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Seven Pounds (2008)
Utter stupidity and total lack of reflection (or perhaps same insane propaganda for donoring body organs?)
Is there still anybody out there who wants for himself the heart of a beloved person? Stupid question, I know, but it has been known for a long time that the stupidity knows no limits.
Ps. : I would have given the film 10 negative stars it was possible
Ladri di biciclette (1948)
De Sica at his best
A well-made presentation of one world, divided into four parts - material wealth and material poverty on one side, and spiritual wealth and poverty on the other. Thereby, this second division certainly isn't conditioned by the first one.
The bicycle thieves actually live in a luxurious house, whereas they present themselves to the official organs as if they lived merely in one room where the mother of the denounced young thief takes the policeman.
The one who was robbed of the bicycle is informed by the police that he will have to find it himself if he wants to have it. But searching for the bike becomes like searching a needle in hay. As he is seeking in the neighbourhood more and more eagerly we see how his worrying is sucking him out; soon, he is so out of his mind that he - otherwise a caring father - is no more able to recognize the distress of his own child, the victim of anger which has been acumulating in his father for five years.
Wrongful behaviour requires redemption, but not in money, which the father does, as he invites his son to a pub like some kind of a companion in order to share with him his confused dreams. "If it was so and so..." he is telling him.
Since I don't want to reveal too much of the story I will conclude by indicating the underlying theme as I perceived it: we cannot find justice outside ourselves. Here, it came into the light from a man who has already gained enough spiritual wealth. The film ends in a emotionally impressive way; in fact, it has been such from the very beginning.
In one word: Magnificent!
12 Angry Men (1957)
Masterpiece by all standards
The prerequisite for a death sentence is an unanimous decision of the jurors: guilty/ not guilty. Here, we see an extraordinary proof of the fact how much stronger the good is than the evil. The actors play their roles very well indeed. The (verbal) struggle lasts an hour and a half - of each individual against himself or against all others.
In the beginnig there is only one man advocating reasonable doubt. And that one as a broom sweeps away the compulsive "opinions" of his - at first, antagonistic - co-speakers. He doesn't encroach upon anybody else's truth, nor does he try to manipulate them, and yet... He smoothly leads the other members of the jury to a path of consideration and reflection, where they come to new findings by themselves.
I experience the end of the film as a phenomenal display of a redemption/atonement, of restoring a peace with oneself - moment when a man becomes aware of his own dark side, finally accepting it.
The two diametrally opposed roles are symbolically presented as if they were father and son, who finally surmount all distances in order to come nearer to one another in the end.
Out of the unexplored depths a hatred towards the ones who think differently evaporates, spreading to this group of people and to people outside this room, very much the same as the steam evaporates from the depths of thermal springs.
Who is better, who is good and who is bad? The questions and answers that arise in the Winnetou-movies or in the competitive games also in the modern time. "He is such...". We hear one of the jurors when he tries to manipulate the first "dissident". "They're all the same", he answers. Why didn't he say "We are"? Well, some of us already know the answer to that, too. Others are surely going to get to it sometime.
In short, a film I can only heartily recommend to watch, especially for those who love and cherish creative doubt.
The Dreamers (2003)
Life is but a dream (?)
The history repeats itself? I don't believe it. It's rather that we, the people, repeat the mistakes of our ancestors. The film is a series of scenes charged with sexuality, drugs and egoistic love. Shocking ideas that have launched in my mind an avalanche of thoughts and notions - some kind of an inventory of my own life and the life of the whole that transcends me, i.e. the mankind.
It's been many, many times that we tried to save the world by means of physical love, being the most familiar one to us all and the easiest one to get to it. However, this path has already been trodden. How many times so far and how many times it needs to be trodden yet? The path from the greatest union, i.e. physical love, to the biggest retreat form the man and mankind - fear, hatred, violence. As if the hatred would increase by the act of making love and release by real love.
Each war is getting worse, and in consequence it leads only to the doom of civilization. In times of freedom the differences between people grow, while in war times they diminish - at least, or unfortunately, mostly due to the number of the dead. Thus, we build on the mistrust, on the humanity as a whole, we build on illness; we build on all that what in fact nobody wants. In other words, we pull down our world. The Creator made me big, humankind makes me small. I was created a man, not the humankind. I am a brick in his foundation, not in the global religion. In the man-made temples there is no room for the man, whereas in the man's shed there is plenty of room for all.
A very well directed and acted movie.
Sweet Sixteen (2002)
Follow your dreams, but not in a Macchiavellian way
A good portrayal of a growing-up without real love, followed by the dream of redemption. Worth watching particularly for those who make the decision about having children or those already having them. However, watching the film will do no harm also to the rest (of the parents) and those who still believe that someone is at his/her very base created as an evil being - black or white, respectively.
Myself being a person who likes to take a look at things at their broader level - not merely the pictures, not just the color on it, but also its background - I was able to really enjoy the movie. Just as in real life where each letter on the paper screams to me not to forget the fact that it couldn't reveal the world to me if there wasn't a white sheet already present.
Darbareye Elly (2009)
... an opportunity to learn something , too...
Good story, with a surprising unravelling of events.
Until the very end we don't know how the things will evolve. The actors play their roles flawlessly and convincingly.
Point of the movie: A lie induces a lie, and gives birth to ... well, watch, check and find out!
Jodaeiye Nader az Simin (2011)
Muslim world or the West - We share the same problems
Although the setting of the film is located in the islamic cultural milieu, the film very clearly shows a problem on the global scale. And, more importantly perhaps, a problem that is typical for our age.
The story is about a separation of a married couple which was in turn influenced by a previous separation, i.e. a division into richer and poorer classes. In the foreground are two families, from one social class each as well as the jurisdictional authority. The rich and the poor have in common that they are both seeking the guilt in the outside world. Particularly tragical is that they point they are pointing their finger at those who are closest to them.
Yet, here we can see even the third separation: the young ones are withdrawing from the old ones, because they were already as children probably not really taken into account. Such an attitude does not bring any improvement and, as the things get even more complicated, eventually the judicature must intervene. Nevertheless, exactly in the person of the judge (Your Holiness) with whom they are dealing with the whole corruptness is reavealed - althouigh there should be no room for it there in the first place. Lacking any deeper reflection, the latter is prepared to put a man behind bars. The row in front of the door is long. But as soon as the one who has money pays the bail he can already be set free, as if he had not been considered dangerous to the society even a moment before.
The cast ist excellent, while the denouement of the film is left to each viewer. I was shocked by the appalingly open question of responsibility - so evident to all, so close to us all, yet so easy to overlook. In any case, well worth watching!
reward for the suffering
I find this a unique movie, since, compared to other films, it shows the life of a man having gotten his attitudes towards life until his adult age from one man only, namely from a violent man, as well as from a single narrow room in which he was lying chained up. There is no sun, no starry skies, nor words to throw a beam of light into his life.
One would presume that such a man would hate the world when and if he steps into it from his solitary prison. And yet, after this finally happens, we are surprised by his benevolence towards children and towards the whole nature. He sees it more vividly and on a deeper level than other people. He is neither interested in questions about God or heaven, however he is convinced that the reason for his actual return (descent) to this world is a serious decline. He has brought this faith with him, for he has never talked with anybody about these things in such a way. The questions concerning man's responsibility for his own life seem to be innate to him, somehow impressed on him - which I find fantastic. The main character Kaspar Hauser compares the man to the wolf; nevertheless instead of trying to figh against him, he just shows contempt for his artificiality and the masks the man wears. He posesses a natural understanding that is superior to cold logical reasoning, and for that reason he feels no need to quarrel about the so-called right opinion. He even seems not to have any opinions at all. He simply knows what he knows.
We may have already got used to watching movies through 3-D-glasses, however in this case I felt as if I was watching the movie by means of my third eye, this third eye being incorporated in the figure of Caspar H. As if he had been, for all the pain he had to endure, rewarded with this noble sensitivity. A movie we strongly recommend !