Archive for the 'Films' Category

Movie Monday

November 4, 2011

A few Mondays ago I saw two movies. At cinema. Previews for the Swedish market. They can be a bit late sometimes with films so I don’t know if they’ve been out for ages in other parts of the world.

First, The Ides of March with Ryan Gosling and George Clooney. From the cover and the Swedish title “Maktens Män” something like Men of Power kind of gave it away, men in politics. And it was.

Men abusing their powers, being owned by power, doing everything to be in a power position. Politics. Nothing less. Nothing more.

It was interesting. And it didn’t get too boring as films like this can. Also, now I know again how campaigning can be like.

Second, was Attack the Block. British sci-fi. Sci-fi means bad. Mostly bad. Almost always. And when it involves weird creepy creatures… I had nightmares after watching Gremlins.

On the good side, Attack the Block was very funny following a group of teens in South London mugging and fighting the creatures. And joking around so I didn’t have to keep sinking down in my chair. I was close to the floor a few times.

Of the two, I liked the second one best. They’re sort of complete contrasts. Different genres. Different worlds. Different people. Different ways of life. Shouldn’t even be comparing. But there was one thing. They all want to be in power.

The Ides of March - movie - George Clooney and Ryan Gosling Attack the Block - movie - group of teens - by Joe Cornish

The Greatest Movie Ever Sold

September 4, 2011

Morgan Spurlock - He's not selling out. He's buying in.

So clever! Morgan Spurlock makes a film about marketing, product placement and advertising completely financed by marketing, product placement and advertising. A documentary showing Morgan pursuing 1,5 million dollars to fund his documentary in an interesting and humoristic way.

And how long does it take until he’s being ruled by his sponsors, having to obey all their demands, until he’s completely selling out? He’s not selling out. He’s buying in.

First time I’ve been to a drive-in cinema. Great experience. Comfy seats. No noise from fellow spectators and you can talk as much as you want.

It was organised by Stockholm International Film Festival and sponsored by MINI Cooper where they took the chance to showcase the new model coming out, and everyone who came in a MINI were let in for free. Just for me to drool over.

blue Mini Cooper

I wanted a MINI before and I’m determined that I will have a MINI eventually. I want to try POM. I need to test Mane ‘n Tail. And I now know what JetBlue, Ban, Sheetz and Hyatt are.

And my birth-city is suddenly so much more appealing. No billboards. No posters. São Paulo, a metropolis with no visual pollution.

There have been talks about making a sequel to see if the film have had any effects on the businesses shown in the film. Morgan Spurlock has to stop talking about it and start making it.

Midnight In Paris

August 30, 2011

Owen Wilson and Marion Cotillard at a party

Exactly what I needed. A short light-hearted fun film full of clichés. I’m serious. It was very entertaining.

As always, films are better when I haven’t seen a trailer, read any reviews or heard anything about it. From the poster with Owen Wilson it had to be a comedy. Directed by Woody Allen. He’s a bit crazy, that’s the impression that I have, and normally it shows in the films.

And Midnight In Paris was a bit crazy. A very realistic story but then it wasn’t. The way I like it.

I loved the film from the beginning recognising the different Parisian sites. I love that city. The long intro set me in the right mood showing Paris from morning until night.

Every night Owen Wilson’s character Gil would travel to the 20s and the time of the Charleston. Loved the dresses. He would hang out with Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Picasso and Dalí and live the life he was dreaming of.

I was very happy to go to the cinema today because last time I went was about three months ago when I saw Pirates of Caribbean, the fourth in the sequel. Of course, if Johnny Depp is in it, it’s good. But there hasn’t been anything on that I’ve wanted to see throughout all summer.

Today, I had preview tickets that were free but I think everyone should see Midnight In Paris because it’s such a feel good film. And Paris is a wonderful and beautiful city. Especially in the rain.

Men Who Hate Women

July 1, 2011

Men Who Hate Women - Män Som Hatar Kvinnor - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson…or The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which is the English title of the Swedish novel and film Män Som Hatar Kvinnor. Apparently the direct translation, Men Who Hate Women, was too harsh, too offensive. Really?

I don’t care much for Swedish films but since I got a free subscription from Love Film, I had the film sent to me. And I’m happy I watched the film and didn’t read the novel. I would’ve been too disgusted.

It’s the best Swedish film I’ve watched so I understand why Hollywood is doing their adaptation. But then there’s not much original ideas coming out of Hollywood so they can’t go very wrong by nicking a success story.

It’s the best Swedish film I have ever seen. Then it’s been years since I watched one. Had a marathon about eight years ago, just before I moved to the UK. So thinking I should have another one now…

Wasted On The Young

April 17, 2011

I might actually be able to recognise an Australian accent now after watching this teen thriller.

The young and the fearless. Partying like there’s no tomorrow. Taking drugs like they were vitamins.

They have no worries except for being on the good side with the popular and powerful at their private high school. And the ones who happen to have other interests end up being drawn into the unreal world of the socialite. The only rules they have to follow are the ones set by them. There’s no adult supervision. No teachers, no parents and why didn’t anyone call the cops?

There were many moments of ‘what’s going to happen now’, holding the suspense. Then ‘really’, hoping there would be some morality, some justice, someone with higher authority would interfere. But no.

There’s a rape, beatings, more beatings, suicide and homicide.

With all the wrong-doings, Wasted On The Young is a work of art. It’s artistically made, how it’s filmed, the editing, the sound. Beautiful scenery, very modern, very high quality.

Unfortunately it won’t get the mainstream attention that it kind of deserves. I’m happy I got hold of a ticket for that special viewing!

Black Swan

February 26, 2011

Very intense. It’s like sitting on needles. You think you’re going to be able to stand up and then someone pushes you down and you’re on the needles again.

Very intense. You’re holding your breath and you want to take a deep breath but the suspense comes back so quickly you’re holding your breath again.

Very intense. And it’s so beautiful yet so gory.

Black Swan, the one word that describes the film best is intense if you hadn’t noticed yet. Everything about it – the story, the characters, the music…

Not that I know much of the ballet industry but it feels like a realistic view of what it could be like. Very competitive, pressurised, filled with insecurities, which all have its consequences. Eating disorders, mental disorders, OCDs. Still, it may be prejudiced.

Happy I gave it up at the age of seven or was kind of forced due to circumstances but what if?

But, also, probably why I enjoyed watching this film so much. What if?

Natalie Portman was brilliant and if she wins the Oscar, she truly deserves it. So much better than Michelle Williams in Blue Valentine. But there’s a 14-year-old in the run too.

 

 

The Fighter

January 16, 2011

It’s that time of year again. Award season. Golden Globe later tonight. Oscars later next month. So, there are always lots of good films to watch around this time of year.

The Fighter is nominated for six Golden Globes and that should speak for itself. I’m not going to argue against it because it was great. I enjoyed it, I laughed and I cried.

It had all the essences a good film has to have and probably a little bit more than I would normally demand. Great story, some humour, some romance, action and a lot of drama. Great actors too of course.

Christian Bale was outstanding as Dicky Eklund, a former boxer turned trainer and it would really surprise me if he doesn’t win anything. Mark Wahlberg on the other hand, as Dicky’s half-brother, boxer Micky Ward, was good but was he great?

We will all know by tomorrow. The two actresses, Amy Adams as Micky’s girlfriend Charlene and Melissa Leo as the boys’ mother are also up for nomination.

I won’t stay up watching. Where I live it will be broadcast at 2 a.m. And I’m not one to watch the ceremonies anyway. I just want to know who won.

So, The Fighter is another boxing film and for some reason I like boxing when it’s in a film. Not that much otherwise.

Recently I read that they wanted to organise a fight between Mark Wahlberg and Will Smith. Micky Ward and Muhammad Ali. I don’t know if they going forward with it but that could be interesting to watch.

By the way, The Fighter is based on a true story. Ali was too. And so are many of the films that get nominated for those big fancy awards.

I’m Still Here

December 19, 2010

Seriously, WHY?

“Please don’t misunderstand me,” Joaquin Phoenix said at the beginning of the documentary. I’m not entirely sure what I was supposed to understand. That he needed to fool the world that he had given up acting to become a rapper.

He was awful, so bad it was painful. But funny. He made a fool of himself. He was a bit of a cry-baby blaming people around him for his mischievous behaviour.

But then it was all acting so obviously he did a brilliant job at that. But what an annoying character. And Casey Affleck filming him the whole time. What went on when the cameras were off? Or in those cut-out scenes? Who knew and who didn’t?

Did Joaquin had a need to do this for himself or prove something to the world? WHAT? Act around-the-clock for a year, show his capabilities? Never trust an actor because you will never know…

Celebrities go cuckoo all the time thinking they can get away with this and that. But in this case who knows.

I can’t decide if it was good or if it was bad. It was weird, funny. Don’t know if I understood, misunderstood it and I’m probably not supposed because everything about it was fake. I feel like a big and will forever feel like a ? about this film. Putting it behind me.

Joaquin is actually quite attractive and good-looking but look at the clip below. You wouldn’t even recognise it was him.

IF I WANT TO WHISTLE, I WHISTLE

November 29, 2010

Yesterday was the last day of the Stockholm International Film Festival and I made it to four films. Waste Land, The Samba Within Me, Preludio and Eu când vreau să fluier, fluier which is Romanian for If I Want To Whistle, I Whistle, which I saw last night.

I got the opportunity to see four films that I probably wouldn’t have seen otherwise, two of which were documentaries, The Samba Within Me and Waste Land, see below.

Preludio, a story about an encounter of what could be the beginning of something grand was filmed in one single shot. From being a bit boring it got better and better and when it ended, I wanted more, but that is what a preludio can be.

If I Want To Whistle, I Whistle was the perfect end to my first ever film festival experience. That George Pistereanu, who played the main character, won the festival prize for best actor made it all more exciting to watch. And that he was really cute too was just the cherry on top of the ice-cream.

But his acting was really good, outstanding, very credible. Silviu, who is a few days from freedom jeopardizes his release to save his brother from being taken away by their mother.

It’s crazy but when one acts in desperation one will do anything in their power. Being a prisoner, your choices are limited.

It ends in violence and a hostage scenario.

Waste Land

November 21, 2010

Meaningless art. Art is meaningless. It’s very easy to say that because we may not know better.

But really, it can be argued that art is all around us in different forms. Watching Waste Land has given me a better understanding of the arts I didn’t care much about due to being ignorant and disregarding of the fact that pieces of art has a person, a story behind it.

Not wanting to put much thought to it. Not wanting to explore it further feeling like it’s a waste of time.

Now, Waste Land is a documentary, a form of art that is more accessible to  me.

Vik Muniz, New York based Brazilian artist, went to Jardim Gramacho, the world’s largest landfill located in Rio de Janeiro, to see what he could create with the purpose of being able to give something back to the community.

I always get a bit skeptic when I see stories like this because of exploitation. The rich and famous using the poor to their benefit, giving away an image of being caring but are they really?

Vik, himself, came from a poor background that by chance got the possibility of better living standards so for me that gave more credibility to his purpose.

Vik got to know the workers and as he was spending time with them, photographing them his idea developed to use the garbage to create portraits of them with help from the workers. By getting the workers involved, Vik hoped he could make them see another side to life, at least for a moment.

 

It was amazing to hear the stories of the workers, how they had ended up working there, why they had chosen to do it and the pride they took in doing it.

“I rather pick garbage than get involved in the drug traffic or walk the streets of Copacabana.”

It was very touching and emotional. I got to see Brazil from a different angle, which was one of my expectations. See hard-working people aiming to live with dignity is not what always get portrayed in the media.

The portraits were exhibited and sold for a lot of money and Jardim Gramacho is due to close in 2012. And to believe the captions at the end of the film, the workers’ lives have changed and will continue to change for the better.

Unfortunately, it will still take me some time to understand the great financial value some people put on art, even though I consider my understanding to be a bit better.

In this case the money was to help the workers and the community of Jardim Gramacho, but when it’s not for charity?