Five Star Movies on DVD

When I watch a string of really good movies in a row, sometimes I have to catch my breath. In no order, here are a few I rewatched and a couple new ones.

Gandhi
Gandhi, film still
Ben Kingsley really is astonishing in this. “He showed the world a way out of its madness and we don’t see it. And neither does he.” After discussing this movie with a friend I assumed to be firmly in the capitalist camp, she pointed me to a book called “How Europe Underdeveloped Africa,” by Walter Rodney which is posted in its entirety on a certain leftist site. Her point was that England trumped Gandhi and Nehru and purposely divided India setting Muslim against Hindu. Europe played the same game in Africa following colonialization.

Sex, Lies, and Videotape
Sex, Lies, and Videotape, Andie McDowall, James Spader
This film is really just navigating the minefield of honesty in relationships. James Spader gives everyone iced tea. Launching the career of Steven Soderbergh, he later went on to write and direct another of my low budget independent favorites, The Limey.

Wings of Desire
Wings of Desire, Solveig Dommartin
Angels are among us. I was shocked to learn that Solveig Dommartin pictured here died in 2007 at the age of 45 from a heart attack. She did all her own trapeze stunts in the film and we learn in the commentary that she was offered a few circus contracts following the release of this movie. Peter Falk sort of plays himself here and I also rewatched some episodes of Columbo on Netflix which is hit-and-miss. We find Steven Spielberg directed one of the first ones and it’s not that great. However, Columbo the character, is always colossal. It’s sad we never meet his wife.

Kontroll
Kontroll, Hungarian film
This is a wonderful low-budget first feature shot completely in the Hungarian subway system in Budapest with a plot not unlike Fight Club. Amusingly, the film is introduced by the Hungarian transportation director, paraphrasing, “If you really think there are people like this employed by Hungarian Public Transport, get a life.” I especially liked the girl in the pink bear costume.

Romulus, My Father
Romulus, My Father
This is based on a memoir by Australia’s eminent scholar and writer, Raimond Gaita. Eric Bana, who plays the lead, also played the lead in another great Aussie biopic called Chopper.

When I was a kid, I used to climb on the roof of our house. The view was spectacular and I probably loosened some of the spanish tile. I would also wonder when life was going to get better. Of course, it eventually did.

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