Juno, 4, US, Jason Reitman, Opening film of 2008 and screened again in the moring of the official opening day. I did not expect much of it last year, but I was wrong. Sharp dialogues, and good acting. The description teenage comedy is not completely appropriate, although the movie is at times very funny. What to do with a baby and how to deal with pregnancy when you are teenager (and also a grown up man).
Hungry Ghosts, 4, US, Michael Imperioli, Opening film 2009: Hungry ghosts refers
to a concept in Eastern religions for dead people who cannot say farewell to the
living. The term is often a metaphor for people who do not realise that it is increasingly
painful and difficult to find happiness if they continue to believe in their illusions.
In The Hungry Ghosts, several narrative lines run together. There's a rundown radio
presenter (a beautiful role by Steve Schirripa, also from The Sopranos) who keeps
on his feet using drink and pills and quarrels with his ex-
JCVD, 4, Belgium, El Mechri. The most popular Belgian actor of all time plays himself
The firm Land, 4, India, Chapour C. Haghighat, the director was present and told
us that it would be a simple film about simple people that we do not meet very often.
A remote village by the Indian Ocean is struck by a deadly disease, aids. While death
lurks, the villagers decide to turn to the government for help. But as they feel
unable to present their demand by themselves, some men are sent to the capital with
the mission of hiring mediators, ‘learned men’, who could plead their cause. Lost
in the big city, the countrymen cannot find any help and get into trouble. They are
rescued by some street-
Babaji, an Indian Love Story, 3, NL, Documentary about an eccentric Indian medical
wizard who is allegedly over 100 years old. A portrait based on Indian love songs
and conversations with those involved with the man who has buried his wife on his
land, in conflict with Hindu custom. He sometimes lies in the grave beside her. The
movie has nice pictures, but unfortunately the quality of the screening was so bad
that they had to interupt it. It was however a bit slow and the Indian music in between
did not really gave the necessary dynamics.
I sell the dead, 4, US, Glenn Mc Qauid, 4, Unadulterated buddy movie about graverobbers,
bodysnatchers and living dead, situated in the misty and grubby 19th-
Il Divo (the star), 4, Italy, Sorrentino Il divo is a daring above-
Day Time drinking, 4, Korea, Noh Young-
Paper soldier, 2, Rus, perhaps I was too tired. Set in the early 1960s and featuring an emotionally vulnerable doctor working with the first team of Soviet cosmonauts, this movie remains too absurdistic and I left after 1 hour.
Last conversation, 3, NL, Noud Heerkens, 25 fixed cameras on the car from which the career woman Anna makes one last phone call to her lover. He had ended their extramarital affair a few days before. The emphasis of the film maker is on the visual effects and therefore the story and acting is a bit underdeveloped and unrealistic (moods change too fast , woman driving witthout TomTom and never losing her way etc.). It was not a bad film but a bit boring.
The baby formula, 4, Can, Alison Mary Reid, Anticipating medical science that has already succeeded in mutating the stem cells of female mice into sperm, Athena and Lillith have made each other pregnant. The director chose a light tone and allows the pregnant actresses to portray all the discomforts and mood swings of pregnancy to the full. A pleasant and light movie
A Country teacher, 3, Cz, Bohdan Slama, The story of a young Czech teacher who leaves
Prague and his ex-
Morphia, 5, Rus, Alexei Balabanov, Artistic masterpiece of one of the greatest contemporary
Russian film makers based on the short stories of Mikhail Bulgakov, as adapted by
the tragically killed Sergei Bodrov Jr. In late autumn of 1917, a young doctor arrives
in the Russian countryside in the middle of nowhere. Doctor Polyakov (Leonid Bichevin)
comes here from the capital during a very turbulent period (the 1917 revolution).
The very first night, he is submitted to the first real test of his professionalism
but fails to save a man's life. To get over this first real-
Parque Via, 4 Mex, Old Beto lives in one small room in the large house where he has worked for 30 years. The owner moved out 10 years ago with the rest of her staff and Beto has looked after the building awaiting sale. He takes care of the garden, cleans the windows, polishes the kitchen as if life could start up again at any moment. The old lady comes to visit him occasionally and, while not a word too many is spoken during those visits, it's clear that they respect each other. Beto spends his free evenings in front of the television or with his only friend, the lady companion Lupe. Beto appreciates his loneliness and the noisy outside world makes him nervous. Suddenly the house is sold. Therefore he kills the old lady to end his days in prison. Very pleasant easy going movie with eye for detail working towards the final climax.
Louise Michel, 2, Fra, Kervern, Black comedy by the makers of Aaltra. In a dismal area of northern France, a group of women suddenly lose their jobs thanks to an unreliable boss. At a trade union meeting where they hear the miserable pittance they are left with, the illiterate Louise suggests putting a price on the boss's head. When this is enthusiastically received, they hire Michel as hitman. The movie is indeed black and absurd. Too absurd and chaotic.
Moon at bottom of well, 4, Vietnam, Nguyen Minh Hien, A poetic and beautifully photographed film that follows the fate of a young woman, Hanh. This charming teacher lives in a beautiful area in central Vietnam and is married to Phuong, Hanh sacrifices herself entirely and, when it becomes apparent she is infertile, she agrees that Phuong should father a child with another woman. To prevent problems, Hanh divorces her husband and he marries the mother of the child. Slowly she breaks down. She seems increasingly influenced by another world, one of spirits and the dead. After that she reappears as a stronger women. However, I could not make it to the very end of the film so I am not sure what happened.
Nanoland, 3 Some short films including the well known big and bigger showing a trevel through our universe. Inpressing was also the fast appearing circles in different colours that almost hypnotised me.
16.00, 3, System overdrive, Series of short films, including 3 from Sweden, urban nightmare, lies etc.
Awaydays, 4, VK, Pat Holden, Paul Carty (Nicky Bell) is 19, good-
Dogging, a love story, 3, UK, Simon Ellis, Continuing my depressing Britain day:
In the north-
No puedo vivir sin ti, 5, Taiwan, Leon Dai. Great movie in black and white, situated
in Taiwan but with Spanish titles as that reflects best what the director wanted
to say, acoording to him. The story is about a father and his little daughter -
The strength of water, 4, New Zealand, The little Maori boy Kimi Kaneha is suffering greatly after the death of his twin sister. He doesn't really accept her death. For instance, he eats for two and hence becomes very fat, all in order to keep her spirit with him. He almost always drags a chicken round with him, one of the thousands from the family farm, as a kind of furry toy. Rather tragic story, but very beautiful pictures.
Autumn, 4, Turkey, Oscar Alpan, Such is Yusuf: in 1997 he was a politically active
A Cheonggyecheon Dog, 3, Korea, Sex changes, hysterical pursuits and talking dogs;
nothing is too crazy in the latest film by the young director Kim Kyung-
Experimental and surrealistic movie that one way or another still manages to let you stay. The 3 however is mosi of all gioven for the 2 short movies barby pop animation of 2o seconds and Dogs dressed like humans in the Parc. Funny beginning of an otherwise disturbing evening.
Anaglyph Tom, 1, VS, 3D movie with 3d glasses, that you could best see in one dimension, and 1 minute. Boring! The same picture all over again for 2o minutes, half of the audience was gone by then.
Tokio Olynpic, 4, Jap Riichiro, Virtuoso animated satire on the Olympic Games as a media spectacle. In the form of a news broadcast, the strangest sports, rituals and participants are included. The maker invited several animation artists to provide contributions to this truly colourful procession. Fun, e.g. Johan Kluivert in a contest of throwing off your (woorden) shoe as far as possible from a swing (schommel) won bronze medal, typing sms messages of 1000 characters as fast as possible and so on.
Still walking, 5, Japan, Kore-
Turistas, 4, Chili, Alicia, Scherson, On her way to their holiday destination, it
becomes clear to thirty-
Nice little movie in a beautiful scenery.
April showers, 2, Portugal, Ghosts from the time of the Portuguese Carnation Revolution
come back to life when the theatre maker Pedro, after making a discovery in his grandmother's
old things, goes looking for the facts. What was his revolutionary father doing in
Spain? I really don’t know as I fell deeply asleep after one hour during this rather
slow and boring movie.
Nun Ko, 3, Japan, Kumakiri, Non-
Maman est chez le coiffeur, 4, Canada France, Lea Pool, Summer 1966. It's time to enjoy the summer holiday, total freedom, running free through the meadows and giggling with friends. But while she becomes increasingly aware of the dreams, worries and lies of people around her, Élise discovers that the sudden departure of her mother completely disrupts the family. In the meantime, her brother Coco waywardly seeks solace building a super racing car and her youngest brother Benoît throws himself into his own inner world. The father seems absolutely knocked out by the situation. Funny movie, nice acting and nowhere over the top.
Native Dancer, 3, Kazachstan, Guka Omarova Natural healer has to leave her land because
the Mafia thinks the location is suitable for a filling station. A harsh battle between
the supernatural good and the earthly evil ensues. The story and acting are not very
convincing, but on the whole it is still a pleasant movie to watch. The scenery is
The market a tale of trade, 4, Turkey,/UK Ben Hopkins, In this dry-
Sunrise, Sunset 3, Russia, Mansky combines unique footage of his informal conversations with the Dalai Lama and the chronicles of His Holiness’s public audiences with scenes of daily life in Dharamsala. The person we see in Mansky’s film is a charismatic but rather poor philosopher who preaches peace by challenging conventional truth. I was not impressed by the analysis of the Dalai Lama. A simple man, although he raises the right questions and considering them on a global scale. But that everything is relative has been proved already by Einstein.
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