We'll tackle any film foreign or otherwise, paying exclusive attention to Arthouse, Indie & Cult features. Selected up to the minute News will also be given prominence.
May 18, 2011
Von Trier directed the hell out of this movie. To call this 'stylized' would be putting it mildly. Employing the concept of a staged theater but filming as if the characters in the script were lab rats to be studied (extensive crane shots of the open, barely there set remained throughout), von Trier gave the story utmost honor. And what a story it was! Written by the incredibly gifted director himself, the words which came out of the actors' mouths were like jewels formed in the mind of a great literary giant. We couldn't believe the level of complexity and scope of depth it had. Nicole Kidman plays a woman on the run who seeks refuge in a town filled with destitution and despair. In the course of wanting the townsfolk to accept her, her character goes through a baptism of fiery oppositions which threaten to destroy her own humanity. Kidman turned in a first rate performance the likes of which if she never again acts in another film, will surely carry her name proudly in the history of cinema. It won't kill you if you don't watch this, but you would've lived a little less.
All about Dogville
May 11, 2011
Darren Aronofsky is usually a rebel director who doesn't feel the need to conform to the rules of a conventional filmmaker. In 'The Wrestler' however, this recognizable imprint is untraceable. The movie on the whole didn't live up to Aronofsky's previous dalliances in taking cinema beyond the tried and tested waters. At times, we even felt that it wasn't any different from watching a bio-documentary on Hulk Hogan or Stone Cold Steve Austin. Mickey Rourke wasn't, isn't and never will be the great actor some have tagged him as. He was right on the money for the role being a washed up public figure himself but that is all there is to it. Mind you, he wasn't playing a character which required a miraculous transformation like what De Niro did to himself in 'Raging Bull' or Will Smith's solid turn in 'Ali'. To call Rourke's acting any better than being average in view of these extraordinary performances is unfair and off the mark. An unimaginative script and a safe directing style also contributed to this being Aronofsky's biggest letdown so far.
All about The Wrestler
May 3, 2011
Set in post war Germany, Hanna Schygulla stars as Maria Braun, a girl who uses sex as a commodity to advance in life, working her booty all the way to the top of a company. The tragedy of Maria was that she remained unhappy even though she had achieved all that she had managed to procure. Her most endearing characteristic which is loving only one man in her life would prove to be her undoing, setting the stage for Fassbinder's often pessimistic view of love and life. But what made this film jump out for us is its sense of cynicism and its director's grasp of what makes a woman tick. The way he just gets that sometimes women are these ever-changing, forever dramatic creatures. Feminists out there will maul us for that statement but if you've ever been burnt by one you'd be inclined to agree. Fassbinder understands this explosive, unstable nature of women like no other filmmaker we've ever encountered. Whether you love or hate Maria, you can't say she is a stock, cinema stereotype. For that and a genuine air of unpredictability which ran fiercely throughout the story, Fassbinder is firmly in our good books.
All about The Marriage of Maria Braun