Monday, September 22, 2008

The Lives of Others/La Dolce Vita

I have watched several movies over the past few days. Last night it was The Lives of Others which is a German film about life in East Germany and the Stasi. It was compelling despite the lurid yellow subtitles. It is the story of a Stasi agent and interrogator and the artists he is assigned to bring down. The lack of overt violence helps create more tension, I think and a great deal is left to your imagination mine is always happy to oblige. It seems to be all the more terrifying due to its focus on all the small intrusions and indignities the GDR forced on its citizens.
Because it is a film icon, I watched La Dolce Vita. The story is of a journalist who takes himself off the sidelines and inserts himself into the middle of the shallow, empty society life he covers. Two interesting things - Under the Tuscan sun refers to La Dolce Vita by inserting a character complete with fountain scene in it (don't tell me you didn't see Under a Tuscan Sun). The second is that there is a character in La Dolce Vita who must have provided Mike Myers his schtick (sp?) for Austin Powers. That's all I could think about as this guy pranced around. He was a friend to the actress who ultimately gets in the fountain and is echoed in La Dolce Vita. Again, this one had the lurid yellow subtitles, but it's surprising that they work. I guess it's to keep you from forgetting to read as you get caught up in the scenery.
So, two doses of "culture". It's been interesting to see that foreign films are telling the same stories we tell in our films, on tv and in newspapers. I'm sure that's the point - we're not all that different from each other.

1 comment:

  1. Bossy would love to wax poetic about foreign films and culture, but she's too busy melting at the site of the two dogs in your left column.



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