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It's All About Love (2003)
a reversed meteoropathy?
This remains a strange notion, although it has inspired several features by now (there's one of those burlesque X Files episodes with a similar motif), but Vinterberg fetches it far, far out.
OK, inhale... Could it be that we're doing more damage to the environment, not just by keeping our heavy industries and disposing of toxic waste but, actually, through coldness, indifference and alienation from each other? Is the coldness of heart somehow projected on to the earth's gravitation field and climate, causing bizarre atmospheric anomalies, eventually bringing the next ice age upon humanity? If that is the case, there must be a critical number of couples in love, who are somehow radiating there emotions, and thus, keeping the global climate in balance. Should it fall below the critical value, the nature will retaliate, turning us all into icicles!?
Could this be the reason, the Marchevsky's (Danes, Phoenix) become so important for the plot? Maybe, they're this critical couple, whose emotions happen to determine the course of possible cataclysmic events, also making them a target of some vague conspiracy. If Elena fails to get back with John, her clonettes are trained to fill in for her, whether as a loving wife or an ice skating champion. Basically, the script has so many loose ends that you could go on speculating forever, which is ok, if the director's actual intention was to provoke speculation.
Also, while I was watching it, the monotonous pace and a chilling atmosphere made me half asleep, except for a few unexpected lines in my native language uttered by one of the clonettes.
To sum up - intriguing idea, beautiful art direction/photography, decent acting, disastrous script. So, if you happen to be a speculator, environmentalist, climatologist, or particularly keen on the idea of 'reversed meteoropathy' (there's probably a more suitable term for this), It's All About Love should be interesting for you. Otherwise, be patient and wait for the next attempt by this undoubtedly talented director.
Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977)
Homage to Teilhard de Chardin disguised as horror/sequel
As the most of the commentators argued here, this film has some serious flaws which make it very hard to comprehend. The story line is inconsistent, the acting disjointed and inadequate, not to mention that it represents a new conceptual whole, essentially detached from its predecessor. Still, it has certain qualities - some original visual effects, photography, great atmosphere (especially the scenes in Africa).
Also, put in a broader context, this film manages to capture a part of intellectual ambiance of the late seventies, introducing ideas and concepts that were then considered pseudo-scientific and fanciful, only to become legitimate subject matter of serious research, two decades later. The collapse of humanity into one group mind (obvious references to de Chardin's notion of noosphere, drawn by father Lamont), the parallels between insect (locust) and human society regarding the spread of destructive/violent behavior (check mass psychology, research on swarm intelligence, the popularity of Steven Johnson's 'Emergence' etc.)
So, for those of you expecting horror movie chills and thrills - you should skip this one. But for those of you interested in how quirky scientific ideas inspire pop-culture pieces like 'The Heretic' - it is highly recommended.