Very Secret Movie club ratings

movie rating
The Child 4/5
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie 4/5
The Son's Room 3.5/5
Stranger Than Paradise 3/5
Dancer in the Dark
ChungKing Express
Happy Together3.5/5
My Blueberry Nights
Wild at Heart4/5
Summer Hours2/5
Blue Velvet
Inland Empire

Sunday, September 7, 2008

"l'enfant": Review

It is interesting how our latest movie choices had been so different. "The Discreet Charm of Bourgeoisie" was a film in Surrealist style that emerges from imagination and "The child" a movie in Neo-Realism which is based on true life. It was only after looking at a brief description of Neo-Realism that the questions and concerns we had about the long shots and real time events, lack of soundtrack, and documentary style of the film made sense to me. I have found a review by "Eye for Film" on "l'enfant" very interesting. Here is a piece taken from the review:

"The Child may begin with the sound of a baby crying, but it is Bruno's tears with which it concludes, and it is his childishness, more than anything else, to which the film's title alludes, even if by the end he has undergone a certain coming of age...

A plain style is the hardest to sustain for the duration of a feature film, but the Dardennes have managed to concoct an engaging and often suspenseful drama without ever calling upon fancy camerawork, sensational performances, or even so much as a musical score. Such artfully low-key naturalism, combined with the protagonist's willful criminality, a thematic obsession with monetary exchange and a grimly redemptive ending, points to Robert Bresson's Pickpocket (1959) and L'Argent (1983); but unlike so many other pretenders to Bresson's throne, the Dardennes prove to be a match for the great French auteur, conjuring an underworld that is both real and allegorical, where the passage from childhood to adulthood is traced in the choices that characters make and the responsibilities that they come to accept." - Eye For Film

Here is a definition of neo-realism from wikipedia:

"In cinema and in literature, neorealism is a cultural movement that brings elements of true life in the stories it describes, rather than a world mainly existing in imagination only.The movement was developed in Europe, primarily after the end of World War II.

Neorealism is characterized by a general atmosphere of authenticity. Andre Bazin, a French film theorist and critic, argued that neorealism portrays: truth, naturalness, authenticity, and is a cinema of duration. The necessary characteristics of neo-realism in film include:
  • a definite social context;
  • a sense of historical actuality and immediacy;
  • political commitment to progressive, even violent, social change;
  • authentic on-location shooting as opposed to the artificial studio;
  • a rejection of classical Hollywood acting styles; extensive use of non-professional actors as much as possible;
  • a documentary style of cinematography. "


Massieh said...

Thanks! This clears up many things.

Siamack said...

Thanks for your wonderful post. I believe this is a very good direction to go, I post one for surrealism.

Tara said...

Another interesting Review is The Guardian: