Tuesday, 1 October 2013



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1949 - USA (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)

DIRECTOR: George Cukor
SCRIPT: Ruth Gordon, Garson Kanin
MUSIC: Miklós Rózsa

Oh how cruel can the Gods of Passing Time be! Oh how ruthless the relativism and changing contexts are! Oh how fresh and provocative, and daring the ADAM'S RIB must have been in 1949. Well, that was a looooong, loooong time ago and today, it isn't. And while it's still a lovely film with superb performances from Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, it simply isn't the film it thinks it is any more. And what's worse, in the world of 2013 it also turned into a bit of a bitterly ironic caricature of its own self. Oh what a cruel, cruel trick has the time played on this film indeed!

Tuesday, 9 July 2013



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1992 - Hong Kong (Golden Way Films Ltd.)

DIRECTOR: Stanley Kwan
SCRIPT: Peggy Chiao, Tai An-Ping Chiu
MUSIC: Huang Jin Chen

     With this film, I really thought I hit my first serious stumble during this whole book-film-blog project. It's all fun and games when you just go along watching and reviewing films, at your leisure, doing a bit of research here and there, picking your brain and putting it all into words, but there is one, critically essential requirement that simply cannot be bypassed. I need to be able to watch the film first. And in this case it didn't seem to be all that simple. At least at the beginning. Here's what happened:

Wednesday, 27 March 2013


SOURCE: Wikipedia

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1963 - Japan (Daiei Studios)

DIRECTOR: Kon Ichikawa
SCRIPT: Natto Wada, Daisuke Itō
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Setsuo Kobayashi
MUSIC: Masao YakiTamekichi Mochizuki

     Like most proper gaijins, since I've seen a couple of Kurosawa films, went through manga and anime phase in my youth, and at least once in my lifetime bought a pack sushi from Tesco, I consider myself a bit of an expert on Japan. I mean, we've all seen Tom Cruise being the samuraiest of the samurai and we've made jokes about the size of Japanese men's... well, nevermind that, right? Okay, I'm kidding. I have done a bit more than that. I did try to learn Japanese for a little while and I did do some post-diploma Oriental studies. Which (combined) achieved only as much as making me painfully aware how ignorant in this field I had been before and how not much wiser I have become after. So, not an expert then. Still, I had just enough background to know where to go to start digging and believe me, dig you should, because the more you know, the more you will appreciate this unusual and strangely beautiful film. Or just read on. After all, I've done all the hard work already.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013


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1997 - Spain (CANAL+ España, Las Producciones del Escorpión S.L, Les Films Alain Sarde) 

DIRECTOR: Alejandro Amenábar
SCRIPT: Alejandro Amenábar, Mateo Gil
MUSIC: Alejandro Amenábar, Mariano Marín

     As it happens I am now currently watching the whole run of Twin Peaks on DVD and I can't escape the feeling that those posts of mine here, on this blog, seem to be falling more and more into the Log Lady Intros pattern. Unclear message, vaguely relating to the reviewed film, a bit of a drivel, really. And that's on a good day, otherwise it's just a repetitorium of 'my expectations against reality' routine. I guess there is only as much originality in the world and most of it is elsewhere anyway.

And so, this time...

                            ...we'll go all over it again. But at least I've got an excuse. First, I don't like Spanish cinema that much (not from what I've experienced of it so far) which, admittedly, has a lot to do with  overreacting women shouting a lot, because Pedro Almodóvar told them to. And second, I have already seen one Amenábar's film and absolutely hated it (how lucky, how very lucky of us that THE SEA INSIDE did not make it to the book!). So, as you can surely appreciate, the forecast was not so good. On the other hand, I was desperate to finally find a Spanish film I would actually like (unless we 'forget' that PAN'S LABYRINTH is a co-production and call it Spanish) so I think it is fairly important that I do stress, that my prejudice in this case was not taking over. It was there, true enough, but I've done the best I could not to cloud my vision. Which doesn't matter anyway, because it is a good film and I'm always willing to give credit where credit's due. Not as good as many critics would have you believe, but I'm happy to announce that finally I've found a Spanish film that I like. There. I said it.

Friday, 25 January 2013



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2000 - Taiwan (Atom Films, Nemuru Otoko Seisaku Iinkai, Omega Project)

DIRECTOR: Edward Yang
SCRIPT: Edward Yang
MUSIC: Kai-Li Peng

      There is an old Polish poem based on folklore fairy tales about a noble man, Twardowski, who signs a pact with the devil. Wealth and all in exchange for the soul. Usual T&C's apply. The repossession of the soul was supposed to take place in Rome, which made it quite easy for Twardowski to wave his middle finger in front of the devil's face for long years simply by not travelling to Italy. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. Of course, as it always happens in those kind of stories, all this fooling around wasn't meant to last. And so, one night, Twardowski found himself in an inn, where the devil jumped at him demanding the soul. Twardowski tried to shrug the devil off but it turned out that the name of the inn, which he didn't pay attention to, was... yes, you got it - Rome. Give yourself a biscuit. The story goes on a little bit more but we are going to stop here, because this is where the parallel between the story and my encounter with A ONE AND A TWO lies. You see, if I'm Twardowski and the film is the inn then... well, then the inn isn't called Rome, naturally, it's called New Wave Cinema.

Oh my.