Reviews written by registered user
|4 reviews in total|
The title is very misleading for this is a film about a little girl's isolation and her need for an imaginary friend. The original "Cat People" picture provides just the backdrop for this moving story about lonely people, both young and old. There is a certain innocence and pathos that works very well alongside competent direction and acting. Definitely not a horror film, this is a gentle fantasy and a very good one at that.
"L'avventura"--"The Adventure", an adventure into the void of the modern
Antonioni's first international success is a subtle masterpiece focusing on the disappearance of an unhappy woman on an island and her friends' subsequent search. This is one of my favorite films of all-time. The composition and camerawork is aesthetically perfect; every frame is beautiful. The film's subtle psychological exploration is masterful, dealing with isolation and the protagonist's passive lifestyle forced to change under new circumstances. The sparse score perfectly fits the mysterious tone of the picture. Monica Vitti is nothing short of magnificent in the lead role. Constricting and excess plot details have been cut away, and the pace is slowed to allow the viewer to take in the wonderful images and actually think about the meanings and ideas contained within them. For viewers seeking serious, artful, intelligent, subtle, visually-stunning 'pure' cinema, this is the epitome.
The Good Earth is an engrossing tale of the hardships endured by a family of Chinese farmers and their surrounding community. When one hears the word "epic", one knows to expect a story with various ups and downs over an extended period of time. But these events are staged well by the director and interestingly shot by famous cinematographer Karl Freund. The film achieves a certain amount of realism by using a large number of extras and by incorporating an effective scene of swarming locusts in the film's climax. I also noticed several sequences of rapid montage scattered throughout that made me think of Eisenstein. But the best part of the film is Louise Rainer's portrayal of O-Lan. Although she doesn't cover an extended range of emotions, her performance is quite moving, perhaps because of its simplicity. She has wonderfully expressive and soulful eyes that elicit the viewer's sympathy; something about them or her appearance is slightly reminiscent of Falconetti's Joan of Arc. Of course, the performance and the film are not of that caliber, but if you enjoy Hollywood epic filmmaking, I don't think you'll be disappointed.
The film speaks not only about the time in which it was made, reflecting the fear of radiation poisoning in the nuclear age, but also about man's continuing struggle to maintain his sense of self in the complex modern world. Aside from the well-executed special effects and action, this is an allegory detailing a person's loss and eventual reclamation of purpose and understanding. The closing narration is both unexpected and completely inspirational--what a surprise from what at first glance appears to be a standard 50's sci-fi movie!