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Perfect blend of inner and outer world
Diaries are different projects to do well. It is so easy either to become solipsistic and lose sight of anything that is outside of the scope of film makers own lens; or else the cameramen becomes anonymous and the project becomes about everying except the author, and moves into documentary territory.
The Perlov Diaries work so well, for several reasons: Firstly, as in any Diary they focus on the man himself, his immediate friends, family, colleagues and acquanances. And through the 6 volumes, we get to understand about his background, his history and his world view. This he does without becomes overly trivial or didactic. Your knowledge of him build over time, and you develop a real relationship with the man behind the lens.
Secondly, is the historical perspective of the world in which he (and his family) live. This is Israel of the 1970s/1980s. A period of continual battle and strugggle, both inside and out of the ever shifting national borders. The context and viewpoint from within the country is important, as are his views and recctions as an ordinary citizen of the state.
Finally is the craft. Perlov starts off as an 'amateur', playing with the format and the technology. You see him develop his art, but he is a pro. So the final product catches the perfect balance between 'home movies' and 'made for TV documentary'. They never shake off the fact that is is just a man and a very simple hand-held movie camera, but are beautifully edited to maintain a flow and balance that is of broadcast standard. The edit retains the balance between the personal and global; trivia and portentous; and as he and his family grow and mature. He takes you with you on that journey.
This is not 'art house', 'avant garde' or 'trivial'. This is a serious good, fascinating snapshot of the right man, in the right place, at the right time.
Falls between film and theatre.
Regardless of the quality or nature of the play itself, as a movie this sucks.
One of the joys of live performance is seeing the wide view as well as focussing in on an individual. Attending Opera and musical theatre is all about feeling the energy of the live performance. Its not about perfect notes and multiple takes to splice together to get the definitive take. Movies allow a director to do just that - take multiple views/play/mix/merge and create something that you cant do in a single take on a single set.
This release manages to take miss the important parts of both genres and create a simplistic reproduction of live event. A bit like that poster of a famous painting you had in your student dorm.
When the director moves in for a close up, you find you lose view of what's happening in the background. The crowd obviously enjoy it, but as a viewer a further step removed, that live electricity is lost. If you cant see it live, then this is as decent substitute. If youve seen it and want to relive it - fine.It does the job well.
However, as a piece of cinema it fails. It adds nothing. Keep it on IMMD, but is somewhere outside of the Movie section. Because it just plain isnt one.
Mediocre at best
Having seen and been blown away by the integrity, power, humour and intelligence of Festen (the first Dogme film by Thomas Winterberg), I was looking forward to see how the 'super star' of the genre would perform.
Well, the contrast could not have been wider.
Despite the constraints of the manifesto, Feston is well filmed, directed and acted and shows how the principle of the manifesto are not a bar to creating a quality work of art. The Idiots by contrast feels very much to be a student project, where the ego of the director is the most important thing on show, as he very obviously sticks to fingers up to societal norms like a precocious teenagers first rails against his parents. However. approaching the year 2000, sex as a means to shock is pretty passe and whilst the use of disability/mental health is more brave it is a pretty shallow attempt with the poor quality of the general film making detracting from any points that might have been made (even if those points are pretty thin, and again feel like the naive fumblings of an undergraduate rather than a progressive experimental film maker with an advanced social conscience).
Interesting as a point in history in an influential movement but adds very little cinematically.
2nd rate imitation of bad US action movies
a bad parody of an American block bluster.
this is badly acted, poorly written and hits every single cliche of the 'leave your brain at the foyer' lads movie.