Monday, December 04, 2006

Double As (Maybe Triple) Movie Reviews

In a hurry at the video store I abandoned my list and just plunged into the "foreign" section beginning with the letter A. I took the first 3 movies that were interesting and in the store.

At Five O'Clock in the Afternoon is a movie about a young woman named Nogreh in post-Taliban Afghanistan. She sneaks away from the traditional Islamic school that her father takes her to every day and attends a modern school where her teacher encourages the girls and women to discuss politics and debate the place of women in Afghan Society. Nogreh decides that she would like to be the president of Afghanistan. We see her exploring this idea in conversation with people she meets. We also see her family's desperate struggle to survive. Finding a place to live and food to eat, searching for lost loved ones and trying to make sense of what has happened to her country seem outside of the realm of possibility for Nogreh and her family. Like the other movies about Afghan life that I have seen, this one is sad, brave, hopeful and ironic. The words of a poem by Federico Garcia Lorca run through it.

I haven't seen Federico Fellini's Amarcord since I was a teenager. At the time I didn't get it. I loved it this time. It reminded me of the movie A Christmas Story in many ways. This movie of boyhood remembrance of life in fascist Italy is funny and sad and enigmatic. I love the characters and the situations and its seeming simplicity and mish-mash juxtaposition of scenes. I especially love the scene where Titta's uncle climbs a tree, refuses to come down and shouts "I want a woman!" and the scene where Titta pursues the sexy Grandisca through a maze of snow in the town square. Everything seems exaggerated and overplayed, but I think that's how it must have seemed to a teenage boy at the time. Oh yes! there's a scene where a giant Mussolini-head made of flowers performs a fantasy wedding ceremony for one of Titta's friends. I would like to watch this again very soon.

The third A is a Japanese movie called Afterlife, about a waiting/processing place between life and death. I will watch it some time this week. So far I'm liking the A section.

question: seen any good movies lately?

mompoet - random, exaggerated and realistic

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