A 'Land Girl', an American GI, and a British soldier find themselves together in a small Kent town on the road to Canterbury. The town is being plagued by a mysterious "glue-man", who pours... See full summary »
Lady Constance Chatterley is married to the handicapped Sir Clifford Chatterley, who was wounded in the First World War. When they move to his family's estate, Constance (Connie) meets ... See full summary »
Atlanta, 1873. It's another day (Melanie's funeral, in fact), and Scarlett is determined to win back Rhett (who's spending a lot of time with Belle Watling). First, she goes to Tara and ... See full summary »
On election night we meet Peter, an idealistic young man, who suddenly discovers he has forgotten to vote. On his way to the polls he encounters a variety of taxi drivers, all racist in ... See full summary »
Anders Thomas Jensen
Jens Jørn Spottag,
Sharpe is teamed with a Colonel he helped promote and they are tasked to destroy a powder magazine, but an alliance with the French may threaten their success. Meanwhile, Jane is wearying of the army life and Harper and Ramona are at odds.
A rooster has his last biscuit for breakfast and goes grocery shopping. A pig prepares her breakfast (potato peelings, with the potatoes thrown in the trash) and discovers she needs more ... See full summary »
Three interlocking tales of damsels in distress. An urban scene: a man sees a woman fall off the roof of the neighboring apartment building. A Western scene: a cowboy hears a woman tied to ... See full summary »
Captures the bawdy bustle of Chaucer, but not the sublime.
Every Christmas, people complain about the dire schedules, but among the exhaustedly-repeated films and bloated 'specials' can be uncovered animated gems like this. I don't know why Christmas should be deemed appropriate for a profusion of 'adult' cartoons, but the viewer wins regardless, because they are daring, inventive and witty in themselves, even without a festive background of mediocrity to shine against.
I watched the first part of this last year, but only finished it last night because I'd lost the tape. I'm afraid I didn't dare watch it in its original Middle English, an option admirably open to me. To my eternal discredit, when I was at college, despite the best proselytising efforts of an amiably barmy lecturer to affirm his bawdiness, flexibility and great humour, I'd always avoided Chaucer because, you know, 14th century English. What does it mean? How can you even read it without a luggage load of notes? So I can't really discuss the film's success in visualising Chaucer's text.
What I can tell you is that it does achieve an extraordinary recreation of medieval life, in all its squalor, bustle, yet fertile energy. Far from being the received scowling monks and yobbish yahoos, Chaucer's pilgrims are recognisably human in their flaws, desires and talents, yet strictly grounded in the medieval social order that produced them. Each story they tell to ease the boredom of the journey to Canterbury, reflects, however obliquely, both its teller and his time.
The framing narrative of the pilgrimmage is told with puppets, but each tale utilises a different mode of animation. Being an expert neither in animation or Chaucer, I cannot tell whether there is an apt connnection between form and content. But the fluidity of each story; the ability to depict experience, emotion and event unavailable to live action; the exquisite, glaring colours; the remarkable draughtsmanship alternating between painstaking detail and broad flourishes are all a joy to behold.
As are the stories. The second part features a rich old blind man cuckolded by his young wife; a TREASURE OF SIERRA MADRE-like tale of gold greed and murder; and an aristocratic Romance about a loyal wife who is forced to sleep with a courtier after a supernatural miracle. The mixture of bawdy comedy and touching pathos is superbly contrived.
If I have a complaint (or two) it is that it is often difficult to hear the dialogue (realistic but ANNOYING), and that the arrival in Canterbury fails to grasp a sublime that is Chaucer's counterpoint to earthiness. But then we have the Archers' immortal A CANTERBURY TALE, so that's alright than.
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