Reviews written by registered user
|93 reviews in total|
I agree that "All These Women" is misunderstood, especially if you look
at it in the context of Bergman's filmography. He had just completed
the "Silence of God" trilogy, one of the deepest, most serious works in
the history of cinema. So, cut the man some slack and allow him his
lark, his goof, his chance to riff on fans and critics and the illusion
of the exalted artist (himself), before returning to his true work with
his next film, the universally praised "Persona."
I also think he was a little influenced by "8 1/2" which had come out the year before, appreciating Fellini's playfulness as well as his insight into the creative process and, of course, "all these women." Bergman will always be thought of as a somewhat austere and oft despairing artist, but thankfully we have several films that belie that, like "Smiles of a Summer Night," "The Magician," and this little oddball gem.
I also saw this on the DVD double in which it is paired with Clara
Bow's "The Plastic Age". That is the one I mainly wanted to see, as I
only recently became aware of the incredible talents of Bow in "It" and
"Wings". But "The Show Off" was the better of the two, solely for the
talent and charisma of Louise Brooks in a supporting role.
I thought of Bix Biederbeck, popular at the same time, the Jazz age of the '20s, in watching Louise in this rather trifling comedy. Bix played in some competent bands, but when he began playing his solo, it had the glitter of a diamond that still has the power to excite to this day and elevated the material to greatness. And Louise Brooks, playing the good and sensible girl next door, has that same brilliant quality in every gesture and expression, however subtle. She would of course go on to star in some much heavier films as a vamp or a "fallen woman" and is considered one of the great silent stars because of those roles, but her early performance here is just a joy to behold.
BTW, Clara Bow is also wonderful in "The Plastic Age". It's a shame that more of her films aren't available for viewing, she was a great actress and a groundbreaking star.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is like those old slasher movies, where teenagers who engage in
lustful sin are going to pay big-time before the end. Except that the
transgressor in this case is a rich matron who falls in love with her
sensitive son's best friend who sort of I guess falls in love with her
too. At least they get it on in all sorts of places, including al
fresco amongst a lot of bugs that rate many close-ups. Why Tilda
Swinton's "Emma" would appeal to a young handsome Italian boy I
couldn't grasp, but I am supportive of cougar fantasies so we'll let
that quibble slide. There is a large subplot involving food, both the
lovers love to cook you see, and some of it looks good enough to eat.
They unfortunately make a huge stupid mistake involving the soup course
that sets off a ridiculous tragic turn of events, leading to "Emma"
getting "slashed" by being shown the door, expelled from all that
wealth and luxury as it were, and where she goes, one may only guess.
But it is hinted that not only has she gotten in touch with her inner
cougar, but also her inner lesbian, and considering that she is, after
all, Love, we all hope she lands on her feet somewhere less opulent but
just as sexy.
Perhaps some of the subtleties of this film escaped me, buried under the overly lush swelling score that tried so hard to make dramatic points. There is one point that I took to heart, involving a smarmy cultured Indian-American power broker helping the rich industrialist family move into the 21st century with their textile mill. He hints that even though they sell out to the multi-nationalists, they can still be part of and profit from the global war machine, becoming even richer. This seems to emphasize that "Emma" is much better off making love on the hillside than further luxuriating in such capitalistic decadence.
So whether she ran off and was received rapturously by Antonio was not really an issue for me. The one big question I did come away with, which I would ask some Italian viewer if I cared enough to post a message, is: Did Tilda Swinton speak Italian with a Russian accent? If so, man, what a performance.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Do not see this film because you've heard it's trippy or visually
stunning, unless you have some interest in the afterlife as envisioned
in the Tibetan Book of the Dead as filtered through the creative mind
of Gaspar Noe. In fact, the opening credits are probably the trippiest
thing about the whole film and they're over in an amazingly fast two
minutes. Again, I don't think even the opening credits were intended to
blow the viewer's mind as much as just wake him up for what follows.
And what follows is basically 2.5 hours from the afterlife of Oscar, from his sudden violent death at a young age, through his chances at liberation into the light which he rejects, because of his karma and guilt over how he has f'ed up the lives of all those he supposedly loves or calls friend, and ending in his inevitable rebirth.
The film is an ordeal and many, even those who are interested in the afterlife and "bardo films", may find it hard going. As Oscar's spirit floats overhead into scenes where he sees the past and present of his beloved sister, his friend Alex, his friend Victor whom he has particularly harmed, and others, including what happens to his corpse, the movement is slow and mostly silent, as befits a disembodied, earthbound spirit. These slow overhead shots are punctuated at intervals by several extremely loud, sudden shocks. This might seem gratuitous, but nothing in this film is gratuitous, even the ending, which many would deem pornographic but is entirely consistent with the Tibetan belief in the soul seeking a womb in which to be reborn. The karmic elements of the film are well thought-out, and the film's overall effect and message are profound to the viewer ready to consider them.
I don't know how to begin to "review" this cinematic experience, as I
felt immersed in the film rather than trying to get my mind around it
entirely. This work is neither an apologia for Hitler and the Third
Reich nor a condemnation, but a serious attempt by a true intellectual
and film auteur, Syberberg, to look at it ALL from every side, the
horror and evil as well as the cultural, historical, and philosophical
foundations of Hitler and the German people.
The film is subtitled "A Film From Germany" because it is plumbs not only the depths of Nazism and World War II but the entire German psyche. It attempts to present, through hard facts, historical documents, films and photographs, and also through dream, metaphor, and stunningly haunting tableaux, what Hitler really MEANT and what he continues to mean. There are many excellent actors portraying both well-known figures like Himmler and lesser known individuals like Hitler's valet who relate what might seem like endless minutiae of Hitler's daily life but do add a great deal to the ultimate picture of the man about whom so much has been written. It seems that if you don't revile him completely, even today, you are suspected of being a neo-fascist yourself, but this film attempts to offer a complete picture and by extension, a baring of the German soul and what is referred to on several occasions as their "happy guilt".
One issue I have is with the English subtitles. There are so many typographical and spelling errors that one could only call it sloppy. I don't know why a film of this magnitude that took so long coming to home video shouldn't have had more scrupulous editing. Considering how many talking heads there are in the film and the volume of exposition, it was hard enough to keep up with the subtitles without stumbling over the mistakes. On the plus side, there is a lot of English voice-over that provides some breathing space for us Anglos.
And one last comment on the historical context. Considering the film was made in 1977, 34 years ago, much has changed in the world, in Europe, and in the global culture, that the film presciently hints at, not the least of which is the continued emergence of Germany and Japan both economically and democratically. One important point "Our Hitler" made was that Hitler was probably the apotheosis of democracy, rising as he did from the middle class and glorifying the common people, and being democratically elected by them. What he did with that mandate was probably the most horrifying and endlessly fascinating stories of the 20th century.
First, let me say that this is viewable on ubu.com and that I've been wanting to see it for many years, so godbless streaming video! I've not read the notoriously difficult novel, not that that would have helped me appreciate the film. But appreciate it I did, even though I only "got" about half of it. Fortunately, the film is subtitled to help understand Joyce's incredibly dense and inventive language, but I noticed that often HEARING it was easier than reading it, and have heard that if you attempt to read the book, that reading it aloud reveals Joyce's endless puns and run-on words more clearly. About the film visually, one must give many props to Ms. Bute for the haunting dream imagery and her choice of "Passages" to try to convey the flavor and narrative of the whole. After viewing, I referred to the introduction in Joseph Campbell's "Skeleton Key to Finnegan's Wake", which gave me a bit more insight into the characters and the story.
Yes, it's hip, hilarious and hot, but I've just finished watching
season 3 and it's taken such a dark turn that I don't care about
pursuing the messed-up life of Hank Moody any further. It's always been
about waiting for the man's comeuppance, which he finally gets, after
all the witty, often brilliant quips and conversations, the casual sex
everywhere he goes, nonstop alcohol, tobacco and ganja, and the kind of
fun in the sun lifestyle many people envision of So-Cal in general and
the L.A. movie community specifically.
I never really picked up on the Bukowski connection but now I see it, except that Buke and Moody aren't the only writers in the history of Hollywood who drink heavily and lead with their lines and their lust. I mean, there are some clues that the creator of the series is a Bukowski fan, so maybe it's more of a horny homage.
I would say that the series has gotten progressively darker, as it should given the serious flaws that Hank Moody has to deal with and work through, and that has been balanced by the hilarious lines and dialog, but has come to a screeching halt at the end of season 3. I see the series is projecting a season 4, which looks like will deal with Hank losing everything, which, as much as I kinda like the guy, he richly deserves.
I can't really review this series because I'm currently viewing it for
the first time on DVD, and am in the middle of the 3rd season. I had
always heard how great it was and I have to say that, so far, it's all
I made the mistake of re-watching an episode in the 2nd season to listen to the commentary by Dominic West and the actor that plays Omar, and boy, was I shocked when I heard West's British accent. I thought it was a put-on until I read his bio on IMDb, and frankly, it almost ruined the series for me until I got over it and appreciated the amazing character and all-American accent that he created. Still it's hard to believe when I hear McNulty speak.
Next I found out that Idris Elba is also British. His portrayal of Stringer Bell, so pitch perfect like most of the characters and actors involved with this production, is even more laudable from an English actor. Ripping job, lads!
Besides just the title change between the Australian release and the
rest of the world, this is a film that obviously stirred up a lot of
controversy and passion in Australia, given the reviews posted below.
Quite understandable, given the political and social portraits it
painted, very sharply and yet with great humor. (My favorite laugh: not
even spoken, the newspaper headlines in the street when the "incident"
becomes full-blown: "Regrets: He Has a Few" Ha!) And also that the
Aussies know Bob Hawke and some of the other characters, and remember
this outrageous incident well, and the rest of the world doesn't.
I found it to be a little gem of a film that I just discovered in my ongoing drive to see more Hopper films and revisit some that I hadn't seen since the '60s and '70s. And Hopper's performance was not the least of its charms: the romance and tribulations of the eminently likable promoter Rod Blue (who could forget that name?) and the utterly charming Audrey had that light touch of Hollywood and still the honest edge of Australian films.
Melanie Griffin is fully typecast as Barbara Marx and her complex and yet vapid relation with Sinatra is pathetic at first and gradually becomes a thing of warmth and understanding. The dramatic arc just really worked for me, although I kept thinking "How much of this really happened? They couldn't make up stuff about FRANK SINATRA, for crying out loud!"
Most negative comments on docu-dramas usually focus on factual
inaccuracies, which is certainly valid. My highest rating for this
intense TV movie is based entirely on the dramatic elements, not
knowing all the details of the Son of Sam case myself. There seem to be
two camps who "own" the story, the Jimmy Breslin group which includes
Spike Lee, who based his "Summer of Sam" film on Breslin's book. Ed
Zigo is the hero here, and Breslin is dissed early in the "Out of the
Darkness" by the Brooklyn cops who are the focus of this tight and
emotionally rewarding film.
As portrayed by Martin Sheen, Ed Zigo's professional and family life is richly revealed. Sheen is completely believable (except probably for those who know Ed Zigo personally), and he sets the acting bar at an extremely high level. The fine supporting cast, led by Elizondo as the aquarium-loving priest, are up to the task. The script is as naturalistic and engrossing as any you will find in a TV movie, and the outstanding location shooting add to the pitch-perfect atmosphere.
When you see the real-life hero of the film listed as the technical adviser, you always suspect he or she is going to be shown in a positive if not downright glorified way. I don't need to know Ed Zigo to know that this is a truly great film, made-for-TV or not, with real drama, suspense, fascinating characters, and large emotional rewards.
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