Tears for Sale

Carlston za Ognjenku (Tears for Sale) (2008) – [rate 3.5]

Eastern European movies are in league of their own. Whenever I watch a movie from Chec(sp?), Polish, Russian or in this case Serbian movie, I get reminded that I should really plan a holiday to visit countries that have a culture so clearly separate (but no less interesting) from our own.

Tears for Sale has an exuberant, merry style – even though it is a movie about funeral wailers in a town where all men have been killed by war. It’s both serious and not at all serious and the crowded musical scenes and the whimsical characters reminded me of Hipsters. Most of the characters are stereotypical, but many scenes contain so many characters that it doesn’t matter and the plot certainly doesn’t suffer.

Recommended if you like the Eastern European style.

Waltz with Bashir

Waltz with Bashir (2008) – [rate 4.5]

In this animated documentary, Ari Folman makes very effective use of animation. It’s not just stylistic, though many of the scenes are sleek, colorful or even hallucinatory thanks to the style of animation that reminds me of woodcut prints and Flash animation. But by showing you scenes with extreme violence or under poor circumstances in stark animation, the movie takes away the grit and filth that would just detract from what is going on and why people are acting the way they are. Continue reading Waltz with Bashir

The 300 Spartans

The 300 Spartans (1962) – [rate 2.5]

It’s always hard to judge an movie in the action genre when it’s well over 4 decades old. On the one hand, you want to compare it to contemporary pieces, but on the other hand what really matters is whether you would recommend to anyone now. This becomes even harder when the movie has since been remade with up to date technology, with modern action iconography and choreography to look back on. Continue reading The 300 Spartans