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An amazing documentary about a forgotten genius!
If you wish discover one of the most important faces of Modern Iran fine arts, this is the documentary that will learn you about Bahman Mohassess: the great sculptor/painter who lived and worked most of his life in Roma rather than in his motherland.
Mitra Farahani succeeded to turn her documentary to an attractive fiction, where chapter after chapter the spectator will familiarize with the personage. The director narrates briefly the essential points from personal life and professional career of the artist. She had not used expensive equipment and cameras, but very discreetly she entered in the privacy of the artist and broke the solitude of the old man in a pleasant way. Thanks to this confidence between the cineaste and her subject, Mohassess plays himself very naturally just like an actor; as a result the last days of his life become a touching tale in front of Farahani's camera.
The resemblance with the short story of Balzac "The unknown masterpiece" is to a certain extent comparable, as Mohassess destroyed several of his works in his life and like the Master Frenhofer dies before finishing his last chef d'oeuvre. He left the show at the right moment, so his death becomes dramatically his ultimate masterwork.
Hypothetically with a bit of chance and obviously by better management of his relationships with the international artistic Medias/ art galleries/ collectors/etc. Mohassess could have become as famous as his fellows such as Giacometti, but he preferred to remain loyal to his own style: individualist but united with human cause, philosophically pessimistic but joyful and droll in daily life, a tremendously creative artist but in an auto-destruction approach like a rebel intellectual. Undoubtedly the sad and regrettable fact is to observe how both Iranian Diaspora and domestic society were terribly indifferent during decades towards such a genius!
Monsieur Lazhar (2011)
Lovely story, outstanding performance of a group of kids!
A friend of mine invited me to watch "Monsieur Lazhar", and very accidentally I had the chance of be a spectator of this spectacular movie. It treats delicately eternal topics beyond time and geography such as the death, immigration and education. The story narration is married with a enough dose of the humor, a deep sadness sometimes and wisdom all along the film. The wisdom is simply a well story carried out without any prejudice, having believable personages and avoiding an end with a happy ending. Also I found that the group of the kids play brilliantly like the principal actor in the role of the teacher, especially the girl and the boy in the role of Alice and Simon could both have a successful career in the cinema industry. Indeed the realistic scenario beside their excellent performance shows us how much we ignore or underestimate the comprehension of the children of our world. The fact that the story happens in Montreal was also an occasion to take advantage of the richness of this multicultural society as well the charming quebecois accent. I appreciated its implicit message that the life is maybe often hard, but it's always beautiful. I hope that we'll hear more about this lovely film in future!
The Lady (2011)
in admiration of "courage and love"
It's an absolute success: Luc Besson has succeeded to bring you to the Burma through a deeply humanistic and political involved history. Then the two principal actors (Michelle Yeoh & David Thewlis) play very well their roles and let you feel their passion in the private life and their struggle for democracy and peace in the social life.
There are some similarities with another masterpiece of Besson "Leon: The Professional": both are in admiration of "courage and love". Aung San Suu Kyi like Leon is an alone hero fighting against tyranny and organized corrupted power. If the effort of Leon to protect the young innocent Mathilda made you feel sympathy for this individual, undoubtedly you will admire this brave woman her comfort herself and her family to defend the whole nation from the dictatorship of the military regime.
My wife and I really enjoyed the movie. The Parisian cinema was almost full and at the end gave the impression that the spectators were satisfied .One row ahead of us there was a senior couple, the old man asked: "darling did you like it for the second time?" The lady answered: "sure, could we come again to watch it for a third time?!"
An original and humanist film
An outstanding film! The history is very believable, the life of clandestine as in documentary, a very responsible cinema! And the actors all are excellent! It is sometimes necessary, in our small comfortable life and our well arranged existences, to receive a shock, and that's what came to arrive with shocking film of P.Lioret, which tackles the current and extreme problem of the clandestine. Under terrible conditions, they are ready to risk their being, hoping to create a better future. In addition to the fact that this history is inspired of an actual reality, one can only accept these characters: The swimming coach, splendid in his role; an ordinary man, monopolized in the beginning of the film by his sentimental problems, also by love for the woman who has left him, will take the risk to help in secrecy a young Kurdish refugee, which wants to cross the English Channel by swim. The total lack of humanity from governmental organizations, certainly reduced a little by work of voluntary NGOs, put us vis-à-vis intolerable and unbearable situation that had been forgotten in the West. So I say Merci to Mr. Lioret for this original and humanist film!
Naissance des pieuvres (2007)
Viva adolescence! Backing to our forbidden Yesterdays
I saw it at Cinema MK2 Hautefeuille just one night after its first public projection in Paris. A very pretty film about three 15 years old teenagers, all of them just at about the same psychologically stages. Many of the scenes let us to come back to our adolescence age & our first feelings about sexual relations. it is possible to imagine that the director would like to reduce the first strong sensual feelings of the girls to lesbianism, but even in that case she doesn't corrupt the likelihood of the story. You can sometimes find the film a little slow but it is what creates this intimate atmosphere. I fund the young actresses of talent, special mention with Floriane and Marie, very convincing. There are many small details but this film also enabled me to discover what synchronized swimming is: impressing!