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  • Written by lezard on 09.11.2019

    What was New York really like in the 50's ? And Brooklyn ? To know this, we can try to find articles from Life, read a few novels or see the photos of Vivian Maier and Saul Leiter. Or more easily, we can watch the Little Fugitive.
    Self-financed with very little money this movie could well not ever have been shot. Fortunately, it was.
    With a very thin plot, the movie allows us to witness a week-end in New York, in Coney Island, more precisely. We drift among daily life, ordinary people, details, and it's fascinating.The quality of the photography is exceptional.
    Moreover, this movie stands at equal distance from the Italian neo-realism and the French New Wave. It is a unique landmark in The American cinema of the 50's.
    Cinema is full of fugitives and runaways. This one is funny, innocent, unexpected. Let's follow him !

  • 10/10 — for
    Written by lezard on 09.11.2019

    Why should one watch 8 ½ ? For the sake of Fellini, of Marcello Mastroianni. For the sake of cinema.
    Because, the more you watch it, the better it gets.
    Because, the youngest movie buffs will discover here something they will never see again : cinema as an art apart, with a unique vision, with a budget that no producer will ever give to any director again for this kind of movie.
    What Fellini accomplishes here, he couldn't have written, composed or painted it. Indeed, most films can be seen as novels, plays, comics, musicals, operas and they often are adaptations. 8 ½ couldn't be anything else but a movie where photography, music, editing, acting have their own peculiar language. Very few directors have managed to do such a thing. Maybe Welles, Murnau, Tarkovski, a few others.
    After 5 minutes, in 90% of all the movies, you know who's is going to win, to die, to survive, to love. What is at stake ? The hero has to lead an investigation, fulfill a vengeance, save the planet/country/community, kill the Beast, seduce the Beauty. Always.
    None of all this in 8 ½. What is at stake ? Making a movie. Period.
    From the very beginning Fellini takes us by the hand and leads us in a strange country : his brain.
    The dream scene which opens the movie brings down the whole Hollywood industry of the last 30 years to what it is : a video game, most of the time very ugly. Whoever has dreamt one day knows, watching Inception (this is just an exemple), that this has NOTHING to do with dreams or even nightmares. It's a game where you have to win to change levels.
    8 ½ is a constant surprise and wonder. Memories, life, dream, imagination, fantasies mix to create a maelstrom of pictures, feelings and emotions.
    Eventually, a child, alone on a stage, in a halo of light, puts an end to this fantastic parade.
    Curtain !
    Bravo !
    Ciao Federico !
    I miss you terribly.

  • Written by lezard on 09.11.2019

    Hungary, 1953, during the Stalinian purges.
    A woman is waiting for the very hypothetical release of her husband, in prison for political reasons. Unemployed, on the verge on poverty, she takes care of her mother-in-law.
    She is regularly harassed by policemen or party members. But she endures, keeps going, keeps caring tenderly. Little is said.
    How can you express waiting, longing, tenderness, hope? This is where great acting and directing takes place.
    For this is a movie about love as an impetus of life and resistance, love as a politically deviant behaviour. It is also a movie about hope as a force of imagination. This woman and her mother-in-law, without speaking, imagine their life with the missing son/husband. A movie, made of memories and expectations, unfolds in their mind and we can actually understand and see this. Creation also offers a power of resistance. The end of the film, almost wordless in an intense moment of emotion.
    The photography is totally stunning.

  • Written by lezard on 07.11.2019

    Keaton is a genius!

    In this movie like in many others Keaton is a fantastic tumbler. Let's not forget he was on stage with his parents since he was 3 !
    Here, two stories mix : fiction and reality. He is a projectionist in love. After the theft of a watch he is going to investigate both in life and dreams, as well as in the movies he shows. It is brilliant, funny, inventive (W. Allen will remember it in the Purple Rose of Cairo). The chase at the end of the movie is a grand funny and poetic moment of pure creation.
    In his movies, Chaplin is a destitute, rejected by society. He tries and succeeds in making us laugh and cry. Keaton never tries to make us cry. He isn't a social character. He is somewhere else, forever. The world resists him by all means : tempests, storms, rain but also objects. His untold dream is to be free of gravity.

    Keaton is a genius !

  • Written by lezard on 06.11.2019

    In 1968 the huge success of Easy Rider turns road movies into a popular genre.
    In 1971 Richard Sarafian shoots « Vanishing Point », his masterpiece . Kowalski goes to Denver to take delivery of a car. He bets he can reach San Francisco, 2000 kms away, in 15 hours. To succeed, he has to exceed all the limits. The pitch is thin but the movie is inventive and full of a desperate energy.
    This movie is typical of the new Hollywood and depicts the desillusion of the USA in the seventies, the dark side of the American Dream, through a series of meeting with borderline or ordinary people.
    Kowalski is a modern cowboy and his Dodge Challenger is going to become mythical. It will inspire Tarantino for Death Proof, and George Miller for some scenes in Mad Max 1.
    A great movie !

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