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Archive for August 14th, 2012

by Jaime Grijalba.

It is fascinating to actually see again this film in the light of this countdown and find how incredibly funny it is regarding its dialogue, plot and even shot composition in its whole first hour. It is not until the film deliver us one of its most fascinating, horrific and funny experiences (Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich? Malkovich!) that it makes a shift for a fantasy/drama/horror that atonishes to this day, it is quite the tone shifter, and its done in a way that is so well done, that you don’t actually miss the funny parts of the first half of the film, but you actually start to thank them because of how serious and dark the movie gets once the hour mark is past, you at least had your chance to have a bit of fun before you took a dive inside the dark depths of the mind of Spike Jonze and Charlie Kaufman, the principal responsibles for this masterpiece of fantasy/comedy/drama/science fiction that is ‘Being John Malkovich’. So, in the spirit of this countdown and experience of comedies that we are having, let’s take a look at those elements that are mostly present in the first half of the film before we take the deeper examination of the themes and practices that make this film so spectacular. First of all, let’s say that this is a dark comedy, one that wants us to laugh at the bad luck and bad choices that our protagonists makes (John Cusack has never had a better role in his entire life than this turn as the puppeteer Craig Schwartz) as well as of his obsessed new-age stoned wife that carries and treats animals as if they were human beings (the role that really shows the range and overall mastery of Cameron Diaz regarding on-screen performance when she’s given a good script), it wants you to laugh at the sexual fantasies of an old man, it wants you to laugh at Malkovich’s own reactions to the whole situation in which he is driven into (even if he emphasizes many times that it is his head that is being played with, just to be hit with a can in the head just after he says that). Above all, it wants you to laugh about mysery, the mysery and the sadness of the life of its protagonists that can’t help but feel awkward in the real world that they are pushed to, just to find themselves in an even stranger realm than the one that they were accustomed to. (more…)

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by Allan Fish

(UK 1988 178m) DVD1

200 years Brangwen and 16 years Ursula

p  Chris Parr  d  Stuart Burge  w  Anne Devlin  novel  D.H.Lawrence  ph  John Kenway  ed  John Rosser  m  Simon Rogers, John Tams  art  Myles Lang  cos  Sue Peck

Imogen Stubbs (Ursula Brangwen), Kate Buffery (Winifred Inger), Tom Bell (Old Tom Brangwen), Martin Wenner (Anton Skrebensky), Jon Finch (Uncle Tom), Jane Gurnett (Anna Brangwen), Colin Tarrant (Will Brangwen), Clare Holman (Gudrun Brangwen), Eileen Way (Lydia Brangwen), Fabia Drake (Aunt Olga), Sarah Crowden (Catherine Phillips),

As my fingers hit the keyboard at the back end of 2008 this celebrated BBC adaptation of D.H.Lawrence’s seminal work is still not available on DVD in the UK, and is only available as an effective extra on the US BBC DVD of The Widowing of Mrs Holroyd (I know which is the major work).  It has suffered from being made at the same time as Ken Russell’s film version, yet I don’t think even Ken would say his film was in the same league.  That film could be seen as a prequel to his earlier Women in Love (based on a later Lawrence novel about the same pair of sisters), and wasn’t worthy of his earlier work.  Lawrence isn’t the easiest of authors to translate to the screen, a wordy devil at times, and though there have been decent films of his work (the aforementioned Women in Love especially, but also Jack Cardiff’s neglected Sons and Lovers, while Chris Miles’ The Virgin and the Gypsy has its devotees), to me this stands with the best interpretation of his work on screen.  (more…)

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