Monday, October 31, 2011

The Mosquito Net (2010)

The Mosquito Net (2010)
Director: Agustí Vila
Country: Spain
Runtime: 1 hour, 35 minutes

A wildly dysfunctional family begins to drown in their multiple neuroses in this offbeat drama from Spanish filmmaker Agusti Vila. Luis (Marcos Franz) is the teenage son of Miguel and Alicia, a couple whose marriage is on its last legs. Luis obsessively brings home stray dogs and cats, who show him the attention and affection he doesn't get from his parents. Miguel and Alicia aren't getting much love from one another, either, and once their marriage finally collapses, he takes up with their maid while Alicia has an affair with one of Luis's friends from school. Meanwhile, Miguel's father and mother are both slipping into senility and think suicide might be the answer to their problems, and Luis's aunt Rachel believes in the old adage "Spare the rod and spoil the child" - so much so that it's putting her daughter in danger. ~ Mark Deming, Allrovi

Friday, October 28, 2011

Tehilim (2007)

Tehilim (2007)
Director: Raphaël Nadjari
Country: France | Israel
Runtime;   96min

In contemporary Jerusalem, a small Jewish family leads an ordinary life until following a car accident, the father mysteriously disappears. They all deal with his absence and the difficulties of everyday life as best they can. While the adults take refuge in silence or traditions, the two children, Menachem and David, seek their own way to find their father... Written by NMH  

Thursday, October 27, 2011

So Much for Justice!(2010)

So Much for Justice!
Director: Miklós Jancsó
Country: Hungary
Runtime: 86

Managed to get onto the second party of the Mátyás [*Matthias] era, the peak of his power for a king's reign, and through this for Hungary's hey-day short one and a half of his decades concentrates. In the centre Mátyás [*Matthias] king (László Gálffi) his marriage, the troubles of the succession, the life of the Renaissance yard and the relations of inside are at a standstill, i mean mostly the happenings of the privacy, which manage national significance and political weight in a ruler's case however,.
In Miklós Jancsó's film the three separable eras of Mátyás [*Matthias] king's life come up: youthful Mátyás king's fights for the throne; aged Mátyás king and the succession to the throne; and the fate of the royal crown and the royal heir after Mátyás king's death.

Whoever Says the Truth Shall Die (1981)

Whoever Says the Truth Shall Die (1981)
Directors: Philo Bregstein
Country: Netherlands
Runtime: 58 minutes

Philo Bregstein tells us this film looks at Pasolini's life and art to explain why he died. The film traces Pasolini's life chronologically - family roots, hiding during World War II, teaching, moving to Rome, being arrested and acquitted many times, publishing poems, getting into film, being provocative, and being murdered. Interviews with Alberto Moravia, Laura Betti, Maria Antonietta Macciocch, and Bernard Bertolucci are inter-cut with readings of Pasolini's poems and with clips from four films - primarily the Gospel According to St. Matthew - to illustrate his changing ideas and points of view. Bregstein makes a case for Pasolini's being lynched. 

imbd review by Michael_Elliott (Louisville, KY)
Strange documentary from the Netherlands, which talks of the life, poetry and films of the controversial Pier Paolo Pasolini who was brutally murdered in 1975. The official cause of death is that the director took a 17-year-old boy for a walk, made sexual advances towards him and then the boy killed him. The conspiracy theory on display here is that the government and Christians had something to do with the murder due to the director's Salo and some poems he wrote towards the end of his life. For the most part this documentary is a complete bore that really doesn't come to life until the final ten minutes when the murder is looked at. The best piece of evidence given are the photos of Pasolini's body, which was beaten to a pulp and then driven over by a car. This is the evidence, which claims the boy didn't do the killings even though those being interviewed admit that Pasolini was the sexually aggressive type. The documentary never talks to anyone on the opposite side so we never really get any clear answers to what really happened. The stuff discussing his poems and films isn't very well done and doesn't really shine a light on anything because all the film really does is remind us that he was a homosexual every ten minutes.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Young Goethe in Love (2010)

Young Goethe in Love (2010)
 Director: Philipp Stölzl
Country: Germany
Runtime: 1 hour, 40 minutes

In 1772, we find the young German poet Johann Wolfgang Goethe flunking out of law school and getting drunk with his friends. He's a free spirit trapped in a stringent world where class is everything. All Goethe wants to do is write poems and get them published. But his stern father sends him away to a small town where he is accepted to work at a provincial law firm. There he befriends fellow law student Wilhelm Jerusalem. Goethe also meets, and falls in love with, the beautiful Lotte Buff. She in turn falls for the hopelessly romantic Goethe but, unbeknownst to him, is promised to marry Albert Kestner, Goethe's superior at the law firm. It all adds up to anguished love, as his friend Jerusalem also suffers a failed love affair with a married woman. Goethe transforms their travails into a grand masterpiece, the novel The Sorrows of Young Werther.

Of Love and Other Demons (2009)

Of Love and Other Demons (2009)

Director: Hilda Hidalgo
Country: Costa Rica | Colombia
Runtime: 95 min

Based on Gabriel García Márquez's novel, this is the unsettling story of 13-year-old noble Sierva and the dog bite that changes her life forever. Abandoned, displaced, in the midst of a sexual awakening and finally exorcised, Sierva finds an unlikely ally in a young priest and together they discover passion. Written by Pusan International Film Festival

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Punk's Not Dead (2011)

Punk's Not Dead (2011)
Directors: Vladimir Blazevski
Country: Republic of Macedonia

Runtime: 1 hour 40 minutes

Macedonia's official submission to the Best Foreign Language Film category of the 84th Academy Awards 2012.

Punk's not dead is a remarkable black-comedy by Vladimir Blazevski. It is about a reunion of old punk band. Mirsa is a punk who is trying to put up with the struggles of everyday life in Skopje. One day he was offered to play for some multicultural-happening in Debar. Actually, all he ever wants is to play again with his punk band, so he accepts the offer. The next step is to find all former members of the band and make them play again... His ex-girlfriend is coming back to him and she is helping him to find the former members of the band. Punk's not dead gives good message - we should keep on trying to make our dreams come true.

Monday, October 24, 2011

White White World (2010)

White White World (2010)
Directors: Oleg Novkovic
Country: Serbia
Runtime: 1 hour 55 minutes

 In the Serbian drama “White White World: The Miner’s Opera” (“Beli Beli Svet”), the characters sing, but never dance. Formulated as a modern day Greek tragedy set in the decrepit southeastern mining town Bor, the movie follows a close group of alienated locals through misguided love affairs and other brash misdeeds. But the songs feature no choreography or other stylish methods of breaking the harsh, downtrodden tableaux. It’s a surprisingly effective strategy. With his sophomore effort, director Oleg Novkovic uses musical expression to frame inner monologues that would never work in spoken form. As a result, a story exclusively populated by damaged people engaged in morally ambiguous, often depraved behavior manages to evoke sympathy for all of them.
At its center is King, a retired boxer now running the neighborhood bar. Years earlier, he had an affair with erstwhile seductress Ruzica, an act that led her to kill her husband and wind up behind bars. The movie begins shortly before Ruzica’s release from jail, when the still-swinging King engages in a similarly ill-fated liaison with Ruzica’s rebellious 18-year-old daughter, Rosa. After a few drinks, two engage in fast, passionless sex, and King rushes out the door without a word…

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Fourth Portrait (2010)

The Fourth Portrait (2010)
Directed by: Mong-Hong Chung
Country: Taiwan
Runtime: 105 min

Ten year-old Xiang faces a lonely future after his father dies. Just when he thinks he's going to spend his life in the orphanage, his estranged mother shows up. And his life changes forever... A loveless mother, a hateful stepfather, a chilly home. Where's Xiang heading to* He finds comfort in drawing and his work reveals his longing for care and affection. Life is full of hope again when he meets the old school janitor who doesn't show his kindness easily and a portly man who has crazy ideas and is haunted with nightmares of his brother. A scary truth is about to be unmasked. Will Xiang be able to depict his own image in the fourth portrait?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2010)

Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2010)
Director: Werner Herzog
Country: Canada | USA | France
Runtime: 90 min

Werner Herzog gains exclusive access to film inside the Chauvet caves of Southern France, capturing the oldest known pictorial creations of humankind in their astonishing natural setting.

In 1994, a group of scientists discovered a cave in Southern France perfectly preserved for over 20,000 years and containing the earliest known human paintings. Knowing the cultural significance that the Chauvet Cave holds, the French government immediately cut-off all access to it, save a few archaeologists and paleontologists. But documentary filmmaker, Werner Herzog, has been given limited access, and now we get to go inside examining beautiful artwork created by our ancient ancestors around 32,000 years ago. He asks questions to various historians and scientists about what these humans would have been like and trying to build a bridge from the past to the present.

Midnight in Paris(2011)

                                                                       Midnight in Paris
                                                                Directed by: Woody Allen
                                                                    Country: Spain, USA

Gil and Inez travel to Paris as a tag-along vacation on her parents' business trip. Gil is a successful Hollywood writer but is struggling on his first novel. He falls in love with the city and thinks they should move there after they get married, but Inez does not share his romantic notions of the city or the idea that the 1920s was the golden age. When Inez goes off dancing with her friends, Gil takes a walk at midnight and discovers what could be the ultimate source of inspiration for writing. Gil's daily walks at midnight in Paris could take him closer to the heart of the city but further from the woman he's about to marry.

Woody Allen's love affair with France, which goes back decades, finds its finality with "Midnight in Paris," the latest of Allen's Parisian brochures, which recently opened at the Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday. The good news is that Allen seems to be paying attention in a way he hasn't always done in recent films, and has found a way to channel his often-caustic misanthropy, half-comic fear of death and anti-American bitterness into agreeable comic whimsy. The nominal point of "Midnight in Paris" is that we've all got to make the best of life in our own time while longing for a past that probably never existed. If anything, Allen seems to be rebuking himself, ever so mildly, for his compulsive romanticism, his obsession with the past and his disconnection from contemporary American life. Allen has baked us a sweet, airy Parisian dessert with just a sense of sentimental substance in the finish. One of his better films in his latter years.
IMDB Review

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


In the summer of 2006, film directors Dominik Graf, Christian Petzold and Christoph Hochhäusler began corresponding with each other on the subjects of film aesthetics, the Berlin School, Germany and the film genre (their correspondence was published in German film magazine Revolver). Two years later they decided to continue this theoretical discussion with a joint film project: three individual stories revolving around the same “fait divers”: the escape of a convicted criminal from police custody. Graf’s DON’T FOLLOW ME AROUND tells the story of a police psychologist who meets old acquaintances while investigating a case. In Petzold’s BEATS BEING DEAD a young man doing alternative national service experiences a love story without a future. And in Christoph Hochhäusler’s ONE MINUTES OF DARKNESS an indefatigable policeman hunting the escaped prisoner begins to doubt false certainties. Three films, three styles, three exciting approaches, variations, analyses.
Dreileben 1:Beats Being Dead
Directors: Christian Petzold
Country: Germany
Runtime: 1 hour 26 minutes
''Beats Being Dead'' is the first part of the DREILEBEN trilogy.

A big hospital on the outskirts of a small city in the middle of the Thuringian Forest. Here Johannes carries out his alternative national service. The head physician, a family friend, has recruited him. Johannes gets to know Ana. During the night of their first embrace, a sex offender escapes from the hospital. His flight and the police’s hectic search accompany the story of Johannes and Ana – a love story transcending boundaries, without a future.

Dreileben 2: Don't Follow Me Around
Directors: Dominik Graf
Country: Germany
Runtime: 1 hour 28 minutes

In the trilogy’s second chapter, Jo, a big-city police psychologist, arrives in Dreileben to aid in the ongoing investigation, whereupon she finds herself greeted cooly by the local authorities but welcomed with open arms by Vera, a college friend who lives nearby with her husband, a pretentious author. As the girlfriends reminisce about bygone days and discover they were both once in love with the same man, director Dominik Graf deftly juxtaposes their personal drama against the search for a killer, a police corruption scandal, and a possible case of interspecies transmutation—all underlining the trilogy’s recurring themes of false appearances and deeply hidden truths.

Dreileben 3: One Minute of Darkness
Directors: Christoph Hochhäusler
Country: Germany
Runtime: 1 hour 29 minutes

 The Dreileben trilogy comes to a nail-biting close with director Christoph Hochhäusler’s expert thriller, which also brings escaped felon Molosch—a peripheral character in the first two parts—into sharp focus. Hot on the killer’s trail, grizzled police inspector Marcus tries to put himself inside the mind of the criminal, even as he begins to wonder if the condemned man really is guilty as charged. Meanwhile, as Molosch flees deeper into Dreileben’s possibly enchanted forest, he has an unexpectedly tender encounter with a young runaway girl—scenes that echo the Frankenstein story and transform One Minute of Darkness into a dark, memorably strange fairy tale.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Other Bank(2009)

The Other Bank
Directors: George Ovashvili
Country: Georgia | Kazakhstan
Runtime: 1 hour 29 minutes

A young refugee and his mother flee ethnic cleansing in the Georgian region of Abkhazia, leaving his father behind. After arriving in the Georgina capital of Tbilisi, the young boy encounters difficulties with his mother, and begins a lonely journey back to Abkahzia to find his father.


A 12-year-old Georgian boy embarks on a dangerous mission to find his father behind enemy lines in the breakaway Republic of Abkhazia in Georgian helmer George Ovashvili's moving feature debut, "The Other Bank." Showcasing impressive perfs from nonpro thesps, especially young Tedo Bekhauri as the lead, "Bank" wisely invests in unobtrusive naturalism and powerful but unsentimental storytelling that should ensure further fest play. That said, the pic doesn't quite pack an emotive enough punch to woo (or wow) auds much beyond Georgian and Russian arthouses.
"Gripping and visually impaling in the land of lost". Stranded in a war-torn-worn-down Tsibili in the aftermath of the conflicts between Abkhazia and Georgia in the early 90′s, 12-year-old Tedo and a slightly reluctant mother find themselves living as refugees, trying to make ends meet. As Tedo’s glue sniffing friends are arrested for petty crimes and the mother favor scummy lovers over her son, the young boy embarks on a journey back to Abkhazia to find the father left behind.
The Other Bank much reminisces of Greek director Angelopoulos film Landscape in the Mist where the children also leaves what they call home on a quest to find a missing father. They both encounter various kinds of people who treat them in various ways, some times quite unexpected. What makes The Other Bank interesting in particular is that it is set in such a remote location, showcasing a reality characterized by poverty, uncertainty and everything else that war brings with. The boy moves through desolate landscapes and cross borders where passing may rob you of your life.
Politics strongly pervades pic, but philosophical aspects which goes hand in hand with a few visually impaling scenes and a grand acting by the [amateur] lead performer turns this into a certain winner. A must see.
Stranded in a war-torn-worn-down Tsibili in the aftermath of the conflicts between Abkhazia and Georgia in the early 90′s, 12-year-old Tedo and a slightly reluctant mother find themselves living as refugees, trying to make ends meet. As Tedo's glue sniffing friends are arrested for petty crimes and the mother prefer scummy lovers over him, the young boy embarks on a journey back to Abkhazia to find the father left behind.
The Other Bank much reminisces of Greek director Angelopoulos film Landscape in the Mist, where the children also leave what they call home on a quest to find a missing father. They both encounter various kinds of people who treat them in various ways, some times quite unexpected. What makes The Other Bank interesting in particular is that it is set in such a remote location, showcasing a reality (and the scenes it takes place in) characterized by poverty, uncertainty and everything else that war brings with. The boy moves through desolate landscapes and cross borders where passing may rob you of your life.
Politics strongly pervades pic, but philosophical aspects hand in hand with a few visually impaling scenes and a grand acting by the lead performer turns it into a definite winner.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Memory of Love (2009)

Memory of Love (2009)
Director: Chao Wang
Country: China
 Runtime: 92 min

A woman, He Sizhu, and her lover, Chen Mo, are in a car accident. When she wakes up at the hospital where her husband is a surgeon, she has forgotten everything. Her lover has become a stranger, but he wants her back.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Brothers (2011)

Brothers (2011)
Director: Mika Kaurismäki
Country: Finland
Runtime: 1 hour 25 minutes

Two brothers take decidedly different paths when they attempt to seek their fortune. One is a responsible married man who opens up a print shop, working arduously to make a living. The other brother is a hippie who has a young girlfriend. When he stays with his brother, he has an affair with his sister-in-law while his brother sleeps with his girlfriend. The two brother attempt to patch things up after the hippie moves out.

Friday, October 07, 2011

The Turin Horse (2011)

The Turin Horse
 Directors:Béla Tarr, Ágnes Hranitzky
 Country: Hungary

1889. German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche witnessed the whipping of a horse while traveling in Turin, Italy. He tossed his arms around the horse's neck to protect it then collapsed to the ground. In less than one month, Nietzsche would be diagnosed with a serious mental illness that would make him bed-ridden and speechless for the next eleven years until his death. But whatever did happen to the horse? This film, which is Tarr's last, follows up this question in a fictionalized story of what occurred. The man who whipped the horse is a rural farmer who makes his living taking on carting jobs into the city with his horse-drawn cart. The horse is old and in very poor health, but does its best to obey its master's commands. The farmer and his daughter must come to the understanding that it will be unable to go on sustaining their livelihoods. The dying of the horse is the foundation of this tragic tale. Written by Anonymous

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Tomboy (2011)

Director: Céline Sciamma
                                                                     Country: France
                                                                     Runtime: 84 min

There is definitely something boyish about ten-year-old Laure. She has recently moved to a new area with her parents and her little sister, Jeanne. It’s summertime and all the other neighbourhood children are playing outside – only Laure is alone, for she knows nobody of her own age. But then, one day, she meets Lisa, a girl who is exactly the same age. Laure allows her new acquaintance to believe that she is a boy. Laure becomes Mikaël, and, no sooner has she brought about this ‘transformation’ than she begins playing with all the other neighbourhood children. As time passes, Laure’s relationship to Lisa becomes increasingly close, making the ambiguity of her situation ever more complicated.
Céline Sciamma is a proponent of a new generation of filmmakers in France. In an interview with “Cineuropa” in August 2007 she comments: “I became a cinephile as a result of young French cinema of the 90s: Desplechin, Lvovsky, Rochant. But I like Gus Van Sant and Larry Clark a lot too for their work on adolescence, not to forget David Lynch.”

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Familiar Ground (2011)

 En terrains connus                                               Director: Stéphane Lafleur
Country: Canada
Runtime:  90 min

Maryse and her husband are desperate to sell a backhoe sitting abandoned in their suburban yard. Her brother, Benoit, is trapped in endless adolescence, sharing their childhood home with their invalid father. Benoit is enamoured with a single mom named Nathalie, and he's hoping to finally grow up by living with her... but Nathalie's son does not approve. A serious accident at the factory where Maryse works, a strange series of coincidences, and the arrival of a Man claiming to come from the future launch Maryse and Benoit on a life-changing road trip. Following up his acclaimed feature film Continental, a film without guns, filmmaker Stephane Lafleur once again brings us an ensemble of compelling characters, in a story where the ordinary and the fantastic collide. Written by Anonymous from imdb

Tuesday, October 04, 2011


Director: Lars von Trier
Country: Denmark 

The film begins with an intro sequence, with a number of semi-abstract images of the main characters as well as images from space, showing the end of the world. Melancholia is divided into two parts, the first being a family drama about the girl Justine (Kirsten Dunst), who is alienated from her family at her own wedding.
Part two is an apocalyptic drama about Justine and her sister Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg), who has to deal with the possible end of the world, as a previously unknown Counter-Earth planet, called Melancholia, is on collision course with Earth.
In part one, the young couple Justine and Michael (Alexander Skarsgård) are getting married at a castle, but the party is far from successful, as Justine’s divorced parents (John Hurt and Charlotte Rampling) are openly fighting at the dinner. Justine herself is both alienated from her sister, her new husband, her boss (Stellan Skarsgård) and her parents.
She drifts away from the party, and becomes increasingly depressed and desperate during the night. At several occasions, she looks at a specific star, which seems to shine brighter than normal. Claire’s husband John (Kiefer Sutherland) says it is the star Antares, and later in the movie the star disappears. At the end of the party, Michael leaves Justine, implying that their marriage is called off.
In part two, Justine has become severely depressed, and visits Claire and John, who lives in the same castle with their son Leo (Cameron Spurr). To begin with, Justine is unable to do normal everyday things like taking a bath or eat, but becomes more self confident over time.
It has been revealed that the reason for Antares’ disappearance was due to the planet Melancholia, which had previously been hidden behind the sun, had moved in front of the star and blocked it from view.
At the same time, Melancholia has become visible in the sky. John, being very keen on astronomy, is excited about the planet, and looks forward to the so-called fly-by, as Earth and Melancholia are supposed to pass by each other.
Claire is very fearful about the planet, and believes it is the end of the world. On the night of the fly-by, it seems that John was right, as Melancholia passes by Earth, and nothing happens. In the following days, however, it turns out that Melancholia is coming back around. As John finds out, he commits suicide by taking pills.
His dead body is found by Claire, who decides to keep it a secret. She then talks to Justine, who is extremely cynical about the impending doom. However, she tries to comfort Leo by building a crude shelter out of wooden sticks. The film ends with Justine, Claire and Leo sitting inside the shelter, as Melancholia collides with Earth.

                                                            DIRECTORS STATEMENT

It was like waking from a dream: my producer showed me a suggestion for a poster. “What is that?” I ask. ”It’s a film you’ve made!” she replies. ”I hope not,” I stammer. Trailers are shown ... stills ... it looks like shit. I’m shaken.
Don’t get me wrong ... I’ve worked on the film for two years. With great pleasure. But perhaps I’ve deceived myself. Let myself be tempted. Not that anyone has done anything wrong ... on the contrary, everybody has worked loyally and with talent toward the goal defined by me alone. But when my producer presents me with the cold facts, a shiver runs down my spine.
This is cream on cream. A woman’s film! I feel ready to reject the film like a wrongly transplanted organ.
But what was it I wanted? With a state of mind as my starting point, I desired to dive headlong into the abyss of German romanticism. Wagner in spades. That much I know. But is that not just another way of expressing defeat? Defeat to the lowest of cinematic common denominators? Romance is abused in all sorts of endlessly dull ways in mainstream products.
And then, I must admit, I have had happy love relationships with romantic cinema ... to name the obvious: Visconti!
German romance that leaves you breathless. But in Visconti, there was always something to elevate matters beyond the trivial ... elevate it to masterpieces!
I am confused now and feel guilty. What have I done?
Is it ’exit Trier?’ I cling to the hope that there may be a bone splinter amid all the cream that may, after all, crack a fragile tooth ... I close my eyes and hope!

Lars von Trier, Copenhagen, April 13, 2011.

Monday, October 03, 2011

The Cat Vanishes (2011)

The Cat Vanishes (2011)
Director: Carlos Sorin
Runtime:  90 min

Luis Romero is a history professor who suffers a psychotic break and assaulted a colleague. Beatrice, his wife, as a neuropsychiatric internal. Later Luis returns home, supposedly cured, but Beatriz doubt his sanity. Especially after the disappearance of Donatello, the cat.

Drive (2011)

Drive (2011)
Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Country: USA
Runtime: 100 min 

A Hollywood stunt performer who moonlights as a wheelman discovers that a contract has been put on him after a heist gone wrong.