Saturday, March 5, 2011

Celluloid #109

In Home

Carlos (2010) Assayas - If you can imagine watching a five hour plus film (technically broken up into a miniseries now), you really should consider watching this. Carlos Martinez was a terrorist who primarily in the 1970s and 80s committed attacks on Europe in an effort to protest Israeli occupation of Palestine. He also claims to be a part of the "Internationalist Revolution" pertaining to support for Third World countries. This movie is really fascinating because Carlos is such an interesting and complicated character; totally charismatic and quite handsome. Assayas is a director that I often enjoy and that tackles such a variety of topics. This film is great to look at with a pacing that helps this film seem much shorter than its runtime. As a bonus, I also loved the soundtrack, even though the songs often seemed like strange choices other than their ability to tap into some nervous tension (artists featured include: the Feelies, Devo, and Wire). 4.5/5

the Counterfeiters (2007) Ruzowitzky - During the Holocaust, a "professional" counterfeiter is captured after he fucks up in his attempts to copy the dollar. Once taken to the concentration camp, he is separated to be part of a special unit dedicated to forgery. Unfortunately, creating perfect fakes of the British pound may save himself and his fellow jewish prisoners in the short term, but could ultimately tip the balance of the war towards the Nazis favor. Something seemed lacking in this film, and rarely is there a Holocaust-based film that doesn't evoke some emotional response. Also, it just seems a little too "Hollywood-approved foreign film." 3/5

I Fidanzati (1962) Olmi - A man and his longtime girlfriend seem to have reached some sort of lull in their relationship. He decides to take a job in Sicily for a year and a half. While there, he has a little fling, but ultimately realizes that he really wants to be with his girlfriend. Lots of charming scenes, including a really great party. Small town life looks pleasing, but not totally satisfying. 3.5/5

In the Year of the Pig (1968) de Antonio - Documentary about American involvement in the Vietnam War. Incorporates footage (memorably of the burning monk) with interviews of various government officials. All together, it adds up to a harsh, but not undeserved critique of the United States. 3.5/5

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