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Archive for May, 2021

THE DOUBLE LIFE OF VERONIKA – Zbigniew Preisner

May 6, 2021 Leave a comment

THROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The Double Life of Veronika, or La Double Vie de Véronique, is a French-Polish drama film written and directed by the late great auteur Krzysztof Kieślowski. It tells the story of two nearly identical women, one living in Poland, the other in France, who do not know each other, but whose lives are nevertheless profoundly connected. Irène Jacob plays both women; Weronika, a Polish choir soprano, and her double, Véronique, a French music teacher, who embarks on an unusual romance with Alexandre (Philippe Volter), a puppeteer who may be able to help her with her existential issues. The Criterion Collection DVD of the film calls it “a ravishing, mysterious rumination on identity, love, and human intuition,” and there’s really nothing more I can add to that. It’s a visual tone poem, an enigmatic exploration of these two women’s lives, in which music plays an important part. Read more…

MORTAL KOMBAT – Benjamin Wallfisch

May 4, 2021 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The video game Mortal Kombat, originally created and developed by the American video game developer Midway Games in 1992, is one of the most popular and successful fighting games in the history of the industry. Originally conceived as a video game spinoff of Jean-Claude Van Damme movies such as Kickboxer and Bloodsport, it eventually morphed into a fantasy setting in which human warriors, chosen by the gods, face off against assorted demons and monsters in a fighting tournament, the victors of which would go on to control the universe. The game is notorious for its incredibly gruesome and graphic in-game ‘fatalities,’ the realism of which eventually led to the creation of the Entertainment Software Rating Board and its age-based rating system, but this has not stopped it from becoming an expanding franchise that now comprises several spinoff games, comic books, an animated TV series, and several movies. Read more…

SYMPHONY OF SIX MILLION – Max Steiner

May 3, 2021 Leave a comment

GREATEST SCORES OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY

Original Review by Craig Lysy

In late 1931 legendary David O. Selznick became RKO Studio’s Production Chief. He decided that his inaugural film would be the melodrama “Night Bell”, which would be adapted from the story of the same name by Fannie Hurst. He first changed the film title to “Symphony of Six Million” – a reference to the population of New York City – and then rejected the first screenplay, demanding that it reclaim the cultural sensibilities offered in the original story. He wanted his film to offer a mirror to the life of Jewish immigrants in America and the challenges created by the cultural assimilation of their children. Selznick and Pandro S. Berman would produce the film, Gregory La Cava was hired to direct, and a budget of $270,000 was provided. The cast would include Ricardo Cortez as Dr. Felix Klauber, and his family, Gregory Ratoff as his father Meyer Klauber, Anna Appel as his mother Hannah Klauber, Noel Madison as his brother Magnus Klauber, and Lita Chevret as his sister Birdie Klauber. Irene Dunne would play love interest Jessica, and John St. Polis his colleague Dr. Schifflen. Read more…