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P.S. There's no image of beautiful Candy Dulfer, so there is Clarence Clemons as a sax player.
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Brave New World in the Twilight Zone
This episode is very compelling and atmospheric though with a bit predictable ending. Charles Beaumont did a great job as always and obviously based his story on Aldous Huxley's Brave New World - a book which I highly recommend, unlike its recent adaptation which presents BNW as a utopian society instead of dystopian and glorifies it instead of satirizing it as Huxley did.
The lighting and cinematography are great in this TZ episode and reminiscing of German expressionism (Cabinet of Dr Caligari). Combine that with costumes and fake smiles of characters, it really gives a sinister and twisted image of a brainwashed society of the future that seems closer and closer. Huxley predicted it better than Orwell in 1984, though both books are brilliant and draw inspiration from Yevgeniy Zamyatin's 'We'. Still, it seems that we're heading for a totalitarian society controlled by drugs and drawing in physical pleasures rather than fear and tyranny.
Good remake of Hardcore (1979)
Although many users and critics link this movie to Seven (1995) cause it comes from the same screenwriter, basically it is much closer to Hardcore (1979). In it, the main character (brilliant George C. Scott) also delves into the world of underground pornography and sickening snuff films, investigating a young girl's death - only that girl is his daughter.
Like Hardcore, 8MM keeps a moral sense to it all throughout the movie and does a fine job to develop the central character, so it is quite unjustly bashed by critics. It has a good script, directing and performance. It isn't boring, the pace is good and has no major plot holes.
The portrayal of violent pornography makes you sick and it's repulsive, but that's how it should be!
A Whisper to a Roar (2012)
There's nothing heroic about this doc or the people involved in its creation. And surely nothing spontaneous. The girl from Ukraine fragment is an actress and wife of Ukraine's info channel 24 director and she's been instructed and well-thought what to say and how. She was later rewarded with a summer camp at Harvard and apprenticeship at Stanford before taking a high-profile position in Odessa. Ben Moses had two months to instruct her, while he himself and his 'projects' are financed by Larry Diamond, one of the main protagonists of American 'liberation' and 'democratization' of the rest of the world. Funnily, the USA and 'developed' western countries are never the subjects of their documentaries on democracy...
The reason is that this is nothing but a guide for conducting a revolution or a coup via manipulating large masses of people dissatisfied with their current regime. A story of how to do it from behind the scenes, masked under the false claim of delivering democracy while instead plunging countries into violent riots, and often, bloody civil wars. The aim? To get rid of the disobeying dictators only to replace them with another authoritarian system that will allow powerful political figures in the US to have more control and bigger economic and military influence in the region.
The Great Buster (2018)
The greatly missed Buster
People's collective sense of humor change with time. But, this reminds me of people frantically trying to keep up with technology that is supposed to make their lives easier. Just as we become more and more addicted to and dependent on technology and all its modern gadgets - we gradually lose our own resourcefulness and creativity.
This is what happened in movie industry with comedies (and not just comedies). First we had silent B&W movies where you needed to be a genius to make audience laugh with no use of sound and color, with things you could barely call special effects today and smart use of dialogues only when necessary. A while later, it was easier for actors and directors as they could use all those things to make a good movie. Need for ingenuity lowered.
Then suddenly, the only thing that worked was actors swearing in almost every line they spoke. Nowadays, almost exclusively, directors rely on swearing, sarcasm and cheap irony (in other genres blood, nudity, violence, etc.).
Need for ingenuity practically disappeared. Or do we need it more than ever?
One of such original genius of the silent era was Buster Keaton. And he pretty much did all his best work himself - he wrote the scenes, directed them, acted in them and pulled many highly dangerous stunts to achieve perfection each time. This documentary by Peter Bogdanovich (Petar Bogdanovic in Serbian - he's my countryman :)) puts the Great Buster under the spotlight right in time as the cinema is crying for it. And it will serve as a quality intro for announced restoration of the comic's top movies. Bogdanovich's choice of talking heads is questionable, but some of them are obviously selected to draw the younger audience.
It is truly a celebration of Keaton's legacy but also a reminder what the real, healthy humor is all about - not vulgarity and humiliation, but simplicity, originality and inventiveness. This brilliant comic was known as the Great Stone Face, but - as pointed out by Cybill Shepherd (and as told by John Ford once) - you act with your eyes, not with your face.
I just hope that at least a part of today's spoiled audience that only ask for new, loud, fast (and senseless) movies will recognize the great value of Buster's works - all presented timely and nicely by Bogdanovich - and discover it for themselves. I sure will, although I decided this already after watching The General.The Genius Buster - the one we need today...
Heartbreaking Sad Work of Art
This is absolutely beautiful movie that depicted brilliantly life of working class in France in the late 19th century. It is based on Emile Zola's novel L'Assommoir.
The main protagonist is perfectly portrayed by amazing Maria Schell and we can see well into all of Gervaise's virtues, but frailties as well and understand her emotions and struggles she endures constantly in her troubled life. The ending leaves Gervaise in full misery and the director Rene Clement turns our attention to her little daughter Anna - called Nana - that will be the protagonist of another, even more famous Zola's novel of the same name.
We Were Strangers (1949)
Good movie, but the point - there are noble American individuals who spend a lot of their money, time and energy just to liberate people around the world and bring them freedom and justice they dream of - is simply stupid. Unfortunately, many prominent intellectuals like Huston believe(d) in this. But what has ever changed for that people and country, after they managed to 'liberate' them? You think people in Afghanistan, Balkan live better now? That Iraqis and Libyans are happier without Husein and Gaddafi now? Whom Americans enabled to rule before that...
There were/are Americans who support battles against foreign regimes (not only with words), but they do it all for their own interest in that country, not cause they're humanitarians. They all end up powerful and very reach after they use naive 'revolutionaries' who give their lives to the 'great cause'.
The Godfather II puts it much better.
Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)
...got over the edge while developing intellectual and rational part of a human's personality. People became too self-orientated and egoistic while searching for something they felt was missing inside of them. That's what is destroying The family as an institution in the western society, giving birth to every other social problem. And that's what Joanna felt she was missing, too. Everybody's concentrating on pursuing their careers thinking that will make them feel complete but it only brings more misery.
Joanna was feeling lost, unfulfilled and not useful? Well, she could have got herself a job. Yes, mother is the most important person in every child's life (especially from 3-5 years of age), but she could have paid a nanny from the earned money. Ted worked, took care of a kid, without the nanny. All alone. He managed somehow. Because he loved his son and felt responsible for him. The child doesn't come from out of nowhere, by it's own will. Father and mother are responsible for that. where was Ted when his son hit his head? HE was there! The bigger reason why Joanna left Ted was that she needed a man, meaning a lover. He neglected her cause of his work. But that need she felt was more important to her than her own child - that's where she lost every sympathy from me. It's simply selfish and irresponsible.
Est - Ouest (1999)
Poor, poor Seryozha...
He first goes to his father's homeland because his parents decided so. Upon arrival they barely get out alive, only to live in a very uncomfortable apartment in another town. But that's alright cause his parents' great love will get them through anything. But, no... His dad gets mixed up with a woman from the room across of theirs. He confesses it to Seryozha's mum because he's a man of principle. Mum kicks Dad because she's a woman of principle. He now lives with his new woman that Seryozha doesn't seem to be very fond of. Very soon Mum starts an affair with a 17-year old swimmer that she was so nice to let in their room, but she lies Seryozha's dad about that affair (she's got different principles, I guess). By the way, they both very much love their son. Small problem for Seryozha is that Mum wants him to only speak French in the house and Dad wants him to only speak Russian in the house. Once the swimmer gets out of the picture, and Dad gets enough of his new woman, he goes back to Mum, who generously accepts him. The happy family is reunited and stronger than ever! But the swimmer reappears and Mum is willing to try and escape to another country with him... Many more dramatic troubles turn up, but the liberal love of Seryozha's parents conquers and we get a pretty happy ending. Oh, boy...
This movie really shows how easy every man and woman and even little children can come to show their hidden flaws. On top of those that are not hidden... It reminds you how we don't really belong to some special and pure species and can easily become more blood-thirsty than any animal.
"Love, Love, makes the world beautiful!" - ends the movie ironically and the town's people continue their lives as if nothing happened, as if they didn't just drive an innocent man to death. And it is Love for a wrong man that made Alice do so many bad and terrible things, it is Love for wrong woman that made M. Hire not to turn the real killer to justice and that cost him his own life.
Monte Walsh (1970)
The end of The Old West... in style!
This is really a top western. The thematic is similar to the one in Man Without a Star, but here - there's nowhere left to run. The sad twilight of the wild west is everywhere in this one. It depicts wonderfully the end of the cowboys, open plains, saloons of the time (saloon girls especially)- the end of The Old West. It is also pretty much the end of Marvin's and Palance's careers in western (with exceptions of very good 'The Spikes Gang' and 'Chato's Land') and the golden era of western genre. The only thing that starts is the career of Fraker as a director!
The horse taming scene is simply incredible, the only one close to it is Yul Brynner's rampage in 'Invitation to a Gunfighter'.
First to notice - Dragomir Bojanić Gidra is from Serbia, not Croatia, as written in one otherwise very good review of this movie. He had a good role in this one, but from other spaghetti westerns in which he had a leading role, I would recommend 'Ballata per un pistolero' and 'The Last Killer'. Here as Tequila Joe, skillful lawman who lost his sharpness and courage (and faith in law) due to partly mysterious event from his past, and now all he tries to do is find peace of mind by being constantly drunk. Gidra still shows more than in his other westerns because here his character has to slowly transform back to righteous, resolute, adamant sheriff, or at least close to it, at the very end of the movie. Great actor such as Gidra was, suited that much better.