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What have you rented lately?


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I liked All the Real Girls so much that I re-watched the movie with the Director's commentary on. I thought only movie geeks did that   Looking forward to George Washington, by the same director.

Like so many Hollywood films it's didactic rather than real, schematic rather than believable.

Beals must have had a brief part. I don't remember her at all. I thought Bacon's was a fun little vignette.

Yes directed by Sally Potter. I think Joan Allen is wonderful in this. Sort of done in a stream of consciousness, the script is written entirely in iambic pentameter( if I had realized this I doubt that I would have watched it, but it was pretty neat after all). God, love, and politics and opening as it did shortly after the London bombings of 7/7 it has a relevance that isn’t going away. The fact that there is a sympathetic Middle Eastern man (Simon Abkarian) as a central character is noteworthy.

 

Visually stunning location shots in Havana had a strong appeal. Allen was apparently advised that she could face a heavy fine if she joined the shoot there, so her scenes had to be shot in the nearby Dominican Republic and cut into the Cuban footage.

 

And I followed it with the completely random grab of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, which had the (admittedly very slight) common thread of terrorism. This was plenty wacky, some pretty good fun, but it probably would have had played better if I hadn’t watched Yes just before it.

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And I followed it with the completely random grab of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, which had the (admittedly very slight) common thread of terrorism. This was plenty wacky, some pretty good fun, but it probably would have had played better if I hadn’t watched Yes just before it.

 

Lincoln Plaza Cinemas is showing "Women on the Verge" until 8/24, part of an 8-film Almodovar revival.

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And I followed it with the completely random grab of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, which had the (admittedly very slight) common thread of terrorism. This was plenty wacky, some pretty good fun, but it probably would have had played better if I hadn’t watched Yes just before it.

 

Lincoln Plaza Cinemas is showing "Women on the Verge" until 8/24, part of an 8-film Almodovar revival.

 

 

Hmm. Actually, I might try to catch it there. The DVD I was watching last night took me to the wacky cab/motorcycle chase to the airport and kept freezing up. Kind of neat, I kept getting those little colorful cubes that looked like giant pixels while it froze. But I never did see the end of the movie and it is bothering me. A little. Stinking DVDs, they are not as forgiving on fast forward as videotapes and I got sick to death of trying to get back to the future. If I can't find a different copy of the movie, at least I'll have the Lincoln Plaza back up plan.

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Casanova, on Jaymes' recommendation. Great fun! My mom and I loved it.

 

 

 

Last night we watched the Carnegie Hall performance of South Pacific in concert. So wonderful! Even better than the original movie in some ways. Reba McEntire is terrific, as is Brian Stokes Mitchell. Don't miss this if you didn't catch it on PBS (it's out on DVD).

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"Downfall"

 

The German film about Hitler's last days in the bunker seen through the eyes of his secretary, Trudl Junge. Some of the recent documentary footage re Ms Junge was also used in this film.

 

I was very very surprised at how effectively the film humanizes Hitler. All of the crazy looney evil is present, but Bruno Gans brings an incredible depth to the role. The Eva Braun persona is also given facets quite beyond the ditzy, stars in her eyes, "I'm so lucky I'm with the most important man in the world" charactor.

 

As far as Himmler, and Goering are concerned; their small amount of screen time is very efficiently used to demonstrate the banality of evil.

 

The Goebbels charactor is in an (insane) class by himself.

 

I know the very idea of watching such a film may be very painful to some members, but I still highly recommend it.

 

Oh, and the portrayal of a civilian population trapped on all sides by devasting desperate battle is also well done.

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Rabbit-Proof Fence

Small film, but packs a wallop. We had just seen a production of I Am My Own Wife, and couldn't help finding parallels. You know, the human capacity for self-preservation, perseverance, etc, etc. Suitably trippy soundtrack by Peter Gabriel.

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Nick, my primary impression of Downfall is that it was tremendously self-serving.

 

Dr. Ernst-Günter Schenck, who experimented on many victims in the camps, is portrayed almost as the representative of the poor German people trying their best to care for each other in a bad situation etc.

 

The acting was great. The scene of Frau Goebbels killing her kids was amazing.

 

But I felt a bit queasy and almost complicit.

 

 

edit:

Here's what I mean.

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Nick, my primary impression of Downfall is that it was tremendously self-serving.

 

Self serving to whom? The director, the German people or...?

 

I have to admit I liked the movie overall. It is easy to portray the Nazis as evil cartoons but the more likely (and more useful) reality was that these were ordinary racist assholes who got away with extraordinarily inhuman acts for a bunch of complicated reasons. What I mean is that the moral ambuguity of the movie may read to some as being "kind" to the nazis, but for me it was more an inditement of current societies, who think they are immune to this sort of thing ever happening again regardless of how easily they succumb to certain racist thoughts. In that sense I felt it was more powerful than some clear black and white good guy bad guy message in the style of spielberg or whatever.

 

Also, remember the primary intended audience for this movie is German. In other words, I think you are meant to feel queasy and complicit.

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