Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Top 10 Films Seen in 2007 (4 of 5 parts)

The Battle of Algiers (1966)
Directed by Gillo Pontecorvo

It is said that George W. Bush and his administration watched this movie to prepare for the so-called War on Terror. It's really too bad that they probably did not read this film correctly. This is stirring, stunningly well-crafted docudrama about the revolution that freed Algeria from their French occupants. Unlike most films of this nature, this film does not take sides. Both good and bad elements exist in the two sides of the battle and you come to understand the point of view of each one. The film captures all these shades of grey (both literally and figuratively) in all their glory. A truly landmark film if there ever was one. (9/9)

Giant (1956)
Directed by George Stevens

I admit. I was hesistant to see this film at first. It's a 3-hour epic Hollywood love story that spans generations and I've already seen Gone With the Wind. But as it turns out, this film is no Gone With The Wind. It's something superior. Everything that a great Hollywood epic is here: A compelling story, well-drawn characters, great direction, cinematography, etc. The three leads, Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson and James Dean, are all outstanding (and totally makes up for the less-than-satisfactory age makeup they had on in the latter part of the film) and the great supporting cast compliments them well. (10/20)

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