Reviews written by registered user
|3 reviews in total|
I haven't seen the whole film BUT...
I saw David Warner a few years back talking to a bunch of people and he ABSOLUTELY REFUSED- very strongly!- to talk about THE ISLAND!
Does anybody know what went wrong on this film? I wonder what Michael Caine thinks about it?
I saw about five minutes on TV once and it looked somewhere between awful (considering the talents involved) or intentionally humorous + engagingly bizarre.
I've always thought that Michael Ritchie was a criminally underrated director of comedies that were both unique and reliably funny (Survivors, Couch Trip). He seemed to have a track record for working well with great actors. Again, what went wrong?
I have seen this film ("The Airship") at a one-time screening in
Amherst, MA, and I say without the slightest hesitation that it is a
masterpiece, not only this director's best film, but one of the best
two or three films to come out of East Germany. The parallel stories--
of the obsessive would-be airship inventor who sacrifices everything
for a dream that always eludes him, and the story of his grandson, who
goes looking for the old man in the chaos of post-WWII Berlin-- are
equally compelling, though perhaps the boy's often soulful journey will
resonate with a wider audience. All in all, the film is a metaphor for
artistry, for all the talents and geniuses who never find an outlet to
express themselves (a situation often familiar enough to the serious
filmmaker)--either because of an oppressive society or because social
and moral problems tend to be ignored by the individualist, consumed by
the search of self-expression.
This is truly Rainer Simon's triumph and an essential contribution to European art cinema. Personally, I continue to be struck by Simon's affinity to his West German contemporary Herzog (it might even be seen as a more complex and successful version of what Herzog was trying to do in his recent film "Invincible"). I was overjoyed to have had the opportunity to see it and I only hope that it will find its way to DVD and commercial availability, which is happening to some of the director's other films.
I believe that this film is a masterpiece, always exuberant and
dynamic, full of wit and clever animation, often as hilarious as a
classic Chuck Jones, sometimes as a beautiful as Miyazaki's later work.
If you are able to feel at home with this older, slightly more limited
style of animation (I, for one, find it lovely and full of character),
than I think you will find that this film is even better than some of
Studio Ghibli's work-- better, even, than "Lupin III: Castle of
Cagliostro" (which borrows heavily from this) or "The Cat's Return." In
my view, only Miyazaki's true masterworks ("Nausicaa," "Castle in the
Sky," "Spirited Away," "Porco Rosso") surpass this early work, which
already beautifully interweaves action and adventure with loony comedy.
Apparently, Miyazaki himself drew much of the long, action-filled second half of the film.
I highly recommend this DVD to everyone: If we do not embrace these cult classics on DVD, they will stop releasing them! Of course, the original Japanese soundtrack is far better, and also restored for superior quality).