Criterion Review

by chinvincible

Created 09/14/12

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The list of films added to my collection of Criterion DVD's is expanding, slowly, but surely. Here are some of the movies from Criterion that I was fortunate enough to see recently (or not so recently). Including herewith is my own personal view about them.

  • A simplistic motion picture that displaces the seriousness of relationships and maternal need into a brilliant satire that fuses marvelously with Michel Legrand's colorful musical numbers. Jean-Luc Godard, brings out the fun in this peerless French New Wave piece; not withholding, but clearly drawing inspirations from the likes of Ernst Lubitsch, Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly.

  • Two acting powerhouse from Scandinavia, meets in this heartrending drama by Ingmar Bergman, the end result: overwhelming perfection. This moving confrontation and powerful discourse between mother and daughter is a revelatory cry of repressed hate, fault-finding, self-loathing, ennui and frustration.

  • Not your run of the mill coming-of-age movie, this Louis Malle classic is both poignant and simply riveting. Set in the backdrop of an all-boys Catholic boarding school during the French Vichy. The journey towards friendship, the simple joys and the shared bond between the characters is pure heart. Emotionally gut wrenching. Not even the safe confines of the school can shelter these children from the painful truth about the world.

  • This fascinating piece of a man in contrast with his beliefs and his feelings is a cinematic study of the intelligentsia -- encapsulated in a particular season and enclosed in a small space with their thought-pondering conversations. Its intimate quality, precise novel-style and intelligent script, remain as a vanguard and inspiration for the contemporary cinema.

  • Dark, mischievous and original, a magnificent film debut for British filmmaker Danny Boyle. Its luminous cinematography, matched with the actors palpable on-screen chemistry, will undoubtedly ensconced you in to their
    yuppie constricted, "too-cool for their own good" universe.

  • The power of forgiveness -- are the words that I had had in mind after viewing this film. It is a movie not suited for the faint of heart, not for the weak in spirit, but it belongs completely to those who had struggled and had lost their faith – find it back, the hard way – only to lose it all over again.

  • A bittersweet drama of unfulfilled love between two people -- who are obviously meant to be together, but by their own volition -- restrained their feelings for one another. Wong Kar-wai's work with Christopher Doyle is lusciously breathtaking - it bleeds by itself and it weeps on its own. While both actors (played by Leung and Cheung) are solid as the star-crossed lovers. You feel for them as they share their noodles and secrets, whenever they passed one another on the stairs, when she made him a sesame syrup."In the Mood for Love," is a lovely work of art about missed opportunities. Highly commendable to be watched repeatedly, even if your heart breaks over and over again.

  • After graduating from college, Aura (Lena Dunham), is struggling to find out what she wants to do with her life. A dialogue-heavy film that centers on her experiences along the way -- as she moves back to her family home, takes a job as a hostess, and be involved in a humdrum relationship that only gratifies the flesh, leaving her more confused as ever. 'Tiny Furniture' not only showcases Dunham's talent in humor but also in scripting each characters that makes them all interesting.

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