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One of the most beautiful films of all times
The Italian brothers Taviani have produced a master piece on the basis of one of the great novels of Lev Tolstoy. It is a dramatic story of moral downfall and a subsequent attempt at redemption or "resurrection". Especially moving is the interpretation of the role of Katiusha Maslova by Stefania Rocca.
The only external review mentioned here is that of the Russian newspaper Izvestia, in which the movie is duly praised, as capturing the Russian spirit more than almost any other Western production about Russian themes. It is also mentioned that the great length of the film (3 hours) permits a global rendering of the novel, in all its aspects, without serious truncations.
In other words, it is a real masterpiece and I wonder why so few people have paid attention to this great movie.
Barry Lyndon (1975)
one of the best movies ever made
This is simply one of the best movies ever made.
Unfortunately, it is too refined to ever make it into the IMDb Top-250, I fear.
The qualities of this film are well described in some other comments. A marvelous story, based on a great novel. Somewhat too slow for some people. Psychological depth, even though the main character (you can't call him "hero")is rather despicable. A beautiful picture of 18th century society and morals, underlined by beautiful 18th century music. Great acting. Splendid photography. Three hours is not too long for so much beauty.
Those who exclusively like action films should stay away. Those preferring films which are more subtle and profound should by no means miss the opportunity to see it.
Oy, vy, gusi... (1991)
Social realism instead of socialist realism
This is no movie for those who only like action films. Amators of Italian and French social-realist dramas from the '50s, however, will find it very much to their taste. Director Lydia Bobrova pictures the bleak life in the Russian countryside by showing some events in the life of three brothers and their families. The three brothers are different in character, but all suffer from the dreariness of kolchoz life, which contrasts starkly with the glamour of the celebrations of the Moscow Olympics of 1980, which the protagonists can see on TV. Before Gorbachov's perestrojka, the director would not have had the chance of making this sad, but sensitive and realistic movie. At the Toronto film festival, a critic wrote. "...the film achieves a powerful air of authenticity that is destined to make it a classic of Russian cinema.' The title is derived from a nostalgic Russian song that is performed several times in the movie. The wild geese have the possibility of moving on to milder climes, a possibility that Russian country people don't have.
Bláznova kronika (1964)
A film I have seen a long time ago...
I have seen this film on Dutch television about 35 years ago and never saw it again since. So my memories about it have faded a lot, even though the film made quite an impression on me at the time. The jester tells a tale about a small boy and a small girl who go through a lot of adventures against the very grim background of the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648), in which Czechia suffered enormously. The movie is a clever combination of cartoon and acting, skillfully integrated. (Maybe it won't make that much impression on a contemporary public "spoiled" by modern computer simulation technics).
pretty good rendering of the books story, but sorry for Norbert
The film is a good representation of the books story. A two hour film can not, however, render all the charming details of the book. To name an example, the moving idyl between Hagrid and dragon baby Norbert got far too less attention in the film.
Les rois maudits (1972)
A beautiful pageant of Medieval life
In 1302, king Philip the Fair of France staged a coup against the mighty order of the Templars, which he considered to be a state within the state. The Grand Master was accused of sacrilegical practices and burnt at the stake. According to the legend, from the stake the Grand Master cursed the king and all his descendants. In fact, the king himself would soon die, and all his three sons would succeed him, but each only for a couple of years and each dying without issue. Therefore, these kings are often called "Les rois maudits", the "cursed kings".
The series describes the lifes of some common people during the reign of these kings, when France was struck, inter alia, by a terrible famine and by plagues. It is beautiful pageant of Medieval Life. The video, if it existed, would be an ideal educational tool for the teaching of French and European history.
À chacun son enfer (1977)
A bitter thriller
The small daughter of a female police officer (played by Annie Girardot) has been kidnapped and a ransom letter has been received. The ransom is paid, but the small girl is murdered anyhow. At last mother finds out who did it. Someone very close to her. Out of jealousy. "Every family has its cross to bear", so the title of this film says. It is a well made film, with a lot of suspense, but not a merry one.
High Plains Drifter (1973)
Technically good, but morally wrong!
This movie leaves me with very mixed feelings. I can understand those who call it one of the best Westerns ever. In fact, it is quite well made and well acted. It really gripes the audience. But don't forget to look at the negative side: this movie really is excessively violent! Within the first quarter of on hour, the protagonist, played by Clint Eastwood himself, kills three men and rapes a woman. A devils advocate might argue that this is no celebration of gratuitous violence, that the protagonist is no hero, but an anti-hero. But I am afraid the protagonist might well be considered as a role model by some people. Especially testosteron tormented juveniles who are still in the process of consolidating their moral value system, might conclude - after seeing this film - that it is quite `cool' to massacre and rape. The ambivalent attitude of the raped young lady towards the protagonist might contribute in letting them believe that only those women get raped who really like it. I therefore conclude: this movie is technically good, but morally wrong.
One of the best American movies of the decade.
After seeing this film, I thought it slightly apologetic towards Richard Nixon. In the customer reviews, however, I read that a lot of American viewers consider it unfair and slanderous towards a president they admire. Considering this, I arrive at the conclusion that Oliver Stone succeeded rather well in giving a balanced picture of this controversial former leader of the Western world. Some criticize the movie as containing quite a few factual errors. For heavens sake, a movie play of about two hours is no historical documentary and even less a historical monography! I think the movie very well illustrates both Nixons strong points (intelligence and perseverance) and the weak points in his character, that finally lead to his downfall. Let those who think this movie is unfair, consider for a moment that Richard Milhous Nixon himself has never been very fair towards his opponents! I think this is one of the best American movies of this decade.
This is the stuff myths are made of!
I think that in this movie Borman succeeded very well in capturing the spirit of the myth. That he takes some liberties with the story of the Arthur saga is of no consequence. A myth aims to convey some strong moral ideas. This movie succeeds in this better than any other movie I know. The idea Borman compellingly depicts in this beautiful movie is the following. Men strive very hard at achieving harmony. Once in a while, for a short moment they succeed in realizing it. But than someone makes a small, stupid mistake (in casu: the affair between Lancelot and Guinevere) and the world falls back into war and disorder. And than it takes ages of effort and suffering to find the Grail again. This is the stuff myths are made of!