One of the great things about the Criterion channel is its wide range of films from around the world. The service does a great job highlighting some of the best movies on the market, and since there are thousands of titles on the service, it can be a bit overwhelming at times. To make it easier for everyone, below are five great movies to check out on the service in November.
Brothers and sisters of the Toda family
An often overlooked Yasujiro Ozu movie, Brothers and sisters of the Toda family is one of the great family dramas of the Japanese director. Released in 1941 just before There was a father, who would see Ozu take the longest break between photos of his career, Brothers and sisters of the Toda family is a prime example of his signature style, dealing heavily with family dynamics. It’s one of the saddest films of Ozu’s early career, but also one of his most realistic in its portrayal of family relationships. The film follows a mother who, after the death of her husband, finds herself, along with her unmarried youngest daughter, in a difficult situation when her other children do not want any share in the housing of the two. One of the most remarkable characteristics of Ozu’s films is their relativity, and Brothers and sisters of the Toda family is no different in the way he frames this complicated family.
It’s a movie that a lot of people can see themselves in, for better or for worse. It’s a movie about getting older, as a parent begins to rely on their kids the same way their kids did when they were growing up. Seeing the mother exhausting her welcome with her daughter in each of her children’s homes is heartbreaking. Husbands and wives begin to influence children as to whether they should continue to allow their mother and sister to stay with them, or try to pawn them on their other siblings. With the backing of a star-studded Ozu cast, he holds up a mirror to an aspect of life that many people will have to contend with and which he will have a hard time coming to terms with.
Children of paradise
Considered one of the greatest French films ever made, Marcel Carne‘s Children of paradise is a real success of the cinema of the 40s. Released in 1945 and shot during the occupation of France, one will sometimes wonder how an exploit could have been possible. contrary to Roberto Rossellini‘s Rome, open city, which was filmed during the Italian occupation and released the same year, Children of paradise does not focus on the ongoing war and the struggles of its inhabitants, but rather takes the audience back a century ago. Set in Paris, the film focuses its lens on the theatrical world of the 1830s, when four men find themselves delighted by a beautiful woman.
From top to bottom, the technical aspects displayed throughout Children of paradise are exceptional. Added to this is the equally impressive performance. Jean-Louis Barrault gives an absolutely stunning portrayal of Baptiste, a mime who finds himself on the rise, while still yearning for the woman he once loved so much. You could write an entire article just about Barrault’s performance, but you’d better not overlook its equally impressive screen partners, like Arletty, Pierre Brasseur, and Maria casares it all turns into a great job. For fans of the stage and the theatrical nature of art and the artists who bring works to life, this is a movie you’ll want to watch. It’s an epic on a smaller scale, but still an epic all the same. It’s also one of the fastest three-hour movies you’ll ever see.
An appropriate recommendation now that we are well in Noirvember, Strange man should fit perfectly into the black and white mood of the month. Released two years before The third man, carol roseau would first take the public to Ireland. He turns the camera on a flight gone wrong, as an injured IRA leader (James mason) crosses Belfast as he tries to escape the continuing threat from the police. Because Mason runs around town half unconscious for much of the movie, Strange man relies heavily on its supporting cast. In doing so, the film speaks as much of the inhabitants of the city as of Mason.
As Reed takes the audience through town, he does a great job of showcasing the different aspects of understanding that humanity has to offer. It’s an incredibly tragic film throughout, leading to a climactic finale that’s made all the more impactful thanks to the composer’s haunting main theme. William alwyn. The third man Often attracts the attention of many moviegoers when it comes to Reed’s work, but it has to be argued that Strange man is his masterpiece.
Out of the past
This time for another black we will go back to the United States, like the great Out of the past is the perfect type of movie to save time. After being discovered by an old acquaintance while living a new life in a quiet California town, Jeff Bailey (Robert mitchum) is brought back to the world from which he has already tried to escape. When the film came out in 1947, Jacques Tourneur had already made the wonderful black and white film Cat people (1942). Here he teams up again with the director of photography Nicolas Musuraca, and the end result is really something special.
The film has everything you would expect from a noir: a charismatic but troubled role in Mitchum, an alluring but powerful femme fatale of Jane greer, and a sticky Kirk douglas in a big nasty trick. Add to it all beautiful exterior shots of various California locations and a gripping story from start to finish, and Out of the past shows why this is one of the most memorable 1940s film noir films.
The story of the last chrysanthemum
The greatest work of the director Kenji mizoguchi until this stage of his career, The story of the last chrysanthemum is a masterclass in the director’s distinctive style of directing, which he will continue to perfect through films like The 47 Rônin only two years later. In the same way as that of Marcel Carné Children of paradise Following the life of actors across the French theatrical world, here we see a tale told against a backdrop of Japanese kabuki. When the adopted son of a famous kabuki actor finds himself drawn to his little brother’s nanny, he finds in her the motivation for his own acting career that he otherwise missed.
It’s a heartbreaking story of family and art, and the effort that can be put into what they love in their lives. Mizoguchi does a great job of framing the film in a way that makes it incredibly easy to empathize with main character Kikunosuke Onoue (Shotaro Hanayagi). It’s a movie that deals heavily with the idea of those who think they haven’t earned what they’ve been given, and Hanayagi’s performance is great in the way she illustrates that. It is also one of the earliest examples of Mizoguchi’s filmography showing his understanding and portrayal of women that would continue throughout his career in films like Flame of my love.
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