Monday, July 26, 2004

Movie Rentals, Week of 7/19/04

SIX FEET UNDER, Season 2, discs 2 and 3.  More drama and dark humor from the Fisher family and their funeral business. I love the way each episode revolves around a dead “client”, and some of the more quirky guests on discs two and three include an autoerotic asphyxiation, a wrecked Santa Claus biker, and a lonely old maid dead for a week and a devoured by ants. Since I don’t have cable, I have been trying to avoid any talk about the current season (four, I think) now airing on HBO, but what has unfortunately seeped through is that the show has “lost its way”. That’s a shame if true--seasons one and two showcase a superb cast in a truly original, well-written series.

CITY OF GOD (2002).  This Brazilian film received a slew of awards and Academy Award nominations last year—all well deserved. Directed by Katia Lund and Fernando Meirelles, City of God tells interconnecting stories about a group of boys growing into men amidst the drugs and violence of Rio’s teeming favelas. Some critics knocked the “glossiness” and “M-TV style” effects of the film, saying it gave the crushing violence of favela life a touch of glamour. I think that is just nit picking. Lund and Meirelles have created an honest and engaging film that tells stories from Rio that are not usually told—no Carnival or Girl-from-Ipanema cliché’s here. If you want to get a raw look at Rio’s slums, then check out the one-hour documentary NEWS FROM A PERSONAL WAR in the special features area of the disc and see how the world-wide “War on Drugs” has wrecked havoc on Brazil’s poor. Crushing bleakness…


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