Reviews written by registered user
|13 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
For those who enjoyed "C'est arrivé près de chez vous", "Dikkenek" is a must see. It's made up of the same surrealist energy, encouraging to love the worst in humankind. While one can easily be disgusted by the character Jean-CLaude, by his vulgar language, by the smell of the pigs he slaughters following him, he tends to become sort of attractive by his repulsion. This enables him to convince beautiful Natacha of posing for nude pictures. In "C'est arrivé..." the serial killer played by Benoit Poelvoorde has the same effect, inspired by poetry in between murders, rapes and body tossing. In "Dikkenek", both men and women play tough persons with short fuse Stef and police boss Laurence. She is played by Florence Foresti, a great French stand-up artist, master of the improv. Jeremie Renier, who played in the great film made by the Dardenne brothers "L'Enfant", serves as an original link in the movie. Check out the movie's website where you'll here some of the great lines.
This may not be the greatest movie ever. It's sweetness tends sometimes to make the audience bitter. Vincent Perez does a great job for a first movie. It can remind some of Virgin suicides where some young women's feelings are so pure and strong that they will inevitably meet the only answer which doesn't disappoint : death. And in both movies, even if Morgane Moré and Kirsten Dunst have the leading roles, it's Magalie Woch (who plays friend Josiane) and Hanna Hall (Cecilia Lisbon) who leave the greatest impact, who are metaphysical. And remember Magalie's secret recipe for happiness : a bite of bread and a cherry while sitting on a tree.
Can we laugh about everything? Pierre Desproges dared to ask this in front of Jean-Marie Le Pen, the extreme-right leader. Dressed as a prosecutor, Desproges ranted on politicians, actors, writers, ... for five to ten minutes in a radio show along with Claude Villers (who played the judge) and great actor Luis Rego (the lawyer). When he confronted Le Pen, Desproges thus asked the question on the limits of humor. According to him, we can laugh about everything, but not in the company of everyone. As he mentioned, fascists, stalinists and terrorists are rarely inclined to laugh, which is probably why they rarely support other laughters too. Desproges ridiculed Le Pen without mentioning him. After discussing the limits of humor, he shared an experience he recently had in a racist cabbie's car, which showed the gutterlike ideology of persons who canalize their frustrations into hatred. Desproges's humor wasn't only political. He wrote articles, books, participated in TV and Radio programs, put on two stand-up shows with the help of his friend and great comedian Guy Bedos. But above all, Desproges is a comedian who mastered his language, a very rare quality today in the french stand-up world.
Best known today for being the first movie in which Franck Dubosc starred, "A nous les garçons" was made in the spirit of "La Boum", the number one reference for the French Brat Pack. The movie also shares a similarity with "Secret Admirer" as love stories between teenagers cause confusing adults to suspect one another of treachery. Very funny, it gave french teenagers great quotes, like when Veronique's boyfriend asks her little sister how he looks with his new dress, she answers:"worst". Great acting by Eric El Mosnino, who plays Cyril's friend. The two major female roles have participated in very different artistic endeavors. Sophie Carle represented Luxembourg in the very popular and dull European Song contest in 1984. As for Valérie Allain, she played in "French in Action" which aired in 1987 when I lived in the States. Her presence encouraged me to see the show and learn French all over again!
"I thought you were Marxists" asks General Suarez to thief Lino Massaro. "Yes we are, Groucho Marxists!" Rising above the political struggles and claims of the seventies, a bunch of dumber than average thieves manage to make a lot money and share all kinds of adventures. "Clarity in confusion", or "confusion in clarity" if you prefer, is their motto. This very funny makes fun of the fact that all ideologies claim "love one another" but kill the other. It's above all a chance to see two of the greatest actors (Ventura, Denner) with long time friend one of the greatest singers ever (Brel). Claude Lelouch is very innovative in his filming techniques and offers with this movie a must see comedy for anyone who enjoys French flicks. Aldo Maccione shares his classical walk, Johnny Halliday sings the soundtrack and plays his own role, General Suarez is played by Bunuel's son and producer Elie Chouraqui plays a soldier.
Some have called this movie anti-religious, other argue that it shows Israel is a real democracy, financing movies which criticize all the aspects of its society, probably in a more abstruse way than European cinema today. More than the controversies and even the story, I remember the actors' talent. Especially Meital Berdah. In the movie, she plays the role of Yaël Abecassis' sister. I would think that in real life, she's Jennifer Connelly's sister. She has the same worrying strength on screen, the same charisma. When Connelly leaves her nightmares in Requeim For A Dream, we're both afraid and attracted by her eyes. The feeling is shared when Berdah leaves her neighborhood for a better life, trying to let a bitter marital experience slide, washed down the drinks of lowlifes who hang around the bar where her lover works.
Le Gros Dégueulasse is the story of a fat, rude, smelly and dirty in every way possible man who tries to find his place in everyday life. The cover on Reiser's book presents him with greasy hair, a big nose, ashes falling from his mouth, a T-shirt which could be used in liquid powder commercials, a beer gut, yellow and brown underpants with shades of white from which his genitals fall, and most important of all a friendly wave and smile. Because that was Reiser's greatest talent: to render despised persons more human than the well mannered cattle. The movie, lacking a great budget and technical enthusiasm, still offers a very close portrayal.
This is probably the greatest french movie of this decade. A dramatic story based on "Mort d'un silence", a book written by Clemence Boulouque, one of the leaders of the new generation of literature. As in most of the great books and movies, the autobiographical part can't be neglected. The story centers around a relationship between a father and a daughter. A relationship which was very short and took a long time to be expressed through words and images. Gilles Boulouque was a French judge who investigated the terrorist attacks which occurred in Paris in the mid-80's. Many people died and Jacques Chirac, the Prime Minister at the time, took a very harsh stand to assure the French that the terrorists and those who helped them would be hunted and taken care of. The judge did his job, well, too well. He quickly discovered the Iranian link to the attacks. In a behind the scenes agreement, France bowed its head to threats of further terrorist actions and kidnappings. Henceforth, when Gilles Boulouque wanted to question the number 2 in the Iranian embassy, the "Raison d'Etat" started to hit him hard. Journalists, politicians, but also judges turned their backs to integrity. Gilles Boulouque was even at the center of the Presidential debate in 1988, between Mitterand and Chirac, between two layers of lies. Clemence Boulouque doesn't pretend to avenge her father. She only wants the truth to have its deserved share of historical right. To express her despair for all those moments missed when he was too busy with his important work, when fear surrounded them via threats and the continuous presence of bodyguards. Clemence the author and Gilles the judge, but most of all Clemence the daughter and Gilles the father. The story also of Gilles' wife who not only had to sooth the pain but face slander from the press. Her support helped Gilles to keep holding on for a long time amid the pressures. But even the strength of that woman and the smiles of a daughter couldn't act as eternal bullet-proof jackets under heavy fire. After Gilles shot himself, Clemence and her mother tried to lead "normal" lives. Clemence studied, worked and went to live in the USA, ... in 2001. Two towers later, the nightmares of terrorism came back. With the help of archives and taxicabs, Clemence takes us on her road, her reflections, her experiences along with Elsa Zylberstein's beautiful narration.
Steve Allen was not only a show host. He was a composer, an actor, a
writer ans a comedian. A very erudite man, he had the greatest sense of
humor ever programmed on air. He challenged Ed Sullivan's boring
mainstream smoothness. For a very short moment, censure was left
outside, enabling Lenny Bruce and Bob Dylan to play their stuff as it
was meant for stage and not clean cut TV. He also played some Poetry
and Jazz with Jack Kerouac.
In his introduction to Lenny Bruce, Steve Allen gave a powerful warning: "We get a great deal of mail from our viewers commenting on our sketches, indicating their dislikes, and whether you realize it or not, there is just about no joke or sketch, particularly of a satirical sort, that will not offend somebody, a cowboy or a drunk. I don't want to equate those two; already I can see the cards coming in! Here is how we are going to face the problem, we have decided that once a month we will book a comedian who will offend everybody. Then, we'll get it over with, see? A man who will disturb a great many social groups. I'm serious, his satirical comments refer to many things not ordinarily discussed on TV; it serves you right. That way the NBC mail department will know in advance that complaints are coming in, they hire a few extra girls, and they get the answers ready, "We're very sorry, we didn't mean a thing", and the who thing is handled with neatness and dispatch. So, ladies and gentlemen, here is the very shocking comedian, the most shocking comedian of our time, a young man who is skyrocketing to fame, Lenny Bruce!"
Very daring for the end of the 50's!
Lenny Bruce was undoubtly the greatest comedian of all time. He was the first to speak about racism, drugs, sex, religion and other societal subjects on stage. He was part of that generation with Sahl, Kerouac and Ginsberg which had seen the horrors of the war and which according to Lenny, couldn't understand how Blacks were asked to die for their country while not being allowed to use the bathroom in some states. Lenny wondered how could politicians and religious figures fight against "sexual obscenity" while encouraging soldiers to relieve their war efforts in French Brothels. As is typical in Jewish Humor, Lenny Bruce comes up with more questions than answers and defies ignorance and servile attitude. The Performance Film was filmed in San Francisco and is one of the last live shows by Lenny, who died of an overdose a year later. Lenny appears sad and tired in the movie, due to the judiciary and police harassments. Yet, you'll be able to see some of his greatest bits, punctuated by a long farewell to one of his last stages.
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