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Archive for December 31st, 2018

by Sam Juliano

New Year’s Eve 2018 is upon us.  As always we think along the line that the new year will be better than the one expiring, but as we get older this will always be the melancholic swan song.  In behalf of James Clark, J.D. Lafrance, Jamie Uhler and myself I’d like to wish all a Happy New Year’s Day and better than ever 352 day upcoming span to all.  Thank you to all our readers, and those who place comments and likes, dear friends like John Grant, Laurie Buchanan, Don Haumant, Ricky Chinigo, Patricia Hamilton, Duane Porter, Celeste Fenster, Marilyn Ferdinand, Pat Perry, Brian Wilson, David Schleicher, Frank Gallo, Sachin Gandhi, Peter Marose, Adam Ferenz, Timmy McCoy, MaddyLovesClassic Films, Wendy Wahmann, Marco Tremble, Jamie Hogan, Dennis Polifroni, Stephen Mullen, Dean Treadway, John Greco, Joel Bocko, Richard Finch, David Noack, Aaron West, Jared Dec, Maurizio Roca, Kimbrak, Brandie Ashe, Robert Hornak, Broadway Bob, and Lucille Juliano, though the same to all our other visitors who have done the same over the past year and well before.  This past August the site celebrated, amazingly, the 10th year of his run.  Always thinking of our beloved Allan Fish, who is smiling down on us.

The captivating and mysterious Italian fairy tale “Happy as Lazzaro” by Alice Rohrwacher evokes some favorite pastoral settings of director Ermanno Olmi but this beautifully filmed and heartbreaking tale about a subservient, wide-eyed young man imbued with positive energy who makes an abrupt turn away from the central Italy home (“Inviolata”) of poor tobacco sharecroppers where Lazzaro befriends a controlling Tancredi, to an anarchic modern city where the film’s magic realism reaches full flower. As Lazzaro Adriano Tardiolo gives one of the year’s most unforgettable performances……..In the Brazilian “Araby” a teenager without much direction comes upon a journal which flashbacks into the life of a recently deceased man named Christiano, chronicling the alternately vibrant and mundane existence including a love affair in a quietly enveloping Bressonian work brilliantly acted by Aristides de Sousa and impressively co-directed by Joao Dumas and Alfonso Uchoa……….Peter Jackson’s monumental achievement “They Shall Not Grow Old” humanizes the soldiers’ experience on the war front through deft digital restoration and colorization of worn footage. The result in a visceral work, both vital and immediate, with dubbing that places it in a modern context. The unpredictability of combat is seen through a lens which passes no judgement politically, just asserts that all involved are in the same fateful boat. Jackson spoke on how he assembled the footage before the film and at length afterwards.  (more…)

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By J.D. Lafrance

The mark of a truly gifted filmmaker is when their work is able to transcend the times in which they were made and continue to be highly regarded, beloved and is still relevant to subsequent generations. Such is the case with Frank Capra who made not one but two timeless classics with Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), one of the most highly regarded films about American politics ever made, and It’s A Wonderful Life (1946), the quintessential Christmas movie. Meet John Doe (1941) is not as popular as these two films but it is just as important. Like the aforementioned motion pictures, it features an everyman character exploited by both corporate interests and the media, which makes it just as timely today as it was back when it was first released.

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