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"Relating a person to the whole world: that is the meaning of cinema." – Andrei Tarkovsky
"I'd rather people feel a film before understanding it." - Robert Bresson
Olivier gets it. He speaks the language as if it were just his normal, everyday tongue. The performances are so natural and vivacious that it no longer feels stiff and recited.
Shakespeare flows through Olivier's veins, and his films embody that, I hesitate to say theory because if one has seen his performances it is better called mere fact.
**This list entails Olivier's outing as director & actor so "Othello" is not included, however, I find his performance as Othello is the best out there.**
I feel anyone interested in watching these films should definitely follow up their viewing of Othello with Welles' "Filming Othello" as that film is very insightful on the play, the film, and the characters. An excellent post-game.
I think if there is anyway a Shakespearean tragedy should look, it is the way these films capture it. The total grey, and drab, and desolate atmosphere is what all 3 of these films captivate, so excuse me for rambling on how wonderful each of these films look but it is what holds them with Olivier's films, despite them being abridged.
He's Just a Human.
A severely underrated film. This is foremost a Darren Aronofsky film, and the title "Noah" seemed to make a lot of viewers forget this. Are we to believe Noah was some super hero sent down from the mighty heavens, from god, to save the innocent? Really? Noah is human, and this film is about humanity. The montage of dying soldiers from ALL ERAS, past and present represent this. There were complaints that an atheist was at the helm of the picture, however, the reason we got the humane story we got was because of that fact entirely. Putting this film into the hands of "Faith" would have completely desolated the mere existence for Noah's work. Did they take liberties creatively with the story? Absolutely. But this was a movie at the end of the day, and a rather epic one. But surely we cannot just throw out Aronofsky's body of work and why this film is the way it is.
Didn't anyone else start to think Noah might've been a little crazy? Burning his son's raft, and threatening to murder his grand kids? Oh no, no god fearing man would ever dare to be so cruel. But that was exactly it. A man possessed, flawed, for better or for worse, made such proclamations, and isn't Aronofsky's films usually following someone and their, for better or worse, obsessions? I mean I truly believe the hate for this film stems at the fact Noah was portrayed as a human being and if I'm wrong then so be it, but this is a wonderfully humane story that is really quite underrated just because some people have a different idea of what faith may look like. Like most things in life, the truth is never becoming. And sadly we as a society, religion included, cannot handle the truth.
I know of no better word to describe this film other than humane. Not faith. Not religious, but Humane.
A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
One of Cinema's Finest
"Streetcar" has become one of the most celebrated films in America's vast history in cinema, and I can now see why. The film combines a controlling sense for men, provided by Brando, a feminine and sensitive side, provided by Hunter, and a "cuckoo" side notoriously provided by Leigh. Reciting the lines Mr. Tennessee Williams scripted, and under one of cinema's finest directors (Kazan), "A Streetcar Named Desire" is like two blue candles lining a white cake (What poetry, right?)
Brando plays a vulgar and grizzly stud, who doesn't mind causing scraps or arguments, or going around his house treating the walls and furniture as if they were punching bags. It is these very traits that keep his marriage on its toes, and gives Stella the thrills she apparently looks for, and consequently, gets. The Oscar nomination doesn't begin to speak for Brando's performance. Like other of Brando's roles in "On the Waterfront" and "The Fugitive Kind" Brando plays that kind of bad-ass man that guys want to be and the guy girls fall for. The kind of guy that is tailed b trouble, only a couple steps behind. One of the best performances given on screen by Brando, or any actor at the time for that matter. Maybe Bogart (who ended up winning Best Actor that year) was the only male lead who could top Brando's stature.
And am I the only one who wanted to just outright punch Blanche right in the mouth? That said, my hat is off to Vivien Leigh for an outright amazing performance. A well deserved Oscar win. (When an character can make you want to scream at them for their on screen actions, you know the actor or actress has fulfilled their job.(Jimmy Stewart in "It's a Wonderful Life" anyone? When he's yelling at his kids? Hats off to you Mr. Stewart.)) There isn't much else to be said on this performance for it is clearly one of the greatest, with only Bette Davis's performance in "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane" knocking on the door for the women we have most contempt for on screen.
Was the relationship between Stanley and Stella just amazing or what? My jaw was, and I do not kid, I mean literally, literally dropped when Stella spoke the words, "I'm not going back in there again, not this time, never going back, never." The two made it through the entire film dealing with the ups and downs of a fully functional relationship, leaving the slap earlier in the film out of course, and yet, just as it seemed Blanche intended for, the two had been broken up. This was where I felt completely sorry for Stanley, and Stella as well, knowing the both were down-right crazy in love, and that when Stella walked up those steps with their new born child that that might be it., and are left with Brando crying her name once more, "Hey, Stella! Hey, Stellaaa!" We'll all remember that name thanks to Brando, and thanks to the vision of Kazan (which I failed to mention much in this review, however I have the utmost respect for the man's films) , Tennessee Williams' wonderfully scripted play, and screenplay adaptation, along with Oscar Saul, and of course the ladies who occupied the screen, Vivien Leigh, and Kim Hunter, and of course an honorable mention for Mitch (Malden), whom also didn't get any recognition for a Oscar winning performance.
One of the finest films ever to be released, do not hesitate to watch it, for it is one of cinema's finest gems. Almost like a diamond. (Not a rhinestone
I mean diamond.)