Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Counterfeiters

An interesting review here about the wonderful Austrian film The Counterfeiters. My folks had mentioned it to me a few months ago, I think I put it in the ol' Netflix cue, forgot about it, and it showed up in the mail last week. The Times review rightly points out the difficulties directors face in making Holocaust films: they "either try to take the full, horrible measure of the subject, at the risk of overwhelming or alienating a modern audience, or else, in trying to make the story bearable, they subvert its truth." The opening and closing post-camps scenes in Monte Carlo reminded me for just an instant of Life is Beautiful, the Benigni WWII farce from a few years ago, but that is a far more glaring and problematic example of subverting reality and horror. The Counterfeiters is a much humbler film, and its greatest asset in the end is probably its remarkable lead actor, the incredibly-named Karl Markovics.

Monday, August 11, 2008

War Dance

An interesting range of reviews here for the recent doc War Dance by fellow Colby alum Andrea Nix Fine and her partner Sean Fine. Beautifully shot, though many reviews rightly take issue with the Hollywood-esque depiction of some of the landscapes. Critics complain that these kind of slickified montages at least partly airbrush some reality out of the picture. I'm just glad the film was made, as it illuminates the Acholi's plight at the hands of the INSANE LRA. Well worth watching, regardless. Sara feels like the montages gave her a chance to reflect on the unbelievable stories these children went through and allows the viewer to see how beautiful northern Uganda is. She makes good points. One thing we both took issue was that the deleted scenes were poignant and should have been part of the regular feature. Glad we watched them.

Reminded me at times of the fascinating but too-glossy National Geographic Africa DVD set.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Single and Single; not Singular, but not bad at all

An interesting take on Single and Single here. I don't entirely disagree with the assessment that this may not be Le Carre's strongest showing, but as I've blogged about here and here, I'm a sucker for post cold war Le Carre. I've never had much luck actually getting through his classics (Tinker Tailor et al), and I'm not quite sure why. There seem to be endless "well it's not bad but it's not Smiley" reviews for anything written after the mid90s, but what can I say. Anyways, recommended.