Author Topic: Around the World in 86 Movies  (Read 37741 times)

Offline Danae Cassandra

  • Heavy Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 911
  • Country: us
    • View Profile
Re: Around the World in 86 Movies
« Reply #120 on: January 18, 2014, 05:16:38 AM »
Quote
Did you watch that one too Pete?  Or attempt to?
He had the good sense to plug in his headphones and turn on some Big Bang Theory on his laptop.   :laugh:
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

  • Heavy Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 911
  • Country: us
    • View Profile
Re: Around the World in 86 Movies
« Reply #121 on: January 18, 2014, 05:20:58 AM »
Where We Are:  Italy
wikipedia



Ieri, oggi, domani  (Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow)
Year of Release:  1963
Directed By: Vittorio De Sica
Starring: Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni
Genre: Comedy, Romance

Overview:
Academy Award® Winner Sophia Loren (TWO WOMEN) and Marcello Mastroianni (LA DOLCE VITA, 8 ½) co-star in Vittorio De Sica's delightful comedy anthology in three hilarious sexual escapades that helped make them the two most popular Italian performers of 20th century cinema.

The final vignette featuring Loren's notorious striptease, was recreated decades later by Robert Altman in READY TO WEAR. This brand new 16x9 high definition digital transfer has been created from the original 35mm 2P negative restored in collaboration with De Sica Foundation.

YESTERDAY, TODAY & TOMORROW, winner of the 1964 Oscar® for Best Foreign Film, remains one of the most beloved Italian films, and has never looked better.

A masterful comedic film by Italy's greatest neo-realist director, Vittorio De Sica (THE BICYCLE THIEF, TWO WOMEN), available for the first time ever on DVD in America, uncut in its original aspect ratio.

My Thoughts:
This was a lovely, entertaining, sometimes funny, sometimes sexy anthology film. The first story concerns a poor family in which the wife is the breadwinner as a seller of contraband cigarettes. She finds out after she is caught at it that she cannot be arrested while she is pregnant, and thus she and her husband keep having children to keep her out of prison. Much more amusing than it sounds. Loren is beautiful and plays her part superbly, but Adelina so completely dominates her poor husband (Mastroianni is also superb as the henpecked hubby) that she can be a bit unsympathetic. Of course, not nearly as unsympathetic as Anna, the rich snob Loren plays in the second story. The second story is very lackluster, concerning a rich woman on the cusp of an affair with a writer, and Loren's character is really nasty in it. The third story swung the film back up, with Loren playing a high-class prostitute and Mastroianni one of her clients. While I feel like the first story was the most fully developed, I liked Loren's and Mastroianni's characters in the third story the best.

The film has a lot to recommend it - great acting, good cinematography, a sexy striptease by Sophia Loren, and it's not without something to say, even in the second story that I didn't like as much as the others. Recommended.

Bechdel Test: Fail

Overall: 3.5/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

  • Heavy Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 911
  • Country: us
    • View Profile
Re: Around the World in 86 Movies
« Reply #122 on: March 06, 2014, 05:28:14 AM »
Where We Are:  Greece
wikipedia

What We Watched:


Pote tin Kyriaki (Never on Sunday)
Year of Release: 1960
Directed By: Jules Dassin
Starring: Melina Mercouri, Jules Dassin, George Foundas, Titos Vandis
Genre: Romance, Comedy

Overview:
Glasses are smashing.  Fingers are snapping.  Everybody is dancing to the sultry music of the Bouzoukies.  It is just another glorious moment in the carefree world of Illia, Greece's most radiant lady of the night.  Sensuous Illia adores her life and every man in her seaport paradise adores her.  But when Homer, a stuffy American intellectual, sails into town and tries to reform her, Illia shows him who is one free spirit who is happy with her wild life and not about to be tamed...

My Thoughts:
This was a beautiful, earthy movie with a lust for life.  Ilya is an independent woman, a woman who loves her life and her freedom, who grasps the pleasures of life and friends with both hands.  Melina Mercouri is a joy to watch as Ilya, her effortless charisma winning you over instantly.  I had no sympathy for the male lead, Homer, or for what the Captain tells Homer before he leaves, because Ilya does not need to be saved.  She is just fine the way she is, and those who cannot accept her do not truly love her.  This is a gem of a film that will make you feel good and leave a smile on your face.  Recommended.

Bechdel Test:  Pass

Overall: 3.75/5
« Last Edit: March 06, 2014, 05:30:25 AM by Danae Cassandra »
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline GSyren

  • Heavy Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 1081
  • Country: se
    • View Profile
Re: Around the World in 86 Movies
« Reply #123 on: March 06, 2014, 06:53:50 AM »
Melina Mercouri is a joy to watch
Totally agree! I loved this film when I saw it in the cinema in the sixties (not on the initial run, though, I was probably a tad too young for it then), and I still loved it when I saw it on DVD about 10 years ago. I'm almost tempted to dig it out for a rewatch.

Offline Danae Cassandra

  • Heavy Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 911
  • Country: us
    • View Profile
Re: Around the World in 86 Movies
« Reply #124 on: March 08, 2014, 05:34:35 AM »
Where We Are:  Austria
wikipedia

What We Watched:


Die Fälscher (The Counterfeiters)
Year of Release: 2007
Directed By: Stefan Ruzowitzky
Starring: Karl Markovics, August Diehl, Devid Striesow, Martin Brambach, August Zirner
Genre: Drama, War

Overview:
Winner of the Academy Award® for Best Foreign Language Film, The Counterfeiters tells the true story of Salomon Sorowitsch (Karl Markovics), a swindler who made a name for himself as Berlin's "King of the Counterfeiters." However, his life of women and easy money is cut short when he's arrested and placed in a Nazi concentration camp.

With the German army on the verge of bankruptcy, Sorowitsch makes a sobering deal with his captors: in exchange for a comfortable bed, good food and fair treatment, Sorowitsch, along with the other hand-picked specialists, must counterfeit bank notes to fund the Nazi war effort. If he does as they say, he lives another day. If he rebels, he faces the same fate as the rest of the camp's prisoners. But if he lives, will he be able to live with himself?

My Thoughts:
This is an excellent film.  The performances are uniformly excellent, the setting and cinematography appropriately bleak, and the story is a compelling one based on actual events.  The center of the film, however, are the moral questions.  What must one do to survive?  What is your life worth?  What is your death worth?  If you would sacrifice your life for something worthy, can you choose to do so of others lives?  If you look out for yourself can you also look out for others?  What truly makes a man a hero?

This is the sort of film that will stay with you, that you will remember, and as such garners the highest recommendation. 

Bechdel Test: Fail

Overall: 5/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

  • Heavy Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 911
  • Country: us
    • View Profile
Re: Around the World in 86 Movies
« Reply #125 on: May 12, 2014, 04:53:10 AM »
Where We Are: Macedonia
wikipedia

What We Watched:


Jas sum od Titov Veles (I Am From Titov Veles)
Year of Release: 2007
Directed By: Teona Strugar
Starring: Labina Mitevska, Ana Kostovska, Nikolina Kujaca, Xhevdet Jashari
Genre: Drama

Overview:
Set in the quaint but scarred town of Veles, three sisters long to escape the suffocating environment of their dying community.  Burdened by memories of their late father, each chooses a different path:  Sapho struggles to secure a visa to Greece, Slavica desperately searches for a rich husband, and Afrodita harbors hopes for love and children.  In this contemporary story of urban decay, director Teona Strugar Mitevska blends stark realism with memorable performances to create a vivid landscape of life and longing in post-communist Macedonia.

My Thoughts:
Watching this film, I am reminded of coal country - eastern Kentucky, West Virginia - except instead of coal, here we have a factory that brings jobs and poisons the land and people.  We have a bleak crumbling infrastructure people are desperate to escape from - into dreams, drugs, sex, or to actually grasp the ability to leave for better opportunity.  This was a really well done character study, both of the sisters themselves and the character of the place.  You can feel the despair and the hopelessness roil off the screen.  If that didn't say it - this isn't a happy story, and it doesn't have a happy ending.  But it has something to say about life and living, and that always makes for a film worth seeing.

Bechdel Test:  Pass

Overall: 3.5/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

  • Heavy Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 911
  • Country: us
    • View Profile
Re: Around the World in 86 Movies
« Reply #126 on: June 24, 2014, 05:12:15 AM »
Where We Are: Croatia
wikipedia

What We Watched:


Ta divna Splitska noc (A Wonderful Night in Split)
Year of Release: 2004
Directed By: Arsen Anton Ostojic
Starring: Marinko Prga, Dino Dvornik, Mladen Vulic, Marija Skaricic, Vicko Bilandzic
Genre: Drama

Overview:
Set in the dark, eerie streets of medieval Split, Croatia, during the two hours before midnight on New Year's eve, this stylish film noir spins three tales of desire, treachery and murder. While crowds gather in the ancient city square for a rock concert, the stories of a young couple plotting a rendezvous, an addict desperate for a fix, a widow and her grieving child, and three drunken American sailors (one played by American rap musician Coolio) become fatally intertwined.

My Thoughts:
This is a dark film, filled with shadows, delving into the underbelly of the Croatian city of Split.  The lives of several people intersect on New Years Eve.  Two things tie them together - an open-air concert, and varying dealings with drugs.  Some are dealers, some addicts, some simply on the fringes, but all their lives are impacted by the drug trade and all contribute to that problem.  That should tell you the themes here are rather grim, and even with the flashes of pitch-black humor, none of these stories really offer any hope to the viewer.  Nonetheless, this is a very good film.  The black-and-white cinematography gives it a very gritty, film noir kind of feel, and all of the main actors are quite good (especially Marija Skaricic as a junkie looking to score a hit, her performance is powerful).  It's not necessarily for everyone, but recommended for those who like this kind of bleak drama.

Bechdel Test: Fail

Overall: 3.5/5
« Last Edit: June 24, 2014, 05:20:40 AM by Danae Cassandra »
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

  • Heavy Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 911
  • Country: us
    • View Profile
Re: Around the World in 86 Movies
« Reply #127 on: January 05, 2015, 05:52:32 AM »
Where We Are: Australia
wikipedia

What We Watched:  


The Last Wave
Year of Release: 1977
Directed By: Peter Weir
Starring: Richard Chamberlain, Olivia Hamnett, Gulpilil, Nandjiwarra Amagula
Genre: Mystery/Suspense, Fantasy

Overview:
Richard Chamberlain stars as Australian lawyer David Burton, who takes on the defense of a group of aborigines accused of killing one of their own. He suspects the victim has been killed for violating a tribal taboo, but the defendants deny any tribal association. Burton, plagued by apocalyptic visions of water, slowly realizes his own involvement with the aborigines...and their prophecies.

My Thoughts
Richard Chamberlain has long been one of my favorite actors. He might have the distinction of being the first actor I would have said was a favorite. I had such a crush on him in the 80's. It's thirty years later, now, but he's still a favorite of mine, and movies like this show why.

This is a really interesting film. It's very slow moving, which doesn't work for a lot of people, but to me helps build the growing atmosphere of mystery, and the pervading feeling of impending doom.

Doom here is the future that David (Chamberlain) foresees, but does not believe in his own power. Mystery here is meant as in religious mysteries, the mysteries that the aborigines Chris and Charlie hint at to David, and that David's dream-visions open to him.

Spirituality is the heart of the film. David comes from a completely secular background, even though his dad is a minister. Discovering there is more to the world than he has been taught, he feels betrayed and lashes out at his dad with "Why didn't you tell me there were mysteries?" When his dad says that his whole life has been dealing with them as a priest, David retorts that he stood at the pulpit and explained them all away.

This is, to me, what Chris & Charlie mean when they say that David has forgotten what dreams are. He - we - have lost the mystical in the world, the mysteries of life that surround us.

It also has something to say about what white attitude toward aboriginal peoples, especially in how David's colleagues are so quick to dismiss the idea that city-dwelling aborigines may not have held onto their culture, that they are just like 'poor whites.' Maybe they are, and David is being romantic with his ideas about tribal peoples, and maybe they aren't, but who are we, as outsiders, to decide either way.

Vastly interesting film, very well done, for all of me. Both Moira and I enjoyed it immensely.

Bechdel Test: Fail

Overall: 4/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Achim

  • Mega Heavy Poster
  • *******
  • Posts: 7171
  • Country: 00
    • View Profile
    • ya_shin's site
Re: Around the World in 86 Movies
« Reply #128 on: January 19, 2015, 05:29:54 AM »
In Germany Richard Chamberlain is mainly known for his appearances in the TV series Shogun and The Thorn Birds; and hugely popular for it. I also was aware that he was in those Allan Quatermain movies... After all that, I could never really take him seriously... :bag:

I have, however, put this film on my wish list. (I believe it's announced for Blu ray...?)

Mustrum_Ridcully

  • Guest
Re: Around the World in 86 Movies
« Reply #129 on: January 19, 2015, 02:32:40 PM »
I have, however, put this film on my wish list. (I believe it's announced for Blu ray...?)

In Germany it is available as part of a Blu-ray - boxset with Weir's early works
containing: "The Cars That Ate Paris", "Picnic at Hanging Rock", "The Last Wave" and "The Plumber"
« Last Edit: January 19, 2015, 02:35:54 PM by Silence_of_Lambs »

Offline Danae Cassandra

  • Heavy Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 911
  • Country: us
    • View Profile
Re: Around the World in 86 Movies
« Reply #130 on: January 20, 2015, 01:42:09 PM »
Looks like it's also available as a single blu in a German release.

I'll definitely upgrade when Criterion does over here.
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Achim

  • Mega Heavy Poster
  • *******
  • Posts: 7171
  • Country: 00
    • View Profile
    • ya_shin's site
Re: Around the World in 86 Movies
« Reply #131 on: January 21, 2015, 05:43:28 AM »
 :bag:

The wait me be longer... I thought I better check again and could not found that presumed announcement of the Blu-ray by Criterion... Sorry about that.

Offline Danae Cassandra

  • Heavy Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 911
  • Country: us
    • View Profile
Re: Around the World in 86 Movies
« Reply #132 on: January 22, 2015, 05:42:40 AM »
Where We Are:  Thailand
wikipedia

What We Watched:


Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives  (Loong Boonmee raleuk chat)
Year of Release: 2010
Directed By: Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Starring: Thanapat Saisaymar, Jenjira Pongpas, Sakda Kaewbuadee, Natthakarn Aphaiwonk
Genre: Drama, Fantasy

Overview:
UNCLE BOONMEE WHO CAN RECALL HIS PAST LIVES is a unique tale of a man embracing life's greatest mystery. Choosing to spend his final days surrounded by his loved ones in the countryside, Boonmee is visited by his dead wife (a ghost) and his lost son (a strange hairy beast with red glowing eyes) who come to guide him to his final resting place, a cave where his first soul began. With a wry sense of humor and a humanist spirit, UNCLE BOONMEE, one of the most critically acclaimed films of the year, is a magical tale of reincarnation, karma and nature.

My Thoughts:
This is a beautiful film.  Let me say that first.  The cinematography is gorgeous.  There are parts in this film that are just about the most beautiful I've seen on film.

That being said, this isn't a film for everyone.  It's definitely for the art film crowd.  It's slow and there's not much plot.  It's also fascinating.

It's a spiritual reflection, a mediation on the interconnectedness of life and death, spirit and body, man and nature, dream and reality, living and dead, natural and supernatural.  It's a film where the boundaries are blurry between all of these things, and where all of them are equal in value.  Where the equality of life is for both the man and the insect, and an exploration of karma doesn't just consider intention, but must also consider action.  It offers an interesting look at Thai culture and Buddhist spirituality,
and that I really enjoyed.

My one complaint, really, is that I would have included some of the deleted scenes, and I would have ended it sooner (in the cave).  I really felt the last sequence of scenes detracted from the film, and they are the reason I'm not giving it a 4.  Your mileage here may vary.  Recommended for the art film crowd only.

Bechdel Test:  Fail

Overall: 3.75/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

  • Heavy Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 911
  • Country: us
    • View Profile
Re: Around the World in 86 Movies
« Reply #133 on: February 20, 2015, 03:19:24 PM »
Where We Are: Japan
wikipedia

What We Watched:


Aruitemo aruitemo (Still Walking)
Year of Release: 2008
Directed By: Hirokazu Kore-eda
Starring: Hiroshi Abe, Yui Natsukawa, You, Kazuya Takahashi, Shohei Tanaka, Kirin Kiki
Genre: Drama

Overview:
The lyrical, profoundly moving Still Walking (Aruitemo aruitemo) is contemporary Japanese master Hirokazu Kore-eda’s most personal work to date. Created as a tribute to his late mother, the film depicts one day in the life of the Yokoyamas, gathered together for a commemorative ritual whose nature only gradually becomes clear. Rather than focus on big dramatic moments, Kore-eda relies on simple gestures and domestic routines (especially cooking) to evoke a family’s entire life, its deep regrets and its daily joys. Featuring vivid, heartrending performances and a gentle naturalism that harks back to the director’s earlier, documentary work, Still Walking is an extraordinary portrayal of the ties that bind us.

My Thoughts:
This is a beautiful film.  It is also a sad, mature, realistic look at familial relationships and conflicts.  The cast does a superb job.  These are very real people, real in a bitterly honest kind of way.  They have layers, unlike so many people in familiar drama, and these layers, peeled back, do not reveal solutions within to their problems.  Nothing is resolved.  It is refreshing to see people so realistically portrayed - people can appear caring and warm but harbor a bitter cruelty within, they may appear hard and distant, and openly speak cruel words but be more welcoming to a newcomer than one who appears warmer without.  Ryota will never measure up to the perfection of the deceased Junpei, father and mother will never be happy.  But it is life, and family, and they are still walking, and still observing tradition, and still connected, whether they wish it or not. 

An excellent, excellent film.  Recommended to lovers of foreign cinema, family dramas, or simply good film in general.

Bechdel Test: Pass

Overall: 4.5/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Antares

  • Super Heavy Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 4100
    • View Profile
Re: Around the World in 86 Movies
« Reply #134 on: February 21, 2015, 02:37:00 AM »
A great film and I'm wondering if you felt the same way about the mother that I did by the end of the film? Here's my review...

Still Walking