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1001 films you must see before you die Part XIV: 1990-1994

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XIV: 1990-1994

Mensaje  JM el Vie Dic 18, 2009 1:34 pm

839
Da hong deng long gao gao gua
(Raise the red lantern- Zhang Yimou, 1991)




Zhang Yimou (Ju Dou) directed this fascinating, visually formal 1991 film about an educated woman (Gong Li) who is sent off to become the newest wife of a feudal nobleman in 1920s China. Nearly isolated in his spooky, palatial home, she develops relationships with several of the other wives and slowly becomes aware of a hideous legacy of punishment toward more willful women. The film has a brittle and dry quality that is deliberate, but also suggestive of Zhang working through various explorations of his own style (which he resolved in his next film, The Story of Qiu Ju). Gong Li, one of the world's great actresses, is superb.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XIV: 1990-1994

Mensaje  JM el Vie Dic 18, 2009 1:39 pm

840
Guling jie shaonian sha ren shijian
(A brighter summer day- Edward Yang, 1991)




A Brighter Summer Day (Traditional Chinese: 牯嶺街少年殺人事件) is a nearly four-hour long, 1991 Taiwanese romantic drama film directed by Taiwanese director Edward Yang. The film is an extraordinarily large project for a Chinese-language film, not only for its duration of almost four hours, but also for its involvement of more than 100 amateur actors in different roles.
Based on a real incident that took place in the 1960s, where a teenager murders his girlfriend at Guling Street (牯嶺街), Taipei for unknown reasons. The film places this murder incident in the context of the obscure political environment in Taiwan at that time.
Even though the film is extraordinarily long in duration, it received much critical acclaim and now stands as one of the most successful and important Chinese-language films. The film was awarded several wins in Asia Pacific Film Festival, Kinema Junpo Awards and Tokyo International Film Festival.
Zhang Guozhu, Zhang Guozhu's son Chang Chen (which is his film debut) and Elaine Jin are cast in A Brighter Summer Day.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XIV: 1990-1994

Mensaje  JM el Vie Dic 18, 2009 1:44 pm

841
Naked lunch (David Cronenberg, 1991)




You are now entering Interzone, William S. Burroughs's phantasmagorical land of junk, paranoia, and crawly things. Best travel advice: "Exterminate all rational thought." In David Cronenberg's superbly shot, unnerving warp on the Burroughs novel, the novelist himself becomes a main character (played in an implacable monotone by Peter Weller), with elements from Burroughs' life--including the shooting of his wife during a "William Tell" game, and bohemian friends Kerouac and Ginsberg--added to frame the book's wild visions. This is, ironically, a somewhat rational approach to an unfilmable book (and it makes a hair-curling double bill with Barton Fink, another look at writerly madness, with both films sharing Judy Davis). Cronenberg is a natural for oozing mugwumps and typewriters that turn into giant bugs, of course. But in the end, this is really his own vision of the artistic process, rather than Burroughs's hallucinatory descent into hell.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XIV: 1990-1994

Mensaje  JM el Vie Dic 18, 2009 1:53 pm

842
La belle noiseuse (The beautiful troublemaker- Jacques Rivette, 1991)




La Belle Noiseuse is a thrilling and unconventional drama about the responsibility of an artist to his vision and the conflicts that arise when such responsibility is perceived as a threat to others. Michel Piccoli (Le Doulos) delivers one of his finest, most lived-in performances as Edouard Frenhofer, a famous painter living with his artist wife Liz (Jane Birkin) on a spacious estate in the French countryside. Frenhofer has lacked inspiration for a decade and has given up on painting. The idea behind his unfinished masterpiece, La Belle Noiseuse ("The Beautiful Troublemaker"), has been seemingly unattainable for a decade; Liz was the original model for it, and Frenhofer's exhaustion with the project has an emotional parallel to his dispassionate relationship with her.
Along comes a rising artist, Nicolas (David Bursztein), who suggests that his girlfriend, Marianne (Emmanuelle Béart), a writer, could help Frenhofer jumpstart the painting's completion. From this point, most of La Belle Noiseuse becomes a remarkable, seemingly unedited and privileged look at the development of a bond between artist and muse. Béart, fiercely brilliant, spends the majority of the film nude and continually molded into sometimes-painful positions as Frenhofer struggles--sketch after sketch, paint upon paint--to find something beyond the obviousness of Marianne's body. As the two struggle to meet each other halfway, Liz and Nicolas feel marginalized and jealous, putting pressure on Frenhofer to disregard such personal concerns or give in to them. Adapted by French New Wave master Jacques Rivette from a story by Honore de Balzac, the lengthy La Belle Noiseuse is fascinated by the artistic process; it is itself a patient process of watching ideas and aesthetic courage reveal themselves in the face of extraneous aversion.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XIV: 1990-1994

Mensaje  JM el Vie Dic 18, 2009 1:57 pm

843
The crying game (Neil Jordan, 1992)




The Crying Game offers a rare and precious movie experience. The film is an unclassifiable original that surprises, intrigues, confounds, and delights you with its freshness, humor, and honesty from beginning to end. It starts as a psychological thriller, as IRA foot soldier Fergus (the incomparable Stephen Rea) kidnaps a British soldier (Forest Whitaker) and waits for the news that will determine whether he executes his victim or sets him free. As the night wears on, a peculiar bond begins to form between the two men. Later, the movie shifts tone and morphs into something of a romantic comedy as Fergus unexpectedly becomes involved with the soldier's girlfriend Dil (Jaye Davidson) and discovers more about himself, and human nature in general, than he ever dreamed possible. Like Spielberg's E.T., The Crying Game was supposed to be director Neil Jordan's "little, personal movie," the one he just had to make, even though no studio was willing to give him money because the story was so unusual. Instead, it became a surprise popular sensation, thanks in part to Miramax's cleverly provocative campaign playing up the hush-hush nature of the movie's big secret. The performances (including Miranda Richardson as one of Fergus's IRA colleagues) are subtly shaded, and the writing and direction are tantalizingly rich and suggestive; you're always trying to figure out the characters' true motives and feelings--even when they themselves are fully aware of their own motives and feelings. The Crying Game is a wise, witty, wondrous treasure of a movie. Director Jordan's credits include Mona Lisa, Interview with the Vampire, Michael Collins, and The Butcher Boy.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XIV: 1990-1994

Mensaje  JM el Lun Dic 21, 2009 12:11 pm

844
C'est arrivé près de chez vous
(Man Bites Dog- Remy Belvaux & André Bonzel, 1992)




This Belgian satire is dark, dark, dark--but also right on the money in its sly sendup of the media's fascination with violence and its complicity therein. This mock documentary has a trio of filmmakers shooting a cinéma vérité feature about a garrulous serial killer who lets the film crew follow him around as he selects victims and then dispatches them. But at what point does filmmaking become participation? These hapless documentarians soon find out as their subject eventually pulls them into his world, including a gun battle with a rival film crew and their own criminal star. Gruesomely hilarious, with a deadpan wit that's hard to resist.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XIV: 1990-1994

Mensaje  JM el Lun Dic 21, 2009 12:16 pm

845
Yuen Ling-yuk (Center Stage- Stanley Kwan, 1992)




Centre Stage (Chinese: 阮玲玉; pinyin: ruǎn líng yù; Cantonese Yale: yun5 ling4 yuk6), also known as Actress and Yuen Ling-yuk, is a 1992 Hong Kong film, directed by Stanley Kwan.
The film is based on a true story: the tragic life of China's first prima donna of the silver screen, Ruan Lingyu. This movie chronicles her rise to fame as a movie actress in Shanghai during the 1930s. Actress Maggie Cheung portrayed Ruan in this movie.
Nicknamed the "Chinese Garbo," Ruan Lingyu began her acting career when she was 16 years old and committed suicide at age 24.
The film alternates between present scenes (production talks between director Kwan, Cheung, and co-star Carina Lau, interviews of witnesses who knew Ruan), re-creation scenes with Cheung (as Ruan, acting inside this movie), and extracts from Ruan's original films including her final two films The Goddess and New Women.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XIV: 1990-1994

Mensaje  JM el Lun Dic 21, 2009 12:22 pm

846
Conte d' hiver (A tale of winter- Eric Rohmer, 1992)




Conte d'hiver (A Tale of Winter) is a 1992 French film directed by Éric Rohmer, and starring Charlotte Véry, Frédéric van den Driessche and Michael Voletti. It is the second of Rohmer's Contes des quatre saisons (Tales of the Four Seasons), which also includes A Tale of Springtime (1990), A Summer's Tale (1996) and Autumn Tale (1998).
Second chapter of Rohmer's Tales Of The Four Seasons (before filming Winter's Tale he made Spring's Tale). This time the french director tells us the story of Felice, a girl in the search of her soul mate. Actually she had found him in some holidays, his name was Charles, and she got pregnant, but at the end of that summer of joy and love she gave him a wrong address... so she never saw his love again and couldn't locate him either. Five years after she's living in Paris, at her mother's house, with her daughter and she's going out with two different men, although she's not in love with none of'em. She can't love anyone but Charles. Will she ever find the lost love of her life? Does she believe in miracles? That's something we'll find out as we watch this Rohmer's film.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XIV: 1990-1994

Mensaje  JM el Lun Dic 21, 2009 12:43 pm

847
Aileen Wuornos: The selling of a serial killer (Nick Broomfield, 1992)




"We have evil in us, all of us do, and my evil just happened to come out because of the circumstances," said serial killer Aileen Wuornos in an interview conducted shortly before her execution in 2002. Director Nick Broomfield, in this sequel to his previous documentary Aileen Wuornos: The Selling of a Serial Killer, delves further into Wuornos's horrific childhood (including an interview with her biological mother) and follows the appeals process as her case goes through its final efforts. But the movie's core are the fascinating, devastating interviews with Wuornos herself, alternately lucid and delusional as she obsesses about the police, whom she believes allowed her murders to happen to increase the potential for profit from movies and books about the case. Anyone who's seen Monster, based on Wuornos's story, will find the real woman even more compelling and frightening than Charlize Theron's award-winning portrayal.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XIV: 1990-1994

Mensaje  JM el Lun Dic 21, 2009 12:46 pm

848
Unforgiven (Clint Eastwood, 1992)




Winner of four Academy Awards, including best picture, director, supporting actor, and best editing, Clint Eastwood's 1992 masterpiece stands as one of the greatest and most thematically compelling Westerns ever made. "The movie summarized everything I feel about the Western," said Eastwood at the time of the film's release. "The moral is the concern with gunplay." To illustrate that theme, Eastwood stars as a retired, once-ruthless killer-turned-gentle-widower and hog farmer. He accepts one last bounty-hunter mission--to find the men who brutalized a prostitute--to help support his two motherless children. Joined by his former partner (Morgan Freeman) and a cocky greenhorn (Jaimz Woolvett), he takes on a corrupt sheriff (Oscar winner Gene Hackman) in a showdown that makes the viewer feel the full impact of violence and its corruption of the soul. Dedicated to Eastwood's mentors Sergio Leone and Don Siegel and featuring a colorful role for Richard Harris, it's arguably Eastwood's crowning directorial achievement.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XIV: 1990-1994

Mensaje  JM el Lun Dic 21, 2009 12:49 pm

849
Romper stomper (Jeffrey Wright, 1992)




The burning intensity of Russell Crowe (L.A. Confidential) first lit up screens as a hate-filled, Mein Kampf-spouting skinhead in this brutal Australian drama. Crowe glowers from under his deep-set eyes as Hando, the creepy but charismatic leader of a racist gang who declares war on the Asian immigrants pouring into Melbourne. His rage erupts in violent attacks on the local Vietnamese community, but when his victims fight back his gang breaks up, and Hando flees the city with his best buddy Davey (Daniel Pollock) and redheaded hellion Gabe (Jacqueline McKenzie), a rich girl runaway who turns the dynamic duo into a splintered love triangle. Writer-director Geoffrey Wright's matter-of-fact treatment of this subculture eschews social commentary for visceral immediacy. His portrait of white supremacist punks living like squatters on the fringes of Australian society is powered by coiled anger and simmering frustration, which finds its outlet in brutal fights and murderous rampages (the intense violence earned the film an NC-17 rating). The lack of moral position may bother some people, especially in light of Wright's sympathetic treatment of particular members of Hando's racist army, and the cold, hate-driven violence is sometimes hard to watch, but his vivid characters and richly drawn world create a compelling drama for adventurous filmgoers.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XIV: 1990-1994

Mensaje  JM el Lun Dic 21, 2009 12:52 pm

850
Glengarry Glen Ross (James Foley, 1992)




Like moths to a flame, great actors gravitate to the singular genius of playwright-screenwriter David Mamet, who updated his Pulitzer Prize-winning play for this all-star screen adaptation. The material is not inherently cinematic, so the movie's greatest asset is Mamet's peerless dialogue and the assembly of a once-in-a-lifetime cast led by Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, and Alec Baldwin (the last in a role Mamet created especially for the film). Often regarded as a critique of the Reagan administration's impact on the American economy, the play and film focus on a competitive group of real estate salesmen who've gone from feast to famine in a market gone cold. When an executive "motivator" (Alec Baldwin) demands a sales contest among the agents in the cramped office, the stakes are critically high: any agent who fails to meet his quota of sales "leads" (i.e., potential buyers) will lose his job. This intense ultimatum is a boon for the office superstar (Pacino), but a once-successful salesman (Lemmon) now finds himself clinging nervously to faded glory. Political and personal rivalries erupt under pressure when the other agents (Alan Arkin, Ed Harris) suspect the office manager (Kevin Spacey) of foul play. This cauldron of anxiety, tension, and sheer desperation provides fertile soil for Mamet's scathingly rich dialogue, which is like rocket fuel for some of the greatest actors of our time. Pacino won an Oscar nomination for his volatile performance, but it's Lemmon who's the standout, doing some of the best work of his distinguished career. Director James Foley shapes Mamet's play into a stylish, intensely focused film that will stand for decades as a testament to its brilliant writer and cast.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XIV: 1990-1994

Mensaje  JM el Lun Dic 21, 2009 12:57 pm

851
Reservoir dogs (Quentin Tarantino, 1992)




Quentin Tarantino came out of nowhere (i.e., a video store in Manhattan Beach, California) and turned Hollywood on its ear in 1992 with his explosive first feature, Reservoir Dogs. Like Tarantino's mainstream breakthrough Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs has an unconventional structure, cleverly shuffling back and forth in time to reveal details about the characters, experienced criminals who know next to nothing about each other. Joe (Lawrence Tierney) has assembled them to pull off a simple heist, and has gruffly assigned them color-coded aliases (Mr. Orange, Mr. Pink, Mr. White) to conceal their identities from being known even to each other. But something has gone wrong, and the plan has blown up in their faces. One by one, the surviving robbers find their way back to their prearranged warehouse hideout. There, they try to piece together the chronology of this bloody fiasco--and to identify the traitor among them who tipped off the police. Pressure mounts, blood flows, accusations and bullets fly. In the combustible atmosphere these men are forced to confront life-and-death questions of trust, loyalty, professionalism, deception, and betrayal. As many critics have observed, it is a movie about "honor among thieves" (just as Pulp Fiction is about redemption, and Jackie Brown is about survival). Along with everything else, the movie provides a showcase for a terrific ensemble of actors: Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Steve Buscemi, Michael Madsen, Christopher Penn, and Tarantino himself, offering a fervent dissection of Madonna's "Like a Virgin" over breakfast. Reservoir Dogs is violent (though the violence is implied rather than explicit), clever, gabby, harrowing, funny, suspenseful, and even--in the end--unexpectedly moving. (Don't forget that "Super Sounds of the Seventies" soundtrack, either.) Reservoir Dogs deserves just as much acclaim and attention as its follow-up, Pulp Fiction, would receive two years later.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XIV: 1990-1994

Mensaje  JM el Lun Dic 21, 2009 1:02 pm

852
The player (Robert Altman, 1992)




A wicked satirical fable about corporate backstabbing--and actual murder--in the movie business, The Player benefits from director Robert Altman's long and bitter experience working within, and without, the Hollywood studio system. Rising young executive Griffin Mill (Tim Robbins) is tormented by threats from an anonymous writer. The pressure and paranoia build until Griffin loses control one night and semi-accidentally kills screenwriter David Kahane (Vincent D'Onofrio), who may or may not be the source of the threats. From that point, Griffin's life and career begin to fall apart. In keeping with the ironic spirit of the film itself, Altman's scathingly funny attack on the moral bankruptcy of Hollywood was embraced by many of the same people it was intended to savage, and restored the director to commercial and critical favor. Michael Tolkin adapted the screenplay from his own novel, and the movie is studded with cameos by famous faces, many of whom appear as themselves. The digital video disc includes a commentary track with Altman and Tolkin, some deleted scenes, a documentary about Altman, and a key to help identify more than 50 of the picture's big-name cameos.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XIV: 1990-1994

Mensaje  JM el Lun Dic 21, 2009 1:07 pm

853
Strictly ballroom (Baz Luhrmann, 1992)




While the plot of this Australian film may seem a bit familiar (The Ugly Duckling meets Dirty Dancing), the whimsical tone and superb dance sequences will make you forget the movie's predictability. Scott (Paul Mercurio) is a champion ballroom dancer who wants to dance "his own steps." Fran is the homely, beginning dancer who convinces Scott that he should dance his own steps... with her. Complicating matters are Scott's domineering mother (Pat Thompson), a former dancer herself, who wants her son to win the Australian Pan Pacific Championship (the same contest she lost years ago), and a conniving dance committee that is determined that "there are no new steps!" The dancing is enjoyable, yet not overwhelming, and the movie strives hard not to take itself too seriously (the beginning of the film is even styled as a pseudo-documentary). Strictly Ballroom, while not so subtly imparting its moral ("A life lived in fear is a life half-lived"), is a laughable romp that's sure to be a crowd pleaser.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XIV: 1990-1994

Mensaje  JM el Lun Dic 21, 2009 1:14 pm

854
The piano (Jane Campion, 1993)




Jane Campion's The Piano struck a deep chord (if you'll excuse the expression) with audiences in 1993, who were mesmerized by the film's rich, dreamlike imagery. It is the story of a Scottish woman named Ada (Holly Hunter), who has been mute since age 6 because she simply chose not to speak. Ada travels with her daughter Flora (Anna Paquin) and her beloved piano to a remote spot on the coast of New Zealand for an arranged marriage to a farmer (Sam Neill). She gives piano lessons to a gruff neighbor (Harvey Keitel) who has Maori tattoos on his face, and, well, things develop from there. The picture takes on a powerful dream logic that simply defies synopsis. It's a breathtakingly beautiful and original achievement from Campion, a unique stylist. The Piano won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival and Oscars for Hunt, Paquin, and Campion's screenplay.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XIV: 1990-1994

Mensaje  JM el Lun Dic 21, 2009 1:17 pm

855
Trois coleurs: Bleu
(Three Colours: Blue- Krzysztof Kieslowski, 1993)




The first installment of the late Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski's trilogy on Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity, the three colors of the French flag. Blue is the most somber of the three, a movie dominated by feelings of grief. As the film begins, a car accident claims the life of a well-known composer. His wife, played by Juliette Binoche (Oscar winner for The English Patient), does not so much put the pieces of her life back together as start an entirely new existence. She moves to Paris, where she dissolves into a wordless life virtually without other people. Kieslowski attaches an almost subconscious significance to the color blue, but primarily he focuses on Binoche's luminous face, and the way her subtle shifts in emotion flicker and disappear. The picture may be more enigmatic than the follow-ups White and Red, but Binoche's quiet, heartbreaking presence becomes spellbinding; her performance won the best actress prize at the Venice Film Festival in 1993.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XIV: 1990-1994

Mensaje  JM el Lun Dic 21, 2009 1:21 pm

856
Lan feng zheng (The blue kite- Tian Zhuangzhuang, 1993)




A refined, strong-minded political drama, all the more telling for being so quiet. The director, Tian Zhuangzhuang, is just the kind of casual satirist that the Chinese authorities could do without; the movie met fierce official resistance during postproduction, and Tian has now been banned from further filming. Here, he smiles at a country awash with banners and slogans, and makes you realize that opposition comes not from more of the same but from the bemused responses of provincial people too busy with their own lives to be led astray. The story begins, in 1953, with the death of Stalin, and lasts until 1967; in that time, a young boy named Tietou grows up and goes through three fathers, each of them laid low by persecution. Tietou may be a pain to his long-suffering mother, but his misbehavior is just the first stirring of a rebellious spirit. The movie seems clean and steady, a corrective to the lushness and extravagance that, for better or worse, has come to be seen as the house style of Chinese cinema.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XIV: 1990-1994

Mensaje  JM el Lun Dic 21, 2009 1:24 pm

857
Xi yan (The wedding banquet- Ang Lee, 1993)




This 1993 international hit by Ang Lee is a funny and poignant story of a gay, Taiwanese-American man who goes to some lengths to fool his visiting family that he's actually straight. The results are far more complicated and entertaining than anyone could have guessed. The film seems all the more rich now since Lee has become a major Hollywood director: that same sensitivity and mild bemusement he brought to such stories of manners as Sense and Sensibility and The Ice Storm in recent years are in full bloom in this earlier work.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XIV: 1990-1994

Mensaje  JM el Lun Dic 21, 2009 1:36 pm

858
Schindler's list (Steven Spielberg, 1993)




Steven Spielberg had a banner year in 1993. He scored one of his biggest commercial hits that summer with the mega-hit Jurassic Park, but it was the artistic and critical triumph of Schindler's List that Spielberg called "the most satisfying experience of my career." Adapted from the best-selling book by Thomas Keneally and filmed in Poland with an emphasis on absolute authenticity, Spielberg's masterpiece ranks among the greatest films ever made about the Holocaust during World War II. It's a film about heroism with an unlikely hero at its center--Catholic war profiteer Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson), who risked his life and went bankrupt to save more than 1,000 Jews from certain death in concentration camps.
By employing Jews in his crockery factory manufacturing goods for the German army, Schindler ensures their survival against terrifying odds. At the same time, he must remain solvent with the help of a Jewish accountant (Ben Kingsley) and negotiate business with a vicious, obstinate Nazi commandant (Ralph Fiennes) who enjoys shooting Jews as target practice from the balcony of his villa overlooking a prison camp. Schindler's List gains much of its power not by trying to explain Schindler's motivations, but by dramatizing the delicate diplomacy and determination with which he carried out his generous deeds.
As a drinker and womanizer who thought nothing of associating with Nazis, Schindler was hardly a model of decency; the film is largely about his transformation in response to the horror around him. Spielberg doesn't flinch from that horror, and the result is a film that combines remarkable humanity with abhorrent inhumanity--a film that functions as a powerful history lesson and a testament to the resilience of the human spirit in the context of a living nightmare.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XIV: 1990-1994

Mensaje  JM el Lun Dic 21, 2009 1:39 pm

859
Jurassic Park (Steven Spielberg, 1993)




Steven Spielberg's 1993 mega-hit rivals Jaws as the most intense and frightening film he'd ever made prior to Schindler's List, but it was also among his weakest stories. Based on Michael Crichton's novel about an island amusement park populated by cloned dinosaurs, the film works best as a thrill ride with none of the interesting human dynamics of Spielberg's Jaws. That lapse proves unfortunate, but there's no shortage of raw terror as a rampaging T-rex and nasty raptors try to make fast food out of the cast. The effects are still astonishing (despite the fact that the computer-generated technology has since been improved upon) and at times primeval, such as the sight of a herd of whatever-they-are scampering through a valley.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XIV: 1990-1994

Mensaje  JM el Lun Dic 21, 2009 1:50 pm

860
Hsimeng jensheng (The puppet master- Hou Hsio-Hsien, 1993)




The Puppetmaster (Chinese: 戲夢人生) is a 1993 Taiwanese film directed by Hou Hsiao-Hsien.
It tells the story of Li Tian-lu who becomes a master puppeteer but is faced with demands to turn his skills to propaganda during the Japanese occupation of Taiwan in World War II. This film is the second in Hou's trilogy of historical films that include A City of Sadness (1989) and Good Men, Good Women (1995).
The film won the Jury Prize at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XIV: 1990-1994

Mensaje  JM el Lun Dic 21, 2009 1:54 pm

861
Ba Wang Bie Ji (Farewell my concubine- Chen Kaige, 1993)




The panorama of 20th-century Chinese history swirls past two men, celebrated actors with their own decidedly specialized view of things. We first observe their lives as children at the Peking Opera training school, a brutal and demanding arena for future actors. While still in training, the effeminate Douzi is chosen to play the transvestite role and the masculine Shitou is chosen to play the royal role in a ritualized play about a king and a concubine. The actors are so good at this performance that they become identified with these roles for their entire careers; through World War II, through the takeover by the Communists, through the insanity of the Cultural Revolution, they are known for their famous parts. Leslie Cheung and Zhang Fengyi are powerful as the two men, and Gong Li (the beautiful leading lady of Raise the Red Lantern) plays the wife of the latter. The movie may be stronger on good old-fashioned melodrama than on profound conclusions, but boy, does it fill up the eyes. The director is Chen Kaige, one of the most talented members of China's "Fifth Generation" of filmmakers, whose daring subject matter (and sometimes bald international ambitions) have often irked the Chinese government. Indeed, though Farewell My Concubine shared the top prize at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival and snagged two Oscar nominations, it had difficulty gaining official approval from China.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XIV: 1990-1994

Mensaje  JM el Lun Dic 21, 2009 1:58 pm

862
Groundhog Day (Harold Ramis, 1993)




Bill Murray does warmth in his most consistently effective post-Stripes comedy, a romantic fantasy about a wacky weatherman forced to relive one strange day over and over again, until he gets it right. Snowed in during a road-trip expedition to watch the famous groundhog encounter his shadow, Murray falls into a time warp that is never explained but pays off so richly that it doesn't need to be. The elaborate loop-the-loop plot structure cooked up by screenwriter Danny Rubin is crystal-clear every step of the way, but it's Murray's world-class reactive timing that makes the jokes explode, and we end up looking forward to each new variation. He squeezes all the available juice out of every scene. Without forcing the issue, he makes us understand why this fly-away personality responds so intensely to the radiant sanity of the TV producer played by Andie MacDowell. The blissfully clueless Chris Elliott (Cabin Boy) is Murray's nudnik cameraman.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XIV: 1990-1994

Mensaje  JM el Lun Dic 21, 2009 2:00 pm

863
Short cuts (Robert Altman, 1993)




If aliens came down to earth to see if humanity was worth saving, showing them Short Cuts, Robert Altman's bluesy riff on life in L.A. in the '90s, would not be a good idea. Based on the stories of Raymond Carver (adapted by Altman and Frank Barhydt), this ambitious film is a devilish valentine to living in L.A., where happiness comes at a premium. There are at least eight separate stories that crisscross, most about people who choose not to relate to the lives they are living. Seemingly by design, none of the stories (nor the performances for that matter) have more impact than the others--this is a true mosaic film. The most representative plot deals with a group of friends (Buck Henry, Fred Ward, and Huey Lewis) who decide to keep fishing even after discovering a body in the river. The story works as a morose comedy and a flag holder for the movie: the inability to take the correct action. Others would rather talk about seeing Alex Trebek than discuss their faltering relationships. A huge and talented cast twists in the wind, bumping into moments of truth, sex, and passion. Some even come out all right in the end. The accidental nature of life--a common theme in many Altman films--has never been so maddeningly persistent, or absorbing. The score by Mark Isham with songs sung by Annie Ross (also a cast member) fuels the moodiness, as does the opening number in which Medfly helicopters spray the town to the tune "Prisoner of Life." Delivering the film a year after his biggest hit in two decades, The Player, Altman proved his artistic tenacity as an aged artist with the heart of a new filmmaker: he's not afraid of risking it all.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XIV: 1990-1994

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