Film reviews often tell you what would be commercially attractive or to the common expectations. Therefore these descriptions of movies you might want to see but did not decide about yet.



The latest films.
(Dutch movies are discussed in Dutch)

9.04 - 9.27 2000



High Fidelity

Seen: 09.27.00. Dir. Stephen Frears starring John Cusack. Made to the bestseller this movie about the lost generation fills a gap in the cinematographic diet: now we can witness what happened to the generation after the sixties (without the immature college-cliché): how the the young New Adults wrestle with quality in popmusic and relations, philosophy and continence. The story is about a recordshop owner living together in his shop with a couple of pop-freaks. They have love-affairs and especially the owner has the greatest trouble of not being a complete asshole of Love. He tells in the movie his story, partly talking to the audience the way people tend to talk to God or themselves. That always gives an extra dimension to the witnessing as an audience. The picture painted is not a false one, the makers were in pain to make a realistic estimate of modern/post-modern feelings of insignificance in a word too big and indifferent for ones individual needs of togetherness and recognition. After funny and interesting adventures in post-modern selfrealization the story leads to a success for almost all the parties. The only real victim is a somewhat elderly ponytailed alternative psychofreak modeling for the intruding and paternalizing previous sixties generation with a cheap psychology and fake spirituality. The movie doesn't really get out of this negative and does only fill in with success and an -alternative- happy end. Although not a philosophical masterpiece still a successful picture of the real problems of a generation in progress.



The Perfect Storm

Seen: 09.20.00. Dir. Wolfgang Petersen starring George Clooney. The story is very simple: a fisherboat gets lost in a storm . That's it. It is interesting because it really happened. The emotional about it is clear : it takes an american hero to go down in a blaze of glory. Of course this is not true glory, but it works that way. In fact the movie is made because people do not understand the law of karma. The idea is that If we steal from the sea and destroy all kinds of beautiful creatures without necessity, we should experience the consequences. Although we usually suffer a lack of life-joy and difficult diseases and neuroses in a overstressed society, it, this karma, can also work out like a revenge of the gods: nature wins. It was good to see that, impressive as hell, and the varnish of heroism the fisherman may have: it is still a bit of tough and a good sport to kill wild animals for food, a primitive instinctual drive, but win one must from those beasts! (poor swordfish..)



Maybe Baby

Seen: 09.20.00. Dir. Ben Eton Starring Hugh Laurie. The comedy of people expecting a baby is known: they try all kinds of thing s to be successful. Nicely married, always beautiful sunlight, having sex in the open and all that. The english maker had double fun: he as well parodied the whole effort of making babies as making the american style of romantic comedy. It even follows the american cliché of plotting: first the problem, then the alienation and then in the end the reconciliation: end good all good. Still all the subtle humor keeps the fascination and sets the mind on quite something else than the story: is this cinema itself capable of producing such a baby? Is especially the english cinema still capable of keeping up with the fervor and virtuosity of american storytelling at the one hand and still stay its own cynical and humorous civilized self? This movie proves they can. One babystep for the english cinema. Congratulations!




Seen: 09.12.00. Dir. Gregory Holblit. Starring Dennis Quaid. This movie is on the by now familiar theme of time/space oddities and parallel universes. It deals with the question what would happen if we could influence the past. The story begins with the Aura Borealis, the northern light that confuses the electromagnetic spectrum and thus also time/space relations, so the story goes. A firefighter discovers on his radio, the forerunner of the internet, another person talking to him from another time, 30 years ago. That person turns out to be his own son warning him for all kinds of danger about to happen. The son has become a cop. He warns his father against his imminent death and tells him how avoid it: the father returns on the pictures kept, for he was dead in the future. The mother is about to be killed by a serial killer that ran three murders in the books but turns out to have made a dozen of victims after the father was rescued, The movie is about finding this murderer and preventing the crimes. How boring is linear time and how interesting and exciting is such a time-loop through history! But once you know that the boredom of linear time is to be counterbalanced by the intricacies of cyclic time, one no longer shares the longing for cyclic oddities like timeloops. Still good to know how dangerous it can be.



Being John Malkovich

Seen: 09.12.00. Dir. Spike Jonz. The concept of soul is a difficult one: it has something to do with reckoning with others, but how does that work? This movie presents a very interesting vision on the soul. The soul according this vision is a collection of ego's that try to run an interest in immortality. It is pictured as getting into the body of an actor (John Malkovich). We are all actors possessed of some kind of spirit of togetherness with the elders, ancestors, friends, beloved ones, etc. From this love new ones are born that have to take over. But one must not get locked up in ones body, the togetherness must stay. So this story is about a puppeteer who discovers a secret porthole into the head of Malkovich. Together with a colleague he begins exploiting it. Normally one doesn't stay for longer than 15 minutes, but our hero learns to take possession of poor John. And then the story really gets complicated as the stronger one, the guest spirit, is living his old life on the ego of the famous actor while his wife fell in love with the co-exploiting colleague. Now John Malcovich becomes a famous puppeteer. The council of the soul (where did that come from?) though needs his body for their togetherness of transmitting the science to the next generation. It takes a philosopher to follow the story here. In the end the whole experiment turns out bad for the exploiters and John becomes the head of the council in his new life as the unifier of the elders leading the next generation to the same union. The head of the council in reality is our Lord who keeps the proper lead against demoniac possession. But this far the movie doesn't go. It doesn't preach how we should be possessed or what to do with all this struggling about who the boss is in our lives of spiritual identification... Don't miss this one, it is very funny.




  Keeping the Faith

Seen: 09.04.00. Dir. Edward Norton. The night after seeing this movie I thought: a flying saucer is made of an alloy of lithium stabilized by magnesium and strengthened by aluminum with 'increasing fractions' (?). I saw other planets and the first I thought of waking up was the image of the beauty starring in this movie (Jenna Eifman). As if she is of another planet. The story is quite simple: Two old friends have a common girlfriend since their youth. They lose sight of her but later she returns finding the one a catholic priest, the other a rabbi becoming. The rabbi may marry and fall in love with her. The priest does also. It is a classical lightweight sense-movie with a reasonably predictable plot. The special of this movie was about keeping the faith in the friendship whatever the (test of) religion. Not a bad theme for a uniting planet. I loved to see it, but I really don't know why I dreamt of other planets about this. Coincidence? go and see for yourself!



The Barber of Siberia

Seen: 09.04.00. Dir. Nikita Mikhailkov. This is a masterpiece. The movie begins and ends with a soldier that has to wear a mask because he persists in liking Mozart as a great composer. It turns out to be the son of a banned cadet of the russian military academy that served in the military opera choir. Quite funny to see men playing woman's roles. The drama is about him falling in love with an american woman, the so-called daughter of an american technician that invented a machine for cutting trees in Siberia. It has the name of the movie. His whole social life is ruined finding that his superior is also in love with her. Of course he loses as well his integrity as the contest (as well as does the superior).' I am not a woman one marries with', she says. She is political in sex, but still has a conscience. He is blind and deeply in love. There are so many comical scenes and the russian culture is pictured that beautifully and soulfully that no one should miss this brilliant movie. Not speaking about the wider implications of a Russia self-critical with its absolutes of banishing people to Siberia and its relating to foreign cultures. 'Russians do everything extreme' is one of the reminders. It is their passion. They have an integrity problem of it, but still they win all wars. We do also have passion, have hypocrisy about it and lose wars thereof. From now on I say ' What dr. Shivago?, I love Russia, and that's it'.






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