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Sound and Fury (2000)
Told by an idiot signifying nothing
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage, And then is heard no more; it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
MacBeth, v. iii.
Sound and fury is as robust a movie as I can recall having ever seen. It speaks heartily of life and of the dilemmas and difficult decisions we all face. It confronts modernity and the extinction of culture. This film speaks of decisions made that are incomprehensible to other members of the same family. It speaks of steps that are superficially modest but whose consequences are mammoth. These are the decisions that we make daily and may eventually destroy human life on this rock. Sound and fury asks each of us in a soft voice if we are part of the problem or the solution. It is a moving picture.
The Royal Hunt of the Sun (1969)
the most significant battle in history
This dramatic tale of what was arguably the most significant and one sided battle in history should be seen by all. A trivial army of 167 conquistadors lead by Pisarro killed 7000 of the Inca's god king Atahualpa's army of 80,000 in a single battle. The battle was symbolic of Spain's rape of America, but more generally of Europe's domination of the world. The "victory" of the west can be seen as no more than the "good luck" of the bloody thirsty warriors of Western Europe who learned so much from fighting with each other that collectively they could achieve world hegemony. In this battle horsemen, steel, and an ideology of duplicity won the day over a naive other world whose innocence is now virtually unimaginable.
Marius et Jeannette (1997)
Love in Marseilles amongst the ruins...
This movie is for those who want to believe that life can be pleasant even if one is a broke divorced unemployed mother of two without prospects as long as one believes. In this case the requisite belief is not in god or in life everlasting but in love & some communitarian evolution of romanticized communism. Our once deserted and once widowed unemployed heroine finds love amongst the deconstructing ruins of a cement factory with its emotionally and "physically" crippled security guard. The film is not unrelieved tendentious reality though the only action is a rather bloody bar room brawl from which the protagonists escape drunk but without injury. The one great myth that deserves debunking is that a dozen people in a third of a dozen seperate households can live cheek by jowl in a fading tenement, sharing all intimacies and still like each other. I was somewhat mean in giving it a 6 but it sure isn't worth the 8.7 average rating that prompted me to see it. The French must have different eyes.