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"Protagonist"

Directed by Jessica Yu.
Release Year:  ?
Review Date:  1/30/07

Folks--

Academy Award-winning filmmaker Jessica Yu, who won an award for one of her short films ten years ago, has made a feature documentary that is truly one of the strangest/coolest docs I have ever seen, a new film called "Protagonist."  Following the stories of four unrelated men whose personal tales follow the Greek story structure outlined by Aristotle, the film weaves between the individual stories of the four men with puppetry to illustrate how each portion of the Greek structure would be conveyed to audiences.

The four men who we follow become slightly more connected as the film runs along; a bank robber, a German terrorist, a kung fu student and an "ex-gay" evangelist run through their narratives and as each one comes closer to a denouement, it becomes easier to see where the men come from.  Yu also mixes lots of still and video photography from the mens' personal archives, to achieve a very personal, very touching work that plays well to both niche audiences and the masses quite well.

This one is so different that I can't even explain it very well, except to say that you should check it out once it gets picked, and if not, add it to the queue..."Protagonist" is good stuff.

Rating:  $9.50 Show

 

Comments?  Drop me a line at justin@bellviewmovies.com.

 

Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  This is the highest rating a movie can receive.  Reserved for movies that exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development, setting...or Salma Hayek.  Not necessarily in that order. 

"$X.XX Show":  This price changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently, it is the $9.50 Show.  While not technically perfect, this is a movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.  "Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca", but you'll have a great time watching.  The $9.50 Show won't win any Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see "Office Space"). 

"Matinee":  An average movie that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.  Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about yourself.  A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that Lakers game last night?" 

"Rental":  This rating indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one."  Mostly forgettable, you couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the video store was out of copies of "Ronin."  If you can, see this movie for free.  This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a half stars." 

"Hard Vice":  This rating is the bottom of the barrel.  A movie that only six other human beings have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen.  A Shannon Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a movie.  Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or "Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!  (Warning:  strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard Vice"-rated movies.)

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/bellviewmovies.com except where noted
1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09