Nothing Is Invisible

……….Cultural Kaleidoscopy………..

Posts Tagged ‘Elizabeth’

Babel – Starring Brad Pitt & Cate Blanchett, directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

Posted by the editors on Monday, 2 January 2012

Babel (2006)  Directed by Alejandro González Inarritu ( Amores perros (2000), 21 Grams (2003), Biutiful (2010)), starring Brad Pitt (12 Monkeys (1995), Burn After Reading (2008), Moneyball (2011)), Cate Blanchett (Elizabeth (1998), The Aviator (2004), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)), Gael García BernalKoji Yakusho, in an outstanding ensemble cast, written by Guillermo Arriaga (Amores perros (2000), 21 Grams (2004), The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005), The Burning Plain (2009)), with Academy Award-winning music by Gustavo Santaolalla (Brokeback Mountain (2005), Into the Wild (2007), Biutiful (2010)).  This drama, in which a tragic event links multiple interwoven story lines, two in Morocco, one in Japan, and one in California and Mexico, is the poignant story of north, south, east, west, parents, children, love, loss, anguish, trust, hope and tragedy. As befits its title, Babel is about language, of course, and its diversity; among the languages present in the film are English, Spanish, Japanese, Berber and sign language, and the diverse cultural and environmental contexts are wonderfully present through richly visual characterisations, from the vast, natural rugged terrain of Morocco to the dense, man-made mass of urban Japan, and through powerful and evocative sound and music.   The biblical story of Babel is, in a nutshell, that as punishment for trying to build a tower that would reach heaven, the human race was scattered over the face of the earth, dispersed, divided and unable to communicate.  And, in the film, communication is indeed very difficult, not only across languages and cultures but within them, between individuals.  However, through the powerful and sensitive use of close-ups, the exquisite writing and the purity of the acting on the part of virtually the entire cast, it is very much the case that, beyond words, or perhaps beneath them, human emotion is very much something we all share, we can all understand.  Children are extremely important in the film, from a lost child, to the two young Moroccan brothers, to the two young Americans brought to Mexico, to the distraught teenage Japanese girl so powerfully portrayed by Rinko Kikuchi; Inarritu has dedicated the film “To my children…the brightest of lights in the darkest night..”  Babel is not an easy film; it is filled with tragedy and near-tragedy, yet through its inspired writing, outstanding directing, humble and beautiful acting, it is a truly excellent film, contemporary and yet perhaps timeless, and most definitely a must-see.  And if you’ve already seen it, see it again, it is only that much richer an experience. (PR)

See our posts on the films Inglourious Basterds, starring Brad Pitt and The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, written by Guillermo Arriaga and directed by and starring Tommy Lee Jones.

We recommend that you buy your DVDs and Blu-ray Disks.  Have a great personal film library..  Here are links to (Amazon Instant Video, DVDs, and Blu-ray Disks, in that order, where available):

top image: Wikipedia

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Black Swan

Posted by the editors on Friday, 13 May 2011

The poster for the film shows Natalie Portman with white facial makeup, black-winged eye liner around bloodshot red eyes, and a jagged crystal tiara.

Black Swan theatrical release poster

Black Swan (2010) Directed by Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream (2000), The Wrestler (2008)); starring Natalie Portman (Mars Attacks! (1996), Star Wars, Episodes I-III (1999-2005), Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium (2007)), Vincent Cassel (Elizabeth (1998), Ice Age (2002) (voice only; French language version), Adrift (À Deriva) (2009)), Mila Kunis (Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves (1997), American Psycho 2 (2002), Max Payne (2008)), Barbara Hershey (Boxcar Bertha (1972), The Right Stuff (1983), Last of the Dogmen (1995)), and others.  A psychological thriller, as most have seemingly called it, Black Swan, from the trendily titillating lesbian affair (imagined or otherwise), to the heavy-handed pseudo-psychology, the boringly clichéd dialogue, to the monodimensional acting, the incoherent visual cinematics, to the lack of meaningful narrative, or other, evolution, can’t help but leave one surprised at the uncommon poverty of critical intellectual perception, wondering whose rose-tinted glasses were shared around, and one can only be dismayed by the apparent lack of “crowd-sourced” clarity.  Nonetheless, it seems that Aronofsky, Portman and Cassel haven’t hesitated to compare the film to any of a variety of Roman Polanski‘s films (including Repulsion (1965) for Aronofsky, and Rosemary’s Baby (1968) for Portman).  Even so, apart from the fact that Portman looks every day as old as her 28 (or 29) years (if not, let’s say, five years older) and as such seems a poor choice for the role of the young ballerina making it big, a quick comparison to previous “Best Actresses” is even more disheartening.  Natalie Portman?  Really? (PR)

See our post on the film The Other Boleyn Girl, starring Natalie Portman.

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

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