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Éloge de l'amour (2001)
A fascinating, engaging exploration of big themes
This is a visually impressive, stunning exploration of many themes which would not ordinarily seem to be amenable to film. If you're not much of a thinker, I'm not sure how I might convince you to see this film... but it *is* worth seeing. There is humour and intelligence and a deep subtlety to this film. Godard possesses and portrays more ideas and original explorations of broad themes than (m)any other contemporary film makers.
Paris, the Breton coast, globalisation, love, memory, humanity, war, the State, history and memory both individual and collective... universality, showing moments of love, moments in history, in time... they are all here in stunning form.
A wonderfully deep, evocative film which can take a while to 'digest' intellectually, as the subject matter is so diverse and 'big'... but in a good way! In fact something as simplistic as the opposition of bad/good has no place in this film or to do with it. This is a marvellous film which is, admittedly, challenging.
If you don't want to think or be challenged - either don't watch this film, or watch it and enjoy the beautiful music and wonderful visual qualities (and remember that it's still better than MTV).
La double vie de Véronique (1991)
Superb! Existential feast of ideas from the Master!
Kieslowski drives me to hyperbole, but I am not exaggerating when I say that this film is truly one of the best films ever made. It's an exploration of identity, presentiments, relationships (with the "self" and others) and the soul. Such themes could be messed around, but in the hands of such talented people, these so-called "irrationalities" are brought to life with beauty, subtlety and intelligence.
The music is amazing, the cinematography is stunning and Irene Jacob is wonderful. This is one of greatest films to explore the idea of the soul - and one of the best films, in general. If you haven't seen it, prepare to be moved by the metaphysical, the mysterious, and the humanity of the piece. If you like the Trois Couleurs trilogy, you'll surely love this too and maybe even feel like you've returned home, to the tree, to life, to the beginning - Kieslowski had the ability to move us all in such ways. Enjoy his beautiful film!
A moving story of love over oppression.
Martin Sherman's play "Bent" has been much-praised since its first staging starring Sir Ian McKellen, and Mathias's film builds on this success. Clive Owen and Lothaire Bluteau are astounding in this film based on the 'Night of the Long Knives', where so-called homosexuals were killed or sent to work camps.
The film begins with the wonderfully decadent Berlin nightclubs: Greta's club. This is where Mick Jagger plays Greta/George and sings the empty, haunting melodies of the cynic. It continues through the backstreets of Berlin and later, the camps. The photography is wonderful and if you've seen the play you might appreciate the broad 'staging' of the film: the view is often wide, theatrical and stark.
The film successfully addresses the oppression people felt at the outbreak of war and Nazism. Ultimately, however, one might say it is a love story. The camp scenes, where the love story is 'located', are amazing. Owen and Bluteau are on fantastic form. Doomed love, oppressed love and selfless love overcoming the dreadful circumstances.
This is a film that inspires you: the story of a fight for love and survival in the face of diabolical persecution.