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The Sweet Hereafter (1997)
I think this movie is absolutely overrated. First thing: the director wants to transmit grief, so he shows us a lot of characters crying, or saying grave sentences. Instead of making us identify with the characters through drama, he forces them to "say" all the time how sad and shocked they are. I find also the script extremely weak. For example, there's no motivation for the acts of the lawyer, why is he there, why is he so interested. The montage with the tale of the Pied Piper is poor and pretentious... To make it short, I've probably seen this movie in a wrong way, because most of the people liked it so much and I found it boring, pretentious and poor.
Weird, fantastic movie
Hartley is probably one of the most strange filmmakers of our time. His movies are far from perfect, but he manages to portray human nature in a way many directors would want for themselves.
"Flirt" is a simple love story, about trying to find what our feelings really are. It's like a big question with very few answers, intriguing and with a profound sentimentalism.
Ilha das Flores (1989)
Funny... at first.
Funny at first, demolishing in the end. When I saw this movie for the first time I spend the first minutes laughing: the editing is fast paced and the voice over explains one after another different concepts that apparently are barely connected. But in the end all grows into a perfectly mounted description of the economical and political aberrations of our times, all in less than 30 minutes.
La jetée (1962)
To watch, and to hear. Master Antoine Bonfanti makes magic with the sound, imparting lessons about how it complements with image, becoming vital to the total apprehension of the story. Economic, pure cinema. Do not miss it!
Caiga quien caiga - CQC (1995)
Get fun with the politicians...
A funny TV series, which took advance of the "menemist" (from the former President: Carlos Menem) style to make politics. Very well produced, used for the first time the modern technics of editing normally seen in music clips. It didn't offer much answers though. It limited to criticize.
Central do Brasil (1998)
Latin America for the tourists...
I dislike very much movies "made to be liked". "Central do Brasil", as a portrait of Brazil's reality, in my opinion, fails. And as simple story of a boy and an old woman trying to working things up with life, fails too. It has a weak script, and is poorly developed as a story. The boy is cute, and the old woman is a great actress, but that's all the good in this movie for me.
Crónica de un niño solo (1965)
A classic for Argentina's movie making
"Crónica..." is another great movie from one of our greatest directors. It depicts with poetry and simplicity the reality of a lonely boy, marginal from the system that is supposed to protect and educate, and instead only brutalizes him. As always, Favio is great finding poetic symbols to express things; the most notable in this movie, the horse at the end, representing the future of this child which, probably, ultimately has none.
Sweet and Lowdown (1999)
Great, small movie form the genius.
Woody Allen has such control over the story telling tools of cinema that he can do whatever he wants. Mixing "documentary" comments about what is happening with the characters, and straightforward and yet superbly filmed feature sequences, Allen shows once again why he is one of the greatest film directors of our time. Good plot, great performances, skillfully constructed characters, excellent camera work... can you ask for more?
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
Just a tale... is that bad?
I think this is not a horror movie. At least I was not really scared while watching it. But it worked with me in the identification level, so in the end I was not horrified, but really sorry for the characters. And that's not just a detail. This is a good movie. Well acted, well told, original in its shooting procedures. Not a classic, not extraordinary. Just good. Something many other movies cannot say about themselves.
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
More war moralina from the US
First, the good things: this is a technically well made movie, with some impressive shots (specially at the beginning). The acting is standard good. And that's it.
The plot is (at least) weak. And the chance to turn the whole thing into an interesting irony about war, military, etc., planted when the protagonists wander themselves about the reasons to save one life risking seven or eight, is missed when we see this general "really" convinced about returning to this one mother his last son alive, right after a scene of memorable butchery.
All the chances to make any serious statement and provoke debates about war (or anything) are missed in front of this kind of caricaturesque characters so common in the mainstream movies.
Simple and powerful love story.
Favio produces a master class about how to tell a story with very few resources, in an almost minimalist style, been at the same time powerful and touching. The movie has a very common plot, but Favio gives it a twist by locating it into a local context very well reproduced: an Argentine small country town.