Harlequin68's Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

White Mane
White Mane (1952)
3 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

[font=Century Gothic]"White Mane" and "The Red Balloon" are two exceptional films by Albert Lamorisse about innocence and friendship in childhood. Of the two, "White Mane" is the more traditional of the two, focusing on Folco(Alain Emery), a fisher boy in the south of France, who befriends a wild horse that local men are coveting. As good as this is, it is no match for the inventively playful "The Red Balloon" which is about a young boy(Pascal Lamorisse) who finds a red balloon and their adventures in Paris. With this almost wordless film, Albert Lamorisse has complete confidence in himself as a filmmaker, composing sequences that boggle the mind as to how they were made. And if you know, please don't tell me.[/font]

In the Year of the Pig
3 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

[font=Century Gothic]For those that are knowledgeable about the Vietnam War, there will be nothing new to be found in the documentary "In the Year of the Pig." When it was made in 1968, it may have felt like a radical breath of fresh air, linking the Cold War and anti-Communist rhetoric to the tragedy of Vietnam. Speaking of which, President Kennedy, himself a fervent anti-Communist, surprisingly gets a free pass when discussing whether or not he would have escalated American involvement in Vietnam if he had lived. I do think it was a definite possibility considering his aggressive handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis and employing the same brain surgeons who also advised President Johnson.[/font]
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[font=Century Gothic]Using archival footage and interviews with experts and politicians, "In the Year of the Pig" makes a detailed case for the hypocrisy of American politicians preaching democracy while not allowing self-determination when it came to Vietnam choosing its form of government, first in preventing the scheduled 1956 elections to unite the country and then supporting the repressive regimes of South Vietnam where the population was moved into strategic hamlets against their will and forced to vote in meaningless elections. Meanwhile in North Vietnam, the populace is armed in collective defense of which women were a very large and important part of.[/font]

I Fidanzati
I Fidanzati (1964)
6 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

"The Fiances" is an innovative and captivating blend of neo-realism and stream of consciousness storytelling that begins with an exquisite long take at a dance hall. It is there that Giovanni(Carlo Cabrini) and Liliana(Anna Canzi) tearfully part company, as he takes a promotion in Sicily.

Overall, the movie is concerned with the then present day state of Italy that is split between its past and future modernization, with the central relationship being affected by that, like probably so many others. While many of Giovanni's co-workers may see Sicily as primitive, neither he nor the movie view it as such. To be honest, it is not totally inaccurate to view it as another planet entirely, either. And it is a nice touch that Giovanni arrives at night, so he gets a first look at his new surroundings in the fresh light of morning.

My only problem with "The Fiances" is that once it gets into a serious groove, it just suddenly grinds to a halt.

Come Drink With Me (Da zui xia)
6 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

[font=Century Gothic]"Come Drink with Me" starts with a ruthless gang of bandits attempting and failing to rescue their leader who has been condemned to death. At least they escape with Zhang(Wong Chung), the son of the local governor, who they are planning to exchange for their leader in five days' time. If that does not work, they will kill him, figuring they will at least break even.(Come to think of it, they are not doing so badly on their own.) Soon enough, Golden Swallow(Cheng Pei-Pei) shows up at the local tavern to negotiate and demonstrate that she can play with the big boys...[/font]

[font=Century Gothic]While not as polished as some of its younger cousins(the editing leaves something to be desired), "Come Drink with Me" is still an enjoyable action movie whose best scenes are the ones where the characters size each other up. On the minus side, as cool a cat as Drunken Cat(Yueh Hua) is, the movie becomes less interesting the more he takes center stage along with unnecessary subplots and mysticism.(Hey, I was prepared to overlook the musical numbers.) It would have been best to have left him as a people's champion for a third way between the government and the brigands. [/font]

America, America
6 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

"America, America" starts in Anatolia in 1896 where Stavros(Stathis Giallelis), a Greek, and Vartan(Frank Wolff), an Armenian, scrape by on bringing ice down from the mountains to sell in the market. As bad as things are them for right now, they are about to get a whole lot worse with the Turkish authorities using the excuse of a fire at the central bank to crack down on the minorities, leaving Vartan dead and Stavros frustrated to try and leave for America. After giving his shoes to a beggar on the road, he returns home at the end of the day. By then, his father(Harry Davis) has seen the writing on the wall, too, intending to send Stavros to Constantinople to seek out his cousin in order to pave the way for the rest of his family.

Every family has a story to tell about how they came to live in America and this is Elia Kazan's personal one about his uncle, grandly told in a suitably epic fashion, with Haskell Wexler's sublime cinematography, that does get a little muddled towards the end. Along the way, we get a great sense of what it was like at the time and what it took to undertake such an arduous journey,(just getting to Constantinople is risky enough) which does not change a person so much as the people they encounter along the way. If you know the history of the region(specifically the Armenian genocide and what little I gleaned from Jeffrey Eugenides' novel 'Middlesex'), then you know what happens next and the timing could not have been any better for Stavros and family.