June 5th, 2008

cinema

SIFF Day 13

Stalags- Holocaust and Pornography in Israel (Israel) 2007 ***
"Stalags" are pocket books that were highly popular in Israel in the early 1960's. The plots mainly concern buxom, beautiful but cruel female SS officers who sexually torture their male prisoners. The popularity of these "Stalags" paralleled the highly publicized trial of Adolf Eichman in Israel. Paging Dr. Freud!

This documentary studies the origins of these stories and how their influence continues in Israel to this day.Interesting subject matter, but the documentary wasn't anything special.

Four Women (India) 2007 ***1/2
Based on the writings of Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai this film has four stories featuring four female archetypes- The Prostitute, The Virgin, The Housewife and The Spinster. Enjoyable film that suffered from the fact that the stories were somewhat uneven- The Housewife was the weakest story. The Spinster's story was the best by far with a quiet yet stunning performance by Nandita Das as the spinster. Fortunately it was the last story so the film ends on a high note.

Sparrow (Hong Kong) 2008 ****
Another fun movie from Johnnie To, though this one is better than The Mad Detective. Four professional pick pockets try to help a beautiful woman escape Mr. Fu, an older and powerful man who holds her in his grasp. Typical To, with lots of humor, goofy chases (on crutches and in elevators!) and a pickpocket duel at the end under the cover of many umbrellas all done in slo-mo.

Total Movies seen: 50

*= Unclean, unclean
**= Crap, but doesn't make your eyes bleed
***= Watchable to good
****= Great
*****= Masterpiece/Classic