Directed by Anthony Minghella
Screenplay by Anthony Minghella, Based on the novel by Michael Ondaatje
Starring Kristin Scott Thomas, Ralph Fiennes, Juliette Binoche and Willem Dafoe. Also featured were Naveen Andrews, Colin Firth and Jürgen Prochnow
To my mind it’s always been a hallmark of weak writing to reference the work of others, at least when it’s done for the explicit purpose of latching onto the credibility of the work of the other without actually having to create it organically yourself. In other words, rather than actually create something on your own, you simply reach out, grab something by somebody else, shine it up a little bit and then say, “Ta da, look at what I did.” Continue reading
Directed by Elia Kazan
Screenplay by Budd Schulberg
Starring Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Eva Marie Saint, Lee J. Cobb and Rod Steiger
Some movies can be taken on their own terms and are never more than what they are. There is no subtext, there is no commentary, there is no hidden agenda and absolutely no meanings can be read into them from the context in which they appeared or from whom they were born. On the whole, I’d say most movies are this way.
Some movies, though, can never be merely a movie because they are nothing but subtext, are rife with commentary, teem with hidden agendas and are overloaded with meaning. Continue reading
Directed by Michael Curtiz
Starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and Claude Rains
Written by Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein and Howard Koch
In some ways, working on the Best Picture Project has been a curse. Setting a goal to see each and every Best Picture winner has meant having to watch some truly awful movies, many of which were made all the more awful because I had to watch them – you cannot believe how many times I mentally found myself reliving the tenth grade experience of slogging through The Scarlet Letter. Not the first example, but probably the worst, was The Broadway Melody.
However, in other ways, this Project has been a revelation, forcing me to watch movies I’d not ordinarily watch, or films I’d tried to watch but gave up on too early, only to find out later that I’d been unjust in dismissing. This weeks entry, Casablanca, is just such a film. Continue reading