Reviews written by registered user
|6 reviews in total|
The film created an interesting dialogue centered on the conflict between the rationalist and aesthetic perspectives of life. However, I found it hard to relate to the main character. Are we to believe that we should not pursue a rationalist philosophy merely because he has gone before us and become unhappy? It doesn't seem like a very good argument to a young person like myself. However, I did enjoy the move because of its interesting adaptation of these age old themes.
This film is amazingly well done. Given the time period in which it was made, the way it tackles the issue of homosexuality is quite revolutionary. The film is ambiguous when it needs to be and direct when the audience really needs to make connections. Hertha Thiele plays her role convincingly. The use of symbolism, as well as other allusions to psychoanalytic thought are both hilarious and effective. Unfortunately, the subtitles are horribly written. I am surprised that a German film institution has not redone them, or re-released this classic film in better quality. I thought the Goethe institute was all about things like this.
It is hard to see what makes this film eye opening or controversial by today's standards. Allusions to homosexuality, to which some critics point, are totally missed by today's audiences. One other interesting social commentary the film brushes over is that of feminine identity. Roger Thornhill asks Eve Kendall, `What is wrong with men like me?' and she replies, `They don't believe in marriage.' This theme of female sexual identity is explored in risqué, according to 1950's standards, fashion as the two characters engage in an affair. But today the film seems more like a thriller. I still remember when I saw the film as a child, and a fear of heights continues to this day.
I can not help but disagree with all the critics who say that the film is
misogynist attempt to pit the subordinate housewife against the
feminist mistress. Granted it is easy to make this mistake given the way
the film fails to develop Beth Gallagher's, played by Anne Archer,
character. She is the stereotypical loving housewife.
However, Alex Frost, played by Glenn Close, is not the mad stalker critics make her out to be. She certainly is independent, a feminist, single, and mentally unstable. But this is only half of her character. Critics conveniently forget scenes where she shows a sensitive side. She is brought to tears when she sees her lover at home with his family. She wants this part of life respects the life of her fetus. Women sometimes draw contradicting moral and political lines over this issue. Many wish to have the independence of consequences free sex. But many also object to the expectations of this independent nature. Most hold some combination of both beliefs. Alex Frost is such a woman. She is complex and contradictory at times, but she is very real. Is this still the one sided bitch we hear described in reviews? It is obvious that the misogynist writers, as they have been incorrectly dubbed, developed her character much more than some people see.
The movie wishes to convey the problems independent people face due to a clash of the two natural human values: freedom and belonging, an issue raised by many westerns of previous decades. Perhaps this refutes some feminist thought, but I believe it merely illustrates possible consequences to a certain philosophy. The movie is apolitical. It only illustrates a problem. It doesn't suggest a real solution to it. It suggests people only delve deep into themselves and discover what will really work for them; it helps them avoid typecasts which pervade our society today. By accounting for real world imperfections any philosophy becomes stronger and more viable. Unfortunately, many feminist film reviewers see the triumph of the housewife as an overt attempt on their misogynist adversaries to discredit their beliefs.
Bamboozled, while certainly a film which dealt with race, was more a satire of American business. Both blacks and whites sacrificed their standards of race and social equality in order to enrich themselves. The film does portray the white upper class as racist but its image of the rest of society is not much better. All the characters have different stereotypes, each according to his or her expectations. It seems that the movie attempted to redefine racism with regard to its class and corporate facets in our new millennium. It realizes that the two can not be separated. This is contrary to many critics who attempt to label it as a race issues film only.
Citizen Kane is a great movie. Some say it is the greatest. I have
discovered that such distinction is unfair and impossible to objectively
support. Granted the artistic presentation is superb and was
in its time, but in the realm of greatness the way an artist presents his
work can only augment the important ideas presented. We go to see Mars
Attacks for the all-star cast and perhaps a few laughs, but nothing of
value is ever presented or implied in those two horrifying hours.
However, in addition to its artistic power Citizen Kane does contain universal themes, which can still apply to our lives today. Orson Welles' movie shows the tragic consequences of a spiritually or emotionally selfish life. Its themes combined with the artistic presentation make this movie great. But besides this distinction I see no evidence to place it above other movies that also present universal themes in emotional and artistic ways (movies such as Braveheart or Cast Away). Distinctions of `the greatest' can only be made according to one's particular tastes. We all identify with characters and the themes and challenges they encounter for different reasons and to differing degrees. Therefore, we should merely leave objective analysis of movies to the distinction of greatness rather than risk human favoritism in choosing the greatest.