Posts Tagged ‘melodrama’

Gorgeous Camp, Campy Gore – Three Films By Dario Argento

Posted 14 Oct 2011 — by Ezra Stead
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Got

By Ezra Stead

The Phantom of the Opera is a film Dario Argento was born to make. The Phantom of the Opera, Italy, 1998

Jenifer, USA, 2005

Pelts, Canada / USA, 2006

Directed by Dario Argento

Italian filmmaker Dario Argento is widely known among horror fans as a distinctive, sadistic auteur, a director who has found beauty in terror and mutilation with films such as Suspiria (1977), Inferno (1980) and Opera (1987). It is often forgotten that he also helped write one of the greatest Westerns of all time, Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), but that makes sense, as he has devoted his career as a director to the creepily atmospheric and macabre, delighting in tales of the supernatural and visions of brutal but creative murder. Suspiria is generally considered to be his masterpiece (and it is certainly one of the prettiest horror films I’ve ever seen) and I actually like Opera even more in many ways, but this entry in my ongoing Halloween Movie Month (HMM … yeah, I like that acronym better) series will focus on three newer films with which I recently caught up, including his two contributions to Mick Garris’s always intriguing Masters of Horror series. Read More

Mother and Child – A Not So Mellow Drama

Posted 31 Jul 2011 — by contributor
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Got

By Scott Martin

Mother and Child, USA / Spain, 2009

Written and Directed by Rodrigo Garcia Mother and Child is a lovely film. Difficult to take, and "melodramatic", but lovely nonetheless.

I’m always fascinated by multi-narrative character studies, films that take total strangers and loop them together based on a sole coincidence. Be it an unfortunate turn of events, or something mundane yet fortuitous, we’re all connected; that seems to be the mission statement of films like this. Here, the unfortunate events pile onto each other to become something fortuitous. It’s a film that centers its meditation on adoption, but it isn’t preaching; it’s merely telling a story about it. I appreciate that above most things in filmmakers. Focusing its lenses on three women (Annette Bening, Naomi Watts, and Kerry Washington), Mother and Child is the cure for the common Lifetime movie. It’s melodramatic, at times, but I’ve always considered melodrama to be a symptom of a bigger ailment, not the ailment itself. The events in this film are melodramatic, so how could the surrounding elements not be? It wouldn’t flow as a film, and it’s the ebb and flow of Rodrigo Garcia’s films that make them memorable. What I’ve always taken from his work, even if unaffected by his stories, is that he has excellent control over his atmosphere. Read More