Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Celluloid #16

In Theatres

So I finally saw a not terrible movie with Chris this week, Jiri Menzel's I Served the King of England. The basic plot revolves around a waiter who dreams of becoming a millionaire while enduring the many changes in Czechoslovakia including Nazi occupation and later communism. The film fell into a cycle of repetition during the first half of the film and switching between the old man and his younger self became somewhat tedious. However, this movie is quite beautiful and full of quirky enjoyable imagery (all though I personally was actually a little tired of exposed boobies by the end) and the story does pick up once the Nazis get into the picture. A good film, but nowhere near the greatness of Menzel's previous work (not that that was really the expectation going into this film anyway). 3.75/5

In Home

Chop Shop (2007) Bahrani - A newish independent film about a young boy and his teenage sister living in Queens. Alejandro doesn't go to school but uses his time working at an auto repair shop and selling candy bars. His sister works at a taco truck and also makes some money on the side. Together they work towards saving up to buy their own taco truck and to hopefully move out of the single room they occupy in the auto repair shop. 4/5

the Kingdom (1995) von Trier - Back in the '90s, Lars von Trier created a television miniseries about a Copenhagen hospital that experiences a variety of supernatural and just plain fucked-up occurences. The storyline itself is fine, but it's really ugly looking and seriously has the worst theme song ever. Plus, von Trier addresses the audience during the credits of each episode and he is so irritating. Anyway, X-Files lite. 3/5

Lord of the Flies (1963) Brooks - So the book that nearly everyone read as a high school freshman was made into a film in the early '60s. Black and white and feels stiff and polite towards the beginning, but as the boys' and their makeshift society start to deteriorate, the scenes and film shots get much more interesting. 4/5

the Seventh Seal (1957) Bergman - Probably the most famous and most parodied of Bergman's films. Death comes to take people away while the plague is running rampant throughout Sweden. Max von Sydow buys himself a little more time by engaging in a game of chess with Death and a circus troupe travels around. Still masterful and interesting, but nowhere near my favorites of Bergman.

In News (Scandinavian edition)

* Susanne Bier, one of the Dogme directors (#28 Open Hearts) is working on a new project supposedly featuring Hugh Grant and Anjelica Huston titled Lost for Words

* Max von Sydow (a tie-in to Seventh Seal) is currently 79 years old and has not one, but 3 films in post-production! A fantasy adventure called Solomon Kane, a french film called Un homme et son chien, and a Scorcese-directed project called Shutter Island.

* Lastly Swedish filmmaker Lukas Moodysson is nearly finished with a film called Mammoth starring Gael Garcia Bernal and Michelle Williams having something to do with a businessman and his Filipino maid...


Roman said...

Max von Sydow was in Rush Hour 3.


Saxon said...

The repetition in I Served the King of England is clearly intentional. The repetitive nature of the film mirrors the cycles which history takes both in politics, his own life and the various characters throughout the film.

raridan said...

that may be...but I still think it went on too long and didn't completely work for me. I still liked the film for the most part...