2004: 3 movies

posted on 2019 December 19
added Exils on 2020 March 1

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Directed by Michel Gondry
Written by Charlie Kaufman, Michel Gondry,
and Pierre Bismuth
Produced by Anthony Bregman and Steve Golin
Music by Jon Brion
Cinematography by Ellen Kuras
Editing by Valdís Óskarsdóttir
Production design by Dan Leigh
Art direction by David Stein
Set decor by Ron von Blomberg
Special effects by Mark Bero and Thomas Viviano
Costume design by Melissa Toth
Hair-styles by Michelle Johnson, Noriko Watanabe,
and Francesca Paris
Makeup by Kyra Panchenko and Noriko Watanbe
Starring Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet,
Kirsten Dunst, Tom Wilkinson,
and Mark Ruffalo

   How much more complex can you get in editing and complex story while still keeping heart? I think this is pretty near the limit.   Keeps your mind working non-stop, just like it keeps your heart. It follows in the disoriented, merry-go-round footsteps of Claude Lelouch's Le voyou (1970), but it drops the crime/thriller genre and instead delves deeply into psychology, science fiction, and romantic comedy.
   Beautiful, funny, romantic, a wild ride, and somehow, ultimately pragmatic. It's a contraption that will have you marvelling at its construction while you're in it, as well as long after you reach the end. It never really leaves you. Gondry was a god at this point. Jim Carey and Kate Winslet perform amazingly. The music is deft.

Exils (2004)
Written, directed, and produced by Tony Gatlif
Music by Tony Gatlif and Delphine Mantoulet
Cinematography by Céline Bozon
Editing by Monique Dartonne
Production design by Brigitte Brassart
Starring Romain Duris and Lubna Azabal

   Gatlif does it again! He's given us another movie that while we watch, we simply can't predict a moment in it. Every action, every sound, every cut, and every long-held shot, every decision by the characters, every action by the fate of the plot, it is all unexpected, and thus the movie flies by in a blur. We can't take our eyes off it. The music and cinematography are unparalleled as goes for most Gatlif movies.
   Like a favorite album, you can sit through the whole thing and love every minute of it, but do you know what it means? Do you know what the songs are actually about? You listen and enjoy not because you understand, but because you feel. The rhythms and sounds, the characters and passers-by, the sets, themes, and mood are all just members of Gatlif's big band performance for us. It's a cutting-edge, much needed, correct step for cinema to take. You can watch it a hundred times and still find something new, enjoy some other angle of thinking about it. This describes several Gatlif movies.
   The title is an intentional mis-spelling of "Exiles".

Written and directed by Bill Condon
Produced by Gail Mutrux
Music by Carter Burwell
Cinematography by Frederick Elmes
Editing by Virginia Katz
Production design by Richard Sherman
Art direction by Nicholas Lundy
Set decor by Andrew Baseman
Hair-styles by Roy Bryson, Jeffrey Sacino,
and Carla White
Costume design by Bruce Finlayson
Starring Liam Neeson, Laura Linney,
Peter Sarsgaard, and John Lithgow

   A neat and yet passionate dramatized biography of Alfred Kinsey, famed sex scientist, but also helps explain the divide in the USA between sexually more-conservative people and sexually more-liberal people, as well as the divide on this issue within humanity in general. It communicates clearly about a complex topic, touching sensitively on almost every tangential aspect of its subject's reach. Tender performances all around.

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