Sunday, July 22, 2018

Movie: "He Who Must Die" (1957)

He Who Must Die (French: Celui qui doit mourir) is a 1957 French film directed by Jules Dassin. It is based on the novel Christ Recrucified (also published as The Greek Passion) by Nikos Kazantzakis. It was entered into the 1957 Cannes Film Festival.

In a Turkish-occupied Greek village shortly after World War I, villagers put on a Passion Play, with ordinary people taking the roles of Jesus, Peter, Judas, etc. Staging the play leads to them rebelling against their Turkish rulers in a way that mirrors Jesus's story.

Monday, July 2, 2018

My Top 20 Movies of 2018 (So Far)

Now that we are a little over halfway through 2018, it is time to share my 10 favorite movies of the year so far, so people can start catching up with their movie watching for the summer, and to help prepare me for my final list at the end of the year. Each title below is linked to the Wikipedia page if you want to read more about it and see the trailer.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Movie: "Antimoz Iverieli" (2001)

Title: Antimoz Iverieli (Eng. Anthimos of Iberia)
Director: Giuli Chokhonelidze
Writer: Vaja Gigashvili
Stars: Giuli Chokhonelidze, George Lasha, Otar Megvinetukhutsesi
Duration: 3h 30min
Language: Georgian
Release: 2001
Information about St. Anthimos of Iberia:
Holy New Hieromartyr Anthimos, Metropolitan of Wallachia (+ 1716)

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

"Doctor Zhivago": Russian TV Mini-Series (2006)

In Doctor Zhivago, the life of a young doctor is intertwined with the fate of Russia at the beginning of the 20th century. Yuri Zhivago is orphaned at a young age, and his uncle brings him to Moscow, where he studies medicine while living with his uncle's family. At a New Year's ball, he witnesses an assassination attempt on a high society lawyer named Komarovksy. What shocks Yuri is the identity of the shooter: Lara Gishar. By coincidence, he had been present earlier when Lara and Komarovsky first met at the Montenegro hotel. At the time, their magnetism and their unusual relationship, both extremely open and particularly secretive, revealed to the young doctor a world of emotions he had yet to experience. Yuri is told that Komarovsky played a role in his father's suicide, but this news has less effect on him than the chance meeting with Lara. At the beginning of WWI, Doctor Zhivago goes to the front, leaving his wife and children in Moscow. He is unaware that many years later Lara will touch his life again, changing it for ever; Yuri Zhivago's personal drama plays out against a backdrop of social and historical upheaval, with his generation's hopes and desires wiped out by war and revolution. Yuri's work and family suffer from his sense of having lost his bearings. Hoping to get back on his feet, he makes the fateful decision to leave Moscow and return to his family's house beyond the Urals. Yuri observes from the window of his train as a new Russia is born, and unexpected encounters during his travels come to symbolize for him the spirit of a new era. The people he meets in the train have been forged in this new world, and Yuri desperately tries to find his place among them, learning to live in the provinces and forgetting the dreams of his youth. As he lies on his bunk in the train, Yuri has no idea that Lara has also left Moscow, taking up residence not far from his family home.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Silent Film: "Salome" (1910)

This 1910 Italian film Salome is a rather crude 9-minute silent drama directed by Ugo Falena which claims to be based on Oscar Wilde’s play of the same name. I’m not sure Wilde would have appreciated them for cramming his wordy opus into a few brief scenes of gesticulating performances. The colors are a bonus, however, as this is hand-tinted throughout. Some of the music could have been better chosen.