My Mother’s Castle

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Four stars

A picture like a walk on a breezy, sunny day.  Submissive, girl-crazy, young boy, early 20th century, French country summer.  Bittersweet memories, the ghost of your childhood.  A family uses a secret key to shortcut through the canals in the backyards of Marseilles’ wealthy elites.  Most everyone is full of love and help but there are a few dickheads (just like life).  Pages turn to dust, families turn to death.  World War 1 looms, casts a shadow.  Novelists cast a spell.  This movie is a spell.  This movie is sweet, sunny insects buzzing and river water lapping in concrete sluice.

D & W: Yves Robert, More W: Marcel Pagnol & Jérôme Tonnerre, P by: Robert Alazraki, E by: Pierre Gillette, M by: Vladimir Cosma, w/Nathalie Roussel, Phillippe Caubère, Julian Ciamanca, Phillipe Uchan, Didier Paine, Thérèse Liotard, Julie Timmerman, jean Rochefort, etc…98 min, France, 1991

The Brain

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Two stars

This is a great movie for 11 year olds.  Goopy alien monsters infest adults and the principal gets chewing gum on his butt.  A woman chainsaws her husband.  A toilet explodes.  It leans patriarchal and tries to make you think Ontario is America but just remember that Canada is awesome and your Mommy and Daddy love you however you are and you should have fun with some mild extraterrestrial bloodshed.

D by: Ed Hunt, W by: Barry Pearson, FX: Mark Williams, P by: Gilles Corbeil, M by: Paul Zaza, w/David Gale, Tom Bresnahan, George Buza, Cynthia Preston, Ken McGregor, Bernice Quiggan, Carol Lazare, Vinetta Strombergs, etc…, 94 min, Canada, 1988