The battle of Algiers (La battaglia di Algeri)

the-battle-of-algiers-posterItalian-Algerian French-and-Arabic-language black and white war drama from 1967.
Starring: Brahim Hadjadj, Jean Martin, Yacef Saadi
Director: Gillo Pontecorvo
Writers: Gillo Pontecorvo, Franco Solinas
Bechdel test: Fail

Exposition

Reactions

Contemplations

Judgement

Epilogue

Over to you

If you’ve recently seen “The battle of Algiers” or you’re watching along with my year of movies, please leave a comment below with your thoughts on the movie or note down your opinion somewhere else.

70 movies down. 295 to go.

If you want to get “The battle of Algiers” from Amazon, here is a link for that. They probably have the movie many other places too. Maybe it’s on a streaming service you subscribe to already?

Tomorrow’s movie is “Ferris Bueller’s day off”. Get some more information about this movie and the other movies on my watch list this week on the upcoming movies page. If you’re new to this site and are wondering why I’m watching a movie every day for a year, read more about my experiment.

Until next time; live long and prosper.

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The rules of the game (La règle du jeu)

rules-of-the-game-posterFrench black and white comedy from 1939.
Starring: Marcel Dalio, Nora Gregor, Paulette Dubost
Director: Jean Renoir
Writers: Jean Renoir, Carl Koch
Bechdel test: Pass

Exposition

Reactions

Contemplations

Judgement

Epilogue

Over to you

If you’ve recently seen “The rules of the game” or you’re watching along with my year of movies, please leave a comment below with your thoughts on the movie or note down your opinion somewhere else.

67 movies down. 298 to go.

If you want to get “Rules of the game” from Amazon, here is a link for that. They probably have the movie many other places too. Maybe it’s on a streaming service you subscribe to already?

Tomorrow’s movie is “Grave of the fireflies” (“Hotaru no haka”). Get some more information about this movie and the other movies on my watch list this week on the upcoming movies page. If you’re new to this site and are wondering why I’m watching a movie every day for a year, read more about my experiment.

Until next time; live long and prosper.

Man on wire

man-on-wire-posterBritish documentary from 2008.
Starring: Philippe Petit, Jean François Heckel, Jean-Louis Blondeau
Director: James Marsh
Writer: Philippe Petit
Bechdel test: Not applicable

Exposition

Philippe Petit tight rope walked between the two towers of the World Trade Center in New York in 1974.

Reactions

“Man on wire” builds up to one single event, the walk between the two towers, but in parallel story lines we are told the story of how the team prepared for the break in and preparations for that day, and their previous tight rope stunts. Each of the story lines contains interviews, reenactments and footage from the time. This all could easily have been a mess, but it comes together very well as a story. It even manages to build some tension, even though the highlight or climax of the story is clear from the beginning; Philippe walks between the two buildings.

It seems strange to do the Bechdel test on a documentary, so I have excluded them from my statistics and the test. If you want to read a little more about the Bechdel test and women in movies, check out my post on regulation of female behavior in movies.

Contemplations

The audio and visuals were quite typical of the genre, but the reenactments were nice in how if showed people with 70’s clothing, equipment and surroundings.

The interviews were quite honest and didn’t hide peoples negative sides. Nothing much was glossed over. (Or maybe there was more and what we saw was the tip of the iceberg.) Most of the people interviewed use quite flowery language to describe the events, which is refreshing and fun. They have also reflected a bit on what happened back then and can give some insights. They might be conflicting interpretations of behavior, but we all see and remember events slightly differently.

The story it self is that of a driven man who inspires the people around him to follow his dream.  He has a desire to walk between the two towers and works hard to achieve that. It shows that unique events are often the result of unique peoples hard work. The most remarkable about this group of people, is having this strange dream at all.

The tension in the story comes from the little details, and how everything had to go right. I still get a little chill from Philippe Petit’s description of how he at some point had to go from having his weight on the foot on the roof, to having his weight on the foot on the cable.

Judgement

I liked “Man on wire”. It was entertaining and inspirational. As one interviewee said about Philippe Petit “To him every day is a work of art”. Not a bad thought to have at times.

Epilogue

I would recommend “Man on wire” to anyone with a few hours to kill. It’s not bad and could be a little inspirational.

Over to you

If you’ve recently seen “Man on wire” or you’re watching along with my year of movies, please leave a comment below with your thoughts on the movie or note down your opinion somewhere else.

49 movies down. 316 to go.

If you want to get “Man on wire” from Amazon, here is a link for that. They probably have the movie many other places too. Maybe it’s on a streaming service you subscribe to already?

Tomorrow’s movie is “Song of the little road” (“Pather Panchali”). Get some more information about this movie and the other movies on my watch list this week on the upcoming movies page. If you’re new to this site and are wondering why I’m watching a movie every day for a year, read more about my experiment.

Until next time; live long and prosper.

La vie en rose

la-vie-en-rose-posterFrench language biographical movie from 2007.
Starring: Marion Cotillard, Sylvie Testud, Pascal Greggory
Director: Olivier Dahan
Writers: Isabelle Sobelman, Olivier Dahan
Bechdel test: Pass

Exposition

Édith Piaf grew up in extreme poverty in in 1920’s Paris and Normandie but ended up as one of France’s most loved singers. Sadly during her short life Édith had several sorrows that broke her heart and body.

Reactions

There were many remarkable features of “La vie en rose”, but none more so than the music. The movie used tapes of Édith Piaf where that was avaliable, and other singers such as Jil Aigrot and the young girl below; Pauline Burlet. Marion Cotillard who portrays the adult Édith lip syncs. Luckily she does it well. Well enough so that I could not tell, at least. In the mean time, enjoy the scene where we hear the young Piaf sing for the first time.

Contemplations

The audio is of course important in a movie about the life of a singer, but they do it well, and the songs are placed in the movie at good intervals and accents the story well. The songs are well integrated.

Visually the use of the stage before Piaf goes on is especially powerful and we get to feel the joy, anticipation and passion of performing. There is also other pretty and strong visuals in “La vie en rose”. Well crafted cinematography.

The story is told in several timelines intertwined and we get to see defining episodes of her life rather than a linear story from birth to death. Sometimes we are also presented with a back and forth between scenes in different timelines.  This could have been messy, but often it showed reasons for her actions and a connection between events in her life. The movie had few enough unnecessary elements and lines to handle the movements in time and space.

The star of this movie is, even more than the songs, is the acting. Marion Cotillard shows such raw emotion that I was in tears through half the movie and the Academy award was well deserved. The other actors were also a credit to their profession.

Judgement

I definitely do not regret watching this movie. It showed me love and life. This is the best movie I have watched so far in my experiment.

Epilogue

I recommend that everyone see this movie.

In addition to everything else, Édith Piaf is sometimes called the soul of Paris. In my opinion, that is most evident in this song. Enjoy.

Over to you

If you’ve recently seen “La vie en rose” or you’re watching along with my year of movies, please leave a comment below with your thoughts on the movie or note down your opinion somewhere else.

38 movies down. 327 to go.

If you want to get “La vie en rose” from Amazon, here is a link for that. They probably have the movie many other places too. Maybe it’s on a streaming service you subscribe to already?

Tomorrow’s movie is “The help“. Get some more information about this movie and the other movies on my watch list this week on the upcoming movies page. If you’re new to this site and are wondering why I’m watching a movie every day for a year, read more about my experiment.

Until next time; live long and prosper.

La Haine

la-haine-posterFrench crime drama from 1995.
Starring: Vincent Cassel, Hubert Koundé, Saïd Taghmaoui
Director: Mathieu Kassovitz
Writers: Mathieu Kassovitz
Bechdel test: Fail

Exposition

Three young men, Vinz, Hubert and Saïd, from the projects on the outskirts of Paris spends the first 24 hours after a violent riot trying to go about their daily life.

Reactions

This is a strong movie with an important message. It is made in black and white for some reason, maybe to lend a quality of sober documentary feel to the story, and I think it succeeds on that account.

Several times during the movie I started thinking about a book I read as a young student called “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” by Paulo Freire. A bit simplified the message of the book is that schools and teachers only appreciate the knowledge and skills of the children brought up on “fine culture” while children from poorer families have many skills and knows a lot, just not the right things. And as long as these skills and this knowledge of the poor are unappreciated at school, it will be difficult to create a society where social mobility and education for everyone is a reality. (Here is a link to “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” on amazon, if you are interested.)

In the movie a noticed several times how skilled and knowledgeable the young men in this community were, and still, none of them seemed employed or to have much education. If their abilities had been acknowledged during their school years, maybe some of them would have had a different life. This seemed especially apparent during a scene in an art gallery where the three main characters are met with strange modern art, while they routinely seemed to meet art of much higher quality in the projects. Only difference might be that the artist in the art gallery had gone to a school that had made him an artist in some “proper” way.

Contemplations

“La Haine” means hate in French and it shows how hate breads hate. The message is delivered well and I understood why these young men started to hate. The police in the movie are raw and brutal racists, and there are no other avenues open for Vinz, Hubert and Saïd, all they can do is hate the police. After the movie I see how hate is the only way for them.

The acting was great, especially the three young men played by Vincent Cassel, Hubert Koundé and Saïd Taghmaoui. The cinematography was very strong and the music was just the right kind for me. Many familiar old tracks and a few new ones, which made me enjoy the movie even more.

The story is important and illustrates a difficult part of today’s society. It is hard to face that this is real, maybe, but never the less, something we all should do on occasion. The movie offers no solutions, but only explains a phenomenon that not everyone knows well enough.

Judgement

I like this movie a lot, and it made a strong impression. I will most likely watch it again some day.

Epilogue

I would recommend this movie to any adult viewer. It is not a lighthearted movie for an evening with popcorn, but something for a more exploratory and serious mood. It would be good if everyone understood the message in “La Haine”, and maybe everyone should watch it once. The story explains so well how the hate between police and some group of people can begin.

Over to you

If you’ve recently seen “La Haine” or you’re watching along with my year of movies, please leave a comment below with your thoughts on the movie or note down your opinion somewhere else.

18 movies down. 347 to go.

If you want to get “La Haine” from Amazon, here is a link for that. They probably have the movie many other places too. Maybe it’s on a streaming service you subscribe to already?

Tomorrow’s movie is “Inception“. Get some more information about this movie and the other movies on my watch list this week on the upcoming movies page. If you’re new to this site and are wondering why I’m watching a movie every day for a year, read more about my experiment.

Until next time; live long and prosper.