L’ Argent, the last directorial effort of Robert Bresson, is unfortunately, in my opinion, seems also to be his least ( I adore Au Hasard Balthazar and A Man Escaped. but really, this film is plain forgettable). Forgive me all the Bresson fans out there, but i just didn’t find anything special in this film.

Once again, the things that bugged me the most is the acting. Yes, it is true that Bresson always thought that acting is secondary. He prefer to cast an unknown on his film, and let the images and the music do the talking. But unlike Au Hasard Balthazar, in which there are beautiful black-and-white cinematography in every second, accompanied with a wonderful Schubert sonata as a background music, in L’Argent, those aspects are nowhere to be seen.

If there’s one thing to salvage of, it is the story., which some might call, very Dostoyevsky-an. But too bad, that credit has to go to Tolstoy, not Bresson. So all in one, i had to regret that Bresson ( A man that has crafted a lot of masterpieces ) had to end his career, with this inferior film.



Le Dîner De Cons

The “schmucks” predecessor who actually gives a damn about quality –

Practically the script in this film is very well written, unlike the other version, the newer in particular. Francais Veber, the screenwriter concurrently as well as a director tighten the structure of the movie, and for some reason it actually work. You’ll see bliss in realness of the character.

The wealthy editor Pierre Brochant (Thierry Lhermitte) and his associate have a strange way to spend the evening. Every Wednesday, each one of them invites the strangely-unique imbecile blokes he can find for a dinner, where each one of the guests is invited to talk about himself and what they do, for a gag. Pierre invites François Pignon (Jacques Villeret), employee at Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and build matchstick maquettes for a hobby. In the meantime, Brochant broke his back at the golf course, and for that cause, unfortunately he can’t make it to the dinner. Instead, he stays alone with solicitous, clumsy and the imbecile Pignon in his apartment.

The film beautifully crafted with classy director, magnificent talent, and well constructed script. Fortunately, it started as a theater plays Veber also writes, and for that matter he conceive every little detail about the story ins and outs. For that matters he gives us the simplicity of the appropriate comedy. Lhermitte and Villeret plays the character undeniably au naturel.

It’s not even fair for this film compared with Roach’s Dinner For Schmucks. But still it’s only a matter of choice, which one do you fancy?, the original or slightly adapted?.

A Prophet

You want to know how to define classic film? For me, it is when it’s almost 2 years since you’ve watched that film and you still couldn’t forget the excitement of the experience. You want to relive every scene as soon as possible again. The image of its great scenes keeps playing occasionally in your head. Jacques Audiard’s A Prophet is one of them.

Im sure a lot of you already hears a lot of this ‘shit’. This is a Cannes’ 2009 second place winner (Honorably losing to the all-the-same-amazing The White Ribbon). Well, if you didn’t know a thing, here: Imagine Shawshank Redemption meet City of God. Well, the result would be more or less like this, a completely raw and brutal film about life in prison !

The story, some call it, is The Godfather set in Prison.  THE GODFATHER.  Believed the hype. This is a highly intriguing, intense, and emotionally deep motion picture. Audiard’s direction makes the film more enjoyable. his chapter division, is innovative and stylishly enough (my favorite is the last chapter: recite)

And Tahar Rahim, speaking of the glorious work of fate,the fact that he got the role of Malik el Djebena right after sharing a taxi with Jaqcues Audiard, is wondrous. his performance is so compelling , that i did not afraid to compare it with Al Pacino performances in, again,The Godfather. his character is evolving along the film. At first we just see him new in prison,just trying to survive. But as the 2 hours and 28 minutes progress, he get tougher and wiser,and every time he is onscreen, he owns it. The more surprising thing is the fact that we haven’t hearing more from this guy now..

So overall, judging by the solid story, delicate direction, and, above all, the tour-de force performance of Tahar Rahim, i still  insist that this is my definite favorite film of 2009. And, as time passing, of all time.

Oh one more thing. Alexandre Desplat’s score. Of all his works until now, this is, in my opinion, his greatest to date.

Livide: Horor Terbaru Duo Sutradara Inside

Karya terbaru dari duo sutradara Inside

Hari itu tanggal 31 Oktober. Lucie (Chloe Colloud), seorang gadis berumur awal 20-an yang belum lama ditinggal mati mendiang ibunya, sedang menjalani hari pertamanya sebagai caretaker bagi orang-orang jompo. Bersama mentornya Mrs. Wilson (Catherine Jacob), mereka berkunjung dari rumah ke rumah memeriksa kondisi kesehatan para manula tersebut.

Rumah paling akhir yang mereka kunjungi hari itu adalah sebuah mansion tua 4 lantai yang terletak di daerah agak terpencil. Mansion yang bagian luarnya dipenuhi oleh sulur-sulur tanaman tersebut dihuni oleh hanya seorang perempuan renta bernama Deborah Jessel (Marie-Claude Pietragalla). Madame Jessel mengalami kondisi koma sehingga harus memperoleh bantuan berupa masker oksigen, selang infus, dan hanya bisa berbaring sepanjang hari di ranjangnya.

Sewaktu masih sehat Madame Jessel adalah seorang penari balet kenamaan yang juga melatih balet di mansionnya yang penuh dengan barang-barang antik seperti guci, buku, gramofon, foto-foto tua, dan berbagai macam hewan pajangan yang sudah dikeringkan.

Secara tak terduga Lucie mendengar informasi dari Mrs. Wilson bahwa Madame Jessel sangat kaya dan kemungkinan besar menyimpan harta karun di salah satu ruangan dalam mansion tersebut.

William (Felix Moati), pacar Lucie, sangat antusias ketika diceritakan tentang hal ini dan spontan mengajak Lucie serta seorang teman, Ben (Jeremy Kapone), untuk menjarah harta di mansion Madame Jessel. Malam itu juga mereka bertiga berangkat menuju ke sana.

Sesampainya di dalam mansion mereka belum sadar bahwa mereka telah membangunkan horor yang tak terbayangkan. Tindakan sembrono yang akan mengubah hidup mereka selamanya.

Sebagai sebuah film, Karya duo Alexandre Bustillo dan Julie Maury sangat menyenangkan buat saya. Seperti masuk ke dalam wahana rumah misteri. Mulai dari opening title, perkenalan para karakter, sampai masuk ke jantung cerita, semuanya berlangsung cepat dan efektif. Scoring-nya juga pas membangun suasana horor.

Di atas semua itu yang paling juara adalah mansion tua bergaya gothic berlantai 4 yang penuh dengan ruangan-ruangan yang sukses menggiring suasana mencekam sepanjang film. Jangan lupa, yang menjadi atraksi utama Livide tentu saja berbagai adegan seram nan ganjil yang berdarah-darah.

Verdict: Horor Perancis ini tontonan wajib bagi yang suka film semacam Pan’s Labyrinth karya Guillermo del Toro.

Salah satu favorit saya di iNAFFF11.