Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Youth Without Youth

Francis Ford Coppola, 2007 (8.3*)
Francis Coppola's first directorial effort in ten years is a complex, science fiction edged story based on the novel of Romanian author Mircea Eliade. Underused veteran actor Tim Roth, who is always interesting, plays an elderly linguistics expert, Dominic, whose true love has died, and his own research is at a standstill, when he's struck by lightning while crossing the street one night in Austria in the 30's.

He emerges from the burns a much younger man, and apparently oblivious to aging. His first task is to avoid Nazis and scientists, for he realizes his freedom and life would effectively be over. Dominic eventually meets a woman whose own catharsis is born of lightning, so he finds a new purpose in his research.

Much of the film uses the science of linguistics - languages used in the film include English, Romanian, French, Italian, Mandarin, German, Russian, Latin, Armenian, and ancient (and authentic) Sanskrit, Egyptian, and Babylonian.

This film is another that is not straightforward chronologically, and therefore will anger many viewers who need a nice neat storyline. Here the effort will be rewarding to the more diligent viewer, as the haunting and original story will linger for days afterward.


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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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