As I look back over the archives of my blog I see that I once promised to share my thoughts on every film I’ve ever rented through Netflix.
What was I thinking?
That’s 16 movies!
But I must let my “yes be yes” as t'were. And (who knows?) maybe I’ll find my favorite movie through all of this.
You must bear with me though. For, though I will try to fulfill my pledge, I shall do so in baby steps (since I am a recovering procrastinator) about three films at a time, I think.
I’ll try to do it in chronological order which means the first three will be:
The Passion of Joan of Arc and
Let me stress that these are not reviews and certainly not Plugged In style reviews (if a film sounds intriguing but you want to know if you can watch it with a six-year-old just leave a comment asking for specifics, I’ll try to oblige) these are simply thoughts and impressions on a odd little group of movies.
If you're looking for a film to put the aforementioned six-year-old to sleep; look no further! This movie has it all: black & white cinematography, meticulous pacing, and a grand total of two camera movements in the entire film! Plus the whole thing's in Japanese. No, this is not a film to watch when your tired.
That being said, you should know that this film also happens to be (at least, according to Roger Ebert) one of the five greatest movies of all time. Don't ask me what the other four are, I really don't know.
Tokyo's story is very simple: a couple of empty nesters living in post world war two Japanese suburbia decide to visit there kids in the big city. When they come it's clear that children view them as a burden. So after an unpleasant stay the parents go back home.
Like I told you: simple story. But for those who are willing to invest themselves in it, it can have powerful results. There's MUCH more to say about this movie but I've done such a bad job already. I think it's time to move on to
La Passion De Jeanne D’arc (The Passion of Joan of Arc)
According to the history books this is one of the first movies, if not the first, to show that films could be ART. But this is far more than just another museum piece. It's still a powerfully told (and surprisingly intense) story about a young women's devotion.
But devotion to what? Why did this maiden go to war? Did she really hear the voice of God?
How you answer these questions ultimately will effect how you ultimately view this work of art and whether you accept or reject its message.
But regardless of the conclusions you draw after watching this movie, I think you'll agree that The Passion of Joan of Arc is at least worthy of one viewing and discussing time. As with any great work of it's kind.
This is probably my least favorite of this particular batch. Don't get me wrong; you could do worse than to watch Sir Lawrence Oliver speak the words of William Shakespeare, but this is not my favorite of Mr. Shakespeare's plays. And the fact that Hamlet beat out The Treasure of the Sierra Madre for Best Picture at the Oscars doesn't help. However my mind has been know to change before and if anyone knows of some good study of Hamlet I'd love to read it.
Well, there they are; three shoddy pieces written on three excellent films. I hope my lack of eloquence will not steer you away from any of these masterpieces. Please enjoy, think about and share each one.
Onto the next batch...