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The Story of 90 Coins (2015)
Poignant and emotional, a tale of promises.
It is always kind of magic to see a short film so well made, even though it is not uncommon. Still, seeing photography and music as competent as beautiful is a pleasure that will never be taken for granted. Ilustrating a tale about a passionate couple and their often conflicting desires, sound and image make the brief, but profound story, much more engaging.
In only 9 minutes, "The Story of 90 Coins" explores months, maybe years of a couple. At first, they are gloomy. He is so in love with her that he wants to forget the world and marry her. She, on the other side of the coin, is not on the same page, but also not completely closed to the idea. Out of this bittersweet disagreement, something unique is born. For 90 days, each day, he will give her a coin. If she wants to marry him by the end of it, they will use the money for the marriage certificate; if not, they will use it to buy a couple of drinks and say goodbye.
An interesting premise, indeed, and a very well told one, too. Between well conceived organic flashbacks, the story moves forward while remembering the past always. They are together and living their everyday lives, but their shared story is still there as an ever present ghost. At first as something nostalgic, the base of their love, and later as a haunting sting from the past, one that reminds of tragedy and unhappiness.
Also ever present is the narration. This is never a problem, for it does not over-expose anything or interferes with the visual narrative. For this exact reason, I never thought I would complain about exposition in a film that avoids it so well for the greatest part of its duration. If not for a title card, it would have avoided it entirely.
This is one example of movie that has its achievements stained by one single scene, one unfortunate enough to be at the ending. Being there, it projects meaning and purpose to everything that came before. Sadly, the title card is not only cheap exposition following a very well crafted narrative, but also a moralist, simple conclusion to a good story. After being surprised more than once, I finished "The Story of 90 Coins" mildly disappointed.
The Wire (2002)
The King Stay the King.
I have just watched the Series Finale of The Wire, and I must say I'm impressed. The plot summary isn't all that attractive, and most people have not heard of it. Well, it's quite a downer actually, because if there is one thing to be said about The Wire is: Amazing.
Well, people may think that it is another cop show with incredible action sequences, guns blazing, criminals eating it. Well, to their disappointment (Or not), it isn't.
The Wire goes much deeper than that,it certainly is a cop show, but at the same time it delivers so much more than you ever thought possible. With a realistic, gritty, and a bit direct approach, this show takes on both sides of the law, and not only on the investigative side, but on their personal lives as well.
With that said, The Wire has quite a number of incredible characters, that are flawlessly developed throughout the five seasons. Each character has not only his "role" on the show, but real lives, daily activities, dialogues, fights, troubles, like any other human being. And that can be taken literally, as some of the cast actors are real life cops and Baltimore citizens. But at the same time it has this focus on the character's personal lives, it does it so well not to become have a soap opera kind of approach.
Each character is a lot more than his contribution to the plot line, these characters have family issues, problems at work, trouble with their own morals, relationships with other characters. All of this while happens while they're involved in the show's main and secondary plot lines. Which makes it more real, life does not give you time, it just throws everything at ou at the same time.
Adding up to the extremely good characters, you have a solid plot line throughout each season, that manages to keep its quality in high standards all the way. There aren't any singular episodes that you can point as an all time high of quality, The Wire is like a 13 hour story, it all fits together in the end.
The Wire also approaches certain social subjects and has a critical posture on them, kind of reflective actually. It approaches corruption, politics, public education, media, public administration, ethics and morals. And it also does it flawlessly, never making it look like a documentary or academic research. And with each new season and new subject comes new characters, and not once I have been disappointed in any of them.
It all adds up as a very complete experience, going from the struggles of the power of a politician, to the personal troubles a husband has with his wife, to the reality drug addicts live in, to the everyday police work, and to much more.
Certainly is a must watch if I may say so, if you are looking for an intelligent show that actually makes you use your head a little, you just found it.
North by Northwest (1959)
Certainly worth watching.
Recently, I had to slow down on watching the movies from my Watchlist because of my girlfriend, and finally after a long time I could get her to watch this great piece of cinema.
Cary Grant's acting is worth watching the movie, the great pieces of dialogue, the charm and how natural it all looks is amazing. Still, I'd change that pair of gray socks for a pair of black socks anytime.
The plot is full of surprises and it's quite hard to predict anything until much later in the movie, so be prepared for quite a few twists along the movie. It's a must watch if you are slightly interested in Hitchcock's work.