Wednesday, 4 August 2010

(500) Films of Empire - Day 324

178 - Hellzapoppin' - 4 stars
I honestly don't know how to describe what I have just seen, other than that I loved it.
It is a musical comedy that bends and breaks almost every cinematic convention there is. Not bad for a film made in 1941.
Within its lean 80 minute running time it spoofs Citizen Kane, the main characters talk to the audience and projectionist, they stop making one movie and the director convinces them to make another one, one with a love story instead, Frankenstien's Monster turns up and it features some amazing cutting techniques and special effects for its time.
It might be true that some of the humour will be a bit dated now, there is a lot of Vaudevillian humour (it was originally a Broadway production), but when it has a gag rate that is possibly as high as Airplane, even if some miss there will be enough hits that you are guaranteed to finish the film with a smile on your face.

169 - Viridiana - 3 stars
It forgoes the usual surrealism to be a more refined and accomplished product that the other Bunuel films on the list.
Probably the finest looking film Bunuel has made, it adds an ethereal beauty to this tale of a naive Nun who leaves religion behind to try and help less fortunate people, after her uncle tries to seduce her.
It is a film that can be interpreted many different ways whether it is a criticism of religion (at one point a group of beggers and lepers recreate the Last Supper) or maybe it is a criticism of mankind, in that deep down humanity is evil and we'll destroy each other.

Days remaining - 41 Films remaining - 40

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