Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt
swashbuckler332

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Capsule Reviews of Recent Viewings

Butterfly

I am unable to locate this film in the Internet Movie Database, but I assure you it does exist, and my Blockbuster has it on both DVD and VHS.

A beautifully photographed and lusciously scored Spanish film that is ostensibly a coming-of-age story (with the exception of Stand By Me, I am hard-pressed to think of an American coming-of-age film done a third as well as a European one), the film eventually reveals that it is really about what was lost when the Fascists took over Spain.

There are wonderful performances in this film, the stand-outs being a kindly teacher and the protagonist's father, who has a scene at the end that is heartbreaking. I am unable to credit them as I have already returned the DVD.


The Devil's Backbone

Since I found Butterfly so entertaining, I figured I'd check out another youth-oriented Spanish picture. This ghost story is okay. There are several moments that are genuinely chilling, although the antagonist's true identity will be apparent to the viewer immediately.

The special effects are absolutely fantastic (the manifestation of the ghost is quite inspired) and because Europeans have a more take-no-prisoners attitude about horror films, you have no idea who is going to die.


The Virgin Suicides

After having seen the quietly brilliant Lost In Translation, I figured I'd check out Sophia Coppola's critically acclaimed first feature.

Five beautiful teenage daughters raised in an extremely repressed household begin to start killing themselves, much to the chagrin and curiousity of the neighborhood boys. Although this doesn't sound like it is the plot of a yuckfest, there is quite a lot of humor in the film. Coppola walks the fine line between the whimsical and the profound.

That said, I found a certain smugness in The Virgin Suicides that wasn't present in Lost In Translation. I don't know what, specifically, gave me that impression (I'm usually much better at pinpointing stuff like that), but it definitely bothered me while watching the film.
Tags: cinema, reviews
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