Ghost story, love story, long story, cold story, Beloved plods along
at a lugubrious pace. Directed by Jonathan Demme and photographed by Tak Fujimoto, it's a
very good looking film, but it's rather too arty in style for my ghost sensibilities.
I enjoy good, clean storytelling, and there's a story in Beloved,
but I felt there were huge gaps chopped out of the lives of these characters which made Beloved
difficult for me to embrace. Beloved is Sethe's story, an
abused slave who runs away from her Kentucky plantation to neighboring Ohio. Many years
after her dramatic flight, Paul D., a friend from that former life, arrives at the Ohio
farmhouse to rekindle Sethe's links to Sweet Water, the plantation that continues to haunt
her. Sethe embraces Paul D. with great love while her daughter Denver is initially
suspicious. But Paul D.'s arrival unlocks more than just memories and Sethe must once
again find a way to survive.
Oprah Winfrew as Sethe with
Thandie Newton as Beloved. İTouchstone
I do admire the
performances. Oprah Winfrey's Sethe provides a grand center for the film. She's the strong
black woman who against all odds somehow holds it together. Winfrey remains dignified in
almost every circumstance. Playing her daughter Denver, Kimberley Elise crafts an
interesting reflection of her mother, though I thought some of her early gloomy continence
was overdone. Danny Glover does lots of smiling and brings an easy breezy style to Beloved,
yet lacks the complexity that might bring to life the history of this character. But by
far the most controversial and difficult performance is from Thandie Newton playing
Beloved. Was it Thandie's interpretation or the scripting or the direction of Jonathan
Demme that made this character so hard to bare on the screen.
The various photographic schemes are well served on this DVD.
Desaturated hues of blue that dominate the supernatural powers surrounding the Ohio
farmhouse contrast with the grainy almost solarized look back at the forest scenes where
grandma Baby Suggs preaches at her unusual pulpit. This is a sharp DVD with slight edge
enhancement evident in high contrast transitions. Visually, Beloved is often a stunning
DVD. The sound is handled to great effect. Sounds of the forest reverberate through the
surround channels in this Dolby Digital 5:1 mix, but the best moment, which fills the home
theater, comes when the ladies of the community bring a prayer meeting to the front of
Sethe's home. Their singing fills the air with great spiritual power, clean rich voices
challenging the fear and horror that confronts them.
Home Theater Reference System
Laser discs and DVDs are evaluated on the
following current home theater equipment: Stewart 6' x 11' Videomatte 1.33
Gain Screen, 2 Runco 980 Ultra Projectors stacked, Faroudja LD100 Line Doubler, Lexicon
DC1 Surround Processor/Switcher, 2 Pioneeer Elite CLD-97 Laser Disc Players with AC-3
Modification, Sony 7000 DVD Player, Toshiba SD-3006 DVD Player, Total Media Systems
Reference Home Theater Suite, LR Fronts, Center, LR Sides, LR Rears, 2 Velodyne F1500R
Subwoofers, Sunfire Cinema Grand5 Channel Amp, Sunfire 2 Channel Amp, Lexicon RF
Demodulator, Lexicon T-500 System Remote Control, Speaker Wire and Interconnects by
The American Widescreen Museum
The wealth of information about widescreen movies is presented in a intelligent and
easy to understand interface. Color in movies is given a similar treatment.
Robert Harris is part
of the dynamic duo that restored Lawrence of Arabia, Spartacus, My Fair Lady and Vertigo.
Harris rides a white horse into the battle to preserve our film legacy. Click on the
image to read more.
Check out the Movie Poster
Archive for short bios and images of Susan Hayward, Kirk Douglas, Katharine
Hepburn and many more. This month's featured star is John Wayne.
The Feature Archive
has articles ranging from Akira
Kurosawa to Blonde
Bimbos and John
Click on the image of The Heistmasters
for an interesting feature on the tough guys that pull off the big jobs.