Tuesday, 8 June 2010

(500) Films of Empire - Day 266

148 - Z - 3 stars
An intriguing film about a political assassination conspiracy within an unnamed country.
It shows the effects from several different viewpoints like the wife, political party, police, etc and, unfortunately, the futility of trying to bring change and justice to a regime that is corrupt.

154 - Betty Blue - 3 stars
This film holds a very special place in my film viewing education. This was the first sex scene that I had seen in a movie... and what a sex scene it was. The opening shot of the film is a slow track in a couple having loud steamy sex and my introduction to what I considered to be the sexiest woman I'd ever seen, Beatrice Dalle (even inspite of the fact that she didn't shave her armpits).
If memory serves correctly, I was about 15 when I saw this late at night on Channel 4, possibly after an episode of Eurotrash.
(to get sidetracked for a moment, it reminds me of the scenario familiar to many young boys who have that first uncomfortable viewing of scenes of a sexual nature on the TV with their parents watching as well. Isn't it funny how the parents notice how uncomfortable it is for everyone and it is almost guaranteed that the kid's next birthday or Christmas that they will get a TV for their own room so they can watch stuff in private?!).
But enough about the sex and nudity (of which there is a lot, after all this is French), what about the actual film, is it any good?
I watched the version Integrale which was three hours long, and it takes it time to really focus in on the relationship between Zorg and Betty; a wannabe writer and his tempetuous, crazy muse.
Betty proves to be both the dream and nightmare girlfriend. The best fuck of your life but an insane, high maintenance girl.
There is a two hour version which is probably just as good but would change the context of the relationship as certain subplots and characters would likely disappear.

180 - To Kill A Mockingbird - 4 stars
Another film that was a first time watch and another film that I had misjudged from footage I had seen. I thought that it was all about the court case, like a 60's version of A Time To Kill.
But of course it was so much more, a tale more about a time and a place and attitudes within society, as Atticus Finch defends a black man against a charge of rape within a community in the deep South, and tries to provide a good example for his children.
Anchored by a towering performance by Gregory Peck, it is the children that prove the film's greatest strength, particulary the young girl who plays Scout.

94 - The Wild Bunch - 3 stars
By the films that I've viewed on the list so far there are two types of Western; the 'slow walk/ride off into the sunset', or the 'going down in a blaze of glory'. This film certainly falls into the latter category with squibs going off left, right and centre, slow motion deaths and even a Wilhelm scream for luck.

Days remaining - 99 Films remaining - 111

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