Hopelessly stupid men like me consider a particular kind of women gorgeous geniuses. I am not sure if there’s a word to categorize them. In Antonio Pietrangeli’s I Knew Her Well (1965) the protagonist quintessentially exemplifies one of these ladies. One might consider her a femme fatale character but she is not. Femme fatales most of the time have bad intentions or are trying to get away with murder unrealistically. Adriana, the Italian protagonist, lives day by day and that is how this film if unfolded, in a series of days in her life.
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Luis Garcia Berlanga’s The Executioner (1963) deals with the personal issues of an undertaker in his young adult life, as he becomes the brand new executioner in Madrid. How does he get the job? He marries the daughter (Emma Penella) of the long-time executioner, Amadeo (Jose Isbert). The marriage comes out of nowhere when the young man is caught making love with the daughter and he uses the excuse of marriage to excuse himself as a decent man. We are not sure if they actually love each other or if they are together because no one one’s willing to marry the daughter of an executioner as well as no one will bother marrying an insecure undertaker. He gets her pregnant.
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The latest and long passion Martin Scorsese project, Silence, adheres to his work as the third religious film he’s made (the others being The Last Temptation of Christ and Kundun (some might start calling this a trilogy)). The film, gorgeously shot completely on 35mm and adapted from Shusaku Endo’s 1966 novel, takes us on a ride with both priests Sebastiao Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) and Francisco Garupe (Adam Driver) in the quest for the lost father Ferrara (Liam Neeson).
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Keep watching movies!
I check out plenty of dvds from the public library. It’s one habit I acquired since I came to live to the US for the first time a couple years back. The racks are full of outstanding material (of course there’s also plenty of crap). One of my favorites dvd sets are The Simpsons seasons. Everyone in the crew seem to have a high-quality grasp of developing a succesful comedy show.
My personal favorites are the Al Jean and Mike Reiss (seasons 3 -4) era and the David Mirkin era (5-6) Mirkin is famous for giving the show a little more surrealism. But Jean and Reiss tell you a lot about the early days. Especially Al Jean, who seems to be the nerdiest of nerds. And Mirkin is probably the funniest, sarcastic of them all. Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein are very funny as well.
Of course Matt Groening, David Silverman, Dan Castellaneta and the rest of the crew are also grest people, and you notice how friendly they are at the same time mocking each other so you get the same laughs you’d get if you were watching without commentary. I highly recommend anybody interested in this show, animation or general filmmaking to listen to these commentaries. They area really great source of information and you will have a great time listening to them listening to many reference explanations and development issues they had when this show was at its peak.
Oh and there’s a commentary wih Homer Simpson speaking along the crew. It’s hilarious. I wont’t say which episode, just get your hands on these sets, watch the whole thing and have a blast.