More movies

A compelling and challenging “what-if” story about a 30-year old Adolf Hitler in the days after WWI, pursuing his art, being mentored by a (fictitious) Jewish gallery owner. Incredible acting, cinematography. Raises many complex and emotional themes. Can we deal with seeing Hitler as a human being, not a monster? If it hadn’t been him, would someone else have come along in those times? Did people take him seriously? Excellent movie, and for anyone who’s into art history, this would be a good film, since the art of the time and its meaning are shown and discussed as a backdrop, perhaps even as the foreground, to the personal (and eventually global) changes that are going on.

25th Hour
A really intense and touching film, and “touching” doesn’t mean in a hanky/chick-film kind of way, it’s emotionally gripping, very well-acted (although I wish the ubiquitous wimp Philip Seymour Hoffman had gone a bit outside his type here, it was frustrating, and frankly distracting), and Spike Lee is most of a genius. You can see echoes of themes and techniques of many of his other films here, he’s incredibly brave and daring, and usually pulls it off. I reflected on the Summer of Sam uses of Who music – one worked incredibly well and the other was the worst thing I’d ever seen. Lee is willing to go out there and see what happens. It was funny how there were 4 or 5 things in this film that were jarring to me in the audience, pulling me out of the story and criticizing it – you shouldn’t have done that shot, you should have let it go there, etc. etc. – but the whole thing works and challenges you and stimulates you and moves you. I’m loathe to say anything about any specific part of the movie, but hopefully my enthusiasm comes across…


About Steve