Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Watch with Gyppo - II

Fifth Night - Tjoet Nyak Dhien
Eros Djarot's masterpiece. I felt I had to put an Indonesian film in; and having had that thought it was but a brief inner tussle to choose between this and Daun di Atasa Bantal (The Leaf on the Pillow). They both star the excellent Christine Hakim. Tjoet Nyak Dhien was a 19th century Acehnese women who led a revolt against the Dutch. The film is gorgeously shot and looks superb; and Hakim gives a tremendous performance. I first saw this in a flea-pit cinema in Yogyakarta in 1988 (with Indonesian-language subtitles for the Dutch and Acehnese bits) with rats running around my feet, and thought "Gosh - the Indonesians can make great films!" Unfortunately, they seem to ration themselves to one good film a decade, if they're lucky.

Sixth Night - Up In Smoke
Like The Blues Brothers, a film that the true fan has to use great restraint not to 'sing along' with in the presence of newbies. I showed it to my students in Indonesia some years ago, to their shock and delight - the idea of a pro-drugs film was a bit of a mind-blast for them. A delirious joy from beginning to end...

Seventh Night - Zítra vstanu a oparím se cajem (Tomorrow I'll wake up and scald myself with tea)
Yes - in a spirit of wilful obscurity I offer this Czech sci-fi comedy from the 70s. I saw it on late-night TV in England in about 1982, and for years wondered whether I'd imagined the whole thing. It turns out, to my delight, that I hadn't. It does exist! Trust me, this film has the most complex plot you will ever encounter, involving identical twins, a time machine, a suitcase-sized hydrogen bomb, a trampoline, Adolph Hitler and an acid-bath.

Eighth Night - Monsieur Hulot's Holiday
Another comic masterpiece, from an age when there was time to set up gag sequences properly. For physical comedy, nobody can match Jacques Tati.


No Good Boyo said...

Lovely stuff, Gyppo. The Cheech and Chong film is very hard to come by these days. Because of "the man", I suppose.

M C Ward said...

I love Jacques Tati too. I wanted that one.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Ooerr, I'm feeling increasing out of my depth here. The Indonesian film sounds excellent, I'd love to see it. I've heard of Cheech and Chong, but I'd assumed that cannabis humour was a bit passe these days; but I'll happily accept that it's timeless if you say so. The Czech film, wow, good gracious; this cheers me up a bit as I'm probably not the only one here who hasn't seen it! Jacques Tati, I know I should like Jacque Tati - in theory he's the perfect preformer for me - but I just didn't laugh much when I saw his films. Please, slag off my film choices too when that chance comes (soon)!

Kevin Musgrove said...

I could never get into Cheech and Chong (I'm too square).

The Czech film's fun, and I'm with you on Tati.