Much Loved, The House of Spirits and More: The Films of the Week #13

As a lifelong cinephile, I have always consumed a copious amount of films. In this new feature, I keep track of the films I watch during the week. (Also, Click here to buy my book of thoughts on film, Eye of the Beholder, on Amazon!)

 

Much Loved
dir. Nabil Ayouch
2015, France/Morocco

A drama about the friendship and camaraderie of a group of Moroccan sex workers. The general feeling is that Nabil Ayouch doesn’t go far enough, as far as exposing sexual taboos in Moroccan society. However, the part of Much Loved exploring the relationship between the escorts feels honest and genuine and makes the film worthwhile.

 

All You Need Is Crime
dir. Massimiliano Bruno
2019, Italy

Another Big Deal on Madonna Street with added time travel. Here, three middle-aged losers accidentally travel back in time while attempting to recover buried gold, only to find themselves accidentally catapulted to the early ’80s, face to face with the notorious Roman gangsters who buried it. All You Need Is Crime cashes in on that nostalgia dollar by also taking place around the time of the 1982 Italian world cup victory. However, it is painfully unfunny, largely unambitious, obnoxiously conservative and poorly directed.

 

The Cyclone
Leonardo Pieraccioni
1996, Italy

A group of female flamingo dancers disturbs the quiet life of a family living in a small town in the Tuscan countryside. The Cyclone is one of the most beloved Italian romantic comedies of its time and a real showcase for Italian funnyman Leonardo Pieraccioni, who would never be able to top the quality of this flick. The screenplay may be slightly uneven and raw. However, generally speaking, this is both charming and funny, and surprisingly fresh in its renovation of some of the genre’s conventions.

 

The House of Spirits
dir. Bille August
1993, Germany/Denmark/Portugal

The chronicles of a family of wealthy landowners, headed by an obnoxious conservative man and his wife, who is endowed with the gift of clairvoyance, around the military dictatorship of Chile. The original source novel by Isabel Allende is arduously dense and Bille August’s attempts at condensing it into a limited length make it awkward and overly detached. This general awkwardness also negatively impacts the acting performances, despite the noteworthy cast ensemble.

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I'm an international journalist, reporter, website editor and content creator. I actively work for JAZZIZ Magazine and FRED Film Radio, collaborate with other websites and curate my own projects, including IN ARTE MATT and CineCola. I have also curated and produced my series of films in Galway, Ireland, and photo exhibition and arts events in various European countries. I have a working class background and have and have a postgrad degree in Film Theory + a BA in Film & TV.

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