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More like a book on DVD than a documentary
This is not a movie or a documentary but a book on DVD. If you've read Zizek's books, you already know everything that is delivered in this filmed lecture. You can guess ahead of time which examples Zizek will provide to illustrate certain points, and you know where every argument is going. But at the same time, you can't really say that this DVD replaces Zizek's books. Zizek has written over 20 books, and this DVD is approx. 70 minutes (if I remember correctly); ideas are simplified, important details are neglected and in the end, you really only touch the surface. As usual, Zizek is highly entertaining. But this has everything to do with Zizek himself, and nothing to do with the filmmaker or the film itself. Poor exercise in 'filmmaking'.
The Quiet American (2002)
My favorite movie this year. Completely captivating, excellent acting, extraordinary scenes, beautifully written. If you liked The Killing Fields, you will definitely love The Quiet American.
Interesting movie, Wonderful acting
The One line Summary says it all. Don't expect too much action, this is a rather slow movie where you have to do your work and think to fully enjoy it. The main actress is incredible; she plays two different roles and you truly believe she is two different people.
Ted Bundy (2002)
What the hell was the director trying to do?
Freeway was a great movie. But this one is a Meaningless, Pointless, Stupid, Clueless movie about a jerk wearing a bow tie and raping and killing many women. Almost all of the women get dealt with within a few seconds, after we've been shown their panties, so it's very difficult to feel anything for those women. Which is both sick and sad. But what is even more sickening is the fact that the movie goes into extreme details when it comes to Bundy's execution. The scene lasts for ever, and for the first time in the movie, you do feel a certain anger on the subject of killing. Now, what the hell was the director trying to say ? Don't try to listen to the Director's commentary on the DVD for answers. We tried. It's the most pointless (and silent) commentary I've ever watched. The commentary is mostly him saying «This is actual real footage», «They really do it like this during executions», «Bundy had steak, eggs, AND hashbrowns for his last meal», «The tall blonde there is my girlfriend», «There she is again». I'm not even kidding. Once in a while he also says «Yep» for no apparent reason. And the fact that the executioner is a woman doesn't save the movie. As a woman, I did not feel a deep sense of satisfaction, as was intended.
The Pledge (2001)
To sum up : long, confusing, but mostly boring
I didn't like this movie; it was way too long, the editing was terrible (how many times can we see Nicholson fishing), and the overly present music badly chosen. I found Nicholson good though. Without going through the whole movie, many question were left unanswered (***SPOILERS***: 1) The dramatic début of the movie, with the 5 minute-long discussion that ends up with Nicholson's Pledge, seem to indicate that the movie will be about a cop trying to find a child-killer. The next part of the movie, a ten-minute-long interview (way too long, by the way) with a first suspect seem to follow in that direction also. 2) The scene with the child-therapist seem to add a twist when a chain-smoking, sweating Nicholson looks like the above-mentionned killer. Key to this scene is when the therapist asks him if he is still sexually active. Why this question ? Probably because she suspects his obsession with young little girls being raped is unusual. Since she is a therapist, we should pay attention to this scene. (Unless the movie doesn't really have a storyline, which is probable). 3) Nicholson falling in love with a woman which is not particularly pretty, but has a cute little blonde girl of almost 8 years old. During the movie, I felt as if Nicholson fell in love with the mother because of her daughter. A scene in particular, at the beginning of their relationship, highly insinuates that Nicholson is flirting with the little girl. (But maybe this scene is only to cause confusion). 4) Nicholson is seen drinking at the beginning of the movie, and the officer says he is a drunk. Is he ? We did not see him drinking during the whole movie (except for the beginning and the end). 5) We see Nicholson looking suspiciously at just about anybody. We get the idea that the officer suffers from an obsessive paranoia of some sort. 6) The whole story about a giant, a large man offering candy to attract little girls is probably a story that nourishes Nicholson's own fantasy world. Nicholson attaches so much importance on that whole narrative, that we understand that he is obsessed by big man seducing little girls with chocolate. 7) He litteraly sets up a fantasy scene where his little blonde girl is attacked by the real killer. No parent in the world would ever do such a crazy thing, unless, of course, he finally wants to see it happen.
All these put together, the movie seems to suggest that officer Black (Nicholson) is a pedophile who gets a libidinal kick out of pursuing cases involving little blonde girls being raped. He can then indulge in his fantasy without actually doing it (highly suspicious is here the scene where he steals from another police officer a picture of a 8 year old victim). Black then falls in love with the killer's next victim (which he probably chose because she fits the victims profile, but that part of the movie is still really far fetched, talk about luck), gets a kick at watching all day long this cute little potential victim, trying to imagine all the big men that could sexually molest her, and then goes crazy when the fantasy scene doesn't occur. If this conclusion is true, they probably diluted it to make it acceptable by adding a non-sensical beginning (abd all these fishing shots). If I'm all wrong, then the movie doesn't really make sense.
Il consiglio d'Egitto (2002)
I saw Il Consiglio d'Egitto at the Montreal Film Festival, where it was in the official competition. The fact that this movie was even in the competition puzzles me (and I'm sure it puzzled many others since a lot of people left before the end). A little over two hours, the movie shifts from one plot to the other. The first plot is actually quite interesting and funny but then it is quickly resolved and we are projected into a second, less interesting plot. There might have been a third plot coming, but I left before falling asleep.
A must...now available on DVD
If you liked «Lain», you will LOVE «Boogiepop phantom» which is, in my view, much more interesting. Every episode has its own story, and can be watch by itself. As the story progresses though, it all fits together to form a larger plot. One last thing; the music is excellent and very well used to create intensity.
Funny Games (1997)
If there had been a plot...
This movie has no story, but I guess that it was the whole idea ; to show raw violence to shock the audience. The problem (or rather, one of the problems), it really is not shocking. SPOILER ; of course you're a little surprise when you realize that the kid is dead (American producers would never allow that), but then the whole movie is so freaking unbelievable that the loving wife might as well find the remote control and wake up Georgie jr. Movies similar to this have been done so many times (more successfuly) that you really expect more from an old theme. I usually like movies with slow developments, like movies from Tarkovsky, but some of the scenes where so unnecessarily long that after a while you start to wonder if the VCR didn't get on Pause by itself. I give it a 5 for the effort, but I really don't recommend it to anyone.
Déjà mort (1998)
A very disappointing movie
After reading a comment here, on IMDb, I was expecting a film Noir. Now, I don't exactly know why that person thought that this was Noir, but really, I can't find any element in the whole movie that could fit it in that category. I felt like I was like a French, cheap version of Requiem for a dream. Except for the fact that, in Déjà Mort, the main male caracter is a total idiot that seem only capable of doing one thing : ruining other people's life and/or kill them. SPOILER : the worst part of it all is the fact that he is just about the only one who doesn't die at the end, something I had been expecting...
Irma Vep (1996)
A piece of art
This movie is definitely a must see for every film-lover. Maggie gives her best performance ever in a movie that feels so close to reality you often get the impression you're watching a documentary. Enormously inspired by French cinema style, technique (camera) and references, it manages to observe from a distance French cinema while being a typical French movie. Without any doubt one of the best French movie ever made. 10/10.