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  • MOVIE Recommendations

    Now, friends, while we're all waiting for the Elric film to take shape and pass the time contributing suggestions about actors, music score, FX studios etc, we shouldn't forget to go to see films.

    I suggest we start a "recommendations" thread (not threat) right here and now!

    I saw "OSAMA" by Siddiq Barmak recently and was very impresed, both by the story and the reality of it - and by the acting! The audience was in part composed by Afghanis living here, they came in numbers and seemed equally if not even more impressed. A bit abrupt in the ending, but - wow - you are shaken by the fate of the girl "Osama" in the bullet-riddled, dehumanized Kabul of the Taliban-era.

    Synopsis as found on http://joblo.com/upcomingmovies/movies.php?id=28 :
    A 12-year-old Afghan girl and her mother lose their jobs when the Taliban closes the hospital where they work. The Taliban have also forbidden women to leave their houses without a "legal companion." With her husband and brother dead there is no one left to support the family, and without being able to leave the house the mother is left with nowhere to turn. Feeling she has no other choice, she disguises her daughter as a boy. Now called Osama, the girl embarks on a terrifying and confusing journey as she tries to keep the Taliban from finding out her true identity. Inspired by a true story, Osama is the first entirely Afghan film shot since the rise and fall of the Taliban.
    Google ergo sum


  • #2
    I hate to lower the tone of this thread before it has really taken off, but I would like to put in a personal recommendation for SCHOOL OF ROCK. *** Contains Spoilers ***

    If you aren’t a big fan of the Jack “Tenacious D” Black’s particular style of comedic over-acting (as showcased in HIGH FIDELITY) then you probably won’t be convinced, since he is on camera from beginning to end and the part was written specifically for him. In case you aren’t familiar with the story, Black plays Dewey Finn a “loveable loser” with only one ambition in life... to ROCK! He is thrown out of his band just weeks before a local showcase, and is under increasing pressure from his housemate’s girlfriend to actually pay some rent for once. In desperation he hijacks a substitute teaching job, meant for his best friend, at an upper-class elementary school. At first he simply wants to watch the clock, keep the children quiet and sleep off his hangover... but then he realises that he has stumbled across the ideal backing band to make his dreams of “that one perfect show” a reality. Hilarity ensues. Probably.

    Humour is subjective, of course, but there are a couple of reasons why I would argue that SCHOOL OF ROCK is a cut above the usual film aimed at a younger audience. First of all, there have always been films about weird-geeks-who-win-in-the-end. It is practically a genre in itself. Most of the time it’s just wishful thinking, or a patronising pat ending, but the fact is that Rock is one of the few arenas where looks, class and race can take a backseat to talent, passion and creativity. There is a scene where Finn consoles a girl who is too shy to go on stage because she thinks she’s too fat and she’ll be laughed at, but he points out that she has something that *everybody* wants... a talent. Again, in some films this would probably reduce me to howls of pain, but because they were clever enough to cast actual musicians and singers, I couldn’t help nodding in agreement. Her voice made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end.

    Secondly, although it is done in quite a light, tongue-in-cheek way, there is a strong anti-authoritarian theme running through the film. Finn actually lectures his class in how to “stick it to the Man”, which is worth the price of admission alone. But the nature and necessity of authority figures is also examined. At first Finn simply wants the children to shut up and stay out of his way... then he wants them to rebel against their parents... then he realises that he has to become the authority figure (albeit a “benign” one) and take responsibility for his new band mates. The Head of the school, played by the excellent Joan Cusack, starts as a typically uptight “villain”, but as Finn draws her out of herself we come to learn that she doesn’t like who she has had to become in order to function in her role. The representation of adults is far more sophisticated than in many other similar movies. The “villains” aren’t overcome through humiliation or violence, rather they are enlightened and inspired by the childlike enthusiasm for music and life that Finn and the band demonstrate.

    Thirdly, the majority of movie and television shows treat their young audience as consumers, rather than intelligent human beings. SCHOOL OF ROCK not only respects the intelligence and creativity of its pre-pubescent characters, it also showcases the genuine (and enviable) talent of its cast. Of course, the film-makers are still trying to “sell” something to their audience... but it isn’t a Happy Meal or a talking action figure, it's MUSIC. How can anyone hate a film that introduces young ears and minds to Jimi Hendrix, The Ramones and Cream? It made me wish I had children just so that I could take them to see the film and say, “See? That’s what it’s about. The Teletubbies aren’t your friends!!! They’re the enemy!!” [ahem] Moving on...

    I know I have probably over-thought this film (I’ve certainly over-written this recommendation), so I apologise for taking up so much space here, but I feel much better for getting all of that out of my system. Thank you.

    D...

    Girlf: “You’re a lazy freeloader.”
    Finn: “I serve society by rocking!”
    "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

    Comment


    • #3
      SCHOOL OF ROCK sounds fine, I've only seen the trailer. I suspect it is intelligent entertainment.

      What I'm waiting for with great expectations is MONSIEUR IBRAHIM AND THE FLOWERS OF THE KORAN - a new movie with Omar Sharif set in Paris after the book by Frenchman Eric Emanuell Schmidt that I've just read. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...478895-8443054

      <<From the Publisher
      As movie goers will see in the film version of Monsieur Ibrahim and the Flowers of the Koran (Sony Pictures Classics, starring Omar Sharif in theaters February 2004), this novella is one of two illuminating tales about suffering, love, compassion, and faith in both God and humanity. These stories are guaranteed to make every reader laugh, cry, and stop to reflect on the grace and wonder that can be found in every heart.>>
      Google ergo sum

      Comment


      • #4
        I've been watching a lot of Independent films recently. I highly recommend:

        "Night On Earth"

        collection of five stories involving cab drivers in five different cities. Los Angeles - A talent agent for the movies discovers her cab driver would be perfect to cast, but the cabbie is reluctant to give up her solid cab driver's career. New York - An immigrant cab driver is continually lost in a city and culture he doesn't understand. Paris - A blind girl takes a ride with a cab driver from the Ivory Coast and they talk about life and blindness. Rome - A gregarious cabbie picks up an ailing man and virtually talks him to death. Helsinki - an industrial worker gets laid off and he and his compatriots discuss the bleakness and unfairness of love and life and death.

        "Before Night Falls"

        Based on the posthumously published memoir by Cuban poet Reinaldo Arenas, Before Night Falls is artist-director Julian Schnabel's second exercise in artist biography, but where Schnabel's earlier film Basquiat was relatively conventional, this film is bolder in both style and execution. Schnabel is perhaps too enamored of his subject as a noble martyr, lending the film a somewhat inflated sense of importance. Still, it's rare to see an artist's life and work so elegantly interwoven, and Before Night Falls uses all of Arenas's life as its canvas, from impoverished youth to lively gay freedom in mid-1950's Cuba; imprisonment during Castro's antigay regime; and to New York City in 1980, followed by Arenas's battle with AIDS and subsequent suicide (depicted here as assisted) in 1990.
        Through these extreme rises and falls, Arenas is always writing, his typewriter his most faithful lover and weapon (by way of smuggled manuscripts) against the dark forces that surround him. As Time magazine's Richard Corliss wrote, Arenas is "a serious actor's dream role: to be a gay Jesus in a modern Passion Play," and Javier Bardem--the first Spanish actor to receive an Oscar nomination--inhabits the role with subtle ferocity, charting this emotional odyssey with outer reserve but blazing infernos of internal passion. And while Schnabel suffers from a hyperactive camera, there's poetry here--visual, dramatic, and literal--and vibrant humor to temper the deep tragedy of Arenas's life. Schnabel also uses his actor friends to good advantage: a nearly unrecognizable Sean Penn adds an ironic touch to his brief appearance as a peasant, and Johnny Depp is both funny and fearsome in dual roles as a drag queen and vicious army interrogator.

        "The Luzhin Defense"

        The Luzhin Defense by Dutch filmmaker Marleen Gorris made its international debut at the Toronto International Film Festival last fall and is now opening in San Francisco.

        Set in Italy in 1929 the film stars John Turturro as Alexandar Luzhin, a brilliant Russian chess player who only knows the game and is lost without it. From an early age he turns to chess, much to the concern of his parents who in the end allow a miserly teacher to tutor him and help him advance in the game. A cruel sadist, the teacher later abandons Luzhin for not being the pin of perfection he feels a chess master should be. On his own, Luzhin works the chess competition circuit, achieves international acclaim and on a world tournament in Italy meets Natalia, played by Emily Watson. He immediately decides he want to marry her and almost as quickly, she consents. Natalia has constraints of her own: Vera, a meddling mother played by Geraldine James who wants to marry her off to a suitor of her choice which she of course resists. Later Natalia tries to convince Luzhin to give up the game when because of his obsession, he starts to lose his health and sanity. The love affair between these two 'enfants terribles', at least to their proteges, is believable because Gorris is able to capture their emotional intensity.

        Gorris has come a long way as a filmmaker with The Luzhin Defense. In 1982 she won the public prize at the Crأ©teil Film de Femmes festival for A Question of Silence, a film about three women, complete strangers to one another, who together murder a shop keeper. They are defended by a woman lawyer and the reason for their crime later becomes obvious, at least to women who shop till they drop. In 1996 Gorris went on to win an Oscar for Antonia's Line, a feel good film with a multiarch of characters, all connected to matriarch Antonia. The film clearly demonstrated Gorris' excellent craftsmanship of the film medium.

        The Luzhin Defense now shows that Gorris has become a master of the film instrument. It is a glowing European art film, not in terms of camera angles or flashback sequences but in the precise and rich use of the camera and editing. Gorris' dedication to the 'mis en scأ©ne'-- the composition of the frame, with each one handcrafted for set design, costumes and the movement of the body within its expanse, is done in a low key yet savory style.

        The filmmaker brought the film to Paris at the Crأ©teil Film de Femmes Festival held March 23 to April 1-- for a sneak preview before its general release in France. Admitting that she didn’t like the book as much as the screenplay by Peter Berry , she told the audience that the character played by Emily Watson is given much more leg room. Gorris said she wanted to show more about the woman who falls in love with Luzhin. This is a different role for Watson, revealing her brilliant versatility. Turturro's performance as usual is outstanding.

        The Luzhin Defense was shot at the home of Italian director Luchino Visconti known for his adaptation of Thomas Mann's Death in Venice and any resemblances to his work are of course due to Gorris affinity to the master. This is Moira Sullivan for Movie Magazine International, Paris, France.
        \"No, I think Space is a dimension of Time. My theory is that Time is a field and that Space exists as an aspect of Time.\" Michael Moorcock

        \"All I know about anything is \"I wasn\'t. I am. I will not be.\" Michael Moorcock

        Comment


        • #5
          Whatever you do, DONT go see The Big Bounce. Its on of the worst movies ive ever seen. Besides Battlefield Earth. Damn you L. Ron Hubbard.

          Comment


          • #6
            Amelie
            Today's Valentine's Day - so let me suggest

            AMELIE

            From the very first image you are plunged into a fast-moving two hours of cinema as both profound and rollicking art.
            I know it came out in 2001 (UK/US version in 2002), but it is one big vulvano of fun and love and it has tremendous, vibrant cinematic qualities. You will want to see it over and over again!

            The critc writes:
            In love with this film about love.
            This is the perfect film for anyone who wants to be in love or be loved – watch it with a partner and by the end you will hugging with devotion in your eyes.

            The tale is simple, but it's the story telling that makes this film a standout. From the opening sequence you know you are in for a visual treat - direction (from the guy that brought you Delicatessen and...er...Alien 4) and cinematography are both at the top of their game.

            The cast are all superb - interesting faces rather than beauty hold your attention.
            There are enough stand out scenes to make you laugh, cry or sigh, and several will stay with you forever - no exaggeration.

            http://members.optushome.com.au/thesquiz/ameliehh.htm
            http://www.nitro-movies.com/Reviews/...%20%5B2001%5D/
            Google ergo sum

            Comment


            • #7
              Next there's a Documentary that's going to hit the theatres.
              Don't miss
              THE STORY OF THE WEEPING CAMEL
              http://www.nwfilm.org/piff2004/films/mongolia.html

              because if you do, you'll have really missed out on something!
              Google ergo sum

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by LEtranger
                AMELIE From the very first image you are plunged into a fast-moving two hours of cinema as both profound and rollicking art.
                I know it came out in 2001 (UK/US version in 2002), but it is one big vulvano of fun and love and it has tremendous, vibrant cinematic qualities. You will want to see it over and over again!
                And I have! Amelie has to be my current number one favourite film of all time. I've always enjoyed Jeunet's films, but now he's moved away from the dark humour and let in a little more light, I really think he's produced a masterpiece. It's easy to accuse the film of being too artificial or corny perhaps, but that doesn't stop people loving It's a Wonderful Life so many years later... and what's wrong with that?

                The fact that it didn't win a single Oscar, despite being nominated in five categories, was the final straw for me. I have absolutely no interest in or respect for their awards anymore. How they could choose Phil Collins over a song from South Park... I dread to think. [Shudder]

                Although I'd be curious to check out the documentaries and other serious films that are being recommended here, it's worth pointing out that some of us our trapped in small towns with only a multiplex to govern what we can and can't watch. Still, keep up the good work, and maybe something worth watching will eventually make its way to a screen near me.

                D...

                "Without you the emotions of today are just the scurf of yesterday."
                - Amelie
                "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

                Comment


                • #9
                  I don't know if any of you like anime. If you do, I can warmly recommend Hayao Miyazaki's film Spirited Away. It was, I think, my favourite film from last year. It is beautiful, magical and very surreal.
                  It is a sort of Alice in Wonderland with scary monsters, set in Japan! An animated feature intended for children supposedly, but too scary for most. I saw the Japanese subtitled version, not sure I would have enjoyed it so much with possibly crass dubbing.
                  If you get a chance, go and see it, or wait till it comes out for rental. You shouldn't be disappointed.
                  Film site: http://disney.go.com/disneyvideos/an...ki/index2.html

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by DeeCrowSeer
                    Originally posted by LEtranger
                    AMELIE From the very first image you are plunged into a fast-moving two hours of cinema as both profound and rollicking art.
                    I know it came out in 2001 (UK/US version in 2002), but it is one big vulvano of fun and love and it has tremendous, vibrant cinematic qualities. You will want to see it over and over again!
                    And I have! Amelie has to be my current number one favourite film of all time. I've always enjoyed Jeunet's films, but now he's moved away from the dark humour and let in a little more light, I really think he's produced a masterpiece. It's easy to accuse the film of being too artificial or corny perhaps, but that doesn't stop people loving It's a Wonderful Life so many years later... and what's wrong with that?

                    The fact that it didn't win a single Oscar, despite being nominated in five categories, was the final straw for me. I have absolutely no interest in or respect for their awards anymore. How they could choose Phil Collins over a song from South Park... I dread to think. [Shudder]
                    Yes, D. "Amelie" is just wonderful, an Oscar would have been nice commercially, but is not truly an award of spectacular value.
                    You know I saw the film at a cinema in the week after 9/11 and it was such a beautiful escape during this depressive time. And then there was this scene in which Amelie speculates on the phantom guy who might have suffered amnesia and somehow gotten to Afghanistan, imagine what a coincidence, what a relieving roar of laughter that went through the audience!
                    Google ergo sum

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Cypher - I picked up a 3 pack of Studio Ghibli DVD's from Amazon.com including Spirited Away but also the excellent Laputa / Castles In The Sky - if you've got a multi-region player may be worth the hassle of importing. What's odd is that I thought the parents and landscape at the start were drawn in a way that made them look very American, but in dubbing they preserved Japanese character names.

                      It's also worth checking out a UK site www.lovefilm.com for DVD rental as they have a really broad stock, sent by post.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Jules
                        Cypher - I picked up a 3 pack of Studio Ghibli DVD's from Amazon.com including Spirited Away but also the excellent Laputa / Castles In The Sky - if you've got a multi-region player may be worth the hassle of importing. What's odd is that I thought the parents and landscape at the start were drawn in a way that made them look very American, but in dubbing they preserved Japanese character names.

                        It's also worth checking out a UK site www.lovefilm.com for DVD rental as they have a really broad stock, sent by post.
                        Thanks for that suggestion Jules, it is a great offer from Amazon. Sadly, I don't have a multi region dvd player
                        I will have to wait till it is released in the uk.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Cypher
                          Thanks for that suggestion Jules, it is a great offer from Amazon. Sadly, I don't have a multi region dvd player
                          I will have to wait till it is released in the uk.
                          I don't want to patronize anyone here, so if you already knew this just tell me to shut up, but often if you type the model of your DVD player into a search engine you can find secret codes that make them multi-region! With mine, all I had to do was open the drawer, type a four-digit sequence on the remote et voila!! If you haven't done so already, it might be worth a quick visit to Yahoo!

                          Just make sure the first import DVD you buy is Amelie (or Ghost World)!

                          D...
                          "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I got a multi-region player for my father-in-law for his 70th birthday for under 40 quid - almost worth it for the money you can save. You can probably get your player 'unlocked' too - either trying to find those codes on the internet, or finding your local dodgy shop that will do it for 15 quid.

                            The main reason I went for multi-region wasn't really to save money but just because there are so many things that just aren't available in the UK.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by DeeCrowSeer
                              Originally posted by Cypher
                              Thanks for that suggestion Jules, it is a great offer from Amazon. Sadly, I don't have a multi region dvd player
                              I will have to wait till it is released in the uk.
                              I don't want to patronize anyone here, so if you already knew this just tell me to shut up, but often if you type the model of your DVD player into a search engine you can find secret codes that make them multi-region! With mine, all I had to do was open the drawer, type a four-digit sequence on the remote et voila!! If you haven't done so already, it might be worth a quick visit to Yahoo!

                              Just make sure the first import DVD you buy is Amelie (or Ghost World)!

                              Thanks for the advice. My main dvd player is my Xbox, so don't think the tip would help there. But, I will try to see if I can do that on either my pc or laptop. Also, I have Ghost World, great film. I have heard good reports of Amelie, so I may well purchase a copy. :D

                              D...

                              Comment

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