Monday, March 01, 2010

LA CHAMBRE DES MAGICIENNES (2001, Claude Miller, A+++++)

LA CHAMBRE DES MAGICIENNES (2001, Claude Miller, A+++++),

KILLED THE FAMILY AND WENT TO THE MOVIES (1969, Julio Bressane, A+++++),



BORDER CROSSING (2010, Apichart Pholprasert + Helen J. Stacey + Wendy Grace Allen, A+),


LITTLE BIG SOLDIER (2010, Sheng Ding, A+),
LA PASSION SELON DIDIER (2009, Lorenzo Gabriele, A+),
JULIE & JULIA (2009, Nora Ephron, A+/A),
L'ABBAYE DU REVOIR (2004, Jérôme Anger, A+/A),
BATAILLES (2008, Jean-Michel Ribes, A),
UP IN THE AIR (2009, Jason Reitman, A),
BREAK (2008, Jean-François Hassoun, B-),
TRUE LEGEND (2010, Yuen Woo Ping, C+)

What I love the most in LA CHAMBRE DES MAGICIENNES is the scene in which I think there will be a murder, but the murder doesn't happen. What happens is the opposite of murder. What happens is the human kindness. It surprises me a lot.

Though LA CHAMBRE DES MAGICIENNES seems to preach about kindness, generosity, charity, or something like that, I think the film does this thing in a very different way from A CHRISTMAS CAROL. The ending of LA CHAMBRE DES MAGICIENNES is also very great, because it does not affirm the family value. This characteristic makes LA CHAMBRE DES MAGICIENNES rise much higher above such films as A CHRISTMAS CAROL, THE FAMILY MAN (2000, Brett Ratner), or other films which teach us to be generous and love your family.

I also like the mental journey from "tortured feelings" to "happiness" experienced by the heroine in LA CHAMBRE DES MAGICIENNES. Somehow I can follow her mental journey. This is different from the mental journey in SHARA (2003, Naomi Kawase, A+). The characters in SHARA seem to be happy at the end of the film, but I can't follow their journey.

Having said that I can follow the mental journey in LA CHAMBRE DES MAGICIENNES doesn't mean that I can be as generous as the heroine in this film. If I were in the same situation as the heroine, I might not do the same thing as her.

Somehow I think UP IN THE AIR should be screened together with THE DEVIL, PROBABLY (1977, Robert Bresson, A+++++) and APRIL (1962, Otar Iosseliani, A+++++), because the differences between these films are the reasons why I don't like UP IN THE AIR that much. There's a dialogue in UP IN THE AIR which accidentally reminds me of the greatest dialogue in THE DEVIL, PROBABLY about what one will gain in one's lifetime. But while the characters in UP IN THE AIR still hold on to life, the character in THE DEVIL, PROBABLY doesn't.

The nearly-empty room of the hero in UP IN THE AIR accidentally reminds me of the nearly-empty room of the couple in APRIL, but UP IN THE AIR seems to portray the loneliness of the empty room, while APRIL seems to portray the true happiness of the empty room. UP IN THE AIR would rise much higher above APRIL, if the film chose to portray the true happiness of the empty room of a single, self-contented person.





Vespertine said...

i think the reason i didnt like Up in the Air is because it exploits the subject (people who dont have their job anymore). Who hurts more between Clooney or the woman who commits suicide? : (

initial A said...

I'd rather know why you don't like True legend

celinejulie said...


As for films dealing with people who are losing a job, I love WORK HARD, PLAY HARD (2003, Jean-Marc Moutout, A+). The scene in which a middle-aged woman tries to find a new job is heartbreaking.

celinejulie said...

@Initial A

I'm not sure why. Everything in TRUE LEGEND seems so false to me. It gives me the same kind of feelings as ONG BAK (C-), though TRUE LEGEND has a more handsome actor. That's why I gave TRUE LEGEND C+ instead of C-. Hahaha. I guess my hatred towards these two films may result partly from some macho, patriotic feelings found in both films. The characters in TRUE LEGEND seem to have no real souls, or they may have souls but I can't connect to them. Every character in TRUE LEGEND is so one-dimensional. Everything in it is so cliche.

It's hard for me to understand why I hate TRUE LEGEND but worship BODYGUARDS AND ASSASSINS (2009, Teddy Chan, A+++++). BODYGUARDS AND ASSASSINS may also be described as macho, patriotic, partly cliche. Some characters in BODYGUARDS AND ASSASSINS can be described as one-dimensional, but somehow there is a "real pain" or "real passion" I can feel in this film.

There's a small scene in LITTLE BIG SOLDIER which seems to represent what is lacking in TRUE LEGEND in my point of view. The scene which I love in LITTLE BIG SOLDIER is the scene in which Jacky Chan catches a rabbit and wants to eat it, but when he finds that the rabbit is pregnant, he decides to let it go, choosing to feel hungry instead of killing the poor, innocent animal. This scene in LITTLE BIG SOLDIER is so touching, so "human" for me. I found nothing like this in TRUE LEGEND.

celinejulie said...

This is my reply to Filmsick in Facebook:

I think KILLED THE FAMILY AND WENT TO THE MOVIES has the same kind of free, rebellious spirits found in DAISIES (1966, Vera Chytilová) and LA CHINOISE. The male character in KILLED THE FAMILY AND WENT TO THE MOVIES seems like a distant cousin of some male characters found in Nagisa Oshima or Shohei Imamura's films, because they are murderous maniacs, though the one in KILLED THE FAMILY AND WENT TO THE MOVIES is not as intense. I also like the opening scene of this film very much. It's the scene in which we see the faces of the two girls, unconnected to the story. It accidentally reminds me of the opening scene of BAXTER, VERA BAXTER (1977, Marguerite Duras), in which we see two shots of a woman, seemingly unconnected to the story.

Does KILLED THE FAMILY AND WENT TO THE MOVIES represent the spirit of the 1960's, while BAISE-MOI represents the spirit of the 1990's? Maybe not in the case of BAISE-MOI. I think BAISE-MOI represents the hell in one's soul, no matter in which era one lives. Does THE RAT HERB represent anything? I don't know. :-)