Showing posts with label second run films. Show all posts
Showing posts with label second run films. Show all posts

26 September 2012

Casa De Lava DVD Review

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Casa de Lava (called Down to Earth on it’s US relase) is a film made by noted Portuguese filmmaker Pedro Costa. It was his 2nd film and a very loose remake of Val Lewton/Jacques Tourneur’s I walked with a Zombie. It stars Isaah de Bankolé best known to western audiences with his many collaborations with Jim Jarmusch with films such as The Limits of Control and Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai.

The plot is basically an immigrant worker Leaõ in Portugal falls into a coma. A young depressed nurse Mariana has to get Leaõ back to his home in the volcanic Cape Verde islands. Nobody is willing to claim Leaõ and so this stuck on the island. She starts interacting (partly in hope of finding a relative) with the strange locals and is drawn into mysterious community of the volcanic island. She starts a relationship that never goes anywhere with a local, she seems to be more and more connected to Leaõ. Leaõ also eventually wakes up but is just a stranger in his own land. Many of the inhabitant’s wishes to make the journey to Portugal out of financial need because of Portugal’s colonisation of the island.

My biggest problem with the film is I just wish it were a total zombie film and not try be a zombie film without zombies. The Zombie film was always political and yes the people are of the island are kinda zombies and dead in a way. It however would have been more enjoyable if they were actual zombies. There are numerous shots of the volcanoes that are beautiful but they linger and linger and just bored the hell out of me eventually.

It has an interesting film about the colonisation of islands in Africa by the Portuguese in it for about 20 minutes. It however left be cold and I didn’t care at all about the characters, it left me unengaged with the characters. It was all done very realistically and I would have preferred a supernatural twist (instead of the metaphorical zombie), which Costa originally planned to do, as evident on the bonus interview on the Second Run DVD.

Ian Schultz

DVD Re-release Date: 24th September 2012(UK)
Directed by: Pedro Costa
Cast: Inês de Medeiros, Isaach De Bankolé, Edith Scob, Pedro Hestnes
Buy Casa De Lava: DVD[1994]

13 September 2012

Innocent Sorcerers DVD Review

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is the first non-War film Andrzej Wajda did coming soon after his much-celebrated War Trilogy in the 1950s and the much lesser known Lotna (which is also a war film). It was a radical departure from his previous WW2 films, it was then contemporary film about young people in Warsaw.

The film tells the story of a young mod (in the original sense, young person who listens to Modern Jazz) called Andrzej (played by
Tadeusz Łomnicki) who is a physician who is a bit of playboy. He plays drums in a jazz band on the side. He is getting fed up of his film sexual successes. He meets a lovely young girl and they spend the night at his place talking, it has obvious sexual tension though out the night.  The film was supposedly more the brainchild of the screenwriter Jerzy Skolimowski much more so they Wajda. It’s very much a part of the overall 60s new wave of cinema, every country pretty much had their own and Poland certainly had it’s with most famously Roman Polanski (who has a bit part), Wajda and others.

It’s a “room film” where 2 people talk for 84 minutes about life. It’s a perfectly good “room” film; I just wish something slightly more dramatic happends. They play a stripping game and have a very long mundane conversation over the night. The stripping scene is very played but the most exciting scenes are of Andrzej hanging around with his band mates and friends talking crap. You can understand why he enamoured with the girl but besides the brilliant tension of the stripping scene, it’s rather bland. The performances are good, it’s well shot but I kinda left me cold. It also features a small role from Zbigniew Cybulski who was the star of his film Ashes & Diamonds and was the Polish James Dean. I did like it but compared to something like the masterful aforementioned Ashes & Diamonds it’s much a lesser work. It’s an interesting film to watch it comparison to other countries’ attempt at doing a very similar thing but The French did it a lot better. It has been beautifully restored by Second Run, it’s available separately or part of the Polish Cinema Classics boxset.

Ian Schultz

DVD Re-Release date:10th September 2012(UK)
Directed by: Andrzej Wajda
Cast:Tadeusz Lomnicki, Krystyna Stypulkowska, Wanda Koczeska, Roman Polanski