April 27, 2007

Carnival of Cinema

The Carnival of Cinema, managed normally by Scott Nehring normally has set itself down here for a week and as you'd expect, this week being the week Ingrid Bergman signed on to perform in Casablanca that there are some wonderful posts about there about films ancient and modern. Hopefully they'll wet your appetite for film and make you go and watch a DVD, that afterall is what this should all be about.

So where to start- well Shakespeare's birthday fell this week and obviously prompted a lot of bloggers into thinking about Shakespeare and film. Emma at All about my Movies listed what in her opinion were the best five Hamlets on film, with added reasons. The Critic after Dark went wild over Orson Welles's adaptation of four Shakespeare plays in two hours of film- a rather impressive effort by the enfant terrible of cinema! Peter offered a review of Omkara and plenty more Shakespearian cinematic stuff- which you can find at the bottom of his post.

Akira Kurosawa made one of the great Shakespeare adaptations for the screen in the Throne of Blood. Amongst the greatest of his films is a masterpiece about the problems of knowledge, Rashomon and should you feel having read that, that you don't want to watch a Kurosawa, here are some Notes on Cinema which would inform you that you really should. For anyone who likes great directors and great films- I'd go see Jules et Jim and this wonderful review of Truffaut's masterpiece. Amongst great American directors, Robert Altman stands tall and proud- this is an interesting retrospective on his seventies film noir, The Long Goodbye starring Donald Sutherland. And should you need any convincing to see classic films and Donald Sutherland, then this little essay might help.

Well, well, well these streets are looking dark and mean, and the word noir has already been mentioned. Its one of the themes of this week's cinematic strutting- my own post on Double Indemnity strives to get to the bottom of that film. One of the greatest film noirs is undoubtedly the Big Sleep, Obsessed with Film agrees with me and has kindly posted the trailer. The Film Noir of the Week though isn't anything as famous as those two but a neglected work called The Burglar, given its stars- Dan Duryea and Jayne Mansfield and its writer David Goodis, Steve O wonders why its been neglected.

We've had film noir, we've had great filmmakers- what about looking at some contemporary films. Well we've got a great selection of those this week too- Paul Martin went to see the European film Offset in Melbourne this week. Europe- I hear you cry, how stereotypically Western, what about something else, some variety in our viewing. Well we can provide- what about going to see Jigthar, if you want to the Bhutan film blog has more. And now the Marxists are unhappy, they are screaming about feudal overlords and all the rest, well just to shut em up- they should realise that we film bloggers write about all sorts- the Flick Filosopher has been concerned this week with films about American miscarriages of justice. Meanwhile Alexius also looks at the dark underside of American society- particularly at the racist subculture described in American History X. Scott Nehring, the true beggetter of this carnival, though wants to bind together the American and the third world- he views the plight of contemporary ethics through the prism of The Last King of Scotland. On a similar theme, my review on Bits of News of the Lives of Others focuses on the wider issues at stake in that political drama. Ethics, shmethics, what we want is good mystical science fiction- if that's what you are after, we have got the review for you, come and see what a Top Movie The Butterfly Effect was. I can hear you say oh no, that's not what we want, we want a good college movie- well just shove off and pick from this list put together by the guys at the campus grotto, will you? Or why not go for some real sexy melodrama, yep that's right the Canadian Cinephile thinks we should all remember how fatal attraction can be. Actually stick around- we've got attacks and savaging next- yep the blood and fur is flying...

Too much of this is far too positive- I mean its as if all films were great and all film makers were. But anyone who has watched enough knows the disappointment of a bad film- J C Calhoun wonders whether Grindhouse represents the end of Quentin Tarantino as a film maker, Alexander Rubio agrees- he thinks Tarentino is so 1990s darling. Matt Sinclair though is furious about film makers with little discernable talent- Matt is a good chap who has a very extensive taste in film, I know him well so when he gets this angry about Pathfinder its worth listening to him. Furthermore Matt must be right, Mike at Kaboom Review despite loving Action movies and Vikings, hates this. Conan Stevens isn't angry about the awfulness of films that he has paid to see, but about the lies about a 300 workout, impossible he says they were stuntmen. (A passing note on 300, did anyone notice the image from the Watchmen comic books, Jim Squires did). Michael Hwang though doesn't feel very much about Little Miss Sunshine, he just thinks its mediocre.

My word- its almost done- but there are still a couple of bits of news out there to survey- for instance feel like becoming a film star, well get you going down into the internet cafes to check out second life- apparantly Paul Verhoeven, director of such controversial films as Basic Instinct and Showgirls is auditioning actors in Second Life- you hear everything these days.

I'd reccomend you read all that- and then settle back with a nice DVD and a cup of tea (hey I'm British don't knock tea), only a word of caution (we bloggers are looking out for your best interests) don't especially if you are Chinese get a pirated version you may not get what you were after!