Ivan’s Childhood was a million times more accessible than I expected it to be, and a million times better than I thought it would be. Not that I don’t have faith in Tarkovsky, but this was, after all, his very first film. It was so well structured, I didn’t know what to think. Happily, this is the first film I watched for my Inaccessible Director Challenge, and I couldn’t be off to a better start. I’d highly recommend this. And it’s only ninety minutes long, which is a far cry from the enormous lengths of Solaris and Andrei Rublev.
This may be film blasphemy, but I’m not quite sure what makes The French Connection such a special movie. Perhaps it was pioneering for its day, but it seemed like a run of the mill crooks vs. cops film about drugs. The characters (save Gene Hackman’s) were poorly developed and little flat all the way around. It may just be that this isn’t my favorite genre, but I probably wouldn’t recommend this to anyone.
I have been waiting for over a year to see Cold Souls, my lucky-ass roommate saw it at Sundance last year, I was pretty jealous. The wait was worth it. There was some fantastic imagery, it’s a great story, and all the acting was superb. It was really nice to see Lauren Ambrose working on screen again. Lauren, stop doing plays on Broadway that I will never see, and do something like Six Feet Under again.
I’ve avoided Cabaret so long because I’m not a huge fan of musicals. If someone had told me this was a musical during the Nazi regime that deals with death and abortion, sadly, I would have seen it sooner. This is the first time I’d seen Liza Minnelli act, I was quite impressed. It wasn’t too campy, and I really enjoyed the story.
Ben-Hur was pretty great as well. I’m not one for epics, but this story was great. I got a little nervous every time Jesus was on screen in the first half, but happily, it stayed away from preaching, and lent itself to some outrageously good cinematography and story. The chariot racing scene was ridiculously entertaining. Glad to have this one under my belt.
The best of this loot was definitely Eric Rohmer’s My Night at Maud’s, which was extremely dialogue heavy. I love those types of films. I was worried after the first thirty minutes that the whole thing would be lost on me since the subject matter was Catholicism-heavy, but the ideas tossed around quickly evolved into more general aspects of religion and philosophy. I really didn’t want this one to end.
I didn’t get to The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, so I rechecked it out this week.