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.