771 posts categorized "FIVE STARS"

July 01, 2024

THE OLD OAK — CANNES 2023

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ColeSmithey.com

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does. This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel. Punk heart still beating.

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ColeSmithey.comCurrently at age 88, Ken Loach is a senior statesman of Socialist Cinema. It's questionable as to whether or not "The Old Oak" will be his final film.

As such, "The Old Oak" arrives with a palpable sense of import.

Working with his longtime screenwriter Paul Laverty, Ken Loach gives us a great litmus test of a movie to guide minds toward communal understanding and mutual support.

ColeSmithey.com

Still, "The Old Oak" will not do much for the tourism trade in North East England's County Durham.

Bitter and nasty right-wingers openly attack Syrian refugees brought by social workers into their neighborhood.

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Scripted with Paul Laverty's reliable ear for accurate dialogue, "The Old Oak" is special film that fits well beside other Ken Loach/Paul Laverty masterpieces as "Carla's Song," "Ae Fond Kiss," and "The Wind That Shakes The Barley."

Communities are only as good as their infrastructure.

ColeSmithey.com

Socialism is everywhere you look.

Paved streets, street lights, sidewalks, bridges, plumbing and running water, are all socialist constructs.

Getting your head out of your ass is just the first step toward a better world.

"The Old Oak" is a fine place to start.

Not Rated. 113 mins.

5 Stars

Cozy Cole

ColeSmithey.com

IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE — CANNES 2000

ColeSmithey.com Welcome!  

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does. Punk heart still beating.

This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon.

Thanks a lot acorns!

Your kind generosity keeps the reviews coming!

ColeSmithey.com

 

ColeSmithey.com

Where Secrets Are Kept

Wong Kar Wai Tells All

By Cole Smithey

ColeSmithey.com"That era has passed. Nothing that belonged to it exists anymore."

Wong Kar Wai's masterpiece of romantic longing, emotional expression, unrequited love, and unresolved jealousy, is a cinematic poem that stretches across time and Asian social barriers.

The film's indisputable beauty radiates with a burning glow that emanates from its charismatic lead actors, Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung. 

Set in Hong Kong, circa 1962, shared experience of wounded romantic repression plays out between neighbors whose spouses are sharing an affair.

ColeSmithey.com

The Korean War rages distant to our would-be lovers. Love is always an escape from loneliness.

A mutual decision to play out an imagined version of their spouse's affair, gives way to a simmering erotic tension barely masked by gesture, habit, and style.

Formality, dignity, and respect are unwritten rules of the couple's sexless romantic game of curiosity.

ColeSmithey.com

Every atmosphere is furtive.

Secrets are kept.

Erotically tinged gemstone colors explode in carefully crafted set designs and wardrobe elements that bleed off smoke from the burning chemistry between Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung.

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Hollywood should be jealous, very jealous.

By this standard, Hollywood knows nothing of nuance.

The early '60s political and economic atmosphere of Hong Kong informs the way that Wong Kar Wai's iconic couple interact.

Public appearances are kept up.

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Erotic sparks can ignite from a spoonful of mustard shared at a restaurant table.

Lust is secondary, but just barely.

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The intimate negotiation that transpires between our star-crossed lovers takes place in an aura of negative space where things such as wallpaper designs and dress patterns set boundaries of sexual restraint.

There is a BDSM undertow to the couple's interactions. Theirs is a private code told in silences, and muted responses that no lie detector could catch.

ColeSmithey.com

Although the film's ending feels rushed, it speaks to the audience as a cauterizing effort at mirroring the disjointed fragmentation of quickly passing time and far lost promise.

Epochal change has come.

Memories are lasting, especially when the romantic stakes are so deep.

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The film's impeccable soundtrack places the characters in an era of Big Band music whose standards fueled a utopic atmosphere of charm, class, and romantic connection.

You'll be humming Nat King Cole's version of "

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"In The Mood For Love" was an instant classic when it premiered at Cannes in 2000. It remains Wong Kar Wai's finest cinematic achievement.

In the words of Lou Reed, "you're over the hill, right now."

Relax, the romantic pressure is over.

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Memories are all that's left in a lover's memory box.

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Tear up the letters; they don't prove anything.

Keep your secrets.

Rated PG. 98 mins.

5 Stars

Cozy Cole

ColeSmithey.com

June 16, 2024

WORKING GIRLS — THE CRITERION COLLECTION

Welcome!

ColeSmithey.com

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does. This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel. Punk heart still beating.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon.

Thanks a lot acorns!

Your kind generosity keeps the reviews coming!

ColeSmithey.com

 

ColeSmithey.comLizzie Borden's third film, behind "Regrouping" (1979) and "Born In Flames" (1983), is a perfect chamber-piece of neo-realist social satire.

The film's feminist trappings of an '80s era Manhattan brothel provides the frame for a piercing commentary on the effects of American capitalism on women.

"Working Girls" could easily be adapted to be a modernday Broadway play.

ColeSmithey.com

It would be a sensation for its timeless qualities of social, sexual, and economic truth.

ColeSmithey.com

Molly (Louise Smith), a professional photographer, lives with her lesbian girlfriend when she isn't working as a sex worker in a Manhattan brothel run by a domineering madam.

ColeSmithey.com

"Have you ever heard of surplus value?"

That theme line shoots like a sharp political dart when a character speaks it.

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“All workers create more value at work than they receive in wages. The extra surplus value goes into the boss’s pocket as profit.”

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Surplus value is "the surplus produced over and above what is required to survive, which is translated into profit in capitalism. Since the capitalist pays a laborer for his/her labor, the capitalist claims to own the means of production, the worker's labor-power, and even the product that is thus produced."

Female hands hold cups of coffee, count money, and remove cum-filled condoms.

ColeSmithey.com

Everyone chisels; there is no place to hide.

Not Rated. 93 mins.

5 Stars

Cozy Cole

ColeSmithey.com

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