La course des sergents de ville (1907)

Probably hilarious in 1907, nowadays more weird than anything. Pioneering french director Ferdinand Zecca’s early slapstick record-breaker sports an ever-increasing number of clumsy cops chasing a clever canine thief. This goes on for around four of the approximately five and a half minutes running time, and then comes the big payback – which is far too long for its merit.

Silly and stupid as this most certainly is, I kind of like it. Especially the inventive – and still somewhat impressive – wall-climbing scene. All in all, not enough to warrant a position in my book of baton-wielding, though.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m53jnZQP32g

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Place publique (2018)

When it comes to movies, a party is almost never allowed to be just a party – it will more or less always lead into different kinds of badness. And on top of that we have Chekhov’s gun.

Well conceived and carefully crafted about age and cynicism. Nothing really different or exciting, though, and therefore not in my book of bald spots in hiding.

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Le printemps (1909)

Supposedly beautiful and poetic in some kind of preraphaelite-/art nouveau-inspired style. But absolutely nothing happens while matters get more and more sappy, boring, and slow despite the short running time.

Very far from my book of elaborately composed oval tableaux.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Xjh8Pe4cyA

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Une héroïne de quatre ans (1906)

A beloved girl walks happily out in a sunlit world, and we are all pretty sure that something bad will occur – but this little protagonist shows herself to be far tougher than expected!

Refreshingly unexpected, though not in my book of stray children.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BOBQa7HGOE

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La glu (1907)

A mischieveous young prankster annoys his innocent victims and eventually gets what he deserves. No characterization, just a string of events in succession ended by some kind of karma payback.

Cute, but less funny than intended. Not in my sticky book.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANy568VWt-0

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The Martian (2015)

Suffering, endurance – and disco music! – on the red planet. Indomitable positivity and an oldfashioned trust that science and human ingenuity can prevail against seemingly impossible odds.

A celebration of competence and sheer doggedness, replete with plenty of tongue in cheek humor. Maybe in my book of contemporary patriotic boyscout adventures taken to a new level.

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Interstellar (2014)

– I tried to do the right thing.

Do we have a duty towards mankind, or only to specific individuals? A long, slow environmental apocalypse about parental love and insufficience, choices between intellect or emotion, and ultimate sacrifices.

– Our survival instinct is our single greatest source of inspiration.

Can we expect help from the stars, and if so – who are the helpers? The storyline gravitates around coming home, plus one crucial moment in (and out of) time.

– Neither one of us have time to worry about relativity right now.

The repeated ridiculousness of advanced scientists explaining things to each other in childish language might be necessary for the sake of the audience, but all the quasi-philosophical mumbo jumbo definitely isn’t. Maybe in my book of unfathomable gulfs.

– The only way that humans have ever figured out of getting somewhere is to leave something behind.

– – –

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.


Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.


Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.


Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.


Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.


And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Dylan Thomas

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