Sunday, January 1 1995
Never trust a film which has been included in the dubious category of 'Best Foreign Film' in the Oscar sweepstakes. Usually European and usually directed by well-positioned, older, Caucasian men, such films almost invariably evoke historical epochs and collective patriotic memory.
This is a diary of hate, reads Maurice Bendrix (Ralph Fiennes) aloud as he simultaneously types these same words onto a page. Contrary to what you might expect following such a declaration, however, there is no violent emotion displayed in this introductory scene; no screaming, no violence, no melodrama.
The Emperor and the Assassin, the latest film from Chinese director Chen Kaige (Farewell My Concubine) is another wonderful-looking period film, with an epic budget and running time, and a sizable cast of historical (and fictional) figures.
High school sucks. While this is currently a headlines-worthy observation, movies about high school have been underscoring it for years. From Blackboard Jungle, Carrie, Jawbreaker, and Heathers, to Cooley High, Scream, The Ice Storm, and Never Been Kissed, the point is the same: in high school, you spend way too much time worrying about cliques, grades, popularity, and sex.
On its surface, Neil Jordan's film of Graham Greene's The End of the Affair is about love. In particular, it appears to be about heterosexual love, or maybe the similarities and disjunctions between spiritual and physical manifestations of such love.
'Dancer in the Dark', for all its fantastical musical excursions and all its tear-jerkiness nevertheless brings home the sobering reminder that justice does not always prevail.
It comes down to this: it's pretty pathetic when you go to the $5 matinee and want $4 back at the end. And it's downright shameful when you want back 'all' $5, 'plus' popcorn money, 'plus' a few more bucks for the intentional infliction of emotional distress.
As much as anything, what makes 'Diamond Men' well worth seeking out is Robert Forster's commanding performance as Eddie.
The 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing is one of those grand Historic Moments that make folks feel proud and nostalgic.