What intrigues me about the movie is the way it deals with the question of personal guilt. First it shows the natural impulse of its two very young protagonists to simply run away. Yet the movie also illustrates that his deed places Honza apart from everyday life from the very start. How he is doomed to watch from the shadows at people going on with their common life. Another favourite is when they eat some poultry and Tonda is cutting the meat with a knife. Honza notices this and immediately stops eating though he surely must be hungry, because to him a knife means something else than a more or less innocent tool. So it becomes obvious that in some way there is no running away from your conscience, and I definitely love the ending.
Back to Clint Brenner, one of the gunslingers: He is the essential loner who in a rather funny dialogue verbatim expresses that he chooses not to get involved with other people. Nevertheless he is no sociopath, he has got humour and he gets along with people, he even helps them if it cannot be avoided. What might be a deficit, the fact that it is never explained how and why he got to dislike human company, (there are some hints though) is rather an advantage because the focus is now on how opens up again. In the end there is one, maybe two or three relationships he has got. Two scenes are really outstanding in this context. The first is when the wounded Jade tries to ask him to abandon the fight and Lex Barker's facial expression, especially his eyes, grows suddenly very hard and unforgiving when only the moment before he was very soft. His whole demeanor is saying that he won't discuss this with anybody. The second scene is him lying on the bed just before the fight staring at the ceiling and giving the impression that he is pretty well aware of the fact, that this whole business will boil down on either him killing somebody or him being killed, with every implication this might hold. I also love how this is contrasted with Reese', his opponents, preparations. He is almost carelessly easy and light-hearted about it.
This sounds like a pretty odd movie and yet it isn't. To me it was a wonderful journey of love and maybe the only way to show such a deep emotion. The way Ana is searching high and low, the narrow places she is getting herself into. Or my favourite scene, when Ristol, who in the meantime inhabits the murdered woman's body, meets and recognizes Ana, only to lose her yet again and how, in his final manifestation as a stone handed by Ana to the woman, he is calling out her name.
Last but not least I'd like to mention the cinematography, which displays some stunningly beautiful pictures of the Asturian seaside.
First of all the Native Americans, here represented by the Hurons, do not carry the main conflict. In fact they are quite civilized, for they agree to let their sworn enemy, Hutter, go free in return for the scalps of the people Hutter has killed.
The actual conflicting parties are Old Hutter and Harry March on the one side and mainly Deerslayer and Chingachook on the other. The main mystery for Deerslayer to solve - and it is no McGuffin - is why the Hurons are attacking and it really is something despicable and dark: Old Hutter has been hunting for Native Americans and with the help of Harry March been selling their scalps. Old Hutter does it to revenge his wife and March is in it for the money, which in fact will bring Deerslayer and Chingachook in pretty bad trouble. Something that Deerslayer decidedly is horrified by.
Even though one might argue about the happy ending, it is the movie's merit to explicitly show this horrible practice of putting a price on Native Americans' scalps.
In prison he gets to know Francis Silverberg, who introduces him into the criminal world of accounting for the mob, who also from the little glimpses we get of their relationship acts like a father to him. Once he learns that Silverberg was brutally tortured to death his path is set and he takes revenge. Yet and this is important he meets yet another father J.K. Simmons' Ray King. And there will be another "father" John Lithgow's Lamar Black, who will go to any length to protect his "child".
And this is only one aspect under which to watch this movie because it also deals with for example art. I certainly enjoyed it and will most probably watch it a second time.
This is really a major spoiler, so don't go ahead if you haven't yet watched the movie!
It is actually Batman who wins and he wins because his wrath and hatred has left him void of almost any human emotion. Lex Luthor really knew which note to strike to push his irascibility. Technically defeated - which I did not expect - Superman was only lucky to hit Batman's only soft spot.
A more than honourable mention of Jeremy Iron's Alfred, whose wry sense of humour and eloquence only leave him once. I'd really, really love to see more of this Alfred and Batman.
There is this storyline when the king and Lola are still focusing on art while the self-righteous revolution is breaking out, and though I did not know at the time, I realised that it must have been the same for Ophüls when he was a director in Germany and the Nazis were gaining power. The king's longing look out of the window at all that was lost haunted me. Then there is this scene where Lola gets saved by the students, fleeing Munich in the middle of the night, just like Ophüls left Berlin at the last moment. When I was at the Parc de Bercy in Paris to watch the restored version, I sensed the great silence in the audience. Maybe like me they were thinking of all these people, who had not been so lucky.
I'm so sorry that this masterpiece was not regarded as such when it was first released and even more at the fact that it was butchered subsequently. Sorry also that Ophüls himself witnessed this, but yet again grateful for the effort displayed in restoring it to its original beauty.
This movie makes your adrenalin rush, for the camera and action is almost moving constantly. As other reviewers have already pointed out this is a movie shot in one continuous flow, making it feel like one shot though technically speaking it was edited. Because of this it also plays in real time and it is an awfully packed and complex story for its running time of ca 65 minutes. Whole life stories are condensed in it. At least the ones of the main character Carl and his girlfriend lost and recovered, Janie.
First at all though I'd love to talk about the cinematography and its effects on the audience, which must be me. Since there is this constant move and since the camera has to be positioned inbetween the interacting actors, I got the feeling of being much more immediately involved in the whole story than usually. I became a sort of silent, close witness of it all. And to push this effect even beyond this, at times the camera angle would change drawing me really into the character's standpoint, especially after Carl is shot and his dizziness gets reflected by the camera's constantly tumbling around.
Back to the story, basically it's about a well planned heist that goes horribly wrong. The main character is Carl who is being released from prison when the movie begins. During the ensuing 65 minutes the audience witnesses the heist, learns about Carl's relationship to Patrick, an old pal, who helped him organize the heist, a former girlfriend, Janie, gets shagged and then recaptured and maybe lost again, wrongs dating back from schooldays get resolved, even the question why Carl and Patrick ended up as criminals gets touched. The underlying current is a theme of reunion and reconciliation. In this whole scheme Carl undergoes the greatest evolution, from the hard-boiled ex-con to the sincere and responsible lover.
Sometimes when the lights go up I imagine what would happen after the movie's ending and in this case, though in reality they wouldn't stand a chance, I imagine that Janie and Carl would be happy because both of them discovered something precious, something to give them hope.
And yet this movie manages to put absolute sincerity into one of the weirdest love scenes I've ever seen: a sort of Frankenstein's monster declaring his eternal love to a robot. It's got to be true that at the very heart of it this is actually a love story. And in a more daring approach I can even see it as a sort of love-hate story between William and Yegor, after all they have to learn to live with one another if they want to survive. Live, learn and above all communicate.
Though the movie definitely is a low budget production and hence suffers a lot from this, it still offers some good cinematography, like the final fight between Tatoya and William/Yegor.
In the end this documentary - and this reaction may seem odd - made me glad to be Rhenish and that there is carnival over here and that I can get dressed up as whatever I like at least once a year.
The other preliminary is that the first thing I learned about this movie is that it was banned in Germany for being too brutal and yet I watched it and am glad I did for I was pleasantly surprised - if one can talk of pleasant in the context of a horror movie. For what I found was a movie that takes its brutality and gore and the effect on its protagonists seriously.
For me the conflict became evident in Ash's exclamation: "Why are you torturing me like this?". First of all I took it as being directed against the demons who are of course threatening him, but then I discovered some other deeper meaning here. For he is the only one who actually knows the remedy against them, which is dismemberment, but he is also shown as being very reluctant to actually apply it. So what is tormenting Ash is also this knowledge and the effects it does or would have on his soul. Which according to Peter Brook also happens to be the central one in Hamlet. Hamlet is ordered to revenge his father's death, but at the same time the ghost also demands him not to taint his soul. In both cases the choices are horrible and both are quite classic.
Though the movie's namesake the ghost Hui Buh may be a little bit over the top according to my taste, the acting is superb, especially Christoph Maria Herbst as König Julius,der 111.; his timing is absolutely brilliant (and this is probably the closest he will ever get to playing a romantic lead). The humour in this comedy is at times hilarious and silly,but never ever turns nasty.
BTW I immediately ventured to watch the entire movie... ;)
The real highlight of the movie is the wonderful soundtrack, music you are not likely to hear in other movies and I must admit that it incited me to look for at least digital copies.
BTW Danny Dyer and Martin Freeman do get a scene together but one of them is no longer able to talk.
So please, please, if anybody reads this do me a favour and have Martin Freeman do a real screwball comedy, for I fear he would be excellent - just the right timing. The 6 out of ten is for the acting!
The story, I'm afraid is sort of a letdown and in the days of virtual reality seems far too dated. Somebody getting absorbed by his dreams feels so obsolete in these days when there are so much more real and effective ways to dilute your mind.
The final catch does not really come as a surprise, it's something like "the perfect kiss is the kiss of death", Gary finally ends his quest - or was it Mel's - and ends up in the perfect dream.
I've not yet made up my mind if this movie is a satire, mocking its characters, or if it is a more serious drama. In the best case it would be both, in the worst none actually and just talky I'm afraid. My personal view on dreams, which gets also touched in the course of the story, is that they do encourage you to make them real.
Basically it is a silent movie starring a mime and that's about all I'd like to tell about the story. For the thing that really intrigued me as a silent movie aficionado is that Lillian Gish insisted on the fact that silent movie acting was no mime and now here we've got people exactly playing with this idea. The mime really lives in his mime world, in contrast to the "real" world of his girlfriend. Yet the excellent Martin Freeman as the mime manages to subtly work out emotions that run beyond the mime's painted surface. If you come across it at a short film festival in your vicinity, be sure to catch it.
The first scene I've chosen to watch was the scene in which Rembrandt is drawing the dead Saskia, my first reaction and it was an emotional response was that I was crying with my tears streaming down my face, all the while I was intellectually realising that Rembrandt was learning an important lesson at this very moment. Whereas in his works and paintings he is the creator and god, he cannot for one iota change or influence what is going on in the "real" world. His potency regretfully does not stretch that far, moreover he has to submit to it and feels as defenseless as a little child. Somehow lines from my favourite Shakespeare play Cymbeline keep coming to my mind and so they be here "You snatch some hence for little faults; that's love,;To have them fall no more"! Indeed a moving scene and I'm sure that I've only just scratched its surface. Important question raised what impact does art have on life and vice versa? Added August 16th: Now I've watched the opening scene I come to realise that my initial responses were correct, in a way I should have thought of much earlier. One of my favourite books is Memoires d'Aveugle:L'Autoportrait et autres Ruines/Memoirs of the Blind: The Self-Portrait and Other Ruins. Basically it's the catalogue of an exhibition of drawings curated by Jacques Derrida. Its main topics are art, blindness and truth and it feels like Peter Greenaway is talking about exactly the same, add maybe the dilemma between art and life to it. Other references watching the second scene would maybe escape people who are not really into the matter, but one of the hues of yellow is distilled from the urine of cattle that have been poisoned before. Just to show that this is a highly complex movie.
Because it definitely is I've started a thread on the message board entitled "Starting a series of posts about it on my blog".