Carlos, directed by Olivier Assayas, is an epic, intensely detailed account of the life of the infamous international terrorist Ilich Ramírez Sanchez—also known as Carlos the Jackal. One of the twentieth century’s most-wanted fugitives, Carlos was committed to violent left-wing activism throughout the seventies and eighties, orchestrating bombings, kidnappings, and hijackings in Europe and the Middle East. Assayas portrays him not as a criminal mastermind but as a symbol of seismic political shifts around the world, and the magnetic Édgar Ramírez brilliantly embodies him as a swaggering global gangster. –The Crtiterion Collection
In the ’90s Olivier Assayas emerged as one of the key figures in the new generation of French filmmakers. As a former critic for Cahiers du Cinema and a die-hard cinephile, he makes his films both personal and referential to the works of directors that he adores. His father was a director/screenwriter in the 1940s who later worked mainly for TV. When it was increasingly difficult for him to work because of a health condition, Olivier started to help him, first merely as a secretary, and then ghostwriting a few screenplays for the Maigret TV series. In the late 1970s he joined the team of influential film magazine Cahiers du Cinema, that once launched the French New Wave. While working for Cahiers he wrote essays on his favorite European filmmakers, Robert Bresson, Ingmar Bergman, Andrei Tarkovsky, and published extensive studies on American horror films and Hong Kong Cinema (the latter came out long before Hong Kong cinema became fashionable with Western filmgoers and critics). He collaborated… read more
The full mini-series is essentially three feature-length films, completely engrossing from beginning to end. Maybe the sense of urgency throughout was maintained by the shooting schedule, which was something like 90 locations in two months. On top of the non-stop kinetic energy, I loved hearing all those languages!
I never felt Olivier Assayas was anything but sympathetic to this man and therein lies my issue with the film. Maybe it was the intention to tell him this way, glorifying a killer as a fuck you to the audience? Only hostile females misunderstood him, everyone else seemed to "get it". This is a revolutionary at face value. An entertaining story about a killer with some great cinematic ideas.
Criterion releases Carlos (2010) and The Phantom Carriage (1926). Plus: The Old West and Robert Altman.
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"No spoilers here!" announces the New York Times' AO Scott. "The historical record will show that the real Carlos, implicated in dozens
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"How good is Olivier Assayas's Carlos?" asks Steven Zeitchik in the Los Angeles Times. It's a rhetorical question. "Think of The Bourne
I’m pretty disappointed just for the simple fact that i sat through a 5-1/2 hour movie only to come out saying; “Yeah, it was ok”. If i sit through a movie that long, i wanna come out amazed. That… read review