Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Movies I’ve seen of late

I've fallen well behind with my film reviews (such as they are) lately, so in this one post I aim to get fully up to speed. So, what have I seen lately?

The Color of Paradise
Wow, what an interesting experience this was. To the best of my knowledge, this was the the first Iranian film I've seen. I know nothing about film-making in Iran. What I will say before I move on to the movie itself is this: I suspect Iran is a young country in terms of film-making. I think what I witnessed in this film is a country finding itself in film. And that, regardless of anything else, is a great reason to see this movie. I checked Iran on IMDb to help put things in perspective: IMDb lists 1,199 films that are either Iranian or are joint ventures including Iran. There are 188,583 films listed that are either US or US + others, and 35,092 UK or UK + others. So while this is not quite akin to watching The Great Train Robbery or The Birth of a Nation, it is a really exciting time to join the party. And the film was good, too. It tells the tale of a young blind boy whose father doesn't want him. He is struggling on his own since the death of his wife, and he has a potential new wife on the horizon, as well as two daughters. A blind boy just doesn't fit into his plan. This is a slow, deliberate, moving tale. The acting is solid throughout, but the direction is really quite special. Personally, I prefer films with a bit more dialogue, but this was a very beautiful film in the way it was told and the way it was handled. I rate this film at 67 out of 100.

Two Brothers

This was a no-brainer, really. Lots of footage of cute tiger cubs playing in the jungles of Southeast Asia. Sure, you know it's all going to go horribly wrong for them, and Wife's gonna be grabbing the Kleenex throughout, but what can you do? I'm not going to give anything away here. Watch the film for the tiger footage. Ignore the humans' bad acting. There are only two real stars in this film, and they both have four legs. Tough to score this, because as a film it is formulaic and a bit rubbish. As an admonishment for how fucking stupid humans have been and continue to be towards the animals with which we share the world, it works on a certain level. But we all knew that already. As a visual feast of tiger fun, it's great. I dunno: 46?

Murder on a Sunday Morning
I like documentaries. And this one won the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature in 2002, so it should be good. (Not that Oscars necessarily mean much when it comes to mainstream fare, but y'know...) The story here revolves around a fatal shooting of a white, 60-something tourist in Florida in 2000. The assailant was a young black man. A young black man (a boy, in fact, since he was just 15 at the time) is arrested and tried for the murder. This film follows the defence team in their bid to have the boy acquitted. It's a fascinating real-life look at the sort of stories that have fascinated us through the years -- from Anatomy of a Murder, to The Accused, Murder in the First, and beyond. Compelling viewing. It was on the More4 channel here in the UK, so it may get a rerun in the coming days. Look out for it. I give this film 70 points.

The other film I saw over the past couple of days is reviewed at Escape Artists Never Die.

Labels: , ,


Blogger Candy Minx said...

Fun way to do the reviews...I like it, I might try. I've watched a lot of movies lately. Um, I saw the first two...and oddly I barely remember them, but liked the cat one. The Iranian film I saw ata festival and don't remember anything about it. hmm...

Am very curious about this Murder one, which reminds me, have you ever seen the hour long doc on Murder By Numbers? Not bad.

I've just caught up on all these posts last week or so, enjoyed the review of Mer and very much looking forward to seeing it, your review really got me inspired. I obviously had got something quite different from the trailer I saw or I would have seen it by now.

Sorry to be catching up here and so behind..., really been not up to par and just reading and housework nursing a fucking head cold!


26 September, 2006 17:33  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Candy: The Iranian film wasn't totally my cup of tea, but I think from the persepctive of viewing something from a burgeoning territory it was really great. And the film was really well directed and acted.

The murder doc was great. You must try to get a hold of it. And I'll try to find Murder By Numbers, which sounds really interesting.

Glad you're feeling better, though, pet.

27 September, 2006 11:41  
Blogger Red said...

I thought Color of Paradise was quietly fabulous. I was surprised to read that most of the actors had never acted before, because they all looked so natural.

But I disagree with the director on the ending! Is that really conceited of me? After all, it's his film, he should know what he meant, and who am I to dissent?!?

27 September, 2006 12:45  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Who links to me?