Monday, September 25, 2006

Finally Motivated to Write In to Filmspotting

Sam and Adam
Long time listener, etc, etc.
I've been listening since the early days and this is one of my favourite
podcasts. I enjoy the reviews, the arguments, the hits, the misses...
The problem is that I'm usually a couple of weeks behind on listening to
the podcasts. So I may be a bit dated but since I only listened this
afternoon, here goes:

You're way off the mark on your Top Five Truly Moving Pictures list.
Forrest Gump? It still astounds me so many years on that a shallow
one-note performance - the cinematic equivalent of chopsticks - could
still be hailed as being so rich and layered. "It's not chopsticks! It's
a symphony," I keep hearing. How does this happen?

Ultimately, you missed some of the most powerful and tear provoking
movies in cinema...

5) Truly, Madly, Deeply. Juliet Stevenson loses her husband, Alan
Rickman, and is still seeking counselling to deal with the grief. Her
palpable anguish in the opening scene is real beyond any Hollywood
crying you've ever seen. When Rickman returns and eventually begins to
grate on her, bringing other ghosts home, watching footie all night, she
begins to spend more time out for a walk. She begins to get more
involved with Michael Mahony and move on with her life...The final scene
where it becomes clear that Rickman had intentionally pushed his
grieving wife away so she could live happily can and does bring a tear
to the eye. This is a movie that successfully strides back and forth
between tear-jerker and light comedy and never makes you think that it
was confused.

4) Immortal Beloved: Gary Oldman as Beethoven. Could've been bad. But it
turned out to be surprisingly powerful. And if you have a shred of
empathy you will feel the pain and anguish of Ludwig's loss. Seen it a
lot, will see it a lot. Sadly overlooked by most people.

3) The English Patient: One of the best books of the 20th century became
one of the most moving films. Helmed by Anthony Minghella, this film has
a longing and a sadness in every scene that builds to the final terrible
climax. The scene of Ralph Fiennes carrying Kristen Scott Thomas's body
from the desert cave tears up everyone who has tear ducts.

2) Quill: How can you describe this 2004 Japanese movie? It the story of
a yellow Labrador who is trained to be a guide dog. No cute kids, no
celebrity voice-overs, no anthropomorphizing. Just the story of a dog
who becomes a guide dog, lives 12 years and dies of old age. And if you
don't cry 5 times in the film, you wouldn't notice if I changed your
Visine for onion juice.

Grave of the Fireflies (Hotaru no Haka): Older film from Studio Ghibli
(Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi, Tonari no Totoro). This is a very
serious offering of two kids orphaned in the tail end of the Second
World War. It's cute and funny at times, but also powerful with a
downbeat ending that will have your neighbours listening to your sniffles.

That's my belated two-bits. Really looking forward to the next podcast.
See you two weeks after it.

The Eternal Gaijin
Lost Somewhere in Wandsworth, London

"Words Cannot Describe What I Am About To Tell You."

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