By Darin Skaggs
La Cage Aux Folles
La Cage Aux Folles was remade in 1996 with Robin Williams, Nathan Lane and Gene Hackman as The Birdcage. This one is the superior with wonderful performances from everybody especially Ugo Tognozzi, Michel Serrault and Michel Galabru. Tognozzi and Serrault play a gay couple Renato and Albin, respectively, whose son Laurent is getting married. The girl’s father is tough and strict so the two plan to pretend to be straight. The film is very funny, some twist and turns happen that really make it an enjoyable sitcom like premise. Maybe not a strong enough story to make a big impact, but it is really fun ride.
Game Of Death
Game of Death is a 1978 film that stars Bruce Lee as a movie star who fakes his own death and takes revenge on whoever is trying to kill him. Not a bad plot, only Bruce Lee died in 1973. Apparently they took archive footage of Lee showing off his martial arts and cut it together with footage of more recently shot scenes. To make Lee’s character show up in other scenes they put different actors in sunglasses. It seems the film was made as a “What If?” Them wanting Lee to still be alive and come back all these years later to get his revenge on who ever drove him to his “death.” Yet, it doesn’t work and comes off as disrespectful to Lee’s legacy. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar does get his own fight scene though which is the only good part in the movie really.
In the Year of 13 Moons
Rainer Werner Fassbinder started making In the Year of 13 Moons only a few weeks after his lover’s suicide. And man does it show. This is an angry film, angry at life, at himself and the man he loved. The story is about Erwin Weishaupt (Volker Spengler) as he returns from Casablanca, now a woman named Elvira, to find the man he once loved. Instead he is reminded of all the troubles of his past and the troubles that are still with him. This is a true heartbreaking tale from a heartbroken person. Some scenes are hard to watch like viewing several cow slaughters while Elvira narrates about himself. It is clear he is now a woman because of what other people wanted him to be, he doesn’t know who he is and neither does he know who he wants to be. A tragedy to say the least and an excellent film.