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Amelie is directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet .Amelie is the story of a young women and how she deals with an unexpected accident. The story looks simple and complex. The story might not be the attractive element of the film, but the way the story has been treated by Jean-Pierre Jeunet is wonderful.

Amelie has been brought up very cautiously by her parents due to some misunderstanding and she never had a normal childhood and she is lonely. One day she discovers an old box of a guy who used to live in her apartment and she decides to give him back the old box in order to make him and herself happy and she decides to make everyone happy and in this process she falls in love with a guy.

Amelie is the only film which I watched at least 10 times. It may or may not come under the list of greatest French films which I have seen but it’s definitely the film which I want to watch it repeatedly. The beauty of Cinema is before our eyes. I felt like the perfect visual treat and the best moments which my eyes can capture on the celluloid.

Many scenes in the film made me feel elated and at the same time surprised because of its absolute clarity in it. You just think that we do it and still we don’t recognize it. The minute moments of the film makes us feel close to it. Starting from the titles till the ending credits it’s just a delicious treat.

When the director mentions about the actions which the characters love, perform, hate etc.., they remind us of our daily unusual and unrecognized rituals which we do. The actions like pealing strips of paper, polishing the shoes, puckered fingers, pillow marks, cracking bones, popping bubble wraps, TV shows, dipping the fingers into sacks of grain, cracking the solid layer of cream with spoon, etc…

Amelie is a film which talks about life .It tells the actions which we do every day, infact it reminds the actions which we do. Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet tells the story of everyday life, he tells how amelie had suffered in her childhood and how she is lonely in her adolescence. The Photography is very good and the color used is amazing, I wonder if we had the same scenery in our real life. The crazy camera angles just look perfect for ‘Amelie’. Amelie is not just about the young women Amelie but it is much more than that.

Orginal name:Novecento

Bernardo Bertolucci is one of the best writers of Italian Cinema. Bertolucci is the only one who can be counted with Federico Fellini, Sergio Leone and Luciano Vincenzoni as one of the instrumental people who elevated and enhanced Italian cinema to a different level. Sergio Leone always wanted Bertolucci to write the script besides Luciano Vincenzoni, but he never got the chance of writing the script for Sergio Leone. In fact he was asked by Sergio Leone to write the story and script for “Once Upon a Time in the West”, but later he was just asked to devise the story and not the script as Sergio Leone felt that the script would be too cerebral for American audience.

 Bernardo Bertolucci is the only director who can verbalize ‘The Proof of Love’ in the most innovative way. He makes his convictions of sexual love in an uncompromising manner which is clearly visible in his works like ‘Last Tango in Paris’, ‘Stealing Beauty’, and ‘The Dreamers’. I felt that Bertolucci is the perfect director who can infuse politics into films in the perfect way after watching ‘The Conformist (1970)’. Bernardo Bertolucci is the only director who never compromises on issues like Politics, Sex, Nudity and Incest in his films.

 1900

 ‘1900 ‘or Novecento(Italian) is the lengthiest film I have ever seen. I was told that I cannot find the Director’s Cut version of ‘1900’ but fortunately or unfortunately I did find the ‘302 minutes, 49 seconds ‘version which is slightly less than the original one which is 311 minutes.

 ‘1900’ is an epic film directed by Bernardo Bertolucci. It tells the story of 2 friends during the 1900-1945 period. Robert De Niro (Alfredo Berlinghieri) and Gérard Depardieu (Olmo Dalcò) are born on the same day in 1900. Alfredo is born to the family of Landlords and Olmo is a peasant son.

Part1

In the part1 of ‘1900’ Bernardo Bertolucci shows the Social community of Italy. He tries to show the way in which both Alfredo and Olmo are grown in their respective communities. The first part is reserved for portraying the situation of Italy, the pathetic nature of the workers and peasants. The first part also depicts the families of both Alfredo and Olmo. The family of Olmo works in the fields of Alfredo.

Alfredo and Olmo become friends in their childhood and later Olmo leaves his native place and after many years he is back. Even after the long gap Alfredo and Olmo become more closer and they continue their friendship. Alfredo and Olmo find their women. Olmo is married to Anita who shares the same convictions of Olmo i.e. Communism and Alfredo finds Ada.The first part of 1900 introduces us to 2 characters called Attila and Regina who are very crucial in the Part2 of ‘1900’.

 The Part1 of 1900 is about 2hrs 35 minutes. After watching the first 90 minutes I lost my patience and I felt that

‘What  am I watching?’

‘Is this a Bernardo Bertolucci film? ‘

‘Does he needs to put this shit about Communism? ‘

I am very much inspired by the ideologies of Communism and I am very much aware that Bernardo Bertolucci is a true communist and an Anti-Facist but does he needs to put that much amount of his love towards communism and hatred towards facism in it. I did not even complete watching the Part1 and my feelings towards the film are almost negative but at the very end of the Part1 Bernardo Bertolucci exposes his true talent.

Best of Part1

  1. The scene in which Olmo catches the frogs and ties it to his hat.

  2. The Train scene which is used several times in the film.

  3. The scene in which one of the worker cut his hear.

  4. The last of scene of Part1 with Attila and the cat.

The last scene of Part1 took me by a surprise and i wanted to see that bertolucci who is a master in writing such unusual scenes.


 

Part2

The last scene of the Part1 raised my hopes for the second part. In the second part Olmo and Alfredo get married. Anita dies during child birth and she gives birth to a daughter named Anita and Alfredo does not have a good relationship with Ada .The first 40 minutes of the Part2 looks promising but it does not stand up to the expected and falls flat. The way in which the monster in Attila has been portrayed is just terrific. Attila and Regina (Alfredo’s cousin) are same in their perception towards communism and fascism .The last one hour of the film just shows the communism and the fall of fascism and there is no dramatic representation.

When I was watching the last one hour of the film I felt like I was watching a documentary film on Italian communism and fascism during the end of World War II .The second part just shows the fatigue part of the film. I was just hoping that film will be completed as soon as possible. I patted myself saying that I have a lot of patience.

 Best of Part2

  1. The scene in which Attila and Regina abuse a child and kill him.
  2. Killing of a pig by Olmo.

  3. The snow filled day during Christmas Eve.

  4. Killing of workers by the Fascists.

 

Bernardo Bertolucci directs a epic film which show the culture,social status of different communities and the fall of Fascism along with rise of Communism, the social status of the workers ,farmers etc…

 
I am not against lengthiest films; I loved ‘Once upon a time in America’, Schindler’s List, etc..,The problem with 1900 is that Bernardo Bertolucci doesn’t really know where the film is heading because his love towards Communism has made him to infuse many unnecessary scenes. We just don’t understand what he is trying to covey and what he is trying to convey himself.

This is definitely not a film which should be watched by normal film goers. Bernardo Bertolucci’s direction is good in parts and there are some amazing moments in the film and the way he portrays Italy is wonderful, he is brilliant in capturing the beauty of harvesting fields, the movement of the camera in the film is wonderful, he takes some long shots while the camera moves effortlessly from left to right, right to left etc .

No one could have directed such a film, may be this the best way in which any director can do.1900 falls below expectations but its a film which has to be watched by film lover’s .

Originally published on Passionforcinema.com

I came to know about ‘Caramel’ when i was looking at the list of winners of Asia Pacific Screen Awards(2007).When i decided to watch the movie i was a bit suspicious about the credibility of the film,but it turned out to be a wonderful experience.

Caramel is a film about Lebanese women who work in a Beauty salon.The film deals with the lifes of five women who are very different from each other.The film is directed by Nadine Labaki,who also stars as one of the women,.Unlike many feminist films Caramel does not show the hardships of women,it does not show the social issues related to women,it does not show the political issues related to women but Caramel shows the normal life and behaviour of common women.

The female characters in the film are just amazing.Each character is designed in such a way that it is very close to reality and very far from our imagintion.Some might anticipate of having characters like a social activist,jounalist,Human Rights member etc… ,none of the charater in the film resembles of anything which i have mentioned above,it is just simple representation of a common women and beautiful execution of the perceptions,convictions and infatuations.
Three of the five female characters work in the Beauty Saloon,two characters are the female customers of the Beauty Saloon and the other female character is an middle aged women. Nadine Labaki inspite of directing her first film she did not fall into the obvious trap of Character exxageration she just keeps everything at limits without overshadowing one character over the other.

Layale (Nadine Labaki) is in a relationship with a married man, Nisrine (Yasmine Al Masri) is no longer a virgin but she is engaged with her boyfriend,Rima (Joanna Moukarzel) has homosexual feelings, she is attracted to women and she becomes close to one of her female customer.Rose (Sihame Haddad), a tailor with a shop next to the salon, is an old woman who had devoted her life to taking care of her mentally unbalanced older sister Lili (Aziza Semaan), but she falls in love with an old guy,Jamale (Gisle Aouad), a regular customer and wannabe actress, is worried about getting old and makes others believe that she is young.

The intimate relationships and the sexual feelings does not dominate on the screen,its the sisterhood between those women which dominates .There are some obvious mistakes in the film which Nadine Labaki could have avoided , but Caramel being her first film the mistakes can be overlooked.

I being a male recommend this movie to everyone because of the beauty and simplicity of ‘Caramel’.I am not being gracious or compassionate towards Carmel but this is the kind of film which i have been looking for many months.