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Please Vote for Me (2007)
"Just like the real thing!"
This lovely documentary makes it very obvious that there is hardly any difference between an "Experimental Election" recently took place in a Chinese elementary school and the "Real Thing". The step-by-step processes of nomination, campaigning, debating, and voting shows that 'Democracy in Action' could be very exciting, unpredictable, and, most definitely cruel. One of the best parts of the film was the way the three nominees were coached by their parents; this behind-the-scenes staging was very well captured by the director. The parents' very ambitious preparation of their children confirmed that there are lots of Karl Rove's on hand willing to provide help to win an election. Visual quality of the picture is also exceptionally good. Anyone who is interested in "Democracy", "Elections", and "Voting" must see this gem. Highly recommend it.
Il magnifico cornuto (1964)
Funny, charming, delightful --and thought-provoking
This film is a wonderful comedy. It is very well cast and well acted; both Ugo Tognazzi and Claudia Cardinale are excellent and the film has many fun-filled moments. However, I would not describe and classify this movie as a "light" work. The husband's 'idee fixe' might give the viewers the impression of a silly, obsessive, and paranoid person and (I will admit it) his behaviour does make the audience laugh. He is convinced and determined that his wife is cheating on him --even though she is not being unfaithful. When he looks at her it becomes obvious to him that she is a very attractive woman. And, all the men around her must be dying to be with her. The key issue, however, is (to use a proper term) his "projection". The main reason of his jealousy is his infidelities. If he were in a psychoanalyst's couch talking about his feelings the picture -no pun intended- would have become crystal clear indeed. I hope this gem will be available on DVD --soon.
"The changes and chances of this mortal life"
Life is full of surprises. Everything was bright and promising for a young couple living in Rome --at least, everything looked beautiful on the surface... Then came most unexpected changes: Going to a most fascinating city (Istanbul) located in a drastically different country (Turkey) to finish some family business; meeting a loving, close-knit family; making personal connections with the members of the family and other local persons; discovering an architectural peculiarity --Turkish Steam Bath-- not well-known and appreciated even in that city; exploring, enjoying, and getting to know all the unique specialties of this type of "Bath"; and, above all, going through a major personal evolution and discovery. All of these are told with a most beautiful style. The way the story is revealed and the way camera is used in the process of this disclosure are absolutely superlative. The changes people go through and the emotions they experience during these changes are expressed in an exceptionally masterful way. A superb film from a great director.