Sunday, August 12, 2007
The Greencine Five, Part VII: Zulu, Fire Walk with Me, Heimat: A Chronicle of Germany, Kontroll, Twin Peaks
The ANSWER of another day
Zulu is a classic, one of the best movies ever made. It stands with Godfather and Lawrence of Arabia as a movie that does everything right. At one level merely the story of the defense of Roark's Drift by the British against the Zulus, so much is happening as to boggle the mind. Anti-war protests, a 1GW v. 0GW struggle, class and ethnic divisions, and of course heorism are everywhere to be seen. Mind-numingly beautiful, Zulu is an adventure/war movie that transcends both genres. A must see. 10/10.
On the plus side, Chris Isaak and Kiefer Sutherland play FBI agents for the first twenty minutes. Also on the positive ledger, this movie ties together the three ephocs of Twin Peaks (the immediate fall-out of Laura's murder, the search for Laura's killer, and the Windom Earle half-season) together than I had thought possible. On the negative side, everything else. Lacking humor, the most interesting characters, warmth, suspense, dramatic tension, or anything else of interest, it's no surprise that Fire Walk with Me movie was "greeted at the Cannes Film Festival with booing from the audience and met with almost unanimously negative reviews." Stay away from this one, unless (like me) you've declared finishing the Twin Peaks universe to be your mission.
Like Fire walk with me (reviewed above), Heimat is slow. Unlike Firewal, Heimat's actually good. A nostalgic look at a lost rural way of life, Heimat Disk 1 is the first episode in a miniseries charting life in a small German town from the end of World War I to 1980. The area is under French occupation as a war veteran returns home and short-wave radio becomes available. The love triangle is slow, and sad, and sweet, and realistic. Worth seeing, but only with patience.
Set in Budapest's underground, Kontroll tends toward heavy symbolism, especially Catholic and Communist. The story of of a nation living in purgatory, the young hero does not go upside and has troubling dreams of descending farther. With less screen-time but equally important, a drunk conductor remembers happier times controlling above-ground trains until an accident "that could have happened to anyone" led to his banishment. With an amazing soundtrack and an uplifting if confusing
Twin Peaks Season 2 (Disk 6 of 6)
Both LOST and Twin Peaks stumbled badly, LOST in the beginning of Season 3 and Twin Peaks at the beginning of the second half of Season 2. Both took far too long to regain their footing, after distracted producers and meddling network executives degraded a once fantastic TV show. Both came back full force, LOST with Tricia Tanaka is dead and Twin Peaks with "Beyond Life and Death." Luckily for one and happily for the other, LOST's resurrection occurred with twelve episodes left in the season; Twin Peaks with their season finale. LOST's run will stretch over three more seasons, but Twin Peaks was sadly burried after an amazing finale that revealed an apparently unrelated and sub-par story arc to be a continuation of all that had come before.
I hadn't thought about Zulu for some time, but you are right about it being a classic from start to the phenomenal finish. I'm going to have to rent it soon!
Posted by: Mike | Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Zulu's way cool.
A different kind of war film, closer to 300 in style over realism, is Henry V , which is also good . Chicago Boyz also likes it .
Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Sunday, August 19, 2007