(br) wrote: Everything is OK. Everything goes along with my interests... But wait.. that's what I call the Sh*tty ending! What makes the two teenagers (Mona and Tamsin) so close to each other is the disaffected way of dealing with things (even with God), we easily notice that Tamsin is not that clear with Mona as we don't see her family really, While Mona at the contrary, we can see how much she suffers the way of life her brother want to lead as he want to restitute his "sins". The dreamy summer which become a nice lesbian love story looks awesome and brat, with a charming chemistry between the two girls (Natalie Press & Emily Blunt). As love is foolish (I hadn't read the novel) I predict that end but I wish she killed her! Because emotions is not a game, and what she were attracted to is something missed in her life (The real brotherhood and motherhood). The other thing in the script which need more work is the exploration of the nature of faith, I don't get the point here, I feel there is something incomplete or random. Locations are great, nice cinematography, lovely performances, something unusual.. yeah, it's nice, but really I can't say I love it!
(au) wrote: How do I even begin to describe this one? What a strange, perverse, and glorious world this movie inhabits. In a way, to label it under any genre seems a grave disservice to a movie that exists in a genre, or rather in a world, of its own. For the sake of simplicity, one might call it a horror movie. It certainly evokes Hitchcock's 'Psycho' in its depiction of a man possessed by a cruel mother, and the violence has a grandiosity akin to Dario Argento's best work. Yet there is also a surreal, poetic, and even romantic touch to the filmmaking. I was reminded of the works of Lynch, particularly his earlier works such as 'Eraserhead' and 'The Elephant Man'. Director Alejandro Jodorowsky has a similar fascination with the freakish and the ethereal. We meet a young boy magician named Fenix(the young Fenix is played by the director's son, Adan Jodorowsky). To say that Fenix has an unconventional childhood would be something of an understatement. He is part of the Circus Gringo, a travelling show of various talented and strange individuals, including Fenix's trapeze artist mother, Concha(Blanca Guerra), and knife-throwing father, Orgo(Guy Stockwell). Other members of the troupe include Aladin, a dwarf and trusty companion of Fenix, and a gentle, deaf-mute mime girl named Alma, who is the object of Fenix's affection. Concha, who is also the leader of an unusual cult which worships a saint whose arms were severed by rapists, becomes furious when one night she chances to see Orgo flirting with the tattooed lady(Thelma Thexou), a lustful woman who participates in Orgo's highly sexualised knife-throwing act. In an act of revenge, Concha pours acid over her husband's genitals; as you do! He in turn chops off the arms of his wife, rendering her an ironic homage to the saint she worships. Viewing these hideous events is the tender young eyes of Fenix. The movie then jumps forward to Fenix at the age of around 20(played by Axel Jodorowsky, the director's other son), and clearly the traumatic events of his childhood have had a potent effect on his psyche. What ensues is a surreal, harrowing, funny, and oddly touching tale of a man trying to overcome the demons of his past. This is the first movie I've seen from Chilean filmmaker, Alejandro Jodorowsky, and I'm already convinced that he is a masterful director. The greatest filmmakers are the ones who don't just see cinema as another way to let a story unfold, but rather wish to test the boundaries of the medium; To experiment with elaborate set pieces and camerawork; to use pictures rather than words to tell a story; to create characters so surreal and strange that they defy analysis. This movie could not exist in any other form. It's pure cinema at its wonderful and challenging best. It contains a phantasmagoria of haunted, beautiful and, at times, humorous images that leave a lasting impression on the mind. I am thinking of that dead elephant with blood dripping down the concrete steps, as a band of trumpet-playing musicians converge; the voluptuous tattooed lady contorting herself in unholy shapes; the aerialist mother suspended from the ceiling by her hair; a young boy weeping as his chest is carved with a tattoo of a phoenix by a singularly dominant father; The pool of blood dedicated to a cult-worship of a saint with no arms; Our hero controlling his armless mother in some twisted variation of a hand-puppet. These are images I will not forget in a hurry. One of the movies most arresting visual accomplishments is when we see Fenix acting as his maniacal mother's arms by standing closely behind her, with the aid of modified silk robes to sustain the illusion. In this manner, Fenix can perform virtually any task for his mother- from covering her mouth when she yawns, to gesticulating as she speaks, to playing a sonata on the piano in her stead. Both Fenix and his mother are bafflingly willing to submit to this grotesque pretence. It's a very absurd, sad, yet irresistibly amusing representation of a mother's emotional enslavement of her son. On the other hand, to write this all off as a sea of disturbing imagery and bizarre storytelling would be a lamentable mistake. Beyond the absurdity and the pomp, the artistic expression is as pure as drinking water, and the moral enquiry at work is earnest. At the heart of the ludicrous happenings is a simple fable about a man doing his utmost not to succumb to his inner demons and to conquer his more evil instincts. Axel Jodorowksky gives a brilliant performance as a man haunted by a dark inner world and the younger Jodorowsky also does very well as the younger version of Fenix. Blanca Guerra gives a suitably creepy performance as the demonic mother, and Guy Stockwell is very good as the sleazy yet brilliant father figure. The film was co-written by Claudio Argento(brother of Dario) and Roberto Leoni, and the script finds poetry and beauty amidst the grotesque and the violent. This is a wonderful movie which pulls us through a surreal rabbit hole with its eye-popping visuals, stunning set pieces, and inventive storytelling.