A slight improvement on the last week's viewing, but still not as many films as I would have liked:
The Great Silence 1968 directed by Sergio Curbucci
It takes so many familiar elements of the genre and spins them completely on themselves, we have the very setting itself which is typically dry, dusty and hot transformed into a snowy wasteland, the bandits are portrayed as sympathetic and the bounty hunters as villainous, the classic "six shooter" of the hero is traded out for a automatic Mauser and the end is entirely unexpected and a complete reversal of what you may have come to expect from a Western.
It's a poorly made film, with awful dubbing, but it is saved by the sheer originality of it all, and of course by Kinski's and Trintignant's performances, as the rest of the cast are terrible. It's a fun film all around, not a masterpiece but as far as non-Leone Spaghetti Westerns go, this one was good.
The Rolling Stones' Rock and Roll Circus. - shot in 1968 released in 1996 directed by Michael Lindsay Hogg
I do enjoy watching these music films every now and then, they are a kind of guilty pleasure for me.
This one is one of the best you can find, mainly because it's got some of the best live footage of the Rolling Stones, as well as Jethro Tull (with Tony Iommi on guitar), The Who (who are amazing) and little band by the name of The Dirty Macs (composed of John Lennon, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton and Mitch Mitchell, yes, it's amazing)
I can't really rate this as a film, but it's great entertainment and a must see for all fans of the Rolling Stones.
13 Assassins - 2011 directed by Takeshi Miike
My second experience my Miike (after Sukiyaki Western Django) and I have to admit that I like his work, I'll still avoid his controversial stuff, but I like his more mainstream work.
13 Assassins is a brilliant film, with action scenes that put most modern action films to shame, good performances, some humour which was most welcome and one of the most despicable villains I've seen on film for quite a while.
I'd recommend it to those who aren't to squeamish, and to those who aren't put off by a rather slow first half.
When The Last Sword Is Drawn - 2003
This was by far one of the finest films I'd seen for quite some time. It is simply fantastic in every way, with no exceptions. It tells a tragic story in a complex but easy to follow way with many surprises along the way, some fantastic action sequences, beautiful scenery, an extensive amount of character each with their own backstory which is nicely developed and some very moving scenes. Perhaps it did slow down quite a bit towards the end, and perhaps a few scenes were overly melodramatic, but it's an instant favourite of mine and one I would highly recommend.
A few thoughts:
I think my Irish film marathon has been going rather well so far. Next up is Angela's Ashes.
And I've decided that I'm going to launch a blogathon based on the same idea as soon as this little marathon is over, which should be by Friday.
It will be about Irish cinema solely, even though I did consider Nathanael Hood's suggestion of focusing on Scottish and Welsh films as well as Irish, I eventually decided against that as they are technically part of the UK whereas Ireland is not, so it wouldn't feel right grouping it together with the aforementioned countries.
Anyway, I'll have a more comprehensive plan drawn up towards the end of the week, so keep an eye out for it. And I hope you'll be interested in participating at least.
As for my return to normal reviews, well that will take a while if I go ahead with the blogathon. But I've got quite a few reviews ready to post, including a couple of music reviews for a change.
Time for some links:
The excellent blog Mondo 70 has posted a most interesting review of a film named Sun.
Front Room Cinema has posted some interesting blogging tips that a lot of bloggers need to read.
Stevee has posted a rather personal piece that is a very interesting read.
Chelsea has returned to blogging and posts her thoughts on a collection of films she saw recently.
Limette writes about her song of the month and why she chose it.
Groggy reviews Three Kings, a film I've been meaning to see for quite a while but have yet to get to.
CS has posted an interesting piece on Arnold Swharzenneger's career in celebration of his birthday.
A great blog I came across recently is Cinemascope, which review the Korean film I Saw The Devil.
Another interesting blog I came across is Italian Film Reviews, which I'd recommend taking a look at.
Finnally, I'd like to link to a rather new blogger who is nonetheless very dedicated and passionate about film. I'd suggest following his blog @Film Master Journal
That's all for this week, I hope you'll continue following my marathon and perhaps be interested in the upcoming blogathon.