Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Excellent Films

Lately I have had the good fortune of having watched several really good films. Seems like sometime we get in a movie 'rut' where all we see are mediocre films of little more then slightly entertaining value. Then sometimes we find some really excellent pictures, usually in some random place, or something you normally would not pay any attention to. I'd like to share two of my recent favorites, both are European films, i.e. not Hollywood junk. Don't get me wrong, there is some really cool stuff coming out of California, I for one can't wait for the Pacific and Iron Man 2, but for every really good movie, there usually are a dozen not so good ones, tainted with Hollywood's biases and agendas. Both independent and European films seem to have a certain 'rawness' to them which I find quite appealing. This is especially true in the following two features, both of which are based on true events, and based on true people. Another thing I find fascinating is when watching movies in a different language that one does not know so well it forces one to focus a bit more. These particular ones are in Danish and German, languages I understand a little but far from good enough to able to just listen without subtitles.

The first one I'd like to mention is called Flammen & Citronen (The Flame and The Lemon), which is a Danish film following two members of the Holger Danske resistance group during the German occupation of Denmark. It is an excellent piece of motion picture that is very entailing, raw and suspenseful. Even more so due to it’s historical value and to what some individuals were willing to do to fight fascism in their country.

The second film is also a world war two historical account, though completely different from the previous. The movie is called “Eine Frau in Berlin” or “A Woman in Berlin” which is based on a memoir that was written after the war by a woman who endured the Russian attack and initial occupation of Berlin. After the books initial release it met such outrage for telling the truth about the Russian take over of Berlin that the woman who wrote the book swore never to publish another print run while she was still alive, and would never allow her name to be published. As such it is penned by “Anonymous”. Another extremely raw and emotional film, it really conveys the Russian hatred for the Germans and what they did in Russia and to it’s people during the war.

Both are very powerful and intriguing movies very well worth watching.