Juliet of the Spirits (Federico Fellini, 1965, Italy)

7.6/10 IMDb, 79% Rotten Tomatoes

Again, it took me a little bit to understand what was going on and get a grasp on the storyline but it was much easier to follow along and understand than the last movie.

My thoughts (I’ve changed this category from just initial thoughts because it takes me a while to digest most movies): There is a lot going on in this movie. If I feel for the main characters, I enjoy the movie more, and I definitely empathized with Juliet. The movie starts with her about to celebrate her anniversary with her husband. She is excited and wants it to be perfect. And in walks her husband with 20 of their “closest” friends. She doesn’t complain. She is the people pleaser – from her husband, her mother, her sisters, her “friends”. It starts to wear on her and as she learns more about her life, she has trouble coping. She starts to hallucinate and not really know what is real anymore. She meets someone that symbolizes who she thinks she would like to be, but the grass isn’t always greener. I feel like since I am a people pleaser in recovery – lol – I understood her struggles. The actress, Giuiletta Masina, portrays her character wonderfully. She has such innocence and I felt moved by her journey.

Would I recommend this movie: Again, it is subtitled. So if you can get past that, then I would recommend it. Fellini was know as one of the greatest and most influential filmmakers of his time, so I thought it was exciting to finally see something he created. You might too.

Fun Fact: Giuiletta and Fellini were married during the production of this film and were married until he passed away. This film also won the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1966.

My Rating – 3.75/5

Blow-up (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1966, Great Britain)

7.6/10 IMDb, 87% Rotten Tomatoes

It took me a couple of days to really find the words for this movie. Is it good? What is it about? What the hell is happening? All questions that I feel are left mostly unanswered.

Initial thought: This was definitely made in 60’s. Everything just shouts an artsy version of Austin Powers, and by artsy, I mean they are really trying too hard.

Fashion photographer not happy with this work, goes out to film more. Along the way stops to buy a propeller (?). Decides to take photos in the park. This is where the story gets somewhat interesting, but this is after an hour of very little dialogue and very little story line. Maybe this is all a way of showing that his life is so mundane. Poor little fashion photographer. I have no sympathy or real feeling for this character. Without giving too much away of a very skimpy storyline, he finds something interesting in his photography… or does he. I believe that the director or screenplay writer was trying to make us think that sometimes your mind believes things are not really there. Case in point, the very last scene is a mime troupe playing tennis. Yes, you read that right. They believe they are apart of the game and the photographer plays along. Maybe his life just needed something exciting to happen, and he made this all up, even with so much going on around him.

Would I recommend this movie: Definitely not. If you want to think during your movie experience, this is the last one I would suggest. I’m all for walking out of a movie feeling like you need to really think about what happened, but this one… was just out there.

Fun Fact: The movie received best director and screenwriter nods, but did not win. Not sure why… must have been a bad year for film. Vanessa Redgrave was also in this movie as Jane. Great actress, again – horrible movie.

My rating: 1/5

Yukinojo henge ~ An Actors Revenge (Kon Ichikawa, Japan, 1963)

7.4/10 IMDb, 95% Rotten Tomatoes

I bought myself a book called 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die. Always looking for a challenge, and I never know what I want to watch, I figured I would make a game out of it. The book only goes to 2018, so I added People Magazine’s Top 10 movies of 2019 to the list as well. (Although if you read my posts on their top 10 albums of 2019, I’m not sure they are a great judge of anything.) I assigned each a number and used a random number generator to pick a movie. I ended up with this one – Japanese, subtitles and all.

I don’t really know how to format my movie reviews as obviously they are nothing like reviewing an album. But I will try my best…

Initial Thought: What have I gotten myself into? Luckily Scott was out of town because there was no way he would have sat through even 5 minutes of this with me. Not because it’s necessarily a bad movie but, right off the bat, I knew this wouldn’t be his thing.

The movie is filmed beautifully. The beginning scenes are in a Japanese theater and the colors are vivid and gorgeous. The way the movie is filmed is very different than most films I have seen and I really liked watching it. The main storyline was interesting – an actor out to avenge his mother and fathers death. It was the subplots that confused me. I don’t know enough about Japanese culture and the Kabuki theater, so that could be why I didn’t understand some of the references. I know that women were sometimes not allowed to act, so the main character portrays a woman on stage, but continues to portray a woman outside of the theater. We could make the argument that he is transgendered, but it’s not really played that way.

Would I recommend this movie: Yes, because I would love someone else’s take on it. But you really have to be ready for it. If you don’t want to think during a movie, don’t do it. Did I love the movie? No, but I’m still intrigued by it so I would love someone else’s thoughts on it.

My Rating: 3.75/5 (Can I rate in quarters? It’s my blog, so I say YES!)