LA CHAMBRE DES MAGICIENNES (2001, Claude Miller, A+++++),
KILLED THE FAMILY AND WENT TO THE MOVIES (1969, Julio Bressane, A+++++),
THE CRIMINAL OF BARRIO CONCEPCION (1998, Lav Diaz, A+++++),
LOGIC: MADAME GUMJAI CAUSES GLOBAL WARMING (2009, Chalida Uabumrungjit, A+),
BORDER CROSSING (2010, Apichart Pholprasert + Helen J. Stacey + Wendy Grace Allen, A+),
HESUS THE REVOLUTIONARY (2002, Lav Diaz, A+),
LITTLE BIG SOLDIER (2010, Sheng Ding, A+),
LA PASSION SELON DIDIER (2009, Lorenzo Gabriele, A+),
JULIE & JULIA (2009, Nora Ephron, A+/A),
L’ABBAYE DU REVOIR (2004, Jérôme Anger, A+/A),
BATAILLES (2008, Jean-Michel Ribes, A),
UP IN THE AIR (2009, Jason Reitman, A),
BREAK (2008, Jean-François Hassoun, B-),
TRUE LEGEND (2010, Yuen Woo Ping, C+)
What I love the most in LA CHAMBRE DES MAGICIENNES is the scene in which I think there will be a murder, but the murder doesn’t happen. What happens is the opposite of murder. What happens is the human kindness. It surprises me a lot.
Though LA CHAMBRE DES MAGICIENNES seems to preach about kindness, generosity, charity, or something like that, I think the film does this thing in a very different way from A CHRISTMAS CAROL. The ending of LA CHAMBRE DES MAGICIENNES is also very great, because it does not affirm the family value. This characteristic makes LA CHAMBRE DES MAGICIENNES rise much higher above such films as A CHRISTMAS CAROL, THE FAMILY MAN (2000, Brett Ratner), or other films which teach us to be generous and love your family.
I also like the mental journey from “tortured feelings” to “happiness” experienced by the heroine in LA CHAMBRE DES MAGICIENNES. Somehow I can follow her mental journey. This is different from the mental journey in SHARA (2003, Naomi Kawase, A+). The characters in SHARA seem to be happy at the end of the film, but I can’t follow their journey.
Having said that I can follow the mental journey in LA CHAMBRE DES MAGICIENNES doesn’t mean that I can be as generous as the heroine in this film. If I were in the same situation as the heroine, I might not do the same thing as her.
Somehow I think UP IN THE AIR should be screened together with THE DEVIL, PROBABLY (1977, Robert Bresson, A+++++) and APRIL (1962, Otar Iosseliani, A+++++), because the differences between these films are the reasons why I don’t like UP IN THE AIR that much. There’s a dialogue in UP IN THE AIR which accidentally reminds me of the greatest dialogue in THE DEVIL, PROBABLY about what one will gain in one’s lifetime. But while the characters in UP IN THE AIR still hold on to life, the character in THE DEVIL, PROBABLY doesn’t.
The nearly-empty room of the hero in UP IN THE AIR accidentally reminds me of the nearly-empty room of the couple in APRIL, but UP IN THE AIR seems to portray the loneliness of the empty room, while APRIL seems to portray the true happiness of the empty room. UP IN THE AIR would rise much higher above APRIL, if the film chose to portray the true happiness of the empty room of a single, self-contented person.
Oggs Cruz’s review of HESUS THE REVOLUTIONARY
Noel Vera’s review of HESUS THE REVOLUTIONARY
THE BORDER CROSSING ART PROJECT