Arizona Dream (1993) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: An Innuit hunter races his sled home with a fresh-caught halibut. This fish pervades the entire film, in real and imaginary form. Meanwhile, Axel tags fish in New York as a naturalist's ... Runtime: 142 mins Release Date: 06 Jan 1993
It's very rare that I see a movie that is truly, in all aspects, perfect.For example, while The Princess Bride ranks pretty high on my list of movies I'd want to spend the rest of my life watching, I fully realize that the camera angles and special effects of that movie are just plain bad. And while Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas gets a perfect 10 from me, it still completely lacks plot. And so on.Arizona Dream, however, is different.The last movie I saw that was truly, in all aspects, perfect was Dog Day Afternoon, a 1975 true story starring Al Pacino and Chris Sarandon. For the <more>
longest time, it's been my obsession, my movified bible, everything other movies should aspire to be. And as of today, Dog Day Afternoon finally has competition in my personal top ten: Emir Kusturica's masterpiece very near surpasses Lumet's vision of captivating dialogue, insane details, and dodgy man-groping.Let's change the subject for a bit. Do you know the scene in Gilliam's Twelve Monkeys, where Bruce Willis is in his cage, and a hamster is running inside a wheel in the corner? Don't say yes, because you don't. It's inaudible. It's impossible to see. But it's there. Kusturica, much like Gilliam, is willing to make his world more detailed than your wildest dreams. His backgrounds are filled with symbolism and surrealism, his dark corners filled with soft puppies. And like Gilliam, he can make you cry with laughter, your only worry in the world being, 'how will I remember all these great quotes in the morning?'But unlike Gilliam, Kusturica has the power to, barely a scene after the happy happy joy, make you sit there in stunned silence, your number one worry in the world being, 'how will I get my brain to understand the sheer tragedy that is unfolding here?'. Your will find yourself thinking, 'how do I get my mind to comprehend how perfectly this music fits the dialogue?'. Your eyes will follow the camera angles, the expressions of the insanely lovable characters, the many things happening in foreground and background-and you know, you just KNOW, that you will have to watch the movie again, and again, and again.If you're a fan of movies such as Big Fish and Amélie, movies about people finding happiness and warmth in a world of surreal ambition, Arizona Dream will be your next obsession. But even if you think massive explosions and a grunting Bruce Willis are the only thing that can make a movie worth watching, you will still want to give this movie a chance- for the 'explosions' it causes will far, far surpass anything you've EVER experienced before.10/10.
Saw this almost by accident at the age of 16 it was the only thing on at the small town movie theater I was at, and hell, it had Johnny Depp in it, so why not? , and fell in love with the story, the acting and the directing.Opened up a whole new world to me, one where movies weren't just "Hollywood spectaculars" or "romantic comedies", and I promise, if nothing else, it'll give you something to think about, and something to discuss. I'm sure its not for everyone, but what movie is? If you can't feel for at least one of the characters in this movie, <more>
you're dead. Seriously. The characters may seem offbeat, but each presents something to the story, an element which is more true to real life than first appears.
i just read a few of the other reviews and found them quite entertaining. first off, anyone who makes a comment such as Kusturica having lack of direction has obviously been weened on Hollywood fluff. Kusturica is a master director so pull your heads out of the sand or your butt's please! some people comment that the film is confusing. well, yes it is sometimes confusing, it's supposed to be! that's half the beauty of it. is there a law that says films have to make sense at all times?!?!? geeez. considering the title "Arizona Dream" you'd think the viewer would be <more>
half expecting something maybe....dreamlike?! correct me if i'm wrong but films are essentially entertainment and escapism are they not? then why do people constantly complain that a movie isn't historically accurate, or maybe too detatched from reality, doesn't follow a linear time path, or is "too weird". anyways, this movie has an excellent cast that work very well together. it has a totally original story and the soundtrack is outstanding. i don't agree with laying out the story line in a review so i'll just leave it a surprise. isn't more fun to watch a movie when you have no idea what is going to happen? for those people who are open to something refreshing and original, seek out this movie. it's a great little adventure well worth taking.
An Arizona set fairy tale about growing up (by szigeti-ildiko)
For me, the movie Arizona Dream gives a great account of how dangerous it can be to be caught up in your dreams and the little worlds those dreams can create and if you don't move beyond, you're dead alive. The only character that seems to be able to step out of his own little world and capable of reflecting is Axel. All throughout the film nobody else changes, but Axel. Leo, a caring but wallowed in guilt character, can not see his nephew as a real person but just a boy who'd take over his business once he dies. He's so caught up in his own version of reality that he <more>
doesn't see that Axel has grown up in the meantime and may want to figure out life for himself. Leo tries to shove down his world as a ready-made future for Axel, who has none of it. At the same time, Axel can grow beyond this when Leo commits suicide and offers to help his uncle in his car-dealer business. Axel seems to have a deep appreciation for life a trait no one else seems to have in the movie. Elaine is completely caught up in her childhood dream for flying in order to overcome her own depression. The only thing that matters for her is her own survival. She is unaware how much she steals any independence from her stepdaughter and her self-serving nature makes her empty a trait that Axel recognizes by the end of the film. In contrast, Axel is first drawn to this quirky world of flying high as it seems real, but once he discovers that flying is only a form of displacement for Elaine, he sees through her and she looses her magnetic energy for him. Grace is the only other person capable of growing besides Axel in the movie. In her first appearances she seems like a two-dimensional depressed character totally overshadowed by a sexy stepmother and consequently too depressed to be more than a little destructive animal. At the same time she seems to relate to others at least emotionally her destructiveness at least seems like a form of connection to others. Towards the end of the movie, she can grow beyond herself and can start showing love and appreciation the other side of her negative emotions and thus turns into a real person. But this transformation is too much for her psyche as she doesn't know how to live a healthy life, and even though Axel recognizes the real person in her, she chooses to kill herself she has no choice, really. Axel who at least makes the effort to connect with characters, symbolizes the strength one needs to grow up and beyond what is around him. He's the most involved emotionally but because he's not caught up in his dream or because his dream is abstract enough, he can stay detached while being attached. He's capable of caring and he's the one who's always there for more adult people who need help and he delivers: One thing I was sure about: The moment my parents died, my childhood was gone forever. And it was gone forever, he becomes more of a grown up than most grown ups around him. He knows how to keep a distance even when Grace abuses him and there's only one point in the movie when he almost looses it when Grace invites him to play Russian roulette. For me, the Eskimo scene wonderfully sums up why we are here and that's something I think Axel finds for himself by the end of the film. Instead of the existential questions brought by the first Eskimo scene how do you survive by love; nature can kill you and save you; why do we replicate our lives in inhuman conditions; in the last Eskimo scene he just talks about fish with his uncle. The message, for me at the end was that instead of asking all these questions you just get on with your life, learn a trade you love and your life grows into the answers. At the same time, coming to understand this, you may have to go through a real emotional discovery of love, dreams, reincarnation, death and if at the end you survive and strong enough, life might be worth living. It seems that Axel was lucky to have had the guidance he received from his parents, but he had to experience them through his own skin. That's how he embarks at living in New York as his Mom suggested that New York has one of the eight magnetic pulls. But initially he chooses a job that not only allows daydreaming but also fosters it; he tags fish for an organization. Later, he's taken or dragged into a more real life, but a life still of dreams and not his own yet he moves first into his uncle's dreams and then into Elaine's and Grace's. First he has to discover responsibility by rejecting his uncle and he has to discover love and death through love. It's only after these experiences that he can leave other people's lives and dreams and start his own. It's a wonderful fairy tale where a young boy wades through the quotations from his parents to discover his own place and soul. "Good morning, Columbus." My mother's eternal words, reminding me America was already discovered, and that daydreaming was a long way from life's truths." "For 15 years, he'd smooth down the road between Mexico and Arizona, and every morning he'd be out there looking for footprints in the dirt. But my father always said that work was like a hat you put on your head. And even without pants, you didn't have to be ashamed of your ass."
Some movies only work if we let ourselves carry away by them. They present a surrealistic imagination world that comes from the mind of their creators. They are hard to watch, especially when they mix real characters that live their lives sometimes awaken, or inside one big dream or their own dreams.Axel Blackmar Johnny Depp is a dreamer, and an unusual example of personal choices. His parents died and he went to New York, to work with fish. He could have sold cars with his uncle Leo Jerry Lewis , but he's there, talking with that monotonous voice about what he does. Maybe it was a <more>
simple dream, where an Eskimo catches a fish with two eyes on the same side, and tells his kids to go out with their dog so he and his wife can And the kid with the dog allow to see an orange balloon that seems to go from Alaska to New York, where Alex sleeps in a truck. "Wake up, Columbus", the words of his mother and Axel's hope to find something in the land already discovered by that man.Alongside fish flying through the air, we join Axel to be the best man of his uncle's wedding. With his friend Paul Leger Vincent Gallo , the untiring chats go from movies to philosophies about cakes, pies and bananas. Paul is an actor: "I'm having a great performance on Friday", he says. "It's an audition", Axel says to humiliate him. The truth is that it's not even an audition. This stuff lived by Axel is a story for us, but is a personal rediscovering and rethought of decisions in life for the character. When he sees Elaine Faye Dunaway he feels something strong, but doesn't know how to call it. Days later he becomes the lover of a woman decades older than him. Elaine's daughter, Grace Lili Taylor is also there, and it doesn't goes long until Axel finds himself in a crossroad between the heart of two women, that as he describes them, are "too similar and big to be in the same world".David Atkin's story and screenplay comes plagued of phrases that could come out of a lunatic's mouth, but they fit in the film's context and twist your head at maximum. "I've got to climb It's a long way to the moon"; "I'm gonna live forever until I become a turtle They have infinite lives", besides scenes of well known movies in crucial moments. And what music Goran Bregovic ! And what editing Andrija Zafranovic ! And what cinematography Vilko Filac ! And what director! Known for his originality, recognized director Emir Kusturica puts his own signature to his movie, collaborating in the story he must have dreamed a little to; giving life to the dream with his flying camera, full of unexpected turns and in love of its surroundings. What he achieves is greater words, although not everybody could understand it, and, for that matter, appreciate it.And his actors Jerry Lewis in a total comprehension of his character, and so involved in his work that you wouldn't believe it. So incredibly likable in one of those roles we never give much importance to. Faye Dunaway Wow! She got to work with some of these actors later, but here, as an old woman in character and, with respect, in person, she maintains that virtue of creating uniqueness, with her laughs, smiles and way of saying things. Lili Taylor was the most interesting character here. The silent daughter that could be crazy but no one can really tell. With imagination and freedom, Taylor makes her character believable and not as overacted as it might be. Vincent Gallo, who I respect mostly as a director and as an actor that does what he wants, the ability he has had to choose his roles is visible here again; as he shines without lights to help him. A wonderful performance his fans shouldn't miss.But Depp How can I explain? I've said it a lot, surely, but I will repeat it. He's like a magician, but not with the cards and the hat and the tricks. He is with his face, his looks, his way of talking, his perfection of movement But it's not really something technical: "in the acting world, Johnny Depp is a magician". I'm sure he still has plenty of that for us, but here is where he let us know first.In one scene, Vincent Gallo's character Paul, an actor, requests that no one touches his face, because it's important. "Do you think they touch Brando's face? Do you think they touch Pacino's, De Niro's? Do you think they touch Johnny Depp's face? I don't know then, but not know; and if they did before, they shouldn't have.
They say that "Arizona Dream" is Kusturica's best work because it is American, well, it's not that American despite it was filmed there and probably is about the American dream, it is just a story of people's lives, like in all Kusturica's films, and it's just a great work of a great film director, not depending on geographical factors. The characters aren't sexy lady journalists or successful businessmen , they are those who we call usual people - but no one in the world is usual for we aren't made at a factory, and daily routine is much more <more>
interesting, and much more humane then any sci-fi-hi-tech-futuristic stuff. all the characters are a bit crazy and so is everything around. There's some magic in there , and something tragic, and everyone's little private dreams, useless and sweet , and relations between people which seem to be one thing but are absolutely another, though the people tied by them may never notice them or never admit, and love all the way through.
Like Watching Someone Else's Dream (by love_platipus)
This movie is kind of like across between watching a foreign film, one made in a culture completely alien to your own, and watching someone else's dreams.It is such an bizarre film that I doubt some people would even be able to get through it. I myself had to take it in two parts. But many parts of it are strangely beautiful, and there are a few moments in the latter half of the film of astonishing power.Further more, Kusturica's imagery is absolutely stunning. From a shot of Axel in a red rain coat looking out over the sea near the beginning to one of him lying down with a litter of <more>
abandoned puppies in a empty shop at the end, these will stay with you.And of course Kusturica couldn't have a better subject than Depp. He was going on thirty when this came out, but he's has never seemed more innocent. To be honest, its a flawless performance. I don't hand that out a lot, but, in a deeply flawed movie, he's perfect. He never once lets us out of Axel's dreamy, strange world. There's no "winking at the camera" no matter how much it may love him. He gives the movie an emotional center.Its a film that some people will hate, a few will love, and most will simply be perplexed by. Personally, I think you should watch it, not necessarily because you'll like it, but to have an opinion on it.
This is a very unusual film, full of strange characters some of them are quite annoying, Gallo for example . Depp has the leading role as a young man who doesn't know what to do with his life. He starts working for his uncle Lewis , who sells cars. One day he meets an eccentric widow Dunaway and her unstable daughter Taylor . He ends up living in their house and having an affair with Dunaway's character. It's refreshing to see a movie in which a woman over 50 gets to be beautiful and sexy, and Faye Dunaway really makes the most of her part. The only thing that irritates me <more>
with "Arizona Dream", is that Kusturica sometimes tries too hard to be strange.
It's weird going from something as dense and epic in scope as director Emir Kusturica's "Underground", to the fairy tale tragic romance of "Arizona Dream". Weirder still is the cast of Johnny Depp, Jerry Lewis, Faye Dunaway, Lili Taylor, and Vincent Gallo.The word "dream" comes up at least a dozen times in this movie, characters recounting dreams, or the film seamlessly showing them on screen, and appropriately it begins with a ten minute dream sequence You only know it's a dream sequence because you're told it is afterwards , of an Eskimo in the <more>
snowy wilderness, catching a strange fish with both eyes on the same side, the Eskimo later becomes sick and is nursed back to health by his wife. From there we meet the dreamer Depp, who tags fish in New York, a job he loves because, "Most people think I count fish, but I don't. I look at them. I look at their souls and read their dreams and then I let them into my dreams." Then aspiring actor cousin Vinccent Gallo shows up, and asks Depp to come back to Arizona with him for his Uncle Jerry Lewis's wedding. Depp goes back and accepts a job selling Cadillacs, his uncles dream for them, until he meets an eccentric mother/daughter pair, the suicidal turtle obsessed accordion playing Lili Taylor and her vivacious, flighty, sexually aggressive mother, the latter Depp becomes immediately enamored with. Depp and Dunaway begin a very matter of fact and all consuming relationship he leaves his job and uncles house and refuses to leave . After hearing of Dunaway's dreams to fly as a young girl, Depp decides and spends most of the movie, attempting to build her a flying machine. Meanwhile, Lili Taylor is sabotaging the machine, and Vincent Gallo is busy practicing his acting chops his recreation of the crop duster scene from North By Northwest is one of the best all time comedy moments anywhere .All good performances, Gallo and Taylor, outshining the others though. The writing is also really good, mostly voice over by Depp, it definitely has a Jean Piere Jeaunut vibe all the little details and phrases "My dad always said that work was like a hat you put on your head. And even if you didn't have pants , you didn't have to walk down the street ashamed of your ass as long as you had a hat... " or " what's the point of breathing if somebody already tells you the difference between an apple and a bicycle? If I bite a bicycle and ride an apple, then I'll know the difference." The latter quote sums of the naiveté of the main character and the flaw that makes the tragedy. Depps relationships are passionate, sincere, but essentially child like, he doesn't know what to name how he fells about Dunaway so it must be "love". While Dunaway and her daughter are more two halves of the same person, stuck in an isolated country house, both with half the maturity and vitality the other needs.For the most part the movie is all comic smiles, and surreal shots of fish flying in the sky at random, but towards the end, the film takes somber tones, as the dream/relationships end.Not as dense and surreal as I had expected, but it does capture accurately the magical sensation of first love, especially with someone significantly older without stepping on the toes of similar films like Harold And Maud or focusing too heavily on taboo .There were a few moments of emotional disconnect where the characters actions make little if any literal sense the Russian roulette scene , but do give a greater sense of the contradictory emotions which almost all of the characters deal with, except Gallo, whose clearly just there for fun.Arizona Dream caught me off guard, the political allegory of Underground is replaced here with a very internal story of dreamy sensations, fleeting passions, conflicting dreams, conflicting loves, growing up, and magical fish. It's not great, but I definitely connected for personal reasons. If you liked Amelie, or Emir Kusturica, or any of the actors mentioned it's worth checking out.