#60 / 365 – ‘Persona’ (1966) – 80 mins
IMDb Challenge #33 / 250 – Ranked #206 – Via DVD collection
A young nurse, Alma, is put in charge of Elisabeth Vogler: an actress who is seemingly healthy in all respects, but will not talk. As they spend time together, Alma speaks to Elisabeth constantly, never receiving any answer. Alma eventually confesses her secrets to a seemingly sympathetic Elisabeth.
It’s clearly evident to see from its opening montage of vivid images – a film reel, a cartoon, a spider, a white screen, a silent-era comedy, nails being driven through two hands, this certainly is an innovative film for its time and maybe even today where you are taken on this challenging journey as it explores the tortuous relationship between the two characters whose personalities ultimately consume one another. Final note if you are looking for a happy film, you won’t find it here.
#61 / 365 – ‘Big Fish’ (2003) – 125 mins
IMDb Challenge #34 / 250 – Ranked #217 – Via DVD collection
This film follows the incredible life of Edward Bloom, through a series of flashbacks that begin when his son Will visits him for the last time. Edward is dying of cancer, and Will hasn’t spoken to him for years because he believes him to be a liar that never really cared for his family. As Edward’s story unfolds once again, Will tries to finally understand the truth about who his father really was…and uncover the facts behind the fiction.
I remember discovering this wonderful Tim Burton masterpiece for the first time a couple of years back, and it is still a refreshingly uplifting and magical tale today as it was then, with its peppering of ‘Forrest Gump’ story. It entices you on a spectacular journey where hearts and lives connect and collide.
The casting is top draw, Albert Finney and Ewan McGregor charm effortlessly as the older and younger Edward, Danny Devito is masterful as the circus ringleader and Steve Buscemi’s is memorable as the poet, turned bank robber, turned Wall Street big fish and then there’s Burton regular Helena Bonham Carter dual role of neighbour witch and secret love.
#62 / 365 – ‘Let The Right One In’ (2008) – 115 mins
IMDb Challenge #35 / 250 – Ranked #215 – Via DVD collection
Oskar, a bullied 12-year old, dreams of revenge. He falls in love with Eli, a peculiar girl. She can’t stand the sun or food and to come into a room she needs to be invited. Eli gives Oskar the strength to hit back but when he realizes that Eli needs to drink other people’s blood to live he’s faced with a choice. How much can love forgive?
Having watched the American remake ‘Let Me In’ last year before this hauntingly Swedish original (am always doing things the wrong way round, when it comes to films!) this edges it slightly as director Tomas Alfredson more bewitching and delicately weaves the tale of friendship and loyalty set against the beautiful atmospheric backdrop.