Reviews written by registered user
Daniel Karlsson

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86 reviews in total 
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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Important, powerful yet frustrating cornerstone of early Iranian cinema, 21 April 2017

As the other reviews tend to the extreme (vote 1 and 10, respectively), I feel obliged to provide another take at this early Iranian film. My verdict is between those of the other commentators, and they both have valid points. The experience will also depend on your understanding of Iranian history and society.

Actually the film is rather unique and difficult to judge. It appears amateurish at times, at other times it comes off as a true masterpiece, then there is the overly long and repetitive middle section with the baby which would benefit from cuts in the editing. Indeed the weakness is the overly long scenes and lack of focus. The plot centers on fear and responsibility, apparently influenced by political events of the time. Yet one of the topics would have been sufficient.

Nevertheless I recommend this film (especially viewed in wide screen in the cinema) for any serious film enthusiast. There are some masterful and moving shots and scenes, not the least the outdoor scenes in Tehran and the scenes at the orphan clinic. For me, the best scenes are at the end, the hypocrisy revealed at the TV store and the ending when the main character leaves everything behind and takes to the road in the sunset.

2 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Not worth watching, 2 September 2015

I saw this film on the premise of that it according to critics is the "best Brazilian film of all times". Critics are way too generous to this young auteur influenced by Eisenstein and other masters, mixing genres and styles but only achieving an amateurish, confused, pretentious and quite tasteless work. It is messy, low-budget and is overall not worth watching despite a handful of nice shots and moments. In an accompanying interview to the film, the director Rocha, with Marxist rhetoric, blame European colonists for Latin America's economic problems and justifies the movie's content as "the aesthetics of hunger". To me, more than anything else, it shows the madness of religion and cults and how they attract people in desperation.

An important and unique portray of Picasso's genius, 2 August 2014

This is not a perfect film; it could have been better produced. But it is very important for stunning insights into how Picasso thinks and works, saved on camera.

When we look at a painting we see only the end result of a creative process. This film uniquely (to my knowledge) shows the previous steps in that process. How a picture evolves out of a trial process that produces several masterpieces, which are consumed and transformed into the end result - and, of which only the end result remains.

In this process you will witness many stunningly beautiful works. The motives are typical: homes, bulls, goats, women and landscapes in Spain. It seems as if Picasso's greatest weakness was that he overworked his paintings to a degree that they in some cases became less masterly than mid-way into a process - in some cases it even leads to the ruin of a whole work and the painter has to start fresh again.

For the joy and unique insight of Picasso's creative process that the film brings, it needs to be preserved and watched for all future generations.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
An artistic masterpiece, 2 August 2014

Any true cinéaste is not obliged to overlook this masterwork. Although Kieslowski is a highly skilled director with a respectable list of great films on his resume, this is my favorite of his oeuvres.

The photo is fantastic. Every shot could have been disassembled and put up in a photo exhibition. The music is excellent. The story is a little diffuse in an interesting way and very rich in its scope for interpretation. Actually the film is so much broader than just confined to a single story. And this is like life; life is not always as grandiose as we think or wish it to be, but the simple things can be beautiful. It covers many small things in life, and like Kieslowski's other films, the approach is steady yet light-handed, relaxed. It is poetic, it is about love, about life, about mysteries.

It is a tragedy to not take advantage of an opportunity that comes into one's way, maybe once in a life time - and we suffer regret. Iréne Jacob has similarities to Juliette Binoche, probably Kieslowski's type of ideal woman: independent and beautiful. Like for example Binoche in the Blue film of the Dekalog, the women in his films have adopted to loneliness. But they cannot handle it completely - nobody can.

In the end, it is sense of utter satisfaction to have completed this film that does not disappoint on any single point. It leaves me with yet stronger motivation to learn French - to be able to see this masterpiece without subtitles.

48 out of 93 people found the following review useful:
Weak and rather pointless movie with a luxury wrapping, 26 July 2014

In contrast to other reviewers, I am quite disappointed of this film. It is a rather weak comedy aimed at a British/American audience with limited knowledge of Central Eastern Europe's cultures and languages - and its bare content may therefore appear exotic and hilarious. The whole actually resembles Swedish comedy movies from the 80s, but with modern aesthetics.

The weakest link is the script and especially the dialog. The film starts of in an extreme tempo, as fashionable nowadays, probably not to risk boring any potential young and inexperienced viewers, maybe to appear smart and fresh - with the consequence of the audience losing half of what is going on. The extraordinarily many famous actors do not reach anywhere to potential - instead it seems like squeezing in as many stars as possible in roles that do not offer full scope for their talent.

The second character, Zero Moustafa, as young played by an Indian-looking (apparently Latino) actor, as old by a white Caucasian (why?), may ring fresh with current political news for a British/American audience as he is a refugee who has had to leave his home country due to war - and due to this fact the constant nonsense-speaking Gustave excuses himself for a "racist" remark. And then they run around lightly clad in the snow together for much of the rest of the movie.

For me, not finding anything funny, the only joy is the great cinematography, the photo and the music. The whole show is certainly wrapped in luxury paper - it feels like a waste with such weak content. But dollar-wise it might still be a success

4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
An odyssey of cinema inventiveness..., 9 November 2013

...rather than, what I initially thought, an odyssey through the greatest films ever made (but partially that as well).

The best part of the film is the interviews. Here the director shows that he certainly is knowledgeable and he manages to get some interesting people on the screen to tell some interesting things.

The footage is weird, avant-guard-style perhaps but could also be called amateurish, low budget with weird shots (interviewee heads are cut off and zoom-in on their mouths etc).

The director should learn how to pronounce French accurately; it turns to some embarrassing mistranslation like "400 asses" instead of "400 blows" if I heard correctly.

It is a long odyssey, might not be in everybody's taste, not even film buffs', but for those who have the time it still offers some good points like the interviews plus mentioning of cinema inventiveness and the important, sometimes lost, films that contributed to the evolution of cinema.

6 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
Very dated, 3 May 2007

This film is quite similar to "Let's make love" by Billy Wilder starring Marilyn Monroe. Just like in that movie, the married men are so boyish one could wonder how they got married in the first place. Of course, that is part of the comedy in this "sex" farce. The contextual environment and the mentioning of the word "sex" are the only aspects that by any means are "dirty" and could have been questionable in the American cinema of the 50s. However, graphically there is nothing arousing except for a short kissing scene. Although the film starts off entertainingly and promising, it drags out way too long and the ending is nothing but corny. To that comes weak dialog without a single memorable line. I would suggest checking out the Monroe film instead, unless one is a fan of Kim Novak.

Badjävlar (1971) (TV)
2 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Well done, but anti-capitalistic, 18 August 2005

A well-done movie, which I enjoyed watching; most of all I was enchanted by the terrific acting of Ernst Günther. However, as it kept rolling and the anti-capitalistic message became more evident I lost interest in the main story. In a way, it's not unique in that sense since most Swedish (as well as many other European) films I have seen from the 60s are of the same political color. I am sure it must have been more interesting in its time since it deals with a political issue which is not up for discussion today, but at the end it came across as just simply annoying to me; how can capitalism be blamed for the reason that a couple wasted money on a house they didn't own, and their incapability to take legal actions?

Stones (2002)
1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Mixed bag, 19 July 2005

I had looked forward to more from this one. It is worth seeing, since it deals with parts in life many people come in contact with, such as breaking-up-couples, how to start over etc. It had some interesting parts for me, in that sense. It is more mainstream than I had thought. I feel that it is aimed at a large audience; it is populist in the modern South American movie style, and that includes the fact that it is slightly over-sentimental, and not completely non-Hollywood. And something that disturbed me is the overly bias for the bizarre family situations (for example, all young men in the movie are gay, and the families are all split up); I already had enough of the prostitutes, transvestites, you name it, in Almodovar's I have see it in all modern Spanish films? Maybe it has something to do with historical reasons (the Franco years etc.), and clashes between the new contra old traditions in Spain today. To sum up; it was worthwhile, but no masterpiece.

3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Another point of view, 1 June 2005

I do not agree with the comment that "movies like this are rare". When I was in the theater I had the impression of "I've seen it before - and it disgusts me". There are plenty of American movie clichés in Garden State. For instance, there is the character played by Natalie ; a pretty girl who in the beginning takes initiative to get closer to a little nerdy guy, who is a stranger to her, and who seemingly is not attracted to her (something which from a simply biological point of view is rather implausible). In addition, there are a lot of, in my point of view, corny, pretentious, predictable and not-at-all-funny jokes and supposed-to-be-romantic moments. Even the camera movements seemed pretentious to me at times. Furthermore, the story just seemed to go nowhere. I was just so disgusted that I couldn't finish it but had to leave the theater in advance. Unfortunately.

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