Archive for the ‘MUST SEE’ Category

“The Big Blue”. Luc Besson, 1988.

19/02/2010

Jacques is asked for help by his classmates who have just spotted a coin shine at the bottom of the sea. He is preparing to dive but Enzo turns up. He dives and rises to the surface with the precious coin in just six seconds. Jacques moves aside.

Johanna Baker works for an insurance company in New York that sends her in the snowy Andes of Peru. On arrival, she immediately falls under the spell of Jacques, who was called to inspect a wreck trapped under the ice. Back in New York, after some hesitation, she finally decides to return to Europe to live with the love of her life.

A few years later Enzo, the free diving world champion calls his friend to dispute his title in Taormina in Sicily. They meet thus for the occasion. Enzo is still as exuberant and more Italian than ever. Jacques, who has lost his parents when young, is a reserved guy who spends most of his time swimming with dolphins. Finally Enzo retains his title and Johanna and Jacques are both invited to celebrate it with Enzo’s family.


Jacques, shortly after, manage to dive to 101 meters, but Enzo does not let himself be upstaged and soon descend to 114 meters. The competition continues and, over the international competitions, the two childhood friends are breaking their own records in turn. But danger lurks, diving below that point is sheer madness. At this depth the blood cannot hold enough oxygen for the divers to resurface.

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Hatred, a film by Mathieu Kassovitz. 1995

17/02/2010
“This is the story of a man falling from a building of 50 storeys. The guy at as he falls, says constantly to himself: So far so good, so far so good,so far so good. But the important thing is not falling, it’s the landing. ” With this prologue in voiceover, begins this movie now passed down to posterity as a cult film. Just after that, you can see a Molotov cocktail engulf the planet earth. And then archive images of riots in suburbs with the names of the actors that appear, typed as a police report. Bob Marley sings in the background “burning and looting”.

The film begins, it is 10:38, the TV news tells us of incidents that have exploded in the city of lilies after an inspector had beaten up a young man who now stands between life and death. Finish the images provided by the media, now the camera film Vince and Saïd who hang out together. They join their friend Hubert who trains himself in the boxing gym that was burned down the night before. A policeman lost his gun during the riots. Vince reveals to his buddies that he found it, and if their friend Abdel dies in the hospital, he will restore the balance by killing a policeman. Hubert tries to reason with his friend and then goes away, pissed-off by the attitude of his friend. Eventually the three of them will meet to go to Paris and see a guy who owes money to Saïd. Vince takes his weapon.


The film shot in black and white and directed with great visual effects,  follows three young people from different backrounds in their ghetto and then in the capital city where they are cramped. In addition to having burned the memory of French cinema as a film emblematic of the ghetto issue, “Hatred” has helped popularized the French ghetto slang known as “verlan” (back slang), the language of the youth in the suburbs which is expressed by Vince, Hubert and Said. In the soundtrack, along with Bob Marley’s song, is “Killer Cut” played by a DJ. Very significant is the passage “Fuck the Police / Non je ne regrette rien. Awarded as best directed film at Cannes and César for best film, the film was such a critical and public success the director came to report that his film does not belong to him anymore.

“Blissful alexander” Yves Robert, 1967.

13/02/2010

Alexander is a peasant as strong as an ox who farms his 120 acres of land without a break. But what he loves above all is fishing, playing pool or football, listening to the birds singing, playing the trumpet and sleeping in the hay. But his wife won’t hear of it and remembers him to work with a walkie-talkie whenever he falls asleep on his tractor or lingers along the road. To cheer him up, his neighbour, a good friend of his, offers him one of his dogs that he cannot keep. However, submissive, he hides it from his wife as Obelix does when carrying Dogmatix for a trip.

One day his wife dies in a car accident. At the funeral his friends ask him what he will do now. His answer is clear: “nothing”. He will take time to take it easy, that’s life! When he comes back home, he frees the farm animals, erases the blackboard, which included the list of chores and goes to bed right away.

Time passes and it has been about two months now that Alexander has not left his bed! His dog, friendly enough, goes to the grocer’s for him. Antoine, a friend, volunteered to try to reason with the sleeper, but when he returns he is no longer the same. He has been contaminated by the words of Alexander and decided to stop working too. Soon the contagion reaches the entire village, much to the annoyance of his neighbour who does everything to ensure that Alexander finally gets out of bed. Agathe, a pretty green-eyed girl has just arrived in the village to work at the grocery store. Can she convince Alexander to get up?

“Blow-out”, a film by Marco Ferreri. 1973.

12/02/2010

Philippe, Ugo, Marcello and Michael are four good friends who share the same taste for good food and occasionally get together to organize a feast. “But this time it’s different,” warns Ugo, a restaurant owner who brought with him his whole set of kitchen knives. Naturally, their relatives are quite sceptical about their true intentions for this weekend but let them go. Having taken leave of their families, the four individuals then go into an old family house that belongs to Philip, a judge by profession.

Gradually the veil is lifted on their fatal project they intend to surrender to the delights of sins … to death. Mashed chestnuts, cockerel, quail, oysters, everything is there to fill their stomachs, but soon enough they begin to feel lonely. While Marcello, an airline  pilot, invites women with loose morals to keep them company. Andrea, a primary school teacher, too, is joining the party. She will stay with each of them until the very end. While the whores will leave earlier, disgusted by such a vice!

Marco Ferreri gathered his favourite actors to make this film. The four friends kept their own names to act. This movie has been characterized as physiologically by the director himself who explains that the idea of the film came after sharing a few meals with the protagonists.

Each character has childish ways. As the lock-in goes on, they will regress and return to their mother’s world they never really left. Philip, for example, still lives with his nurse and has not yet been weaned. Michael practice dancing in a tutu. Ugo is married to a castrating woman. Finally Marcello behaves like a kid who can’t help fooling around.

This feature has caused a scandal at Cannes. But Ferreri, when making a daring film, never intended to cause such a fuss. If the public does not support the mirror that is shown to them, it is not his fault. He simply wanted to make a critical film that is both realistic and dreamlike.

However one question still remains: why on earth do they want to commit suicide? Perhaps the answer can be found in the tirade of Michael “Vanitas vanitatis”. They want to escape this vain world.