress, but in the 50 minutes of this one act play she completely grips the viewer and never lets go.
Next to the actress only a telephone is of importance, a dangerous apparatus since it is a device that changes the fastest in these modern times. By going back in time (this play was recorded in '66 and written well before that) the telephone must give the piece a dated feeling to it; on the other hand, in a modernized version the actress might well be using a mobile phone with the signal strength faltering occasionally, without hurting the consensus of the original play.
This televised play was aired and recorded in 1966, and it shows. Nothing terribly dodgy or weak, but the image isn't crisp and camera work isn't brilliant either.
But all that is of no importance, since Grand Dame Bergman will captivate and magnetize you !! Sweden meets France (by way of the superb play by Jean Cocteau) in an American production. It's in encounters like these true beauty can be found...
Another Woman (1988)
The Perfect Gift For Anyone Turning 40, or 38, or 42, or 33...
Being the astounding director Woody Allen is, equaled only by Maverick Robert Altman where ensembles are being cast, it is not surprising there is no weak link in the cast of this thought provoking film.
There is no comic relief either, which labels this film immediately as one of Allen's 'Bergmanesque' movies.
It seems that every age has something in store for us.
When we are ready to turn 20, we have CATCHER IN THE RYE.
When we are ready to drown ourselves in alcoholism, we have the milestone that is as sombre as it is eloquent and inescapable: UNDER THE VOLCANO (The book that is, not the flat film which is but a fleeting whiff of perfume next to the book).
And when we are ready to turn 40 ... we seem to know it all. Smooth sailing from now on, right ?
For most of us this superb film might very well be of the same influence as 'The Catcher...' had some decades back in our life. ANOTHER WOMAN, so short in time yet so full and rich and full of foreboding, should not be missed by anyone over, let's say ... 40 ? Or ... 36, maybe ? Or ... ??
Well, please DO NOT MISS this highly important and fantastic film !!!
Or you'll regret it later in life ! Which of course is the theme of this sublime moving picture.
The Missouri Breaks (1976)
MGM Settling The Score ???
Marlon Brando, gloriously over the top here, disliked the movie industry. Were there any particular bad feelings towards MGM ?
It seems to be so, since this Studio first of massacred the truly great film THE FUGITIVE KIND, in which Brando shines (and seems to be the fore-bearer of Nick Cage in 'Wild At Heart'), by distributing it as a DVD-release that might very well be the worst around, easily as bad as the Fox Lorber atrocities.
And now there is the release of this unique film. Celebrating two icons who never played together in any other film (Nicholson and Brando), with a strong supporting cast (Oh yes, Miss Lloyd plays her Jane as unglamorous as possible and achieves a good and lasting impression !!) and superb camera-work.
That is, if you can see it on this DVD... The image, supposedly in the Aspect Ratio of 1.85 : 1 according to the info on the box, is so horribly cropped we might as well call this Pan & Scan. Furthermore, there has been made no effort to have the film look proper; the footage has been slapped onto the DVD unceremoniously and without any care.
WHY ??! What did Brando do to MGM to have them hating him so much ??!!
Or should we be thankful that this studio has taken the trouble of giving us this DVD of a FANTASTIC one-of-a-kind FILM, which has been trashed by 'those who know' for so many decades ? Even if it means that the quality of the DVD is stupendously bad ???
Dear executives of MGM, please give us your wonderful films in a way it will be a true treat to watch them ?!
Pretty Close Of Perfection...
Patrick Boisvin's short has the pace of a superb Short. Usually, short films suffer from the fact that they are ... too long, no matter what time it takes.
Finding the right rhythm for a short seems to be pretty darn difficult, but Patrick Boisvin succeeds majestically.
Without giving too much away, or comparing apples with pears (which we can only do when tasting calvados, which can be made from both...):
'RADIO' is so rich of atmosphere and filled with tragical comedy, that it reminds us of Genius Terry Gilliam.
Please try and find this short and watch it, and maybe get lucky and find 'La Lettre' of the same director too !!! Which is another precious gem.
PATRICK BOISVIN is a director to be watched and kept in mind !!
Por primera vez (1967)
The Miracle Of Motion Pictures...
This gorgeous little (10 minutes long) Gem of a film is to be found on the double disc DVD of MODERN TIMES, released by MK2/Warner Bros.
(The COMPLETE Charles Chaplin Box from them is recommended vehemently. Great transfers of Charlie's marvelous films, and glorious extra's, about the Tramp, Sir Chaplin, and the age it all was created. And more !!)
MODERN TIMES is the feature film that mobile movie theaters in Cuba tries to get to everyone, even if it means going to the remotest areas of the country.
Mounted on a truck with a little generator, is a 16mm projector, a 'silver' screen and a moderate sound system, and off the operator goes, driving his truck for 21 days in a row, giving showings of MODERN TIMES every midday and night in all villages it can reach.
This film is so beautiful, so full of love and honest curiosity, it is simply breathtaking.
Cuba is a mixed bag in public opinion for decades now. Long forgotten is that dictator Castro's first order was to fight illiteracy in his country... These moving cinema houses seems to be a logical step after that.
Yet it is so hauntingly beautiful to see a village flock together before a screen and see their very first motion picture. The true emotions, the genuine laughter. Wow !
Here we can see what Magic motion pictures really are...
Chaplin Today: Modern Times (2003)
When Documentaries Are As Excellent As The Film It Examines...
The CHAPLIN TODAY documentary-series, featured on the Superb DVD-releases by MK2/Warner Bros, are a joy to watch and give nice insight in the films it examines, as well as the era it came from and helpful background information of Sir Charles Chaplin.
All these documentaries feature a famous or exciting director (Ouedraogo, Kiarostami, Jarmusch, Kusturica, Chabrol, Bertolucci, etcetera...) who comments on the Chaplin film and shows his admiration.
In this case the Dardenne-brothers, surely among the few Truly Gifted Cineastes on our globe, airs their warmth and respect for 'Modern Times' and Charles Chaplin.
Fascinating to see Messieurs Jean-Pierre & Luc drawing parallels to their films. And showing their gratitude for the Tramp, cinema's most well-known Icon, who made his final appearance in 'Modern Times'.
Motel Seoninjang (1997)
Motel Cactus; Catalyst in Mood...
"Within limitations one will find true mastership", as the saying goes, and boy, does it fit the bill here ! Cut into 4 episodes which, on first look, are but loosely connected, and set in but one room, 407 of Motel Cactus, this film is pretty much boxed in from the outset.
Performance of the actors and the camera-work are so breathtakingly wonderful though, that these limitations become strong points ! Mood is instantaneously created and crawls under the viewer's skin; the joys and sorrows of the different characters hits home immediately.
Cinematographer Christopher Doyle refuses to see any limits here, and opens up his magic box completely: focus pulls, blinking lights, mirror shots, subtle play with shadows and burning out light sources, hand-held camera-work ... Anything goes and this creates an exciting setting for the small yet strong peeks into the lives of the visitors of Room 407 of Motel Cactus.
La guerre et la paix (2000)
Finding A Delicate Balance...
Prokofiev's WAR AND PEACE is not as huge, size wise, as Tolstoy's novel, but it comes close.
Over 3 and a half hours long, the main problem for every theater is that there are very many different settings within the two parts of this epic opera.
Stage Director Francesca Zambello (When will we finally get her 'Amahl and the Night Visitors' on DVD ??!!!!!) has found a solution to that problem that is as eloquent as it is effective. Everything on stage as well as the floor itself moves and shifts and gives us a new setting for every scene. Minimalism within a rich and lavish production; an exciting combination !
The use of color and of lighting is very convincing too. And the sheer numbers of chorus and actors and soloists on stage is breathtaking.
Prokofiev's huge opera has found a good home in France, and on the TDK DVD. And the delicate balance of a doomed love set in a grizzling war shines through, from the very first minute till the last bow of the players. In the cast there is no weak link, and it would be too harsh to single anyone out (but boy, does this Nathan Gunn gives some superb performance here !!).
This is Grand Opera, and a majestic viewing !
Eno nakano bokuno mura (1996)
Global Story Tuned Down To One Lovely Japanese Village
The Music is a very pleasant adaptation of Western Medieaval tunes.
The Magic Realism which Latin America has laid somewhat of a claim to, is lovely used here, of course giving a 'true' Japanese touch to the supernatural stuff.
The scenery and imagery is breathtaking !! And the twin boys, who's story this is, are a delight.
Mama plays great too, and the director has a gentle and good touch for all the other kids, which means he is a fine craftsman.
Soft, laid back, nostalgic and utterly charming, this story is a heartwarming winner, and can't be recommended enough !! What an enormous pleasure !
Where Film and Art do meet...
Film is barely a 100 years old, and strolls far behind Literature, which exists and shines for some 5000 years, and can't light a foot candle to music, which is probably a million years old...
But, film is catching up, although the cannonball race that modern society is nowadays does more damage then good. 'Medea' is the prove that film can, or might, be art. In a gallant way.
Pasolini's MEDEA deserves, on a scale from 1 to 10, a 1001.
This film, even if the viewer MIGHT not be completely satisfied after watching this picture (rumour has it that there actually are 4 to 6 of them somewhere on our planet), will linger on in the mind forever. Gorgeous shots will come back over and over again, the enigmatic yet beautiful soundtrack combined with the breathtaking locations will prove to be unforgettable !
Pasolini of course was a very wise man and leader, otherwise it is impossible one can surround himself with so much talent and craft. Having cinematographer Guarnieri, designer Ferretti and costume designer Tosi in your team means one knows that only the best were good enough.
There are others though, the nameless of the production team must have done an impossible good job to get this movie shot in those sensational but extremely difficult places.
And then of course, there is Callas.
No no, you Filistines, La Divina is not singing here. Callas already ended her career as unparalleled Opera Diva when she shot this movie. She did use her bottomless brown eyes and enormous presence for MEDEA though.
Many claim that MATTHEW'S PASSION is the ultimate PASOLINI Movie. They might be right; that one is as beautiful and as haunting as MEDEA.
But MEDEA has the truly unique locations.
And can boast that it has Maria Callas in her only movie-role...
Rockets Redglare! (2003)
Labour Of Love...
This documentary is simply superb.
Making a portrait of someone isn't easy, first of all because it has to seem effortless. That works wonderfully here, within minutes you'll get the feeling that you've known this Rockets Redglare all your life !
The director has given us a true labor of love, and that same sentiment is rendered by the friends that shed some light on the guy. Without being cheesy or trying to hide any of the darker sides of his 'topic', true friendship beams out.
Both funny and deeply tragic and even disgusting at times, this documentary is as honest and as well made as any portrait will ever get. It'll make you wish you were out there with them...
The Girl (2000)
Looking At Life From An Aquarium...
Highly stylized this film comes close of being surrealistic, but won't go any further than surreal.
Most people do not talk in this film, and all except two are clichés: ruffians, harlots, macho's, babes.
Which two ? AHA, now we're getting somewhere.
Two beautiful women go through life as tropical fish in an aquarium: the whole world notices them, watches them, gazes upon them. Yet they feel invulnerable, feeling protected by their own cocoon, the glass of the fishbowl.
Time in this film adapts to this aquarium-in-the-middle-of-the-world feeling: it floats and is no bother at all for the two wonderful ladies. I haven't seen such a lovely soft-paced film in a long time !
But of course, doom must creep in. This is the world, or in this case: Paris, we're talking about ! Sheer beauty is intolerable for the human race, it has to be soiled. Even in a city as gorgeous as Paris, which is displayed here with picture-postcard beauty.
The silent cliché people start to tap and knock on the glass of the aquarium. One of the beauties keeps floating on majestically; the other rubs her nose to the glass and interacts with the 'others' outside the bowl.
The inevitable happens: the bowl cracks, symbolized in the film by the harsh lights of a car beaming straight into the lens. Time seeps in and becomes a burden ! Violence sets in, and although the women keep on feeling safe for a while longer, in the end the aquarium will be shattered.
An intriguing film, excitingly acted by the two protagonists, the incredible Claire Keim and the enigmatic Agathe de la Boulaye. Not in a natural way, some Japanese theater-style of acting has been blend in.
Well worth your attention !!! And your appreciation !!