White Balloon

Daily Journal of Mahaan, an Iranian-American student residing in USA.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

4 Movies

Last Sunday night, we were watching Oscar on a campus TV and when the actor/actress awards were over, we left with an assumption that the Aviator which was supposed to be the big shot of Hollywood for the year (11 nominations), is going to get the best picture and probably the best director. And for the first time in the past 10 years that I watched Oscar, the surprise happened and ....

I have been meaning to post about the couple of movies that I have watched recently, but my busy schedule combined with some level of laziness in writing kept me away. Here we go finally:

Taking Sides: A movie by the Hungrian director Istovan Szabo which is the best of his works that I have seen so far. The movie is based on the life of German Jewish conductor Wilhelm Furtwangler who was one of the most respected German artist by Hitler. The movie takes place after the fall of Berlin and the period that most of Natzi's top figures were going through the initial investigations before the Neurenburgh. The American officer who is in charge of interogating the Furwangler uses all humilating methods to break him down to accept that he has acted as an agent for Hitler and has been a traitor to Jewish community and humanity. The movie is great brain teaser about the whole idea of taking sides under a undemocratic organization. During the 2 hours of the movie, your mind swings from one side to the other while you hear arguments from both sides. As an Iranian, for years I lived under a semi-oppresive regime and was friend to many people who work under the regime with pride and dignity and believe that their quality work can change and improve things within the internal structure (instead of fleeing the country or silencing their skills). The movie presents an extreme case which is Germany under Hitler filled with record brutalities such as Holocaust, but the idea is extensible to many oppresive and undemocratic societies where it's really a challenge to walk properly on the thin line of morality and practicallity. This movie was one of the best movies that I had seen over the past few years and I completely recommend it.

Broken Wings (Knafayim Shvurot): An Israeli movie about a family that is going through a crisis after the death of the dad. In addition to its professional and smooth story, directing and actings, I give an extra credit to the movie to be able to distance from the local Israel-Palestine conflict and focus on the problem with a global perspective.

Million Dollar Baby: Clint Eastwood has presented an interesting type of independent American cinema in his last two films (Mystic River and Million Dollar Baby). The major advantage of his cinema is his ability to get the best performance from the actors in fairly simple stories. Eastwood himself does an outstanding performance in the movie. Some sort of acting that you see his emotions reflected even on his skins and his veins. The first half of the movie is not very impressive, specially for a person like me who does not enjoy scenes of boxing fights. But the 2nd half of movie is able to psyche the audience quite well and glue them to the chair till end of the movie.

The Aviator
: Another Hollywood big shot movie that I am never a big fan of that types of movies. Di Caprio does his best, which is still not very impressive. The movie spends quite a bit on Howard Hughes' phobias and obsessions with dirty materials, but does not give an impressive picture about his other aspects of character which made him so successful. We keep hearing about Mr. Hughes' sucess without really getting a picture of his creativeness. What we see is a man who is quite arrogant and don't give a damn about other people's opinions and thinks that he can fix everything by vast money spendings. Maybe I should read Hward Hughes biography before writing these lines, but in general I don't feel that th movie even tries to present a broad picture of his characteristics. Martin Scorescessi has a bright record of picturing interesting characters in Good Fellas, Raging Bulls and Taxi Driver. In that respect this movie was a disappointment for him. I should give a credit to one scene of the movie which was about plan crash that Huess had in Santa Monica. The sound work and the editing of that scene was really impressive.
Weblog Trackback by HaloScan.com