Da 5 Bloods
On the Record
I May Destroy You
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A little like Breakfast at Tiffanys / Pretty Woman / Grifters / American Gigolo. It's incredible how films can make a sordid lifestyle appear glamorous and fun. Tatou and Elmaleh are really appealing and there are many humorous situations which present themselves as the characters hatch their schemes on their pathetic benefactors. At the same time it's rather sad that these young, attractive people should hook up with others that they arent attracted to in the name of materialism - the rich patrons are particularly pathetic because they fork out on extravagant gifts and plush hotels and fool themselves that their toyboy / girl actually like them for more than their wallet or think that they have a permanent hold on them or even deserve loyalty.
This film, like Pretty Woman, is meant to be enjoyed on a superficial level - to see Audrey looking stunning in designer clothes, for the laughs and the romantic ending when the two protagonists admit they're in love, chuck it all in and ride off together. However, there is something a bit icky about using your body for a few nice clothes and gourmet meals.
Priceless [French Title: Hors de Prix], 2007, Writer / Director Pierre Salvadori, Starring Audrey Tautou, Gad Elmaleh (from The Valet / La Doublure).
Film seen by me: Friday, 20 July 2007
As you would expect for a Daniel Auteuil film, there are some very amusing bits. This one is slightly different from some of his previous lighter films because it is also quite thoughtful and sad. I loved how Daniel's character is impressed by his friend's ability to enjoy the simple things in life and how he expresses this is an art series - the small details of his friend's life are simply represented on canvas - like the pen knife that he carried because you never know when you might need to cut something, the slippers that he used to wear under his gum boots because they were more comfortable than socks and it meant he could take off his boots at the door and already have on the right indoor footwear, etc.
Conversations With My Gardener [French title: Dialogue avec mon jardinier], 2007, Writer / Director Jean Becker, Starring Daniel Auteuil.
Film seen by me: Sunday 15 July 2007.
Italian Film Festival Oct 2007
Newmarket, Auckland, New Zealand
My Best Enemy [Italian title: Il Mio Miglior Nemico]
Starring: Co-writer/Actor Silvio Muccino [Manual of Love] plus Director/Actor Carlo Verdone
Sun 7 October 2007
The father and boyfriend make the funniest comedy duo - I enjoyed this more than Manual of Love and I liked that film a lot. The moral of the story seems to be that personal vendettas are futile - you can't fix the past and you can even make it worse for yourself. There are a lot of adults in the film doing stupid things for sex - another theme in the film is that real love is better than the pursuit of sexual adventure. The central three characters all have issues with their close family and realise that they can find emotional support by building relationships outside their immediate family. The three help each other through a major crisis and finally become a new family together. All done in a very, very funny way - funnier than Christmas in Love.
La Regle du Jeu, (English=The Rules of the Game) 1939, B&W, French w subtitles, Directed by Jean Renoir
The pace is real fast! Might have to watch it again to catch all the action - of course simultaneously reading subtitles does tend to slow the vision somewhat! Enjoyed the extras on the DVD with Jean Renoir speaking about his film and the changing reactions over the years from the time it was released. It was supposedly controversial and I get the humour, although some of the content isnt that shocking anymore - times change! The "cover up" at the end is still pretty despicable but then I'm sure the priveleged classes still get away with the same sort of behaviour.
Hakuchi (English title=The Idiot), 1951, B&W, Japanese w subtitles
Directed by Akira Kurosawa (based on Dostoyevsky novel
I think this was my first Kurosawa film. Beautiful closeup shots. Storyline OK I guess. Might give the Seven Samurai a go some time soon.