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Sunday, August 02, 2009


On the other hand, if you watch movies at home...

... which you can do without annoying people blathering away, and quite conveniently if you have a lovefilm subscription, you can see stuff which is awesome.

For instance:

Pierrepoint. A biopic starring the great Timothy Spall about Albert Pierrepoint, Britain's foremost hangman - famous for the brutal mercy of his instant-death executions, for hanging some of Britain's most notorious criminals as well as many convicted Nazis, and for his ultimate rejection of the death penalty. A magnificent performance built around one of the smartest and tightest scripts I've seen in years.

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not. Which I'm not going to link anything to, because information about it tends to give away the fantastic surprise conceit of the movie. A thoroughly excellent thriller starring Audrey Tautou that moves gradually away from Amelie-style whimsy into darkly breathtaking drama.

La gloire de mon Pere. A dramatisation of Marcel Pagnol's tender autobiography of childhood that manages to be simultaneously elegant and deliciously heartwarming, beautiful and enchanting while utterly free of schmaltz: a feelgood film that's vibrant with subtlety and intelligence.

All of which I've seen for the first time in the last month. And they're fantastic. And I got to watch them in peace and comfort, too.

There are some great movies out there. All of these films were wonderful, not least because they had nothing to do with recycling the same tired old stuff that cinemas seem to depend on these days and followed the logic of their own stories into truly vital and exciting new territory. Who else has seen something refreshingly good and different on DVD recently?

Thank you for the recommendations. One movie I enjoy seeing again and again is Gabbeh, an Indo-French film about a young woman who is a member of a nomadic family. Incredible photography, among other things. ("Gabbeh" is not only her name, but is also the term for the type of rug she is weaving in preparation for her marriage.)

Another is Kukushka, or, in English, The Cuckoo. Early in World War II, a Finnish sniper left by his unit for deciding he wants nothing to do with war, and a Russian soldier take refuge with a young Lapp woman. It is about relationships but also about communication: none of them speaks the same language as any of the others.
Seconding "The Cuckoo" rec. Also, "Le château de ma mère" (sequel to "Gloire") is really heartwarming.
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