Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Here are some of the best films I've seen recently: Good Bye, Lenin! (2003) - German comedy about the fall of the wall and the GDR, German reunification, becomes a poignant tale of a son's love for his socialist mom, who is in a coma when the big events occur so her kids try to hide the news from her when she awakens! Ballad of a Soldier (1959) - one of the first Russian films to reach the U.S. is a beautiful black and white travel film, of a train ride home for a teenage Russian soldier to visit his mother on their prairie farm on a special 'hero's furlough' The Emperor and the Assassin (1998) - another monster-sized Chinese historical epic, about the king of Qin in 220 B.C., almost Shakespearean tale involving three kingdoms and wars of unification, and an inside assassination plot Gadjo Dilo (1997) - passionate Romanian film about a young French man with gypsy ancestors in Romania who's made a journey there to find a singer of a song his father loved; Rona Hartner is dazzling as a singer-dancer and won two int'l awards for her role Ashes of Time Redux (2007) - terrific Chinese (Hong Kong) director Wong Kar-Wai remade his 1994 samurai film; it's a cinematic treat, painterly, poetic, hallucinogenic. Wong is a master and uses film like paint Rivers and Tides: Andy Goldsworthy, Working in Time (2003) - amazing documentary by Thomas Riedelscheimer follows Scottish artist, sculptor, and environmental artist as he creates pieces in nature with natural found materials UPDATE: I just saw Slumdog Millionaire on dvd, and reviewed it. Terrific film, a bit brutal in places, definitely not for younger viewers. Great directing, style, story, music - and Freida Pinto is dazzling.