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The Music Never Stopped (2011)
Enjoyable on so many levels, except for the song selections
The music of the 60s. The father-son relationship. The relationship between music and memory recall. As one growing up in the 1960s, this film connected with me big time. The hippie counterculture. The anti-Vietnam War movement. The generation gap. I thought the actors were superb, not only for their dialogs, but for their facial expressions. Funny, watching the movie, I kept having memory flashbacks of my own every time they played CC&R, Grateful Dead, Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, etc. I left the movie realizing that "The Music Never DID Stop" for me. Only one criticism of the film. I had no recollection of a few of the songs that were used. I went with a friend, who also could not remember ever hearing the same tunes. So, there might have been a better selection of 60s songs than were used in the film...top 10 tunes instead of B sides, esp. anti-war songs.
La Nana (2009)
I left the theater a little puzzled by the ending. I figured that Raquel taking up jogging meant (1) that she had incorporated part of Lucy's love of life into her own life, (2) that Raquel was finally taking charge of her physical well being by leading a healthier way of life, (3)that Raquel was no longer confined to defining herself by the walls and family of the house, or (4) all of the above. Also, it bothered me that she decided to go jogging in the dark streets. My first thoughts were that she was going to be mugged, or worse still raped. Not sure how the film should have ended, but I didn't like the one it had. Any thoughts?
Elsa y Fred (2005)
Opposites do attract!
For some reason, this film reminded me of the 1979 film "A Little Romance" except it starred two senior citizens instead of two youngsters. In "A Little Romance" two young kids fall in love and runaway to Venice with the help of and old con artist. The young girl is played by Diane Lane, while the con artist is played by Laurence Olivier.
I don't know why "Elsa and Fred" took so long for this film to reach the U.S., but I finally saw it in Orange County, California, just last week. It's a warm and touching film largely due to the two main characters. Both of them (Elsa and Fred) are living alone in adjacent Madrid apartments. Fred is withdrawn and still getting used to being a widower. He is a very practical, straight-laced gentleman. In contrast, Elsa lives in a fantasy world conjured up by her dreams of someday wading in the Trevi Fountain in Rome ala Fellini's "La Dolci Vita." She a persistent liar, risk taker and bold adventuress. She gradually draws Fred out of his shell and into her world. Who says that there can't be romance after 70?!
The two actors who play Elsa and Fred are remarkable. Their dialogues and facial expressions give their characters real depth, tenderness and life. Their years as seniors gradually whither away in the film as they slowly fall in love and become "teenagers" again figuratively speaking. The theme of "Trevi Fountain" runs throughout the film from the beginning during the credits until the very end.
Yes, Americans can enjoy this foreign film. I certainly did!
Brick Lane (2007)
Movie about relationships
The main female actress did a powerful job in her facial expressions. You could see the pain and anguish that she was carrying with her turn into smiles then strength. I particularly enjoyed observing the relationships between sisters of two generations: the one of the mother and her sister and the one of her two modernized daughters. The film portrays the Moslem culture as smothering the feelings/rights of women. It was interesting to see my feelings towards the husband change from unsympathetic to sympathetic. The film got poor reviews in the local newspaper, but I went ahead and saw it anyway. I'm glad that I did! The film also deals with the concept of "home" and awareness of how one defines it. The correspondence exchange between the main female character in London and her sister in Bangladesh reminded me of the correspondence exchange between sisters in "Pride and Prejudice."
Roman de gare (2007)
Good film; loved the Becaud music!
I really enjoyed this film. It was suspenseful and kept me glued to the screen. I did not care for the ending. I don't know why the female author killed herself. She had just been exonerated for the murder of her ghost writer when he appeared. Sure she was humiliated about news getting out that she even had a ghost writer. But she was a strong character and suicide seemed out of character for her. I had never heard of Gilbert Becaud, whose music played in several scenes. I fell in love with it. I went on Amazon.com and found there is a soundtrack to this film. However, I settled on a CD of Becaud's greatest hits. I guess he was big in the 1950s.