|Index||7 reviews in total|
7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Great Off the Wall Film, 26 July 2006
Author: rcl-5 from United Kingdom
A genuinely funny and thought provoking film, with a number of surreal
elements, and a lot of humour. The leading lady is always wanting to
eat and announcing a meal - with shades of Bunuel's Discreet Charms -
and there are very funny jokes dispersed amongst the film in the most
unexpected places. It is very off the wall, and although others have
said that it has disjointed dialogue etc, that's what's intended, and
it is more like real life in a remote Cote d'Azure fort with such an
odd bunch of people would be.
It's great - well worth a view. I saw it on a plane with English subtitles, and am now searching to see if I can buy it on DVD with subtitles.
5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Well Scented, 15 October 2006
Author: tedg (tedg@FilmsFolded.com) from Virginia Beach
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is the second in a series. It covers much the same ground as the
first, and features the same main characters, actors and creative team.
But it is immensely more successful than the first.
I'll outline the situation, which will necessitate a spoiler alert for both films. The detective form here (and in the prequel) is bent in a curious way. The detective is a man who is pitted against his father, a master magician and illusionist. His parents had a steamy marriage and for uninteresting (and clumsy) reasons was kept secret and abandoned. Now, long afterward, she is to marry again and is threatened by the "evil" of this killer.
The detective-son wants to protect his mother (who doesn't yet know he is her son) and is engaged in a battle of wits with his dad. But at the same time he is respectful. In the first film, he has already let him escape. In this episode, she is married again and in a small resort castle with an odd cast of characters.
Once again, our detective (who is employed as a reporter) and his friend and coworker, a photographer, are on the scene. That photographer as before is the designated watcher rather than the detective, which is a bit jarring, refreshing and clever. All of the characters at the castle are types designed to illuminate some element or manner of deception or art, here intermixed.
So at root, we have a traditional French film about film and notions of representation.
Now the first film was overly comic in a physical way, accompanied by excessive, unharnessed whimsy. It was overly obvious in all its messages and spent at least a third of its length in explaining the mystery. Along the way it had an amusing but costly metaphor of mechanical but indirect causality in these odd inventions of the eccentric father of the woman in question.
This film avoids all the mistakes of the first. It is gentler in its humor, and less worried about explaining things. Its metaphors are more elaborately in the story proper instead of tacked on as framing credits that reappear. We get it from all sides, each character giving us some manner of folded expression.
For instance, we have the innkeeper, an energetic and sexually active woman who plans meals and makes wire figures that are employed by the filmmaker as shadow puppets. She is seen cleaning and stuffing a large grouper in a sexual manner that we suspect has something to do with the mystery. She is having an affair with a local guru who has some sort of musical hypnotic therapy that involves nurses in roleplaying. She also is drawn to the photographer.
There are a half dozen such well drawn and apt characters.
Yes, it is worth it.
Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Dames At Sea, 23 October 2005
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I don't often agree with negative comments on this Board but it's hard not to in this case. It's probably too easy to say that sequels seldom work but again the same team's The Mystery Of The Yellow Room was a joy and all hands have fine track records not least the Podalydes brothers Bruno (writer-director-actor) and Dennis (actor) who can currently be seen giving a great performance in Les Ames Grises. This is to say nothing of Sabine Azema (who ironically says NEXT to nothing despite star billing) Pierre Arditi, Michael Lonsdale, Isabelle Candeliere, etc, none of whom appears to be firing on all cylinders. It's probably worth seeing just out of interest but don't expect too much.
10 out of 18 people found the following review useful:
the scent of disillusionment, 19 September 2005
Author: ondine-le-cesne from France
maybe I expected too much from the adorable Mystère De la Chambre Jaune sequel. The dull titles unlike the rejoicing Caro&Jeunet titles of the Rouletabille saga first episode foreshadow the major flaw of the picture: an overall disenchantment spreading to the screenplay and the actors. Gaston Leroux novels whose story lines are typically slowly-told and far-fetched must be hard to adapt yet they matched director Bruno Podalydès universe so far. However the blatantly clumsy dialogs create an uneasiness between the actors who miscommunicate with one another. And that's a sheer pity for the undreamed-of cast gathers not only the jolly almost-Pierre-Brasseur-like Bruno Podalydès and his skinnier and witty younger brother Denis but also a myriad of picturesque parts that goes from Claude Rich cameo to the imposing Oliver Gourmet performance. Indeed the breath-taking location shots invite the spectator to a stay in the wild and craggy island of Port Cros. Nevertheless I couldn't merge in the picture at all just like the touching, melancholic and mysterious Stangerson Professor embodied by the faultless Michael Lonsdale who sits on a chair facing the azure sea a palette in his hand wondering what he's longing to paint.
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Art-house adaptation with a stellar cast., 6 March 2011
Author: Ralph Ignacio Litardo (email@example.com) from Capital, Buenos Aires, Argentina
I find it difficult to write anything about this odd gem. Don't expect
a hard logical development like in an Agatha Christie book adaptation.
From the start, in the character's description, you know you are in
front of a farcical/ burlesque whodunit.
Like in Resnais'"Les herbes folles", "On connaît la chanson" and "Smoking/No Smoking" (all starring the perfect actress, Sabine Azema, the last two also with Pierre Arditi as on this film) this films relates more to the brain than to "our hearts", to simplify it.
Some will call this kind of film "typically French", I really don't think so; in any case I hope not :).
The technical aspects are of course perfect, images in particular.
Directed by the brother of actor Denis Podalydès, who also has a family relation playing himself as a child, this film feels like those fanzines that make roar of laughter some selected club of "insiders", and leave the rest wondering what's it all about. Don't get me wrong, I liked having watched this film, but I understand it's not for everybody.
My favourite scene is when Rouletabille is trying to hide himself, but ends up making noises in the most unbelievable of ways, like a "mad machine".
3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
She used to bring me brioches...., 24 September 2007
Third version of the "Mystère de la Chambre Jaune" /"Parfum de la Dame
en Noir" novel (two novels which are actually one long story divided
into two parts ).For the record,there was Marcel L'Herbier (1930) whose
films were not bad ,and Louis Daquin (1948-1949).Plus an excellent MTV
"Mystère de la Chambre Jaune" starring Claude BRasseur as Rouletabille
in 1965 followed circa 1966 by a "Parfum" as a miniseries with
different actors .
The Podalydès bros have a lot of qualities.They try to get the contemporary French movie out of convention,they try new tacks with talent ,they introduce emotion (the relationship Rouletabille/Mathilde is not far from an incest and there's certainly a Freudian relationship with his father Larsan :the "burial at see" filmed from a distance,while Rouletabille is alone on the boat whilst his companions are staying in the fort is revealing)and a sense of humour (One of the ladies is shouting "A table!" every ten minutes).My God!They try to outdistance Claude Chabrol in the field of gastronomy!And of course,there's the obligatory tribute to Hergé and Tintin: in the fort ,there is a portrait of a captain of long ago,who resembles Le Chevalier de Hadoque ,captain Haddock's ancestor in "le Secret de la Licorne".The iron mask is borrowed from Dumas .As for the submarine...
The problem is that the Podalydès bros made a complicated story out of a muddled novel-certainly inferior to "le Mystère .. " the plot of which was close to perfect.Even the 1930 version was sometimes difficult to catch up with....It's not easy to introduce melodrama elements into an extravagant thriller.Rouletabille was a sleuth in "Mystère" ,he 's turned into a conjurer in that follow-up.Like father,like son.
The best scene might be the flashback when Rouletabille was a child in a boarding-school.This memory lane has a sense of mystery (as if the P. bros were recalling "Les Disparus de Saint-Agil" or "Le Visiteur" )which eludes the rest of the movie.
5 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Simply Awful - Affreux, 14 September 2005
Author: El Guillermo from United States
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I saw the movie at the Venecia Film Festival. It is a terrible movie. I am even surprised it was selected for screening even as 'hors competition'. First let me say that even though Azema and Arditi are forcedly advertised as main characters, Arditi has probably a maximum of 10 minutes of screen time and Azema hardly says any word during the whole movie. Everything is terrible. Acting is bad, story and editing are awful, and even the filming of landscapes of south of France is totally un-inspired. The movie never builds any tension. We are not sure why Larsan is such a threat to begin with. Then it does a really bad job at setting the stage for the mystery: it never takes the time to clearly help the audience understand the lay-out of the house or where people are supposed to be so that when the murder happens, we really understands that there is clearly something unsolvable about the mystery which would help grad audience attention. Because the movie is so messy and fuzzy, it is tough to understand that there is something really challenging happening here. And then, there are the moments when you are supposed to laugh probably to ease the tension that was never there in the first place. These are the most pathetic. You feel embarrassed for the actors playing such bad lines. In summary, stay away from that movie. It is not worth spending a $ on it.
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