Category Archives: Art in Film

Art in Film: The Innocents – 83%

The InnocentsOn July 19, 2016, our Art in Film group reviewed The Innocents.  Warsaw, December 1945: the second World War is finally over and Mathilde is treating the last of the French survivors of the German camps. When a panicked Benedictine nun appears at the clinic one night begging Mathilde to follow her back to the convent, what she finds there is shocking: a holy sister about to give birth and several more in advanced stages of pregnancy.

A non-believer, Mathilde enters the sisters’ fiercely private world, dictated by the rituals of their order and the strict Rev. Mother (Agata Kulesza). Fearing the shame of exposure, the hostility of the new anti-Catholic Communist government, and facing an unprecedented crisis of faith, the nuns increasingly turn to Mathilde as their belief and traditions clash with harsh realities.

Released July 1, 2016.  Directed by Anne Fontaine.  Subtitled.  Cast includes Lou de Laâge (as Mathilde Beaulieu), Agata Buzek (as Nun Maria), Agata Kulesza (as Mother Superior) and Joanna Kulig (as Nun Irena).

Reviewers:

Gerrie Beck (85%); Elana Ben-Kerem (90%); Eileen Jacobson (85%); Glenn Lippman (95%, Discussion/Review Leader); Judy Moskowitz (95%); Bebe Nagel (45%); Elinor Steffensen (85%); Caryn Wachsler (85%); and Miriam Weiss (85%).

Movie Review Comments:

  • Memorable Scenes:  (a) Leaving newborn at the cross; (b) Mathilde crying in the car back to hospital; (c) Near rape scene; (d) Nun suicide; (e) Nun Sofie looking for her baby.
  • Notable quotation:  “Faith is 24 hours of doubt and 1 minute of hope.”
  • Subtitles offered:  (a) Babyland; (b) War is hell; (c) In the name of God.
  • What was learned:  (a) how zeal can lead to evil; (b) syphilis and lead to poor judgement and murder; (c) how a convent can be a loving place for orphans.
  • Cinematography:  Snow and cold scenes parallel theme’s hopelessness.  Black and white movie with color introduced towards the end of the movie as the orphanage changes direction of the film.  All-in-all, cinematography was excellently done.
  • Audience:  Mature, intelligent, and adult.

Movie was viewed at Living Room Theaters at Florida Atlantic University.

Art in Film: A Hologram for the King – 85%

A Hologram for the KingOn April 26, 2016, our Art in Film group reviewed A Hologram for the King.  Cultures collide when an American businessman (Tom Hanks) is sent to Saudi Arabia to close what he hopes will be the deal of a lifetime. Baffled by local customs and stymied by an opaque bureaucracy, he eventually finds his footing with the help of a wise-cracking taxi driver (Alexander Black) and a beautiful Saudi doctor (Sarita Choudhury).

Released April 22, 2016.  English.  Written & Directed by Tom Tykwer.  Cast includes Tom Hanks (as Alan Clay); Alexander Black (as Yousef); and Sarita Choudhury (as Zahra).

Reviewers:

Jonathan Kahn (85%); Glenn Lippman (90%, Discussion/Review Leader); Judy Moskowitz (75%); Bebe Nagel (95%); Elinor Steffensen (90%) and Rose (75%).

Movie Review Comments:

  • Interesting film.  Had a way of taking the audience on a vacation sort of trip, allowing one to escape into a part of the world so very different from life in the United States.
  • Tom Hanks starred in this film.  In one sense it seemed unusual a part for him.  He is not known for an emotional and sexy role.  However we think it was a good role for Hanks in that the culture in Saudi Arabia seems a bit distant and stoic; and Hanks seemed to depict that way about him very well.
  • Length of film was 90 minutes.  For some of our reviewers, the length was just right.  For others, the film dragged on building Hanks/Choudhury relationship then the film abruptly ended without providing more on movie’s original objective.
  • Parts that could have been eliminated or embellished.   (a) reduction in overslept scenes; (b) removed surgery details; (c) eliminated mountain visit with Yousef; (d) added more about the new job.
  • Metaphors.  Untouched seemed to explain Hanks’ part as it reflected general emotional response of Saudi Arabia.  Endless time as it related to continuous delays, etc.  Swimming scene represents a new beginning.

A Hologram for the King (2016)

  • Memorable Scenes.  (a) expression of tenderness in love scene; (b) Schwinn & Chinese parallel;(  (c) CIA joke; (d) Wolf scene; and (e) Father/Son trip’s message.
  • Learn Anything.  (a) Danish people like to party; (b) position of women in Saudi Arabia; (c) Saudi Arabia’s dislike for USA in the number of delays; and (d) Mecca.
  • Audience.  Mature, intelligent and adult.

Our reviewers found it odd that this film’s timing and emotionless theme comes so close in time to pending release of the controversy of 9/11 report and Saudi Arabia’s secret 28 pages.  Was the timing of this film deliberate?  Or just a coincidence?