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Archive for June 23rd, 2014

by Jaime Grijalba.

The first minutes of this German film directed by R.W. Fassbinder are among the most perfect representations of instant attraction that have ever made their way into a film, just by a simple succession of elements that on top of each other mean something deep and really important towards the multi-cultural and heavily sentimental aspects that the rest of the film will then explore. Just as the title announces, it is a movie about fear, about what people might say about you, and the fear of what you think about yourself, the fear of how much of that will actually destroy you, the fear of how much it would affect you, how much damage will that make to your personal life in the end, no matter how much you don’t actually care about what people are saying about you, it’s a movie that is bleak in the way that portrays the reprobation of the majority towards a subject, it’s a mean movie towards its protagonists, as it doesn’t leave them an easy way out, as it presents by itself when the fear has already run through the bodies of those who understand and lived it. (more…)

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by Sam Juliano

One of the funniest stories from my childhood, one that has been often told to me to inspire riotous laughter among friends, has a direct tie-in this past week’s release of Clint Eastwood’s Jersey Boys, based on the smash Broadway musical.  It goes something like this:  When I was eight years old, the Four Season’s released the single “Sherry.”  As a 45 buyer all the way back to that year, the song was one of my earliest infatuations.  I was so smitten with it -and in typical Juliano obsessive fashion I played it at least 20 times a day or so – that I was heard by neighbors sitting on my backyard fence singing  Sherry.  Sherry baby…Sherry.  Sherry baby.  She- er-er-er-ery baby!  Sherry baby!  Of course I was mortified at the prospects of there being an audience back then, though I never had a problem singing in my own bedroom.  The memories came flooding back to me again over the weekend while Lucille and I heard the song several times during the two hours plus running time of the film.  In fact “Sherry” was done more times than any other Four Seasons song in the film, though such standards like “Rag Doll,” “Let’s Hang On,” “Oh What A Night,” “My Eyes Adore You,” and the celebrated Frankie Valli solo “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” and others kept you humming a long.  As expected three days later those songs are still in my head.  And well they should be.  The Four Seasons were one of America’s premier groups and their Cinderella story -OK it is an edgy one too- is given entertaining treatment in the film version that appears to have split the critics down the middle.  It is far from perfect, but Jersey Boys on film alternately explores the fame and despair in the lives of the group members, including Frankie Valli and Bob Gaudio  Sit back, relax and enjoys these great songs again.  A few too many people were looking to pick a fight with Eastwood, methinks.  Sure it longish, but so what.  The end credits for me were not long enough.  Christopher Walker was great too as a benevolent Mafioso. (more…)

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