01. Goodbye My Friend (1995)
Erik, who lives with his divorced mother, is a friend of Dexter. Dexter is infected with AIDS because of a blood transfusion. One day, Erik hears about a doctor in New Orleans who has a medicine which can cure AIDS. To get this medicine Erik and Dexter decide to leave home and make a raft to go to New Orleans. However, they have a hard time outside and Dexter becomes sick. Therefore, they return home and Dexter is hospitalized. Even though he is lying in bed, the boys play together by alarming others by pretending Dexter is dead. But suddenly, Dexter dies while playing. After his death, Erik realizes that it was Dexter who really cared about him and he sends Dexter’s shoes to the river.
This movie is about two young boys’ friendship. At first Dexter was very lonely since people avoided him because of AIDS, but after meeting Erik, he had a great time. Through spending a lot of time together, they got to know real friendship. Some people may think the story is cliched, but their pure and beautiful friendship will move your mind. This movie will remind you of your friends and offer a chance to think about what friendship is.
• River: The reason why two friends used a log raft to find doctor in New Orleans instead of car or train is the important meaning of the river. The writer wanted to emphasize the symbolism of it which is related to the life. River means the process of life because it flows. This movie shows beautiful images of river, but it represents human life which cannot be irreparable once it flows. And there is always the end, the death, in the end of the river.
• Shoe: Erik took Dexter’s one shoe from a dead body (Dexter) and left his shoe on Dexter. And then he flow it on the river. At this point, the shoe means a human. Erik’s shoe represents him. He wanted to go with Dexter even in the world beyond because he doesn’t want Dexter be alone. Also, Dexter’s shoe which flows on the river means that he can finally escape from suffers in the real world and flow freely.
02. Bagdad Café (1988)At the beginning of the movie, a married German couple breaks up in the middle of the desert in California. After a big fight, Jasmin, one of the heroines of this movie, comes to stay in the Bagdad Motel which is next to Bagdad Café. The café owner Brenda, who is the other heroine of this movie, also turns her husband out of the house after quarreling. So, the movie focuses on two women who are left alone in the Bagdad café.
At first, Brenda is suspicious of Jasmin because she pops up in front of her eyes and she has men’s suits in her room, so Brenda calls the sheriff, but Jasmin has no strangeness. When Jasmin shows her true mind and ‘love’ to Brenda, finally Brenda opens up to Jasmin and the two become intimate friends. Even though their countries, skin colors, and languages are different, they understand each other because they are ‘friends.’ The movie doesn’t depict their friendship plainly but we can feel it in Brenda’s last lines when answering Coxx’s proposal: “I’ll talk it over with Brenda.”
• Colors: The director, Percy Adlon, used special filters of primary colors to film this movie. Beautiful scenes such as a rainbow which crosses the deep blue sky, the gold-colored desert and the wine-colored evening glow are enough to catch your eyes.
• Background Music: Sometimes, music is remembered better than the movie and audiences can feel the movie before watching it through the music. In ‘Bagdad Café,’ Jevetta Steele’s song ‘Calling You’ appeals to and moves the viewer.
• Feminism: It is a feminist movie. However, it is different from any other feminist films because this movie does not enforce or assert something, it just moves people’s minds with deep persuasive power. When you watch this movie, focus on Jasmin and how she is changed in your eyes. There is the message of the film.
03. Cinema Paradiso (1988)
What is ‘friendship?’ Have you ever thought deeply about it? Most of you may imagine this feeling as something that happens between friends of the same age. Especially for most Koreans who are taught to respect the elderly, it may sound weird that a young person and a so-called grown-up person of the same generation as his grandfather could share a friendship. However, this movie named cinema paradise shows how beautiful the friendship between different generations could be.
This movie is set in a small village in Sicily, Italy. As a fatherless child, Salvatore (Salvatore Cascio) loved the movies. He would abscond with the milk money to buy admission to a matinee showing at the local movie theater, a small place called the Cinema Paradiso. Raised on an eclectic fare that included offerings from such diverse sources as Akira Kurosawa, Jean Renoir, John Wayne, and Charlie Chaplin, Salvatore grew to appreciate all kinds of film. The Paradiso became his home, and the movies, his parents.
Eventually, he developed a friendship with the projectionist, Alfredo (Philippe Noiret), a lively middle-aged man who offered advice on life, romance, and how to run a movie theater. Salvatore worked as Alfredo's unpaid apprentice until the day the Paradiso burned down. When a new cinema was erected on the same site, an adolescent Salvatore (Marco Leonardi) became the projectionist. But Alfredo, now blind because of injuries sustained in the fire, remained in the background, filling the role of confident and mentor to the boy he loved like a son.
• Background Music: The best part of the film which everyone enjoys is the background music, which is very familiar to many. It is harmonized with each scene which depicts the great impact of the friendship between Alfredo and Salvatore. Ennio Morricone, the well-known composer, created the masterpieces except for the main theme named ‘Love Theme.’ Like father, like son. This music was composed by his son, Andrea Morricone.
• Various Versions: It should be noted that there are two versions of this movie. Cinema Paradiso is the original one, and later, Nuovo Cinema Paradiso was released as a completed edition which included the story of Salvatore’s sweetheart, Elena. Unlike Cinema Paradiso which was evaluated to be filled with suggestion, Nuovo Cinema Paradiso is known to give us more clues about the relationship between Salvatore and Elena.