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  • Written by gonzalez on 14.11.2020

    It is the love story between a conductor and a singer. The story starts in 1949 when Poland wanted to present a folkoric dancing and singing group in Eastern Europe.
    This film is a very good surprise. I watch it by default. It's a black and white movie and it corresponds to the period of the story (1949-1960). Very beautiful pictures in Poland and in Paris: landscapes, faces, music instruments, dancers.
    It also explains all the tensions a couple has to face during the cold war. Who is spying on whom ? Why add a hymn to Staline in a folk concert ?
    I recommand.

  • Written by Voltumno on 11.10.2020

    In certain ways, Volver is the quintessential Almodovar movie. Stylized choices that almost get you into camp territory; tight, intellectual cinematography; gorgeously intense color design and a highly expressive, character-focused cast: all the trademarks of the Spanish director are there. Yet, there is something Volver has that Almodovar's films generally lack: restraint. This movie is full with a sublimated, rarefied quality that speaks of longing, nostalgia, and memory. It allows you to explore this universe of women so tightly wound up in a world of ghosts, visions, desires and dreams that the line between actual events and their inner lives become blurred, fluid, and ultimately irrelevant. This is a picture that drenches the return of the past, the mingling of life and death and love, into the hyper saturated tones of beautiful Spain. It is a gentle experience, a story that blooms from violence only to illuminate a landscape of tender affections between women, each and every one of them immersed in her personal tragedy, weaving her private joy, doing the best she can. It is the cast of the main actresses that truly elevate the script, irradiating the movie with a sense of emotional authenticity truly rare and genuinely precious. Carmen Maura and Penelope Cruz are particularly noteworthy, their performances widely praised and internationally recognized as masterpieces of poignancy. It is a highly recommended film, a beautiful cinematic experience that will leave you with sweet memories to go back to, yourself.

  • Written by Voltumno on 08.10.2020

    Admittedly, this is not a very good movie. Its plot is meandering and ill-paced, the ending is questionable, the characters not particularly well delineated, the eroticism a little (or a lot) shallow and self serving. Yet, it has one merit: its aesthetic, the very embodiment of the core Goth experience. The film is practically drenched in dark, brooding, macabre tones, all rendered through a urban horror lens and elevated by the sheer, unfiltered sex appeal of the main actors (Bowie, Deneuve and Sarandon really give it their all, shortcomings of the script notwithstanding). Ultimately, to enjoy this movie it is required to take it as if it was a feature-length music video, effective in portraying a certain mood, but that can be asked nothing much deeper than that. I would say it is a recommended view only if you are interested in its lasting influence over the Goth subculture. Otherwise, it makes great background for a Vampire - the Masquerade RPG session!

  • Written by Voltumno on 08.10.2020

    This movie is all about pure artistry, and the power of its allure. This is not only embodied in the plot, a tragic tale of life against art, explored through the struggle of a young ballerina of rising fame. It is not just conveyed by the beautiful dancing, an artistic medium particularly suited to act as a frame to the harrowing theme of keeping the self intact against the opposing forces of worldly concerns and artistic ideals. It is also a marvel of technical prowess on the cinematographers' part, especially as it pertains to the use of color. Color design is, in my opinion, the crown jewel of this exceptional film. The shooting technique employed (extremely expensive and complex, featuring multiple overlaying of differently colored film on a black and white basis) is still basically unmatched in the vividness and expressiveness of color. This also works wonders with the beautiful expressionist-inspired production design, which does not inform just the visionary ballet sequences, but also creeps in the daily life shots of characters slipping away into artistic delirium.
    A fantastic watch to anyone who wants to experience a work of seminal importance in exploring how cinema as an artistic expression can tackle the most poignant philosophical questions about beauty, love, and the meaning of life.

  • Written by lezard on 12.05.2020

    Everything starts with a look. An old man, Carlo Levi (Gian Maria Volonte, a great actor!), looks at his paintings and through them he looks at his past. On these paintings, there are faces.
    Looks and faces play a great part in this movie by Francesco Rosi .

    Flash back : it's a painter's look that Carlo casts at the landscapes he drives through, on a bus. It's a documentary maker's look that Rosi casts on this countryside and its people that we are about to discover.

    1935. Carlo, an artist and doctor from Torino is under house arrest and exiled in a remote village of Lucany, for political reasons (Italy experiences Mussolini's fascist regime).
    Everything opposes Carlo and the village people. It's a bad match : he's an intellectual from the North, they are peasants from the South. He is rational, they are pagan and superstitious. He is politically committed when they deal with nature and its plagues.

    It's a motionless journey which begins for Carlo, a fantastic and fascinating journey through a region which is all the more beautiful as nothing is easy and given there. A place where even Christ didn't dare to come. It has nothing to do with the sweet beauty of Tuscany or the postcard aspect of Naples seaside. It is a fierce, lunar countryside of a scaring beauty. It is a primitive landscape which has shaped people to its image. Even Carlo's bedroom looks like a cave, with a theatre of shadows.

    First a bit ironical, amused and condescending toward these people, he slowly becomes intrigued, admirative and fascinated by the sheer strength of what he discovers, their rituals, their songs, the way they exorcise their daily sufferings. Life there is a fight against poverty, misery, disease, war, exile. The earth itself is so dry that you often have to wait for the rain to be able to plough it.

    The mayor is not part of them. To him they are savages. For the village priest they are heathens, infidels. Both of them don't really see them. They disregard them, look « through » them, bored and uninterested. These people are neglected, forgotten and politically unrepresented. They have no voice, so to speak.
    Carlo does look at them and accepts to be looked at, scrutinized. Moreover, not only does he look at them but he represents them by making their portraits. He gives them a picture and they accept to be painted, as well as they accept to be cured by Carlo. Their diseases are their gift.
    Far from the stereotype of the typical talkative, gesticulating Italians from The South, far from the touristic documentaries, the movie teachesus to truly look at them. As Carlo who gives painting lessons to children and tells them : « You've got to look closely at everything, a twig, a piece of bread and the air itself. » A real lesson of cinema !
    When his sister visits him, she says she can't grasp the irrationality of these people. Carlo replies she first has to know and undertand them. He has lost his superior manners and his certainty has vanished. By becoming poorer he has of course become richer.
    Rosi has hired the real people from Lucany. His film focuses on what Bergman regarded as the most important and Ford the most moving : the human face.
    Take a tour of Lucany with Carlo and enjoy the ride. A great movie !

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