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Friday, February 13, 2009

What We Like: JC's Favorites

 The Battle of Algiers (La Battaglia di Algeria)
If there was ever a “Down with the man!” movie this is it. Written by an Algerian freedom fighter. Filmed on location, guerrilla style, by Italian filmmakers. Banned in France for its depiction of torture. Caused riots, which burned down theaters, when it finally premiered in Paris. And rumor has it that it is still used by the government to study a terrorist mind.The Battle of Algiers speaks a universal truth: nothing is black&white, not even old movies. Pontecorvo narrates his story through two main characters, a French colonel in charge of putting down the resistance movement and an Algerian street boy who becomes a leader of the Algerian liberation. He gives equal attention to both sides of the coin, giving the film strength not in the movies neutrality but in the passions of both sides.

The Dreamers (Les Innocents / I Sognatori)
If there was ever a coming of age story this is it. Lost and Delirious and Almost Famous get pretty close but neither truly captures the confusion, particularly the sexual confusion, which drowns us all during our teenage years. Bertolucci sets his story in a Paris dreamed up by three young cinefil├ęs. Dreamed up because three fourths of the movie is set inside an apartment and we only get what is going on out there from what the characters believe is going out there. ButThe Dreamers is much more than that; it is the story of a long forgotten dream about a world in which love, movies, and love for movies could truly inspire change and progress. As a cinefile, I can only regret such dreams never came true. I figure it’s because those in charge don’t get much of either. And as someone freshly out of the teens I can only hope that our generation will one day choose to follow these long forgotten dreams.
Bertolucci is a master painter of cinema and I genuinely recommend this film for all lover’s of film.

Shakespeare In Love
The fiery love story behind the fiery love story we all know about. With lots of theater humor and infinite rewatchability. Even though it won multiple awards this film is nothing but a guilty pleasure. 

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