Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Taurus 2001***

Aleksandr Sokurov
The last days of Lenin (early 1920s), as he sinks into physical helplessness and mental decline. Lenin and his close family, living in the misty Soviet countryside, are evoked in poetically muted sounds and colors as the great man awaits the end. Stalin visits him twice and seems affable in a slimy way. He is crude in his behavior, as when he pinches the cheek of Lenin's wife in unwelcome familiarity, as if awaiting what is to follow. Lenin longs for death, the means for which have been removed, even as he implores his successor for poison. The portrayal of the decrepit and near imbecile Lenin is a fluent and convincing performance. If one were to draw a conclusion, even iron men have clay feet when confronted with their end. And Sokurov is eminent as a director.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Powder 1995***

Amateurish in direction and acting; lame in emoting; this film never the less touches the heart, and alongside a dose of paranormal gimmickry, intuits on larger issues of existence as few movies, if any, have done.