Fruit Of Paradise

I couldn’t make heads or tails out of this avant-garde version of the Adam and Eve story when I saw it umpteen years ago (it was made in 1970), but Vera Chytilova’s wild, extravagant, and ravishing romp was certainly intoxicating on a sensual level. It came at the end of her rebellious period as the great hope and holy terror of the new Czech cinema, after her even better About Something Else and Daisies, and before she buckled down to the relatively staid efforts of The Apple Game and Prague. A Czech-Belgian coproduction, set in a Czech resort, with a great deal of technical razzle-dazzle: double exposures, slow motion, step printing, and so on. In Czech with subtitles. (JR)

Published on 25 Apr 2003 in Featured Texts, by admin

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Mondays In The Sun

Six friends (including Javier Bardem, Luis Tosar, and Jose Angel Egido) struggle to make ends meet after being laid off from their shipyard jobs in this 2002 feature by writer-director Fernando Leon de Aranoa. Like Fellini’s I Vitelloni, this Spanish-French-Italian coproduction is a bittersweet epic about frustration and relative inertia, though with a somewhat older and wiser group of layabouts, and its contemporary relevance made it a box-office hit in Spain, which nominated it for an Oscar. In Spanish with subtitles. 113 min. (JR)

Published on 11 Apr 2003 in Featured Texts, by admin

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Reinventing the Present [10]

Please go to

http://www.jonathanrosenbaum.net/2003/04/reinventing-the-present/

Published on 11 Apr 2003 in Featured Texts, Featured Texts, by jrosenbaum

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The Guys

This moving drama about a New York journalist (Sigourney Weaver) helping a fire captain (Anthony LaPaglia) write eulogies for the men he lost on 9/11 is the final flowering of a play by Anne Nelson, based on real people and events, that originated with the off-off-Broadway company the Flea Theater. Since the virtues of heroism and decency it celebrates are universal, I hope it doesn’t get absorbed into the dubious agitprop of American exceptionalism, with the presumption that people who don’t want to emulate us in every possible way risk becoming collateral damage like these firemen. Directed by Jim Simpson, who staged the original production. 85 min. (JR)

Published on 04 Apr 2003 in Featured Texts, by admin

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