by Michael Seymour Blake
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, 1964, Jacques Demy
*You are required to sing the following text*
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is a 1964 musical about young love and relationships. The story is aggressively basic, the execution is anything but.
It's filled with bright, bold colors that keep your attention on the screen. Everything from costumes to scenery fit into some surreal aesthetic world that also feels true to life.
I'm not a fan of musicals in general, which is weird because you cannot escape music while this is on. It's everywhere. Every line is part of an overarching number. I liked that there weren’t speaking parts leading to big bursts of song. A plain-spoken business transaction is just as musically charming as two lovers discussing their dreams for the future.
The Important Man, 1962, Ismael Rodríguez
Legendary actor Toshiro Mifune starring in a Mexican movie? Wha?
Took some strength to get through the scenes of animal cruelty (it's fairly concentrated in one area), but this movie was great.
It's easy to throw stones at the monomaniacal Animas. He's despicable, cruel, and devious... but he's also a prisoner of his own narcissism, unable to clearly see the world as it is. Or, if he does see it, to understand it. Everything is blurred by the veil of his unbridled egotism. I'm not saying he's the poor victim here, but there's a sense that he represents the whisper within us that begs to be known, respected, loved, important. Or maybe he's an example of someone whose whisper happens to be a roar filtered through a vengeful and unstable mind.
I love how the object of desire here isn't money for money's sake. It's not to be rich. The object of desire is to feel validated. Seems… familiar…
Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky, 1991, Lam Ngai Kai
If you could take your weird younger cousin's dream and dip that dream in the mind of a deranged martial artist, then I don't know what you'd get... but it might be comparable to this movie.
Loved the extravagance and ambition. I read that the manga has some religious elements central to the plot, and while religion doesn't necessarily have a huge role here, there’s some religious imagery scattered throughout (not to mention Riki-Oh having a few Christlike moments).
The magnificent absurdity of this martial arts monstrosity will forever live within me. Excellent party movie. Watch it with your heart open and your fists closed (so you can punch them through someone’s chest).
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