Jarmusch in the American Weeds

Please go to

http://www.jonathanrosenbaum.net/2004/08/jarmusch-in-the-american-weeds/

Published on 27 Aug 2004 in Notes, by jrosenbaum

Comments Off

The Last Emperor (director’s Cut)

Bernardo Bertolucci’s visually ravishing spectacle (1987) about the life of Pu Yi (1905-’67) is a blockbuster that manages to be historically instructive and intensely personal at the same time. Pu Yi (played by three children at ages 3, 8, and 15, and by John Lone as an adult) remained an outsider to contemporary China for most of his life, and Bertolucci uses his remoteness from China as an objective correlative of our own cultural distance as Westerners (virtually all of the dialogue is rendered in English). Working with visual and thematic rhymes, Bertolucci is interested in charting the gradual substitution of the state for the familyand two key agents in this process are the father figures of his Scottish tutor (Peter O’Toole) and a governor at a Chinese prison. This 219-minute director’s cut, a full hour longer than the U.S. release version that won Oscars for best picture and directornever before seen theatrically in Chicago, though long available on DVDfills out this pattern in much greater detail. (JR)

Published on 27 Aug 2004 in Featured Texts, by admin

No Comments >>

The Blonds

Filmmaker Albertina Carri was four in 1977, when she lost her leftist parents to Argentina’s dirty war. In this thoughtful and witty 2003 experimental documentary she uses an actress (Analia Couceyro) playing herself to question the neighbors about her family during that era, sometimes joins her on-screen, and reflects on the elusiveness of memory and truth. In Spanish with subtitles. 89 min. (JR)

Published on 27 Aug 2004 in Featured Texts, by admin

No Comments >>