|Title:||I Kiss the Hand|
Other Movies Seen By This Director (0)
|04.14.06||Borrowed|| So this movie went from a so-so trailer to the best movie in the world over the span of two days. QT singing its praises to Tim followed quickly by Blake telling me how amazing it is and how vindicated he feels in hearing that QT's also a fan because he wasn't sure if it was just him or not shot my expectations of this movie from 0 to about 8 or 9. Now that I've sat myself down and watched Blake's copy (looks like a 2nd-generation VHS transfer with japanese subtitles), I'd say it's actually more like a 7.|
It starts off as an Italian Godfather rip-off, complete with a big family wedding scene that's actually pretty well done. From there it follows the downfall of the Ferrante family as rebel upstart Gaspare Ardizzone rises in power via blood. Ardizzone is played by John Saxon who, aside from a particularly blowhard Italian accent, gives his career performance. Granted I probably haven't seen half of his work but it's by far his strongest work that I have seen. He's got two scenes in particular, one an angsty monologue about his lack of respect delivered to his wife (that ends with her asking what he wants from him and him answering "I want you to take your clothes off" then shoving her head into his crotch while he triumphantly looks to the heavens) and another a speech given to all of the Dons gathered there to discuss whether Ardizzone should be made a Capo or not. They are both easily on the level of DeNiro or Pacino if you ask me... The second speech especially... it's really really great.
But since it's Italian, there's a lot of shooting, dying, and convolution. I think the real power of this film is that it's an honest-to-goodness quality film made from standard exploitation story. I guess that doesn't make a lot of sense cinsidering the director adapted his own book into the screenplay, but it's how i saw it. Even though every character always referred to everybody by their full names, I still had a hard time following exactly what was going on and the ending, although it hit me with a certain emotional impact, made absolutely no logical sense to me. But still, the characters have real emotions, the acting is pretty great, and there are a handfull of scenes here that i was surprised to find in an Italian gangster movie. Surprising humanity in an ocean of random shootings and executions.
So... yeah. It's funny I was a bit disappointed with it's lack of best-movie-ever-ness but I'd very much like to see this movie again, particularly either in a theater or with a decent digital transfer. Like Blake mentions in his mini-review, it feels like i've seen the movie but haven't experienced it. And perhaps a second viewing to help me understand who everybody is and what's happening in every scene will clarify a lot of what i didn't quite get the first time. Still though, for a virtually unheard-of movie, it's really great. It'd make a perfect QTfest movie for sure, and I have no problems believing he's such a fan. A great example of a lost gem.
Side Note: I finished the main storyline of Oblivion today. Yeah, it's the reason why this journal has been so sparse for the past few weeks. Roughly 175 hours of my time has been spent playing a video game instead of watching movies, paying bills, snd other general social interaction. There's always a few more side things to finish up with that game so I won't pretend that my play time will end, but now that the main dramatic thrust has been resolved, hopefully i won't be a crack fiend for it anymore and will be able to return to my main habit: movies.