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Posts Tagged ‘romance’

 

Trailer Watch: Michel Gondry’s Mood Indigo

Even when he misses, Michel Gondry delivers movies with utterly unique visuals. (Well, except Green Hornet. It had maybe half a dozen great shots, and a whole mess of… mess.)

The French trailer for his next film, Mood Indigo, is online and it looks wonderful. The story may not hold together, or it will be a little too weird for many of you, but it’s a safe bet that some of the images will make me smile, so I’ll be there.

Here’s the synopsis (courtesy Coming Soon): “In a world where you can travel around on a pink cloud or literally be swept off an ice-skating rink into a hole, Colin, a wealthy young man and inventor of the cocktail-mixing piano, wants to fall in love. With the help of his cook Nicolas and best friend Chick, he meets Chloe, the incarnation of a Duke Ellington tune. But soon after their wedding, Chloe falls ill. She has a water lily growing in her chest. Ruined by medical expenses, Colin resorts to increasingly desperate methods to save his beloved’s life…”

Mood Indigo stars Audrey Tautou, Romain Duris, Omar Sy, Gad Elmaleh, Philippe Torreton, Aïssa Maïga and Charlotte le Bon. It comes out in April in France. There’s no telling when we’ll get it over in the States.

Trailer Watch: Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Based on an acclaimed novel, adapted by Oscar-winning screenwriter, solid cast, strong use of music, whole plot broadcast in the trailer so the risk-averse masses are reassured that everything works out alright in the end before walking into the theater… Check, check, check, check, and check. Director Lasse Hallström has been honing his Oscar-ready craft for years and has, perhaps, become a little too slick for his own good. (To my mind, he peaked with his debut, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?, while film geeks would likely cite the Criterion-approved My Life as a Dog, made in his native Sweden.)

And yet… as a trailer, at least, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen works, but even so, I’m kind of surprised this is being pushed out in March, 2012, then, rather than this month — basically a no-confidence vote from the studio as far as awards go, as the Academy voters have a notoriously short memory.

Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt, and Kristin Scott Thomas star.

Trailer Watch: Writer-director Angelina Jolie’s In the Land of Blood and Honey

I don’t know why I should say that I’m surprised that this looks good, but I am, and it does. It looks really good, in fact.

Written and directed by Angelina Jolie, In the Land of Blood and Honey centers around “a love affair [that] blooms between a Bosnian woman and a Serbian man during war in the 1990s.” It stars Goran Kostić, Zana Marjanović, and Rade Å erbedžija — the film’s cast is entirely local actors (if you can call the six countries former comprising Yugoslavia “local”).

The film hits screens on December 23, 2011 — which is basically shorthand for, “We think this is an Oscar contender.” There are two versions of the film, which were filmed simultaneously: one in English, and another in the Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian language (or BHS). Undoubtedly, we’ll get the English one here.

Review: Wings of Desire

Wings of Desire

Directed by Wim Wenders.
Starring Bruno Ganz, Solveig Dommartin, Otto Sander, Curt Bois and Peter Falk.

Angels are a tricky thing in movies. Anything supernatural is, really. But where I can run with demons and devils as just fun monsters to toss into a story, when you start talking about an afterlife that’s pretty much the same as the one we’re living now, except with wings and all the sucky shit taken out, it’s just a bit more than I can take.

So it takes a special sort of movie to get me past that hurdle: It’s a Wonderful Life works, for intance, because of Jimmy Stewart and Frank Capra’s irresistible humanity. In a way, it’s the same kind of thing that made Wings of Desire work for me, too. On its face, it’s the story of an angel, Damiel (Bruno Ganz), who has become frustrated with the unending task of invisibly chronicling the lives of us humans on Earth — specifically 1980′s West Berlin. (Chronicling for whom and why are never really mentioned, and they’re irrelevant.) But like all great stories, it’s about a lot more than just its plot.

The film is shot beautifully in black and white, punctuated by moments of almost fluorescent color representing the humans’ perspective. (A conceit  borrowed from Powell and Pressburgers’s 1946 film, A Matter of Life and Death.) The first hour of the film moved along rather ponderously. It’s at once dizzying and appropriately dull as it depicts Damiel’s job as an angel, pausing occasionally for a conversation with his fellow angel Cassiel (Otto Sander, whose face is utterly fascinating).

Damiel falls for a trapeze artist named Marion (Solveig Dommamartin) and decides he wants to create his own “story,” one way or another. Shortly after the half-way point, Damiel and Peter Falk (playing himself, in town to film a movie), share a pivotal moment, and in that one hilariously brilliant twist, and the film catapults into motion, racing towards its inevitable, sweet conclusion.

Wings of Desire is available from the Criterion Collection on DVD and Blu-Ray — and, you can stream it through Netflix.