Now on to the good part. Literally. Oh, and there’s quite a few to discuss.
‘PICK OF THE WEEK’
Man of Steel (2013) – 7.5 (IMDb 7.8) – Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi (USA)
Under The Tuscan Sun (2002) – 7 (IMDb 6.6) – Comedy, Romance, Drama (USA)
This little ‘romcom’ starring Diane Lane looking for love in the lush Italian countryside is a charming little film. It has just about the right amount of everything: Comedy, romance and drama. It manages to pay homage to our greatest filmmaker Federico Fellini (or Fe’Fe’, as the only annoying character in this film calls him). Raoul Bova, our own movie star, shows up in the part of the clichéd heartthrob (I’d call him a douche bag, but hey). It’s a hopeful, sweet film. Above average for this kind of film, like way better than something like Letters to Juliet. The best part is definitely Diane Lane and the gorgeous scenery (is there a difference?). It is a bit expected and kind of predictable, but still a fun time: Especially the first two acts. I laughed, I cried. Recommended.
3-Iron (2004) – 9.5 (IMDb 8) – Crime, Drama, Romance (South Korea)
Unfaithful (2002) – 7 (IMDb 6.6) – Drama, Romance, Thriller (USA)
Another Diane Lane film, I was kind of on a kick after loving her in Man of Steel so much, that woman has aged better than any Hollywood actress. Anyway, Unfaithful is, you guessed it, about a woman betraying her husband. The interesting thing is how she doesn’t seem to have any apparent reason to do so. He seems to love her, they have a kid, everything is fine in little suburbia. However, humans always want something more. We’re never happy! Damn us. But seriously, this is a good drama, because it shows how cheating on your partner causes pain for everyone involved. Here they take it one step further, no spoilers, but it’s a good film, because most films would stop at showing us the sexy part of cheating (and there is a bit of that), but here they also wanted to show the regret and that’s an ugly feeling. Not many filmmakers have had the guts to go this deep, I applaud this film for trying something new although it is a bit preachy now that I think of it. Still a good film especially if you like Diane Lane and Richard Gere.
Play It Again, Sam (1972) – 7 (IMDb 7.6) – Comedy, Romance (USA)
Play It Again, Sam was only written by Woody Allen and directed by some other guy, but who are we kidding: This is very much a Woody Allen film. He co-stars in it with his muse Diane Keaton and it’s very much his sense of humor and a typical story exploring the same topics Woody has explored throughout his career: Love, art and death. Actually, there isn’t much talk of death in this film, but still. Short plot summary: After Sam (Woody Allen) is left by his wife his friends push him back into dating, but no woman seems good enough for him. Ironically, it turns out that the woman trying to set him up is the woman he wanted all along (Diane Keaton’s character), but of course she is married to his best friend (Tony Roberts). Throughout a series of gags and screwball/slapstick humor Woody Allen is trying to figure out how to be a man, with the help of his imaginary friend Humphrey Bogart.
That’s it for my weekly re-cap this week. If you have films you want to recommend, go ahead. If not, see you next week. Bye!
Mine is pretty much a no-brainer, since Federico Fellini my favorite director.
This is a shot from his masterpiece, his 1963 film 8½. To me this is one of the most beautifully composed visuals of all time. It’s just so incredibly haunting and when viewed in the context of the movie it gives me an eerie sense of loss and bewilderment. I almost feel suspended in mid-air myself, like in a dream.
Here’s a list of the best movies I watched this year so far. My major discovery was South Korean auteur Kim Ki-duk, but I also got to see Krzysztof Kieslowski’s incredible Three Colors trilogy, explore some of Fellini’s lesser known works and further dwell into the fantastic filmography of Swedish national treasure Ingmar Bergman. Ranking them was a difficult task, not my forte, but I can honestly recommend every single one of them.
1) 3-Iron (2004, Kim Ki-duk)
2) Three Colors: Red (1994, Krzysztof Kieslowski)
3) Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… And Spring (2003, Kim Ki-duk)
4) Il Bidone (1955, Federico Fellini)
5) Time (2006, Kim Ki-duk)
* Word of advice: Before watching Arirang make sure you’ve seen at least Kim Ki-duk’s most important films, it will get you a greater appreciation for it.