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