Wednesday, December 16, 2009

There goes my weekend...

Just cataloged a stack of five DVDs for our collection, and three of them demand to be taken home and given attention, promising to keep me glued to the screen and unmoving for several hours.

Our Man in Havana [imdb] - This 1959 film features dark humor and noir sensibilities, and was written by Graham Greene and directed by Carol Reed. The story is that of an English vacuum salesman living in Cuba who accepts work as a spy in order to support his daughter's expensive habits. His work as a spy is unsuccessful, so he fabricates intelligence, which makes him the most valued agent in Her Majesty's service and a target for the local authorities.

Phorpa (aka The Cup) [imdb] - In a Buddhist monastery in India, two young Tibetan refugees want to watch the World Cup, but are unable to do so in the nearby village. Young students lead the drive to rent a television in order to watch the soccer match, while the monks struggle to merge this clashing culture with the teachings of Buddha.

Uc Maymum (aka Three Monkeys) [imdb] - A Turkish neo-noir with a familiar story, but filmed with beautiful shots and colors. The opening sequence grabbed me--the camera follows a car driving down a narrow, tree-lined road at night. The camera stops and we watch the car continue down the road, seeing nothing but the increasingly smaller space illuminated by its lights. The car rounds a bend, and due to the thick forest sprouting from the shoulders of the road, the car and light disappears--and then we hear the fateful noise that sets the story in motion. Too cool.

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