Sunday, October 31, 2010

La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc

The Passion of Joan of Arc, a silent movie from 1928 has been referred to as one of the better movies ever made. And, now that I've watched, I have to confirm that assesment. This movie is absolutely fantastic. Easily one of the most powerful movies I have ever watched, with one of the most intense performances by an actress.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Monsieur Hulot

Monsieur Hulot is the man. One thing that I like the best is the way Jacques Tati portrays the world, the modern world that is, as a cold, conforming mass, a world of schedules, norms, conventions, and 'how-it-should-be's'. And along comes Monsieur Hulot, who provides the warmth of comedy in this world gone bland, humanity through his numerous good intentions and actions as a true gentlemen. But he also provides heart-rending and touch moments. Monsieur Hulot is a child, in a way, but a child in the sense that he hasn't become embittered, he hasn't forgotten the joys in life that come from the little things, and he hasn't ever, ever bowed down before the wishes of the whole. When he dances with a beautiful young lady at a costume ball or entertains a small child, you feel the joy that he's provided - even though he's only made on-screen characters happy. That, to me, is one of the many reasons that Hulot is one of the best characters, certainly on par with The Little Tramp.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Black Sunday (1960)

I have a weakness for monster films, especially those with slightly dubious effects. I get a huge kick, for instance, out of swamp monsters, mummies, and giant lizards that are, in reality, plastic and the size of an average human hand. And so I thought that Black Sunday, (La Maschera del Demonio in the original Italian, but I saw a decently dubbed version) would be one of those films.