Monday, April 30, 2012

Wrapping It Up: April

Let us get right into the business. Here is what I saw over the last month April, 2012.

The Hunger Games(2012): And I open my 2012 account with a bang !! Even though I am still a little late, I am 4 months ahead of 2011. First 2011 movie I watched was Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows part II(2011) in July last year. However, even though I was one of those eagerly anticipating it, let us just say that I was hoping for a something little better than this.

Haywire(2012): I opened my 2012 account last week with The Hunger Games(2012) and followed it with this. I love the fact that Soderbergh keeps on diverging into different genres and more than that does a good job of it. Gina Carano was really good actually and she kicked some real ass in it. 

The Seventh Seal(1957): After procrastinating for like forever, I finally saw it for My Movie Year blogathon. For it's status as an exemplary Art movie and movie which made Bergman Bergman, It is surprisingly accessible. If you haven't read it, see my mini review post here. 

Planet of the Apes(1968): An Idea of apes ruling the planet and treating humans as we treat animals does sound promising. However, I thought creative geniuses who wrote the script stopped thinking after this point because it felt like what I call as Lazy Fiction, just exchanging Humans and Apes. 

Ocean's Eleven(2001)(Re-watch): I saw it with room-mates because they were watching it. If you want, I am sure you can find hundreds of fault in it, but I really didn't care. It is still a great fun movie to watch.

Ocean's Thirteen(2007)(Re-watch): Why not 12, you ask ? because I hate it. 13 isn't great either but at least it is watchable and to tell you the truth, I just wanted to check that despite owning it, have I really seen it or not as I just could not remember it. Turns out I have seen it before. What does that tell you about it? I don't know. 

Throne of Blood(1957): This turned out to be the Weekend my memory kept on failing me. After 13 above, I was almost certain that I have seen Throne as well but wanted to give it another go before writing anything about it as I confuse it a lot with Ran(1985). Well, I have certainly seen it now. You can see my thoughts on it here. 

Buffalo '66(1998): I had next to nothing idea about Vincent Gallo until I watched it. After watching it, whatever I have read or seen, I am becoming more and more convinced that this pretty much is his autobiographical movie of the sorts. My full review here.

Pather Panchali(1955): This film will give 12 Angry Men a run for his money as my favorite Debut movie. In his debut movie, Satyajit Ray touched something deep inside me that brought on the verge of crying many, many times in it. I will definitely write about this in detail once I get around the whole Apu Trilogy. Wait for it !!

Aparajito(1956): If there is one thing that I admire the most about Aparajito, that it does not suffer from the 'middle child syndrome' especially after being the successor of something like Pather Panchali. But, Aparajito stands firm independently as a film and that it itself is a great feet to achieve. 

Shame(2011): If there was one movie in 2011 that I wanted to watch badly, it would be Shame. After the recent release on DVD, I was finally able to see it and I love it. I doubt if I will be able to put a complete review together but I am sure that I will love it even more every time I watch it again, though I doubt how often will that be. 

Black Narcissus(1947): It has been in my Netflix queue for quite sometime now. But, I was unaware of the fact that it was filmed in India and that was the final push I needed. Though it certainly looked dated in lot of aspects, it still is a classical piece of cinema and I especially loved the dark turn it takes in last half hour or so.

Kiki's Delivery System(1989): I am working my way through Miyazaki's filmography, slowly but surely. Only Porco Rosso(1992) and Nausicaa(1984) left now. I might start looking for other Ghibli movies after that and other anime stuff soon after.

I Vitelloni(1953): Traditionally, I have always taken time to warm-up to every Fellini movie I have seen but eventually loved them. Even though my initial reaction to this is pretty much same, I doubt if I will warm-up to it because I pretty much did not care about none of the characters at all. 

Far From Heaven(2002): For some reason, I am struggling to put down any words here, not because film wasn't good, it was. It does have a nice story, good acting from almost everyone involved but because I have very little apathy for characters like Dennis Quaid in this. If your wife can support through everything you are going through, how dare he blame her ??

Kahaani(2012)(Hindi): With my doubts about the condition of Hindi film Industry in last few years, it is a great comfort to see a worthwhile movie once in a while. It is also a welcome change to see female-centric, non-romantic movie and on top of that Vidya Balan making most of it. If at all I am to find a fault, I thought they could have done with a little stronger supporting cast. 

Days of Heaven(1978): If ever there was a beautiful movie made, this must be it. However, that ending felt like a cheating to me. I was expecting something, to go on for some time more and it kinda just ended on me. But that's Malick for you I guess. You never know what will he do.

Month Python's Life of Brian(1979): While watching this movie, I couldn't help myself but keep comparing this with Monty Python and Holy Grail(1975). I guess I wanted an answer to why is this not considered as good as Holy Grail and to tell you the truth, I still don't have much idea. Only thing I could come up with is it probably lacks iconic characters like Knights who say NI!, otherwise this really is just as good as Holy Grail. 

The World of Apu(1959): And with this, probably the best known trilogy in the history of cinema is over and now I don't have to feel bad that I haven't seen the most widely known Indian film in film-world. But, to tell you the truth, it deserves every single word of praise it gets and little more. 

Harold and Maude(1971): I am not sure if this is a common response or not, but this film presented me with quite an interesting dichotomy for me. I loved Maude, character and Ruth Gordon but pretty much hated Harold and Bud Cort. Another fun fact, I doubt if I have seen anything else by anyone in the whole cast and crew of course except Gordon's Oscar turn in Rosemary's Baby(1968).

Withnail and I(1997): I am not exactly sure what went wrong here, but I did not enjoy this movie at all. I probably went with the wrong expectations as well but still it elicited very few laughs from me. I will agree that I wasn't in the best of the moods but still, it felt pretty laborious to me.

Philadelphia(1993)(Re-watch): Just another movie that I thought I haven't watched yet but it all came back to me as I watched it and even though I do not remember watching it, I am almost sure it was just as powerful first time as it was this time.

The Return(2003): My first foray into Russian cinema and I am certainly glad that I broke this ice even if it is way late that I would have wanted. It also helps to have a great movie to start. It will take some time to get it done but I will have a full review soon as well.

Total Count:23. 20 First Time Watches and 3 Re-watches. (All the re-watches are either memory lapses or friend requests.)

11 classics and 12 new. 8 Foreign, 14 English and 1 Hindi. I am counting 3 Apu movies as foreign as even though they are very much Indian movies, I do not know Bengali.

2012 YTD Count 

Total Count:108. 103 First Time Watches and 5 Re-watches.

I am down from my total for last two months but I believe going forward, this is what a typical month will look like. Also, since the return of Game of Thrones for it's second season and Bones returning after long mid-season break, there are like 6 weekly shows to catch up on. And I am finally going through The Wire entirely, currently watching Season 4 for first time and I am loving every minute thus far. There is a reason why this show is called 'The Best Show Made Ever' and then there also was my big move to the west coast to deal with as well.

So, What do you think about my month ? Did you  see anything interesting this month ?? Let me know in the comments.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Buffalo '66

Billy Brown is being released from prison. A guard escorts him out and locks the door after him. Billy has just spent 5 years in prison and is not sure what he wants to do now, he almost seems reluctant to leave it. He looks left, he looks right, finally settles down on the bench by the side of the road. Apparently, ha spends a lot of time on that bench but now he has to pee and guard denies to let him back in for that. So, he takes a bus and goes to the city. On the bus stop, restroom is under maintenance. So he goes out looking for someplace where he can use bathroom. But almost all the restaurants around are closed. He finally spots an open dancing studio or at least that what I thought it was. But he starts an argument with a guy in restroom because he was looking at him and now he can't take a lick. Wait ! What on earth am I talking about ? This is not how I usually open my reviews. But then again, this is not how you open any movie as well, wouldn't you agree ? In one tab here, I have a thesaurus page open because Buffalo '66(1998) is so different, so weird, quirky in almost all the aspects that I am sure soon enough I will run out of adjectives. I probably should not have used different, weird and quirky all in same sentence above. Darn it !!

So, Buffalo '66 written, directed and acted by Vincent Gallo is a story of Billy Brown. As I said above, he is just out of prison. His real problem is he hasn't told his parents that he was in jail for 5 years. Instead, they are under impression that he has been working somewhere else for Government. After coming out, he kidnaps Layla because he has also told his parents that he is married and once they know that he is coming over to visit them, they insist that he brings her as well. So, he needs someone to play the part. He tries to force her, intimidate her initially but pretty soon it wears off and then we follow them for the night over their misadventures. Even before we meet his parents, it is quite evident that Billy is little disturbed. Person in the next stall in bathroom peeking supposed to be a funny incident but he seems genuinely irritated, before kidnapping Layla he asks her for a quarter but even then his behaviour is as if he had a big fight with her. And when he really needs to be a bad-ass, he apologizes to Layla 5 minutes after kidnapping her. However, once we meet his parents, various reasons why Billy became like this become apparent. With constantly bickering father and mother who is constantly glued to football game it is easy to see that Billy takes all his frustration at home out by reacting violently to even the casual events and insulting people like they don't mean anything to him.

If there is one thing consistent in the film that is unconventionality all around. There is not a single character which I can relate to or is similar to anyone I know. Lot of situations that we see on screen are completely unrelated to anything we see like Layla starts tap-dancing on the Bowling floor and whole place suddenly goes dim and there is only a spot-light on her and in another scene his father sings a song which is clear mimicking of the song. However, they both more or less work as they bring out the whole quirkiness of movie. Gallo supposedly based it on the events in his own life, he also shot some of the scenes in his old house in Buffalo. Now what that tells us about Gallo is a different thing but it does add a rather gloomy edge to the whole scenario. If you want to, there are many reasons you can hate this movie like even though she is the lead female character, we never know anything about Layla's story neither we get an inside into why does she starts to have feelings towards Billy. After a little while, it is evident that she is taking part in Billy gig just for the sake of fascination rather than intimidation but that doesn't feel like reason enough for me. But, Gallo doesn't seem interested in giving any such explanation and this might also be indicative of Billy's smug, belittling attitude towards almost everyone. I know next to nothing about Gallo as a person but with the recent news of Gallo suing city of L.A., I won't be really surprised if he is just like Billy in his real life as well.

Most of the central characters do very nice job. Vincent Gallo who apparently played himself is very eccentric, not very likable character but even then by the end, you do sympathize with him. After some time his whims, his habits like repeating the same thing over and over might start to get on to your skin, like they did for me but there is enough character development that even though you don't agree with his actions, you probably might understand them. Christina Ricci is probably the best of the lot, just in terms of the acting as she seems to get into the character from the word go and play her part perfectly even though there might be many things that we would like to know more about her as a character that we never get to know. However, Angelica Huston playing Billy's mother is probably the most hilarious character of all. She is a terrible mother who openly admits that she regrets having her son because it made her miss only Superbowl Buffalo Bills won or completely forgets that her son is allergic to chocolates and rather thinks it is his favorite treat. But Angelica Huston is superb in this role. To round up, Ben Gazzara is Billy's father who probably hates Billy for some reason and argues with him on even silly matters. I don't think I have seen Ben Gazzara in anything else so I don't have any reference to compare with but he does provide an interesting Yang to Huston's Yin.

If you look at Buffalo '66 from any other approach other than character study of a very peculiar person, with all it's idiosyncrasies it might fail. However, it is still frank and quite funny portrayal of Billy with all his faults, fighting with his past for his present to mean something.

Rating(out of 5):

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Movies that Indian Film Industry ruined for me

Taking a cue from Nikhat on her post a week ago about the movies she doesn't get appeal of and Alex's infamous post few months ago, I am in the mood for controversy as well. Both these lists are much bigger and better than what I am attempting but what I am actually attempting is a kinda specialized angel than all-encompassing nature of the two lists above. However, let me tell you a small story first. 

I am sure almost everyone knows that Hindi film industry is usually referred to as 'Bollywood' in Popular culture. But I am not sure lot of people know why? It is kind of derogatory term coming from short version of Bombay's Hollywood. Bombay or Mumbai as it is known now is where most of the Hindi film industry is located and term was coined because of the belief that all Hindi movies are copied from Hollywood movies. Now, Bollywood does have it's fair share of movies which are derived from Hollywood and with the presence of 'Bhatt Camp' it is obviously impossible to reject this as outrageous but still calling all the films are copied is stretching truth a little bit too much. However, this term is used so left, right and center that I don't think anyone feels that sting anymore, including me. After all, second most viewed post on this blog is titled 'Bollywood 101'. I sometimes find myself wondering if that is good thing or bad ? I might be drifting from the point a little. The point is, before I became a movie junkie that I am now, I have been watching Indian movies all my life and watching them has made me appreciate few truly amazing Hollywood movies a little less than I think they deserve, for various reasons. Let me be very clear and admit that by no means, any film in the list below is a bad movie. On the flip side, some of them are truly phenomenal. But they all have something common in them - Indian film Industry has ruined them for me. And they are,

Casino(1995): If I am being honest, this is not doing of Indian movies alone. Scorsese himself has played his part in it as well. I saw this after a lot of Scorsese movies, Goodfellas(1990), Taxi Driver(1976), Raging Bull(1980), The Departed(2006) and I loved them all. So, going into Casino with this baggage, I did not think it handled it well. In many ways it is very much similar to Goodfellas which I love - same actors, similar characters, similar environment and also similar source material from the same writer. Now I know I probably should not but with so much resemblance I can't help compare it with Goodfellas and then starts to droop for all the reasons Andy Buckle stated here. But, actually whether I think it is a good movie or not isn't point of focus in this post. What matters is how did Indian film Industry contribute towards it. So, there have been many Indian movies that follow the similar path - rise and fall of certain outsider in the Underworld - made in 70's and 80's. Though all of them had certain qualities of their own that they bring to the table, I think the central theme has been a little overused in Indian movies. And I don't really think that Casino adds any new dimensions to the whole scenario to warrant a special place for himself.

North by Northwest(1959)Let me start by saying that even in my books, it is a classic and will forever remain a classic. I have utmost respect for the legacy of this movie and I feel even more sad for Eva Marie Saint as she did two iconic movies in her career and they both end up in this list(wait for the next movie before you start hating me!!). But even then I will be lying to myself if I say that I felt anything special while watching it. What North by Northwest is most known for is paving a path for many action thrillers to follow over so many years and I respect it for that. An Indian film called Madhumati(1957) did similar feat for Indian horror movies and I have always respected that accomplishment. But, I have been fed whole lot of Indian movies to really appreciate whole lot more than that. Almost all the other aspects of North by Northwest, feel like I have been watching it all the time in Indian movies. Wrong man movie - there is Jewel Thief(1967), spy movie - there is Aankhen(1968), Wrong Man action Thriller - there is Teesri Manzil and let me tell you that they are as iconic as North by Northwest in Indian Cinema. Even all the action in this movie especially makes me think of Indian movies in 60s and 70s. So, sorry Hitch !! I was introduced just a tad late to your plausible masterpiece. 

On the Waterfront(1954): Believe me, when I say there is no one more sad than me to include this classic in this list. But there is a reason for that too. Well, There is an Indian movie called Ghulam(1998). I actually loved this movie a lot. It has a good story - a little different from usual rom-coms you see so much in Bollywood, pretty nice leading pair and one of my favorite shots. I must have seen this right when it was still out in theaters, so close to 13 years ago. And then I saw On the Waterfront(1954) just last year. A girl once came to the Library desk I used to work and signed it out. While signing out it to her, I realized this might be something I can be interested in and checked out later and gave it a try. It's a winner of 8 Oscars, Elia Kazan, Marlon Brando. Not much can go wrong. So, as I am watching it, I kept on feeling like I have seen it somewhere - maybe I have actually seen it before, just don't remember it. But at the scene where Terry and Charlie have their talk, it all came back to me. It all felt so familiar because Ghulam is based on it. And then after that, I spend my whole time cursing Vikram Bhatt - director of Ghulam because they are so much similar. Maybe, I knew that all along but because I saw Ghulam for more than a decade before, it didn't come to me before watching On the Waterfront(1954). I genuinely used to like it, but now I can not get over the fact that it is so much based on On the Waterfront(1954) out of my head. Not only that he ruined Ghulam for me, I have never been able to appreciate On the Waterfront as much as I should. I know it is all in my mind, but I will never be able to forgive Vikram Bhatt for this.

Primal Fear(1996): Remember the movie that made Edward Norton household name in the very first movie he made and even got himself nominated for the Oscars ? Remember that brilliant twist in the end, which must have made most of you flip in your seats ? Well, will you believe me if I say that I was hoping that twist wasn't there ? I know, I am asking that the moment, which for lot of us made that film, to be not there. But, again, there is another Indian movie called Deewangee which follows the same path. Now, while watching Primal Fear, within an hour into the movie I had realized this and I probably knew it all along. So, here it is not the case that this realization ruined this film for me. But, since almost all the twists are pretty much same in both, I knew exactly how this story is going to go ahead and how is it going to end ? And it did follow exact same path. Now, I am not taking any credit away from Primal Fear because, William Diehl in his novel and Steven Shagan and Ann Biderman in their screenplay, built up really gripping suspense. But since I saw Deewangi first, that moment of epiphany which makes the whole thing work, never occurred to me.

So, what do you think ? Do you think I am being harsh on any of them ? Should I be able to see past them and still appreciate them for just what they are ?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

My Movie Year: 1957

This post is a part of 'My Movie Year' Blogathon organized by Fandango Groovers Movie Blog. Basic idea is you have to pick your favorite year for movies and back it up with 5 classics from that year, no more and no less. You can do as much as or as little as you want with them. You can see the list of all participants here.

Anyone who calls himself a cinephile or cinema lover, even someone who has a little more than just a passing interest in movies, must have heard of '1001 Movies You Need to See Before You Die' list. By all means, it is an extensive list of movies and even though I do not understand why some of the movies in that list deserve to be in it I still have to agree that it is a good reference point to check your movie knowledge. If you have been reading this blog, you will also know that I have talked about keeping track of this list. One fine day, when I was just going through the list, a particular year caught my attention because of the wide variety of movies released in the same year and that's how I discovered My Movie Year: 1957. To convince you that 1957 is one of the best years for the movies, I am going to do something different here. I am going to pick 5 movies in 5 different languages, which none of us would have any qualms about their Classic Status. This should make 1957 not only just a great movie year but really versatile as well with memorable pieces of cinema from all over the world.

12 Angry Men: Over the course of last few years, Sidney Lumet has fast become one of my favorite directors. From the accidental discovery of this genius after his death, I saw at least one and half dozen movies he directed before doing this Top 10 piece for Profile of a Director series. Even though most of his movies are classical piece of cinema, some are epic, some are even ground-breaking but none of his movies, and very few anybody made ever, have swept me off my feet the way 12 Angry Men did when I saw it first. Place in Top 5 favorite movies ever bears a testimony to that. For a storyline of 12 jurors assembled in jury room to decide final verdict of what looks like an 'open and shut' case of murder, it has an uncanny ability to make you think by attacking your prejudices very directly, especially those you do not even admit to yourself that you possess. There is nothing special about that group of 12 men assembled in that room but what they have to accomplish is special and film realizes this responsibility quite early, even if the jurors don't. What I love the most about it, and Roger Ebert agrees with it, is there is so much action in it without any real action on-screen because Lumet generates it from his direction, from Reginald Rose's story, from dialogues like 'Now, You don't *Really* mean to kill me, do you?', performances and from situations confined in one single room such as Henry Fonda producing that knife. I have only seen it once in my life but even after couple of years, I can still remember every last detail of it and it still gives me a sense of excitement. Now, just add to it the fact that this was Sidney Lumet's directorial debut and it instantly becomes an unforgettable Classic and every bit worth of it's status.  

Throne of Blood: Even though it is not regarded as highly as some other immortal films Kurosawa did like Seven Samurai(1954), Rashomon(1950), Ran(1985) and Ikiru(1952), Throne of Blood which is considered as one of the best adaptation of Shakespeare's Macbeth to the medieval Japan is equally masterful and one of the darkest movies Kurosawa did in his career. Taketoki Washizu is an equivalent of Macbeth, who is a brave fighter who has just helped his lord to uproot a rebellion. On his way to meet his lord with another brave warrior, they encounter a spirit which makes glowing predictions for their future. As parts of this prophecy starts to comes true, his wife forces him into killing the current lord which will speed-up his ascendancy. However, the burden of guilt and suspicion that comes with it starts to consume him. It gives you a lot of reasons to hate it, it is very 50s, very Japanese(which in my opinion are actually strong-points but who knows), all the special effects are very dated and it becomes very loud towards end. But, if you are familiar with Japanese Cinema, especially classic Japanese cinema, you would know that all these things usually come with the package. However, slow disintegration of both the main characters, Lord Washizu and his Wife is portrayed is such an effective fashion, specially in two scenes - one when Lord Washizu starts imagining Miki's ghost in the feast and second at the end where his wife is trying to wash the imaginary blood of her hands, that you will cannot help but pity them. Ran(1985) which many believe as last masterpiece of Kurosawa has a lot of similarities with this, so much that I inevitably blend the two storylines together, should make an excellent double feature.

The Seventh Seal: If I am being honest, deciding this movie year was much easier decision when I compare it to deciding which 5 movies to write about after deciding the year. Even after I chose to go with 5 movies in 5 different languages which should probably make my sample set way smaller, Ingmar Bergman made sure that it was anything but simple. It might just be dumb luck or there might be something to it but in the year 1957, Bergman released two movies which made him Bergman and in my opinion, might just be two best movies he ever made: Wild Strawberries and The Seventh Seal. Choosing one of these two masterful pieces probably was the hardest choice I had to make. Wild Strawberries was first Bergman movie I saw and I still remain convinced that it is THE Best place to start your Bergman Experience. For this very reason, apart from how genius of a movie it is, it will always have a very special place in my heart. Only reason I chose The Seventh Seal over it is, it has been on my Wish-List for a long time and I finally saw it for this post. Even though I have seen quite a few Bergman movies, I usually find them hard to follow. What makes The Seventh Seal different, as a matter of fact Wild Strawberries as well is they are way more accessible than you would think for the movies that practically defined the Art movies and much more open to interpret even for an amateur like me. Another notable thing about it is the amount of hope and humour in the movie which basically is about Death. In fact, my favorite scene in the movie is the most hopeful moment of the movie where all the major characters are sitting together eating wild strawberries and milk while there is death all around them. Significant moment, also because being the last happy occasion as Death starts it's shameless dance culminating into final moment of the film, which is also considered as the apotheosis of Bergman's career - Dance of Death.

Aparajito: Even though technically it is a 1956 film, '1001 movies' lists this as 1957 film. So, I am sticking with it since I took all the other movies from the same list. Second part of Satyajit Ray's Apu Trilogy, Aparajito picks up the story where Pather Panchali(1955), first part of the trilogy left and tells us the story of years of Apu's education. Even after being the middle segment of the trilogy, Aparajito stands firmly as a movie on its own. Having watched Pather Panchali before definitely helps you in getting a better feel of it but Aparajito does not rely on first installment - couple of references to Nischindipur, village where Apu was born is all it takes from it. Apu and his parents have moved to Varanasi in hopes of better livelihood. Varanasi being one of the most important holy cities of India and Apu's father being Priest as Family Occupation, he hopes to earn a decent livelihood. However, even though they have left their village, hardships in life haven't left their side just yet. (SPOILER)After passing of their father, they again move to a small village in West Bengal(SPOILER End) where he starts going back to school and turns out to be very bright student. He even gets a scholarship to continue his schooling in Kolkata but for his mother this unfortunately results to loneliness and deterioration of her health. We follow ups and downs in his life, see him move from Varanasi to small village in West Bengal and then to Kolkata. Satyajit Ray, probably the most well-known Indian director won numerous awards nationally and internationally for this trilogy. Aparajito among many others, received Golden Lion for Best Film as well as Critics award in 1957 Venice Film Festival. Based on novels by Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay, whole Apu Trilogy is a milestone in Indian cinema and is among the finest works of Parallel Cinema, Indian equivalent of Italian Neo-realism and French New Wave. It is also often considered as one of the greatest film trilogies ever made.

Nights of Cabiria: Federico Fellini and his films have a peculiar tendency to grow on me slowly but surely. Of the 5 films I have seen, including 8 1/2(1963) and La Dolce Vita(1960), I did not take fancy to any of them immediately. However, more I think on them, it seems that more I appreciate them which is true specifically in case of 8 1/2 which by now I consider as one of the best movies made. Period. Nights of Cabiria which features a powerful performance by Guilietta Masina in central role of Cabiria, followed the same path basically because I could easily see its ending from miles away and it kinda infuriated me when it did happen. But a little deliberation over it makes you realize the depth and breadth of the things Fellini touches through Cabiria. Take for example, her encounter with man looking out for homeless people - it is interesting to see that she does not understand his kindness but she can see herself in homeless woman or their trip to Virgin Mary for her blessings and her confusion over trying to control something she does not understand. Cabiria, almost every time breezes through these experiences and more often than not ends up on the receiving end of humiliations without actually learning anything from them - one of the main reasons why ending infuriated me. Right from the very first scene where she gets dumped in the water by her boyfriend who also steals her 40,000 lire till the end, she goes from one humiliation to another. But, is it really her fault that world around her is so cruel ? Is it really so bad to look around for true love or to readily believe in the benevolence of human nature ? because this is exactly what she does. And is it really her fault that she is taken advantage of or being used for some ulterior motives all the time due to that ? If at all, her only fault is she is too innocent for cunning world around her.

Bonus Features: Paths of Glory, The Bridge on the River Kwai, Wild Strawberries, Mother India.

Average IMDb Rating of 5 films: 8.3
Lowest Rating: Aparajito(1957)   8.0                                                      Highest Rating: 12 Angry Men(1957)   8.9

Now, you tell me.
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