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A Short Note on Camera-Work
Camera work of the film gives the viewer a "part time job" to work in a birthday party as a cameraman. Vinterberg's technique is not unique of course; for example two years before Festen, Refn's Pusher has the same style. Some angles he uses also remind me of Cranes Are Flying - especially the stairs scene. However, camera work still provides various fresh executions such as there is a scene where camera changes its position quickly (pulled from its place in a harsh way so it can be put in its new position) to follow the car which enters the garden behind a wall or there is a scene where camera behaves like a fly, after a flight, resting on a bed for a short time. Dynamic editing also gives the viewer a great pleasure. Brilliant film-making.
The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
The Matrix Reloaded is a breathtaking action film, but unlucky one, following a philosophical masterpiece which uses epistomology and Buddhism as a crucial part of the script like The Matrix and being followed by a disaster called Revolutions. I thought over this a lot and didn't know where to put the film, in the end I decided to take it as itself excluding the first film and the third one, and now it's in my top 100. Also for nostalgic purposes, it had a huge impact on my generation during our university years. With my friends in university, we bought cool shades, long jackets, we even combed our hair like Neo. Architect's complex analysis, Neo versus hundreds of Agent Smith copies, backdoors (probably influenced by Godard's corridor in "Alphaville"), dreaming of an ideal love like Neo and Trinity, great times.
I mostly enjoy art-house, avant-garde & minimalism but Matrix films (except the horrible Revolutions and including short animations known as Animatrix) are the best things mainstream film-makers could ever produce. We had to celebrate the presence of Wachowskis: Anarchists infiltrated Hollywood for a while.
The sequel is nowhere close to the original philosophically, however, it helps with expanding the Matrix mythology and it's the best action film Hollywood could ever supply. We are shocked to see Morpheus is alone in his believes, then again we see commanders and hierarchy, a mass who could free themselves from the matrix became a militarist society. Unfortunately, sequel destroys - let's say realistically and quiet painfully - whatever the original has builded up with Merovingian's philosophy, vis-á-vis, cause and effect.
Railway Redemption (2012)
What Is Cinema?
The strength of Posada's film comes from various elements. Music merges perfectly with the scenes and echoing dialogues that the travel becomes an internal journey too. It is a fact that mind starts to "speak too much" during long trips. And as a director, Posada's creative effort deserves attention as he puts the camera in interesting places and he uses different angles. There is an answer to the typical question like "What is cinema?" in this film and it is the closing sequence in which people appear in the railway like mythical creatures as the train continues its journey. An art piece should have memorable moments if it wants to be remembered. In short Posada proves that he understands what cinema is, technically and artistically.
Thor: The Dark World (2013)
Now this is how a comic-book film should be made
I'm pretty grateful to the makers of the film; as I left the theater, I had that feeling which I haven't felt since the 90s. There is not one single unnecessary, exaggerated, dull or boring scene (some events which could easily be told by cliché scenes are artistically presented) and this is a sign that the film-makers of Thor: The Dark World take what they do serious and respect the audience. So we had everything we expect from a good comic-book film, beautiful visuals, fight scenes (neither long nor meaningless), fun chemistry between Thor and Loki, intelligent twists and tricks, great acting by Hopkins and Hiddleston, funny moments which made the audience laugh out loud. Go and see it, great entertainment. (Don't leave the theater during the credits, you know, it's a Marvel film.)
A Short Review
The first 10 minutes I couldn't touch my popcorn because the film was so quiet (well, it's space duh.); I didn't want to disturb the others, also it was one of the most beautiful opening sequences I have ever seen. Visually the most pleasing film of the year. Cgi is used for good purposes (vis-à-vis art, cf. The Tree of Life). Direction is so masterful (and it's the most powerful part of the film) that it becomes an experience. Themes are life, struggle & death. Ryan's story is very sad (I was close to tears). It's a survival film. But we haven't got a survival film like this before. After watching thousands of films, it's surprising to see a film which can have a huge impact on the audience. Sandra deserves an Oscar for those emotional long takes. Quickest 90 minutes of my life.
Nature of dreams
While I was watching "Inland Empire" I was also observing how the brain struggles to solve a puzzle and capture the meaning. No matter how complex the pattern, there is one in "Inland Empire". However "8½" offered none, it was so difficult to follow the movie that the brain failed and shut itself down. (I fell asleep once.) So what was the problem? Or was there a problem? Or the "problem" itself was a remarkable clue?
"8½" begins with a dream. What is the purpose or the meaning of this beginning? Usually artists are inspired by dreams. Fellini's case is different; he was inspired by the nature of dreams. For many of us, dreams are like films without a director. The fact is everything requires a direction or orchestration, our romantic or non-romantic relationships, our ideas, our memories, life as a whole. As a movie "8½" itself lacks the direction (and orchestration) until the final scene in which Guido finally grabs a megaphone and the orchestra and the walk in harmony herald us that the crisis is over.