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Torneranno i prati (2014)
Ermanno Olmi, poet of the silence
As there is just one review here, and extremely negative, it is mandatory to write mine.
Ermanno Olmi is, and always has been, the poet of silence. In fact, his first movie (Il tempo si è fermato, film 1958) was about a mountain dam keeper, living in the silence of mountains that, by the way, I happen to know very well.
This Torneranno i Prati (meaning, The Meadows Will Return) is not a war movie: it is a movie about war. If you expect to see brave soldiers assaulting the enemy with the sun in front and screaming "Geronimo", don't go to see this one. There are killed people, there is also some cannon bombing, but, for instance, the enemies are never seen. He is "so close that you can hear them breathing", but they are never shown.
The plot is simple: it is the story of one single night of World War I, during a snow covered winter, on a mountain site where the real war was. Everything happening in the movie had happened in real: it is not said if it happened all during the same night, and in the same place, but every single fact is real.
The movie is made of a lot of silence, filled by the inner thoughts, expectations, fears, scare, hope and desperation of these people, that are men before being soldiers. This is about war, it stupidity, it tells how horrible and stupid war is. Ermanno Olmi shows an incredibly deep compassion for all these soldiers, and actually, in the theater, more than one handkerchief appeared toward the end of the movie (including mine).
The music is sparse and minimal, but really fitting. The mountain landscapes, under a full moon, are just gorgeous: only a live experience of that can be better.
The movie was shown the first time on November 4th, anniversary of the end of World War I in Italy, in front of the President of the Italian Republic, and, simultaneously, in other 100 countries, including all that participated to that war.
I am looking forward for the DVD, this is a movie to see and see again.
Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
Does not look like Kubrick
I love Stanley Kubrick. All of what I have seen is in the top list of my preferred movies. Nothing is less than 9/10. However, this one does not even look a Kubrick movie. It is Kubrick in the scenery, in the photography, the lights ... But the story, that's not Kubrick at all. Well, I understand that to direct Tom Cruise, who is as expressive as a sole fish, and make an actor out of him, is far beyond human capability. Nicole Kidman is just a little better. I suppose the production imposed to the poor director the gossip couple of the moment. There are rumors about this, and this can explain many things. But, apart the actors, the story is just stupid, the (in)famous orgy scene is just ridiculous, boredom is coming to a point that I totally missed the ending. I was there, but my mind was wandering on more interesting things. It's a pity that Stanley Kubrick spoiled his career of a genius with this last one.
Lost in Translation (2003)
Boring, boring, depressive, and then boring.
Boring, boring, boring, boring, and then some. And depressive. And that's all. However, the minimum review has to be 10 lines, so let's fill with something. The story is: two bored people, depressed and unhappy with their life, meet in a place they do not like - it is Tokio, but could be any foreign place. Then, they spend the next 100 minutes or so in telling each other how they are depressed, bored, and unhappy with their life. That's all. I suppose that the name "Coppola" raised the enthusiastic comments of reviewers: I can't see any other reason. Probably the most boring movie ever: and I am not alone, a poll reports it is considered the most boring movie ever, with a huge 23% of people thinking the same.
Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)
Stupid and childish
I was told it is a movie about love. So, I was sitting expecting to see some love, but did not see any. Usually, Jarmusch does not communicate much to me: usually, nothing at all. On this movie, Jarmusch communicate stupidity. It is one of the most stupid movie I have ever seen. It is just a silly vampire movie, with ridiculous dialogs - Buffy, the Vampire Slander, is deeper. The story is very stupid: it is better when Jarmusch does not write any story at all; and now I know why his movies are usually story less: because when he invent a story it is the silliest and must stupid of the stories. The scientific quotations are risibles, it seems Jarmusch is quite fond for Tesla, quoted also in Coffe & Cigarettes: poor Tesla, he was mistreated in life, he does not deserve that a Jarmusch takes care of him. The only good thing I have seen is, on spots, some good photography, especially on human bodies: reminding me the usage of light by Caravaggio (but a movie director whose knowledge of Italy makes him think that the Italians are so horny to have sex with pumpkins, sheep, and in the street - see Night on Earth - I suppose has no idea of Caravaggio). Probably girls in the age range 12-15 could like this thing.
Down by Law (1986)
Another horrible boring movie by Jarmush
Unwatchable. Jim Jarmush is able to stuck even Roberto Benigni to a pokerface expressive actor: not easy. It does not communicate anything to me, nothing at all. I suppose the "I scream, you scream, ice cream" sketch should be comic, at least fun. I watched it all just to see how and when it resolved: it does not. Not a lough, not a smile, not an emotion, not an impression, not a feeling. I did not finish it, as I did not finish Coffee & Cigarettes (but I heroically finished Stranger than Paradise, Night on Earth - extremely offensive for Italy and Italians, trespassing the edge of a racist prejudice - and even the childish Only Lovers Left Alive). Every time I see a Jarmusch movie, I believe it is the worst I have ever seen. Till the next one.
Stranger Than Paradise (1984)
As usual, Jim Jarmush does not communicate anything. Nothing at all. Not a laugh, not a smile, not an emotion, not an impression, not a feeling. Nothing. I can't even say it is boring: something is boring, this is nothing. I can't say I did not like it: I can not like something, I can't say I did not like nothing. And this is nothing. If I were sleeping during the movie, nothing changed in my life, my thoughts, emotions. Nothing. Absolutely, definitely nothing. It is not the worst movie I have ever seen, because Coffe & Cigarettes and Down by Law are even worse. Difficult to believe, but they are. Who is the director of these other two? The same for this? Strange coincidence ...