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Archive for the ‘BLACK COMEDY’ Category

Extasis

15 Nov

Éxtasis – directed by Mariano Barroso. Comedy. 93 minutes Color 1996.

★★★★★

Four seedy small time crooks topple into the big time when a famous director adopts one of them as his son.

~

He is full of the juice of life, good to look at, and talented as all get out. Javier Barden at 26.

It’s remarkable to see him as an actor even early on his career making up a full-blown character, here one taken right off the streets of Madrid. Take a look at the walk he has given this bloke. Take a look at the quirky personality he has ascribed to him. He seems to have started out as one of the most serious yet entertaining actors on the screen and twenty years later still is.

Playing the leader of the gang at full throttle, the story takes him into the lair of a multimillionaire director where he presents himself as his son. The real son is one of Barden’s gang, but the father has never seen that son. Complications arise when the director decides to make the Barden a stage super-star. Complications exponential themselves when Barden decides to really be that son and also to be that star.

Moreover, the play he is to appear in is the Calderon masterwork, Life Is A Dream, which deals – in a Pirandellian dance – with just such switches.

It’s a delightful comedy, whose twists I decline to discomplicate for you here, for they are all up to you to enjoy when you see it.

And Barden, if you like him, and which of us does not, is a treat to behold in his early manhood. Gifted beyond measure, handsome beyond measure, big-hearted beyond measure.

Go look.

 

Wild Tales

13 May

Wild Tales – written and directed by Damiàn Szifron. Black Comedy. 122 minutes Color 2015.

★★★★★

The Story: Six tales of vengeance.

~

Wild Tales is an anthology of the most sumptuous violence one has ever witnessed this side of Catastrophe. But actually it’s funny.

It’s funny because it is a black satire in the form of six screwball comedies on vengeance in human affairs.

You have never seen such a record of complete all-out vendettas. In this film, though, revenge is not a dish served cold. It is bubbling hot. It steams and sizzles and boils over.

The first story is …no, I won’t tell you. It takes place in an airplane among a load of unwitting voyagers.

The second story is …no, I won’t tell you. It takes place in a roadside joint where the man you love to hate turns up for chow.

The third story is … no, I won’t tell you. But it takes place on the superhighway of road rage.

The fourth story is … no, I won’t tell you. But it will satisfy every fury you ever felt over a parking ticket.

The fifth story is …. no, I won’t tell you. But it glees you with comeuppance for every lawyer who ever fleeced you.

The sixth story is … no, I won’t tell you. But it quite restores reality to the rites of the wedding day.

I say no more. I am mum.

I do have to say that these pieces are perfectly cast and played, and the director who forged them deserves olés all around.

If you like this film, good. Tell someone. Tell every terrorist you know. It may laugh them out of it.

If you don’t like it, it’s not because I said you should go. You didn’t ask me, and if you had, I’d once more have said, “No, I won’t tell you.”

 
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Posted in BLACK COMEDY, FILMED IN ARGENTINA WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES

 

The Wolf Of Wall Street

03 Jan

The Wolf Of Wall Street – directed by Martin Scorsese. BioPic Black Comedy. 189 minutes, Color 2013.

The Story: The rise and rise and rise of a sharpie-broker to the heights of wealth and disorder, and the outcome in ultimate wealth and disorder and gullibility for all.

★★★★★

I was disappointed to read in the credits that The Wolf Of Wall Street was based on someone’s life, for it is such an imaginative movie, I expected it to be as made up on the spot as the many dodges it chronicles. It is the wittiest movie I have seen in ten years.

It starts with a 26 year old Leonardo DiCaprio being put in a trance by Matthew McConaughey, a trance in which he remains for the duration, and in that trance enacts the dance of greed and more greed (in the word “greed” the “more” is silent), until at the end we are shown the whole world to be in an obsessive trance, too.

McConaughey’s fugazi-cadenza of the fairy dust of Wall Street opens the piece with a The Gambler’s Creed. It shows that capitalism, meaning brokerage investment (meaning stock and bonds), is silly. For it is based on a cheap thrill. To which one and all must be addicted. Meaning entranced. Get Rich Quick is the silly thrill.

The film is a must. For the writing. For the mastery of execution of the director. For the performances of the McConaughey, along with Rob Reiner as Belfort’s irascible father, Margot Robbie as Belfort’s second wife, the beauteous Joanna Lumley as her aunt, and everyone involved, small part to major. Jonah Hill is the co-star, and his scenes put one in mind of the early work of Scorsese in Raging Bull, as does the acting work throughout, with its ruthless improvisations and trash talk at will.

Leonardo DiCaprio, an actor of deep shallowness as a leading man, brings his thin-sliced white bread and slather of profound character-acting talent to bear on the part of the cavalier investment broker on the make, and gets up on his hind legs, and his abilities shimmer throughout the picture and hold our interest at a fascinated distance, as he continues his compulsion to trick the customers into speculations from over-the-counter penny stocks, which no one may profit by but him. He gives us a deal of rash playing. The entire performance is flavored into reality by the fragrance of a Bronx accent.

The law bears down. This does not dissuade him from drugs, sex, and high-rolling.

But why go on? Why spill the beans, when it is such a pleasure for you to see them topple out on your own? It is because of Scorsese’s dab hand with this material that you must  attend, and for DiCaprio’s in playing it out with him.

Is it the best film Scorsese has ever made? Could be.

You tell me.

 
 
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