Daisies (Vera Chytilova) ***1/2 - I've heard this film being praised several times and its director recently passed away so now's the time for me to check it out. As I expected it's a strange surreal film which eschews traditional narrative for a series of strange. cinematically playful vignettes involving two young, somewhat kooky women, many of it involving food of somekind. I don't claim to know what it all means exactly but I'm thinking it's an anti-bourgeous film of some sort. It's not for all tastes but it's a definite must-see for any student of film and for the cinematically adventurious.
The Bitter Tea of General Yen (Frank
Capra) **** - Who knew Frank Capra had it in him? You know him for doing stuff
like It's a Wonderful Life and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. This is a dark,
tragic strange love story between a white Christian missionary woman and
genocidal Chinese general (played in yellow face by a white actor). The
politically correct among us might not get past the of-its-time blatant racism
of the film. However in its own strange way, it is also kind of daring, humane
and even sort of progressive. It manages to be a heartbreaking, moving love
story in its own really odd way. I know it's not a popular opinion but this
might be my favorite Frank Capra film to date.
NOTE: I'm gonna be on vacation next week so I might not be able to post my weekly-round-ups as scheduled! It might be earlier or it might be later.