Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Review: The Best of Youth

Mysterious Serendipity

At the end of June, two DVD's arrived in the mail from Netflix, that I have no memory of ordering. This may sound like a story of someone getting drunk and ordering something on the Home Shopping Network, and not remembering, but honest, it wasn't like that! Sometimes I do just quickly add something to my queue if the laptop is near, and someone (personal friend, tv, or radio talk show host) passionately recommends something. I have seen some nice films in just such a way, but I always at least remember ordering it, even if I don't remember why.

So, here I am, looking to see I have two 3-hour DVD's on the way to my house, and I have never heard of this before.

So, first thing I do is check out Roger Ebert's review. This is what really caught my attention:
Every review of "The Best of Youth" begins with the information that it is six hours long. No good movie is too long, just as no bad movie is short enough.
This seems so obvious now, but I had never heard it put this way before, and my interest was further piqued. One of the things I have found in the last year or two is how important patience is. Patience is more like being in synchronicity with the flow and rhythm of life. As a musician, it's important to not be in too much of a hurry in the middle of song. Don't rush into the next verse before you're done with the last one!

This movie was originally shown on Italian TV in four 90 minute segments. I don't know if I could have sat in a theater for 3 hours, twice, for one movie. Having the DVD's here allowed us to watch as much as we could, when we could. The movie is essentially a family saga, with a long story arc, from 1966 to 2003. The cinematography was beautiful, and the stories never dwelled too long in any one place. We came to care about the characters, and finally tonight, when it was over, I was sad there was nothing left to unfold.

You may have noticed I have said very little about the plot of this movie/saga. If you really want to know, there are many reviews, and many spoilers about this movie. It is not a secret, this movie has won awards, and the little man in the Chronicle is jumping out of his chair! So, take a chance, check it out. If you have a Netflix account, rent it now!

[note: as usual, it's nice to get some discussion in the comments area, and you may not have seen this movie yet. Down the line, if you do see it, try to remember to come back here and share your opinion. If it sucks, say so!]

2 comments:

Bill Crain said...

Geoff: Perhaps it was I that recommended The Best of Youth to you as I really loved it. Over the years of their lives, coinciding with my own, I was able to revisit those turbulent times without having to live through them again. (Remember that vacuous young thing in the church class several years ago who exclaimed " I envy you having lived through the exciting 60's!"?) Anyway I'm glad you enjoyed it too. Bill

Geoff Gould said...

Bill, if it was you that recommended it, thanks, and my apologies for not remembering. It must have been even nicer for you since you've visited Italy.