Posts Tagged ‘film’

Movies at Stockholm’s 24th International Film Festival

November 21, 2013


So after being to about 10-12 films during the Stockholm International Film Festival last year and year before I decided to only pick a couple, which became two couples. All of different origin of course. That’s the thing about the festival. I have to make sure I see films wouldn’t otherwise.

Three of them were absolutely fantastic and I saw them all on Sunday. Can’t remember I saw anything that good last year. But it could be that less is more. The new thing is to focus at one thing at a time and stop with the multi-tasking… so not too many films. Right.

So the first one. Rio 2096 – A Story of Love and Fury. The message was pretty clear as it was repeated a few times. ‘Living without knowing the past is like walking in the dark’. That I will remember for the rest of my life or a long time at least. Obviously, being half-Brazilian it had an impact on me. Even though I’m very familiar with the history it’s always painful, sad and emotional to see the suffering, struggle, injustice my people have been through. Very interesting was the take they had on the future. It doesn’t matter how many times you try to fly away the fight will never end. And it was animated.

Supposed to be really good in 3D but that was not an option at the festival and doubt it will hit the mainstream.

The second one. The Lunchbox. I do have a weakness for Indian films. It doesn’t matter how sad the story is there will always be some humour. So I saw the coolest lunchbox and I definitely want one. Everything, most things are available online these days so hoping to find one or should ask one of my colleagues. The film was sweet with that little suspense to know what was written in those notes between two stranger. A not so happy housewife and a widower about to retire. The lunchboxes got mixed up of course. So the husband was receiving the lunchbox from a restaurant and didn’t even notice that it wasn’t his wife’s delicious cooking. Sad!

Third and last. Painful. Terribly painful. How could this happen. Cried my eyes out. 12 Years a Slave – go and see it, get a copy, download, just see it. And not because the actors are fantastic, they are but because the story needs to be made aware of. Such things should not have happened. Painful, because it’s still happening.

The day before. On Saturday I saw a Romanian film. Mostly because I like the language. I think I understand it but I don’t. But I can distinguish a few words here and there. Sounds similar to Italian so somewhat similar to Portuguese. Child’s Pose. Tragedy. A dysfunctional relationship between mother and son. Just didn’t think this film was as good as the other Romanian films I’ve seen.

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.


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.


October 24, 2010

This film is cool.

You can’t be too serious about it, of how it’s made, the actors, the blood, or you could. But not everyone will get it. I’d like to think I did.

Still, it is cool. It’s retro. And funny. Ironic. Better to see it with a light heart.

And you know that guy with long hair, normally one of the bad guys who doesn’t say much. He finally got the leading role. But he doesn’t say that much here either.

He’s extremely cool though. The ladies fall for him like crazy. Ugh. Doesn’t matter that he has some kind of a hero role. He’s not hot. Danny Trejo. Cool.

Oh, Robert de Niro. Isn’t he always the best. A bit smug. Here, an immigrant hating senator in the middle of a campaign for re-election. Not that I agree with what he’s character stands for. Might be good to point that out.

Two hot brave strong Latinas. Jessica Alba and Michelle Rodriguez. The law-enforcer and the law-breaker. But it’s not always about following the law but about doing what’s right.

The spoiled bimbo blogger daddy’s little girl. A sinner and a saint. Lindsey Lohan is not that bad. Just annoying. She shows her boobs but they’ve probably been out at other public occasions.

Steven Seagal is in it too. Big boss. Not much to say about him.

Everybody gets shot, but nobody dies. At least not the ones that count.

So in short, Machete, played by Danny Trejo, is hired to shoot the senator but is set up. In revenge he wants to kill the ones who hired him. Machete rocks.

Apparently it’s been in the making for over ten years, there’s a trailer of it in Grindhouse and Machete, the character, has appeared in other films. Robert Rodriguez directed it.

The Social Network

October 24, 2010

500 million users. From a college dorm room to computer screens, little mobile phone displays to the big cinema theatre screens. 500 million users, could that turn into 500 million viewers?

The life of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg portrayed in a film based on Ben Mezrich book The Accidental Billionaires. It follows the world’s biggest online social network’s history from 2003, how it developed and the fast success it had.

Mark, the mastermind behind Facebook, you don’t know if you want to hate him or love him. But mostly I felt sorry for him. Being a genius, gaining over-night fame won’t always get you what you want. I’m definitely impressed and fascinated by this guy.

But down deep it was all about a girl and girls can be tricky.  And so can men.

Mark was met with two lawsuits. One from the Winklevoss twins for stealing their idea and one from his best friend Eduardo Saverin. Was Mark acting selfish, yes. But sometimes you have to and in his case it seemed like he did it unconsciously.

He probably didn’t want to make any harm, acting without thinking too much. He was acting on instinct and I want to say that he was lucky too.

However, the real Mark Zuckerberg has taken distance from the film so how much of Mezrich’s findings come from the man himself?

The film is very convincing. It’s an adaptation of a real-life story so it’s a bit like a documentary. It wasn’t great, just very interesting. I’m on Facebook.

With 500 million users around the globe, obviously, there are a lot of people who can relate to the film. Don’t know how well the book sold but it was published last year and casting for the film began about a month later.

It had to be done quickly otherwise someone else who has the skills and the means would have stolen the idea.

If you’re on Facebook and want to know how it all began, watch The Social Network. If you’re not on Facebook and want to know what it is about, watch The Social Network.