Monday, September 27, 2010
4 out of 5. Patrice Leconte's RIDICULE takes this period piece game of wit and words and turns it into something quite intriguing. From the unforgettable opening shot to the satisfying conclusion you will delight in the rise of or poor French lord who rises to tear down the aristocrats. Might I say too, the woman in the diving bell is a honey...ahem. Anyway, if you like costume dramas and dig films like Amadeus you might like this.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
3 out of 5. Mario Bava is known for horror but DANGER DIABOLIK is a very cool flick. I don't know what to say, the color the production design, the soundtrack (Ennio Morricone) is all super-spy and even superhero. It's based on an Italian comic by two sisters. The lead, John Phillip Law is a great match for Marisa Mell...beautiful people doing extraordinary things. If you like James Bond and a little Euro-camp to wash it down with you will dig this groovy spectacle.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
5 out of 5. BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN by Sergei Eisenstein was incredibly ahead of its time. It has such a contemporary feel to it I really thought it was filmed in the 40s, until I looked again at the release date. The message of course has its propaganda roots but the story is still universal. Eisenstein on images and Shostakovich on music is as close as you can get to a near perfect marriage...right up there with Hitchcock and Hermann. The imagery and cutting is really unique and beautiful, even reminiscent of Bergman at times in the languid interstitial shots that submerge the scene in symbolism. Anyone who enjoys silent movies will be blown away by this epic. Anyone who liked Alexander Nevsky and Ivan the Terrible shouldn't miss this either. Even if you don't like silent films...this will surprise you.
Friday, September 3, 2010
4 out of 5. Pietro Germi's DIVORCE-ITALIAN STYLE is a lot of fun! Marcello Mastroianni clearly enjoyed the role of the Sicilian Baron smitten with his cousin but to get rid of his overly loving wife made for an excellent obstacle. You find yourself rooting for the rapscallion. Germi's Seduced and Abandoned was a much harsher approach to comedy and I'm glad to see this has the smoothness of a great tiramisu. If you like screwball comedies played sincerely with real style and pouring over with Italian flavor then you'll dig the hell outta this.