Sunday, December 26, 2010
Director: Szabolcs Hajdu
Country: Germany | Hungary | UK | Romania
In order to regain custody of her daughter, whom she left in the care of her fortune-telling aunt, Mona must tell a social worker her story. The tale she spins---and the movie we watch---is a wild, surreal adventure in which people are able to project and enter each other's dreams, and our heroine is sold into slavery and lands in a swank, debauched Liverpool brothel where the patrons enact their literary/sexual fantasies with Lolita, St. Joan, and Desdemona. Rendered with dazzling tracking shots, striking CGI effects and a pulsing soundtrack, Hungarian director Szabolcs Hajdu's risk-taking fantasia has style to spare. But under the seductive surface lurks the very human story of a woman who uses fantasy to cushion the pain of life.
Friday, December 24, 2010
Hollywood actor Johnny Marco, nested in his luxury hotel of choice, is a stimulated man. Drinking, parties and women keep a creeping boredom under wraps in between jobs. He is the occasional father of a bright girl, Cleo, who may be spoiled but doesn't act it. When Cleo's mother drops her off and leaves town, Johnny brings her along for the ride, but can he fit an 11-year-old girl into his privileged lifestyle? Written by Peter Brandt Nielsen
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Uncle Boonmee is suffering from kidney failure. As an avid practitioner of Yoga, he is well aware of his body. He knows that he will die in 48 hours. He feels his illness must be related with his bad karma. He has killed too many communists, he says. Boonmee calls his distant relatives to take him back from hospital to die at home, a longan farm. There, they are greeted by the ghost of his deceased wife who has re-appeared to take care of him. His lost son also returns from the jungle in an ape-like form. The son has mated with a creature known as a ‘monkey ghost’ and has lived in the trees with her for the past 15 years. On the first night, Boonmee talks about his past lives that he remembers. On a second night, while the ghost wife is doing his kidney dialysis, Boonmee has a sudden urge to visit a place she has mentioned. So the group takes a journey into the jungle at night. It is full of animals and spirits. They finally reach a cave on top of the hill. Boonmee realizes that this is the cave in which he was born in the first life that he can remember. Then he passes away, taking with him tales that span hundreds of years. (The Match Factory)
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Three people- A computer teacher, his black magician grandfather and a cyber-creature – a series of pre-destined rendezvous, both online and offline, over the shreds of mnemonic time and space, at the cleavages of various parlors of sub culture – finally the narrative images of the computer screen are drained off from the colour and texture, the images collapse down to mere pulsating pixel, potentially to start another cycle of the story once again.
Vipin Vijay, hails from a remote village named Ramallur in Calicut district, Kerala state, India. He is a post graduate in filmmaking Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, SRFTI, Calcutta. In 2003, he received the Charles Wales Arts Award for research at the British Film Institute (BFI), London and the India Office Records, London.
He received support from IDFA, Amsterdam, Hubert Bals Film Fund, Rotterdam, Goteborg Film Fund, Sweden, and the Global Film Initiative for his works. His films have won Short Tiger Award-IFF Rotterdam, National Jury Award, National Film Awards, India, Golden Pearl-HIFF, International Jury prize, Kodak Award, Kerala State Film & TV Award, IDPA Award, and the John Abraham National Awards (2005 and 2006).
His films have widely been shown in festivals at Rotterdam, Karlovyvary, Oberhausen, Montreal, Japan, Karachi, Tehran, Chicago, Seattle, Berkley, Mexico, Croatia, Milan, and the Indian Panorama. Two of his films have been acquired for permanent archive at the U.S. Library of Congress.
He is the recipient of the prestigious Sanskriti award for cultural achievement in filmmaking. Vipin’s preoccupation is with the epic dimension and sensibilities, exploring intricate and enigmatic narratives of thought almost like a self-imposed ritual. His works have never been fashionable and maintains a private life.
What better country to make a film about the internet age than India, the largest IT labor exporting country? This serene, visual contemplation on the nature of the virtual world and finding one's identity in it starts with an ironic quote: "I had a dream about reality. It was such a relief to wake up." by a Polish aphorist Stanislaw J. Lec, which sets the tone of The Image Threads.
An IT professor named Hari, 'pimping (in his own words)' the information technology laborers to the US and Europe, narrates most of the film in philosophical monologue. He sometimes engages in conversations online with a virtual persona who might be either a sultry female model or a man in a mini-skirt or both. Other times he recalls his black magic priest grandfather.
At one point, parallels are drawn between internet virus and the Plague by a girl seductively treading around him, singing the nursery rhyme, Ring Around the Rosie. But the film's languid pace and beauty betrays the ominous subject. Shot in exotic Kerala locale, the film is nothing short of stunning- water stained walls, rusty water pipes, vegetation infused houses, ancient temples, lush jungles, dark caves, bearded yogis, beautiful girls in colorful costumes, sleek gizmos, wires, lights and wikipedia, all vying for your attention. Every frame is work of art. Director Vipin Vijay and his cinematographer Shehnard Jalal often distinguish, then blur the boundaries between the past and present, technology and nature, reality and fantasy, tangible and intangible.
Devoid of any visible narrative, The Image Thread is unlike any film I've ever seen. It is more like a visual essay than a film. To enjoy it, you have to give in to its luscious visuals to wash over you. Calming and hypnotic, it's literally the best films to meditate on.
Directors:Shirin Neshat & Shoja Azari
Runtime: 95 min
Women Without Men captures a pivotal moment in the summer 1953, when the hopes of a nation are crushed by foreign powers in a tragic blow that lead to the Islamic Revolution of 1979. Thirty years later, as we look at the young men and women protesting in the streets of Iran in the face of ruthless brutality, we are reminded, once again, that this struggle is alive and well. I can only hope that Women Without Men, will make a small contribution to the vast narrative of Iran’s contemporary history, in reminding us of the voice of a nation that was silenced in 1953 by powers both internal and external and that has risen again.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Director: Petr Jákl
Country: Czech Republic
Runtime: 111 minutes
A crime thriller inspired by true story of Jiri Kajinek, who is considered to be the first hitman in Czech Republic.
The movie is the powerful story of the famous prisoner, the story of two murders, the story of a lawyer constantly looking for new evidences, the story of the underworld and of its infiltration in the state administration, and the story of manipulation. ~ Official site
Are we what others see, or are we what we allow others to see? Most likely it is the view of others which delimits our own identity, as a young divorced mother named Julieta convinces herself. This evening is like any other: her two young sons are roughhousing in their cramped apartment. They whoop and shout while their mother makes desperately futile attempts at the computer to concentrate on writing a report for work. Feeling intense pressure, Julieta tries to quiet the conflict but finds it difficult without a partner to help. The tense situation changes unexpectedly when her two-year-old falls and hurts himself. In this story of a mother suspected of hurting her own child, the movie investigates themes of motherhood, guilt, duty, the role of men and women, fathers and mothers.... Written by Karlovy Vary International Film Festival
Friday, December 10, 2010
PORTRAITS IN A SEA OF LIES(2010)
In the manner of a road movie, "Portraits in a sea of lies," directed by Carlos Gaviria, runs the national landscape from their beauty to their conflicts.
This time the Colombian film takes no wind to travel but the travel of reality.
Portraits in a sea of lies out into the physical and emotional journey that begins its protagonist, Marina (Paola Baldión), returning to his hometown of waves and sea breeze which was displaced by violence.
Insistent criticism surely return of Colombian reality attached to the big screen. Carlos Gaviria, the director and screenwriter, says that is an unavoidable issue to talk about what we feel and see. "You live in Colombia and can not make a movie where we all go out dancing and lifting the duckling. We are a violent country. We have been in a civil war that has lasted 60 years and has produced 10% of displaced persons. That figure is an outrage and an undeniable fact, "he says. Indeed, one of every 10 Colombians have been taken from his home against his will, and this film portrays one of many stories that produces this alarming situation in countries with armed conflicts.
For over a decade, Gaviria, who has worked on documentaries, television (director of murdered women and Rosario Tijeras), this film was under construction. After studying film in America, funded by a grant from Focine, he returned to Colombia. The combination of distance proximity confronted with a new identity was this script that shows the wonder of a Colombia that can be both wonderful and terrible.
Through a trip from Bogota to the North Shore Marina undertaking and his cousin, a roving photographer (Julián Román) to reclaim the lands of her deceased grandfather (Edgardo Román), will be revealing a past full of pain and death explain the amnesia and the apparent silence of the protagonist.
Paola Baldión is a Colombian actress before going to study acting at Montreal appeared in some television roles. Paola plays Marina, a character who barely speaks with her eyes and body language and achieved an outstanding performance.
The film manages to maintain a good balance between poverty, a reality dominated by violence and a beautiful landscape and scenery that contrasts with the brutality of the action. The humor and irony in a political arena is one of the tools used to manage refine and streamline the subsequent drama and, ultimately, achieve such a faithful portrait of a country dominated by two extremes: four million displaced, and the highest rates of happiness of its inhabitants.
Thursday, December 09, 2010
Director: Rajko Grlić
Just Between Us is a wicked, indiscreet contemporary story set in Zagreb about the whirling erotic passions that percolate beneath the dull, composed surface of everyday bourgeois life and manners. It is about things that happen in well-established families that are mainly kept secret, but that nevertheless remain painful. We meet two brothers, their wives and lovers - and their children who do not know who their real fathers are. Double lives and parallel relationships are blended into a bitterweet story about the relentless quest for love and happiness, about passion that never ceases, and the terrible consequences that arise, even by chance, when one ends up in a bed that is not one’s own.
In contemporary sociological writings one can find many explanations about conjugal infidelity or love affairs: however we may call it, these are often the only kinds of rebellion against the predictability of life. Our life is quite determined by our employers, family, church, state, media and money. It seems like the only thing left to change is the person with whom we share our bed. Today, adulterers replace the outlaws of yesterday--the revolutionaries, rebels, and visionaries. According to sociologists, the excitement of rebellion, the sweetness of breaking the rules, and the danger of crossing into the unknown, is reduced to an adventure called adultery.
On the other hand, psychiatrists have being assuring us for decades that deep at the root of everybody’s need to escape the annoyances of everyday life lies a powerful, hardly understandable and barely predictable "sexual instinct," - our archetypical drive for "creation" or "rebellion."
I have heard, as we all have, more or less, countless stories about affairs, adulteries and incredible double lives. I have always explicitly admired, I have to admit, the fascinating energy and the amount of fantasy some people have invested into these double lives, which often become the rebellious and creative peaks of their lives.
Put together, these three premises have led to my personal reason for making this film. I am of the age when it is good to go back to where I started to tell film stories in the first place: on Zagreb streets, in beds and apartments.
Wednesday, December 01, 2010
Director: Davide Ferrario
When Irena Mirkovic (Kasia Smutniak) agrees to cooperate with Don Iridium (Gianluca Gobbi) for the staging in a prison of a paradoxical Easter Passion does not know that that experience will change her life. Not only because the meeting with the warden Free Tarsitano (Fabio Troiano), the push to close down the relationship with her actor boyfriend Chris (Christian Godano), but it soon will face an insoluble problem. Having gained the trust of prisoners, Irena realizes that nobody wants to play the part of Judas, for reasons that are unclear in a prison at all. Despite his insistence, the ragazzirestano steadfast in their refusal, and also who is pulling against the show: Sister Bonaria (Luciana Littizzetto), but with an inflexible religious spirit also very practical. The situation is unlocked when Irena has a light: If Judas is not, why not think about the story of Jesus in another way? A story that does not include betrayal, condemnation, punishment and death? A story that ends well? The prisoners, while not grasping the philosophical implications, appreciate the choice provided that it is against the jail ...
Director: Dénes Orosz
Andras and Lilla are a young couple, who have been together for five
years. Andras writes screenplays for television series and Lilla is an
assistant lecturer at a university. Finally they move into an apartment
together and it seems like everything is going well between them. But
there is something wrong. As if the essence was missing from their life
together. Lilla wants a wedding and a baby, while Andras… well, he
doesn’t really know what he wants. Then one day Lilla announces that
she is pregnant. Andras is overcome by mixed feelings. The next
morning Andras wakes up next to a beautiful woman who is a complete
stranger… From this point on he has relationships with a variety of
women, all very different from each other – so he is off to a journey
exploring all phases and possible relationships between men and
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Director: Pablo Trapero
In Argentina over 8,000 people die in traffic accidents every year. Behind each of these tragedies is a flourishing industry founded on insurance payouts and legal loopholes. Sosa is a lawyer who tours the A&E Departments of the public hospitals and the police stations in search of potential clients. Luján is a young doctor recently arrived from the provinces. Their love story kicks off one night when Luján and Sosa meet in the street. She's trying to save a man's life; he wants him on his client portfolio.
Director.: Chen Ching Hsiang (Ah Niu)
Runtime: 99 min
The story is about a group of youngsters growing up in a small village in the early 80’s, the generation without handphones, Facebook and MSN...where 'guli' (glass balls), fish-fighting are the common games for entertainment...the ice kacang stall, the roti (bread) man and old shop lots; cloudy skies on a boring, hot afternoon…The story evolves around a group of teenagers of various characters from an old village growing up...with much care for each other...and also few of them secretly admiring each other...causing misunderstandings...all these leading to lighthearted hilarious moments and leaving unforgettable memories for everyone.
Then comes one 'stormy day', all of them goes their own separate ways…
Ice Kacang Puppy Love is profoundly an emotional tale of teenagers' puppy love, parental love, generation gap, life's truth and sometimes the 'make-believe' world we live in.
Monday, November 29, 2010
Director: Salvador García Ruiz
Runtime: 93 min
Three aspiring artists forge a powerful but unusual bond while studying at the School of Fine Arts.
María José is a painter. She’s preparing her canvas for class as her classmate Jaime furtively sketches her portrait from afar. But while María José fails to notice her own likeliness being captured mere feet away, her talented classmate Marcos senses genuine artistry in Jaime’s drawing.
Later, Jaime shows María José his sketch, but surprises her by not offering to give it to her. Before long, the curious event begins to draw María José, Jaime, and Marcos into an unconventional, yet powerfully passionate, relationship as their education winds to a close, and the real world comes knocking. ~ Jason Buchanan, Allmovie
Director: Marcel Rasquin
In Caracas, one of the most dangerous cities in the world, Julio and his mother are walking through a gateway near La Planta prison in Caracas. Suddenly, he thinks he's heard a cat but when he runs closer, he notices an abandoned baby crying in the middle of a street dump. The mother hesitates to take the child with them, but eventually welcomes him to their family. 16 years later, Julio and his little brother Daniel have grown to become the best footballers of La Ceniza, their barrio (slum). While Daniel, nicknamed "El Gato" (the cat) is an innocent boy who dreams of playing in Caracas FC, one of the major teams in the Venezuelan Primera División along with his older brother Julio and studies regularly; the latter has become part of a gang, quickly establishing himself as a leader within his young partners. This is specially proven when he beats up his comrade after he bullies a minor drug dealer. Anyway, he never intends to push out the chief of the criminal organization. During a game against the team from La Vega -another slum- they both impress a scout from Caracas FC, who encourages them to participate in the tryouts of their youth team. Daniel is hugely motivated; Julio instead is gradually more involved with his barrio's underworld.
Director: Nithiwat Tharathorn
A story of two Thai girls nicknamed Cherry and Noon who plan to backpack to Europe for a year. They took off for reasons totally understandable for most teenagers, but unfathomable to adults.
“One is suspended from university while another one is heart broken.” Their plan was very simple: get a student visa to take an English course, but their true motivation is to save money, travel, and experience the world. The destinations were the ‘Big Three’ of Europe – London, Paris, and Rome. Before they took this trip, they swore: #1. No matter what happens, not to leave each other. #2. To never break rule #1 However, as we all know never say “never” when it comes to life being that you will “never” know what might happen.
How did the father of modern science like Galileo come to be identified with a Thai film?
One might think that Dear Galileo is a sci-fi or a comedy. Instead, it is a coming-of-age pic of two girls experience their lives in a new surrounding. After despairs with their Bangkok lives, Noon and Cherry escape the Asia city for a year and travel to the “Big Three of Europe” - London, Paris, and Venice. Noon is heartbroken; Cherry is suspended from university for forging a professor’s signature. Across the continents, they struggle the hardship as illegal workers and find the true meaning of their lives and friendship. They swear to each other that no matter what happens, they will not leave each other.
Is Dear Galileo then a film about friendship between the two girls? Partly. When the film was released in Bangkok, the studio's publicist tried to elaborate on the fun and difficulties in which the crew encountered during the shooting. Nice lines and plots also attracted some ex-actors to take a part in the film. Dear Galileo is liked by many young generations as a liberal film. It is something that they want to do and follow. It is a female version of modern Rebel Without A Cause.
Indeed, Dear Galileo occupies several smart plots and sharp lines in the eyes of contemporary young Thais, though they might not be new for western audiences. These include scenes in which a group of foreigners living in a public shelter in Paris without electricity and water, a girl fighting with her demanding customer to accept what she has served her, a girl securing a good job without completing her study, and a girl living in Italy while having cheated Italian people. They all look cool! All of these things have rarely been portrayed in contemporary Thai cinema.
Director Nithiwat keeps every mise-en-scène under his meticulous control and the umbrella of enjoyment. Music is good and realistic. The real song that overseas Thais often sing to get over their homesick, was used. Cinematography is nice and subtle. Acting is almost perfect. Some of the actors themselves have spent time abroad. For example, Rey MacDonal as the liberal Thai man in Paris is himself a host of a television tourism documentary. One of his programs featured a train trip from Bangkok to London. And the two lead actors - the heartbroken Noon and the smart but stubborn Cherry nicely show their opposite chemistry of the good and the bad. At the end, it is the movie with plenty of laughter and good feelings.
Perhaps as there are too many good lines and cool plots, the writers tried to include and mix everything in one film - and then make the film loss of focuses. Sometimes, it is about the hardship of Thai lives oversea. Some others are about the philosophy of lives. And then friendship. Homesick. Thai style of living, and etc. Dear Galileo becomes a film of massive feel-good. Many lines and philosophy can only be touched at the rim, but hard to be appreciated in depth.
However, if you want to see how Thai overseas live with fun, laugh and meaningful - this is the first movie that will best clarify it.
Director: Marek Najbrt
Country: Czech Republic
A Czech journalist joins a Prague radio station what broadcasts Nazi propaganda in order to protect his Jewish wife. However, as the Nazi rule over Czechoslovakia calls for more and more collaboration, his relationship with his wife spirals downward.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Director: Javier Fuentes-León
Country: Perú | Colombia
An unusual ghost story set on the Peruvian seaside; a married fisherman struggles to reconcile his devotion to his male lover within his town's rigid traditions.
Director: Giorgos Lanthimos
Runtime: 94 minutes
Three teenagers are confined to an isolated country estate that could very well be on another planet. The trio spend their days listening to endless homemade tapes that teach them a whole new vocabulary. Any word that comes from beyond their family abode is instantly assigned a new meaning. Hence 'the sea' refers to a large armchair and 'zombies' are little yellow flowers. Having invented a brother whom they claim to have ostracized for his disobedience, the uber-controlling parents terrorize their offspring into submission. The father is the only family member who can leave the manicured lawns of their self-inflicted exile, earning their keep by managing a nearby factory, while the only outsider allowed on the premises is his colleague Christina, who is paid to relieve the son of his male urges. Tired of these dutiful acts of carnality, Christina enlists the elder daughter for some girl-on-girl action, carelessly disturbing the domestic balance. Soon enough, sex has spread throughout the household like fire. Next stop: rebellion.
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Director: Veiko Õunpuu
Runtime: 110 min
The most stupendous and bone chilling tragedy about the agony and decline of one middle-level manager.
Tony develops an aversion to gushing claims of his goodness and the issue starts to haunt him. Is he good? Why should one be good? Whom would it benefit? While Tony thinks and thinks, he is forced to fire one thousand employees under his command, to be a witness to his wife's betrayal, to bury his grandfather and finally to find 12 pairs of human hands from the underbrush.
As Tony hopes to find a new and simpler life in a strip club with the help of a Russian secretary named Nadezha who is earning extra money by working there, fate steps into his life in the form of the mysterious Herr Meister. He gives Tony a choice; Either a rebellion doomed to failure and eventual decline, or absolute submission and a life full of power and enjoyment. Although Tony is accustomed to a worry-free life, he chooses rebellion - much to his own surprise - and loses.
A man is truly a bottomless abyss.
Friday, November 26, 2010
Director: Jan Jakub Kolski
Eleven-year-old Marek has an obsessive desire to go to with his
family to Venice, the city on water. He has learned all of its streets
and squares by heart. Will his dream come true? Well, it is 1939,
Hitler is getting set to invade Poland and his father has joined the
army. Instead, Marek and his mother go to Aunt Veronica’s villa in
Zaleszczykach on the San. He builds a replica of Venice (if he
can’t go to Venice then have it come to him) when the basement
Venice tells a story of a journey never taken. A story in which the
power of dreams makes it possible to turn a flooded cellar into the
most romantic city on Earth. As the WW2 rages on outside the
window, the “Venetian” cellar awakens great expectations and
At first, these are the dreams of children, full of pure belief in
making the things possible by a force of will and mind, but later
the further generations of a big family join the specific play that
changes into a ritual of an attempt of overcoming the hostile
world by the human spirit.
The special, old, family nest-house seems to be a final asylum and
brings a promise of safety. This feeling flows gradually over to the
next and next circles of the family’s friends, neighbors and – finally
– total strangers that one day come inside. How will it stand the
confrontation with the cruelty of war?
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Dir:Jan Jakub Kolski
Runtime: 115 min
Director Jan Jakub Kolski explores the idea of science versus faith in this beautifully shot Film where a woman art restorator Natasha arrives at a Monastery to restore and preserve aging paintings, particularly the Virgin Mary painting. She has a cute daughter named Eugenia who insists on others not using a petname on her. The Film is told through the voice over of and many times from the point of view of this five year old.
Father Kleofas believes that the paintings will save themselves and says they should. Natasha says it is chemistry which should save the paintings. Slowly and steadily Father sees that Natasha's work is doing wonders to the painting, we all can see it, 'what is the point? the painting looks clearer now. But does it make our prayers any stronger?" he asks. A very interesting question. A painting saved by a miracle would have had stronger impact on the way of life, the father observes.
The monastery has 3 brothers living in closed rooms, only coming out in the nights mostly to do the gardening work, supposedly on their way to sainthood. The three are named Brother sweetberry, brother birdberry and brother Plum. Apparently, the three brothers exude smells of sweetberry, birdberry(smell of ducklings) and of fruit plum. The three are on their way to sainthood, the men smelling of fruits and birds is supposed to be a miracle of sorts. We all know that Church requires miracles before it could bestow sainthood on the priests. The three brothers are apparently in the reckoning for the sainthood and Father Kleofas is sure that one of the miracles would be the restoration of the paintings in the monastery by these monks. But are the brothers for real?
There is an interesting babe character Patricia, a hairdresser who says that the smell of brother Birdberry makes her feel sexy. Natasha being a chemist tries to compose chemically the very smell that Patricia senses from this monk. Director explores the idea of 'what are people looking for in their lives?' in implied and surrealistic methods. Could the perfumes and scents that Natasha is preparing induce feelings of love in people who experience these smells? The answer is in love, in the heart, he seems to say by the end of the Film...........by Hari Yelleti
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Director: Jan Kidawa-Blonski
Little Rose takes an unflinching look at an explosive period in Polish post-war history. The year is 1967 and Israel has just dispatched Egypt and Syria - key Soviet allies - in the Six-Day-War. Cheers of approval erupt from Polish ittle Rose takes an unflinching look at an explosive period in Polish post-war history. Thedissidents. A vehement backlash follows. Thousands of "Zionists" are pushed to leave the country - they must ultimately depart on one-way passports, forced to renounce their citizenship once and for all. The old spectre of the Jewish bogeyman has reared its head once again, but this time, the Communists are pulling the propaganda strings.
In Little Rose, these heady events provide the backdrop for an intimate study of the dissidents' plight. Slithering though their midst is the poisonous figure of the informant. "Little Rose" is the pseudonym of Kamila, a young graduate who is cajoled into spying by her lover Roman, a security services functionary. The plot is loosely based (there are many crucial differences) on the story of Paweł Jasienica, a celebrated historian who was informed upon by his girlfriend (later wife) for many years. The case caused a furore when it was revealed in the 90s, sparking a bitter court battle about who should inherit the rights to the late author's books (Jasienica died oblivious to the betrayal).
From the off, director Jan Kidawa-Błonski has struck gold with his cast. Robert Więckiewicz is electrifying as the brutish, haunted Security Services stooge Roman, who is desperate to deliver the goods to his superiors. His target, the fictional historian Adam Warczewski, is played by seasoned veteran Andrzej Seweryn, who gives a glowing performance as a gentlemanly academic conspiring for a return to democracy. Between the two lies - in both senses - Magdalena Boczarska, as the comely yet somewhat naive young blonde who does the dirty work.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
After the 1973 coup that deposed Allende and brought Pinochet to power in Chile, the former members of his cabinet are imprisoned on Dawson Island, the world's southernmost concentration camp. Veteran filmmaker Miguel Littin follows the ordeal of these men who are determined to survive and provide history with their testimony. Written by Palm Springs International Film Festival
Sunday, November 21, 2010
This is a story about interchange. Doris and Josie are sisters with completely different characters. Doris was offended by her younger sister's disregarded deed of initiating an event of trading goods in their coffee shop. After a series of trading and the stories along them, the event eventually changed the sisters' values and intuitions and they started to look for their own stories...credited to http://movies.insing.com/movie/taipei-exchanges/id-b3010000
Friday, November 19, 2010
Runtime:94 minLaura is a single, 25-year-old journalist who lives in a small apartment in Mexico City. After a long series of flings, Laura meets Arturo. The first time they make love, Arturo touches here in ways that overwhelm her. Thus begins an intense, passionate and sexual romance, which mixes pleasure, pain and love. In the course of days, which she carefully crosses out on her calendar, Laura’s secret past resurfaces, driving Arturo to extremes.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Country: Germany | Ukraine
Runtime:127 minThe story about a few days in the life of truck driver Georgi seems to be a never-ending nightmare, a spiral of violence and abuses of power. A man goes to work and on his way he is sucked into the everyday madness of his country, losing his health and memory in the process and ends up as a murderer, who calmly lies down to sleep after committing the crime. A dark parable about the situation in deep Russia today.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
The young boy Yusuf's best friend is his father, who supports his family's modest life with the honey he collects from tall trees in the forests of the remote Turkish countryside. Yusuf is a quiet boy, and his mother is concerned for his future. Perhaps he will follow in his father's footsteps, or perhaps school will offer him other opportunities. But the honey crop is failing, and Yusuf has trouble learning how to read. The greatest fear strikes when Yusuf's father doesn't return home from the forest.
Friday, November 12, 2010
The Greek civil war (1946-1949) is a taboo for Greek cinema, and Voulgaris in this film treats the subject attempting some form of reconciliation. His heart "beats on the left" (whence the title, "Soul Deep", which was a greeting amongst rebels during the civil war), but the film does not deal with the deeper reasons behind the events. He blames the Americans and the Soviets who fueled the conflict and then abandoned the Greeks to a political chaos and a tragic civil war ("this is not a war, this is a disgrace", says Thanassis Vegos who comes to seek the body of his dead grandchild, so that he can bury him) that led people form the same village killing each other and former friends, even brothers (like Anestis and Vlassis who fight on different camps), becoming enemies.
Pantelis Voulgaris surprises us by filming with great lyricism, stunning cinematography, and at the same time a with a decent sense of rythm (and that's surprising) in the action scenes. Sometimes, though, things get too melodramatic and this may bother some (it did bother me).
What really amazes, though, is the incredible soundtrack by Giorgos Aggelakas. Modern, yet blending perfectly with the subject matter and the cinematography. If for no other reason (and there are plenty of other reasons), it's worth to see the movie for its soundtrack alone.
Sunday, November 07, 2010
Dir:Rossana Foglia, Rubens Rewald
Arthur is a coroner obsessed with human bodies, dead or alive. Even while working in a
public mortuary full of corruption and decadence, he goes beyond the bureaucratic
diagnoses and makes a thorough reading of the bodies. The routine of his work is broken
by the arrival of bones found in a common grave. The body of a young woman causes a
clash in the department: his supervisor, Dr Lara, maintains that the body is new, without
any relation with the bones, taken as victims of the military regime. Arthur, after
examining the body, insists that it has been around more than 30 years, and belongs to the
group of bones and that, for some strange reason, remained preserved. A deadline is
imposed: if the body is not identified within 24 hours, it will be buried as unclaimed.
Arthur decides to investigate on his own the identity of that body. In police files, there is
a case of a guerrilla extremely similar to the situation: Teresa Prado Nothe. Teresa's
daughter Fernanda is traced, but to the surprise of the coroner, she says her mother is
alive and proposes that Arthur meet her. Arthur accepts the invitation.
Director: Aleksei Popogrebsky
In this low-key suspense drama from Russia, Sergei (Sergei Puskepalis) and Pavel (Grigory Dobrygin) are two meteorologists working at a weather station in the frozen wastes of the Arctic. Sergei was been stationed there for several years; he's sullen, homesick and eager to return to his wife and family. Pavel is younger and enjoying his first adventure after leaving school, and prefers video games and music to Sergei's pastimes. One day, Sergei announces that he's heading out for a few days to go fishing, and Pavel is in charge of the station. While Sergei is away, Pavel gets a radio message with shocking news -- Sergei's wife and son have lost their lives in an accident, and a ship will be coming by to pick him up as soon as possible. However, given their remote location, it will take weeks for the ship to arrive, and when Sergei returns, Pavel lacks the courage to break the bad news to him. As Pavel struggles with the weight of this secret, Sergei becomes increasingly frustrated with the confines of life at the station; when he runs off again, Pavel is given strict orders to find him, and as he sets out to find his comrade, he wanders into territory that's home to polar bears who don't appreciate the presence of humans. Kak Ya Provel Etim Letom (aka How I Ended The Summer) was an official selection at the 2010 Berlin International Film Festival.
Saturday, November 06, 2010
- Directed by :
- Daniele LUCHETTI
- ITALY, FRANCE
- 98.00 minutes
One of this year’s smaller Cannes competition titles, Our Life certainly has merits: it’s a gritty, closely observed slice of Roman proletarian life. And it’s marked by a raw (though at times rather too full-on) performance by Elio Germano in the lead role as a construction worker with two kids, who after the sudden death of his wife tries to provide for his family by setting himself up as a shady building contractor.
In ambience and theme, it comes on a lot like an Italian Ken Loach movie. Loach, though, is good at stories; whereas Luchetti and his co-scriptwriters are so enamoured of their characters that they forget to build a satisfying dramatic home for them.
Our Life‘s focus on the family, and redemption through families real and alternative, will reach out to Italian audiences, but this is a less commercial prospect than Luchetti’s last, My Brother is an Only Child. That had a sixties retro setting and an epic Best-Of-Youth-style timeline.
This is a punishingly neo-neo-realist tale shot on a distractingly shaky handheld camera, leavened only with a few audience baits: heartthrob Raul Bova in a minor role, some cute kids, the music of Italian stadium rocker Vasco Rossi and an upbeat ending. All will work better at home than abroad, where Our Life looks unlikely to reach even the handful of territories that picked up My Brother… for theatrical distribution.
Initially, the film’s rambling tone and jagged scene structure come across as confident rather than dispersive. Claudio (Germano) is one of those risky heroes who is never entirely likeable: street smart but also street crass, he’s brimful of arrogance as a building site foreman, but is saved by a real affection for his young wife Elena (Ragonese) – who he turns on by whispering the names of IKEA furniture – and for his two young sons.
Elena is pregnant again, but she dies in childbirth, and Claudio is knocked sideways. He’s already had a shock when he finds the body of a Romanian illegal immigrant worker on the building site. There’s a kind of moral payback in Elena’s death after his failure to report this other death, and in the way the dead man’s wife Gabriela (Berzanteanu) and teenage son Andrei (Ignat) enter his life.
But at this point the film starts to dither and the dramatic lines begin to blur. Using the cover-up of the Romanian worker’s death as a blackmail chip, Claudio convinces construction king Porcari (Colangeli) to give him the contract on a new residential block in Rome’s northern suburbs, which needs to be finished in record time.
He raises the money from a bad bunch of loan sharks thanks to his wheelchair-bound drug-dealing neighbour Ari (Zingaretti), and sinks part of it into flashy toys for his kids – the neon message being that Claudio is using consumerism to assuage his grief and guilt. Things, of course, spiral before they get any better.
Keen to show the positive side of life in Italy’s new outer suburbs – the solidarity, the love, the animal energies – Luchetti lets observation carry him too far into explorations of minor characters, like Claudio’s siblings Piero (Bova) and Loredana (Montorsi), who in the end add little. Our Life has its heart in the right place. But it feels like an episode of a tough, cutting-edge TV drama with a film struggling to find a voice inside it.
Friday, October 29, 2010
പ്ലാനിംഗ് , വരൂ ,രണ്ടു എന്നീ മൂന്നു ഹൃസ്വ ചിത്രങ്ങളുടെ സംവിധായകനായ സുദേവന്റെ നാലാമത്തെ ചിത്രമാണ് തട്ടുംമ്പോരത്തപ്പന്.
സുദേവന്റെ ചിത്രങ്ങളെകുറിച്ച് ബ്ലോഗില് വന്നിട്ടുള്ള ചില കുറിപ്പുകള് :
സുദേവന് ഫോണ് :09289118258
Director: Cristián Jiménez
Vision, or lack thereof, is at the heart of Chilean director Cristián Jiménez’s first film. A charmingly quirky narrative set during winter in southern Chile which explores society's neuroses over appearances, surveillance and communication, this film focuses on three main characters: a once-blind skier terrorized by the world he now sees; a mall security guard smitten with a beautiful thief spotted over security cameras; and a loyal über-employee unceremoniously transferred to a dead-end job and trained by his company on how to behave like an unemployed person. All three men face the world mired in desires and circumstances they barely understand, where everything feels somewhat unreal, a lotlike an optical illusion. Sometimes humorous, sometimes melancholy, their stories are all essentially about dreams, wishes, and disappointments. As a child, Jiménez could not decide if he wanted to be a sociologist or a stand-up comedian and both perspectives on the absurdities of life are clearly included here.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
2 wins & 1 nomination See more awards »
Young Jorgelina feels estranged from her boy-crazy older sister, who has entered adolescence and doesn't want to hand around with little kids anymore. Finding refuge in their Boyita camper-van, Jorgelina travels with her father to the countryside, where her lifelong playmate Mario is undergoing some unexpected changes of his own.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Alex van Warmerdam
Film-maker, writer, designer, director and actor Alex van Warmerdam was born on 14 August 1952 in Haarlem. After studying at the Graphic School he went on to train at the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, and was co-founder of the legendary music-theatre company, Hauser Orkater. Since 1980 he has made ten theatre shows with his company, De Mexicaanse Hond (The Mexican Hound), including Graniet (Granite), Kaatje Is Verdronken (Katie has been drowned), Kleine Teun en Adel Blank. His collected theatre works and his novel De Hand van een Vreemde (The Hand of a Stranger) were published by Thomas Rap publishing house. Besides his many film prizes, he was awarded the prestigious Prins Bernhard Prize for Culture for his entire theatre and film oeuvre, the Albert van Dalsum Prize by the city of Amsterdam and the Dutch/Flemish Theatre Writers Prize.
At the end of the '70s, he wrote the script and the storyboard for the filming of Hauser Orkater's Entree Brussels and Striptease, together with Jim van der Woude and director Frans Weisz. After the short film De Stedeling (The Townee), he made his first feature film, Abel, in 1986, followed by De Noordelingen (The Northerners), De Jurk (The Dress) and Kleine Teun (Little Tony)
Imdb link: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0912334/
1. De laatste dagen van Emma Blank (2009) aka The Last Days of Emma Blank
2. Ober (2006) aka Waiter
3. Grimm (2003)
4. Kleine Teun (1998) aka Little Tony
5. Jurk, De (1996) aka The Dress
6. Noorderlingen, De (1992) aka The Northerners
7. Abel (1986)
Dir:Alex van Warmerdam
A she-devil holed up in a house in the Dutch dunes waits impatiently for death in "The Last Days of Emma Blank." The bitter irony of Dutch scribe-helmer-thesp Alex van Warmerdam's latest is that Emma's servants are possibly even more eager to see their boss-from-hell expire. More generally off-kilter than deadpan, this technically impressive ensembler from one of the Netherlands' few recognizable names suffers from an uneven tone and did just OK biz at home last May. International premiere at Venice will kick off the usual round of fests, with a possible afterlife in ancillary.
"The Last Days of Emma Blank" is a reworked version of van Warmerdam's 1999 play "Adel Blank." When that work premiered, the Dutch multihyphenate called his eponymous protag "Hitler in a dress," but that is an inadequate description. Indeed, Mrs. Blank is a domestic tyrant and always impeccably dressed, and there are plenty of references to Nazism (including a priceless gag involving a moustache). But the way in which van Warmerdam has constructed his screenplay makes it impossible for the character to personify evil incarnate. Emma is evil simply because she gets away with it.
The crux of "Emma Blank" is that the servants -- nitpicky butler Haneveld (Gene Bervoets); portly, no-nonsense cook Bella (Annet Malherbe); inexperienced chamber maid Gonnie (Eva van de Wijdeven); and randy handyman Meijer (Gijs Naber) -- put up with Emma's egregious lack of manners because they believe they will receive part of her inheritance. And to hear from Emma herself, the day she'll croak isn't too far off, so her servants swallow her increasingly ridiculous, often chuckle-inducing demands.
As is often the case in van Warmerdam's universe, nothing is what it seems. But whereas in his previous outings ("Waiter," "Little Tony") his slightly askew version of the real world felt coherent and somehow possible, in "Emma Blank," the mix of non sequiturs, deadpan comedy, more sincere drama and just plain wacky occurrences never quite gels.
The weirdest addition here is the character of Theo, played by van Warmerdam himself, who functions as the household dog, often humping his boss's leg and having to be taken outside to relieve himself. Rather than providing comic relief, the character unbalances the otherwise semi-serious tone.
Though the mood wavers, the ensemble acting is uniformly strong. Young van de Wijdeven, especially, is so convincing as the haughty maid, it's hard to believe the actress also played white-trash Desie in local B.O. hit "Dunya and Desie."
Though unmistakably a van Warmerdam film -- not least because of his presence onscreen -- "Emma Blank" seems infused with southern-Gothic elements, as if the helmer had been on a David Gordon Green binge before reworking his play. This feeling is reinforced by van Warmerdam's own score, which blends folksy guitar and harmonica, and the design for Emma's house, with its white-ledged windows and tarred walls. The rest of the tech package, led by Tom Erisman's impressive widescreen lensing, is slick.
Dir:Alex van Warmerdam
Ober, was one of the MANY films shown at the Seattle International Film Festival this year and one of the few I selected to view. Ober is a very black comedy which in many ways is an insider joke that only writers would fully appreciate. Often times when deeply involved in a writing project whether it is a screen play,stage play, or novel, a writer will feel like his/her characters have "taken on a life of their own". Well, this is what happens to Herman the screenwriter whose storyline begins to displease Edgar his main character.
There are some violent scenes, but so overplayed those scenes seem to be more parodies of movie violence than the "real" movie violence.
One scene toward the middle of this film is especially funny and painful at the same time. It involves an old shopkeeper and a bow and arrows. That scene appears to have been shot in "real" time,and with minimum edited put in the movie in real time. Funny and painful, but funny anyway.
Ober, which is German and Dutch for "waiter" is subtitled which for me was annoying. I understand a little bit of Dutch so I could pick up on some of the dialog and spent so much energy on listening, I missed reading some of the subtitles. It would be nice if this wacky gem could be dubbed into English.
Dir;Alex van warmerdam
This is a story about a brother and a sister going on a journey together, because their parents didn't have money to support them anymore.
Where the movie is about a journey, the movie itself is like a journey too, where the viewer constantly falls into amazement, excitement, recognition, and sometimes a laughing fit. Its a surreal story that starts of exactly the same as Hansel and Grettel, but where you expect the brother and sister to find a house of candy, the movie takes a totally different turn, and goes on like that. Every time you think you know whats going to happen, its like the director says "ha ha, but I'm not that predictable" and sticking out his tong to you. This keeps the movie exciting and exhilarating till the end.
Dir:Alex van Warmerdam
For his fourth feature, Dutch director Alex van Warmerdam based this dark Dutch comedy on his own play about power struggles within a menage a trois at an isolated farmhouse where dull-witted farmer Brand (van Warmerdam) lives with his overweight wife Keet (Annet Malherbe), who is unable to bear a child. Since Brand is illiterate, Keet invites bright city gal Lena (Ariane Schluter) into the house to give Brand some book learning. As Brand becomes attracted to his curvy teacher, he gets encouragement from Keet, who makes him tell Lena that he and Keet are brother and sister. Lena moves in, and Brand is soon trapped between the two women. Keet represses her natural hostility toward Lena and moves into the background as Lena gives birth to Little Tony. At this point, Keet plans to get rid of Lena, but there are complications and twists. Shown in the Certain Regard section at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival.
Dir:alex van Warmerdam
The Dress is a tale filled with sex, violence, comedy and drama as it follows the life of a dress. Conceived under a cloud of frustration and despair, the dress serves as the hub in a great wheel of misfortune in an extraordinary sequence of events that envelopes both the dress and those fatefully drawn into its universe. An aloof artist, a virginal school girl, an unfulfilled maid, a lowly train conductor and a broken business executive, all become involuntary players in a macabre game of tag. No one who comes in contact with the dress can escape its dramatic, shocking and hilarious consequences.
Dir;Alex van Warmerdam
A surreal black comedy set in a decrepit 1960's housing development. When his mother is drawn into sainthood and the resulting frustrations of his father become too difficult to manage, Thomas, a young boy, becomes obsessed with events on the broadcast news. The liberation of the Belgian Congo is taking place and Thomas becomes Lumumba, one of the contenders as the Congo's new leader. He is encouraged in this escapism by Plagge, the postman who reads all the mail and knows all of the bizzarre and intimate secrets of the eccentric inhabitants of the estate.
Dir;Alex van Warmerdam
With lots of insider Dutch jokes, this eccentric and uneven comedy from the Netherlands won't be to everyone's tastes. The Abel of the title is a 31-year-old weirdo who has never left the house he shares with his overly doting mother and his fractious father. The mother becomes increasingly strange in her behaviour and the fighting between the father and son intensify. When Abel gets thrown out of the family home, he finds solace in the arms of loose-living woman Zus, who, coincidentally, has been offering her ample breast as a comfort to Abel's father in times of trial. The visual gags are constant and the characters quirky, but it gets wearing after a time, which is a pity, because writer-director van Warmerdam, who also takes the lead role, shows he's got some good ideas bubbling around in here somewhere.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Three years after Secret Sunshine, acclaimed director Lee Chang Dong made a splash at the Cannes Festival again in 2010 with his Poetry winning Best Screenplay. Lee wrote the bittersweet story with veteran actress Yoon Jeong Hee in mind for the gentle role of an inquisitive grandmother who seeks solace through writing. One of Korea's most famous and prolific actresses during the late sixties and seventies, Yoon Jeong Hee came out of retirement to star in Poetry, her first film in 15 years. Also co-starring Ahn Nae Sang (Fate), seventies action star Kim Hee Ra, and poet Kim Yong Taek, Poetry quietly writes the hope, tragedy, vulnerability, and tenacity of life on screen. Grandmother Mi Ja (Yoon Jeong Hee) works part-time as a caretaker, and struggles to raise a teen grandson (David Lee, Paradise Murdered) by herself. Despite her tough situation, she speaks softly, dresses fashionably, and approaches the world with child-like curiosity. Enrolling in a poetry class, she endeavors to capture life in verse form, but her simple dream of completing a poem is stalled by the early signs of Alzheimer's disease and the heavy financial and emotional burden of her grandson's shocking wrongdoing.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Nothing Personal (2009)
Country: Ireland | Netherlands
11 wins & 6 nominations See more awards »
Alone in her empty flat, from her window Anne observes the people passing by who nervously snatch up the personal belongings and pieces of furniture she has put out on the pavement. Her final gesture of taking a ring off her finger signals she is leaving her previous life in Holland behind. She goes to Ireland, where she chooses to lead a solitary, wandering existence, striding through the austere landscapes of Connemara. During her travels, she discovers a house that is home to a hermit, Martin.