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Lord Jim

The Tyranny of Circumstances?
I came across this movie my chance and was not disappointed. A good man, caught up in unfortunate circumstances. But like all good men he tried to make amends.

Joseph Conrad, one of the masters of the human condition, wrote a good story. The movie, with Peter O'Toole, did a wonderful job at portraying both the goodness in men and the evil.

Yet this wasn't just a movie about the human condition, but also how circumstances can sometimes take on a life of their own. Jim made no mistakes, he just ended up in a situation not by choice but by circumstance. The world judged otherwise.

The ending was a complete surprise. Made all the more poignant by the last action of adding the jacket to the funeral pyre. Thus obliterating all evidence of Jim's human existence. Nothing was to remain of him.

Manhattan Nocturne

Like most movie goers, I read the reviews from others before making the decision to spend time watching a movie. And for the small number of reviews (25 June 2016) it seemed worth tuning into. Whilst some parts of the movie didn't always maintain a strong story line it was, in essence, a movie about secrets.

We all have them and to varying degrees we believe our secrets can come back to hurt us. In this movie almost everyone has a secret and depending on what that secret is, depends on the lengths they will go to, to either protect or find out the secrets of others.

New York has been the backdrop for thousands of movies over the years, but this director managed to include and film the city with some very interesting shots.

Like all good film noir it has a surprising and sad twist for the end, except for the very final minutes, when I wondered 'why'. This movie is well worth watching.

Inherit the Wind

Science vs God
What a movie!! From the opening credits to the last shot, this film is unrelenting in the way it bombards the viewer to engage. It raises questions on so many topics, legal, ethical, moral, philosophical, spiritual and biological that you really need to pay attention the whole time, otherwise you'll miss important details

Never has a Hollywood movie shone so brightly with an attempt to debate the role of God and the choice to question our existence. The acting is superbly brilliant with strong characters, great one liners and a fast pace.

Charles Darwin changed the world by offering a different perspective based on a whole new set of principles, yet this movie captures the debate that still rages today. It is a timeless movie that cannot grow old. Personally I'll be watching this again and again and again...

Les jeux des nuages et de la pluie

Emotions without Borders
Art gives us the option to look at life through different eyes and with that, hopefully, a different perspective. This movie aims to explain that when it comes to our emotions, language and cultural differences have no borders, we are all the same.

To help support this theme the director has made this movie in three different languages, French, English and Chinese. Whilst the basics of this movie is about intersections, and how our life can change when we inevitably come to one, as in life the outcomes can be surprising.

Like most independent movies the viewer does need to work, but not in the storytelling, only in the context of the emotions and our expression of them. Does language really matter when one is angry? Or frustrated? Or in love? How we express ourselves emotionally does transcend borders, and when you add in a series of coincidences vis-a-vis these intersections, the endings are not always predicable.

Highly recommend a second viewing to catch all the nuances.

Le vice et la vertu

Another take on the human condition
Roger Vadim opens this movie with a short introduction. He explains to viewers that this story uses history as a backdrop to explore human themes, and with that places himself with the likes of Shakespeare, who used the same method to explore the human condition.

This movie is much than the superficial elements of keeping sex slaves. It is a story of power, survival, opportunity, greed, lust, and love. WWII provides an ample setting for these human emotions to play itself out. Some viewers may not believe there is much love, yet this deserves more attention.

Love has many faces and is an emotion that bares its soul in a variety of ways, using broken and bitter people who, through circumstances from WWII, find themselves expressing love that is both crippled and heart wrenching.

Finally this movie questions other concepts, so important in war, such as camaraderie, patriotism, losing and winning, and how soldiers manage these additional pressures when confronted on a daily basis.

This is an intense movie, and although it can be confusing at times with so much Roger Vadim wants to say, he has shown considerable skill in trying to tie all these elements together.

Michael Kohlhaas

What is justice? (May contain spoilers)
This movie is all about the question of justice, morals, and ethics within the context of choices. Kohlhaas had many options open to him, all of which were pointed out by different people.

He was a prosperous man who could afford to lose 2 horses, yet he chose to believe that the impartiality of the court system must prevail. Influence and wealth had no place in Kohlhaas's world.

He chose, along with his wife, to believe that negotiation was also an option and instead she found death.

Even in his crusade for justice, he chose to murder one of this own men (who had stolen from villagers) to reinforce that ethics must still prevail in war.

Kohlhaas was a deeply tortured soul who loved his family, his land, cared for his servants and was passionate about his horses. This is not a man who wanted to go to war willingly.

Yet when directly confronted with the wrongs of this world, his soul could not rest. The ultimate irony is that in the end justice did prevail, however the means to that end required Kohlhaas pay with his life from the very hands of those who gave him justice.

One must not forget the underlying political theme. This is during a time when institutions were a work in progress and if one man could attract a motley band of peasants and ex-soldiers for a personal crusade who else may come along and threaten the power base of the political elite.

Justice had no choice but to been seen to prevail. Yet Kohlhaas had to die for his insolence of inciting fear of revolt against those who ruled the lands.

Kohlhaas's story did not die with him and why it still remains popular today.

The Director, Anders Thomas Jensen makes his audience work hard in this movie and it helped to do some historical research before watching it.

This is a fabulous movie, raw and authentic.

Being Flynn

It's all about the story
When we watch and review films, we often critic the movie in relation to the actors, director and the story. Yet this movie has so much more to offer.

Homelessness is not an easy subject matter to approach. Nor the people who end up working in these places. It is a theme we rarely question or consider. In most large cities, we brush past homeless people waiting for others to care for them.

The foundation of this movie is about a father/son relationship. But it is also about the hopes, dreams, aspirations we all start out having in life. It is about how we lose our way, how we pick up the pieces and fill in the gaps.

It is about the questions we ask ourselves, the answers we come up and what we do when some of those answers begin the make sense. It is about the coincidences that shape our life, from where we can jump off to a firmer footing.

This is an incredible movie. Although the immediate beginning is a little disjointed, once it begins to find its stride, WOW! it develops to take on so much more.

There are no emotional highs and lows, resulting in a happy ending. This movie is simply a skim through the chapters of the character's lives. And whereas the ending does see the characters settle into their lives providing comfort to the viewers, we should not forget that many homeless people or young men and women who struggle to find their way in life are not always so lucky.

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