Review Digest #3

30Mar07

 

Ikiru (To Live): Akira Kurosowa (1952)

Inspite of being over 50 years old, this film still managed to strike a chord. I love themes that dwell on death and the regrets that people have when facing their own mortality (nope I’m not THAT guy) and needless to say, Kurosawa was a genius. Watanabe (Takashi Shimura) works a dead end job as a civil servant who loses interest in life when his wife dies. He sleepwalks through life for 20 years and once diagnosed with stomach cancer, everything changes. He struggles to find meaning and love. Very beautiful and poignant, this film still draws strong parallels to modern day life. The final scene were he sits on a swing in a play ground and sings a song that goes:  “Life is brief, fall in love, maidens…Before the crimson bloom fades from your lips…Before the tides of passion cools within you…” Haunting!

8.5/10

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2001: A Space Odyssey: Stanley Kubrick (1968)

There was a time when I thought this was one of the most boring and pathetic execuses for serious cinema! I’ve grown a little bit wiser over the years but I’d be lying if I told you that I fully understand the film even now. Stanley Kubrick juxtaposes art, humanity and philosophy into one of the finest and most visually arresting films ever. Brilliantly shot, it explores man’s journey to achieve enlightenment. It’s a sort of opera set in space and  Richard Strauss’ “Also Sprach Zarathustra” plays a very important part in the film as the theme music. A knowledge of Neitzche‘s works (particularly Thus Spoke Zarathustra) would help with interpreting the film however, the ambiguity allows various interpretations.

Oh and don’t diss the movie just ‘cos you don’t get it!

9/10

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The Untouchables: Brian De Palma (1987)

An exaggerated retelling of Elliot Ness‘s account of his capture of the infamous Al Capone. Honestly, I think this was one of the most overrated films of it’s time. Brian De Palma is a sloppy director obsessed with excesses as can be seen in Mission to Mars and Snake Eyes. However the film does have a young Andy Garcia as a trigger happy cop, reminds me a bit of Benecio Del Toro‘s breakout role in The Usual Suspects. Sean Connery‘s Oscar winning performance was nothing great and De Niro played De Niro. I don’t know why I was so peeved with this movie…sky high expectations maybe.

5.5/10

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