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Du jour au lendemain (2006)
Gosh.. Just saw it this week-end. And this guy is teaching directing in the SO-CALLED best and most efficient cinema school in France (and Europe basically..) !
I'm glad i missed the admission.
'Happiness is heavy when you're not used to it' C'mon! 80 minutes of non-screenplay, non-directing, non-acting (I LOVE Poelvoorde but he can't do anything about the impoverished style of the the whole shebang)
If you want a good laugh, 2 scenes are on the top of the most pathetic sequences of all time :
The first one when his wife is meeting him (at the bank, in his office) and realizing that his future ex-husband is finally very attractive and perhaps deserve a new chance.. Slow motions and cheesy music - lousy violons sounds -
The second one. The musical sequence.
Mission: Impossible III (2006)
A excellent week-end popcorn flick
One of those movies you (nearly) don't bother to watch in french dubbed version (Philip Seymour Hoffman).
You sit back, relax and for 2 hours watch 500 actors and technicians spend $150,000,000 on explosions, jumps, runs, sights, choppers and automatic weapons gusts. There isn't any suspense, JJ Abrams thinks he's writing for television, so the movie is structured like a double-episode of an action TV show (season finale or opening of a good one like Prison Break or 24), no psychological portraits, valuable message on anything, soundtrack or funny parts, just a very enjoyable action scenes stream. And what a stream! The h.o.l.l.y.w.o.o.d. ending is kinda lame, some 'But Ethan Hunt have feelings now, he's a guy, just a guy, a simple guy, a simple guy with feelings' scenes are pretty annoying and some characters are almost badly written (Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Maggie Q ones) but who cares ? That's not the point.
While Tom Cruise does his generic action hero thing again, PS Hoffman is simply amazing ; just imagine a mix between Clarence Boddicker, Hans Gruber and some cold eyed, blond haired torture radical (an evil Jack Bauer if you want).. That's his character in a good mood. And he's never in a good mood.
So it's action action boom boom reload I love her boom boom pam fizzz splash argh we did it with great camera works (Spy Game and The Bourne Identity cinematographer), neat actors (PSH, Laurence Fishburne, Billy Crudup) and several very very severe action scenes (the vatican stuff, the shanghai towers and the bridge mayhem).
Not to be compared to Lethal Weapons or the Die hard trilogy (because they're real trilogies) but a good Saturday night flick, valuable 'one shot action movie' to put at side with Speed or The Incredibles.
MI < MI-2 < MI-3 Brian De Palma < John Woo < JJ Abrams ??! Come on! Those movies are definitely tricky exercises to perform for Hollywood directors..
You have to WATCH the movie, to find out WHY you're watching the movie.
The producers of this picture are Hungarians. It's not by crazy artistic momentum that X and Z are capitalized in the titles considering that the word 'isten' means 'god' in Hungarian. - By the way, David, Isten is the word for God in Hungarian... - Hum... Is that so ?
Let's consider this movie as 'A History Of Violence' science-fictional sibling. Both films have in common the strength of blowing up respective genres ; thriller and drama in the 2005 one and 'none FX-ed as hell' science fiction in the one we're looking at right now. Everything he does have a meaning and is surrounded by details : The nod to Phil K. Dick (who wrote "In The Days of Perky Pat") by creating a 'Perky Pat' fast-food restaurant. The nod to Stanley Kubrick by using 2001's naming pattern ; as IBM became HAL (one letter down in the alphabet) in the 1968 movie, in eXistenZ 'classic lubricant spray' WD-40 becomes XE-60 (one letter up) when Allegra cleans up Pikul's port. The nod to David Cronenberg by using Videodrome's witty kind of formula ('Death to...' & 'Long Live'..) and by taking another medium for central theme of a picture (tv in Videodrome, Video games and virtual reality in eXistenZ In 1983, you penetrated a TV set. In 1999, you're penetrated by a game. Welcome to Canada!)
The nod to good taste by getting Peter Suschitzky's cinematography, Howard Shore's music and Ronald Sanders's editing (a team that wins). For everyone born in the early 80's with a super famicom, a genesis or an arcade stick in the hands, this movie rings a bell. Enough with the nods. The plot ? "Jennifer Jason Leigh stars as a game designer (Allegra) who creates a virtual-reality game that taps into the players' minds" as we can see on the movie main details page. That's the story in the story. To me, this picture is about a 'reality demonstrators' young couple infiltrating the 'brand new virtual game' presentation session to destroy its programmer. I assume that what we see in the last five minutes is reality, if there's such thing as reality. Jennifer Jason Leigh is always playing a game designer in the game they're in and the end of the movie IS the reality, with video games freaks giggles, big hairy dogs, 'Cronenbergy realistic' plastic textures (helmets and stuff) and 9mm handguns. What you see is true. They play transcendenz during an hour or so (in this game, there's a game (eXistenZ) in which JJL plays eXistenZ's genius programmer and Jude -Pikul - Law a marketing trainee associated with Allegra's game), they play eXistenZ because Allegra is very concerned about her pod's health (the thing you plug your nervous system in, in order to play), she has to plug herself and Pikul in then wins the game (Transcendenz) and back in the reality they kill Yevgeny Nourish, TranscendenZ programmer.
Playing eXistenZ and TranscendenZ is about facing your essence, face your subconscious while its creating a virtual reality you'll have to overcome in unexpected ways to win the game (by playing the game, the girl playing Allegra, the 'reality demonstrator' turns into Allegra, a 'virtuality goddess').
What game would Heidegger have played to feel his abstract da-sein term ? To be truly engaged in the world ?
And what about Nietschze (Yes Friedrich, God is dead and you know what ? Willem Dafoe stands for him! - God, The Mecanic -) ???
Yes we do construct a narrative for ourselves, and losing this thread we follow from one day to the next disintegrate people as personalities ; eXistenZ's discusses the fact that reality is the whole perception of itself by anyone who engaged it truly. And we could sometimes get some neat stuff ; a perception of virtuality in virtuality in reality.
Le dossier 51 (1978)
A Life in Pictures : One of the best biopic of all time
A movie about creation and perception, a big paste of shorts films, pictures and misc documents, about cinematographic language as it were in the late 70's
A foreign secret service put Dominique Auphal (a diplomat) under surveillance in order to find a psychological and/or social weakness in his life to ensure some kind of leverage to control him politically (by blackmailing). His life is analyzed, commented, discussed and rationalized. He's the File (number) 51.
First it can be seen as a view on an omnipresent figure representing oppressive control over individual lives ; a variation on Orwell's 1984 set in France in the late 70's describing a society with less privations and overwhelming authority. More realistic though as pessimistic as the novel.
Then it provides keys and show the 'everyone's watching everyone' just born-ed syndrome when secret services agents go on coarse or trivial comments about Auphal's personal life ('why in hell he's dating this girl ?' 'what kind of twisted guy has this kind of sexual fantasies'..) ; they're judging him beyond the psychological analysis they have to do and lose partiality. 30 years before 'garbage - who's fu**ing who -' reality TV, Michel Deville discusses about basic viewers pulsion and perversion.
About one third of the movie is overdubbed (messy voices-over spoken by secret services agents watching Auphal) footages of Auphal (51 in a street, in a park, at home ; spy cameras, photographs, sound recordings..) we are at heart with empathy. We both follow the POV (perception) of a secret service agent by watching those documents AND due to the fact that this investigation is merciless, so complete and meticulous we're deeply breaking in Auphal's life. This is a document produced by this secret service, the whole movie is created by them as it could be shown to an executive who wouldn't know the case.
Dominique Auphal is born during WWII, he was about 25 years old during the 1968 french events with everything that it involves, psychologically ; he's part of the generation that had no global war to handle, enjoying freedom of social, professional and sexual choices. The movie deserves to be seen just to get a good look on the France of those years..
"His Life's Facts" are thrown into your face during a hundred minutes : the movie is a list of things, facts, views about this man ; as in Antonioni's Blow-up (another one charactered movie about photographic and its medium perception), there's no great deal of action or mystery but the portrait of the loneliness of a man. One is surrounded by models, big money, The Yardbirds and creation during the swinging sixties (lucky lucky) whereas 51 is trapped in a strict and pretty depressing professional life (but a valuable position for other countries to have under control) and his sexual habits...
Technically, there's never-seen-before innovations (use of 'look through camera', POV shots, interview footages, jump cuts ; all mixed up) but Le Dossier 51 is also one the most incredible cinematographical portrait ever made, supported by great actors (François Marthouret as 51 and Roger Planchon as Esculape 1), state-of-the-art editing and cinematography.
To be watched along with : Le Prix du Danger (1983, Y.Boisset), The Conversation (1974, F.F. Coppola), Blow up (1966, M. Antonioni), Blow out (1981, B. De Palma), Je te tiens, tu me tiens par la barbichette (1979, J. Yanne) and everything discussing artistic mediums or/and medias.
Hail to one of Gaspar (Noé)'s favourite movie!
"I just love when women shiver in deadly fear because of me. It's an addiction, which'll never stop" said Werner Kniesek during his trial. This movie was inspired by him and the triple-homicide which took place in Salzburg, Germany in the early 80's. Just after getting out from prison, our hero enters a snack (incredible extreme close-ups of him eating a sausage to get you in the mood), tries to strangle a female taxi driver, runs through a forest, reaches a huge villa and eliminates the weird family that live here ; the mentally retarded son on wheelchair (bathtub scene), the sixty years old mother and the twenty-five years old daughter. The next morning, the killer drives to town in the family's mercedes. He hits another automobile from behind and abandons the vehicle. His erratic behavior and "unusual" appearance lead to his arrest at a nearby diner, less than twenty four hours after his release from prison.
The film is shot with a strong use of high-angle shots and hand-held camera-work by Zbigniew Rybczynski (who won the 1981 Oscar for his animated short movie Tango) and his cinematography's simply amazing ; the use of 'snory cam' (or 'me cam') is far far beyond its use in 1996 Smashing Pumpkins song 1979 video (directed by Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris) and everything else using it : WE FOLLOW HIM ; every step he takes we take it with him and THAT is pretty disturbing. We're with him, with this nor super-smart (John Doe) or braindead (Mickey Knox) serial-killer. Completely out of control, sometimes rationalizing is action to the top (he has a 'murder plan and road map' he's been working on for years when he was in jail), sometimes letting his utterly compulsive and animalistic nature free of anything.. Unforeseeable
Kargl messes up so much with genre's conventions that we have no one to identify with but the killer himself cuz the camera work constantly altering our relationship with the action ; we jump from extreme close-ups of victims to overhead of the scene, the frame composition being so "unusual" that general cinematographical or horror movie codes and languages are useless to use and to be applied to the comprehension of what we're watching. For instance in the scene in which the old lady is murdered, we watch him struggle with the woman, who's biting, scratching, slapping and butting heads in the way her advanced age allows it. We witness one of the most ugly fight scene ever, real, without shiny blades, perfect shouts or boobs. We sit and watch and we've nothing else to do. Empathy equals zero. The fight ends with one of her teeth popping out of her mouth, she loses consciousness, it's over.
Everything in this movie is about global dysfunctions ; prison authorities dysfunctions, family unit dysfunctions and - especially of course - human mind dysfunctions. And the demonstration is so greatly achieved that this movie made me consider that Germany has to entered the triangle of the three "70's and 80's horror movies producers countries" along with the USA (Craven, ducks & blood) and Italy (Romero, manierism & baroque).
Check out the upcoming DVD..
Je t'aime, je t'aime (1968)
The Most Clever, Thrilling, Styled, 'French for Good' Filmed Biography Ever.
This film's a landmark in french sci-fi. To be honest, french sci-fi can almost be summarized in 'La Jetée', 'Paris n'existe pas' (don't even try to find this one...) and 'Je t'aime, Je t'aime'. Watch the last to catch a glimpse of the process in which Resnais can create a powerful masterpiece out of nothing. The plot's rather simple; a neuropathed mood man (Claude Ridder) who tried to commit suicide is selected by a secret organisation in order to experiment a very dangerous and quite hopeless travel, a journey in his own past. If you ever experienced resnais' border lined cinema, you'll obviously understand that this movie will not use the same old usual vision of time travel, (basically 'where and when' HG Wells stuff ) Formally, try to see it as a sequel of emotional paintings of the hero's past life (more than 150 sequences from 2 seconds to 2 minutes, which may or may not have links between them), about the life which he and his accidentally past away wife Catrine tried to built in the late 60's in Paris. A forced introspection by the most violent and merciless way to revive key moments of his life (re-live them as they happen is the scientific purpose but why not re-live them mixed up with his subjectivity ? How great is the strengh of our past on the present when we have the opportunity to change it ? This film's also about weakness of memories in front of memory's complexity) brought by an organic space machine would of course make the travel more difficult than it is for his companion, an academical white mouse which allow itself to sneak into his past. Human perception of the so-called reality, our ability to create new ones every morning and every time 'self-interrogation about memory and memories' comes from the bottom of forgetfulness to the present moment to change our view on events are described in such a unique and powerful aesthetic way that this piece of cinematograph makes 'Je t'aime, Je t'aime' an unique experiment as 2001 is and will be. No less.