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Såsom i en spegel (1961)
A Case Study
To study the process - a case study. An uninhabited depth dimension. "As in a mirror" has offered the world of cinema massive inspiration. It is unique image structure, mental depiction and an enhanced dialect.
- You can not live in two worlds. It's so horrid when you see the confusion and understand it completely. Bergman pours himself out. Andrei Tarkovsky received. And others...
An existential drama from Estonia/USSR. It is close to the end of WW II. A mental hospital housed in a stylish manor. Sturmbannführer August Windisch appears in a number of moods, positions and costumes. We are taught to believe he is on a mission to detect a British spy. There's much more to the story. Plenty. It's also hilarious and intricate. The subconscious rules. A very rare film of central European character. See it.
Sista ringen (1955)
I told him half of what he knows.
About the final grade of upper secondary school/ senior high. Two ambitious students, Clarence a filthy rich patrician and Eric from a poor upbringing, become close friends. Discussions about existentialism arise. Clarence stepsister falls in love with Eric. She want's to save him. The film commutes between modern influences and past times. It is odd, undeveloped and unfinished.
Le piège des Kim (2018)
The World of Kim's
An unusually contentious documentary who cleverly presents the relationship between the United States and North Korea. And the costly mistakes that George W Bush did during his first year as president. Exclusive film from the world of the KIm's.
Niemand bleibt hier?
Niemand bleibt hier. Who said that?
A narrator in images widening the knowledge of the other side of the world. Incredible suction and depth in some pictures. Deeply related with Andrei Tarkovsky and Béla Tarr. And Jacques Tati?
But most of the time the images co-exist with a story. Sometimes even words. And expressions. Lav Diaz fumbles in terms of dialogue and instruction of actors. Sometimes it slips into the conventional.
Phase IV (1974)
I think it chose me for saying something. A man with a unique sense of style and simplicity in relation to the image and storytelling. That's Saul Bass. The graphic designer.
I'm not very fond of ants but I admire their collective intelligence. Just like the bees. I wish we androids could possess this skill. We would be so much better off.
Bees are very sensitive creatures, while ants are made of teflon. I think bees cry too. We are creatures made out of fast food and various drugs. With thumbs. The end might come as a surprise to you.
Citizen Schein (2017)
Nobody puts Harry in the corner.
Facts stacked without a true context. I expected a fat biopic. And not an excerpt of "60 minutes". Of course, there is a complex story about Harry below the surface. Not so well-hidden. Not so hard to find out. But we did not get to see it this time.
The Arrow of Time (2017)
If you care to pick up the timeline from Hiroshima and onward, this is a good documentary. About nuclear arms race, the cold war, glasnost u.s.w...
Kitchen Zink Realism!
Take me to your darkest room. Close every window and lock the door. This is kitchen zink realism. Wow! A film that actually tell you a story with the help of dialogue and images. Who does not want to dazzle you with artistry. Or trying to hide that the story is made up along the way. In "Cardinals" we are offered a story with substance. Plus a cast and a crew who knows how to communicate this and more to us, the audience. I am so grateful. This is the play Sam Shepard never got around to write. "It's also the best film that Atom Egoyan never made." (Andrew Parker TIFF)
Bolshoi Babylon (2015)
You know nothing. You are so naive.
Russians like to advise. Russians also like to mythologize their present. Trying to tell you what Russia is, how it is ruled, controlled and where they are heading. - You know nothing. You are so naive. Is something you often get to hear from an the insightful, conscious and urbane Russian. "Bolshoi Babylon" is trying to tell the story of going too far. To trample over the Russian line that marks what should be witnessed by the world of their internal affairs. Vlad Urin plays this role with great experiment and passion. Sergei Filin not so much. Bolshoi Theatre has lately shocked the ballet world by canceling the premiere of a biographical show about the dancer Rudolf Nureyev at the last minute. The unusually outspoken director of Nureyev was Kirill Serebrennikov has been questioned in a criminal investigation. действие!
The Psychopath (1966)
Another Robert Bloch story/screenplay. On his latter days favorite subject. Disturbed young men. Having difficulties freeing themselves from their mothers. Like in "Psycho" and "Enoch" for example. John Standing portraits this bipolar disorder. Some clever ideas including a large number of puppets. And Margaret Johnston as master puppeteer. make things happen occasionally. Patrick Wymark configure his usual clever and creaky DI, detective inspector. A smaller shipyard serves as an exciting environment in one great scene. The Birds "How can it be?" are heard from a jukebox during an art class. Great clattering British R&B. A red Volvo Amazon B18 plays a certain role in the intro. Freddie Frances is not at his very best. Judy Huxtable and Gina Gianelli are the figureheads.
Phantom of the Paradise (1974)
I refused to see this film when it was released. Rumor had that it was a sorry collection of imitations and extensive plagiarism of real music, theater and film. In addition, Paul Williams had a lot of influence over production. Tonight I dared to watch this hullabaloo. I found Jessica Harper OK. And the suction cup in Beef's face. Otherwise it sounded a lot like Queen and occasionally as The Doors. The show was expressed like "Jesus Christ Superstar", "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" or a pimped up "Hair". Paul Williams was re-using melodies of Elton John and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Some Randy Newman too. There's also a negative side.
"After all, you two have not talked to each other for forty years. Why start now?" "Hrútar" is an Icelandic saga about two brothers - sheep-raiders - weathery and persistent. To a certain extent biblical, similar to Cain and Abel, or Esau and Jacob's fates. "Brothers don't necessarily have to say anything to each other – they can sit in a room and be together and just be completely comfortable with each other." That's pretty much it. "Hrútar" is also a very fine and accurate composition of image, setting and atmosphere. And sounds from Atli Örvarsson.
The T.A.M.I. Show (1964)
"There is nothing new except what has been forgotten."
Get together! The end message of the t.a.m.i. show. Rolling Stones performing this theme song with the Supremes and the rest of the cast. Amazing what we could do in the 60's. And the generation gap. Watching Lesley Gore, three years younger than Mick Jagger, but looking like something out of the Grand Ole Opry. And James Brown. Having problems with getting the vocals right because of his many other activities. And the amount of inspiration from James Brown to Mick Jagger. Chuck Berry opens the show looking confused. The Supremes are absolutely smashing! Diana Ross at twenty. All of this at the old Santa Monica Civic. Got to see the Barbarians as well. And Darlene Love. Phil Spector conducts? Terri Garr is go-go dancing. "There is nothing new except what has been forgotten."
The other side of faith
The opening scene of the mother pushing the window open, seizing the day and it's mission, is a short film in it's self. Exciting beautiful and accidental. The mother puts on her transparent flare. Later it is preaching the pedestrian zone. The pastor makes the most of it. The girl sings uninspired falsely through her braces to muzak chords of her mommy muzak. Praise the Lord! When evening falls the girl take a walk on the other side of faith. You get a lot of life in just 15 minutes time.
What the Health (2017)
Man is a very adaptable creature.
Drowning in information and opinions. Fictional facts to pimp the message. Good but commercial intentions. Inspirational after all. But the vegans are blind on at least one eye. The north. A bit like the buddies of Xenu. Man is a very adaptable creature. In fact, the most adaptable around. Therefore we survive. For another while. We eat what's available. Ask the people of Nuuk. However, I will probably take better care of myself. Somehow I have become very cautious. When I put on a raincoat, I put on sunglasses too. Oh, did I mention the umbrella and the red rubber boots? I usually bet on rainfall.
The Night Of (2016)
Boil down this Wagner opera to 150 minutes.
Swedish lawyer and hard-boiled crime writer mentioned "The Night Of" as something extraordinary. So I watched the mini series over a couple of weeks. Immediately, I felt that the writers had not decide what their perspective should be. If you mix conventional storytelling, with tricking the viewer and changing perspective to cover up some defects in the tale, it will be messy. Much like John Stone's two feet. This great amount of hours it takes to give us this relatively simplistic story is so diluted with feet, faces and walls, that the writers themselves get lost. The director allows a lot of ham-acting for what he thinks brings authenticity. Jeannie Berlin knows better. Riz Ahmed too. And strangely the non-actor Hon Jen Two. Boil down this Wagner opera to 150 minutes.
Flickan och djävulen (1944)
Freaked out on superstition.
Hampe Faustman (1919-1961) was a rare Swedish left wing director and actor. Inspired many in his trade. The prologue includes the burning of the witch Marit, serious cursing from the pyre and a wild bunch of superstitious Swedish farmers who submits to God and the devil at the same time. Gunn Wållgren portrays the farm girl from nowhere as well as the spirit of the witch Marit. The divided self. Every man and boy falls for her. The devil is pleased. He appears in the disguise of a travelling trader. Among other things, he sells a gold embroiled skirt that makes old hags beautiful and turns whores into virgins. It's the eighteenth century.
Chung Hing sam lam (1994)
What are you doing in my apartment?
"Somehow I've become very cautious. When I put on a raincoat, I put on sunglasses too." An inspiring, different and innovative film. A minor masterpiece if the film also had provided important elements like character development and gestaltung. In "Chungking Express" the actors are sadly turned into puppets. Exposing their private peculiarities and poses. The dialogue is sometimes purely Freudian; - What are you doing in my apartment? - You asked me to visit.
Hem från Babylon (1941)
An almost impossible story to transfer to film. But the outstanding actress Gerd Hagman and dynamic director Alf Sjöberg make it happen. The cast is bursting with odd figures and actors from different contexts and epochs. But this is Gerd Hagman's film, from beginning to end. She introduces a modern young woman from the cramped bourgeoisie of the Swedish small town and glamour and party in the Paris metropolis.
La possibilité d'une île (2008)
The next thousand years collapses.
From Daniel 1 to Daniel 25. The opening scene of the Elohimit revival meeting is promising. The next thousand years collapses into an unexpected longeur. He once again addresses big ideas, but without giving them big thought or serious attention. This time the main subjects are mankind's desire for immortality, as made possible by cloning, and, again, human love. At times he gets bored with his own rants in misantrophy, racism, paedophilia and torture. The novel barks up the wring tree. The film is a cosmic desert. Upsetting that Houellebecq wasted 7 000000 on this project.
"In the end, there's only death."
"In the end, there's only death." If you do not bother to read books, this is a naked centerfold of the author's fantasies and shortcomings. Michel Houellebecq's novel shine in new elements. Unusually gifted screenwriter and director, this Oskar Roehler. His innovated remake of "Jud Süss" is well worth two hours of your life. In this film you find an inflamed brilliant ensemble. Try to match this gang. Martina, Nina & Franka is almost too god to be true. And you get all the essential keys to understanding the persona of Houellebecq. Plus an overdose of sadness and grief.
The Third Reich is not to be trifled with.
German films about Nazism often face the evil eye from reviewers. No exception in this case. Director Oskar Roehler clarified; "Our aim was to enter the innermost sanctum of Nazi high society, and to portray how seducible artists were in the Third Reich". The Third Reich is not to be trifled with. Not now, when we finally have mapped and interpreted Nazism forever. This film delivers a different message and conclusion. De- demonizing the clowns and incarcerating the followers. Many have been outraged by the unabashed rough sex between Gudrun Landgrebe's and Tobias Moretti's characters. Not to mention the brilliant scene where the merrymaking German locals whines about the crumbs that the American liberators hands over to the surviving camp inmates. "Jud Süss" is played out as the war operetta it was. Blind, boisterous, excessive, orgastic, self-indulgent, greedy, in curling pastel colors. Much like Fassbinder's "Lili Marleen" or Szabó's "Mephisto". Nazism and its demons is still a moneymaker in the media world.
Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
Like a stag party
Having recently re-watched "Eyes wide shut" I find it strikingly juvenile. Like a stag party. The producers writing credit name that the film is "inspired by the novel by Arthur Schnitzler " implicitly "Traumnovelle / Dream Story" from 1926. Given the temporal update, the film's script closely follows Arthur Schnitzler's text. On the other hand, "Eyes Wide Shut" is also inspired by Wolfgang Glück's film "Traumnovelle" from 1969. How on earth did the Kubrick come up with the idea of recruiting T.C. for the lead? And did he ever feel he made the right choice? Tom Cruise does what he does. Millins of fans is proof of that. But to involve him in a delicate story by Arthur Schnitzler? One morning William wakes up to find that his life has changed. He tries to fall back asleep, thinking that it is a dream, but to no avail. He tries taking a shower to wash the "dream" off him, but finds it doesn't work, when his wife Alice walks into the bathroom, and screams, he explains to her that the man in front of the mirror is him.
Certain Women (2016)
No dream is altogether a dream.
Kelly Reichardt continues assiduous to give us images and pictures from the old country. In the near future she will have her own festival of films of a lesser following. This is a film that does not take into account its market or industry, nor does it have a plan for how and where it will reach its potential audience. Thats rare and well-worth to appreciate. Kelly Reichardt has a knack for picking the right people to put in front of the camera and embed in these environments. She also has a strong sense for the importance of the underlying importance of the words and gestures. Quite unusual in movies from the USA. "Certain Women" opens with a scene inspired by the "Psycho". And goes on to offer more interesting film references. With that pleasant concise low energy. A sight for sore eyes. No dream is altogether a dream.