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Lady in the Water (2006)
A work of philosophy - not horror
This film is just a bit too intellectually complex for many people to appreciate. For those who can see the eternal and profound real-world significance of the political and philosophical aspects of Lucas' Star Wars saga, this film should be amply rewarding and a pleasure to watch.
The story unfolds more like a fable of Aesop rather than a 'scary movie', and shows the interconnectedness of people based upon their separate and unique abilities. This opposes the modern cultural myth that we are all the same and basically equal. Instead, by people having and lacking abilities, we are drawn together to pursue the Good because we need each person's separate abilities to accomplish our goals.
This film has some wonderful performances, and should quicken the heart of any person who has kept theirs alive within this world of cold stone we inhabit. Not a perfect film by any means, yet the imperfections should not diminish the impact on the open-hearted viewer in any way.
Humor, but difficult because also a warning
This film has its moments and elements that are truly funny. But most of the jokes ring with so much truth, truth that is truly frightening for the future, that the laughter comes with a sense of fear as well.
The visual imagery of the film is VERY unsettling too. All of the oranges and blues together make you feel like your are in some bizarre alien world. But as soon as you remember that this is still earth, and still humanity in front of you, concern hits you again even while you are laughing.
Overall, this film presents a serious message about the lack of respect for intelligence in our modern society in the only way it can do so without causing outrage: as a comedy. As such, it succeeds as best as I think it possibly can.
I recommend this to anybody who is smart enough to get the jokes and to feel the meaning behind them.
Balanced, Respectful, and Detailed Historical Presentation
This series is an exceptionally superb telling of a history that still is often told with the same type of propagandistic bias found in newsreels of the 1940's and 1950's. The text of the series, and the wonderfully even-toned yet captivating narration, gives a mood of relaxed academic instruction without strident interjections. For those who like history presented in a thorough, balanced, and entertaining manner, this series is exactly what you are looking for.
The series does what it says: a firm focus on those factors affecting the battlefield. Political events are ignored, except those which had a direct impact on tactical considerations. This limiting of scope allows an even greater detail of the battles themselves to be revealed. Instead of a rehash of broad details of battles such as Stalingrad, and how it was a German blunder; we get a complete account of WHY the battle occurred, WHO was involved, WHAT happened and with a full detail of the men, units, and equipment used by each side.
Thankfully, there is a refreshing lack of bias in this series. There is no stupid narration talking about "Nazi tanks advancing". A respectful and accurate "German tanks advancing" is used instead. After all these men were, in the main, courageous and skilled soldiers just like those of any nation. They were fighting for their homes and nation just as surely as the British or the Soviets, and the fanatical excesses of the Nazi party were far from their minds and intentions. Similarly, we don't hear of any "Communist Hordes" repelling invasion. The Soviet armed forces, just like the German and British, and spoken of in factual, academic terms. In all cases, national tendencies and superiorities are detailed in a factual, detailed manner, almost as if a Martian were explaining true human history.
This is a war documentary that is actually soothing in its sonic presentation. The historical film is not presented with blaring explosive noises. The soundtrack is a brilliantly composed piece that creates an ambient effect to background the film and narration, with well-timed moments of change and progression and the story unfolds. The overall effect is one of peering through a portal of time to see what happened, while a unbiased professor elaborates on all the fascinating things we see occurring. This is an ideal way to understand History.
Il giorno prima (1987)
Important ideas in this movie
I saw this movie almost 20 years ago and I cannot say that I remember any great acting or technical excellence. However, I remember that I felt mesmerized by it's ambiance and that the ending declares important thoughts that are just as relevant today. We are missing the point. Just as it does not help in 1987 to build fallout shelters because they only cause other problems that are greater for the future, it does not help to feed and immunize millions of the world's poor today if we have no food for their children and grandchildren tomorrow. Technology and fairness cannot solve these problems today, just as fairness (letting everybody in) cannot work in a fallout shelter. Our Earth is a lifeboat, and there are only finite seats in any vessel. This is neither cruel nor selfish. It is a simple declaration of truth. The sooner our policies face the truth, the sooner the suffering will end.