Rjd2 wrote: »
Touchez pas au grisbi I watched a few months ago on my "mubi travels" has been added to the Irish version of Mubi.
Its a brilliant crime thriller from the 50s which flies by and has a great lead performance.
Pops up on lists when people talk about best French gangster films.
fisgon wrote: »
The Hummingbird Project - Nguyen - 2019
A story that illustrates the absurdity of modern capitalism; a millisecond can mean hundreds of millions of dollars, and can inspire an insanely ambitious project. Jesse Eisenberg just plays his usual angsty self but Stellan Skarsgard really plays against type as a hunched, socially awkward nerd savant. Salma Hayek breaks balls. A weird little story that kind of works, though not sure about the Mennonites' role in this….:):):)
Tetro – Coppola – 2009
The choice of black and white for this film seems perverse; it is set in the vibrant, colourful city of Buenos Aires, which is drained of life. The whole father/son thing is melodramatic and overplayed, and the story never engages; it kind of limps along. It has Carmen Maura but it is no Almodóvar. Could have been good, but is just aimless and disappointing.:)
fisgon wrote: »
Under the skin – Glazer – 2013
Profoundly weird and intriguing, right from the beginning. The guy with the facial deformity in the middle just adds to the deep strangeness, as well as the incongruity of Hollywood star Scarlett Johansson driving around Scotland in a white van picking up guys. Loses its way a little in the Highlands, a little like Scarlett, but still absolutely unique. One of the strangest things I have ever seen.:):):)
Bozo Skeleton wrote: »
Finally finished The Pusher trilogy. All three are excellent.
fisgon wrote: »
Agree, like a cross between the Sopranos and a Danish Trainspotting.
Borg versus McEnroe - Pedersen - 2017
Didn’t believe Shia Leboeuf for a second as McEnroe; surely they could have got someone who actually looked like him. He is not at all convincing. However, the film centres more on Borg, and this portrayal is a little more effective. There is some insight into Borg’s complicated relationship with fame, but not enough. There is a great film to be made about this story, but this is not it.
A Single Man – Ford – 2009
Moments of clarity, but not that engaging. Fundamentally, the desire to live triumphs over death, though there is always an ironic sting in the tale too. Colin Firth plays himself, as he did in Bridget Jones, and certainly doesn´t extend his range here. Julianne Moore is underused. Strangely we have American actors playing British, and British playing Americans. A mixed bag.
Princess Cyd – Cone – 2017
A terrific film. Full of feminine energy, it is about family, memory, youth, getting stuck in a rut, loss, trying new things, ideas, literature, growing up, getting off, the power of friendship, the pull of family and the past. Cyd, the 16 year old central character, drives the story with her wit, openness, lack of tack, appetite for life. A real surprising pleasure.
Yes – Potter – 2004
A film without any real flow. We are in London, then Belfast, suddenly we are in Havana, Beirut. It is a staccato narrative not helped by the stuttery visual effects. Characters are inconsistent, adding to the imbalance. The blank verse adds to a sense of unreality; not necessarily a bad thing, but the whole thing has the feel of a rambling experiment at times.
the secret of the grain 2007 https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0487419/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0 , charming, the old man, how people loved him , especially his stepdaughter.
I had a couple of Christian Petzold films from the Now Showing section of Mubi that I wanted to see.
It turned out that his style and subject matters are appealing to me so I ended up watching the whole retrospective that's available in the library - 7 films and 3 shorts.
His films are slow paced in general and the stories focus on the characters and what they are going through - often though and especially in his later films there are elements of fantasy - the likes of "does this really happened or is it all in the protagonist's head?". There are also allegoric references: his latest film, Undine builds a story around water. Generally there isn't really much action, the devil is in the details and random coincidences can be important and the actors express themselves with their whole body, not just by the dialogue available to them,
Petzold also has actors that are regulars in his films: Nina Hoss especially is like a muse to him, having played in 5 of Petzold's films. Her characters are always intriguing. She gives at least 2 brilliant performances in Barbara and my favourite Petzold film, Phoenix. Franz Rogowski is another regular: he has starred in the last 2 films alongside Paula Beer and their chemistry is fantastic.
The tenth victim – Petri – 1965
Despite the idiotic ending, this is quite a lot of fun. Very sixties, a world where violence is controlled by a Hunger Games style hunt that channels people’s urge to kill. Very stylish, curious, though the story doesn’t always hang together. Marcello Mastroianni just plays his typical suave rogue we have seen many times before. The dubbing is weird, but the pace is fast and it is never boring.
First cow – Reichardt – 2019
Kelly Reichardt does love the American wilderness. This film is set on the frontier in the 1800s, and centres on a group of people living hand to mouth in primitive conditions in Oregon. It is as slow as you would expect from Reichardt; the slowness doesn’t always add to the narrative. A small story about ambitions, dreams, a drive for survival in hostile conditions.
Sibyl – Triet – 2019
This film is a bit of a mess, like its protagonist. The first half is full of these short flashbacks that break up the narrative and only serve to confuse. Once the story settles down there are intriguing aspects; the whole menage-a-trois on the film set has promise and there are some nice moments, many involving Sibyl’s sister. A mixed bag.
Rubber – Dupieux – 2010
The strangest thing about this movie isn’t even the sentient, homicidal tyre, it’s the whole set up with the spectators and the question about what is real and what is fake that is truly bizarre. A lot of fun; intriguing, absurd, stupid, gruesome, never anything less than creative.
The perfect Candidate , saudi arabia , 2019 . https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6971114/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0 . Looking at culture and relations across family and community as a female doctor runs for local election. well worth watching
Watched quite a few films on Mubi the last week or so trying to catch-up on the 30 day "Now Showing" section - which I think I will fully do this week.
I enjoyed Borg vs McEnroe as I am a tennis fan, though in a way I think it was a missed opportunity for something really great. The story itself and especially the part of Borg's background was really interesting and the performances by the 2 leads and the always reliable Stellan Skarsgard were great. I think what held the film back was that the pace and editing were inconsistent throughout the film, making it hard to find high moments. Enjoyable nevertheless.
The 10th Victim was an interesting sci-fi. I was hoping that there would have been an option to watch the film in Italian with subtitles, but the Mubi Play Station app only had the English dubbed version, which I thought took something away from the film. I fully agree though with fisgon that it is a very stylish film and even when it isn't very interesting it is beautiful to watch
On the first hour of the highly acclaimed First Cow I was trying to figure out what I miss, as I found it very boring. This type of 19th century kind-of-western setting focusing on characters isn't my cup of tea to begin with and I found it very hard to stay with it. But it is a slow burner and a film that requires patience: on the second half the story is completed in a puzzle-like way, all the pieces fall into place. I will again agree with fisgon (honestly not doing it on purpose 😀 ) that not everything that happens add to the story - I feel that the film could have benefited from a tighter editing and could have been 15-20 minutes shorter without losing much of its essence.
Finally the documentary Chris The Swiss: The most interesting aspect of this documentary is the way it combines real life documenting and animation - the animation looks really cool and gives a bit of life to a story which If I'm honest didn't find all that interesting - it didn't add much to what I already knew about the conflict in the former Yugoslavia so I didn't really invested in the story of Christian Wurtenberg, the Chris of the title.
Also a heads-up for anyone that hasn't seen it, Diva, Jean Jacques Beineix visually stunning debut was added today - I haven't seen it in more than 2 decades but I remember being very impressed by it and would recommend it.
2019 portugese film , invisible life https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6390668/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0 , a good film, a slight bit too long or formuliac. A shame , visutally great . had the makings of a great film . deffo worth watching though.
Freedom fields, 2018 docu on womens football in Libya . i like a good documentary and it's always a plus to record it in a country in flux and a culture i'm not familiar with. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6762296/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1 . a good watch
With regards to "First Cow", it's important to remember who the director is. I've seen 2 Kelly Reichardt films recently "Old Joy" and "Meeks Cutoff", the latter of which is one of the most boring movies I've ever sat through. Old Joy isn't what you'd consider a barn-burner either. Patience is definetly a virtue when setttling down to watch one her movies.
Will watch First Cow in the next few days before it leaves, but if I don't enjoy I'll probably be better off avoiding her films in the future. She's got a lot of fans, just not sure I'm one of them.
Yes, definitely an acquired taste; she has a very definite style. I have been able to enjoy in a very limited fashion some of her films, but Old Joy was one of the most pointless things I have ever watched.
Thanks guys. Yes, first time watching a Kelly Reichardt film, so no point of reference.
This week's viewing included:
The Happiest Day In The Life of Olli Maki - a lovely story, based on true events. Shot in beautiful black and white, which gives it that 60s feeling. What makes it appealing for me is that the characters and actors that portray them are very likeable, especially Jarkko Lahti as Olli Maki. So even though the approach is fairly simplistic (and I'm not a fan of boxing) it was a joy to watch.
A Special Day (Una Giornata Particolare) - I meant to watch this for many years now, so was really happy to see it on Mubi and it didn't disappoint. A very interesting story brought to life by 2 exceptional performances by Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni. There is a theatrical quality in the story as it takes place in the 2 apartments of the central characters. Excellent commentary on fascism, homosexuality and the role of a woman/mother in that period of time - all these elements combined perfectly in the narrative, creating dramatic tension but never becoming overdramatic. I was particularly impressed by Sophia Loren: I haven't seen many of her performances and based on her role here and also in the recent film The Life Ahead, I feel that I have really missed out. A fantastic film, one of the best I have seen recently, I highly recommend it.
Pikadero - I saw this as Ben Sharrock's new film Limbo is out on cinemas now and I plan (or should I say planned) to watch it, so I thought to start with his critically acclaimed debut. I am not a fan of this low-key story-telling. There is a certain charm on the story and its 2 main characters (especially Joseba Usabiaga's Gorka), overall though this is a kind of non-event film and not in a good way.
Happy End - I am generally a fan of Michael Haneke's cinema, but I didn't get this at all. The film revolves around a dysfunctional family which is a good starting point. Unfortunately I didn't find any of the incidents in the film remotely interesting. The beginning (with Eve filming on her phone and giving a great introduction in a less-is-more narrative) was great but after that the film is drawn to various episodes that move the story very slowly but they are never really connect. One of the worse (if not the worst) film of the great Austrian auteur and a waste of a talented cast.
Finally Diva - Jean Jacques Beineix's impressive feature film debut. The previous time I saw it was in the big screen and it definitely benefits from it, though it is still a joy to watch on TV. The film is a thriller at heart: Jules, the main character being chased by various "bad" people as he's in possession of 2 cassettes with great value. What makes Diva special for me is the visual side of things. Great colours, settings and camera position, amazing sound design, the production is top notch for the whole duration of the film. Diva was later described as one of the first films of the "cinema du look" movement, that favored style over narrative (Luc Besson and Leos Carax being the other 2 big names of that movement). A superb film that I hope to see one more time in a cinema screen.
Irish Aris has already commented on a lot of these (totally stole my thunder 😀), but here they are. A certain three-star-ness about this week for me....
The happiest day in the life of Olli Maki – Kuosmanen – 2016
A story about humility and being happy with the simple life; very Finnish in its unassuming way. A charming but slight story; the black and white is obviously deliberate and adds to the effect, but any decision to film in monochrome when colour is available seems perverse. Still, quietly enjoyable.
Jessica Forever – Poggi/ Vinel – 2018
Jessica; Queen Bee, goddess, Earth mother, cult leader. The film is stylish and looks great, but there is a lack of substance and context. We know almost nothing about the background society, but we do know that the orphans – who are the central characters – are mass murderers, so it is difficult to see them as heroes or victims. This is a fatal flaw, and means that the film has potential that it never reaches.
Pikatero – Sharrock – 2015
The Basque melancholy and silence is a little hard to take in this film; Gorka, the central character, is more block of wood than human man. The deadpan is worthy of Kaurismaki. It is truly hard to see what Ane sees in him. The pace is gentle and it has some charm, though there is a more serious social point here about the destruction of the Spanish economy and society after the financial crash.
Diva – Beineix – 1980
The film is a bit misnamed; the diva has only a minor role in the story. This is very stylish, but also messy; there is too much going on, with corrupt cops, pirate recordings, enigmatic artists, a prostitution ring. Likeable but chaotic.
All Hands on Deck - what a delight! You never know with modern French movies as so many of them are tedious or bland… so what a pleasure to discover one that’s quietly one of the great summer movies of them all. There’s definite hints of Eric Rohmer’s great beachside films (albeit riverside in this case), but Guillaume Brac’s film is lovingly modern and light-footed in its own winning way.
It’s all the joys, fights, frustrations and romance of a summer holiday distilled into a chill, easy-going 90 mins. Some great naturalistic performances, and the camera always stays focused on the people (although gotta say having been amateur canyoning, the tension he captures of someone anxious about making a jump is perfectly true to life). Could have happily spent at least another 90 minutes hanging out with these characters, even through their moments of infuriating stupidity :)