09-12-2014The Sure Thing (1985)http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0090103/
The Sure Thing is not Rob Reiner’s best movie, but it shares with his other movies this specific feeling it has, one of heartfelt pleasure. It was released in between Reiner’s defining This Is Spinal Tap (1984) and Stand By Me (1986), one of the best coming-of-age movies around. The Sure Thing is not as good as those two, but it’s a movie that is hard to resist anyway.
Walter Gibson (John Cusack) is a freshman college student in New England. His best friend Lance (Anthony Edwards) is a freshman at UCLA, where he has found a beautiful girl for Walter. Since Walter can’t afford a plane ticket to California, he shares a ride with Alison Bradbury (Daphne Zuniga) in the backseat of Gary Cooper’s (Tim Robbins) car. The two do not get along at all, but as travel and quarrels commence, something starts to grow between them.
I like how Rob Reiner is able to make the most of things, despite often thin plots. Like he did with young teenagers in Stand By Me (1985), or with 20/30-year-olds in When Harry Met Sally… (1989), or with elderly but still vital older gentlemen in The Bucket List (2010), he proved with The Sure Thing again that he manages to define an age-group people can relate to easily, it’s very recognizable yet mostly something most people wouldn’t encounter every day. It creates a feeling of uttermost cinema, but still felt very real and often heartlike. The Sure Thing is not the best movie Reiner has directed, it is too whimsical and silly in way which prevents it from having the emotional impact the beforementioned movies had on me in particular. It is however a prove of Reiner comical talent: his timing and setting is often sublte and a lot of fun.
6

09-12-2014
The Sure Thing (1985)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0090103/

The Sure Thing is not Rob Reiner’s best movie, but it shares with his other movies this specific feeling it has, one of heartfelt pleasure. It was released in between Reiner’s defining This Is Spinal Tap (1984) and Stand By Me (1986), one of the best coming-of-age movies around. The Sure Thing is not as good as those two, but it’s a movie that is hard to resist anyway.

Walter Gibson (John Cusack) is a freshman college student in New England. His best friend Lance (Anthony Edwards) is a freshman at UCLA, where he has found a beautiful girl for Walter. Since Walter can’t afford a plane ticket to California, he shares a ride with Alison Bradbury (Daphne Zuniga) in the backseat of Gary Cooper’s (Tim Robbins) car. The two do not get along at all, but as travel and quarrels commence, something starts to grow between them.

I like how Rob Reiner is able to make the most of things, despite often thin plots. Like he did with young teenagers in Stand By Me (1985), or with 20/30-year-olds in When Harry Met Sally… (1989), or with elderly but still vital older gentlemen in The Bucket List (2010), he proved with The Sure Thing again that he manages to define an age-group people can relate to easily, it’s very recognizable yet mostly something most people wouldn’t encounter every day. It creates a feeling of uttermost cinema, but still felt very real and often heartlike. The Sure Thing is not the best movie Reiner has directed, it is too whimsical and silly in way which prevents it from having the emotional impact the beforementioned movies had on me in particular. It is however a prove of Reiner comical talent: his timing and setting is often sublte and a lot of fun.

6

@17 hours ago
#the sure thing #rob reiner #this is spinal tap #stand by me #john cusack #anthony edwards #daphne zuniga #tim robbins #when harry met sally #when harry met sally... #the bucket list #boyd gaines #lisa jane persky #viveca lindfors #nicollette sheridan #sarah buxton 
09-09-2014The Princess Bride (1987)http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093779/
The Princess Bride is one of many exciting films Rob Reiner has directed at the beginning of his career. They are all so charming, even though they are also all so different. Along with This Is Spinal Tap (1984), The Princess Bride is Reiner’s movie that offers the most laughs and hectic situations. It is based in William Goldman’s 1973 novel of the same name: Goldman wrote the screenplay himself.
The Princess Bride takes place in medieval times. Westley (Cary Elwes) is a farm boy, working for the family of the pretty future princess (Robin Wright). Future princess, since even though she is in love with Westley and are planning to get married, Westley is presumed dead after an encounter with pirates after which Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon) has chosen her to be her queen. Westley however survived, and does what he can to win her love back. Such a basic love story, but so sweet.
It is a story that features fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love and miracles, as the narrator (or grandfather who reads his grandson the story from a book) tells at the beginning. Many crazy adventures ensue, one even sillier than the other. The performances by the cast are great, they make for a bunch of colourful characters that make the movie even better. What to think of an unrecognisable Billy Crystal as crazy witch doctor? Or Inigo Montoya, an angry Spaniard looking to avenge his father’s dead? Since The Princess Bride doesn’t really offer all that much depth character-wise, it is more than welcome to fall back on these characters, who are directed in such a witty and smart way by Rob Reiner that even the most deadpan of jokes can offer the biggest laughs.
This is one of those movies that is just as fun for adults as it is for children, unless you’re of the grumpy kind.
8

09-09-2014
The Princess Bride (1987)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093779/

The Princess Bride is one of many exciting films Rob Reiner has directed at the beginning of his career. They are all so charming, even though they are also all so different. Along with This Is Spinal Tap (1984), The Princess Bride is Reiner’s movie that offers the most laughs and hectic situations. It is based in William Goldman’s 1973 novel of the same name: Goldman wrote the screenplay himself.

The Princess Bride takes place in medieval times. Westley (Cary Elwes) is a farm boy, working for the family of the pretty future princess (Robin Wright). Future princess, since even though she is in love with Westley and are planning to get married, Westley is presumed dead after an encounter with pirates after which Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon) has chosen her to be her queen. Westley however survived, and does what he can to win her love back. Such a basic love story, but so sweet.

It is a story that features fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love and miracles, as the narrator (or grandfather who reads his grandson the story from a book) tells at the beginning. Many crazy adventures ensue, one even sillier than the other. The performances by the cast are great, they make for a bunch of colourful characters that make the movie even better. What to think of an unrecognisable Billy Crystal as crazy witch doctor? Or Inigo Montoya, an angry Spaniard looking to avenge his father’s dead? Since The Princess Bride doesn’t really offer all that much depth character-wise, it is more than welcome to fall back on these characters, who are directed in such a witty and smart way by Rob Reiner that even the most deadpan of jokes can offer the biggest laughs.

This is one of those movies that is just as fun for adults as it is for children, unless you’re of the grumpy kind.

8

@2 days ago
#the princess bride #rob reiner #this is spinal tap #william goldman #cary elwes #robin wright #chris sarandon #inigo montoya #billy crystal #mandy patinkin #christopher guest #wallace shawn #andré the giant #fred savage #andre the giant #peter falk #peter cock #mel smith #carol kane 
09-08-2014When Harry Met Sally… (1989)http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0098635/
When Harry Met Sally… is the fifth feature film directed by Rob Reiner. In the movie, Reiner and screenwriter Nora Ephron (on who the two individual characters are kind of based on) raise the question if men and women can ever be just friends. Many ideas and theories of male/female relationships are passed in the lightest and very Woody Allen-esque of fashion.
Harry (Billy Crystal) meets Sally (Meg Ryan) through his then girlfriend Amanda (Michelle Nicastro). Both of them start their lives over in New York City, after they graduated from the University of Chicago. They share a car and get to know each other in 18 hour trip. After this trip, in which the two get along in a truly awkward way, they run into to each other in random times over a course of about 12 years.
This is a classic romantic comedy, as romantic and melodramatic as they get. But also as fresh as interesting as some of them get. Reiner puts on his best Woody Allen outfit to direct a fine collection of witty everyday conversations, with topics ranging from movie endings to sexual dreams. Since the plot doesn’t really progress all that much, it’s kind of flaky even, Reiner had to keep things interesting in other ways, his staging and timing for instance is great. And luckily, the chemistry between his two leads is great, which causes Harry’s sarcasm and Sally naivety never to become annoying. There is a great deal of gender preconceptions present, which doesn’t really fare too well for too long. It becomes rather tactless, but does evoke conversation if you are on a romantic date yourself.
7

09-08-2014
When Harry Met Sally… (1989)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0098635/

When Harry Met Sally… is the fifth feature film directed by Rob Reiner. In the movie, Reiner and screenwriter Nora Ephron (on who the two individual characters are kind of based on) raise the question if men and women can ever be just friends. Many ideas and theories of male/female relationships are passed in the lightest and very Woody Allen-esque of fashion.

Harry (Billy Crystal) meets Sally (Meg Ryan) through his then girlfriend Amanda (Michelle Nicastro). Both of them start their lives over in New York City, after they graduated from the University of Chicago. They share a car and get to know each other in 18 hour trip. After this trip, in which the two get along in a truly awkward way, they run into to each other in random times over a course of about 12 years.

This is a classic romantic comedy, as romantic and melodramatic as they get. But also as fresh as interesting as some of them get. Reiner puts on his best Woody Allen outfit to direct a fine collection of witty everyday conversations, with topics ranging from movie endings to sexual dreams. Since the plot doesn’t really progress all that much, it’s kind of flaky even, Reiner had to keep things interesting in other ways, his staging and timing for instance is great. And luckily, the chemistry between his two leads is great, which causes Harry’s sarcasm and Sally naivety never to become annoying. There is a great deal of gender preconceptions present, which doesn’t really fare too well for too long. It becomes rather tactless, but does evoke conversation if you are on a romantic date yourself.

7

@5 days ago with 2 notes
#when harry met sally #when harry met sally... #rob reiner #nora ephron #billy crystal #meg ryan #michelle nicastro #woody allen #carrie fisher #bruno kirby #steven ford #lisa jane persky #gretchen palmer #robert alan beuth #harley jane kozak 
09-07-2014Jamaica Inn (1939)http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0031505/
Jamaica Inn is the last movie Alfred Hitchcock directed in the United Kingdom before he moved to the United States and directed the movies most people know him from now. It is based on the novel of the same name by Daphne du Maurier, which made it the first of three Hitchcock movies based on an story by Du Maurier: Rebecca (1940) and The Birds (1963) are the other two.
In the small town of Cornwall, a lawless corner of England, lies Jamaica Inn, a refuge for a group of smugglers, poachers, pirates and other misfits so bad their five o’clock shadows are painted on with make-up. Leader of this gang is Joss (Leslie Banks), who lives with his faithful wife Patience (Marie Ney) at the inn. By extinguishing coastal beacons the bad guys cause boats to run aground the coast, after which they loot the wrecks. They share their lootings with the man who tells them about them: Sir Humphrey Pengallan (Charles Laughton), who gets visited by Joss’ and Patience’s niece Mary (Maureen O’Hara), who got lost on the way to the inn.
If this movie wasn’t directed by Hitchcock, it would have been forgotten by most people, safe for those into Du Maurier’s story or the funny character actors Banks and Laughton, whose presence is enormous and charismatic. Hitchcock fails to bring tension to the story, and depends too much on plot twists coming from out of nowhere. I have not read Du Maurier’s novel, but I can only imagine those familiar with the book would have been disappointed by this effort. Characters are flaky and basically caricatures of themselves, failing to bring any kind of depth to the movie.
If nothing else, Hitchcock does how to stage a scene, even if it is crowded with extra’s. Scenes in the studio and scenes outside of it look great and are directed sharply. The more adventurous scenes regarding the shipwrecks and other brawls are most exciting to see. Too bad the rest of the movie fails to deliver. Both Hitchcock and Du Maurier were disappointed.
5

09-07-2014
Jamaica Inn (1939)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0031505/

Jamaica Inn is the last movie Alfred Hitchcock directed in the United Kingdom before he moved to the United States and directed the movies most people know him from now. It is based on the novel of the same name by Daphne du Maurier, which made it the first of three Hitchcock movies based on an story by Du Maurier: Rebecca (1940) and The Birds (1963) are the other two.

In the small town of Cornwall, a lawless corner of England, lies Jamaica Inn, a refuge for a group of smugglers, poachers, pirates and other misfits so bad their five o’clock shadows are painted on with make-up. Leader of this gang is Joss (Leslie Banks), who lives with his faithful wife Patience (Marie Ney) at the inn. By extinguishing coastal beacons the bad guys cause boats to run aground the coast, after which they loot the wrecks. They share their lootings with the man who tells them about them: Sir Humphrey Pengallan (Charles Laughton), who gets visited by Joss’ and Patience’s niece Mary (Maureen O’Hara), who got lost on the way to the inn.

If this movie wasn’t directed by Hitchcock, it would have been forgotten by most people, safe for those into Du Maurier’s story or the funny character actors Banks and Laughton, whose presence is enormous and charismatic. Hitchcock fails to bring tension to the story, and depends too much on plot twists coming from out of nowhere. I have not read Du Maurier’s novel, but I can only imagine those familiar with the book would have been disappointed by this effort. Characters are flaky and basically caricatures of themselves, failing to bring any kind of depth to the movie.

If nothing else, Hitchcock does how to stage a scene, even if it is crowded with extra’s. Scenes in the studio and scenes outside of it look great and are directed sharply. The more adventurous scenes regarding the shipwrecks and other brawls are most exciting to see. Too bad the rest of the movie fails to deliver. Both Hitchcock and Du Maurier were disappointed.

5

@1 week ago
#jamaica inn #daphne du maurier #rebecca #the birds #leslie banks #marie ney #charles laughton #maureen o'hara #alfred hitchcock #hitch #hitchcock 
09-11-2014The Keep (1983)http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0085780/
The Keep is one of the first movies directed by Michael Mann, a director who likes to do what he can to set a mood. It doesn’t take him long to open up his inventory of slow-motions, atmospheric music (by Tangerine Dream) and other tricks. It requires a certain ability to deal with this for the audience, and the same goes for the often nonsensical story.
This story (adapted from the 1981 novel of the same name by F. Paul Wilson) is set in Romania during World War II. A group of Nazi’s led by Captain Klaus Woermann (Jürgen Prochnow) has been ordered to defend a spooky kind of uninhabited citadel. They soon find out that something terrible is hidden within this keep, a something that is angered by the presence of Sturmbannführer Eric Kaempffer (Gabriel Byrne).
I love 80s special effects, and 80s special effects is exactly what this movie has to offer. The plot is easily disregarded: it doesn’t make any sense and progresses in a way that makes even less sense. Once the focus however is on the monster (who you can’t see for most of the movie, which makes the scenes when this cloudy air-sucking bad guy pretty intense) and everything about the plot has been forgotten about, The Keep is an ambitious movie. Michael Mann takes his viewers to movieworld in a way only he can do: incredibly tacky, visually intriguing, slick and often bad, but entertaining still.
Both Wilson and Mann disliked the final product (Mann even disowned it), and it is easy to understand why: The Keep is not a good movie. It’s a fun one though.
6

09-11-2014
The Keep (1983)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0085780/

The Keep is one of the first movies directed by Michael Mann, a director who likes to do what he can to set a mood. It doesn’t take him long to open up his inventory of slow-motions, atmospheric music (by Tangerine Dream) and other tricks. It requires a certain ability to deal with this for the audience, and the same goes for the often nonsensical story.

This story (adapted from the 1981 novel of the same name by F. Paul Wilson) is set in Romania during World War II. A group of Nazi’s led by Captain Klaus Woermann (Jürgen Prochnow) has been ordered to defend a spooky kind of uninhabited citadel. They soon find out that something terrible is hidden within this keep, a something that is angered by the presence of Sturmbannführer Eric Kaempffer (Gabriel Byrne).

I love 80s special effects, and 80s special effects is exactly what this movie has to offer. The plot is easily disregarded: it doesn’t make any sense and progresses in a way that makes even less sense. Once the focus however is on the monster (who you can’t see for most of the movie, which makes the scenes when this cloudy air-sucking bad guy pretty intense) and everything about the plot has been forgotten about, The Keep is an ambitious movie. Michael Mann takes his viewers to movieworld in a way only he can do: incredibly tacky, visually intriguing, slick and often bad, but entertaining still.

Both Wilson and Mann disliked the final product (Mann even disowned it), and it is easy to understand why: The Keep is not a good movie. It’s a fun one though.

6

@1 day ago
#the keep #michael mann #tangerine dream #f. paul wilson #jurgen prochnow #jürgen prochnow #gabriel byrne #alberta watson #robert prosky #ian mckellen #william morgan sheppard 
09-09-2014Mahler (1974)http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0071797/
Gustav Mahler explored the boundaries of composing classical symphonies, but never exceeded these boundaries. Ken Russell, the director of this biopic about Mahler, on the other hand explored boundaries in filmmaking and also exceeded them. This combination works out well. Russell presents us with a bizarre and excessive biography of an extraordinary composer. The symphonies heard in this movie were performed by the Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam.
Mahler (Robert Powell) and his wife Alma (Georgina Hale) are on a train heading towards Vienna, where Mahler is planning to write his final coda. Through flashbacks, some of them surrealistic and nightmarish, Russell tells the story of how things between Mahler and his wife have become as bad as they have become. Subjects of anti-semitism, catholicism, the relationship between man and nature, his difficult marriage and the death of his brother pass by.
Russell uses a wild collection of editing and filming techniques to present the story. A story told in a fragmented way, stuffed with symbolism and incomprehensible images. It makes for a difficult movie to follow, but also an admirable one, since despite all of the techniques Russell uses, Mahler is a consistent movie. There is a balance in this movie that Russell has often struggled to find in his other movies. It is freaky and weird, but also compelling enough to entertain throughout. In the end, what is most admirable, is that Russell explains the essence of creativity. Ultimately, the interconnection between music and love prevails.
Mahler is a completely different movie than other biopics about other famous composers, like Amadeus (1984) and Immortal Beloved (about Beethoven, 1994). Mahler however succeeds in presenting us the mad mind of a brilliant composer, more so than in those other movies.
7

09-09-2014
Mahler (1974)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0071797/

Gustav Mahler explored the boundaries of composing classical symphonies, but never exceeded these boundaries. Ken Russell, the director of this biopic about Mahler, on the other hand explored boundaries in filmmaking and also exceeded them. This combination works out well. Russell presents us with a bizarre and excessive biography of an extraordinary composer. The symphonies heard in this movie were performed by the Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam.

Mahler (Robert Powell) and his wife Alma (Georgina Hale) are on a train heading towards Vienna, where Mahler is planning to write his final coda. Through flashbacks, some of them surrealistic and nightmarish, Russell tells the story of how things between Mahler and his wife have become as bad as they have become. Subjects of anti-semitism, catholicism, the relationship between man and nature, his difficult marriage and the death of his brother pass by.

Russell uses a wild collection of editing and filming techniques to present the story. A story told in a fragmented way, stuffed with symbolism and incomprehensible images. It makes for a difficult movie to follow, but also an admirable one, since despite all of the techniques Russell uses, Mahler is a consistent movie. There is a balance in this movie that Russell has often struggled to find in his other movies. It is freaky and weird, but also compelling enough to entertain throughout. In the end, what is most admirable, is that Russell explains the essence of creativity. Ultimately, the interconnection between music and love prevails.

Mahler is a completely different movie than other biopics about other famous composers, like Amadeus (1984) and Immortal Beloved (about Beethoven, 1994). Mahler however succeeds in presenting us the mad mind of a brilliant composer, more so than in those other movies.

7

@4 days ago
#gustav mahler #mahler #ken russell #concertgebouw orchestra amsterdam #robert powell #georgina hale #amadeus #immortal beloved #beethoven #antonia ellis #ronald pickup 
09-08-2014Unforgiven (1992)http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0105695/
Clint Eastwood said goodbye to the western with Unforgiven, a movie he directed, produced and starred in. Since Unforgiven, he hasn’t been involved in any westerns in any role. Watching Unforgiven, one might easily figure out why this is, actor-wise at least: Eastwood is close to being senile, seemingly only a couple of days away from being a weird old man, instead of being the badass he still was during filming. It won him the Academy Awards for best picture and best director, while Gene Hackman won one for best supporting actor.
In the small town of Big Whiskey, two cowboy friends stab a local prostitute (Anna Levine) in the face, leaving her covered with cuts and scratches. Since sheriff Little Bill (Hackman) is not interested in hanging these men after they are captured, the prostitutes offer a $1.000 reward for whoever kills the two men. When old gunslinger Bill Munny (Eastwood) hears of this, he brings his lifelong friend Ned Logan (Morgan Freeman) and young shot Schofield Kid (Jaimz Woolvett) to find the two cowboys.
As Bill rides along the plains, beautifully directed by Eastwood and shot by Jack N. Green, he puts himself in a vulnerable position. Even though Schofield Kid considers him to be a hero, Bill himself doesn’t think himself of one. He has gotten older and wiser, mostly due to his wife, who died several years earlier. Eastwood delivers with Unforgiven an American western with something that most other American westerns don’t have: depth and intensely exciting scenes, even more so than any other western Eastwood directed, arguably except for the subtle The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976). Characters are no longer one-dimensional (especially Little Bill is a fascinating character, but of course the retired gunslinger having to resort to violence one last time has proven to be influential in many ‘modern westerns’) and the plot evolves in an interesting, yet slow, way.
8

09-08-2014
Unforgiven (1992)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0105695/

Clint Eastwood said goodbye to the western with Unforgiven, a movie he directed, produced and starred in. Since Unforgiven, he hasn’t been involved in any westerns in any role. Watching Unforgiven, one might easily figure out why this is, actor-wise at least: Eastwood is close to being senile, seemingly only a couple of days away from being a weird old man, instead of being the badass he still was during filming. It won him the Academy Awards for best picture and best director, while Gene Hackman won one for best supporting actor.

In the small town of Big Whiskey, two cowboy friends stab a local prostitute (Anna Levine) in the face, leaving her covered with cuts and scratches. Since sheriff Little Bill (Hackman) is not interested in hanging these men after they are captured, the prostitutes offer a $1.000 reward for whoever kills the two men. When old gunslinger Bill Munny (Eastwood) hears of this, he brings his lifelong friend Ned Logan (Morgan Freeman) and young shot Schofield Kid (Jaimz Woolvett) to find the two cowboys.

As Bill rides along the plains, beautifully directed by Eastwood and shot by Jack N. Green, he puts himself in a vulnerable position. Even though Schofield Kid considers him to be a hero, Bill himself doesn’t think himself of one. He has gotten older and wiser, mostly due to his wife, who died several years earlier. Eastwood delivers with Unforgiven an American western with something that most other American westerns don’t have: depth and intensely exciting scenes, even more so than any other western Eastwood directed, arguably except for the subtle The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976). Characters are no longer one-dimensional (especially Little Bill is a fascinating character, but of course the retired gunslinger having to resort to violence one last time has proven to be influential in many ‘modern westerns’) and the plot evolves in an interesting, yet slow, way.

8

@6 days ago
#clint eastwood #unforgiven #gene hackman #morgan freeman #jaimz woolvett #jack n. green #the outlaw josey wales #david webb peoples #richard harris #saul rubinek #frances fisher #anna levine #rob campbell #beverly elliott 
09-07-2014The Elephant Man (1980)http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080678/
The Elephant Man is based on the life of Joseph Merrick (called John Merrick in the film). Merrick was a man with severe deformities all over his body, most notably his face. He was exhibited as a human curiosity in carnival-like circumstances and was known as the Elephant Man. David Lynch directed this story as his sophomore feature film, after the dazzling and unnerving Eraserhead (1977).
In Victorian England, Frederick Treves (Anthony Hopkins) is a successful surgeon. One day he encounters an exhibit of a man nicknamed the Elephant Man (John Hurt), a perverted, degraded version of a human being, as some people put it bluntly. Stricken by its nature, Frederick decides to help John Merrick, as he is actually called, as much as he can. John is a shy man, with apparently no relatives left to take care of him. The relationship between Frederick and John is a strange one, but develops into something beautiful.
John Merrick suffers more from being a curiosity at the carnival or even the hospital (many people find their way in just to look at him in disgust) than actually from being as he is. This at least is the way Lynch presents the story. It is sad, and the humane touch brought mostly by the acting of Hopkins and Hurt shines through, even through the bleak yet beautiful black-and-white photography by Freddie Francis. There is something creepy about carnivals in black-and-white, Lynch captures that feeling almost as much as Tod Browning did in Freaks (1932).
Lynch depicts the evil of humanity in a small way, with incredibly sad and moving results. I like how it gets a little weird at the end, as opposed to the full-on weirdness Lynch presents us with in most of his other movies. It’s like a tease, as The Elephant Man is more than a tease in subtlety and souflesse. It is a unique movie, not just by Lynch, but in general.
8

09-07-2014
The Elephant Man (1980)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080678/

The Elephant Man is based on the life of Joseph Merrick (called John Merrick in the film). Merrick was a man with severe deformities all over his body, most notably his face. He was exhibited as a human curiosity in carnival-like circumstances and was known as the Elephant Man. David Lynch directed this story as his sophomore feature film, after the dazzling and unnerving Eraserhead (1977).

In Victorian England, Frederick Treves (Anthony Hopkins) is a successful surgeon. One day he encounters an exhibit of a man nicknamed the Elephant Man (John Hurt), a perverted, degraded version of a human being, as some people put it bluntly. Stricken by its nature, Frederick decides to help John Merrick, as he is actually called, as much as he can. John is a shy man, with apparently no relatives left to take care of him. The relationship between Frederick and John is a strange one, but develops into something beautiful.

John Merrick suffers more from being a curiosity at the carnival or even the hospital (many people find their way in just to look at him in disgust) than actually from being as he is. This at least is the way Lynch presents the story. It is sad, and the humane touch brought mostly by the acting of Hopkins and Hurt shines through, even through the bleak yet beautiful black-and-white photography by Freddie Francis. There is something creepy about carnivals in black-and-white, Lynch captures that feeling almost as much as Tod Browning did in Freaks (1932).

Lynch depicts the evil of humanity in a small way, with incredibly sad and moving results. I like how it gets a little weird at the end, as opposed to the full-on weirdness Lynch presents us with in most of his other movies. It’s like a tease, as The Elephant Man is more than a tease in subtlety and souflesse. It is a unique movie, not just by Lynch, but in general.

8

@1 week ago with 1 note
#the elephant man #joseph merrick #john merrick #david lynch #eraserhead #frederick treves #anthony hopkins #john hurt #freddie francis #tod browning #freaks #john gielgud #wendy hiller #freddie jones #michael elphick #hannah gordon #john standing #phoebe nicholls