The seventh art

Why don’t we lighten things up a bit and talk about non-serious things, like movies (or plays)? By non-serious I don’t mean less important, because, frankly, what would life be without art in any of its forms? As I’ve read somewhere, humanity would grow deaf, mute and blind over the ages.

Have you seen a good film/play lately (or ever)? Which are downers or simply mediocre and which are definitely to be recommended, do you think? What types of movies do you like best? Are you an avid cinema-goer or are you just as happy cosily watching DVD’s at home?

As far as I’m concerned, some of the films I’ve enjoyed most are comedies by the likes of Woody Allen, Mel Brooks and Monty Python. I also like love stories, (clean, no-blood) horror movies and thrillers – like “The Others” with Nicole Kidman or “The Sixth Sense".

One good comedy in particular I’ve been rewatching lately is “Young Frankenstein”, with great comedians like Gene Wilder and Marty Feldman). It displays an (almost?) unbeatable humour and has lots of absolutely far-fetched, typically ‘Melbrooksian’ situations. I also find that it makes for good English class material, since the dialogues are easy to follow – some of the characters’ fake German accent also contributes to it! Actually, I like the movie even better now than when I first saw it in the seventies. Another of Mel Brooks’ films I wouldn’t mind seeing again is “To Be or Not to Be”, an absurdly funny remake of Ernst Lubitsch’s 1942 classic.

Some of my favourite actors are Dustin Hoffman, Anthony Hopkins, Jack Nicholson, Tom Hanks, Aidan Quinn (it’s hard for me not to fall desperately and hopelessly in love with this one!), Kathy Bates, Ren?e Zellweger, to mention only a few.

One of my all-time favorites is Spike Lee’s film “Do the Right Thing”, which is about a conflict in the ghetto in New York. The underlying theme is the same as that in a German movie about World War II, called “Die Br?cke” (The Bridge). Basically, everyone is doing what he thinks is right, and the result is a horrible mess.

A very good, relatively recent film is “Hotel Rwanda”, which shows you what can happen when the United Nations gets in charge of a peace-keeping mission. Also, the way people behave on an interpersonal level is very interesting.

A funny movie, full of black humor, is a Czech one, called “Otes?nek” (“Little Otik” in English). It’s an old Czech fairy tale put in a modern setting, and people’s behavior is completely typical of the way people think and act today, and it makes it very absurd. Another good Czech film is “Kolya”, but I suppose a lot of people have seen that one already.

A good one from Russia is called “The Prisoner of the Mountains” in English. It’s based on a Tolstoy story about Russian soldiers in Chechnya.

For pure absurd humor, I like “Peewee’s Big Adventure” and “Hairspray”, which, if I still remember correctly, are both from the 1980s.