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Cinema: Priscilla Review

Movie poster for The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert.The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

1994, Australia, 104 min

Stars: Hugo Weaving, Terence Stamp, Guy Pearce

Director: Stephan Elliott

Rating: ★★★★★

This is a hilarious road trip of a movie that, once it snags you, takes you on an often-outrageous adventure through the Australian outback.  Filled with charm, wit, style, and memorable music from the 80’s as it’s three central characters find more than they bargain for in themselves and each other.  Guaranteed to make you laugh so hard your eye lashes will curl all by themselves.

 

This is one of those movies I put in when I am feeling down and it always brightens my day.  I probably watch this movie a couple of times a year and have been since it came out and it totally cracks me up every time I see it.  I always recommend it to the younger crowd and it amazes me how many of them have never seen or have ever even heard of it.   So, though it is an old stand by for many, it is a surprising sleeper if you are not familiar with it.  It’s basically about three performers from the Sydney cabaret circuit who go on a road trip across Australia in what they christen a budget Barbie Camper they call Priscilla.  Movie still from The Adventures of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert.Two of them drag impersonators one a cosmetics salesman (Hugo Waving) and a spoiled youthful beauty obsessed with ABBA (Guy Pearce) and the third a post operative transsexual (Terence Stamp) who has just lost a sympathetic husband she has finally managed to snag who hits his head after passing out from the fumes while trying to peroxide his hair.  The deadpan humor of this brilliant script is nonstop.  As many times as I have seen and anticipate the dialogue it still makes me laugh.  These three actors play so well off each other along this crazy road trip to unexpected places warming their way across the outback as they make their way from Sydney to the remote Alice Springs.  It is filled with stunning musical production numbers and some of the best makeup and costumes in the history of film, going on to snag an Oscar for best costume.  The film is often touching with a good balance of drama and over the top humor. All of it’s actors catapulted into stardom.  It later became a long running Broadway musical. It is a classic that once you see it you will come back to over and over.

Cinema: Time to Leave Review

Movie poster for 'Time To Leave'Time To Leave

(Le temps qui reste)

2004, French, 81 mins

Stars: Melvil Poupaud, Jeanne Moreau

Director:  François Ozon

Ratting: ★★★★

This is one of those rare movies that reach into the depth of our souls to show us a poetic portrait of our humility and ultimately our humanity.   This movie captures that bittersweet journey someone diagnosed with cancer must tread in order to come to terms with one’s own mortality.  This is a beautifully written, masterfully directed, and superbly acted film that takes you on an extraordinary voyage into the heart. 

Movie still from 'Time To Leave'It follows the story of a very successful late twenty something photographer (Melvil Poupaud) at the prime of his success in Paris named Romain who is diagnosed with cancer and how he comes to terms with it as he tries to put his life in perspective.  Filled with heart wrenching masterful scenes especially the one where he goes to visit his grandmother played by the great Jeanne Moreau.  I saw this movie several years ago after I faced my own diagnoses of cancer and spent a summer undergoing chemotherapy that was successful as it is now in remission.  To reveal anything else about the story or plot the lines would interfere with the journey it takes you on as a viewer.

 

 

Cinema: Free Fall Review

Free Fall movie poster.Free Fall

2013, German, 100 min

Stars: Hanno Koeffler, Max Riemelt

Director: Stephan Lacant

Rating: ★★★★

Nothing really new here, but has a great soul with great performances by the actors, a good script and beautifully directed. Feels naturally filmed, about a thirtyish police officer who falls in love with a male co-officer and the repercussion of his indecision.

 

I watched a very interesting German movie tonight called Free Fall and it kind of took me back to a period in my own history I had forgotten.  The story is about a thirtyish police guy who seems to have everything going for him in life.  A girlfriend who is pregnant, a great job he seems to enjoy, hanging out in a very macho sort of world.  He meets this other dude he works with and they begin to have a pretty hot affair, until his world becomes capsized by the complications of not sure how or where this sort of alternative lifestyle fits into his actual world.  Yes it sounds like lots of other movies of this nature.  Everything about it was very naturalistic.  But I guess what caught me off guard and surprised me was how complicated the emotional entanglement actually became for the characters. Sure we have seen these types of stories before and in a sense there really was nothing new here.  At first it kind of struck me as being maybe over used.  I suddenly began to see how much we really have evolved over the past 10 years.  This would have been heart-wrenching piece about 15 years ago.  It got me questioning how much relationships have evolved over this time span. Still from the movie FREE FALL with two guys on the balcony. Would two guys really fall in love and have their inner worlds torn apart?  It seems these days perhaps we have all become just a bit too casual in these sorts of affairs.  It seems commonplace to be accepted as gay and totally cool for a dude to be with another dude while the girlfriend is torn by suspension.  At guess I thought in modern terms she should have invited her boyfriends dude friend over and they could have had a great open three-way relationship.  Seems the most sensible solutions when three people are passionate about each other… I digress!

I actually quite fell in love with the movie.  It was beautifully filmed in a very naturalistic sort of way.  The guys were both stunning in a realistic way to watch, and everyone was a great actor.  The directing and script had beautiful moments.  It awakened in me a part of the old fashioned romance I actually miss.  The scene leading up to the dude to dude encounter were filled with such conflict, uncertainty, and self doubt that it stirred a remembrance to how love used to be.  I found myself being drawn in deeper and deeper with its coy sort of unpredictability.  It somehow made it all real and relevant.  Over all I loved this movie, it is a beautiful piece of cinema and will linger in my thoughts the next couple of days.

 

 

Movie poster for film Free FallMovie poster for film MauriceMovie poster for film Velvet Goldmine.Movie poster for 'Time To Leave'