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Movies seen in 2006

Wednesday 25-1
Brokeback Mountain, 4, US, Ang Lee, The story of two cowboys who looked after sheep for a summer in the 1950s. In the wilderness, far from the watching our eye of society, their love blossomed - but there's no room for it in the real world. Most of the story takes place in this real world. Both get married and try to escape every now and then. Good movie.

Friday 27-1
Ahlaam, 4, Iraq, M. Al-Daradji, Defenceless psychiatric patients threatens to succumb to street violence in Baghdad after the institution where she was staying was destroyed by a bomb. Before that we get the stories of the patients and how they ended up in the hospital. Interesting comparison of the time during Saddam and the period of the US ‘occupation’.

Nine emotions, 4, India, Santosh Sivan, Fascinating story about the famine and of the `third sex' in India. A fiction film with documentary elements in which a young girl finds out that her uncle is a transvestite who is ashamed of the fact. With all the consequences. The festival for transvestites probably really exists.

Saturday 28-1
Me and you and everyone else, 4, US, Miranda July, Filmmaker gives herself the leading role in a relationship sketch with a surrealistic edge. She plays a kind of Desperate Housewife but then really strange and really funny. In fact a story about people being vulnerable and having difficulties to set up relationships. Funny, but very similar to the work of Todd Solonz.

The death of mr Lazarescu, 4, Romania, Christi Puiu, Hyperrealistic feature about the sad state of health care in Romania, where a patient is confronted in real-time with overworked, disinterested hospital staff. Still and to be honest I heart people say that this can take place everywhere. Due to a big crash somewhere there is no place left at the emergency rooms of most Bucarest hospitals.

Tideland, 3, UK, Terry Gilliam, Strikingly quiet yet totally crazy film by Terry Gilliam that is reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland on the prairie. Small girl is confronted with very strange adults, talking squirrels and manipulative Barbie heads. Jeff Bridges playing a addicted rock and roll musician is brilliant, both alive and dead. For the rest the movie is a bit childish.

Zondag 29-1
Stoned, 3, UK, Stephen Wooley, Brian Jones was a Rolling Stone found in his swimming pool. An unsolved mystery, but in this very well documented feature, they get quite a long way.

Eye witness, did not screen due to technical problems. The short movie of 20 minutes before was about Lithuanian girls ending up in the sex industry in Belgium. Impressing.

Lunacy, Czech Republic, 5, Jan Swankmajer, The young man ends up in a surrealist lunatic asylum. In this philosophical horror film, in which live action is combined with animation, Svankmajer investigates themes such as absolute freedom and oppression by civilisation. These are two ways to run a lunatic asylum and the real world now is a combination of the worse elements of both.

Monday 30-1
Every other week, 3, Zweden, Herngren e.a., Summer in Sweden. Everyone moves. The kind of musical chairs. Jens has marital problems when he hides a purely platonic friendship and moves in with his happily divorced brother. And he really does have his own modern problems. Interrupted by commercials for divorces people (e.g by Ikea how to quickly shift your interior from bachelor to getting the children.

Masters of Horror, homecoming, 4, US, Joe Dante, Part of a 13 part series. Where other directors chose for ` blood and Gore' Dante committed himself with the worrying reality with brilliant and anti-Iraq-War horror that shakes up the insensitivity and hypocrisy of the Bush White House: Iraq veterans stand up from the dead and sabotage the American elections.

The Sun, 5, Russia, Alexander Sokurov, Only a great director in the prime of life could dare tackle portraits of three of the most significant historic figures of the 20th century. Sokurov has already provided his vision on Hitler (Moloch) and Lenin (Taurus). In The Sun, he shows several days from the life of the Japanese Emperor Hirohito, from the day before the Japanese capitulation.

Wednesday 1-2
Mutual appreciation, US, Andrej Bujalski, Boring movie about 20 plus people.

Land of the blind, 3, US, Robert Edwards, Political thriller about a nameless country with a totalitarian regime that is wrestling with a well-organised guerrilla movement, of which the leader Thorne (Donald Sutherland) is in prison. He makes friends with the prison guard Joe (Ralph Fiennes) and persuades him to assist with terrorist actions.

Full or empty, 3, Iran, Jalili, Navid Reisi (aged 17 and played by 17-year-old Navid Reisi) leaves his village to look for a job teaching Persian literature. He turns up at The Education Centre and is put on a waiting list. In a slum district, he moves in with a widow and does all kinds of odd jobs. One night, he dreams of a girl he will meet a few days later. He decides to marry her as soon as he has a job as a teacher. But this is far from easy. Less interesting though than his earlier movies.

The city of the sun, 4, Czech Republic, Martin Sulik, Social comedy with ironic humour describes the obstacles that four friends have to conqueror, in both business and their private lives, when they decide to set up a company together. However, their van is stolen and also their personal lives are not easy. Funny movie, almost a bit in the tradition of Ken Loach.

Dam street, 4, China,, Li Yu, Powerful and colourfully filmed Chinese love drama, in which the fate of a talented 16-year-old opera student who gets pregnant without planning to, becomes 10 years later linked to a curious and precocious boy, who then appears to be her son. Sometimes a bit toomuch drama, but beautiful scenes and nice preparing of food (though not for the animals; fish, snakes etc.).

Friday 3-2
President Mir Qanbar, 3, Iran, Shirvani, Humane and humourous portrait of a retired civil servant Mir Qanbar, who wants to take part in the presidential elections. Far from the capital Teheran, this Don Quichote campaigns with a donkey and some folders in a company of his very own Sancho Panchez, who is the intended Minister of Health because of his handicap.

Some kinda love, 2, Japan, quite boring movie about three people

Saturday 4-2
Song of songs, 4, UK, Impressive feature debut about the intense, strange and occasionally cruel relationship between brother and sister in an Orthodox Jewish community in London, with impressive roles by Natalie Press and Joel Chalfen. A bit difficult to understand and perhaps one should see the movie twice. But good acting and dark atmosphere.

Little trip to heaven, 3, Kormakur, Insurance agent (Forest Whitaker) investigates a fishy case. Icelandic film set in hostile Minnesota in the 1980s that is a cross between a stylised thriller and a dry comedy. Bit too ordinary for the festival, but easy going.

Look Both ways, 4, Australia, Sarah Watt, What happens if you have the unfortunate tendency to predict disasters everywhere: from train accidents to whales eating babies? That afflicts Merrill until she meets Nick... intelligent and well acted drama with beautiful animation sequences. Nice movie.

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