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December 28th, 2001

Lower CD prices on the way ?

From ZDNet via MacNN. Well, it's about freakin' time ! Especially if Universal and other companies make CDs unreadable and unplayable in your computer, which is starting to happen now.

Two foreign flicks

Two that I recently saw on DVD.

Vivre sa vie (1962) — This is a Godard project with groundbreaking camera work and distinctive use of music by Michel LeGrand (Umbrellas of Cherbourg), but I just couldn't connect with it. It concerns the descent of a beautiful woman (played by Anna Karina</i>) from aspiring actress to prostitute. Godard was definitely trying to use the camera to provide emotional power to the story without relying on weepy music, forced drama, or sentimentality, but it's not enough to keep it from being just a bit too flat. I felt like I was in Film School -- interesting in the technique (like the quasi-documentary Q&A session) and various moments (and Quentin Tarantino must have been taking notes) but I was dissatisfied in the end.

Four Times That Night (1972) — It's really "just" an exploitation version of Rashomon, where the scenario is: A women says she was raped, but what really happened ? Pretty simple, but it's a neat trick to combine exploitation elements (a dash of nudity, kinkiness, humor, and in this case, groovy early-70s Italian fashions and music) with a device that lends itself nicely to an unconventional kind of storytelling that moviemaking does better than other any medium. (It doesn't hurt that the female lead, Daniela Giordano, is a stunner, either.) As in the higher-brow stuff, the versions of the stories are greatly affected by the viewpoints and agenda of the person telling it. At the end, a "doctor" reveals the "truth," but using language that seems to undercut itself. There's plenty of visual zip, and the director, Mario Bava, had earlier directed the (in)famous Danger: Diabolik.

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