Weekend Film Reviews

21/03/2011

Short reviews of films seen during the weekend. Karoly Makk’s Love (1971) and Joanna Hogg’s Archipelago (2010) were the most enjoyable ones.

TAKE OUT (2004) – about a take out delivery guy, a very simple story with a feel of Italian neorealism, an unusual American film for being solely from the point of view of Chinese immigrants.

LOVE (1971) – a very impressive and bold Hungarian film by Karoly Makk about the wife of a political prisoner waiting to hear about her husband while tending to her ailing mother-in-law and making her believe her son is a successful film director in America. Beautiful visuals and the most imaginative use of flashbacks I’ve seen in a while.
My guess is that had it not been a Hungarian film it would be one of the well-known world cinema classics, and it’s not probably because of Hungary’s politics at the time and because world classics are usually picked from countries with a greater number of cinematic output (read: bigger countries)).
Guardian review of Love

BODY SNATCHERS (1993) – aliens are replacing humans on a military base; entertaining but could’ve been better, the characters where too sketchy and the film would’ve been more tense if I had cared about them, great performance by the young boy as the younger brother.

WILD RIVER (1960) – Elia Kazan‘s film about a government official who has to get an old woman to leave her home on a river island about to be flooded because of a new dam. Quite an intense depiction of intolerance and racism.

CUTTER’S WAY (1981) – had a quite an uneven script that can’t decide whether it’s about crime, revenge or relationships. But John Heard gives an absolutely amazing performance as a one-legged, one-armed, one-eyed loud-mouth veteran Alex Cutter who effortlessly steals all the scenes from Jeff Bridges‘s dull main character.

STOLEN KISSES (1968) – Truffau‘s film about a young man who after being discharged from the army goes through several jobs including a private investigator working undercover in a shoe shop to find out why the employees dislike their boss when he falls in love with the boss’s wife.  Amusing but a bit too eccentric and random for my taste.

At the cinema:

HOWL (2010) – film that feels like a staged documentary about the life and works of the poet Allen Ginsberg. In one storyline literary expression and meaning is on trial (the publisher was sued for obscenity in Ginsberg’s Howl) which accompanied by readings of poetry and animated sequences makes the whole thing fascinating (for a writer anyway).

ARCHIPELAGO (2010) – a very enjoyable film by Joanna Hogg about a family holiday where family dynamics and personal idiosyncrasy start to emerge with some of the character quirks (and very English middle class behaviour) taken so far (while still remaining realistic) that they become laugh-out-loud funny.

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