Limitless Cinema in Broken English

June 5, 2010

POLL 82: PERIOD FILMS WHICH MAY HAVE SOME POLITICAL ASPECTS IN THEM

Filed under: Uncategorized — celinejulie @ 10:06 am

This is about a poll in my bilingual blog at http://celinejulie.blogspot.com

My poll 82 is inspired by ROBIN HOOD (2010, Ridley Scott). I like what Tom Huddleston wrote about this film in TIME OUT FILM GUIDE very much:
http://www.timeout.com/film/reviews/88208/robin-hood.html

“Best of all, the film just feels huge: genuinely epic in a way few movies have since ‘Lord of the Rings’. The endless plot twists may be perplexing, but they work to make the movie feel eventful and involving: after 140 minutes, audiences will feel like they’ve been somewhere, lived through something. And so, while this ‘Robin Hood’ is a long way from perfect, it remains a satisfyingly immense and old fashioned grand-canvas experience.”

Another old fashioned grand-canvas experience I have is when I saw AUSTRALIA (2008, Baz Luhrmann, A+).

I LIKE THESE PERIOD FILMS WHICH MAY HAVE SOME POLITICAL ASPECTS IN THEM. WHICH ONES DO YOU LIKE?

1.ANDREI RUBLEV (1966, Andrei Tarkovsky, Soviet Union)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrei_Rublev_(film)
” The film is about the essence of art and the importance of faith and shows an artist who tries to find the appropriate response to the tragedies of his time. The film is also about artistic freedom and the possibility and necessity of making art for, and in the face of, a repressive authority and its hypocrisy, technology and empiricism, by which knowledge is acquired on one’s own without reliance on authority, and the role of the individual, community, and government in the making of both spiritual and epic art.”

2.DANTON (1982, Andrzej Wajda, Poland)
http://filmsdefrance.com/FDF_Danton_rev.html

” November 1793. The one-time national hero and leading light of the French Revolution, Georges Danton, returns to Paris after a self-imposed exile in the country. He is vociferously opposed to the reign of terror that Robespierre and the Committee for Public Safety have initiated in an attempt to quash any opposition to the new Republic. But whilst Danton’s outspoken criticism of Robespierre and his stooges strikes a chord with the unwashed masses, he makes himself very unpopular with the state officials. Accused of inciting anti-republican activities, Danton and his supporters are rounded up and set before a tribunal, who have no intention of sparing their lives…

The focus of the film is the intense political struggle between the idealists who forged the Revolution and the Nation State that claims to represent the good of the people but which has become completely corrupt and tyrannical in its attempt to justify itself. The film achieves this sense of conflict through the spoken word, not through physical violence – with the final showdown being the frenzied verbal joust between Danton and the state prosecutors.”

3.DEATH OF A TEA MASTER (1989, Kei Kumai, Japan)

4.EDWARD II (1991, Derek Jarman, UK)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_II_(film)

” Once installed as king, Edward II summons his friend and lover, Piers Gaveston, to his side and showers him with gifts, titles and abiding love. Their relationship is fiery and passionate, but it is the cause of hate from everybody else. Upon his return, Gaveston takes revenge on the Bishop of Winchester who had been responsible for his banishment from England during the previous reign, he personally tortures him. Kent, Edwards’s brother, is the first to protest Gaveston return. Many others feel the same way including the Bishop of Winchester and Lord Mortimer, who is in charge of the army forces of the kingdom. However Edward II defends his lover from his mounting enemies”

5.GOYA’S GHOSTS (2006, Milos Forman, USA)

6.INTERVIEW WITH LADY SRISUDACHAN (2000, Wasanta Samrong, Thailand)

7.JODHAA AKBAR (2008, Ashutosh Gowariker, India)

I like the peace-loving attitude of this film.

8.LITTLE BIG SOLDIER (2010, Sheng Ding, China)

I like the peace-loving attitude of this film.

9.LUDWIG – REQUIEM FOR A VIRGIN KING (1972, Hans Jürgen Syberberg, West Germany)

From Bilge Ebiri’s article:
http://www.movingimagesource.us/articles/visions-of-ludwig-20090604

” In a sense, Syberberg turns Ludwig himself, this famously inept and disastrous monarch, into one of Wagner’s mythical heroes, and thereby the crucial bridge between German Romanticism and later German fanaticism. As Fredric Jameson argues, in “In the Destructive Element Immerse,” his essay on Syberberg:The modernist aesthetic demands an organic community which it cannot, however, bring into being by itself but can only express. Ludwig II is, then, the name for that fleeting mirage, that optical illusion of a concrete historical possibility. He is the philosopher-king who, by virtue of a political power that resulted from a unique and unstable social and political situation, holds out, for a moment, the promise of an organic community. Later, Nazism will make this same promise.”

10.MATHIAS KNEISSL (1970, Reinhard Hauff, West Germany)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0067407/

” Kneissl is the Robin Hood or Butch Cassidy of Germany. Also Ringsgwandl made a song on him. Kneissl is a true anti-establishment figure a film can artfully reflect on. One of the main characters of German anarchy. The movie is also for those who like to see Bayrhammer, Schygulla, Mattes, Schlöndorff during their younger years. Kneissl was a robber who was executed after a brutal manhunt in rural bavaria. As a folk hero he was supported by the local farmers, which made it difficult for the 100+ policemen to get on him. There is a certain history of 18th century anarchy and weird characters in southern Germany, which are legends and always were admired by many young people. ”

11.THE LIBERTINE (2004, Laurence Dunmore, UK)

12.THE NIKLASHAUSEN JOURNEY (1970, Rainer Werner Fassbinder + Michael Fengler , West Germany)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0066150/usercomments

” In the 15th Century, Hans Böhm, a shepherd, claimed to have been visited by the Virgin Mary. He began preaching and gathered around him thousands of disciples who believed him to be the New Messiah. He was arrested and burned at the stake by the church. Fassbinder uses this true story to reflect the sexual and political upheaval in Germany, showing how and why revolution fails.

The movie draws very clear parallels between religion and revolution, questions both the means and ends of revolutionary violence, suggests similarities between this uprising and the one led by Hitler several decades earlier – and it completely dismisses the ruling class as worthless, absurd fools quick to devastation when their enemies are involved. It works on the viewer in unexpected ways, building on our empathy with the revolutionary cause, while nearly condemning the whole movement, to make us truly care about enacting change ”

13.POPE JOAN (2009, Sönke Wortmann, Germany)

14.QUEEN MARGOT (1994, Patrice Chéreau, France)

15.¡QUE VIVA MEXICO! (1931, Sergei M. Eisenstein, Soviet Union)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0079020/usercomments

” The movie has six episodes: a prologue (Tisse moving slowly the camera over pyramids, Aztec sculptures, motionless people along carved deities, a country that’s extremely diverse, where all ages of history coexist, timelessly and motionlessly) – a wedding (in a place where the society is still living in matriarchate) – a religious procession (superb images again: three youngsters carrying the cross, toward three priests like Aztec masks, facing three skulls) – a corrida – a story with three young peasants killed by a landlord and buried alive (Tisse gave here a very shocking image, while one of the most powerful cinematic scenes I have ever seen) – the epilogue (a joyful festival for the All Souls Day, a fabulous celebration of the Dead). A seventh episode was no more shot, Soldaderas, Eisenstein had in mind to focus it on women, the female Revolution soldiers.”

16.ROBIN HOOD (2010, Ridley Scott, UK)

17.SARRAOUNIA (1986, Med Hondo, Burkina Faso)

18.MULLEYA MULLEYA (SPINNING WHEEL) (1984, Lee Doo-yong, South Korea)
http://eng.buddhapia.com/_Service/_ContentView/ETC_CONTENT_2.ASP?pk=0000593856&sub_pk=&clss_cd=0002160290&top_menu_cd=0000000409&menu_cd=0000005092&menu_code=

” Ostensibly concerned with the tragic life of a woman named Gil-Rye, Lee Doo-Yong’s Mulleya Mulleya is really a commentary on the dogmatic narrowness of Korean society in its historical definition of male-female roles, as well as an indictment of the nobility in its role as defender of an oppressive status quo.”

19.UTU (1983, Geoff Murphy, New Zealand)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086497/plotsummary

” In New Zealand in the 1860s the native Maori people fought the British colonials to keep the land guaranteed to them by treaty. The warrior Te Wheke fights for the British until betrayal leads him to seek utu (revenge). The settler Williamson in turn seeks revenge after Te Wheke attacks his homestead. Meanwhile Wiremu, an officer for the British, seems to think that resistance is futile.”

20.VICTOR SCHOELCHER, L’ABOLITION (1998, Paul Vecchiali, France)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor_Schoelcher

” Victor Schoelcher (22 July 1804, Paris – 25 December 1893, Houilles) was a French abolitionist writer in the 1800s and the main spokesman for a group from Paris who worked for the abolition of slavery, and formed an abolition society in 1834. He worked especially hard for the abolition of slavery on the Caribbean islands.”

You can cast multiple votes.

I’m not sure if DEATH OF A TEA MASTER and THE LIBERTINE have some political aspects in the films or not, but I want to include those films in this list, because these two films deal with the difficult lives of people who were associated with the royal courts in historical times, like ROBIN HOOD.

This poll is related to:

POLL 12: POLITICS WILL TEAR US APART
http://celinejulie.blogspot.com/2008/02/twelfth-poll-politics-will-tear-us.html

POLL 14: THE COLONIAL ERA
http://celinejulie.blogspot.com/2008/03/fourteenth-poll-colonial-era.html

POLL 81: FILMS ABOUT SOCIAL/POLITICAL PROBLEMS
http://celinejulie.blogspot.com/2010/05/poll-81-films-about-socialpolitical.html

1 Comment »

  1. My own votes are for DANTON, DEATH OF A TEA MASTER, INTERVIEW WITH LADY SRISUDACHAN, LITTLE BIG SOLDIER, LUDWIG – REQUIEM FOR A VIRGIN KING, MATHIAS KNEISSL, THE NIKLASHAUSEN JOURNEY, ROBIN HOOD, MULLEYA MULLEYA, and “VICTOR SCHOLCHER, L’ABOLITION”.

    Comment by celinejulie — June 5, 2010 @ 6:39 pm


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