Thursday, April 30, 2009

Salaam Bombay!

Mira Nair, 1988, India (10*)
This is one of the great Asian films. One a few films I'd call a masterpiece, and probably my favorite film by a female director, replacing Lina Wertmuller's Seven Beauties.

Unbelievably, this is director Mira Nair's first feature film - "fiction" that is. (Most wil recognize Monsoon Wedding as hers). After making 5 documentaries, she wanted to show the indominable spirit of these kids and their everyday struggle for survival. She used only 3 pro actors (the Madame, Aneeta Kanwar as Rakah the prostitute, Ragubir Yaday as Chillum the street addict), and 24 children of the streets of Bombay (almost none of whom could read the script!), selected from over 150 she had put into her special acting workshop she set up to cast this movie. Shafiq Syed is the amazing lead actor, as Chiapau/Krishna, and 11-yr old kicked out of his home and told not to come back until he could repay 500 rupees; he now delivers tea daily in the brothel district.

Nair based this on her experiences filming India Cabaret, a documentary about strippers, and meeting a lovable "chai wallah", or tea delivery boy (like in Slumdog Millionaire, which owes a lot to this film and Fernando Mierelles' City of God), who personally brought tea to the strippers daily at 4pm. She got financial assistance from the government in making this, giving her access to harsh prison/orphanages, closed to private filmmakers. She then used the profits from the film to set up 3 homes for street kids, which has grown now to 17. KUDOS all-around for making a social film that actually brought change to Indian society in the way they treat and educate orphans, and showed the world a terrific story, beautifully composed by Nair and shot by cinematographer Sandi Sissel, who, along with Nair, provides commentary for the film.

Great movie, DVD, overall experience. If you like Slumdog, this is even better; more real, harder hitting. I would watch both commentaries as well. Deservedly won Nair the best new director award at Cannes in 1988.


Monday, April 27, 2009

Short Cuts 3

Lately I've seen more films to avoid than to recommend. Here are the latest ones, all by major directors as well.

Persona (Ingmar Bergman, Sweden) - the kind of Bergman film that Woody Allen and others parodied or copied, consists largely of facial close-ups (beautiful b&w cinematography by Sven Nykvist as usual) of two actresses he was involved with romantically: Bibi Andersson, who plays a nurse to Liv Ullman's actress having a mental breakdown. (Bergman and Ullman became involved after this, her first film with him.) Not much happens except a lot of angst, and a few shots of arc lights or film which critics claim is "Bergman deconstructing cinema as we knew it then" - Whoopee, I always love a good artistic deconstruction. Thankfully a short film at 90 minutes; the best thing here are Liv Ullman's lips. She was 25 at the time and admits, "I didn't understand Bergman, but he was an icon". Example of Bergman's excess: one 5-8 minute scene is shown entirely twice, once showing the speaker, Bibi, once showing the listener, Ullman. Wow, how radical (zzz..) You could do a whole movie that way; and the viewer sits through everything twice, but its 'art'. 5* (of 10)
Note: Bergman's highest ranked film critically, at #40, with Seventh Seal (My pick) just behind at #52 (a knight plays chess with death during the plague in the middle ages; what could be more fun?)

The Star Maker (Guiseppe Tornatore, Italy) - another Tornatore (Cinema Paradiso, Malena) directed film, and like these Malena, was filmed in Sicily. This is about a talent scout for a Rome film studio, who travels about the countryside taking screen tests for locals to submit to agents in Rome. The story starts very well, as we're shown local Sicilians with faces of great character and life, and it feels like Tornatore himself was duplicating the story's narrative. Somewhere midway however, he picks up a teenage virgin who is dying to escape her boring life working in a convent, and the story goes downhill from there. As a film and Tornatore fan, I eventually felt ripped off by the plot development and conclusion. What began as a warm-hearted romantic comedy filled with hope became serious and unrewarding. One expects better from Tornatore relative to the story itself. Beautifully shot scenes of Sicily (a beautiful ancient amphitheater in one scene) and its inhabitants however. 5* (of 10)
Note: the dvd cover is inaccurate; the girl did not resemble Lolita, but was a dark-haired, black-eyed Italian beauty; she never once wore sunglasses either. "Shoot the Poster Maker"


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Short Cuts 2

Here are some more recent films I've seen that I would avoid, and the reasons why:

The Sacrifice (Andrei Tarkovsky, Russia) - Bergmanesque film made in Sweden by Russian director (using Berman's cinematorgrapher) who proves he can be just as boring as the Swede he admires. Painful to watch as we descend into dementia with an aging patriarch. 3* (of 10)

Stalker (Andrei Tarkovsky, Russia) - this is science fiction based on "Roadside Picnic" by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky. It's worse than slow, you have to watch this 150 minutes of men sleeping and water dripping at high speed or else tear your hair out. Terrible science fiction, yet #125 on the critics 1000 (how?). The high contrast film also hurt my eyes. 2*
[Note: the two Tarkovksy films I'd recommend: Andrei Rublev, his masterpiece, and Ivan's Childhood, a beautifully shot, b&w anti-war WW2 film; in 59, one of the first Russian films to see airing in the U.S.]

The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008 remake) - Not great in b&w in the 50's, still not great even with special effects. Good idea, just not much of a story to go with it (this kind of story is routine in early SciFi literature, there's much better out there in books). Mankind is so brutal and destructive that an advanced alien race wants to eradicate us to save the earth. This is sad whether true or not, because we are definitely killing the earth for our short-term profit. Canoe, er Keanu Reeves is even blander in this than normal; he needs to study Gary Cooper if he wants to do a lot with little effort. 4*

Sansho the Bailiff (Kenzi Mizoguchi, Japan) - #88 on the critics top 1000, this b&w 'classic' is a boring and painful look at slavery in ancient Japan. Well filmed, this is still a totally miserable exposé to sit through, and we all know slavery is awful for slaves. Made in 1954, the film looks like early 30's western films, it's that primitive. Watch Seven Samurai again instead, same era, two years later but decades ahead in style. I suppose of all these "short cut" films, this one will still probably interest the most cinephiles, as least as students of film history. 5*


Burden of Dreams

Les Blank, 1982 (9.1*)
Whether you liked or even watched Werner Herzog’s ambitious epic Fitzcarraldo, this documentary on its making is one of the best films about filmmaking ever made. Herzog became so obsessed with his story that he repeated the character's prodigious feat of bringing opera to the Amazon rainforest by moving a huge steamship inland over hills and up to a huge lake where it could move around a large, remote area to bring the first opera ever seen or heard by Amazon natives.

Les Blank and his assistant Maureen Gosling take us to Herzog’s film locations in the jungle. His first location became the scene of a border war between tribes, so he had to move to another location. Moving the steamship using manpower, pulleys, and one bulldozer for backup was very dangerous, so many crew members and a structural engineer walked off the job; another was bitten by a green mambo and immediately amputated his own leg with a machete – if not, he would have died in minutes. Such are the burdens of filmmaking dreams, and none were more grandoise than Herzog’s insane obsession.

Lead actor Jason Robards succombed to dysentery and wasn’t allowed to return to location, so Klaus Kinski completed the film. Herzog also lost Mick Jagger to a concert tour, so this film had many setbacks, and Burden of Dreams becomes a chronicle of Herzog's obstacles to his maniacal obsession - perhaps the most 'larger than life' of all films. This is one of the best documentaries ever made.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Fight Club

David Fincher, 1999 (8.1*)
Great entertainment, as are most Fincher films (The Game, Benjamin Button), with a few statements thrown in about nihilism, anarchy, and self-absorbed insanity. Edward Norton plays a bored corporate lackey fed up with his nowhere life. One night he runs into Brad Pitt at a bar and they have a fistfight that has a cathartic effect on each one, so they make it a habit. Others later join in the “good ole boy” mayhem, and they form a club, hence the title. Of course its illegal, so the first two rules are “don’t talk about fight club.”

One of Norton’s best performances (but best is still American History X), but I also liked Helena Bonham Carter a lot, totally out of character here as Norton’s nihilistic girlfriend. Eventually the club becomes a gang, with bigger things on their agenda. This film was so hilarious to me, that I found myself the only person laughing out loud in the theater, then I later read that Fincher said “I make comedies yet no one laughs in the theater – they don’t get it.” Well, I did – this is a funny, violent, and influential film that actually spawned fight clubs across the nation. Just one word for all these idiots: boxing! You don’t break your hands or jaws as often and you still get to beat each other senseless if you like that. Yo meatheads, or is it Meatloaves (since he was in this), its just a film!


Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Guiseppe Tournatore, 2000, Italy (8.2*)
From the director of the classic Cinema Paradiso (Oscar® winner for Foreign Film), if you enjoyed that film you should also like this one. Tournatore again returns to his childhood for inspiration. In this, a young teenage boy in a small Sicilian seacoast town named Renato, excellently portrayed by Guiseppe Sulfaro in his first role, begins the film by getting his first bicycle. To the other boys, this bicycle represents manhood (for Renato, it’s long pants!). On the same seminal day, he discovers the beautiful married woman (whose husband is at war in Africa for Italy), Malena, whom his friends watch walk to town daily (then the whole town watches her shop). Melena is beautifully played in her first film by former model Monica Bellucci, and luckily for us, we get to see just about all of her beauty, as Guiseppe realizes that he is now becoming a man, and begins to spy on Malena, even in her private moments. He later defends her against the town gossips, which is just about everyone, as all the women are jealous of her beauty and the attention she garners from all the men.

The truthful pain of this story is that the boy cannot make himself older (she’s twice his age) and be the man Melena might need, as her husband does not return, so we feel Guiseppe’s helpless torture. Tournatore said that “the greatest love is all is unrequited love”; it’s a theme that also dominated Cinema Paradiso; the first love is almost always unrequited in Tournatore’s films, and it shapes his characters lives. The film starts as a romantic comedy, then turns serious as the war affects all these residents of the town, perhaps the story’s biggest shortcoming, the shift in mood and tone. The towns of Siracusa and Noto looked stunningly like the Renaissance paintings of Caravaggio, apparently untouched by war or time for centuries, as we see in many beautiful shots (the cinematography received and Oscar® nomination). We also hear another beautiful Oscar®-nominated score by Ennio Morricone (who has scored six of Tournatore’s seven films). Another rewarding and nostalgic film by Tournatore, whose fans won’t be disappointed.


Saturday, April 18, 2009

A Wednesday

Neeraj Pandey, 2008, India (9.2*)
This is a tightly plotted, finely crafted thriller from India, in fact, perhaps the best modern drama I’ve seen from there. The story is very timely: a police commissioner (Anupam Kher) receives a phone call from a common man, as he calls himself, brilliantly played by Naseeruddin Shah (whom you never suspect of being an actor), who claims to have planted five bombs throughout the city. As a show of good faith, he tells the commissioner the first bomb in the police station across the street. When that bomb is found, the authorities decide the man is serious, and they start meeting his demands, beginning with bringing four deadly terrorists together who are being held seperately. This story becomes a battle of wits, and of two computer experts: the ‘common man’ terrorist and a hacker the police bring in to pinpoint the location of his cell phone calls to the police.

I can’t reveal much without spoiling the surprising story, which should hit home with audiences around the world. Suffice to say that: (a) there are no music videos in this film (b) the running time is actually under two hours (c) a&b make this film unique among Indian films, at least in my experience! This is a much tighter story and better film than the top-grossing Ghajini, the previous review here.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Grand Illusion

aka La Grande Illusion
Jean Renoir, 1937, France, bw (8.9*)

I’ve often searched for the greatest classic French film, and I’ve often been disappointed, that is, until I saw Grand Illusion again for the first time in over 40 years. Most critics place Renoir’s Rules of the Game near the top of their lists (it’s #3 on the 1000 list, Illusion is #26, they are 1 and 10 for foreign language films), but like Roger Ebert, Rules of the Game I just don’t get, but I get Grand Illusion. This is probably the first great prisoner escape film, and along with All Quiet on the Western Front, one of the great anti-war films that preceded WWII.

This is a beautifully shot film about French prisoners during World War I being held by German officers in a tall, forbidding medieval castle. Career officers played by Erich von Stroheim, a German with a broken back now in a brace and relegated to prison warden duty, and a Frenchman played by Pierre Fresnay, are actually civil and gentlemanly toward each other, and symbolize the last of a dying breed of soldier: those born into families of career soldiers who continue the tradition. The others are common men, officers due to ability and necessity, and features Jean Gabin in his best role as a non-aristocratic everyman soldier, who, no matter how well treated they are, still plans an escape, as its their duty.

Without giving way too much, this has some eloquent statements about compassion, survival, heroism, and humanity in the midst of a brutal and senseless world war. The grand illusion, of course, is that war is not glory and bravery, but a useless waste of humankind, each one of which leaves behind a family and friends. There is one event between the two career officers that I did not understand, that didn’t seem true to their characters, and its an integral point in the plot so I can’t spoil it - that’s why this gets a 9 and not a 10. This was the first foreign language film to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar®.

Note: I think I still prefer Jean de Florette/Manon des Source as my favorite French movie, although technically it's two separate films, but its both halves of one novel and really should be watched together.


Monday, April 13, 2009


Michaelangelo Antonioni, 1960, Italy, bw (9.6*)
Cannes Special Jury Prize
This is one of the more pleasant film surprises of my lifetime. Not being an Antonioni fan (Blow Up, Red Desert, Zabriskie Point - all overblown bores, in my opinion), I avoided this film since college, over 40 years. I finally gave in and saw the excellent Criterion version, and watched the commentary. I was entranced by this hypnotic film, titled "The Adventure", in which nearly every scene is a masterpiece of composition, lighting, and B&W cinematic beauty. This may be a difficult film for the public, it's a little slow and measured, but as a visual artist myself, I can't think of a better composed b&w film.

The story is basically a missing person scenario, a commentary on relationships, and a romantic triangle, with some subtly erotic stops along the way, all done with visual cues and acting, not with plot or dialogue, both of which are scarce. A group of idle rich take a small yacht to an tiny uninhabited Aeolian island near Sicily, and the fiancée of the main character, Sandro (played by Gabriele Ferzetti in one of his 104 film roles!), goes missing, and while searching for her together, feelings develop between him and her best friend Claudia, subtly played by Antonioni's wife Monica Vitti. The island scenes are starkly beautiful, and took months to film, with the crew lugging heavy equipment by hand over a craggy, volcanic rock surface.

The Cannes film festival gave it a special jury prize for "beauty in film, a new way of looking at cinema" - to say the least! Along with Bertolucci's "The Conformist", this is now my favorite Italian film, I can see why it's an all-time top 100 critically (39th overall, 15th for foreign language). A must for fans of cinema art, but for fans of plot and action, and a nice pat story, this may be disappointing, so down a star for that alone when I wanted to give it a 10; this is its only fault.


Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Handmaid's Tale

Natasha Richardson, 1963-2009

Volcker Schlondorff, 1990 (7.6*)
This dystopian SciFi tale is based on the Margaret Atwood novel, and was probably Natasha Richardson's best film. The story is not that pleasant, but the cast is superb: Natasha co-stars with Oscar® winners Robert Duvall and Faye Dunaway, with Aiden Quinn as the romantic interest. The story is a about a post-apocalyptic society that is now controlled by Christian fundamentalists. All individuality and freedom are gone, and the apocalypse left most women sterile. The few remaining fertile women are captured by the government and are used as "handmaid's" for the politically powerful, which is their name for birth mothers (or sex slaves). Sex is only for pro-creation as all pleasure is now basically outlawed by the fundamentalists, except of course, for the politically powerful. Natasha becomes the handmaid for the powerful and self-righteous Robert Duvall and his unhappy wife Faye Dunaway. Meanwhile, she establishes a friendship and romance with their driver Aiden Quinn.

This is not a pleasant film, but it is a good science fiction movie, often overlooked since it doesn't have the special effects and battles we usually associate with science fiction. (Children of Men is a similar recent film) It simply tells a frightening story of a possible future where all freedom and pleasure have been removed, and all actions are controlled by one religious group, who base all their actions on "God's word" (basically the old testament here), or at least their interpretation of what they want that to be.

See Natasha's complete filmography here


Friday, April 10, 2009


Steven Spielberg, 2005 (9.1*)
For some reason, this film didn’t receive the acclaim of other Spielberg films, yet it’s just about as good. The story is based on the true story of an Israeli agent, played by Eric Bana, who, along with four others (including Daniel Craig), relentlessly hunts down all the planners of the Munich Olympic terrorism that led to the deaths of 11 Israeli athletes. This is a long and gripping film, just what you would expect from the filmmaker of Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan. When he tackles an important subject, such as these war films and war crimes, you can’t think of any better modern director to handle the balance of action and character motivation. Five Oscar nominations, including best picture and director. No wins – this was the year that the mediocre, tv-looking movie Crash (not the good J.G. Ballard s/m one either) surprised real movie people by winning over this and Brokeback Mountain.


Thursday, April 9, 2009

House of Flying Daggers

Zhang Yimou, 2004, China (8.1*)
Following his tremendous success with Hero, top-grossing film in Chinese history, Zhang Yimou continued with martial arts adventures with this story of a group of women who oppose the Tang Dynasty's male leaders continually involving the kingdom in wars. Believing if they overthrow the men and allow the women to take over, they can stop the wars and bring peace to the kingdom.

Ziyi Zhang (Crouching Tiger, The Road Home) is a member of the subversive revolutionary group known as House of Flying Daggers for their penchant of committing assassinations with daggers, made so that they can be thrown in curves, like a boomerang - so hiding behind a tree is useless. This is more exciting filmmaking from Yimou, who seems to have hit his stride in this genre: the historical, costume, epic action adventure, and the more intrigue the better. Along with Zhang, this stars Takeshi Kaneshiro and Andy Lau. Time Magazine and others called this the "best picture of the year".


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Fallen Angels

Wong Kar-Wai, 1995, China/Hong Kong (9.0*)
I recently re-watched this Wong Kar-Wai film because it had been remastered for dvd, and I couldn't remember it from over a decade earlier. I was surprised and riveted by the stunning visuals. Kar-Wai is a visual master, and this is one of the most visual of his films. This is the 'sequel' to his excellent Chungking Express, the two films being intended to be one long film by Kar-Wai but due to length he put them out as two separate films. Taken together, the films are either a trilogy or tetralogy, it's kind of hard to tell, but suffice to say that they are films of more than one story. These films were the inspiration for Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction, hence the trilogy of stories in that film.

The story is not the important part of these films, which are basically urban crime films, with a kind of 'neo-noirish' slant, as filmed by Hong Kong. This story is about a hit man, pondering one last hit before 'retiring'. The visuals take precedence here, with the cinematography of Christopher Doyle (who also works with Chinese master director Zhang Yimou) dazzling and inventive, as usual. The two films together provide an exciting introduction to the Hong Kong crime style, and have proven very influential around the world.

Note: When filmed, Hong Kong was still British. Since its reverted to Chinese nationality, I've been designating these as from China so that a scan for Chinese films will turn these up also. It's a major dilemna, you don't want to offend anyone, but will obviously offend someone - so I'll likely list them as both, no problem there. Same problem with Czechoslavakia vs Czech Republic.. You want a search of those to show Closely Watched Trains, Kolya, and Zelary, rather than have them split up between defunct and active nations.


Sunday, April 5, 2009

Best in Show

Christopher Guest, 2000 (8.6*)
Former SNL writer and actor Guest has made a series of small comedies, some funny and some not, but Best in Show is definitely his best, a hilarious spoof of the big Westminister dog shows that we can now see on cable. The story follows five dogs to the big show. Four are owned by couples: two married hetero couples, one gay couple (over the top but hilarious), and one lesbian couple. The last is a Tennessee bloodhound owned by bachelor Guest, a southern gentlemen who seems to have stepped out of a forgotten era. His low key style sometimes undermines the comedy, as he did in A Mighty Wind, but it works better here.

Most of the owners treat their dogs better than people; the film even starts with Parker Posey explaining a sexual incident to what we first think is a couples psychologist, but it turns out to be a dog psychologist being consulted because her Weimeraner (sp?) is depressed after witnessing its owners making love in some wild kama sutra position(!) Former SCTV comedians Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara play the funniest couple, with a little Scottie from Florida, who have a hilarious road visit with her former beau, standup comedian Larry Miller, now a hostage negotiator, who tells his son, "Come down off that garage or I'll gouge your eyes out with my thumb."

All the actors are perfectly cast, and funny in their own ways; however, it's Fred Willard who nearly steals the movie as the naive tv announcer who obviously knows nothing about dog shows. If you like SNL and SCTV, and something a little more cerebral than Adam Sandler, this comedy will likely tickle your bones, and your dog's as well.


Friday, April 3, 2009

The Testament of Dr. Mabuse

Fritz Lang, 1933, Germany (8.0*)
This is an amazing film for its era, also known as "Crimes of Dr. Mabuse". Those who had Poltergeist make the hair on their neck stand up will likely feel chills from this film as well. Master director Fritz Lang is more well-known for "M" (Peter Lorre as a child killer) and the SciFi classic "Metropolis" (he likes the "M" thing!), yet this film has more radical (ie, advanced) film techniques for the time, especially special effects of ghosts. The film is about a psychological study of a madman, Dr. Mabuse, in an asylum for 10 years, whose writings have progressed from rampant hallucination to lucid descriptions of perfect crimes.

This is all innocent until the crimes start being committed, exactly as Mabuse wrote them. A police detective is baffled and investigates the case, while the psychiatrist is obsessed with studying Mabuse. We see some incredible ghost effects, as an apparently "projected ghost" from the still living Dr.Mabuse talks to, and hands items to the living. This is an excellent early crime (and horror) film, of course, dated by today's standards, but should be seen by all film students, and fans of old crime movies. This film makes all the "critics all-time best" lists. In German with subtitles.

Note: known as "expressionism", these are films that show a character's inner torment as external visualizations in film. Lang hated the term but was its best practitioner.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire

Danny Boyle, India-UK, 2008 (9.5*)
Best Picture (AA,BAA,GG)I had to wait until it came out on dvd, but Slumdog was worth the wait. Fans of either British director Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, A Life Less Ordinary) or Bollywood won’t be disappointed. From the very beginning, when this story of two brothers growing up as orphans in the streets of Mumbai starts with Jamal (now almost an adult), played by Dev Petel, being brutally interrogated by police about fraud on a game show, you realize you’re in a Boyle film. The frank and brutal style of Trainspotting is evident throughout this film: tilted camera angles, blurred montages, fast editing – its either Boyle or Hong Kong director Wong Kar Wai, both have similar action styles. Both cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle and editor Chris Dickens won well-deserved Oscars, as the pace and visual style of the entire film are knockouts – it only slows down a little toward the end, and after the first 90 minutes you’re nearly breathless.

The film begins in the present, then tells the story of Jamal and his brother Salim in flashbacks, wonderfully played by four young actors at two age levels when growing up. The story contantly shifts back to the police interrogation, and Jamal’s story of how he knows all the trivia allowing him to do well on the show. (Amil Kapoor is very good as the slick game show host). We get glimpses of Latika, a girl the brothers help when all are orphans, and who grows up into the gorgeous Freida Pinto, one of the most stunning actresses ever.

Without giving too much away, this is brutal story of crime and survival that is also a heartwarming and uplifting story. It shows the darker side of India: religious violence, torture, child abduction, street crime, child slavery. Basically, all the things you get from extreme poverty. Yet, in Jamal, we have a character based on hope and positive self-image, rising above his roots, who turns away from organized crime, continues to fight for survival, and search for his true love.

This had to be an excellent novel, based on "Q & A" by Vikas Swarup. The screenplay adaptation by Simon Beaufoy was an excellent and won an Oscar®. However, I think the real star of the film is A.R. Rahman's terrific music (one of the best scores in years), winning him two Oscars®, as he also won for the song "Jai Ho", shown over a mock Bollywood musical number during the film’s closing credits, with the entire cast dancing between trains. Hats off to either Boyle or Tandan for that terrific sendup, from a movie that was hardly musical, or even light-hearted.

I rarely give out a 10, but this will make the second one for 2008 films, Wall-E being the other. I’m very surprised that Indian co-director Loveleen Tandan didn’t also receive an Oscar®, as Danny Boyle did. Slumdog swept the Oscars® if you weren’t noticing, winning for picture, director, adapted screenplay, cinematography, editing, sound, music, and song. Eight Oscars®

Note: The film is in English; what little is in Hindi is translated with on-screen balloon subtitles coming from the character speaking, a novel way to do those. On top of the Oscars®, Slumdog won just about every critic's award this year that Wall-E didn't win.

A link to the awards page (75 won in all) at IMDB: Slumdog Awards


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Artist, photographer, composer, author, blogger, metaphysician, herbalist

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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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