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Forrest Gump (1994)
It's kinda extremely difficult for me to overestimate such a masterpiece because of its glutted images and metaphors through every single moment. Every detail, every action means something in this films, there is no scenes just for eyes watching with brain relaxing. And sooth to say I'm very tired with hearing reviews about "the film about a down". A retard (in accordance with the medical sense)? I agree. But human after all, much more humane than anybody else because of the absence of evil within. This is the toughest issue - only a retard (or mentally challenged) person can be truly humane in the modern world? "Forrest Gump" is not a manual for ones who want to become a millionaire or a great player or get lucky. This film is about life with many things it contains - from life values to a country history. Furthermore, they all are shown in a different light. So, Forrest Gump is a simple guy without mastermind at all, but squeaky clean and morally healthy man at the same time. He believes in things another people forgot, he has pure heart, being naive, but honest, frank, unmercenary and true friend. He is guileless, though he seems to be an idiot in the eyes of others. Despite of it Gump does make a difference between good and bad things, truly good and bad ones. And I discern this movie as a parable about human being, human life. "Stupid" Gump couldn't understand what was the life: "...if we each have a destiny, or if we're all just floating around accidental-like on a breeze...maybe it's both." But who can say the absolute truth about what is life being? The eternal mystery.
P.S. Another point of the film is about parenting (remember "momma always said") and how it affects the life time. So Keep an eye on your children, try to be wisdom as possible as you can.
Nuit #1 (2011)
The first night or second chance?
First of all it's hard to call this motion-picture film a movie (in general meaning of this word) with a storyline and some action on the screen. It is rather a stage play based TV play (similar to "Sunset Limited") than a cinema movie. But this is not the point for real judges of chamber pieces and the art of acting. "Night #1" is an emotional and serious minded film at once. And the love scene (though it plays its role) an the beginning is nothing comparing with much harder and frank talks throughout the film. They are two, each of them is at the bottom of society and lowlife, furthermore, they both know about it. But their characters contain and reflect not only tough things but many other elements of modern life and state of things in the real world. Closer to the end some dramatic monologues have a very depressing tone, culminating some concepts and problems. I didn't understand the film's ending - what exactly the author wanted to say or to show. Maybe that the first night can be the second chance or that strangers and randoms can also be happy together?
Deeper than seems
First, I wanna quote FlashCallahan with his brilliant words that really express one of the main points of this movie: "the film carries some heavy morals about getting revenge, it can eat away at you and turn you into the one thing you despise.". This key idea is extremely important for all the mankind. And another key idea I saw is that violence generates violence - not a new one for me, but shown in a very illustrative way which reflects a deadlock principle "eye for eye". In fact, the main character's transformation into "the man, who is able to stand up" is a developmental dead end to a savage, not a human. Indeed, Darren Healy's character had no self-defense skills, probably, had no experience of being attacked or hurted, unable to fight. Anyway, his "compensation" all these missed things transformed him neither to a "real man", nor to human at all. The ability to kill, to revenge, to destroy is not a true attribute for a real man, if we refer it to human being. And revenge is displayed as more powerful thing than love, because even love cannot stop revenge from its destroying a person who chose it. The director of the film mercilessly destroyed the ideas of humanism, having carried them to our society. But in this way he strongly focuses on them, highly paying attention on the impossibility of their existence on the way the main character chose. Of course, the emphasized problem is always actual and very difficult. The difficulty is about what to do with a destroyed and changed life when society gives you 2 options - to follow it and substitute human concepts in which a man is a one who is able to kill and avenge (and degrade within), or to die from such concepts. No, a choice is always exists, but there is a very delicate balance between a right choice and those given options. Although the director told nothing in this film. This movie really impressed me, though I don't like violence on the screen.
Especially I admired Darren Healy's play done. It's a harsh and rough film but it can make you think much.
Taxi Driver (1976)
I'm the only one here
Indeed. He is the only one in his room, in this city, in this country, on this earth. Indeed, nobody was talking to him. Taxi driver is not a psycho or maniac, he is neither a radical nonconformist nor a disappointed downer. Just another one. Because of what? War? Could be. Or, maybe, because of his primordial another being ? On these kinds of questions is hard to answer. Psycho? But only in the estimation of the public which gave him no choice how to be. This man only reflects society's sickness and moral turpitude. Furthermore, he is a creation of society's rejection, indifference, emptiness. Travis tried to be like everybody (not to follow the crowd): without self-analysis and mentioning on bad things, indulging in an affair with a woman. Tried but failed. I think the last action he did hadn't pushed on him for his further violent actions but only confirmed his inability to be like others because of his loner and idealist being. This movie shows us two sided problem: on one side is society which cannot accept another individuality, on the other is individuality which cannot join society. And then, the only way to be is to be own self, to have own purpose. "Taxi driver" is an essay to look at the unsolved problem by existential attitude.
Sympathy for Delicious (2010)
a strong debut
Mark Ruffalo's directional debut seemed good enough for me. Of course this movie doesn't pretend to be an extra-realistic, serious drama with a deep-deep context, despite of it the movie is full of the important ideas and real-life dilemmas. Personally I considered Ruffalo's work as an entire metaphor about individual choices, forming our lives, we make every time, the ability and power to believe. about arisen greed and envy that both anyway crash the way based on the right decision. Dj's gift and miracles come into his life are challenging him, pushing on his all weak sides, but made him review his life entirely. The main two characters - neither priest nor ex-DJ are categorical ones, both being complicated persons. The end also has symbolical shape with a note for the best, however being not happy. The only film's demerits i saw were about events, moving too fast, and the image of the gift had been shown in a too much expressional way. But otherwise "Sympathy for Delicious" is an interesting movie to see and it gives some stuff you can think about after viewing.
a man for a man
I didn't see a large number of such multi-layered films like "The Birdy", which has not only a dramatic & emotional story, but in addition hidden (inside?) serious philosophical topics about mankind and human inside the exteriorly story. By the way I couldn't really believe when I had known about the fact of Nicolas Cage's being 20 years in his performance. The leading line is a story about perfect friendship of a pair of opposites and this friendship seems so weird to me because of a great contrast between 2 different persons, but maybe it is attraction of opposites there. But this story is only general background for unveiling such global problems: an individual and society and their conflicts, the meaning of dreams for human, freedom, humanity, types of love, human faith and one of the key ideas about "People need each other", "homo homini amicus est". I don't like making a distinction between Birdy and El as introvert and extrovert, or "a man with poor in spirit" and "a man with a willing spirit", cause both sides had fears and were weakling, thinking that they would run away. Nicolas Cage's character was trying to escape from himself, Matthew Modine's character wanted to shelter from a cold reality under his solitary shell. Unfortunately, they both were egregiously wrong, that's why I reckon that no one was mentally stronger and consequently they were in need of support from each other. Towards the end of the movie it becomes more and more depressive - Cage's final monologue is totally hopeless, 2 "crazy" men having no way out. However, the final scene so purifies that you will be feeling a huge relief after all, despite a constant exertion throughout the ending. There's nothing to say about brilliant playing of Modine and Cage - they did awesome work, really "young" geniuses. The Alan Parker's movie is a kind of trip from high-state dreams into the core of the hell called "life" sometimes .
an excellent romantic film
Serendipity was the first and the best romance film I've seen. It is my belief that you can watch this movie every week, because of its light and magic atmosphere with the original soundtrack (featuring Alan Silvestri's great and incredibly nice theme "Obituary") which completes the picture. Shown as a quite romantic place (where the story happened), NYC on Xmas really enchants with its atmosphere and Central park. The story and the accidents in the film may seem to be unrealistic or too perfect for someone, Serendipty however is kind of a touching and charming movie anyway. You just have to cut notions like "destiny', "fate" out of your mind because this is no more than the scenery for a movie about a love story and love in its romantic sense. The duet Cusack-Beckinsale looked very charming and naturally, even when their characters were acting in a some weird (and stupid in some sense) way. Eugene Levy and Jeremy Piven also injected the best comedic elements in the final mix. One of the movies' great merits is about heart-to-heart moments between characters, shown very gently and softly. Because of this merit the movie doesn't seem to be glossy or sugary. Serendipity doesn't pretend to be a multi-layered film with kinda new ideas (neither do most romantic films I reckon) but it fulfills the key purpose of giving the audience warmth and a bit of hope.
Mein Name ist Bach (2003)
Music as a being
'The Musical Offering' by JS Bach is one of the greatest masterpieces in the music written by a human and one of the highest tops of musical thought. But the film is not mostly about how that was composed but rather about dramatic fragments in Bach's and Fredrick's families. Juergen Vogel played a complex personality of the Prussian King with conviction. Vadim Glovna (as Bach) however, playing his role, reflected Bach's character in such a realistic and simple way that you could forget about a sublime genius, a part of the universal mind which was Bach. But even such a giant acknowledges music being much more essential than the human being. "The family is not eternal, music however..." he said, talking to his son's wife. Glovna very honestly performed Bach as just a mortal man with his doubts, fears, smiles and cries. And the final scene is so emotional although nothing particular happens. I sincerely recommend this movie to every one of Bach's (and his music) fans and the ones who like the historical drama on the screen
Snow Angels (2007)
A great heartbreaking drama with a long taste after
A sad and a hard movie. And the full extent of its heaviness you will realize not during the watching, but after that. A heart heaviness doesn't leave fast enough. This film is mainly about human or family relationships, about giving another a chance to be forgiven, the ability to ask for forgiveness. About a bunch of things that come up from the relations between people. And those items we call 'life'. Sam Rockwell (my applause) and Kate Beckinsale did amazing performances (maybe the best roles too) and at their best, revealing a many-sided personality of the characters. Playing a his character Rockwell shows us his great acting talent and being a master of many-sided personality.
Der Räuber (2010)
Running equals Life
What things do ordinary people need in lives? Money, a house, a family, children, happiness, love I guess. But the main character of this film rejected all those things wanted by others (except him). Why? Because of his different identity. Life has another shape and sense in his mind (which is both the most interesting and strangest part in the film). The Robbers's activity seemed to be nonsense and destructive comparatively to common reasons. But The Robber is neither an adrenaline maniac nor a risk searcher. He is just a man, who can live only in running. In this case everything (even including his life) is not meaningless and the reality is closer to him than ever before. Although we are not told how Mr Rittenberger became such an emptied "stranger" (refer to Camus), I think that it is not as imроrtant line as thinking about his present life, and the director made us free to analyze this situation and problems in it. Behind the running and robbing (which are just images in my opinion) there are serious questions about the human being, human existence, the meaning of life, the person's identity etc., - the area for Q&A is really huge.
Andreas Lust lovely performed a state of mind of the main character, who stood at the existential threshold, observing the world from the outside . It is a truly European cinema with minimalistic cover but with the strong and thoughtful content inside.