Movie Diary 2/24/2014

Omar (Hany Abu-Assad, 2013). One of this year’s Oscar nominees in the Foreign-Language docket, a return to the list for the director of Paradise Now. The makers of Wadjda and Gloria have a right to be annoyed. (full review 2/28)

The Only Son (Yasujiro Ozû, 1936) and There Was a Father (Yasujiro Ozû, 1942). Two sad stories. Hard to choose which ends with a more poignant conclusion, but Father deserves credit for subverting its own officially-sanctioned messages and siding with human frailty.

Raise the Red Lantern (Zhang Yimou, 1991) and Ju Dou (Zhang Yimou, 1990). Still-strong early work from the Fifth Generation filmmaker. While Red Lantern benefits from a good DVD version, Ju Dou needs help – this is an eye-filling picture that deserves much better.

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