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Over 50 years old.
June 2004: on one-year contract to teach English in China
Liu san jie (1960)
China 50 years ago, or maybe 150.
If you are familiar with 'Fuenteovejuna' by the Spanish playwright Lope de Vega, then the plot will be familiar to you - local village rises up against the predatory landlord (or governor). That was written in the early 1600s.
There is some notable singing in this, but like a lot of Chinese movies of its time, it can take western ears a while to get accustomed to what sounds like cats fighting.
The karstic scenery of Guilin, Yangshuo etc. is well photographed. Unfortunately a lot today is not visible beneath the clouds of soot and other pollution which besmirch so much of China.
It is sympathetically played by a well-cast group.
The spectacle now playing in Yangshuo "Impression of Liu Sanjie" bears little (if any) of relevance to this work.
Harriet the Spy (1996)
Excellent holiday viewing; wonderful acting all round.
I just saw this film yesterday morning - ideal relaxation for the holiday weekend. The story was OK, maybe a bit shallow for my taste - I'm haven't been a kid for a long time - but I was really taken with the acting. Everyone played his/her part beautifully, completely credible, and none was the frightful red-haired brat as used to be portrayed in children's movies.
I was particularly taken with Harriet herself, and am not surprised that she has gone on to greater things.
The main lesson learned from this film appears to be that two wrongs do not make a right. Bush note!
Sealed Cargo (1951)
Better than average war thriller
It was just on tv yesterday. Quite well cast and acted, and a good storyline too. A couple of gaping holes in the script (do trawlers fish singly?) but not entirely implausible. Apart from the female lead wearing a white coat and a white sweater on a fishing boat, and it staying white.
Pride and Prejudice (1995)
Exquisite from every viewpoint - cast, script, dress, location and music
I was smitten when this first came out, and saw it back to back then. I just caught it on cable twice, and have purchased the dvd to watch it more often, and at my leisure. More than 5 hours here.
Jennifer Ehle is such a wonderful Elizabeth, and Colin Firth a definitive Darcy. I can find almost no fault with the whole production, although perhaps Alison Steadman (Mrs Bennett) is OTT, as I can't imagine why Mr Bennett would have married her. Also Julia Sawahlia is a trifle too buxom for a 15-year old.
Apart from that, it is absolutely entrancing viewing.
Love Me Tonight (1932)
An entertainingly witty and well photographed musical.
From my mother's diary for 1933:
It was an extravagantly produced skit on the very exclusive French nobility, ancien règime, and was musical, pleasantly witty and well photographed. Some of it was, if there be such a thing as good and bad taste in something impossible and far-fetched, not in the very best taste, but on the whole it was entertaining.
The Man from Yesterday (1932)
A pleasant but essentially silly time-waster
SPOILER ALERT Notes from my mother's diary, written in 1933 when the film first came out:
A triangle drama, in which a war-widow since her husband is supposed to have died in the war, but not definitely reported dead decides to satisfy both her conscience and her body by going away with the man she now loves. Of course out of the millions of hotels there are in the world, they go to stay at the one where husband is trying to recover from shell-shock.
He lives long enough to suspend her love affair and dies most unexpectedly!
Strange Interlude (1932)
Little more than a glossy show-case
From my mother's diary of 1933, when the film first came out:
While holding the interest a little more than most films, it failed in its attempt to be a psychological study and was too often a sex drama and a display of the `Stars' so-called versatility and the makeup man's art. What did it matter that even tho' she was a girl of about twenty-four when she had her baby, she was about fifty before he graduated and round about seventy in less than five years, if her makeup and wigs were in order and clever?