Sunday, 26 February 2012

I don't always write film reviews, but when I do...

... it's on the day of the Oscars and about a film that deals with the early history of Cinema. And is not The Artist. And just by coincidence - it was the only film I could see in original language yesterday night in Cologne (WTF Ze Germans - most of you speak perfect English?).

First about this film review business - I was hesitating at first because I watch an awful lot of films, I get impressed by many of them and if I start writing review I'll swamp the little meaningful[citation needed] content that I've managed to generate. But then the first article I posted here, about nuclear warfare, was largely inspired by a film, and given that today is the night of the Oscars I was bound to make an exception. I settled on posting only about films I rate with 10 on IMDB, and only if I manage to squeeze some stuff from my agenda along them ;-)

And I had absolutely no idea that it's about Georges Méliès and didn't realize the proportions of the cinephilic handjob I was about to receive. At first I was like, yeah, starts cool, Sacha Baron Cohen is hilarious (I didn't like him in an 'evil' character but at least he got laid in the end), Ben Kingsley is quite believable as usual, portraying his character at different ages in the flashbacks, and just loved the way they've superimposed his face on historic pictures :-D
But what really got me excited was getting most of the references to cinema pioneers and obscure old films I've recently seen.


E.g. this handsome lad was shown for just a split second but Cesare - Dr. Caligari's Somnambulist is easily recognizable (especially if you've seen the film just three days ago)

(image: little-miss-nothing)

Then it got even deeper than that! The super-realistic recreation of the 1910s studio with all its workings is guaranteed to cause mental arousal and send shivers down the spine of every old film buff, leading to the ultimate culmination - the 3Dfied versions of the classics, on which I can only say:


Take that, flat moon

(image: wikipedia)

I wish the people that made these film were alive today to see what has become of film making - with voice, with colour, with 3D. And while on the topic - I have a word for the 3D critics that of headaches or whatever other excuses to accept the fact that films are changing. I guess some people complained of headaches when the character started talking. I think most 3D hating stems from some misconceptions. The most common one is failing to distinguish between the concept and current technology, which indeed is imperfect. Indeed, on 3D, at least the ones I've seen - some fast movement gets blurred and the whole experience requires more effort to consume, leading to feeling of tiredness. But that's just present-day technology, it's going to get way better.
Further, 3D doesn't have to be about whooshing past buildings, soaring for the sky, plunging to abysmal depths or whatever - very subtle scenes with little to no falling can be much more visually expressive in 3D.

And yeah, I cried. I had to remove my 3D glasses to wipe my face three times. To my masculinity's defence I must say that it's quite a different situation when you lack the social inhibition involved with presence of other people (the other visitors in the theatre don't count, they are far enough and don't notice you at all, unless you masturbating loudly or something)

I haven't yet seen The Artist, so I'm not in a good position to comment on Hugo in light of the Oscars ceremony that will start in several hours. The Artist is expected to grab more statues and it probably deserves them - I can't wait to see it and I'm sure I'll love it. And yet, I'm Expect Hugo to remain closer to my heart as The Artist deals with the early years of Holywood - which I see as a commercial enterprise that has creates countless good films but not so many great ones, and for me Europe is the cradle of cinema. I'm giving it 10 stars on IMDB.

By the way, I was thinking about an IMDB sync application, that posts updates on social networks when you rate or comment on a film. There is no official one and I haven't stumbled upon a 3rd party app. If there isn't one I might as well write it. Drop me a line if you know of such an app or if you also think it's a good idea to have it and let me know you'd expect of such an app.


  1. I haven't seen The Artist but from what I hear you'd better lower your expectations.

    I personally love 3D but my eyes need like 10 minutes to adapt in the beginning of the film. I love 3D so much that I go to see the most stupid films just because they are 3D. Have you seen that movie where a giant robot colored with the same colors as the American flag defeats the bad giant robots who want tyranny because he fights for freedom? I did simply because it was 3D.

    P.S. I am stealing this [citation needed] thing and there is nothing you can do about it

  2. Yes, 3D has some annoyances - also the edges of the screen are not that clear, it's mostly the center that you can focus properly. It's still quite a rewarding experience, and I'm pretty sure it will only improve with time, as the technology matures and the Kubricks and Hitchcocks of the future figure out how best to put it to work.

    And by the way, I just realized that Hugo's got 11 nominations and The Artist just 4, which caught me by surprise as everybody's talking about The Artist and I literally heard about Hugo for the first time a few days ago. I guess Hugo is the biggest hit then and I'm playing Captain Obvious.

    P.S. The [citation needed] tag is collective intellectual property of Wikipedia and all the people who've mocked the wikipedos through the years, starting with Randal Munroe -