Wednesday, September 28, 2011
I'm on after about thirty minutes.
Monday, September 26, 2011
18:00: Surprise Film 1: Steven Sodebergh's Contagion an analitical, almost documentary style drama about a an epidemic of a new deadly decease. The film avoids classical melodramatic tropes of disaster films (so it isn't Roland Emmerich). A great cast as well.
20:15: Surprise Film 2: The Debt A drama/thriller with Helen Mirren, Tom Wilkinson, Sam Worthington and Jessica Chastain. Really was a surprise, and a pleasant one.
Sunday, September 25, 2011
15:15: Niki&Flo (Niki Ardelean, Colonel in Rezerva): the third film by Pintilie to be shown at the festival (I missed the first one: "The Oak").
18:00: Romanian Shorts: five Romanian shorts selected by Anamaria Marinca. Strung Love a hilarious short film about love in high-school during the communist era with Alexandru Potocean. Music in the Blood (Muzica in Sange) a lighthearted drama about a man who believes his son could be the next big manele singer, with Andi Vasluianu and Dan Bursuc. The Counting Device (Numaratoarea Manuala) a comedy about a man who brings his nephew to work to find him a job, only to find that the young man doesn't appreciate an honest and mundane job. Stopover a great short film about a woman having her wallet stolen in an airport and receiving help from an unlikely source. Oxygen a slow-burning, poetic film about those who tried to cross the Danube to escape the communist regime.
22:30: Silent Running: A classic SF from 1972 with Bruce Dern, about a man who is taking care of the last existing plants somewhere on a space station. When the order comes in to abandon the project and destroy all plants, he decides to fight for what he thinks is the salvation of Earth.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
12:30: Afternoon of a Torturer (Dupa amiaza unui tortionar) This years festival has a section dedicated to the 10th year Anniversary of the Romanian New Wave. This includes five feature films (three by Lucian Pinitilie, selected by the director himself, and two selected by Anamaria Marinca) and one showing of several short films.
This film was made in 2001 by Pintilie, whose work helped the shaping of the New Wave and opened roads for younger directors. The Tarkovsky influenced film moves ahead slowly but shows a gripping tale.
Review I did for the Festival Magazine, "Take One":
Anamaria Marinca was supposed to be present at the screening and afterwards participate in a discussion with Verena von Stackelberg (a German enthusiast of Romanian Cinema, who helped put the section together) and film-critic Steve Williams. Unfortunately she couldn't be present, so the organizers thought that any Romanian will be better than none, which is why at the start of the film I was invited to participate in the discussion. Apparently I didn't do to bad in a discussion focusing on the cause and past of the Current and its possible future.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
23:00: Red State - Kevin Smith's surprising turn as a non-comedy non-View Askew director, with no cameos by himself or Ben Affleck or Jason Mewes or the rest of the crew. Starting of with a classic teenagers torture by redneck community exploitation flick, the film turns into a violent shootout film with unsure political messages. A bit of a mess, fucking entertaining though
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
16:00: Drive + Q&A with director Nicolas Winding Refn Jesus! An intense movie, altering quiet moments with uncensored violence. Surprisingly good and one to make you think. Review below.
22:30: Sympathy for Mister Vengeance As I said: Jesus! If you have seen "Oldboy" you know what you are in for, though this time the story is a bit more grounded. Still, beautiful images, shakesperean vengeance story and characters, and great acting...oh and bloody, gruesome violence. Enjoy!
Monday, September 19, 2011
Sunday, September 18, 2011
17:30: Mumbai Charlie - a funny half-hour film about a young business man from Mumbai who rediscovers himself when he meets the Charlie Circle, a group of people who worship Charlie Chaplin. Warm recommendation, regardless if you like Chaplin or not. Q+A with director and crew afterwards
18:30: Interview with Deepak Verma - writer, director of Mumbai Charlie. Interview will be uploaded at a later moment.
22:30: Don't Be Afraid of the Dark - horror film written and produced by Guillermo del Toro, with Katie Holmes and Guy Pearce. A blatant disregard for horror conventions, the film is full nicely executed jump scares, though lacks some deeper horror qualities due to exposing the monsters from the very beginning. At points it felt funny, or like a scary version of "The Borrowers". It was intense throughout, and genuinely frightening at moments, but it didn't get under my skin as other classic horror films did and didn't really stay with me afterwards. Recommended none the less.
(recenzie in romana la un moment dat)
Read more http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/cinema/2011/09/26/110926crci_cinema_lane#ixzz1YIap0J3E
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Friday, September 16, 2011
Am avut noroc. Cand a iesit "The Tree of Life" cinematograful local a rulat si acest film. Nu stiam la ce sa ma astept, stiam ca e lung, stiam ca un film de razboi, pe de alta parte e Malick, deci stiam ca nu va fi un film obisnuit. Desi unele din filmele mele preferate sunt filme de razboi, genul in sine nu e in top, si fara o viziune originala filmele acestea mi se par degeaba. "The Thin Red Line" se bucura insa de o receptie critica foarte buna, asa ca aveam sperante ridicate.
Mare parte din cele 170 minute ale filmului urmareste asaltul unui regiment de soldati americani a unui deal ocupat de Japonezi undeva in decursul Celui De-al Doilea Razboi Mondial. Dar desigur nu era cum sa fie o reprezentatie clasica a unei lupte. De fapt planurile, victoria sau esecul au putina relevanta. Filmul se concentreaza pe gandurile diversilor soldati prezentate prin voice-over.
Fata de "The Tree of Life" filmul de fata are un plot-line ceva mai linear si mai bine definit, dar asta pana intr-un punct, parand si el mai degraba ca o frunza in deriva pe un rau lent si plin de meandre, cu ocazionale parti mai rapide si violente.
Filmului ii lipseste un personaj central, oferind in schimb un lung sir de personaje; unele dintre care se leaga intre ele si apar recurent, pe cand altele au aparitii episodice fara a fi direct legate de celelalte.
Si da, asta la inceput e destul de derutant, fiind conditionati sa gasim un erou si sa tinem la el. Dar incetul cu incetul ne obisnuim cu aceasta metoda fractionara, mintea noastra facand loc pentru o poveste mai vasta decat cea a unui singur personaj.
Asa cum "The Tree of Life" incerca sa gaseasca raspunsuri la existenta prin intrebari foarte simple si prin imagini mai mult decat prin actiune, "The Thin Red Line" cauta raspunsuri despre natura omului, a binelui si a raului. Abordarea e directa, prin naratiunile lor, personajele pun intrebari directe, adresate publicului, lui Dumnezeu sau sinelui: "De ce atata distrugere?" "Unde e binele in oameni?" etc.
Nu e un stil usor de executat fara a parea complet patetic sau naiv. Prin cinematografia si imaginile minunate, prin determinarea si credinta sa adevarata in ceea ce ne arata Malick reuseste. Nu ai sentimentul ca vrea sa para profund filmul, ci iti da impresia unei sinceritati nestrumatate de copil.
Filmul e o ploaie de momente, unele linistite, unele de actiune, unele frumoase, altele groaznice. Si chiar daca nu e un fir narativ precis care sa le lege, acestea lasa o impresia puternica asupra psihicului.
Filmul e si o ploaie de talent actoricesc. Fiind primul proiect a lui Malick dupa o absenta de 19 ani, toata lumea a vrut sa fie implicat, motiv pentru care aproape fiecare rol, oricat de mic ar fi, e ocupat de un nume mare, sau daca numele nu e mare, talentul este sigur.
Alaturi de "Apocalypse Now" este unul din filmele care arata poezia razboiului, in gloria si hidosenia sa. O experienta care nu ar trebui evitata.
L-as mai vedea o data?
Probabil. Dar nu in curand. Nu e o vizionare pe care sa o poti repeta prea des.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Friday, September 9, 2011
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Thursday, September 1, 2011
- The Scientist (Alan Oppenheimer) An inventor who created the B.R.A.I.N. at the request of his nation's leader; thinking it was going to an instrument of progress. The machine was easily corrupted and turned against the mankind. The Scientist promptly renounced the Chancellor and joined the rebellion. He created the nine creations in an attempt to thwart the corrupt and warlike B.R.A.I.N. He hoped they would continue the spark of life. Each of his creations contains a portion of his soul, embodying his qualities and his flaws. He used the Talisman to transfer his soul and supply each with life.
- 9 (Elijah Wood) is the hero and the Humanity of the Scientist. 9 is goodhearted, thoughtful, and sincere. He is willing to risk his life to save others and is very intelligent. He embodies the scientist's bravery and courage. He seeks the truth and wishes to know the meaning of life, though can act without considering consequences. He often clashes with 1 about keeping hidden. His burlap skin is fastened by a zipper running down his torso.
- 8 (Fred Tatasciore) is the Bully of the Scientist. He wields a kitchen cleaver as his weapon. 8 wears shoulder-pad armor made with pieces of a carbide-tipped circular saw blade tied together. He is a weapons master and also the least intelligent. He is 1's bodyguard and right hand man. His skin is fastened by three belt buckles on his chest. He likes getting inebriated, as shown by his affinity for magnets, which have the same effect on a creation that marijuana would have on a human.
- 7 (Jennifer Connelly) is the Warrior. She is the only female creation and 9's love interest. A rebel and a loner, she is willing to take many risks for the good of her people. She is kind and caring, especially towards 3 and 4. Her canvas' color has been bleached away by the sun, leaving her a pale white. She uses a blade mounted on a long staff for fighting, and wears a helmet made from a dead bird's skull, as well as two bird feathers hanging down her back, covering her scar that distorts her number.
- 6 (Crispin Glover) is the Artist. 6's fingers are ink pen nibs, which he uses to draw. He is white, covered in faded black stripes; his hair is made of ropes and is ink-stained, like much of his body; and his right eye is smaller than his left. He wears a key around his neck, but no one knows to what. The Scientist described him as being peculiar and unable to naturally fit in to his surroundings, and that he sees the world differently from the others. 6 is preoccupied with finding the Source, and only 9 listens to him. On the DVD, under the Deleted Scenes, it is shown that his key is used to open a secret compartment in the box containing the Scientist's message for 9, which plays a music box lullaby.
- 5 (John C. Reilly) is the healer. He takes sundry parts and makes them work together. He fixes the injuries of the other creations. 5 is caring, nurturing, and the loyal, bighearted "common man" who always tries to play the peacemaker. He is a diligent worker, a meek spirit, and a devoted friend to his people. He is missing his left eye, instead wearing a leather plate. The Scientist remarked that 5 was the first of his creations not to run off or explore the workshop, instead staying by his creator. He has two buttons on his torso.
- 3 and 4 are twins, and the group's historians. They are unable to speak, instead using flickering lights in their eyes to communicate with each other and show documentaries or photographs to the others. They instinctively hide at the sight of danger. Both wear corduroy hoods made of gardening gloves. They are both very scholarly, voraciously cataloging everything they encounter, building a massive database of their world and its history. There has been much dispute over their genders due to their lack of voice actors and tiny androgynous appearance.
- 2 (Martin Landau) is a kind, delicate, old inventor. He is fascinated by garbage, and loves to explore the wastelands and look for spare parts. He is not in very good shape, always walking with a cane, and uses a lorgnette attached to his stovepipe top hat as a pair of glasses. The Scientist wrote that after 2's creation, 2 began tinkering with the spare parts in the workshop. 2's part leather, part burlap skin is fastened with many knotted strings. Shane Acker affectionately described him as a "salty old sea dog".
- 1 (Christopher Plummer) is the traditionalist and the oldest creation. He is extremely clever and intelligent, but also domineering, irritable, quick-tempered, and reluctant to trust new ideas. The Scientist described 1 as struggling to get out of his hands right after his creation. 1 wants to protect the group, but he sees the world only through extremely strict rules. 1 wears a cylinder-shaped hat that is adorned with a one pence coin. He also wears a red cape fastened with a red-purple gemstone, and carries a broken pen topped with a small bell that he uses as a scepter. He is more roughly created than the others.
- The Cat Beast is the first machine that 9 encounters. It has a cat skull and a red mechanical eye in its left socket and a light bulb in its right, which it uses to see in the dark. In the short film which the movie is based, the cat was the main antagonist. Its design is based on a cat and a monkey.
- The Fabrication Machine/B.R.A.I.N. is the machine that built all the other machines, and was created by the Scientist for the Chancellor to be a machine of "progress". It has all the Scientist's intelligence but none of his soul, and so does not know right from wrong. It was extremely easy for it to be corrupted by the Chancellor, causing it to hold a grudge against humanity, and it created an army of war machines that wiped out the human race. It is powered by the souls captured with the Talisman. The Fabrication Machine was based upon a hanging spider in one of Vincent Price's poems and a cyclops in Greek mythology.
- The Winged Beast is a pterodactyl-like machine with knives and scissors for a mouth and a harpoon for its tail.
- The Seamstress is a snake/spider robot with a broken doll's head and 2's corpse sewn onto her tail. She flashes light through 2's eyes to hypnotize her victims, and then wraps them up in red thread. In one of the documentaries on the DVD, the Seamstress is referred to as 'she' and 'her', implying that the Seamstress is female.