In documentary style, events in Petrograd are re-enacted from the end of the monarchy in February of 1917 to the end of the provisional government and the decrees of peace and of land in ... See full summary »
Sergei M. Eisenstein
The story of King George VI of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, his impromptu ascension to the throne and the speech therapist who helped the unsure monarch become worthy of it.
Helena Bonham Carter
Third part in Aleksandr Sokurov's tetrology, following Moloch (1999) and Taurus (2001), focuses on Japanese Emperor Hirohito and Japan's defeat in World War II when he is finally confronted by Gen. Douglas MacArthur who offers him to accept a diplomatic defeat for survival.
Set in Fenyang, Shanxi Province, the film focuses on a group of amateur theatre troupe performers whose fate mirrors that of the general population in China as massive socio-economic ... See full summary »
Episodes from entire military history of Portugal are told through flashbacks as a professorish soldier recounts them while marching through a Portuguese African colony in 1973. He easily ... See full summary »
Manoel de Oliveira
Luís Miguel Cintra,
"Notre Music" is divided in three kingdoms: Hell, Purgatory and Paradise like in the Dante's Inferno in the Divine Comedy. Hell shows footages of many wars; Purgatory mixes reality and fiction in Sarajevo; and Paradise is a surrealistic view of a beach "protected" by the American Marines. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
I number the reviews of my Godard quest so as to provide a sense of continuity and progression, what came before and after. I will likely rest here and leave Film Socialisme for some other time. It's obvious from these last few films that he has said his piece, some ten years before.
Nonetheless, in his mode as essayist of cinema he is the most rewarding Godard. He goes where Chris Marker went, but is more lyrical, hoping to evoke what he yearns to transcend. Mortality, love, injustice, he ruminates on these as he did before. He divides his disseminations as three kingdoms.
Among the footage of war and atrocity that make up Hell I spotted Eisenstein, from the film he left unfinished in Mexico for Paramount. Which makes me ask what else is staged and illusionary in this, though in the grand scheme it doesn't matter and that is perhaps the point. Filmed from life or for the cinema, these images elicit the same outrage. Our imagination of violence blends well with the reality of it. This segment also shows that Godard is incomparable as editor. Apart from political signifiers, these images I enjoy for the contours of their gratuitous shape, for how they swirl in and out of each other.
Purgatory shows us souls in transit, trapped in the dilemmas of existence we know all too well. Aching for meaning or lamenting the absence of it, we see here a tapestry of internal anxiety. Images of roads elucidate our passing through the world, mundane but quietly magical if seen with the right eyes. In this segment he refurbishes an insight from the Histoire(s) project. How we are drawn to the light of the imaginary, in order to cast it in the dark of reality that surrounds us. He also tells us what Kazantzakis had said fifty years ago, that we are truly free of our bonds when we neither hope nor fear. That life is, while death isn't. But he also crams this part with more political discourse, trite by now.
This is all well, some of it stale, some of it exceptional. But how to portray Heaven, what does Godard envision the other world to be? This is what intrigued me as I was watching the film.
Nature, this is where Godard goes to reflect again, as he did before. Not so curiously, in his Heaven are only young people, one of them reading a book, others playing in the shade. Tres banal or simply tres Godard? The image that closes this is rather poignant though. It's a beautiful, clear day, and the woman is looking out at sea. She can see far but not from where she came.
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