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dr_salter

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19 reviews in total 
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26 out of 29 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....

Danton (1983)
23 out of 27 people found the following review useful:
Let the good films roll- vive Wojciech & Depardieu!, 19 April 2005

I have read the pro & con reviews and wonder too about the cold disparaging comments of Manicheus? Why not let your students watch a movie and choose for themselves? I felt this was a well presented, well acted and well scripted film that told the story about a confusing time in history. It was a time when Britain was sending its criminals to begin a colony in Australia and the Enlightenment had reached its height.

The French Revolution was a pivotal time in Europe's history and I realized that as the film unfolded, I was learning about the emotions and its inner workings of these great names- Danton and Robespierre. Robespierre was as desperate and dedicated to the Republic as any Fascist was to Franco's bloody vision for Spain.

Robespierre's character showed his dedication to his ideals while being torn by moral considerations of stopping Danton by sending him and his friends to the guillotine... and it was this sense of being treated like I was intelligent that held my attention.

I have often wondered about the French Revolution and the vying of the factions, and the violence of the guillotine... but the Hollywood versions make it a mindless bloodbath while Wojciech & Depardieu have brought some humanity and reasoning to the whole period. I am only grateful that I could see it on the big screen at a free showing at my local Art Gallery in Sydney, Australia.

17 out of 21 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.

Lola (1970)
14 out of 17 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.

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.

5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
2 great TV series by Annie Griffin!, 3 December 2006

Hey! I have been sitting watching the TV series "The Book Group" (2002) & thinking how much I love their sarcasm & wit.

And now I have found that Annie Griffin directed an earlier series "Coming Soon" (1999) and 'The Book Group' (2002-3). Both series have that same brew of almost reality, where life is acted out through the comedic antics of the winners & losers within the screenplay.

The tone of truly delightful, witty sarcasm and creamy cutting wit is the thing that I unwittingly connected with in both series, and it is the characters in 'Coming Soon' (1999) & The Book Group's characters' continuous unveiling of how they try to remain true to themselves, & FAIL GLORIOUSLY that brings out what I love about the two series.

Gradually, we begin to get an idea of what is behind the characters' closed doors and understand that there could be a tenuous connection to what most people consider 'normal' but within these people there are many shades and depth of how we all try to connect with reality, maybe miss the mark, then struggle, but move onwards & upwards.

You know I did not know till I checked IMDb! that "The Book Group' was connected to my old favourite series "Coming Soon". AND here it is! Sorry about all the exclamation marks !!! but I am SO elated to find Annie Griffin's gooey, blueberry coated finger in both wonderfully told tales of Scottish (Glasgow) extremist, eccentric behaviours.

"The Book Group" brings us the great work of Derek Riddell as Rab: taciturn tracksuit wearer, who reveals little about himself, has stubble, and literally loves footballers. The wonderful James Lance (from TV's 'Absolute Power') as Barney Glendenning- pretentious, opinionated post-graduate student with blonde highlights & drug problem. Karen Kilgariff as Jean Pettengill Claire's awful, overbearing older sister, who arrives in Glasgow wanting to share Claire's exciting lifestyle and Rory McCann as the wheelchair bound Kenny.

James Lance also plays Lachlan Glendenning- pretentious, bearded, bespectacled brother of Barney, who claims to be an installation artist. Their lives are wonderfully wacky and I recommend you all try to find them on DVD & see how great both series really are.

7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
surprisingly good Australian comedy!!, 25 October 2010
8/10

I was pleasantly surprised by this Aussie comedy when I saw it on a plane flying home to Sydney. There is a continuous tingle of surprises coming up in every scene & all the actors deliver that special warmth that comes from good movie direction and consistent acting. There is a wonderful sense of reality in the plot that shows a man who is finally able to understand how to grow up and face the fact that if he leaves his family home & his dinky-die mates he will be OK.

Sure, he may need to work hard to keep the new found girlfriend's touchy-feely relationship & hit upon true love with his special girl but in the end he finds it is worth the hard yards. The part played by small person Peter Dinklage (from "Death at a Funeral"-UK & USA versions) is particularly delightful & adds a certain touch of sparkle to the whole movie. Try & see it if you can.

Luna Papa (1999)
3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
lends new meaning to having a cow of a day!, 9 July 2007
9/10

I loved this movie from the minute I saw the scene where a bull drops out of a local delivery plane & plummets to earth killing two main characters. YUP the bull did the job and then swam to shore unharmed! But I am too far ahead of myself...

This movie has a wonderfully painterly quality that is brought about by the surrealistic cinematic effects that the director, Bakhtiar Khudojnazarov brings with his use of bright colours and washes of Technicolor. The female lead, Chulpan Khamatova, is perfect as the seventeen years old aspiring actress who loves Shakespeare and wants to become a film star. She lives in a small village in Uzbekistan with her mentally damaged brother and her loving father. The girl meets an entrepreneur ( plane pilot) and has sex with him after he makes her believe that he is a friend of Tom Cruise. The next thing she knows, she is pregnant, desperate and on a quest to restore the family honor by finding the cowardly jerk who seduced her. Father, and daughter (Mamlakat) supported by the decidedly "different" brother (wonderfully played by Moritz Bleibtrau--Manny in 'Run Lola Run') begin a wildly fantastic trip through the landscapes of Uzbekistan in which tradition and superstition clash with the chaos of a materialistic world. The wonderful script makes the film's sometimes slapstick and giddy narrative into something grander -- a meditation on maternity as a form of inspired madness.

One scene is great genius... The local delivery plane with a bull and a cow in the holding bay swoops sideways to get a closer look at Mamlakat's wedding taking place on a barge in the middle of the the lake, and just as the plane swoops, the bull falls out of the side door of the plane & plummets down to land SPLAT on the bride's new husband-to-be & her father- killing them both dead- and leaving her pregnant and a sinner. Chulpan Khamatova is perfect as Mamlakat, the perplexed mother to be, confronting miracles, wonders, joy, death and the unexpected as she searches for her child's father. Try & find this DVD or haunt the late night channels like I do.

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!

Coming Soon (1999) (TV)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
2 Great TV series by Annie Griffin!, 3 December 2006
10/10

Hey! I have been sitting watching the TV series "The Book Group" (2002) & thinking how much I love their sarcasm & wit.

And now I have found that both "Coming Soon" (1999) and 'The Book Group' have the same wonderful director (Annie Griffin) and also have that same brew of almost reality, where life is acted out through the comedic antics of the winners & losers within the screenplay.

The tone of truly delightful, witty sarcasm and creamy cutting wit is the thing that I unwittingly connected with in both series, and it is the characters in COMING SOON & The Book Group's characters' continuous unveiling of how they try to remain true to themselves, & FAIL GLORIOUSLY that brings out what I love about the two series.

Gradually, we begin to get an idea of what is behind the characters' closed doors and understand that there could be a tenuous connection to what most people consider 'normal' but within these people there are many shades and depth of how we all try to connect with reality, maybe miss the mark, then struggle, but move onwards & upwards.

You know I bless IMDb's wonderful interconnectedness because I did not know till I checked IMDb! that "The Book Group' was connected to my old favourite series "Coming Soon". AND here it is! Sorry about all the exclamation marks !!! but I am SO elated to find Annie Griffin's gooey, blueberry coated finger in both wonderfully told tales of Scottish (Glasgow) extremist, eccentric behaviours.

"Coming Soon" brings us the great work of Omid Djalili as Amir Hassan (seen also in Black Books & as a slave trader in the Gladiator). Annie Griffin plays the befuddled character Julia Roth, and Rory McCann plays Fergus (also the wheelchair bound Kenny in 'Book Group'). Their life is wonderfully wacky and I recommend you all try to find them on DVD & see how great both series really are.


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