Sunday, August 10, 2003

Film — Il Gattopardo

Recently seen include the restored print of The Leopard (Il Gattopardo),a long dreamy, lush view of the Risorgimento from the pov of a Sicilian aristocratic family watching themselves, and their island, being sidelined by history. The scene where Burt Lancaster, playing the head of the family, turns down a place in the new Senate, is the kernel of the film. (Subtitles)

Also showing as part of the summer season at the arts, Kirikou and the Sorceress, a 1998 French animation, with music by Youssou N'Dour, telling a story based on some part of African folklore, where a magical child defeats the sorceress who has been terrorising his village. There is a serious bit of double standards going on in the film certification world - whereas Belleville Rendezvous was given a 12A rating (children under 12 at parents' discretion) with the warning "Contains mild slapstick, nudity and moderate violence" - with the nudity being a brief appearance by a topless Josephine Baker type character in a cabaret scene, Kirikou was given a U (all ages), despite the fact that most adult characters were topless, and all the children naked throughout - the old National Geographic defense, I suppose. Personally I think that the certification for Kirikou was right, and wouldn't have flagged it for Belleville Rendezvous

That aside, it was a marvellous, magical film, which I strongly recommend.

OTOH, I was really nauseated by the saccharine Disney trailer (the Mouse having the distribution rights) for the wonderful Spirited Away that preceded the main feature. I also preferred the sub-titled version we saw at the Film Festival, rather than the US accented dub (even if the dialog seemed to match the sub-titles to the best of my recollection).

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