Watched this last year, I think. Kinda slow at times, but this tends to be how some Asian films are, building up the characters methodically, logically, and interweaving back matter with other characters. Funny, sad, provocative, and more.
[b]Canciones para después de una guerra [/b](B. Patino): rather interesting compilation of images of post-war Spain. Using famous songs of he moment, Patino gives us an entertaining and nostalgic vision of the country and its people. The film is divided in themes and I frankly thought it was too long, but it's a pretty accurate document. The movie was actually banned during the Franco dicactorship and wasn't released until 1976. A fine example of good spanish docummentary.
[b]Great Expectations [/b](D. Lean): we were shown this at school (weird choice, I know), and while the others weren't much enthusiastic, I was, since the film is not available here. As I haven't read the Dickens book (shame on me, etc.), I can't comment on how good the adaptation is, but the film's very fine in its own. It's the story of a young orphan living with a blacksmith which is eventually turned into a gentleman of great expecations. Notable acting all around (including a young Alec Guiness) and a very effective direction by Lean (specially during the first act, the most atmospherical). A must.
[b]Hush![/b] (R. Hashiguchi): the premise of this movie seemed rather silly: a troubled woman decides to have a baby by one homosexual couple. Besides, in the cover there were critical raves such as "outraugeously funny" and stuff. What? Funny, my a[color=black]s[/color]s. I was gladly surprised to watch that not only was far, far away of being a comedy, but which was also much more interesting and trascendental of what I could expect. The film is magnificiently directed, featuring a winning acting trio (Reiko Kataoka stands out). Pretty slow, perhaps too long, but more talky and nice of what it migth seem.
[b]L'arbre, le mairie et la mediathèque [/b](E. Rohmer)[b]: [/b]Rohmer has offered me some of the most intelligent and engrossing films. He has the unique and remarkable ability of making interesting everything he touches. Let it be a film about relationships, about destiny, about solitude, about love, about whatever, it's always supremely interesting. And this here is no exception: I normally wouldn't care for a film concerning a mayor of a small town and his struggle to get a mediahouse constructed, but the movie's damn engaging, basically due to Rohmer's electrifying script and the enthusiasm of the cast (very good performances indeed). The film's definitely more political than philosophical, and while that might sound tedious, it is not. It is even funny at times (I don't think this kind of film has a genre, but it'd be close to a comedy). And as always with Rohmer, after the film has ended, I feel like I've learned something, that I've rigfhtfully spent my time watching all those characters and their problems. A minor effort, yet a remarkable one.
[b]Ju Dou [/b](Z. Yimou): well done movie, an splendid and well crafted historical effort by Yimou, with an impressive visual aspect. Yet the story wasn't all that interesting, it even felt a bit unlikeable and forced at times. And besides, I felt like the film was never ending. In other words, I thought that the film wasn't as powerful as it could've been. However, the performances cannot be critiquized (Gong Li is excellent as always) and the movie is truly atmospherical.
(why the f[color=black]uc[/color]k aren't the Rohmer and Patino films on the database?)
a crapload of Mizoguchi films
[i]The Sweet Hereafter[/i]
It pained me to no end to see them all suffering.. there were so many instances where a character needed a simple hug to make it all better and no one gave it to them! A simple hug. Again, should I chalk this up to culture?
The movie is acted and shot well. The affection between the characters is more than convincing. It definitely feels like a slice of real life with a slight twist.