When it comes down to the European movies I have been watching... I was very much impressed by the quality of the stories.
with My name is Tanino I discevered Virzi'. And what a discovery, the guy is brilliant! My name is Tanino is the story of this very simple sicilian guy who goes to America and everything that could possibly go wrong... does go wrong.
He is envolved in so many surreal situation that the whole adventure will end up caving in and things get so bad, in the end he si thrown out of the country!!!! The movie is simply hilarious, make fun of cliches by drowning you into the cliches themselves. It was like watching a reborn Dino Risi.
Elephant is something halfway between a documentary and a short film. I believe is like 1 hr and 20 mins long. It won an award at the Fetival of Cannes for best direction I think. Well, it's the story of two kids who go to school and shoot, like it happened in Columbine. The director follows a few kids in their everyday life, and when I say follow... i mean he phisically follows them cuz 75% of the shots is camera following these kids walking in the hallways, we almost see more of their back then their faces. He divides the story by chapters using the names of the kids and actually some of these chapter are a whole sequence with no cuts in between. The camera continuosly moves, following this or that person and never cuts away. The result is, after a while you are totally aware of this: there's no cuts between scenes. It becomes too exploited and it feels like the director is trying to water down the soup. In fact, there's enough material for a nice short and with tighter timing I believe a very nice one would come out of all this footage... but... it's not a short. He stressed so much the fact the story is shot almost in real time that... it makes it way too heavy to viewer. For the rest is a really scary story... really shoking. I have to confess the idea of how the kids cross each other's path during the same day, by showing the same scene, shot from different points of view and in different part of the movie is a really nice expedient.
I fiumi di porpora 2... I haven't seen number 1. They are a series of thriller movie, protagonist is Jean Reno as a detective. In this one there's a story about the end of time, the Apocalipse and other escatoligcal stuff. Errr... for being a movie writte by Besson it really has some bad dialogues and it's way too linear. I mean the moment Christopher Lee shows up you know he is the bad guy, furtermore he is German. It is nice how they related the story to the Maginot, so it would be hard to adapt this kind of story to another country, and this makes the movie really french. But it still is way too simplistic, and it is very easy to figure things ahead.
L'auberge Espagnole is another very pretty French commedy. Very hard to expalin, it is very european. Well you see the protagonist he gets a scholarship called Erasmus to go study to Barcelona for a year. If you have never been in an experience like that, where you live in a foreing country, with foreign people for a while, then you will not understand the movie and you will take it for the usual silly comedy. But it is not, actually there are some very good observations in the story, one of which is the fact that you only know the true nature of a person if you throw him/her in a unfamiliar place, doing unfamiliar things, sharing his life with unfamiliar people. It's all about surviving cultural clashes and growing up to be a perfect child of the beautiful United Europe. It's a movie about following your dreams, finding who you are and becoming Cosmopolite. We say, the world is interesting cuz everyone is different. I particularly enjoyed the movie and share the final decision of the protagonist, seen I myself went through the same kind of emotion and took the same path.