Thursday, October 24, 2013
Monday, October 21, 2013
Sunday, October 20, 2013
Monday, October 14, 2013
It's the Cold War. Marlon Brando has a moustache and smokes a pipe. A slow and talky film, not very exciting or visually interesting, but Brando is pretty good and gets to do some real acting, in contrast to a film like Desirée.
A Countess from Hong Kong, by Charlie Chaplin:
A screwball-ish comedy, with Marlon Brando trying his best to do chaplinesque physical humour. It's not a good film, and feels pretty dated, but the doorbell gag, where everybody jumps up and runs to the bathroom is somewhat funny. Sophia Loren looks great, though. I think this is just the second film I've seen with her, the first being Arabesque that she did with Gregory Peck. I'm sure she must have done some better films.
Saturday, October 12, 2013
Friday, October 4, 2013
Those big cinemascope films from the 50s today seem to have been a step back for film. Okay, the screen was double as wide as a tv-image, but the films were more about perfect compositions and that vase in the background than they were about the characters - the opposite of the chaos of real life. Close-ups weren't possible, so there's a constant feeling of distance, both between the characters and between the characters and the viewer. The film has none of the impressive fight scenes that you after all could find in War and Peace. Thank god it doesn't last three hours. I'm sure Brando could have been a good Napoleon, but this is not that film.
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
The film looks great, with cinematography by Vittorio Storaro, but has dated badly and frankly it's a lot of arty drivel. Brando is at his most charismatic - just him looking at a wall is somehow fascinating - and of course, some of his dialogues are really about himself. Maria Schneider's character on the other hand is pretty annoying. Brando doesn't take her seriously, so why should the viewers? The parts without Brando, just about her and Jean-Pierre Léaud as a film director are less interesting. It's a weakness of the film that Bertolucci couldn't, or didn't want to, create a female character that was Brando's equal. But by all means, go get the butter.
War and Peace:
The film feels pretty stiff and dated. There are actors saying lines, not real characters. The second half gets a bit better. The big scenes, like the retreat from Moscow and the fight scenes are impressive, the smaller scenes mostly lack intimacy. Henry Fonda is probably miscast, his character never seems convincing. Audrey Hepburn brings some real charm and life to her part.