Are movies more important than life? Are women magic? These two questions, repeatedly posed in François Truffaut's Day for Night (1973), often seem to be at the heart of French cinema, especially in a big batch of recent DVD releases.
I'm standing in the rain watching a large group of soldiers in medieval armor poke at dead horses and slain warriors lying in the mud of a riverbank. There are bright lights, smoke, and machines spraying everything with water despite the steady downpour nature is providing.
Since he first delighted audiences and divided critics with his stylized, idiosyncratic first feature, Strictly Ballroom, writer/ director Baz Luhrmann has gone on to make Romeo+Juliet and Moulin Rouge - each more ambitious, more stylized, and more dividing of critics than the last. Each has also had greater success at the box office and in accumulating awards both in the U.S.