Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Mill and the Cross (2011)

The Mill and the Cross (2011)
 Director: Lech Majewski
 Country: Sweden | Poland
 Runtime: 1 hour, 31 minutes

 "Mill and the Cross" that is, a revolution in the cinema!The long-awaited movie theaters Lech Majewski, who is the film "adaptation" sixteenth-century painting by Peter Bruegel "The Road to Calvary".Mill and the Cross "is a unique option for cinema lovers. Probably nothing like it in the near future will not see - said it plays in the film Charlotte Rampling.
"Mill and the Cross" by Lech Majewski is a film which is set in 1564, when Bruegel painted his masterpiece. The painter shows in the last journey of Christ, but places it is not in Jerusalem, but in modern Flanders him (this is a historical region in present borders of the Netherlands, Belgium and France). Therefore, the topic of Christ's suffering artist wove the martyrdom of his countrymen persecuted for political reasons by the ruling religious and then the Spanish Inquisition there. In this way, Majewski's film is a continuation of the idea of ​​Bruegel, who in the sixteenth century - with his work - appealed for respect for others and tolerance for different views.
The film shown is the fate of several characters from the image including miller, bread carrier, a group of mothers with small children, as well as a young man who was sentenced to a cruel death by attaching it to the wheel on a pole to him zadziobały ravens. In one scene we see the cruelty of the Spanish soldiers zakopujących young woman alive. Sixteenth-century heroes' Way to Calvary "come alive in front of spectators, and the camera reveals their individual parts of the picture that appeared in the final of the whole work of Bruegel hanging on one wall of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.

 - This is an extremely successful experiment in art, which can be compared to re-invent the wheel - said with a smile playing in the movie Rutger Hauer (best remembered for her role in the movie "Blade Runner" dir. Ridley Scott). - In the movie it was, after all here is to play more than four hundred years before to connect with contemporary art film - said the actor, who as Bruegel in one of the most important scenes in the film discusses the secrets of his paintings and demonstrates his accompanying art collector (played by Michael York), that the artist is able - through pictures - stop time and the world....

 American-French art critic Michael Francis Gibson, whose essay is titled "Mill and the Cross" was inspired by Polish film director and became the basis for the screenplay for the film explains that the idea Majewski to present the image of Bruegel as a feature film, not a documentary, as he wanted at the beginning, was a surprise for him. - It seemed to me then that it is not difficult to present an image of matter, but most of all the ideas contained in the work of Bruegel - he noted.

 Detective eye Lech MajewskiDirector, screenwriter and film producer, poet, novelist and painter, as well as theater and opera director. Lech Majewski betrays the greatest secrets of his artistic activities.Guest Anne Fuksiewicz in the next release, "Season of Twos" told such about his work, how to read meanings in the paintings of the old painters, and also about his inspirations art. There were also memories of working in the United States.
Extremely rare for artists to artistic activity was confined to so many areas of life, as is the case with Lech Majewski. The question here is Anna Fuksiewicz which of the areas of artistic activity is the closest to him, Lech Majewski clearly pointed to the painting and poetry. - First, I see things, then write them. Poetry, in turn, leads to the rejection of the logic of my cause - effect relationship. Often broadcast logical sense to the world ends in tragedy. The twentieth century was characterized by just building a utopian bliss of human - guy says "Season of Twos."
Mainly inspired by Lech Majewski "old masters". He explains that showed a great skill. - Reading the ancient symbols and meanings in art is a bit detective, but also a fascinating work - Lech Majewski says.
Soon the Polish cinema screens will be the last film by Lech Majewski, entitled "The Mill and the Cross". The film is based on the book published under the same title, written by Michael Gibson. Picture, set in 1564 - the same, in which Bruegel painted his masterpiece - intertwines with the suffering of Christ's Passion Flanders politically and religiously oppressed by the Spaniards.
Lech Majewski says work on the film as extremely difficult. - Two years ago we finished a picture, and still continues postproduction. This is due to tedious, painstaking work that accompanies the preparation of each frame. They are built as Bruegel paintings - Lech Majewski says.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Between Two Fires (2010)

Between Two Fires (2010)
Director:Agnieszka Lukasiak
Country: Poland | Sweden

 Young woman and her daughter runs away from Belarus and sent to a refugee camp in northern Sweden. Fighting for survival for herself and her daughter is becoming easy prey around it, an alien world. Soon will be confronted with extreme life choices.

explication of directorial
"Dodgeball" is a very personal film. I came to Sweden as a little girl. This is the reality in which time ceases to exist, the days are passing on the fear of the future and the past is too dreadful to think of it. The only way to survive is the existence of "here" and "now" as in a kind of purgatory, where there is neither alive nor dead. I wanted to show the reality in which people are completely defenseless, and the ignorance of the new rules makes it become easy victims of the reality that surrounds them.
It is a story about just such a life, where time and reality are abstract concepts, and the hopes and fears of these people are permanently etched in their minds and on their faces. I wanted to show the reality in which to survive you have to choose between himself and the person you love. Where do you become a commodity for sale at the price of survival.
While I was writing this script I lived in this camp, to better understand what is in the memories of childhood seems to me as a nightmare. The characters described in the scenario and emerging situations in it are based on real events and people that I met while living there. I wanted to shoot a film in which the statistics will become a reality. The film, which transforms the number and the cases about which we read in real people, in which the notice replaces understanding.
Agnieszka Łukasiak

Elena (2011)

Elena (2011)
 Director: Andrei Zvyagintsev
 Country: Russia
 Runtime: 1 hour 29 minutes

 Elena and Vladimir are an older couple, they come from different backgrounds. Vladimir is a wealthy and cold man, Elena comes from a modest milieu and is a docile wife. They have met late in life and each one has children from previous marriages. Elena's son is unemployed, unable to support his own family and he is constantly asking Elena for money. Vladimir's daughter is a careless young woman who has a distant relationship with her father. A heart attack puts Vladimir in hospital, where he realizes that his remaining time is limited. A brief but somehow tender reunion with his daughter leads him to make an important decision: she will be the only heiress of his wealth. Back home he announces it to Elena. Her hopes to financially help her son suddenly vanish. The shy and submissive housewife then comes up with a plan to give her son and grandchildren a real chance in life.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Nostalgia for the Light (2010)

Nostalgia for the Light (2010)
Directed by: Patricio Guzman 
Country: France | Germany | Chile 
Runtime:90 min 

For his new film master director Patricio Guzmán, famed for his political documentaries (THE BATTLE OF CHILE, SALVADOR ALLENDE), travels 10,000 feet above sea level to the driest place on earth, the Atacama Desert, where atop the mountains astronomers from all over the world gather to observe the stars. The sky is so translucent that it allows them to see right to the boundaries of the universe.
The Atacama is also a place where the harsh heat of the sun keeps human remains intact: those of Pre-Columbian mummies; 19th century explorers and miners; and the remains of political prisoners, “disappeared” by the Chilean army after the military coup of September, 1973.
film still
So while astronomers examine the most distant and oldest galaxies, at the foot of the mountains, women, surviving relatives of the disappeared whose bodies were dumped here, search, even after twenty-five years, for the remains of their loved ones, to reclaim their families’ histories.
Melding the celestial quest of the astronomers and the earthly one of the women, NOSTALGIA FOR THE LIGHT is a gorgeous, moving, and deeply personal odyssey.
"NOSTALGIA FOR THE LIGHT is not only Guzmán’s masterpiece; it is one of the most beautiful cinematographic efforts we have seen for a long time. Its complex canvas is woven with the greatest simplicity. For forty years, Patricio Guzman has had to struggle every inch of the way, with a vivid memory and intimate suffering to reach this work of cosmic serenity, of luminous intelligence, with a sensitivity that could melt stone. At such a level, the film becomes more than a film. An insane accolade to mankind, a stellar song for the dead, a life lesson. Silence and respect." —Juan Mandelbaum, Le Monde

In Chile's Atacama Desert, astronomers peer deep into the cosmos in search for answers concerning the origins of life. Nearby, a group of women sift through the sand searching for body parts of loved ones, dumped unceremoniously by Pinochet's regime.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Patagonia (2010)

Patagonia (2010)
Director: Marc Evans
Country: Argentina | UK
Runtime: 119 min

One of the lesser-known dark chapters of British history was the exodus of a small number of poor, struggling Welsh workers who left their shores to set up a new life in a golden, green land called Patagonia in 1865. Amazingly they survived and carried on their culture, which remains in the form of the huge number of Welsh place names there.

This forms the backbone of Marc Evans’ story, which tells parallel stories set in the present day. A Welsh couple, Gwen and Rhys (Roberts and Gravelle), are suffering because they cannot conceive. When Rhys is offered a job photographing remote chapels in Patagonia he jumps at the chance, seeing it as the perfect chance to repair their fragile relationship. However, when they arrive they are met by handsome Mateo (Rhys), to whom Gwen is clearly attracted – forcing Rhys more into his shell. As Mateo takes the couple further and further into the desert their relationship becomes more strained.

Meanwhile, at the same time, an elderly Patagonian lady, Cerys (Lubos), tells her family she is going into hospital for an eye operation, and needs a young guide. Her very young neighbour, Alejandro, joins her and quickly discovers she has other ideas – Cerys wants to visit the Welsh farm she was born in and barely remembers. He chaperones her all the way to Cardiff, only to discover there are three farms with the same name in Wales, all miles apart from each other. So they, too, have to travel deep into the countryside, taking on broken down cars, bizarre train timetables and incessant rain to find Cerys’ birthplace. Not that the shy Alejandro minds though, especially when he meets the waitress of a camping site in North Wales, Sissy (Duffy).

If this sounds like a gentle, meandering, slow, slightly dreamy fable, well, it is…Evans is in no hurry to tell his story, quite happy instead to indulge in the glorious countryside in both places. Patagonia is a harsh, Spartan land with stunning deserts and mountains, and Wales looks like it’s sponsored by the Welsh tourist board. Nothing wrong with that, the problem sets in during the last half hour when all of the goodwill Evans has built up wears pretty thin. It’s obvious where the story is going, but he insists on dragging it out to an almost tiresome degree, and suddenly throws in various minor characters, none of whom add much to the tale.

The performances are fine, with one big exception - Roberts and Gravelle make a believable couple, Rhys is a convincing stud – he’s even good on a horse – and the young boy and old lady are a charming, funny couple. The one jarring note is pop star Duffy’s cameo as a singing waitress, a performance which should be added to the long, long list of rock stars who come a cropper in the movies. She’s really out of her depth.

 Reviewer: Mike Martin

Belvedere (2010)

Belvedere (2010)
 Directors: Ahmed Imamovic
 Country: Bosnia and Herzegovina
 Runtime: 1 hour 29 minutes

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

The film deals with the tragedy of the women survivors of the Srebrenica genocide, or rather, the consequences of the horrors they experienced - it is about women whose sole purpose in life is to locate the bones of their loved ones and give them a decent burial. Fifteen years later, they still want just one simple thing - the truth. As a contrast, the film deals with trivialities of modern living, obsessed with different reality shows...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Director: Sergio Caballero
Country: Spain 
Run time: ~80 min

  Two ghosts walk along the Camino of Santiago.
Finisterrae tells the story of two ghosts who, tired of wandering through limbo, decide to take the Way of Saint James, to the end of the world (Finisterra) so that once there, they may begin a fleeting, earthly journey through the land of the living. An introspective journey through uninhabited lands in which they are to find themselves with strange beings, wild animals and characters never before heard of. They must confront unexpected situations, battle with their own fears and struggle with the obstacles of their own phantasmagoric condition.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Rabbit a la berlin(2009)

Rabbit a la berlin
 Director: Bartosz Konopka
 Country:Germany | Poland
 Run time: ~51 min

 The untold story about wild rabbits which lived between the Berlin Walls. For 28 years Death Zone was their safest home. Full of grass, no predators, guards protecting them from human disturbance. They were closed but happy. When their population grew up to thousands, guards started to remove them. But rabbits survived and stayed there. Unfortunately one day the wall fell down. Rabbits had to abandon comfortable system. They moved to West Berlin and have been living there in a few colonies since then. They are still learning how to live in the free world, same as we - the citizens of Eastern Europe. Written by Bartek Konopka & Piotr Rosolowski  

Sunduq al-dunyâ (2002) aka Sacrifices

Sunduq al-dunyâ (2002) aka Sacrifices
Director: Usama Muhammad
Country: Syria
 Runtime: 109

 Four families live together in an isolated house in the mountains, where conflicts erupt between the generations.

A tree, a house, emptiness, isolation. The head of the family, an old man, is at the point of death. He would like to give his name to one of his newborn grandsons but he does not acknowledge any of them before he dies. Three cousins without a name live in this primitive world. They seek pleasure and salvation. The first one in restraint and submission, the second in love, the third in power, violence and cruelty. The father of the second, back from war, gives the third the keys to a stronger and immense power. The tree looking upon since 1000 years contemplates what will happen in 2000 years.

A surreal depiction of life in a village out of a strikingly beautiful Syrian landscape. Oussama Mohammad's immensely visual representation of love, hate, violence and family relationships is no less than a masterpiece... and I am using this word here without any reservations! While I usually feel more at home with popular cinema, this particular film is among the very few films, and maybe even the only film within the surrealist tradition that made me feel as enthralled as I did when I first saw Bunuel's 1933 masterpiece 'Land without Bread'.

Every single shot in the film is an equivalent to an elaborate canvas which brings forwards the harsh yet captivating detailed textures of life and culture in a timeless small Arab peasant village, all set to the background of the Syrian mountain region facing the Mediterranean. If it wasn't for traditional anti-Arab bias in Film Festival circles, this film would have been appreciated as one of the most important cinematic events at least over the last ten years.

Shown at:
Cannes Film Festival, London Film Festival, Alexandria International Film Festival, Calgary Film Festival, Rabat International Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, and Carthage Film Festival, among others.

Winner of:
Grand Prize, Figueira da Foz International Film Festival(2002)
Don Quijote Award, Figueira da Foz International Film Festival(2002)
Special Prize of the Jury, Paris Biennal of Arab Cinema (2002)

Pure Coolness / Boz salkyn (2007)

Pure Coolness / Boz salkyn (2007)

Director: Ernest Abdyjaparov
Country: Kyrgyzstan 

Melodrama with fairytale elements about an urban beauty in Kyrgyzia who is kidnapped during a visit to the countryside and then has to marry a shepherd according to local tradition.

In his feature film «Saratan» director Ernest Abdyjaparov showed in a slightly humorous way the effect of socio-economic changes in the rural Kyrgyzstan on the life of a local policeman and the local rural customs. With Pure Coolness he returns to the countryside to point out the old Kyrgyzstani tradition of kidnapping a bride and how it all can unexpectedly end up

Friday, November 18, 2011

Portrait in a Drop of Water (1997)

Portrait in a Drop of Water (1997)
 Director: Kazimierz Karabasz
Runtime;22min Documentary

Synopsis: Over still photographys Karabasz is asking ordinary people about theis lives, hopes and fears.
Kazimierz Karabasz is a key figure in the history of polish documentary film. He is to polish cinematography what Robert Flaherty, John Grierson and Dziga Vertov were to american, british ans russian documentary film. Karabasz has been making documentaries for half a century, probing around relentessly to find better ways of bringing home the reality of day-to-day existance.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


 Directed by: Jun Jae-Hong
 Writer: Ki-duk Kim
 Country: Korea
 Duration: 2h 1mn

 A mysterious man nicnknamed "Poongsan" (Yoon Kye-Sang) crosses between the South and North Korean border as a courier for hire. There's no way for people to contact him, but instead, Poongsan picks out potential clients from banners at a make shift memorial along the DMZ. Poongsan's next target is a man who wishes to bring a North Korean woman into South Korea.

Meanwhile, a man (Kim Jong-Soo) is pushed by the section chief (Han Ki-Joong) at the NIS to write a report on North Korea. That man was a high ranking official in North Korea prior to defecting to South Korea. He's protected by NIS agents, but still paranoid that North Korean assassins will kill him. He asks the section chief at the NIS to bring his lover In-Ok (Kim Gyu-Ri) to him from North Korea. Agents from the NIS learn of a man able to smuggle people across the border. They place a banner along a makeshift memorial at the DMZ border.

During the middle of the night, two NIS agents meet Poongsan who arrives on a motorcycle. When an NIS agent asks how long it will take to bring In-Ok into South Korea, Poongsan points to his watch to show 3 hours. The agent gives an incredulous laugh, but gets back into his car and waits for Poongsan. Poongsan runs off into the night towards the DMZ border.

Poongsan heads out to Pyeongyang to retrieve In-Ok. While they are crossing the border back into South Korea, In-Ok feels an attachment to this mysterious man who doesn't speak ...

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Poll Diaries (2010) Poll

The Poll Diaries (2010) Poll
Director: Chris Kraus
Country: Germany | Austria | Estonia
Runtime: 2 hours, 8 minutes

In the summer of 1914, thirteen-year-old Oda Schaefer leaves Berlin to join her family and an assortment of German and Russian aristocrats on an estate in Estonia. The Schaefer family home is a character in its own right, a hulking, neoclassical manor that hovers on stilts above the sea. Oda arrives there bearing her mother’s coffin and a gift requested by her surgeon father: a jarred, two-headed fetus to add to his laboratory of gruesome curiosities. Ebbo Schaefer sees himself in his daughter when she calmly and expertly learns to suture the corpse of a cat. What he fails to recognize – and what Oda luckily understands – is that their interest in science is their only similarity. His dedication to experimentation is linked to an appalling obsession with power and destruction, while Oda is genuinely curious about life. Her quick, quiet intelligence complements her humanity and her lucid understanding of right and wrong. When she strays from a family picnic and discovers a badly wounded Estonian anarchist, she helps him without a second thought, smuggling him into her father’s lab and putting her new surgical skills to good use. As their illicit friendship deepens, family turmoil escalates and war closes in. The safe haven of the community collapses, forcing Oda’s family to make impossible choices.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Africa United (2010)

Africa United (2010)
Director:Debs Paterson
Country:UK | South Africa | Rwanda
Runtime:88 min

The extraordinary story of three Rwandan kids who walk 3000 miles to the Soccer World Cup in South Africa. Using a sack load of ingenuity and sass (and a World Cup wall chart for a map), our pint-sized protagonists set off through the endless horizons of Africa in pursuit of an unlikely dream. And as they walk they gather a tribe - a ragamuffin team - of broken and brilliant characters who help them negotiate a way through a series of glorious, dangerous, hilarious and often bizarre situations. Through these kids, we will encounter an Africa few people ever get to see; experience the hard reality of an epic walk through seven countries; as well as the joy, laughter and hope - 'the ubuntu' - that comes from making an incredible journey together. Written by Rhidian Brook   

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Bullhead (2011) aka Rundskop

Bullhead (2011)
Director: Michael R. Roskam
Country: Belgium

Jacky Vanmarsenille didn't really get a chance in life. As he tells us at the beginning of the film, over some beautiful Flemish landscape, life is fucked. The man works in meat: beef farming is in the family. His livelihood is fed with hormones to make faster business, and his body and soul are nourished by them too. We learn to love this ghastly character as the director takes us back into a tragic incident in his childhood on the Flemish-French border and to the present, where he is caught up in unscrupulous meat business and a local murder.

Gise Memuru (2010) aka Toll Booth

Gise Memuru (2010) aka Toll Booth
 Director: Tolga Karacelik
Country: Turkey
Runtime: 96

Quiet and introverted toll booth clerk Kenan's life, a humdrum routine between the Tavsancik toll booth plaza and his home, will change the day the new operations chief comes to inspect Tavsancik. IMDB

The first feature film written and directed by Tolga Karaçelik, better known for his award-winning short films such as Rapunzel, Toll Booth tells a story of miscommunication, isolation and desperate alienation via a conflict between a father and his son. Confined to his own world of dreams, introvert, and reticent, Kenan is a toll booth attendant, who lives with his ailing father. Kenan’s drab life stuck in routines between his toll booth and home will change the day a new manager comes for supervision. (~iksv.org)