Nothing Is Invisible

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Posts Tagged ‘2007’

The Counterfeiters – Oscar for Best Foreign Film (2007)

Posted by the editors on Saturday, 24 December 2011

The Counterfeiters (2007)  Directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky starring Karl Markovics and others.  Based on the story of Operation Bernhard, a Nazi plan to flood the market with counterfeit British Pounds; the counterfeiting is done by Jewish prisoners in a Nazi concentration camp.  The excellent acting by Markovics, portraying fascinating and complex Salomon “Sally” Sorowitsch, a counterfeiter before the war, is fundamental in the success of The Counterfeiters.  The film tries very hard to ask the questions “How much cooperation with evil is justified in the name of survival?  How can the imperative to stay alive compete with the obligations to help others, and to oppose injustice?”, as A.O. Scott put it in The New York Times, and mostly succeeds thanks to the diversity of ideologies and personal morality embodied by the group of prisoners working on Operation Bernhard.  Nevertheless, one could be somewhat perturbed by the individualisation of the Nazi menace: there are and always have been sadistic individuals; Nazism was, on the other hand, a wide-spread, profoundly organised terror, and this is less apparent in the film, though it is, in fact, the very reason the above questions needed to be posed.  Having said that, The Counterfeiters, winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2007, is an excellent film, though perhaps a bit average in its purely cinematic qualities, the situation portrayed is complex and moving, the acting, in general, is very good and the end result is a serious drama with more than a touch of a thriller, that is well worth watching. (PR)

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Divisadero by Michael Ondaatje

Posted by the editors on Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Divisadero (2007)(Novel)  by Michael Ondaatje (Coming Through Slaughter (1976)The English Patient (1992), Anil’s Ghost (2000), The Cat’s Table (2011))   Divisadero, Booker Prize-winning author Ondaatje’s fifth novel, published four years before his latest, The Cat’s Table (2011), is an oft’ poetic tapestry woven of nature and the threads, tangled, dangled, worn and broken, of human ties: familial, choice, chance, coincidence, love…   Divisadero, is a street in San Francisco one of the principal characters says, semi-truthfully, she is from, and says, further, that it comes from a word meaning division and also to see from afar…and this is what Divisadero, the novel, is about: truths, semi-truths, perceptions divided, rewoven, and all seen, partially, through rain or mist,  in varying light, and from afar.  (PR)

See our posts on Michael Ondaatje’s novels, Coming Through Slaughter, and the Booker Prize for Fiction-winning The English Patient.

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Posted in Book Reviews, Books, General, Literature, Nothing Is Invisible, nothingisinvisible | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Love in the Time of Cholera – Starring Javier Bardem

Posted by the editors on Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Love in the Time of Cholera (2007)  Directed by Mike Newell (Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994), Donnie Brasco (1997), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2006)), starring Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men (2007), Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008), Biutiful (2010), Eat Pray Love (2010))Benjamin Bratt (Traffic (2000))Giovanna MezzogiornoFernanda Montenegro and others.  The film, Love in the Time of Cholera, is, of course, based on the eponymous novel (1985) by the Nobel-prize-winning author Gabriel Garcia Marquez, whose 100 Years of Solitude (1967) introduced so many to the wonders of Magic Realism.  In his novel, Love in the Time of Cholera, however, Garcia Marquez has toned down the fantastical elements (a bit) and has opted for a treatise on the many forms and mysteries of love, from the brute fugue to the capital L, and yet his writing is no less superb, inspired and, yes, magical.  Unfortunately, Mike Newell’s film, Love in the Time of Cholera, despite a commendable effort by the enormously talented actor Javier Bardem, and sumptuous locations, is a leaden thing, a series of scenes missing all the essential life at the heart of Garcia Marquez’ magnificent novel. Yes, and all the magic.(PR)

See our post on the film No Country for Old Men, starring Javier Bardem.

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American Gangster – Starring Russell Crowe & Denzel Washington

Posted by the editors on Monday, 28 November 2011

American Gangster (2007)(DVD) Directed by Ridley Scott (Blade Runner (1982), Thelma & Louise (1991), Gladiator (2000), Robin Hood (2010)), starring Russell Crowe (A Beautiful Mind (2001), State of Play (2009)) and Denzel Washington (Glory (1989), Training Day (2001), Inside Man (2006)), with Josh Brolin (In the Valley of Elah (2007), No Country for Old Men (2007), Milk (2008), Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010)), Ruby Dee (A Raisin in the Sun (1961), Do the Right Thing (1989)), John Hawkes (excellent in Winter’s Bone (2009)), Cuba Gooding Jr. (As Good as It Gets (1997), Pearl Harbor (2001)) and others.  A crime drama, based loosely on the life of Frank Lucas, a large-scale Harlem drug dealer in the late 1960s and early 70s.  Aside from questions of historical veracity, after all the film is not a documentary, American Gangster is a consummate work:  The acting is excellent on the part of virtually all the cast, Ridley Scott’s directing is superb, the care taken in the set and context design is close to perfect, the writing is sharp, the music apt.  The screenplay, written by Stephen Zaillian, after many workings over by others, fascinates in its details and in its counterpoint between good, evil, morality, family and isolation, temptation and determination.  American Gangster is an excellent film that merits watching, and owning, and is all the more interesting in repeat viewings. (PR)

See our posts on State of Play, with Russell Crowe, In the Valley of ElahNo Country for Old Men, and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps with Josh BrolinWinter’s Bone with John Hawkes and As Good as It Gets with Cuba Gooding Jr.

We recommend that you buy your DVDs and Blu-ray Disks.  Create a great personal film library..  Here are links to amazon.com:

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In the Valley of Elah – Starring Tommy Lee Jones, Charlize Theron & Susan Sarandon

Posted by the editors on Wednesday, 23 November 2011

In the Valley of Elah (2007)(DVD)  Written and directed by Paul Haggis (as screenwriterMillion Dollar Baby (2004), Flags of Our Fathers (2006), Letters from Iwo Jima (2006), Casino Royale (2006), Quantum of Solace (2008)), starring Tommy Lee Jones (The Fugitive (1993), The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005), No Country for Old Men (2007) and many others)Charlize Theron (Monster (2003), North Country (2005), Hancock (2008), The Burning Plain (2009), The Road (2009))Susan Sarandon (The Witches of Eastwick (1987), Thelma & Louise (1991), The Lovely Bones (2009), Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010)), Josh Brolin (No Country for Old Men (2007), W. (2008), Milk (2008), True Grit (2010)) and others.  In the Valley of Elah, a somber, complex and powerful film, portrays a veteran and father’s search for the murderers of his soldier son, and deals with issues such as the war in Iraq, post-traumatic stress disorder, racism, misogyny, and violence.  Tommy Lee Jones is excellent, rigid, harsh, cold, determined, Charlize Theron, as a police detective, is equally good, sober, human, perseverant, overwhelmed.  Susan Sarandon, in a smaller role, as the wife of Jones’s character and mother of the murdered soldier is very good, detached, distraught, lost; Josh Brolin, in a very small role as Theron’s character’s police superior, is, if briefly, perfect.  In the Valley of Elah is not an easy film, and includes some graphic, gruesome scenes in its portrait of alienated, morally lost Americans. (PR)

See our posts on the films The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada and No Country for Old Men, with Tommy Lee Jones, and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, with Susan Sarandon.

We recommend that you buy your DVDs and Blu-ray Disks.  Have a great personal film library..  Here are links to amazon.com:

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