Thursday, March 26, 2009

DJG / Covering Three Classics Quickly

Modern Times * * * *
Directed by: Charlie Chaplin / 1936

Charlie Chaplin pretty much does it all, inside and out of the frame in this 1936 classic. He writes, directs, produces and puts the music to his silent treatment of “Little Tramp” commentary on the times that were a’changin’ during the Great Depression. It’s a movie that has influenced many a picture since and in 1989 was given a “Culturally Significant” stamp of protection by the Library of Congress. If you love film and fun, then you need to bump this up on the list. There’s a little bit of Chaplin in all of us.

Amarcord * * *
Directed by: Federico Fellini / 1973

I’ve only seen two Federico Fellini films (“8 ½” and “Amarcord”) and have come away from both quite unsure. Fellini is widely considered by many to be one of the greatest film makers of all-time and I recognize him as a talent. That’s a pretty tall order (all-time greatest), so maybe either I’m putting too much expectation on his work or Fellini just isn’t for me? “Amarcord” appears to be a very personal film and possible exaggeration on Fellini’s youth and there were certain things that I really enjoyed and struck either a visual or internal accord with, but overall “Amarcord” just didn’t do it for me. Though, it won’t keep me from watching “La Dolce Vita”, which from what I understand might make the third time a charm for me and Fellini.

Repulsion * * * * ½
Directed by: Roman Polanski / 1965

Roman Polanski’s “Repulsion” is a great engineering film feat of psychological suspense and paranoia. I haven’t seen all of his work, but this might be one of his best and his best version of Hitchcock. Yet, it’s completely his own and quite inventive in the use of unique character development/deterioration, camera work and sound. "Repulsion" is a mini-masterpiece.


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