Very moving film making - documentary film making in a quick paced realistic informative way. Bravo to everybody.
La Petite Venise *** 2011
Zhao Tao (famous actress wife of famous director Zhao Zheng Ke) plays a soft iconic Chinese mom as Chinese immigrant (most likely illegal) works in a small cafe on a small venetian fishing island. She is hard working, intelligent, kind, self disciplined, and makes friends with a fisher man about to be retired. The film could be truly called realism - like the scene on Chinese clothing factory in Gomorrah. There is a quiet understanding of both sides, the Italians and the Chinese. I saw the small town outside of Florence, which is full of new Chinese immigrants. It is a contemporary reality and i am happy to see a movie made about immigrants. Too little has been said about immigrants. The first wave was in America during the gold rush era, and nobody makes much movies about this period and now we have the Italian / European wave, and with ongoing internet, we see some movies made. I am glad to have seen this quiet melancholic film. There is a realism concerning the soft Asian values of how life is lived. Taichi self meditative exercise, everyday, slogging in a job, water coming from the sea, but stuck in a lagoon, cannot go out anymore... all very quiet, struggles, along with the harsh reality; poetic floating candles lights - a festival in a shared bathroom in the bath tub next to men pissing, these rough mahjong playing tough guys... all realism oriented.
Le Grand Soir (no star or 3 stars : I give it the weird film award for wasted talents)
There is Brigitte LaFontaine - so lively and holds the scene - in this movie and Poelvoorde so good - but really I think the director for some strange reason has wasted everybody's talent. It is one of the rare movie in which I recognize the talent of everybody but whats the point? Wasted. Poelvoorde in this homeless man get up, plays a fool with some humanity and Dupontel plays his brother who's gone bizurk from working at a suburban mall selling mattresses. Both brothers has LaFontaine as kookie mother who can't do anything normal... everything is absurd in this film. The suburban scenery is realistic and how ugly! In the shopping malls parking lot, is on display all these plastic play houses... (mostly by fisher toy); and a birthday cake with plastic electronic candle set, where with a gesture, you could put out the flames with a wave of the hand (electronic gadget sensors ) which i think looks ugly even in reality but here, all set up in one tight space... its a kind of mental landscape of absurdity to drive anyone sane to short circuit. The parents are owners of a giant size pataterie... potato eatery. Very strange movie, disgusting. And what a waste of everybody's talent. Why did the director make this movie? To show people how ugly our contemporary world has come to? The mother said, I don't know who your fathers were, I, I , I was too stoned... Both brothers talk at the same time to a father who doesn't listen but was concentrated on reading a manual for some electric gadget - they were sitting at the same table. So on so forth. Everything non sense or no common sense.
I certainly would not want to see it again. Even though I like the actor and actress very much.
How do you judge a film which you don't want to see again because of its "trashy", wasted talent of everyone involved. The film is successful as criticism of our contemporary life of mediocrity of everyman... but so what?
The directors previous films are also set in this type of urban landscape, but there was a lot more humanity, humor and sympathy even for the unlikeable characters, but here, i just feel so much energy wasted in the way the subject has been treated.
Maybe it is trying to say to the world, forget about fancy Europe, the real Europe is like this! Mediocre, idiotic, full of slobs, and people disappointed with their real lives and are at the end of their ropes in trying to get out. Its a bankrupted society. This film does not blame immigrants for their slow sliding move downwards. Maybe its trying to say, take a good look!
The set is very studied, graphically strikingly bright and peppy colors, and names of stores, shops, people, clothing all specially designed down to small details, definitely not a sloppy work. It is very controlled. Well made in every way.
This is our world.