A down-on-his-luck American Indian recently released from jail is offered the chance to "star" as the victim of a snuff film, the resulting pay of which could greatly help his poverty ... See full summary »
Episodic look at the life of Cuban poet and novelist, Reinaldo Arenas (1943-1990), from his childhood in Oriente province to his death in New York City. He joins Castro's rebels. By 1964, ... See full summary »
Olatz López Garmendia
An Innuit hunter races his sled home with a fresh-caught halibut. This fish pervades the entire film, in real and imaginary form. Meanwhile, Axel tags fish in New York as a naturalist's ... See full summary »
A Russian Jewish father emigrates to America in 1923, with a promise to send for his mother and young daughter when he is settled. When his village is burned in a pogrom, his mother is killed and his daughter is separated from other youngsters who make it to the port to emigrate. She ends up on a ship bound for England, where she is renamed Suzie and raised by a British family. Many years later, Suzie's talent for singing and dancing sees her accepted into a Paris dance troupe where she is befriended by Lola, a fellow dancer from Moscow. Cesar, a handsome brooding gypsy who works with the troupe later becomes her lover. Lola pursues Dante, an egotistical tenor who is performing in the area. All is well until the Nazis march into Paris, and Suzie's Russian Jewish background places her in danger. She must decide whether to leave Cesar and her friends and continue the search for her father in America. Written by
The only reason I did not rate this film a "10" was that the Christina Ricci character (Feygele/Suzie), who is supposed to be a superb singer in the era before microphones, was not dubbed by someone who can actually sing. (Ricci, gifted actress that she is, can't, and to a musician, that's a problem). Other than that, I loved this movie. Ricci and Depp, as impossible lovers who just happen to be members of the two peoples most persecuted by the Nazis (a Jew and a Gypsy), are both perfection in their roles. John Tuturro and Cate Blanchett, as (respectively) an Alpha-male Italian tenor enamored of Mussolini, and Suzie's fellow dancer/confidante seduced by the tenor and his Fascist tendencies, are such compelling characters that they almost needed their own separate movie. The cinematography is beautiful throughout, and the sense of history, of the sweep of time, is wonderfully evoked. Last but not least, the score of the film memorably weaves together an old Yiddish lullaby with "Je crois entendre encore," the great tenor aria from Bizet's "Pearl Fishers." Both melodies share the same rhythmic and harmonic skeleton, and the film score reveals and celebrates it. A wonderful musical reflection on the theme of the film in general. Wait until the end of the movie to see what I mean -- the music explains it all.
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