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The Train (1964)
For a German army colonel, works of 'degenerate art' would make sense for Germany if their commercial potential could be realized.
The importance of train as a unique means of transport was depicted by American director John Frankenheimer in his famous film "The Train" which made an effective use of three different film making genres : action, thriller and war. His film was set in August 1945, a week prior to liberation of Paris by allied forces. This was a crucial period for desperate German army as it knew that the defeat was imminent. However, one clever army official decided to use all his might in order to deprive France of its important treasures of art. Those who watched this film at the time of its release in 1964 would not have failed to recognize it as a pure commercial film with big names from American as well as French cinema. However, its popularity doesn't end only on a minor detail. 'The Train' appealed also to intellectual class as it made a strong case for art to be treated as an essential element in promoting a nation's culture which needs to be protected at all costs. Based on the book "Le Front De L'Art" by Rose Valland, a French art historian who was also the principal member of "La Résistance" movement in France, 'Le Train' included a serious discussion with divergent views about art especially its importance for a layman. The French camp was victorious for having realized the importance of important works of art for France. Although Germany is considered an important force in the field of philosophy, it had close to no admiration for art as German army colonel Franz Von Waldheim termed important works of art as 'degenerate art' (Entartete Kunst). His hypocrisy was revealed to all when he did not hesitate to plunder what he termed 'degenerate art' by calling it useful for his country as it would fetch millions of dollars. Actors Burt Lancaster and Paul Scofield skillfully presented the great art versus commerce divide. They were able supported by other important actors of French cinema such as Suzanne Flon, Michel Simon and Jeanne Moreau.
Blue Sky (1994)
Actors Tommy Lee Jones and Jessica Lange shine in a film about tough life in American army.
American film "Blue Sky" is about a crazy family's bittersweet adventures. This family is made up of disparate characters namely an army major who is absolutely dedicated to his job, his fashion conscious albeit flirtatious wife and two not so innocent but young daughters. The entire family is having emotional issues as circumstances force it to constantly move from one army base to another due to the top secret mission handled by the army man. What makes this film interesting is its focus on the tough life in American army. This Tony Richardson film is set in 1960s, a difficult period of American army when top secret nuclear testing was carried out by its army men. The sub plot involving nuclear tests brings forward a lot of emotional issues related to behavior of army men. It is with interest one watches how an honest army major is framed and put to a mental asylum while his wife is seduced by his boss. However, everything becomes alright when this crazy family uses all its intellectual might to defeat the enemy. Tommy Lee Jones displays his natural acting talent in his role as the army major. In the film, there is brief mention of some leading actresses such as Brigitte Bardot, Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor. However,actress Jessica Lange appears to have beaten them all with her important role which combines madness with responsibility to portray a fallen woman who is able to regain lost family honor.
Robert Lamoureux and his seventh company continue their comical antics with hilarious results !!!!
The three films of « La 7ème Compagnie" series are broadcast every summer in France much to the delight of numerous television viewers. They give a chance to old generation to marvel at their witty dialogues which allow newer interpretations. Keeping in mind the interests of new generations in learning more about French history, Gaumont studio has released these films on DVD. For "The Seventh Company Has Been Found", comic actor Henri Guybet replaces Italian star Aldo Maccione. He would also star in the last seventh company film "La 7ème Compagnie Au Clair De Lune" (The Seventh Company Outdoors). The comical antics of the seventh company continue unabated in the first half of the film with three French soldiers getting hold of a German tank. Although there is some slackening of pace in the beginning of second half, hilarity ensues at a frantic pace as an abandoned castle, where the French army is held, becomes the scene of utter disorder. Nobody is spared during times of war and comfort is the last thing on a soldier's mind during a war. One gets to see some major differences between officers and soldiers especially through a simple food menu : potatoes for army officers and watery soup for hapless soldiers. This doesn't deter French army at all as its soldiers are confident of escaping from the clutches of German army. It is funny to watch how French soldiers employ all their intellectual abilities with comical precision in order to free themselves from their German captors. Lastly, The seventh company series is a must watch for all admirers of comedies as it has been hailed for promoting the collective imagination of French society wherein involvement of German army on French soil is considered to be one of the most sordid chapter of its history.
Sliver : One of actress "Sharon Stone"'s most successful films !!!!
At the time of its initial release "Sliver" was billed as an erotic thriller. Its Hungarian-American writer Joe Estzerhas was highly popular due to his successful scripts which were huge box office hits in Hollywood. This influenced Australian director Philip Noyce to such a large extent that he decided to helm a film project based on his script. This film was made in early nineties, a highly productive phase for actress Sharon Stone who starred in two successful "erotic" thrillers. Sliver features a very risky romantic relationship between a heterosexual couple in which the 'true identity' of the male lover is not known. It is the excessive use of surveillance cameras as a tool to spy upon people which propels the film's central premise. Actor William Baldwin plays the role of the character who takes immense pleasure in pursuing this activity. Apart from its excessive focus on mystery as a narrative device to mesmerize viewers, director Phil Noyce and Screen writer Joe Eszterhas are able to move their film forward with extreme caution as the answer to the vital question about who is the killer is neither revealed nor understood by audiences until the very end. This substantial quality enables Sliver to be hailed as an intelligent thriller.
Next time French serial killer Alain Lamare would not be able to aim for the heart
There is no denying the fact that much has been written about serial killers in press especially in the print media. However, when it comes to depicting their crimes and shady lives, cinema has not been able to achieve considerable success. It might be due to the fact the cinema glamorizes their images to such a large extent that it is difficult to sift fact from fiction. French film "La Prochaine Fois Je Viserai Le Coeur" is about a unique serial killer. He is one of those rare serial killers who would flagellate himself in order to repent for crimes committed. One doesn't come across such exemplary behavior from most serial killers. French director Cedric Anger gives a detailed description of a police man (serial killer)'s failed romantic relationship with a married woman. However, his film does not answer numerous questions which begin with a big "Why" of all murders which were the handiwork of a police man. The film starts with an important disclaimer. It states : "This film is based on one of the most strange French criminal stories. The facts described here are, for a large extent, taken from official documents, statements and talks with concerned people". It doesn't prevent anybody from putting a question mark on French gendarmerie's ability to detect that something was wrong within their ranks. Next Time I'll Aim for the Heart is not an entertainment film Per Se despite its strong French box office figures of 490,537 tickets sold. Hence, it needs to be watched for the crucial role it is playing in letting the society know about the patterns of a serial killer.
I'm All Right Jack (1959)
One of British cinema's best comedy films about labor unrest !!!!
British film "I'm all right Jack" is about a young member of British aristocracy who decides to have a direct, personal experience of what it means to be a commoner. It is not as easy as he had envisaged it to be. Although he is able to achieve near success, what is more important is to learn that he is able to experience how both management teams and trade unions manage to have their own personal agenda in dealing with workers. Post war years in UK are the setting of this John Boulton film, it was a time when one could hear about Russia as the only foreign nation for Britishers due to its economic system and political ideology. From the perspective of style, this film is divided into two major genres : comedy and drama. Its first quarter can be classified as "pure comedy" wherein a young British aristocrat called Windrush turns out to be an absolute failure in getting a common man's job which he had always longed to get. Director John Boulting does enormous justice to film's theme by depicting how factories are in the tight grip of labor unions and management's team. Television was not considered a threat to cinema when this film was made. It is perhaps for this reason television was chosen as the venue where the young aristocrat would reveal the truth.
The Dictator (2012)
Larry Charles and Sacha Baron Cohen have made a politically incorrect film !!!!
As a comedy film which ridicules everything which is discussed in the film, 'The Dictator' can be seen either with people of one's age, juniors or friends. It would be not right to call its opponents 'Victorian prudes' but under no circumstances should one watch it with family. American director Larry Charles and actor Sasha Baron Cohen have contrived nicely to make their film replete with sexual innuendos. They also make a lot of fun of nature loving geeks. Some hints of authenticity are witnessed in the portrayal of UN delegates especially a Chinese diplomat who makes a lot of comical remarks about his wife in order to seek false popularity ? American director Larry Charles' film "The Dictator" is a bad work of art for dictators and their megalomania cal images. It is a film which no intelligent dictator would like to endorse. Most dictators feel that their actions are always justified. For this reason, they would never like to be remembered for this type of hostile portrayal.
To Sir, with Love (1967)
Nobody would doubt that as a teacher American actor Sir Sidney Poitier had indeed made a lot of difference in the lives of some English kids !!!!
British film 'To Sir with love' is set in a poor school located in east London where a substitute teacher comes to replace his colleague who has left the school. The new teacher is absolutely determined to make some difference in the lives of school children. He is somewhat saddened to hear negative remarks about children from his school colleagues. Although he witnesses a lot of discipline related issues at the school, he is able to put some sense in the minds of students who end up becoming "responsible adults". While watching 'To Sir with love', viewers would clearly observe that the white kids from London's poor neighborhoods do not have any special problems in accepting a black person as their teacher. Hence the issue of racism does not arise. This film makes a sad commentary about the people who would like to choose teaching profession for all the wrong reasons in the world. One should not treat teaching profession as a temporary job which can be done while one's search for another lucrative position is under way. American actor sir Sidney Poitier dazzles as Mr. Thackeray- a teacher who is able to win students' love and affection by treating them as equal as well as respecting them. He does not favor them openly but he is aware of their importance too. The social relevance of this film continues to be felt as keenly as ever due to the fact that English schools are still extremely unruly where students make a lot of noise.
French director Robert Lamoureux was inventive in showing that the French army's seventh company was in a safe zone !!!!
Most French films about war with German army portray it as an army full of stupid soldiers without any intelligence who are not attentive enough to catch French soldiers. French film "Mais où est donc passée la 7ème compagnie » is also a fine example of this tendency. The adventures of the seventh company of French army are extremely hilarious. They are always able to bring immense amount of laughter. One adventure is about how the seventh company manages to escape unhurt when the dead bodies of two German soldiers are lost due to sheer negligence. In a comic yet sensitive member viewers get to observe how some French people deal with less patriotic French folks during times of war. For this section, an ordinary grocer with considerable traces of treachery is taught a good lesson. Gaumont film production company is one of French cinema's most famous film studios. It was due to its strong backing that French director Robert Lamoureux was able to make three comedy films about war. French cinema's leading comic actors Jean Lefebvre and Pierre Mondy have starred in all three films. This three part film series began with the making of "Now Where Did the Seventh Company Get to ?" The most unique thing about this film is that it reveals the comical aspects of second world war.
The Last Seduction (1994)
The Last Seduction : One of the best films starring actress Linda Florentino !!!!
American director John Dahl's film "The Last Seduction" has been described as a 'film noir'.This is not a very apt description for a film which has numerous comedy and drama elements in its screenplay. Based on an original screenplay his film depicts how some men are fooled by a beautiful looking vicious woman who would go to any extent to earn money.Although the film begins in New York city there is much to learn about American culture once its action shifts to a small town.It is funny to watch how there are hardly any black people in that town.Moreover,the attitude of town's inhabitants is extremely partial when they see a black man in their midst.Domestic violence has come to be known as a global problem.This film is one of the few crime films which did not choose to ignore the depiction of domestic violence in order to distance itself from society's ills.Apart from actress Linda Florentino's performance as an outstanding "femme fatale",there are nice performances by Bill Pullman and Peter Berg as idiots who allow a beautiful looking lady crook to fool them.