Sunday, 25 April 2010

(500) Films of Empire - Day 221

410 - A Hard Day's Night - 2 stars
Probably the greatest movie ever made if you are a die hard Beatles fan but for me I found it all a bit self-indulgent.
The fab four take the train on their way to play a gig that will be on TV and that is about as much plot as you will find in this excuse for them to muck about for 90 minutes while Wilfred Brambell (aka Steptoe) turns up and gurns every now and again.
Musical numbers are inserted every now and again but at least they are not shoehorned in as clumsily as in Mamma Mia!
What is undeniable however was the on-screen charisma of John Lennon. He was a joy to watch, the rest not so much!

329 - The Lives Of Others - 4 stars
The film that I thought initially robbed Pan's Labyrinth of the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, but upon seeing it, the merit is probably justified although difficult to truly compare such different films.
Another terrific German film dealing with a period of history that could be difficult for some to revisit. It involves the secret police in East Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall. Specifically an interrogator known as HGW/X77 who is assigned to spy on a German writer and his girlfriend, suspected of writing pro-Western literature.
While his own life is empty, notable in the lack of stuff in his flat that he hardly visits; use of prostitutes, etc. He lives through the preverbial lives of others by influencing the fate of the two people under his watch.

Days remaining - 144 Films remaining - 180

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