Because we now have five full years and more behind us, I thought I would do something special this time around. So instead of throwing all my movie notes in the paper bin I’m giving you a full five last flicks golden shower for free! For those of you who are still learning to count (I’m guessing my demographics here) you should know that the number of films "reviewed" below do not sum up to a total of five but an astonishing fifteen. And fifteen’s even more than you can count with both hands. Unless you count with one hand, continue to the next, and skip back to the first hand again as if it was a third hand. Or count two hands and one foot. Or a friend’s hand. Or some hand you just found lying around somewhere. It’s way more than ten, all right? Anyway. Here’s the list in order of appearance, in case you just want to skip it:
- The Simpsons Movie (2007)
- No Such Thing (2001)
- Underground (1995)
- The Nomi Song (2004)
- Babel (2006)
- V for Vendetta (2005)
- Borat: Cultural learnings etc. etc. (2006)
- I’m a cyborg but that’s OK (2006)
- Hot Fuzz (2007)
- Shaun of the Dead (2004)
- Grindhouse part 1-3 (2007)
- Songs from the second floor (2000)
- Live Free or Die Hard (2007)
- Mutiny on the Bounty (1962)
- Hotel Rwanda (2004)
A strange thing is that most of these movies are rather current releases, if you take my usual old flick fetish. This is mostly due to the influence my brother has had on my selection recently by either a) going to the movies or b) distributing illegal DVD copies with big, fat FBI warnings on them. I have also concluded the rather de-socializing Sopranos chapter of my life, but that deserves a separate post of itself when I can be bothered. I am also (I’m just too good for you, aren’t I?) introducing me and my brother’s xml movie list which contains most of our film library. Both that page and this post are flooded with IMDB links, by the way. There may be spoilers.
The Simpsons Movie (2007)
Thanks to a friend of mine who works in the cinema, me and my friends were able to get free tickets for last Saturday’s show, the day after the world premiere. I had already seen the trailer quite a few times, so I was really looking forward to it, and when the day arrived I woke up with a big smile on my face. Not often the case when I’m hung over. But you can’t help but to love that big, yellow idiot.
So I was delighted when it turned out not to be just a capitalistic venture, an elongated Simpsons episode, but a proper film with an exciting plot, lots of humor, and in addition to the already excellent Simpsons crew stars such as Tom Hanks, Green Day and.. Spider Pig. From the first few seconds it was given that we would be laughing a great deal, with Homer telling cinema audiences in general how stupid they are to pay for something they can get for free on TV. And after a quick snippet of Itchy & Scratchy (which predicts Hilary for president in 2008 by the way), it was on!
The Simpsons have encaptured a slave-like following spanning several generations, so I was impressed with the turn-out that included children, youngsters, gangsters and parents. I love the Simpsons myself, despite a rather high frequency of pretty boring episodes, a tradition they thankfully didn’t bring to the big silver screen.
There are many memorable moments throughout the film, with especially esteemed Homer quotes such as: «Why does everyone I whip abandon me?» and «Doh!» and his instantly worshipped song about The Spider Pig. (Koew .net has an mp3 file of it!)
But don’t let me spoil the goods. When the movie ended the audience broke into spontaneous applause. You’re going to have to see this one for yourself.
No Such Thing (2001)
As it happened I first saw this movie on TV one very late evening, and I had the reaction I think most other first-timers would have. I was like: WTF?! This movie goes a long way not to prove that there are no such thing as monsters. Hal Hartley both writes and directs most of his movies, and this in particular has often been dubbed one of his best productions. I can see why.
The movie begins with a film crew going missing in Iceland, and when the kind and innocent Beatrice (Sarah Polley) receives the tape from someone who claimed to have killed the crew (including her boyfriend) she wants to investigate. She’s sponsored the trip by her news agency who couldn’t have found a better personal tragedy, but they soon hear news that her plane has gone down. There is a sole survivor from the crash, Beatrice of course, and her Cruella-like boss wants to make the most of it:
The Boss: The world needs to know!
The Boss: What?
Beatrice: Why does the world need to know how it feels to crash into the sea?
After a painful recovery she is more determined than ever to find the one who killed her love, and to find out why. How can someone be so cruel?
It’s the beginning of a journey for Beatrice, mostly into herself, as she learns that what really makes a real monster isn’t necessarily that you are monster.
Robert Burke (from Robocop) does a magnificent performance as the somewhat decadent, existentialist creature that God cursed with immortality.
I have bought this on DVD, but I really recommend catching it on the big screen if you ever get the chance. This three hour long movie in three parts is a poetic farewell to the former state of Yugoslavia. From the very beginning to its open end it’s a rushing tale of the underground weapon dealers Marco and Blacky as personified parts of history in the fight against fascism, the communist rule of general Tito and the ultimate fall of Yugoslavia. Dressed in cynicism, nihilism and a gipsy brass band that paints the pace of the scenes it is quite the surreal experience, in addition to the engaging and entertaining immediate story of the two main characters (or three if you count Natalija in).
IMDB user H. Schumann writes:
The film has been called Serbian propaganda, self-indulgent, an anti-Communist tract, an anti-war tome, cynical, nihilistic, and it may be any or all of those, but primarily it is a work of art whose surreal vision and poetic language makes any search for a coherent message elusive.
This movie is so complete in content, cinematography, music and humor that the roughly three hours you’ll spend could not be spent any better. Don’t see the short version.
The Nomi Song (2004)
Klaus Nomi came from outer space to save the human race. Well actually he came from Germany, and he caught an up wave in New York in the early 1980s, a rising star (he sang with David Bowie on The Man Who Sold the World) with a tragic end. Klaus Nomi is the kind of guy who surrounds himself in an air of mystery. And no surprise, given that he painted himself in white, dressed like Bowie did on Saturday Night Live, and song the most touching countertenor pop/opera. So, do you Nomi?
This is a documentary about Klaus Nomi’s rise and fall. He was a modest, heart-warm performer from Germany who went to the New York scene to get the big break. His debut as "the Nomi character" was in the East Village art scene, where he also worked as a pastry chef. He was a big fan of lemon pie, sugar and very strong coffee.
What’s so great about this documentary is all the archive footage where you get closer access to the reclusive Klaus, in a chronological order. I didn’t care for all the interviews, some of them were less friendly and even hostile, and I got the impression only a few of them were truly his friends. I only have two of his fabulous albums, Klaus Nomi (1981) & Simple Man (1982), but I’ll be ordering the last two asap. I love both opera and his cabaret-style pop songs. He’s as underground as Velvet Underground.
Klaus Nomi died at the age of 39 (1983) as one of the first celebrities to die from illness complicated by AIDS, known as "the gay cancer" at the time. It was really touching to hear how his quote unquote friends did not show up on his death bed in fear of this unknown disease.
Klaus was once invited to a party in one of the better circles of NY, and as usual he was dressed like a robotic alien from outer space. People did not really know how to respond to this character, so he was mostly left alone. Until a little eight-year old girl went straight over to him and asked: Are you from outer space?
Nomi replied: Yes, I am.
What can I say about this movie? It is especially rich with human emotion, and profoundly convincing acting. I must admit it is a lot of crying. Everything, every person and piece of the story is somehow tied together, and pried apart at the same time. Which is why Babel is the perfect title.
I mean, here we are differentiated by language, culture and tradition, world views and situations in life. It seems the only thing we have in common is our being human, and the emotions and expressions that entails. This flick is diverse in beautiful imagery from Afghanistan to Tokyo, rich to poor, and although some of the issues dealt with in one thread seem trivial when compared to the gravity of the other, they are all emotionally just as strong because we are witnessing human life instantiated and not in a comparison.
The four different semi-simultaneous threads in the movie make for a funnily paced shift between scenes, with human beings as the key. Gustavo Santaolalla has dressed the excellent photography in music you can almost smell and in the great cast you find: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Gael García Bernal, Kôji Yakusho, Adriana Barraza, Rinko Kikuchi, and the brothers played by Said Tarchani and Boubker Ait El Caid to name a few.
V for Vendetta (2005)
I hadn’t heard much about this movie except watching the trailer online around 2005 and skimming through bloonlab’s Vendetta review, and I confess it didn’t really appeal to me. So I did nothing about it for two years. Little did I know, for instance, that it was actually based on a comic book. Instead I would put up my nose and snif at the lesser unterlings for their complete lack of taste. What was this? Another anti-terror propaganda flick from the US Justice Department?
Boy, was I wrong! You could even say: on the contrary!
One drowsy weekend at my mother’s I was flicking through my brother’s DVD R stack when I found V for Vendetta. It was right below U for Uranus. "Hey!" I exclaimed and looked in the direction of the piano. You understand my brother has gone on a comic book frenzy, and keeps ordering comic books from over seas. They eventually end up in his flat after a de-tour to my mother’s piano. Which is where I found a hardback copy of V for Vendetta. But I couldn’t be bothered reading about it beforehand, so I flopped in the disc and hit play. I cursed, got up, plugged in the DVD player, hit play and lo and behold: Veracious. Vladimir. Very. Vicious. Vagina. V for Vendetta.
The movie does a good job to keep you in the comic book world, and reveals the rather lengthy background story you could expect from the book version. It all begins with Guy Fawkes who gets to play the symbol of change, choice and freedom; the very potential of a nation’s people under totalitarian, Orwellian rule.
It was a bit long, but I don’t think you could’ve cut out much more without losing the uninitiated like myself. As I said, the movie doesn’t try to counterfeit reality, it is a comic book re-make, but it clearly tries to target the American Patriot act and Homeland Security. Which it doesn’t manage to pull off. It could have been a great (and current) socio-political criticism, but alas! Hitler gets the hammer once again. It is great entertainment though and more engaging than most comic book movies (see: Ghost Rider or Spawn). I think you could even pull a girl with this flick. Thumbs up!
Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006)
With this ethnic-cultural parody Sacha Baron Cohen wanted to undress our (or the American people’s) prejudices about countries east in or of Europe. Although this flick was a smash hit when it was released, breaking Fahrenheit 9/11‘s record for the biggest box office opening weekend ever for any film that opens in fewer than a thousand theaters, and receiving an official denunciation from a country (the Kazakh Government), I must say I was deeply disappointed.
Even though I’d like the title of world-traveler myself, a citizen of the world, I think that the ignorance portrayed by the selected targets in Cohen’s gags is way beyond comprehension and even credibility. Now, I have just seen this movie and I haven’t done any research, so I don’t know how much of it was staged on account of the quote unquote victims, but if these Americans are true it raises interesting questions about the success of the American educational system. Especially in terms of knowing anything about the outside world. So the movie doesn’t succeed in focusing on prejudices as much as it reveals a worrying depth of ignorance, and adds to the European image of Americans which is – from the bottom of my heart – not very flattering.
To be frank I was mostly disappointed with it. Having seen a lot of Cohen’s work with the Ali G character I was expecting at least some level of social criticism. However most of the time I was bothered, annoyed or embarrassed on behalf of the Americans. But there are some bright moments too, like when Borat:
– gets a crowd to cheer on the aspect of killing Iraqi women and children
– brings a prostitute to a dinner-party at a "fine American home" and they stick up their noses, revealing their double standards, and instead he takes her out to town
– fights with Azamat in the nude, running around the hotel
– goes to the crazy Christian gathering to sort out his problems
– marries Pamela Anderson
But all in all I feel that the idea was left unexplored because it obviously has greater potential than being just a silly movie. Which is all it is. Apparently some big names such as Johnny Depp, George Clooney and Steve Martin asked to play minor roles in this production. And the police were called on Cohen 91 times during the making of.
I’m a cyborg but that’s OK/Saibogujiman kwenchana (2006)
You have naturally seen at least one of Park Chan Wook’s vengeance themed movies in the trilogy of Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Old Boy and Lady Vengeance. I’ve seen the former two, and I quite enjoyed both of them although they portray Asians as rather heartless (despite the deep emotions in the immediate focus). If you were sick of it, you will be glad to hear that this movie is not what you would call a normal Park Chan Wook film. Wook leaves the vengeance theme (almost) entirely and replaces it with lighter, intelligent though bizarre comedy.
The film is about a young girl with a severe mental disorder who’s put in a mental institution with cartoonish characters that may remind you a little of One flew over the Cuckoo’s nest. Relax though, it can’t be considered a duplication even remotely. Cha Young-goon has realized that she is a cyborg and must do the biddings of her Alzheimer’s diseased grandmother, which she receive through a home-made radio device. The subsequent problem of her delusion is that she doesn’t eat any food, but tries to draw energy from light bulbs and batteries. This in turn, is welcomed by another patient obsessed with food.
As I stated earlier, this comedy is pretty intelligent. There are a lot of funny lines in the script, in addition to the crazy illusions of the different characters that we are allowed to experience with them. It is not in any way a realistic movie, but it’s definitely worth watching, and is completely family safe. It’s a fresh side-step from the almost tiring superficiality of Park Chan Wook’s revenge theme. Thumbs up, Wookie!
Hot Fuzz (2007)
This movie from the same team behind Shaun of the Dead (see below) was projected as this summer’s great comedy, so when my brother asked me to join him to the cinema I didn’t need a second thought. Hot Fuzz mocks the stereotype police or detective story, and revolves around a highly successful police officer from London. The problem is that he is too successful, which puts the rest of the police force in a bad light. So he’s transferred to a hick town on the English countryside where nothing ever happens.. on the surface..
I didn’t have any expectations when I sat down to see this flick, except that I had seen a few episodes of Spaced online, which is also made by Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright. Nick Frost played the military crazed Mike Watt in Spaced, and the two guys later made Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. All of these productions reveal a profound amount of time watching movies and television, sucking on the breasts of the Hollywood Whore, and Pegg/Frost really hit the nail with Hot Fuzz. I think it is fair to say from the way they exploit prior cinematic movies, that they are a comical and very British version of Quentin Tarantino who does the exact same thing. With a great plot, great acting and a great deal of humor Hot Fuzz takes it home. It’s good to see that success hasn’t messed up these guys, and there are many both from the Spaced and Shaun of the Dead cast involved in this show. And a guest appearance of Stephen Merchant. Good entertainment.
Shaun of the dead (2004)
Having seen Hot Fuzz I was immediately attracted to this movie, which had gained cult-like status after its release in 2004. Again (as noted above) Pegg & Wright draw on the shortcomings of prior work, in this case zombie movies, but without the copy-cat way of doing things (such as Hot Shots, which is great fun in its own respect). What I’m saying is that it’s not a parody of a single movie, it’s a parody of the overlying theme of the zombie movies. 28 Days Later which was a film I really enjoyed, was mostly based in London. But Pegg & Wright asked themselves how it would be like to place it in quiet, peaceful sub-urban England. It works like a charm! At one point in the movie, when they have realized how to kill a zombie, there is a scene when they’re throwing Shaun’s (Pegg) record collection one by one at the advancing zombies. Scenes like this brings the mundane into the horrifically cinematic, which is what Pegg and Wright is all about.
But I was not as thrilled about this one as I was about Hot Fuzz. The movie seems a bit insecure about where it’s going, and I think it could have been better if they had made it a bit longer to include some of the deleted scenes and whatnot. But it’s great if you’re a fan of their work, zombie movies or movie parodies. A little bit of trivia: Spaced episode 1.3, "Art", features Tim (Simon Pegg) playing Resident Evil for 24 hours straight, having taken speed the night before. This later leads him to hallucinate that zombies are attacking everyone, which in turn led to the inspiration for the movie Shaun of the Dead. If you like this and the above, I really suggest you check out the TV series Spaced that ran on British television from 1999. Many of the episodes are available on YouTube (3 parts each), and you can always find a torrent.
To sum up Shaun of the Dead: Great fun, but not quite completed.
Grindhouse (2007) (movie poster)
With the Grindhouse project Tarantino and Rodriguez wanted to pay tribute to a genre that they were both inspired by, namely the grindhouse or exploitation movies of the 60s and onwards. Exploitation films were rather shabby, under-budgeted, somewhat talentless and often soaked in violence and sex. There were separate grindhouse theaters in the US, not much different from pornographic cinemas. Tarantino’s part, the first (chronologically, Death Proof takes place before Planet Terror. Stuntman Mike is seen in the exact same Texas hospital as the exposed patients in Planet Terror) out of three, was Death proof. I will present all three features here.
Grindhouse part one: Death Proof (2007)
If you haven’t seen a good car chase for a while, I suggest you buckle up for this breath-taking road rage revenge movie by mr. Quentin Tarantino himself. As with the other two parts I caught this on the big screen, and it was a thrilling experience.
You are situated in Texas when a group of four high-flying girls are going on a vacation trip to a cabin. We learn that one of them is a popular radio host. But before they go they’re gonna have a night out on town. At separate times during the day different girls observe a dodgy looking driver driving a black car, but they don’t pay much attention to it. We are introduced to the girls through a lengthy bar scene (with Tarantino as the host) and we get to know Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russel) too. When you think you’re set to go for the rest of the movie. Tarantino hits you in the stomach with a ball-braking turn of events.
We are introduced to another group of girls, just as hip and sexy as the four first ones, except these are working in Hollywood as stunt girls among other things. Enter Zoë Bell, real-life stuntwoman, playing herself in this flick and you’ve got the scene set for a revenge-like road movie the second half of the film.
While the girls are sexy enough, it is Kurt and Zoe who add some acting to this film. This surprises me when it comes to Russel, as I cannot recall the last time I saw him do anything but trying to act. Maybe he just needs to be a bad guy to get those dorment acting genes up from bed. Anyway, it was the best action sequence I have seen in a long time.
Grindhouse intermission: Machéte (2007)
To pull off the retro-style grindhouse or exploitation theme tribute, Tarantino wanted to add fake trailers for coming (grindhouse) movies as well as a fictional restaurant called Acuña Boys.
We were lucked out that they didn’t take out this feature altogether here in Norway, and although I was hoping we were going to see Eli Roth’s Thanksgiving trailer, we got to see one that I hadn’t seen before; Robert Rodriguez’s Machéte. According to Koew Rodriguez always wanted to make a full feature film with his returning actor Danny Trejo who stars in movies such as Sin City, From Dusk till Dawn, Desperado, Once upon a time in Mexico to name a few from over a hundred. And according to Wikipedia (Machete Film) there will be a direct-to-DVD full feature film.
But then you can’t always trust Wikipedia .
It was a great fake trailer, and you can see it for yourself on YouTube along with all the others:
- Don’t by Edgar Wright
- Hobo with a shotgun by Jason Eisener, Rob Cotterill, and John Davies
- Machéte by Robert Rodriguez
- Thanksgiving by Eli Roth
- Werewolf Women of the SS (starring Nicholas Cage) by Rob Zombie
Grindhouse part two: Planet Terror (2007)
In Norway this movie was rated R (18 years) for some reason, but if you want to traumatize your kids I suggest you buy it on DVD. It was a hilarious (??) ride from beginning to end and really convincing too in terms of duplicating the grindhouse style of the 70s. To name a few examples, you can see the camera crew in the opening when Cherry Darling is dancing go-go in the Go-Go-Go bar, in the middle of the film the movie stops and an informational poster from The Movie Theatre Management informs you there’s a reel missing, and that’s not to mention the manuscript and great cast of actors who really perform as lousy as you’d expect from a low budget 70s flick.
I tell you, this movie’s got everything: titties, killing and BBQ sauce. It also includes a lot of humor that in the original grindhouse movies would be unintentional, like the really unconvincing doctors in the hospital and the short appearance of the Crazy Babysitting Twins. The only thing that could’ve made it better would be the latter two beginning to make out with each other.
To my mind Planet Terror really fulfills the exploitation theme (if you allow Horror/Slasher into the Exploitation tradition) and even more so than Tarantino’s Death Proof. Tarantino doesn’t manage to leave his own style alone for this time around, and no exploitation movie was ever so smooth as any of Tarantino’s flicks. It was a cool project by all the film makers involved, and I hope the audience receive this as what it is: a tribute. This because Tarantino has been criticized in the past for drawing too much attention away from the movies that inspired him to make his own, especially when it is no doubt where he got it from (we’re talking honorary duplication). And to my mind there are some great exploitation movies out there, two of which I have reviewed here before: Thriller: a cruel picture (which undoubtedly inspired The Matrix and Kill Bill) and A virgin among the living dead.
Songs from the Second Floor a.k.a Sånger från andra våningen (2000)
This flick’s been called a movie poem, absurd and parodic, mellow and marvelous in the closet theater like atmosphere that has become the trademark of Swedish artist Roy Andersson. I agree to all of the above and more. This is without a doubt a bit of an alternative film, but without leaving the standards of the film medium altogether. It challenges the viewer to dive into the psyche of the many characters of the story, if we call it that, but also the psyche of the viewer in terms of being a viewer. All in a society in collapse, where fatalism and quiet desperation colours the daily chores that we are witnessing. I haven’t seen anything else from Andersson, but judging from this flick, I feel I can jump to the conclusion (by logical abduction) that his other work must fall into that category of experiences we label interesting (without thinking "interesting"). The Washington Diplomat writes:
Legendary for his hilarious commercials, Andersson films in his own studio without script or shooting schedule, using non-professional actors and often trompe l’oeil pre-computer special effects. With music by Benny Andersson of ABBA. Jury Prize Cannes.
There is a big portion of parody and black comedy in here, I was laughing until I cried, but it also portrays the very restlessness of art and existentialism in the weaker sense. This movie would have been impossible to swallow had it not been for the brilliant cast of actors who manage to say and state so much without even saying anything. «..oxo sku man jo ha det lite trevligt forstås.»
Live Free or Die hard a.k.a Die Hard 4.0 (2007)
As a cinematic experience, I must say the latest Die Hard addition was a drag. But it had nothing to do with the movie itself. It had to do with the cinematic experience; not finding your seat, taking one that isn’t yours, moving twice after being settled and ending up at the right seat just in time for the Simpsons trailer. Squashed between a couple in love at the wrong film and two spotty teenage boys who couldn’t finish their popcorn and kept asking me to eat, throwing it at the front rows when I declined. But like I said, it had nothing to do with the movie.
What was to become the Die Hard experience started in 1988 when the then 33 year old Bruce Willis first took on the role as NYPD cop John McClane saving his wife from master thieves at the Nakatomi building in LA. It created a whole genre of movies, topped by Willis (also in other movies), not to mention a whole generation eager to see him dragging his wrecked body going through one bad guy after the other, with smart remarks at every crossroad. Die Hard 4.0, as it was called here in Norway, moves into the computerized terrorism. Needless to say the movie doesn’t make an effort to make that part realistic, except from the bureaucratic mess a government can make of it. But that’s not why the theater was filled up last night with people enjoying themselves. Most of us have grown up watching the Die Hard movies over and over again, and just like everybody else, I had to see where this one was going. I was glad to see that they hadn’t gone too blue screen, although the pace of the movie had tripled somewhat from the last ones (which is a widespread epidemic since movies like Matrix and Fight Club). Fortunately they didn’t change the recipe for success, so any Die Hard fan would feel right at home. I rate it top notch, in terms of being an action movie.
A political critique of the DH movies, if any such should be made, is that all the terrorists in the end are only "after the money". This makes it a lot easier for the movie makers to justify McClane, and with him the quote unquote American values, while disregarding the terrible circumstances that may lead a person to become a terrorist. But if you see it as I see it, a full-blooded action movie, it is a pretty darn good one.
Mutiny on the Bounty (1962)
I have seen parts of this flick quite many times on TCM, but it has always been aired so late that I had to stop watching in the middle of it. I am of course referring to the version starring a young and thin Marlon Brando. I didn’t realize that it was him before I checked up the movie on IMDB, when I also found out that there are at least two other versions of this story, each portraying it a bit differently, especially with regards to the "evil captain" William Bligh. This is because the story is in fact based on real events with rather bizarre consequences (read more on Wikipedia, especially about Pitcairn Islands).
Mutiny on the Bounty is the kind of movie that I really enjoy. The kind of adventurous, hard manual labor, men among men story. It has some kind of story-telling quality to it that many of today’s movies simply lack. Other examples would be Papillon (also true), Columbus but also Wrath of the Gods, which is a whole other genre. I think it must be the satisfaction of watching hard-working people in extraordinary missions, and what the ordinary person can achieve when the situation calls for it. Can it be true that there is a formula for The Good Story? Anyway, Brando makes an excellent performance as 1st. Lt. Fletcher Christian. He really fits the somewhat smug and self-obsessed Christian. One of my favorite scenes, and there are many, is the one when Captain Bligh asks his lieutenant to save his business relationship with the chief of Haiti by having intimate relations with the chief’s daughter. Lt. Christian merely raises an eyebrow, smirks, and refuse: "You know sir, this is not the same as asking one of your men to go into battle for you, captain." Bligh getting angry asks whether he is going to do it or not. Christian turns in the doorway and looks back at him: "I shall do my best." The movie received a lot of negative attention, mostly on the part of Brando’s extravagant life-style:
Brando was at his most outrageous in Tahiti, ordering changes to the script (e.g., he wanted the final scenes on Pitcairn Island reshot to include his ideas about man’s inhumanity to man), demanding that film crew members prepare for a friend’s wedding, and insisting that planeloads of champagne and other goodies be flown in for his consumption. He married a Tahitian actress in the film (his third wife) and bought an atoll on which he created a posh resort and an environmental reserve. (source)
And now for a special mention:
Hotel Rwanda (2004)
This movie deserves a special mention in my little roundup here. It leaves you disgusted and horrified of the human way of non-interference when political agendas are crossed. Of course, intervening in the wrong way at the wrong moment may lead to an even greater catastrophe in the long run, but that still doesn’t rule out the fact that we are all human. Killer and victim, bystander and ignorant. It also leaves a trace of guilt on us, the white colonialists, who did intervene and created a ticking time bomb in Rwanda.
This movie is about Paul Rusesabagina who refused to let the collapse of a nation ruin his life, and end others’. It is about courage, humanity, desperation, but most of all I think it is about daily life. The way the movie was made it never lets you forget that this actually happened, which must have been the sole purpose of its production. And this is what makes it so hard to watch. Wars are not excluded from daily life it takes part in it, killing and maiming are not happening in a bizarro world, it is happening in areas where people live from day to day. Paul was a hotel manager who did what he needed to do in order to survive, but also to preserve his own dignity as a human being.
It is a shocker, an educational shocker. Kudos to everyone who made it possible. Let us not forget that there are other crisis in the world going on this very minute that crave serious attention, assistance and most of all to be heard.
R.I.P Ingmar Bergmann (1918-2007)
Also, world renowned film maker Ingmar Bergman died in his sleep 30th of July 2007. He has been a great source of inspiration (positive and negative) for many film and TV creators, from Woody Allen to the makers of Dallas.
Edit 01.08.07: Added Deathproof, which I had forgotten to write when I posted.