HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Whalebone Box, The
Hunt, The
Invisible Man, The
Honey Boy
System Crasher
Judy & Punch
Bacurau
Battling Butler
Vivarium
Seven Chances
Dogs Don't Wear Pants
Navigator, The
Knives Out
Hit!
Charlie's Angels
Passport to Shame
Le Mans '66
Keep Fit
Doctor Sleep
Friend or Foe
Brass Target
Mine and the Minotaur, The
Sky Pirates
Syncopation
Sea Children, The
Ghost of a Chance, A
Go Kart Go
Great Buster, The
Seventy Deadly Pills
Wings of Mystery
Treasure at the Mill
VFW
Crime Wave
Terminator: Dark Fate
Slithis
Antonio Gaudi
Oscar, The
Color Out of Space
Last Holiday
Zombieland: Double Tap
   
 
Newest Articles
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
Ozploitation Icon: Interview with Roger Ward
Godzilla Goes to Hollywood
Demy-Wave: The Essential Jacques Demy on Blu-ray
The Makings of a Winner: Play It Cool! on Blu-ray
Sony Channel's Before They Were Famous: A Galaxy of Stars
Start Worrying and Hate the Bomb: Fail-Safe on Blu-ray
Completely Different: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 2 on Blu-ray
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
   
 
  Youth Without Youth Old Age Tension
Year: 2007
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Stars: Tim Roth, Alexandra Maria Lara, Bruno Ganz, André Hennicke, Marcel Iures, Adrian Pintea, Alexandra Pirici, Florian Piersic Jr, Zoltan Butuc, Adriana Titieni, Matt Damon
Genre: Thriller, Romance, FantasyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: In the year 1938 languages professor Dominic Matei (Tim Roth) feels as though there's little point in going on with life, especially as he has reached his seventies and failed to complete his magnum opus on the origins of language and the woman he loved for all these years is long lost to him. However, one day as he wanders the streets of Bucharest, planning his suicide, an unexpected occurence stops him in his tracks, or rather blows him out of them as he is struck by lightning. Taken to a hospital, it is discovered that the bolt has had a very strange effect on the elderly gent...

Unless you count his work on trying to salvage the doomed sci-fi flop Supernova, Youth Without Youth was the first film Francis Ford Coppola had directed in ten years, having spent the interim tending his vineyard to lucrative results. Therefore he had enough money in the bank to fund this, one of his personal, "art" films, an adaptation of Romanian writer Mircea Eliade's novella, which might have proved controversial due to the author's far right involvement, only as it turned out not too many moviegoers were that interested. This made the film something akin to a vanity project for a director who many hoped better things for.

All those hopes based on his past work, although he was generally perceived to have largely lost his touch somewhere around the eighties, and this effort was unlikely to change many minds. However, an endeavour this idiosyncratic and willfully uncommercial from a director who had made some of the most famous films of all time was bound to generate some kind of following, and there were those happy to dive straight into Youth Without Youth and its mysteries and conundrums. For the rest of us, it would come across as tantalisingly close to something intriguing as the story skirted around themes such as lost love and fear of ageing, only to replace them willy-nilly with more obscure concerns.

This left you with a farrago of half-explored ideas that jostled for position amidst some pretty murky storytelling, a far cry from the firm hand on the medium Coppola had exhibited in even his less auspicious works. Not even Roth's lead character looked as if he knew what was going on among the sepia-tinged imagery, which was classy but weirdly empty, handsome but hard to engage with. When Dominic gradually comes around he finds that his body is no longer in its seventies, but actually that of a far younger man, someone between thirty-five and forty, and the doctors are at a loss to explain this to him - it's a bona fide miracle. Something like that is bound to attract attention and so it does, from female admirers to the rather more sinister Nazis.

From here the plot moves into a wartime thriller, except it's not very thrilling, as the German authorities demand that Dominic hands himself over to them for experimentation, and he does his best to wriggle out of their clutches, but that's not the end of the affair by any means, as we move further into the next decade whereupon he discovers the reincarnation of his sweetheart, Veronica (Alexandra Maria Lara). This all gets bogged down in Eastern mysticism, which will be difficult to get the hang of for non-initiates, as the woman is struck down by her own lightning bolt and the connection between her and Dominic strengthens, but at what cost? By this time you'll either be swept up in the whole thing, or more likely wondering when this will possibly end as the would-be romanticism falls apart in a morass of pretension. And yet, the ambition was there, a filmmaker unwilling to take the easy path, for which many will have a grudging admiration. Music by Ed Goldfarb.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1747 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
   

 

Last Updated: