So, you can expect big ger traffic jams on these days and times. Be very careful when you see that sign… For the French, it means open every day… of the working week! And the shop will still be closed on Sundays. There will usually be a sign with the actual opening hours and days, so always check it. Quels sont vos jours et horaires d'ouverture?
What days and at what time are you open?
As one of the Triad gangsters in Infernal Affairs remarks — to his best friend who is an undercover cop , "If you see someone who seems to be doing something but is actually watching you, then he's a cop. Every glance can be a giveaway, so within the layered action the character is an actor who must carry total conviction or die. What's more, the sub-genre demands a confrontation of moral ambiguity, and private psychological strain; for the habitual playing of a repugnant part is always liable to set off an identity crisis, a splitting of allegiance recognisable to anyone who has ever had queasily to toe an official line.
Infernal Affairs, the immense Hong Kong hit that has already become a trilogy and seemed to revive an ailing industry, is a cracking example of the breed.
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It has a terrifically charged script by Alan Mak and Felix Chong, and is co-directed with dazzling gusto by ex-actor Mak himself mainly working with the actors and Andrew Lau, once leading director Wong Kar-Wai's cinematographer. The twist on the usual undercover cop story which apparently Lau has made before is a piece of audacious doubling-up or mirroring — there's not just an undercover cop in the Triad gang, there's also an undercover Triad agent in police headquarters.
In a fervidly romantic move into sublime contrivance, each mole, mistakenly trusted by his boss, is given the task of tracking down the traitor actually, himself. The great trope that Hong Kong's John Woo practically copyrighted and introduced to world cinema was the sustained agony of the Mexican standoff, where two powerful but male-bonded enemies hold each other at gunpoint, torn by conflicting emotions. The intensity of that confrontation, which got into Reservoir Dogs and Heat, recurs here despite the inclusion of some women; and the yearning of both moles for authenticity "I just want an identity" and their self-doubt "Am I a good guy or a bad guy?
This is doubtless one of the reasons why Martin Scorsese is reputedly interested in doing an American version of the film. Infernal Affairs isn't, though, grey or ambiguous in its moral attitudes. It's a morality play, with a rousing if idealistic pro-police finale in praise of duty and honour. But its appeal resides also in its cool, edgy, art-movie look modernistic and often blue-grey, designed by Wong Kar-Wai's cinematographer Christopher Doyle , and in the relentless pace of the action. The dazzling editing leaves us giddy, exhilarated, and even moved. Philip Horne.
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There's a lot of baggage that comes with being the favoured daughter of the auteur of The Godfather. And, while there was a lot of cool style and wit in The Virgin Suicides, her directorial debut, which was neither pink nor fizzy, it felt to me a bit faked.
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It's not news now that Sofia Coppola triumphantly redeems herself with Lost in Translation — chiefly by calling in Bill Murray to give his best, truest, most magically expressive performance since Groundhog Day. And by calling on Tokyo to represent for Western eyes the bewildering emotional world in which her unhappy protagonists are lost.
And one should mention the uncanny Scarlett Johansson , who quietly manages to radiate a quality that is at once sceptical and open. What's notorious for getting "lost in translation" is poetry, and one of the many suggestions of Coppola's title is that the poetry of love can be lost, or at least mislaid, in translation into marriage.
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The meaning of their lives and relationships has escaped both the leads — aimless young Charlotte Johansson , wife of a distracted fashionable photographer, and middle-aged film star Bob Harris Murray , veteran of a year marriage to a wife in California who specialises in the sulkily needling fax.
Marooned in the Park Hyatt Tokyo, the insomniac pair drift together, finding that they share an ironic New York sensibility.
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The great achievement of the film is to insinuate its mood of what Sophia Coppola has called in interview "romantic melancholy" through the steady deadpan humour at which Murray is unsurpassed. It hits a tone so exactly, through a combination of free-wheeling, observational performance and Lance Acord's appreciative, elegant cinematography, that tiny nuances register with a lifelike richness. We're not even sure, at the end of this delicate interlude, that we want these ambivalent lovers to get together.
Oliver Stone spent three days in with the Cuban president, Fidel Castro. The result is Comandante, 93 minutes of frenetic photography that jump-cuts between archive footage of the jungle rebel who fought Batista's regime and shots of the grey-beard loon today, mouthing rehashed Marx as he totters among his people like an aged demigod. The contrast between those iconic images of Castro in his prime and this frail and cranky man whose machismo has faded is affecting. It's like watching Muhammad Ali: unless they die young, heroes seem to become tremulous old men.
Meanwhile, Jonathan Demme's film The Agronomist, about the late Haitian broadcaster and activist Jean Dominique is a far rowdier carnival of Latin American personality, set to a soundtrack by Wyclef Jean. A chuckling energy animates Dominique's ascetic face he looks like a gaunt Roger Moore , while his Creole-strewn French is hypnotic. The film's bleached look may be down to budget apart from a stunning sequence of a voodoo fiesta , but it feels less staged than Stone's Rough Guide-pretty shots, and offers a brutal insight into the horrors of recent Haitian history.
Related Week end infernal (French Edition)
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