In “Machete Kills” tough guy Danny Trejo appears for the second time as the forceful eponymous hero, heavily armed with all kinds of cut and thrust weapons and showing fierce survival instincts. Surrounded by a stellar cast Robert Rodriguez staged his wild-eyed and tough-as-nails fighter as some kind of Mexican James Bond devoid of all the gentleman stuff – this is a dirty action-fest with amazingly gutsy and crude ideas, with speed and grit and lots of clubbing and stabbing.
The hero in „The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” is the rather reluctant than adventurous hobbit Bilbo Baggins, who could have lived a suitably placid life if there hadn’t been the big gold treasure that so many inhabitants of Middle Earth were lusting for. For that reason he was asked by Gandalf to defend the hobbits’ wholesome picture-book world together with the land of the dwarfs against the powers of evil, threatening to cross the border, thus endangering safety and idyllic life in all worlds…
How much second hand information do you really need to hear about a person you’re starting to like? “Enough Said” is a witty story about a divorced woman who has to answer this question for herself, when she’s about to embark on a new relationship with a divorced man whom she has recently met. At the same time she befriends a new client, who has a lot of bad things to say about her ex-husband. Eventually it is revealed that the new acquaintances – the new love interest and the new client – had been married to each other…
The next film’s title, „My Beautiful Country“, refers to the Kosovo region, where in a small town during a state of war a bridge divides the population, former friends and neighbours. On the Serbian side a young widow lives with her sons who are traumatized by their father’s death. When a seriously wounded UCK-fighter seeks refuge from his Serbian pursuers at her house, personal sympathy prevails over nationalist hostility. She hides the fugitive and nurses him back to health. Touching and poetic images show emotional wounds and the carefully growing closeness between the protagonists against a background of difficult circumstances and great danger.
Strictly speaking “Inside Llewyn Davis” is a film about blocked Leo-energy (as for example Sun conjunct Saturn in Leo would manifest). The joy that comes with music and singing, with such creative expression of individuality, does get expressed by a minor character: “I thought singing was a joyous expression of the soul”. Yet the unsuccessful folk-singer, into whose life the Coen-brothers let us have a quick look here, sometimes seems to lose this joy almost completely. His life is difficult, his music is not appreciated, and he’s not at all celebrated the way he would like to be… Nevertheless humour, creativity and music make this film pretty entertaining.
With great love of detail and laconic humour the small Mexican film “Workers” conveys its tale of hierarchical working conditions, dutifulness and daily monotony. A meticulously working cleaner in a light bulb factory in Tijuana is refused his retirement pension due to his illegal status – at least he is allowed to continue working. At the same time in a pompous villa his wife continues serving her “Padrona’s” beloved dog Princesa its perfect filet exactly on time in a golden bowl even after the “Padrona’s” death. Only when the dog dies of a natural cause the servants are to inherit the fortune…
Visually artful and beautifully composed, set in World War Two, “The Artist and the Model” is a portrait of a painter and sculptor, which, through the relationship between the elderly artist and his young model, reflects the complex relations between art and life, thereby focussing all attention on art and artist. Idea and aesthetics, capturing and manifesting a conception of beauty, balance and amplitude of shapes seem far more significant and meaningful to the artist than the raw primitivism of war…
“Oldboy” is a classic revenge story (the Korean original was already well known) with unusual twists: A man is held captive for twenty years in solitary confinement, not knowing why or by whom. Traumatized by this cruelty, after his unexpected and seemingly arbitrary release he sets out to find an explanation for the kidnapping and the person who thus stole his life from him. Yet his tormentor still manipulates him into an even more abysmal situation, slowly unveiling the deeply disturbing secret of their mutual entanglement…
The human inclination to believe in some greater power and the thirst for knowledge, religion and science – such are the big Sagittarian themes tackled in the best-selling novel “The Physician”, which in its screen adaptation expands on the resulting search for truth and vocation. A young man, driven by his curiosity, leaves medieval and dark England, where the church dominates everything, for the excitingly colourful orient, where diverse religions and cultures meet. He wants to learn the art of healing from the greatest physician of all times and seeks to fulfil his mission of becoming a great physician himself.
Strong black and white contrasts, a grim atmosphere and a stern train dispatcher, who is reading train schedules in order to appease the ghosts of his childhood trauma, which is connected to the displacement of Sudeten German people during World War Two… The narrative technique as well as the characters displayed in the animated movie “Alois Nebel” lend a dark and dismal look to this gloomy neo-noir, which seems appropriate for the theme of political powers and their severe consequences for the individual.
They are cool and they are different. In “Only Lovers Left Alive” Jim Jarmusch depicted vampires utterly devoid of any demonic horror-film attributes (that is without any Scorpio motifs) as intellectual eccentrics, who are either depressed or amused by their century long observation of humanity and its doings. Adam, who loves music and extraordinary musical instruments, is tormented by his disgust towards the “Zombies” (as he calls the humans) and their failings. Yet his beloved Eve (the once again magnificent Tilda Swinton) is always able to find something entertaining and worth living in the “Zombie”-world, which she is accepting with an odd sense of humour and lots of irony.
“The Holy Mountain” by surrealist filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky is a cult movie from the 70ies, which was recently reopening in theatres. This pretty weird work of cinematography seems like a drug trip or dream: Roman legionnaires try to take replicas of the crucified Christ from the body of a thief who escapes them and then joins an alchemist and magician, who, with his companions, is searching for a holy mountain. The alchemist is hoping to learn the secret of immortality from the nine sages there, but first everyone in his group has to surrender his ego, so that they can reach the necessary level of collective consciousness…
The Cinemascope is meant to give an overview of current movies and their main themes from an astrosemiotical perspective (i.e.: regarding film as semiotic system and translating it into the astrological semiotic system). A well made movie not only has a story and a certain theme, it also provides a special atmosphere, a certain feeling and it draws us into its very own world. This basic quality that is contrived through characters, plot, setting and many other components also translates into one or more astrological principles. Quite simply: a fast-paced action-flick confronts us with plain Aries energy, a horror-movie evokes Scorpio-like abysmal depths and fears etc. We step out of the theatre and – if the film succeeded in sucking us in – find ourselves dwelling on and engaging in that special energetic quality.