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dr_salter

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19 reviews in total 
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14 out of 18 people found the following review useful:
Nothing rotten in this Denmark, 21 November 2004
9/10

Peter Brook has done it again! This colourful TV/ video of Brook's stage version of HAMLET is a joy to behold.

Brook's direction of the actors in 'The Tragedy of Hamlet' lit a new pathway into the magic world of Shakespearean interpretations. We've come a long way from Lawrence Olivier's rather stilted, well-enunciated delivery of "To be or not to be...'. That was the 50s and this is now!

The main thing about this 2 & 1/2 hour production is that even though this is a shortened version with much of the plot left out: such as the scene of Polonius's farewell to Laertes and many others, they are there in the back of your head. You wonder how these actors would have done the lines - and, I did wonder this but I did not really 'miss' them. Brook's Hamlet was rivetingly played by a black actor with dreadlocks. Adrian Lester [32], the Jamaican-born actor from Birmingham (England) remarked: "Is theatre not an act of the imagination?" The veteran actress, Natasha Parry, (Brook's wife) tries a bit unsuccessfully to be stately as Hamlet's mother, but overall she is OK as the queen in deep royal purple. And I guess, it's nice to see an actor, who is 'too old' rather than too young. Throughout, Brook reveals his connections to India... Ophelia is played by the Paris-based Kuchipudi dancer Shantala Shivalingappa. Her Ophelia had an innocent, untouched quality.

But, of course, the whole point of this production is that most modern audiences may be familiar with the full-length Hamlet, and as a result, had become a little bored with Shakespeare's subplots and verbiage.

With this in mind, Brook cut out about one-third of the dialogue and removed major scenes and speeches. The audience soon realizes that Brook uses the assumption that there is a leaner, cleaner Hamlet lurking beneath Shakespeare's expansive work. Brook reduced scenery to an Indian flavoured brightly vermilion colored carpet, bright silk pillows and a few cyan blue low stools and tables on coaster wheels, so that his eight actors (and one musician) could do their business unhampered by starched lace and Elizabethan costumes.

The minimalist setting intensified, accelerated and smoothed the way for the action, highlighting both Shakespeare's magnificent words and Brook's masterful choreography.

The eight actors, several of whom double up on roles, brought everything alive for me. Jeffrey Kissoon played both uncle Claudius and the Ghost of Hamlet's father, and really opened the contrast and the complexity of the human psyche. Critics complained that for anyone who is new to Hamlet that the doubling up of Rosencrantz and Gildenstern with Naseeruddin Shah and Rohan Siva (as Laertes), and as the First and the Second Players, is somewhat disconcerting and possibly confusing. But we can learn to live with that... and I felt that the final effect was worth it.

I loved the fact that at last I could follow the plot & feel genuine anguished sorrow at the destruction of Ophelia's mind, as virtues of trust and loyalty were intermingled with tragedy and death. I could positively 'see' the internal workings of Hamlet & Claudius's hearts and minds, as they figured out who they could trust in this life and the next.

Basically that is why I admired Brook's production, because it was a colourful, lively, amusing and deeply human piece that touched my heart and stirred my soul.

Dead Man (1995)
13 out of 25 people found the following review useful:
You are not a dead man in B/W, 17 November 2004

I've read reviews for Dead Man that are extra positive and also very negative- so I reckon- you can either love it or hate it but watch it and learn!

Johnny Depp and Jarmusch are the best together in this surreal western. I love the fact that Steve Buscemi was the 'uncredited' bartender in the town of Machine's bar called the 'Green Door'- which was supposed to be the name of the banned book that Stalin's wife was reading when she was killed (by Stalin's bodyguards). It's little things like these obscure facts that made it wonderful to absorb.

Lance Henrikson (from Terminator) as the cannibalistic bounty hunter, the daytime customer getting a blow job from a 'ho' in the side alley and Gary Farmer as the Canadian Indian "Nobody" - make this movie come alive. We get to see his bare arse in the woods too!

There is a sense of an epic journey being filmed. The pity is tho that the flower seller who befriends Depp outside the bar is not skanky enough- she's a little too-oo clean & smooth... but it can be forgiven.

Dead Man was great for little young me- but maybe you should watch it & see for yourself?

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Important to know these things for our survival, 4 November 2004

This movie is a documentary that appeals like a movie. And- the main thing that comes across in the 'Corporation', is the absolute need for ordinary people to become aware of the corrupt methods used by big western nation's corporations to gain more and more of all the world's markets.

People need to know about many Corporation's voracious surge towards profits at all cost- abusing the Third World sweat shop trade with all the religious verve of missionaries: claiming this is 'good' for the locals but ending up by ultimately exploiting them.

'The Corporation' helps get it all in perspective- so that we can have a realistic view of globalisation and the destructive effects these unwieldy behemoths run by over paid ugly men who rule in cold uncaring glass palaces in New York, Paris, London etc.- cut off from the rest of the real world. Sometimes it does drag a bit and so I feel it would benefit from a 'clip-ectomy' - cutting about 30 mins would really help. Still, I guess that these are things that are taught in University nowadays, and also needs to be told to the rest of us.

Sada (1998)
9 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
The truth will out, 23 June 2004
9/10

I feel that a director's job through a movie lens, is not to tell the devil he/she is evil but to make a film that tells the viewer that evil exists and how we find it in us. This movie shows a lot more than we think we know about human nature. This movie is based on the true story of a woman called Sada Abe -played inimitably by top-notch Hitomi Kuroki. Sada is sensuously beautiful in an unmade-up way [no makeup plastered on her]. In 1936, Sada strangled her lover Tatsuzo [played by the short in height but powerfully muscled actor Tsurutaro Kataoka] and cut off his penis and scrotum [ouch!] and carried them around in a paper bag shoved into her kimono belt.

Director Nobuhiko Obayashi's unusually beautiful smooth film with some odd camera angles -follows the young woman, Sada's life from her loss of virginity in a rape at 14 to life as a prostitute and later a mistress - from a fateful meeting with the man whom she loves, to his eventual murder. The scene where Sada, who works in her lover's restaurant, wrestles, pulls hair, and judo chops Tatsuzo's jealous wife to the bamboo floor boards and kicks her in the ribs till the wife jumps up strangling and slapping Sada's face -is a must see and really wonderful! The movie has this quirky, way of bringing a relaxed and usually unseen side of Japanese life - showing characters dressed in a mix of western & traditional dress: the costuming is delicious. Lots of love scenes and erotic rolling on the floor mats but not much nudity [no genitals etc] just fine creamy shoulders and legs -truely sensual. These events took place during a period of war, when Japan invaded Manchuria, economic depression, public unease and growing militarism, with references to the assassination of Cabinet Ministers by groups of 'Young Officers' which begins the nucleus of the future WW II Fascist regime. The action was set in a time when the young were questioning eastern traditions and wanting western consumer goods [Saba eats bags and bags of mini sugar rolled donuts]. It was the time of unrest and confusion and when public opinion was, at best, unpredictable.

When the details of her crime are printed in nationwide newspapers -Sada became an overnight sensation as a 'love goddess' and was granted a lenient sentence for her crime of passion. The actor who plays her wandering vagabond friend is dressed in a combination of Japanese peasant baggy pants and leggings with a shawl and topped off with an Al Capone hat -I just loved the whole package - Japanese with English subtitles.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
The Pillow Book is deeply personal -revenge is personal too, 9 March 2004

Pillow Book's direction by Peter Greenaway is brilliant. The story

has a few English characters [Jerome -Ewan McGregor] -with

mainly Japanese actors, who make up the basic reason for the

story about -a daughter's revenge, [Nagiko] against a homosexual

Publisher, who had been using his power -that of choosing certain

works to publish- not just on merit -but for sexual favours. He is

seen by Nagiko, leaving their home after buggering her father. The

young daughter sees the shame on her father's face and

promises herself to 'get revenge'.

She takes the daring step of offering her stories for print by

sending her book in chapters to the publisher -written in

calligraphy, on 12 naked men [who are shown full-frontal nude].

I feel the nudity is not gratuitous but beautiful & it's about time

women got their own back for the blatant attempts at marketing

movies with topless nudity thrown into movies like Swordfish's

Halle Berry... the nude body is beautiful & should be seen when

necessary... this movie shows that nudity in Japan is not seen as

shameful like it often is in anal western societies. The 12 naked men included her boy-friend Ewan McGregor,

who it turned out was also the Publisher's lover [there's a scene

with the 2 men in bed] & so it evolves...as the publisher gets

infuriated at the intrigue... It is a movie that is well worth the time to watch ... with beautiful

cinematography & I feel it's now a classic in its own.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
About modern Italy; eccentric characters searching for soul mates, 16 February 2003

If you want to see Venice, then you'll enjoy the way Venice is filmed

with a wonderful clarity of light that gives you an inkling that there is

a sense of romance, and mystery hiding in each cobbled street

and side canal. The housewife Rosalba (Licia Maglietta) is accidently left behind

at a bus station on a sightseeing tour, so she accepts a hitch in a

sports car driving to Venice.. she's mad at her sons and husband

for leaving her behind, so she breaks out of her old predictable

house wife mould and goes. The plot unfolds gradually to help us

to understand what is happening to change the mousy 'housewife'

into an inquisitive, interesting person. When she arrives in Venice, Rosalba takes a room in a small

'pensionne' - for a night but ends up staying for much longer. She

gets a room near the waiter Fernando (Bruno Ganz) who is from

Iceland, and depressed, but kindly and attentive.. Then she gets a job in the local florist shop that is run by a cranky

anarchist (Felice Andreasi) and she makes friends with the wacky

neighbour Grazia( Marina Massironi), playing a holistic masseuse.

Her husband and teenage sons don't seem to miss her much till

the housework builds up, so hubby hires a plump plumber who

reads detective novels, Costantino (Guiseppe Battiston) to go to

Venice, to track his wife down. We get to see some of the

waterways of Venice when the plumber/detective finds a cosy

one-room canal boat. 'Bread and Tulips' shows us how it could be so easy for someone

to accept living in a rut....... What do you do when your marriage becomes so predictable that

you know not to question your husband's taste in a mistress? As the movie develops we see how the woman, Rosalba comes to

her senses and begins to live a life full of meaning for herself and

her friends around her. The characters wander about as a part of the ordinary Venetian

persons' daily life, -you feel they must be lucky to be surrounded by

the waterways of Venice. This movie is a well-made movie and the way the characters are

interwoven with emotions and personal development reminded

me of the same sense of mystery and sentimental interaction that

was shown in 'Chocolat'. I liked "Chocolat' and if you did too you'll probably like 'Bread &

Tulips'. It is a simple story told capably.

3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Clarity of filmatography brings us closer to the pleasures of youth, 14 February 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I was knocked out by the sensitivity shown by the young actors through expert direction. The sweet 14 year old boy Anders [Francisco Jacobs] with square framed glasses perched on his face [a Clarke Kent look-alike], was excellent. His innocence was touching. His mother hugged him when he cried after losing his virginity to the young star Sofia, a Brigitte Bardot look alike. As she promised, Sofia pragmatically payed her debt to Anders, for making her famous, by letting him 'screw' her just once -this was sensational.

The Swedish town was inhabited by 'typical 60's wanna-be Elvises... soft versions of tough rockers in a small clean town.

The captured light throughout the filming in the woods and village was scintillating!

25 out of 26 people found the following review useful:
The haunting music -None but the Lonely Heart, is a constant theme, 12 April 2002

This 1944 movie is a masterpiece of black and white photography by Director Clifford Odets. The subtilty of background lighting and the shadow effects in the street scenes are magic. There are moments of sheer brilliance with Cary Grant as the independent unorthodox Cockney son Ernie Mott, who comes home and decides to run the secondhand furniture shop and care for his sick mother, Ethel Barrymore. Jane Wyman, makes money playing the cello and patiently loves Ernie from across the street. Mott has 'perfect pitch' and can tune pianos and does odd jobs. Grant brings this quirky character to life and makes us love him. Ernie is a combination of dark brooding and sanguine pathos. All the actors are excellent and bring the poetic language of the script to life. June Duprez as Ernie's girlfriend Ada is riveting. Barry Fitzgerald as genial family friend Henry Twite is special. Even the Dog called Nipper stole every scene. As you can see I loved this movie, hope you do too....

Lola (1970)
13 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
Very 60's style movie/mini skirts abound, 21 January 2002

Susan George as Twinky( what a weird name?) is a convincingly vacuous 16 year old British virgin who seduces a 32 year old American writer of pornography (Charlie Bronson). Must be unusual for Bronson cause he never kills or hits anyone. The plot is simple but the whole effect of mini skirts, long legs and blonde hair on Twinky plus the contrast of short black rugged Bronson as Scotty is funny and watchable. Bronson being loving and patient with the annoyingly bouncy playfulness of a 16 year old kid who is 'good in the sex' department is worth the time.


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