A poignant tale wrapped inside a sublimely unconventional western, Robert Altman’s 1971 McCabe & Mrs. Miller casts the unlikely idealist hero against the powerful push of corporate America, under heavy snow and thunderstorm rain and flying bullets and hot fire.
Leisurely paced and unafraid to let real life chaotic nuances interfere with the storytelling, Robert Altman’s masterpiece McCabe & Mrs. Miller will enthrall anyone ready and willing to run away from clichés and tired twists. The fact that the film is arguably its director’s masterwork says it all, since Altman made several great movies. Direction, photography, soundtrack and especially the performance of the two leads, makes this oddly superb film as perfect as it can get. Continue reading
A magical realist fable in the guise of a crime story, Pedro Almodóvar’s 2006 Volver packs three generations of resilient Spanish women – who happen to be vulnerable and delicate as well – in a poignant and mysterious tale of forgiveness, reconciliation and redemption.
The melodramatic tone of Volver (which means to return) and the labyrinthine nature of the plot do not subtract from the impact the film leaves on the audience. This world populated almost exclusively by women, who while harming other women, also take comfort in the affection of other strong women, is rich in symbolism, metaphors and subtle meanings. Because the story is played out as a mystery tale, the full significance of things, hinted at the start, will be revealed only at its operatic end. Continue reading
A masterpiece that distils Dostoyevsky, Nietzsche and Camus into its fascinating protagonist, Robert Bresson’s 1959 Pickpocket inhabits the nihilist universe of a man, whose lack of feelings goes beyond the pathological and for whom punishment seems futile as it is desirable.
In the films of Robert Bresson, where emotions are hard to be found, facial expressions are nonexistent and the approach to acting is stripped to a minimum, the eyes of the characters become our dramatic guides. Thus, actions have to be taken at face value (!!) As the contrast between speech and body language is partially nullified, viewers ought to search inside themselves for further confirmations of what is being presented to them. Who could be better then, than a Russian master to guide the tale of the pickpocket? Continue reading