Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
  • 12 Years A Slave (2013)
    I was afraid that this movie will give me nothing new, just rage at the injustice. But there was stuff that captured me: the slaves differentiating between themselves, the role of religion in the master–slave relationship, the emotional damage the masters suffered. Also, while the film includes invented scenes, some that got me wondering turned out to have been historical.

  • Memento (2000)
    Christopher Nolan's breakthrough film about a man with short-term memory loss. He really did the trick with telling a story backwards, but he chose such a cruel story with such unsympathetic characters that I omitted a second viewing, thank you.

  • Flags Of Our Fathers (2006)
    I saw the other in Clint Eastwood's pair of movies about the Battle of Iwo Jima, Letters From Iwo Jima, when it came out, and I found this story about the reality and the propaganda behind the most famous war photo from the Pacific pretty good, too. I must admit I never knew the tragic real story behind the name Ira Hayes. What's sad is that with American Sniper, Clint Eastwood now made a movie that interprets the sniper of an invasion/occupation army killing locals as a hero (no word about what the killing is all about, and no pictures of sniping at ambulances and civilians like in Fallujah), and I doubt Eastwood will ever make a pair to that movie from the Iraqi, even "insurgent" viewpoint.

  • Fair Game (2010)
    Sean Penn and Naomi Watts as Joseph C. Wilson and Valerie Plame. As a whole, I found this a weak film, be it due to the uninspired directing or because I already knew most of the story. However, it brought back the terror of the poisoned jingoism of the Dubya era: even with all the propaganda and web trolls today, IMHO it's not as bad in English-language areas as it was then. Also, the film's focus was on Wilson's obsessive quest to defeat the regime"'s character assassination with the truth brought the marriage to the brink, and the two lead actors managed to bring that across.

  • The Company You Keep (2013)
    Robert Redford's thriller/road movie about fugitive Weather Underground men and women getting into the FBI's sight. Lots of elder actors with lots of screen presence, but for me the concept was a too cowardly approach of a 'controversial' subject: we get a family drama with the more edgy political stuff (the ideology, the revolutionary delusion in its separation from public support, the justifications for political violence, the police state, the jingoism, the selective justice of the state) made into a sideshow to a family drama, and Cointelpro was omitted. The film also distorts history (no one was killed by active Weathermen and the FBI stopped going after them).

  • The last three Harry Potter movies (2009–2011)
    The one thing that captivated me in the earlier instalments of this franchise was Alan Rickman's character. So I was rather pleased to find that it became a tragic central character fit for an opera, and there was a reason Rowling asked Rickman for the part. Other than that, I thought the films also managed to 'grow up' with the main characters, but not enough, and some scenes could have been much more with better directing.

  • Pacific Ring (2013)
    Giant robot fights giant monster appearing from the sea: Godzilla redux? Well that's the first few minutes. Then fast forward a few years when the robots are worn and losing the battle. An interesting twist, but unfortunately the end of the storyline is more traditional.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Mar 7th, 2015 at 04:29:53 PM EST
I remember you critiqued Frozen a while back. I think it is interesting why it has became so big. Obviously, this is a childrens movie and for a childrens movie to make it big it needs to appeal both to the kids and to their parents who has the money.

Now Frozen has a lot of things going for it, music, snow, princesses, monsters, trolls and of course (this being Disney) somewhat funny side-kicks. But I think the reason it strikes a cord with the adults is the two themes of sibling relations and depression. I would say that one would hardly be able to make such an up-beat story about depression without the childlike imagery.

If Elsa did not conjure up an ice-castle to shut the world out, but instead sat in a basement ranting about how much the world sucks on the internet or found a solitary hobby to mentally close herself into, it would not really be the same thing. Also, the intervention by her sister where love makes all the mental health problems go away would be really cheesy.

This being a depressive era, I think it is in retrospect logical that this movie has struck a cord.

One final take-away is not to trust mental health issues to unlicensed practioners who kidnap children, marry people on a whim and live isolated, obeying the great leader. If they are known as trolls, maybe you should get a second opinion before heeding their advice.

by fjallstrom on Thu Mar 12th, 2015 at 04:44:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is much to admire about 12 Years a Slave; above all, it sent me to the original text. Widely available for free, at Project Gutenberg for instance, it is more immediate and gripping than you might expect of a memoir from 1853.

The Company You Keep was a major disappointment, not to mention a soporific. And from Redford and Sarandon? Hard to understand.

Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other. -- Dr Johnson

by melvin (melvingladys at or near yahoo.com) on Wed Mar 25th, 2015 at 10:59:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
On the other hand, TCYK was worth it just to see Julie Christie again.

Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other. -- Dr Johnson
by melvin (melvingladys at or near yahoo.com) on Wed Mar 25th, 2015 at 11:03:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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