Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Lives of Others

A 2006 German movie (original name: Das Leben der Anderen) and director’s (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck) first feature film. von Donnersmarck was 33 years old when he shot this excellent movie. He wrote the scenario himself also. The movie took best foreign language film in 2007 that it really deserves. The time is the fall of East Germany. 5 years before the fall of Berlin Wall. A person loses his faith to the state and his ideology is changing, as the ideas are changing all over the state.

We see how art creates an effect on people and change them in a positive way during the strict times. The film captures you from the beginning and you feel inside in the sequence of events till the end of the movie. The emotional sides of characters are well drawn and their inner struggles have been touched intensively.Various changes take place in their personality, also in the country. Regime change, conflicts in the country and difficulties of being an artist under the surveillance of art are provided as the reasons for the actions of the characters in the movie. It includes a drama, love, politics, improbity and humanity in its storyline.A must see movie. It’s one of the best movies I’ve seen ever, from its storyline to well textured character, from its cinematography to its decors and matching story with the historical reality. I think film’s greatest strength is the acting. It is so powerful and encompasses you to the story.After reading all around about the movie, I noticed that one of the main characters, Ülrich Mühe (an astonishing actor, but unfortunately died one year after the movie release), had a similar betrayal event in his life while he was living in East Berlin.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Monmarte 15-40

Un homme et une femme (1966) – Claude Lelouch
A beautiful classic French movie with a lovely paysage at the background which reminds me one of my lovely trips there, to Deauville and Honfleur.It makes itself one of my favorite French movies with its photography changing from black-and-white to colors and to very beautiful sepia-tones (even the reason is that shooting a black-and-white movie was much cheaper back then). It’s also the first movie of Claude Lelouch that I’ve seen. It’s especially very famous with its memorable song and shot with a little budget. Its rich photography makes it even more successful when you think that it is a 1960s movie. It’s a classical French love story with two widows that meet by chance (or by fate if you call it) in one of the nicest French town Deauville. The movie has a remarkable acting besides its photography. The main actors are adorable Anouk Aimée and handsome Jean-Louis Trigenant. Some scenes make you to think that they didn’t have a script but they created the scene spontaneously. It’s not an abandoned-to-pure-romantism Worth to see if you miss to see old romantic French-love-story movies. There is also a sequel of the movie that I haven’t seen yet but will see soon. It’s shot after 20 years later with a name “Un homme et une femme, 20 ans déjà” and casting again Anouk Aimée and Jean-Louis Trigenant.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Into the wild (2007)

A Sean Pean movie. Adaptation of a real story. Was really famous when it was on the theatre if you have heard about it at that time. Chris, a young university graduate, questions his life and tries to find a meaning but he can't. Grown up in an unhappy family and had a problematic childhood with her sister where parents do not communicate but fight. Even seems to have a strong self-conscious and mighty young guy to others, a fragile kid inside and following his graduation, he decides to run away from everything and live the life in its most natural form. He simply wants to go to basics, into the woodlands, into the wildness of nature.
What I liked about his story, he has kinda reminded me myself, that even I never hit myself on the roads for two years heading to Alaska, me too I wanted to leave everything, everyone, the already written plot of my personality seen by others, the comedy that we were playing around without having any motivation but desperately trying to find one… In that sense, I understand what Chris wanted to do with his life. I like the story for its being a real life story.
Even during the whole movie, many times you find yourself saying “ok dude all those wild stuff you’re doing there, they are fun ok but come on, leaving everything without knowing what you are heading to. And come on, there are people who wants to be in your feet in this hard world”, when you think again, you see a Chris that was lonely in his life, fell out with people and offended to his family, created a world with his favorite road books (Henri David Thoreau, Jack London, Tolstoy…) and living there trying to be happy.Talking about movie, I think it’s clear that it wouldn’t have made an echo if it wasn’t a real story. The photography of movie was really successful, landscapes of America, canyons, deserts and forests were glorious. I found main actor (Emile Hirsch) pretty successful too. If you are only intending to see a youth defying the nature, I don’t suggest the movie. However, if you want to understand him, not to question his thoughtless actions but join his survival and listen to its perfect soundtrack, you shouldn’t miss that movie.
"I think careers are a 20th century invention and I don't want one."

Sunday, August 1, 2010

A brilliant movie of Guy Ritchie: Revolver

A Guy Ritchie style movie that you can find in Revolver: gangsters, guns, gamblers money flow, thefts, white powder... If you already like his style, you will love every second of it (like me). Jason Statham, main actor of Guy Ritchie (played in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch) is the center character of the movie.
I really like his acting and he suits to these genres of movies with his impressive, narrator voice. In Revolver, he’s playing a gambler who is coming out of the prison with a desire of revenge from gangsters who caused him to go to prison ("nothing hurts more than humiliation and a little money loss".). However, things are getting complicated with his release from the prison and he finds himself in a high pace game with two ‘loan sharks’ asking for all of his money and in return, protect him from gangsters. He doesn’t have anything to lose since he will die in three days from a mysterious sickness (!).

There are other smartly created characters in Revolver. Despite the story is losing its points sometimes and creates question in the mind, it’s no far away being a classic Guy Ritchie movie. You watch the effects of passed-alone-seven-years of prison on our main character when he constantly talks by himself (and that’s where I enjoyed the movie). The music tracks are also very well chosen, fit to their scene (varies from classical to electronic music).
Three things (scenes) I liked about Revolver: When the main character picks up a note on the floor, a shootout scene starts and you will enjoy the camera movements which enrich action in the scene without much performance. Secondly, the chess scene and the transition in between the shots while the players make move and camera angles make you enjoy the visuality. And thirdly, the animated cartoon scenes switching from Chinese underworld boss and his gang mates when the boss learns that they ripped off by the other gangsters.
"First rule of business, protect your investment,  -Etiquette of the Banker 1775 "

Stanley Kubrick – Full Metal Jacket (1987)

Another masterpiece of Kubrick’s. I have seen three cult movies of Kubrick’s before Full Metal Jacket. They were Eyes Wide Shut, A Clockwork Orange and Barry Lyndon. I admired all of them. Barry Lyndon for its photographical beauty (shot in Ireland btw); Eyes Wide Shut for its mysterious story and unforgettable images shot with care and effort; and A Clockwork Orange for its courageous view to human nature and being an opening to similar stories in the film industry and in the media.
Full Metal Jacket is a war movie with questions of Kubrick in the mind to the meaning and purpose of war. In this tragicomic story, one finds himself asking the question "why the hell are we fighting for?" In the following of the movie, you see how the soldiers are dehumanized and empty-brained. The movie can be thought as two parts, in the first part a group of new recruits, right before being sent to the Vietnam War, are (so-called) disciplined in a training camp and taught how to obey to their superior ("-Sir, yes sir!") by a psychologically-sick instructor and also how to talk with their rifles.
Then, in the second part of the movie, the troops are sent to the field and we watch several scenes of these miserable soldiers during the war and the effects of the war on their psychology. In between these two parts, there is a connection scene (that I liked for its song choice and funny dialogs :)) with a Vietnamese prostitute who comes next to two soldiers who just arrived to Vietnam and sitting outside of a café, asking with a broken English "-You have girlfriend Vietnam, -You like party? -me so horny"... :) I couldn’t stop myself watching this scene several times with my boyfriend because of its funny script but also it was a nice transition from the training camp to the war field and showing how unexpected things will happen to those having-no-idea-what-the-war-is soldiers and how miserable they are. worth to watch movie!
editor’s note: Stanley Kubrick is famous by his perfectionist style of shooting each scene in a pure care until he gets what he photographically wants. As far as I know, in Eyes Wide Shut, he shot a scene 127 times until he sees what he wants.