Sunday, 18 September 2011



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1959 - France (Les Films du Carrose/Sedif Productions)

DIRECTOR: François Truffaut
SCRIPT: François Truffaut, Marcel Moussy
MUSIC: Jean Constantin

     Will it not be a little bit worrying if I start with the words 'I was dreading this film so much'? And also, if I add that I have not had seen this film before, I knew nothing about it and all I knew about the director was just his significance to the La Nouvelle Vague? I guess it would, if I were a pay-for film critic, but thankfully I am nothing more than a one-of-a-billion cinema enthusiast occupying a tiny little corner of those mighty internets. It still doesn't make it quite OK but at least there's no one here to kick me out of this job, and then again, appreciate the honesty. After all I must be the only person (or at least one of very few) who doesn't mind to admit to it, instead of copy&paste-ing fragments from Wikipedia pretending, that I knew it all since I was five.
     So, yes, the bottom line is that THE 400 BLOWS surprised me, and surprised me positively which is the kind of surprising I don't mind in the slightest. So let's break it down into a handful of paragraphs to see why.

Friday, 5 August 2011



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2004 - South Korea/Japan (Kim Ki-duk Film/Cineclick Asia)

DIRECTOR: Kim Ki-duk
SCRIPT: Kim Ki-duk
PHOTOGRAPHY: Seong-back Jang
MUSIC: Slvian

This was exactly what I was waiting for and what I was hoping for when I started the blog. Yes, it is great to get the opportunity to write a few words about the films I already know and love. Even more when I have to wade through choices I neither agree with nor even understand. But the ultimate prize is a discovery. Stumbling upon a film I most likely would have overlooked otherwise, and which would be a revelation, something to blow me away, sweep me of my feet and ascertain my my view in what the cinema should be about: telling stories and making us forget about the real world for as long as the film lasts. 3-IRON does both in a most superb way. It's been a while since I got charmed by a film so much and to be honest, I don't expect jewels like this one to wait for me behind every corner. But it's so good they still there and no matter how much older I get, no matter how many films I've seen, there is still something there to surprise me in that fresh and totally unpretentious way. And here's why:

Saturday, 16 July 2011



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1935 - U.K (Gaumont British Picture Corporation)

DIRECTOR: Alfred Hitchcock
SCRIPT: John Buchan, Charles Bennett, Ian Hay
PHOTOGRAPHY: Bernard Knowles
MUSIC: Hubert Bath, Jack Beaver, Charles Williams

   There is no question about Alfred Hitchcock's cinematic legacy. And I'm not taking it just for the face value, I do recognise his genius myself. But the rule of 'credit where credit's due' is a double-edged weapon. And for that reason I am not keen on giving said credit where it has not been earned properly. The 39 Steps seems to me to be a perfect example. And even if I wasn't really sure what to expect, I can definitely assure you: whatever it was, I did not get it. Except for disappointment, that is.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011



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1968 - USA/U.K. (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)

DIRECTOR: Stanley Kubrick
PHOTOGRAPHY: Geoffrey Unsworth
MUSIC: Classical

     I was so enthusiastic about the prospect of writing about 2001 that one could almost take it for giddiness. Having to wade through the communist propaganda in the last two films, turning into my favourite genre for a change and one of most iconic titles within it as well, felt like fast-approaching holiday after winning the lottery jackpot. And then it hit me. First, as with so many other titles, I have not properly watched this film for more than ten years, maybe even longer. And second, I've just put myself in position where I am supposed to write something smart on a subject that hundreds of critics already wrote just about everything. No pressure then. 'Crap!', I thought to myself using an unorthodox (beginning with an 'f') spelling of that word. But a job's a job and a simple blogger's got to do what a simple blogger's got to do. So I sat down, whimpered a bit and then watched the 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY very carefully indeed. Here's what I found:

Thursday, 21 April 2011


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1967 - France (Anouchka, Argos, Carrose, Parc)

DIRECTOR: Jean-Luc Godard
SCRIPT: Jean-Luc Godard, Catherine Vimenet
PHOTOGRAPHY: Raoul Coutard

   It is quite funny, how deciding on watching the films from 1001 MOVIES... in alphabetical order rather than chronological, accidentally put together two films that suddenly created some sort of a context for each other. In the red corner, an Italian Marxist Bertolucci with his 1900 and in the... other red corner a French Marxist, Godard with TWO OR THREE THINGS... You think a draw? Of course not, that would be far too easy and too little fun as well. Only because they both hark back to the same ideology, doesn't mean there are any similarities. Which is just as good because there are none. And actually, I tell you what, forget Bertolucci. Godard deserves some punches without anyone else's help.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

1900 (Novecento)

source: IMDB

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1976 - Italy/France/West Germany (Produzioni Europee Associati)

SCRIPT: Franco Arcalli, Bernardo Bertolucci, Giuseppe Bertolucci
PHOTOGRAPHY: Vittorio Storaro
MUSIC: Ennio Morricone  

   So there you go. Only second film on the list and I'm already struggling to come up with something witty to kick off with. But there are two options though. I could take all the blame, go down the sackcloth and ashes route, admit publicly that I'm nothing more than a half-wit pretending to know anything about cinema (or anything at all for that matter), or... well, blame the film. But can you? Can you actually turn around, rise your head and face the behemoth of a film, backed up by names like Bertolucci, Storaro, Morricone, Lancaster, De Niro, Depardieu, Sutherland? Can you stand confidently in the way of a pounding train that this five-and-a-half hour of historical, political, social, nostalgic, coming-straight-from-the-heart epic of a movie is and still hope to survive? Wouldn't it be a blasphemy? A lunacy? An attention-seeking stunt? Would my family, my friends, my friends' pets ant their fleas not be cursed to oblivion by the lynching mob of film critics with their steaming Starbucks cups and cheap Biros raised in angry, clenched fists?

Maybe. But it's still better than admitting that it was me, who didn't get the brilliance of 1900.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011


source: Wikipedia

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1957 - U.S.A. (Orion-Nova)

DIRECTOR: Sidney Lumet
SCRIPT: Reginald Rose
PHOTOGRAPHY: Boris Kaufman
MUSIC: Kenyon Hopkins 

   Only now I properly realised what did I get myself into. And don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining about the fact that for the next 20 years or so I have committed myself into writing a blog that has a very slight significance in the grand scale of things, or that the list of films is swarming with titles which normally I would appreciate no more than a persisting itch in the gentlemanly areas. No. That I can live with, I've worked as a journalist for long enough to be able to convince myself that 'professionalism demands it' and since professionalism is a frame of mind, not being paid and hardly even read, doesn't change anything here. So no, it's not that. What really started to bother me, just before I've watched my first film, was the cold realisation, that I'm going to be reviewing films, sometimes forgotten, mostly obscure, very often quite foreign, and still try not to include spoilers. Why? Because that's something the 1001 MOVIES YOU MUST SEE BEFORE YOU DIE did not manage to achieve. And I don't want to be just as good. I need to be one step ahead. I need to be better.

Which is going to be, in publishable words, rather difficult.

Monday, 28 February 2011


   Can I blame my friends for this? The thing is, since last year some of them came up with those annoying blogs. Annoying because my humble self have already started in the dust and rust covered past three of those and abandoned them all fairly quickly. Now, that is a perfectly legitimate thing to do with a blog. After all, we all did it, did we not? You come all enthusiastic, bursting with ideas, full of optimism and good will and get fed up with it all sooner than you could say ‘oh-wow-I’ve-had-a-visitor-last-month-wait-no-it-was-me-from-a-computer-in-the-library’.

So, yes. I think I can blame my friends for this and so should you. In case I start this blog, carry on for three months and abandon it like every single one of them before, remember that you should blame my friend for this. For having better ideas than mine and for being consistent (unlike me). And for making me jealous and coming up with an idea that surely is silly, over the top and has a potential of mildly cool if I only managed to carry on for longer than, say, three entries. But then again, no one visits forgotten blogs so why should I worry?