Oct.9 in movie history

Oct. 9 is relatively uneventful – a couple of birthdays, including:

Scott Bakula, the TV actor most famous for his TV series Quantum Leap and Star Trek: Enterprise (though I’ve liked him a lot in a movie The Lord of Illusions – quite a chilling thriller/horror movie)

Tony Shalhoub, most notable in his role of Jeebs, the alien who can grow his head again and again the MIB I and II, as well a few other ones, where he did not catch my attention as much as in these two. I hear he’s big on TV right now, the series called The Monk – never seen it myself

One history fact caught my attention – in the year 1000 on Oct.9 the viking Leif Ericsson discovers Vinland, therefore discovering North America (which was almost 500 years later successfully re-discovered by Christopher Columbus). This event was not portrayed in the movies that much, but it was an inspiration for an absolutely wonderful and funny fantasy about movies by Harry Harrison, called The Technicolor Time Machine.

In this novel the movie studio on the verge of financial collapse, through the machinations of a very shrewd producer, acquires an access to the time machine, which allows them to produce a movie in a week, use real vikings as the actors (to save money) and do a lot of other crazy and unheard-of things, effectively pulling the studio from the brink of bankruptcy. I don’t want to get into all the details, but the novel is really great and very often hysterically funny!

Other events: – I’ve recently posted a review on Amazon.com, check it out!

Movie Title :For Roseanna

I was hunting for this movie for a long time. I am a big fan of Jean Reno and had seen the movie previously on VHS, but forgot the title and therefore had some problems tracking it down on DVD. All this was not in vain – the movie was as wonderful and sweet as I remembered it. It’s very difficult to define its genre – it’s a cocktail of comedy and drama, mixed together almost equally.

The story seems to be a bit macabre from the first glance – Marcello (Jean Reno), the owner of a small restaurant in a sleepy little town somewhere in Italy, has promised his dying wife Roseanna (Mercedes Ruehl) that he will bury her in the old town cemetery upon her death, so she could be together with their only little daughter, who died a long time ago.

Unfortunately, there are only very few plots left in the old cemetery and it can not be expanded, because the owner of the adjacent land is refusing to sell a parcel of it to accommodate the extension (mostly out of spite to Marcello, which makes negotiations even more difficult). And the new cemetery will be far away, on a hill above the town. But Marcello loves his wife very much and he’s made her a promise – and so he races against time, trying to keep the town’s inhabitants alive – by any means, from directing a busy Sunday traffic near the church (so nobody got hurt) to giving his blood to an old man dying at the hospital, in the vain hope this will prolong his life.

His life is dedicated to this goal – but as life always has its twists and turns- not everything goes smoothly for Marcello, though in the end he will get what he wants – and more.

The cast is very good, Jean Reno and Mercedes Ruehl are very natural and endearing in their roles of a loving husband and wife, who, in all the tragedy that has befallen them, still had not forgotten how to live and love and enjoy the life, whenever they can, while it lasts. I liked the supporting actors – Polly Walker in the role of Cecilia, Roseanna’s independent, strong-willed sister, who is falling in love with Antonio (Mark Frankel), the nephew of Marcello’s worst enemy, even as Roseanna is trying to do some matchmaking for her and Marcello, for that time when she’ll be gone. Sadly, I believe this was the last movie for Mark Frankel, who did in a car accident shortly after the movie was released. The rest of the cast even in the smallest roles are adding very much to the very romantic and very Italian atmosphere of the movie. They all even speak with the accent (which might be uncomfortable for some viewers, though I personally thought it’s a nice touch!). The DVD extra features are very few – a theatrical trailer, plus New Line promotional trailers and a DVD-ROM with the links to the New Line promotions.