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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Tystnaden (The Silence)


This 1963 Ingmar Bergman black and white film tells the story of two sisters, Ester and Anna, and Anna’s young son that while traveling had to stop in an unnamed strange country on the verge of war, because the elder sister Esther got ill. But actually is about symbiotic sisters that torment each other in a hotel where a boy wanders around among old people and dwarves. This is the third film of Bergman’s “God trilogy” and was one of his most controversial.

If it remains risky and experimental it is not for its intimations of incest but for the post-apocalyptic landscape of emotions it traverses: a truly desolate foreign land, where language is reduced to ciphers (the language you hear is Bergman’s and the actor creation), and sex to a brittle ritual of humiliation; where God is no longer even an absence.

But, when was released the American press labeled it as “semi-pornographic film” with a poster from the NY Daily News that read: “On incest, self-defilement and nymphomania…” The picture in the left is the promotional poster . Today according to my eyes, is nothing even close to any “normal” movie with light sex scenes, so the attraction between the two sisters is slightly suggested and Anna’s infidelities with a stranger is barely shown.

But what this movie has and is outstanding is that will make you feel every single little and big thing that happens in the movie. Absolutely everything.

With outstanding hypnotic performances by Ingrid Thulin (Ester) and Gunnel Lindblon (Anna) and the young boy you’ll be transported to a world of intense sensations, a magnificent camera that has been described as Bergman and Nykvist’s most outstanding cinematographic achievements for the degree of difficulty to shoot most scenes and a story without much words –that’s why is called The Silence- as Bergman desired to do a film with very little dialogues, you will be mesmerized and when the movie is over and your eyes are glued to the screen and can’t take them from there as your brain is thinking and thinking thousand words a second and you wish the movie continues, but know that Bergman wouldn’t give more than what you, viewer, deserve. Exhausting.

Written by Bergman and based on dreams he had, The Silence is also the inspiration for movies like Persona and Cries and Whispers; and won the Best Actress for Ingid Thulin, the Best Direction for Ingmar Bergman and the Best Film in the 1964 Guldbagge Awards, all this after being the object of discussion and civil action by church and by the Swedish Parliament.

This is one not to miss if you wish to increase your Bergman adoration. Enjoy!

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Monday, March 23, 2015

68th Festival de Cannes Poster


The 68th Festival de Cannes (13-24 May 2015) has chosen to pay tribute to Ingrid Bergman with this year’s poster, following on from Marcello Mastroianni in 2014.

Hollywood star Ingrid Bergman was a modern icon, an emancipated woman, an intrepid actress, and a figurehead for the new realism. She changed roles and adoptive countries as the mood took her, but never lost sight of her quintessential grace and simplicity.

This year’s poster captures the actress, who worked with Alfred Hitchcock, Roberto Rossellini and Ingmar Bergman, and starred opposite Cary Grant, Humphrey Bogart and Gregory Peck, in all her beauty, her face lit up by a calm serenity that seems to herald a promising future.

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Thursday, November 01, 2007

18th Stockholm International Film Festival


Since yesterday I had a very fun afternoon (saw the hilarious movie) and night (was Halloween!) today I’m in a festive mood and feel like posting here news about fests.

From November 15 to 25 this festival will be held and I wish that some of my dearest readers that live near Stockholm would be able to attend some of the screenings. As hopefully expected this year’s festival is dedicated to Ingmar Bergman and because what it says touches me deeply I’m reproducing an excerpt from a festival’s press release.

“Ingmar Bergman was one of the greatest directors ever and he will continue to inspire filmmakers, in Sweden and abroad. His exceptional work and distinguished artistry even shaped the image of Sweden and Swedes abroad.

Ingmar Bergman’s influence on Swedish film and culture in general cannot be underestimated. During the Stockholm International Film Festival the audience will be invited to re-explore Wild Strawberries (Smultronstället) from 1957.

Also during the festival, a seminar on Ingmar Bergman’s great international significance will be arranged. His artistic work is constantly regarded as a point of reference for directors within film and theatre. He leaves an impressive artistic heritage behind; a masterpiece covering more than six decades that will continue leaving impressions on the art of filmmaking and on the audience.”

The Stockholm Lifetime Achievement Award will be given to director and screenwriter Paul Schrader who will be in Stockholm to accept Bronze Horse award. They will screen Schrader’s latest movie The Walker and a selection of previous films in retrospective.

The Stockholm Visionary Award will be given to Wes Anderson and they will screen his latest movie The Darjeeling Limited.

Most interesting is the event Spotlight: All you need is talent where the audience will be invited to work together with three professional directors in the project Let’s make a film. Here is scheme they will implement.

“The idea has been developed by the Stockholm film festival, and is realized together with Bubblare.se (Swedish version of Youtube), JayCut.se (online video editing) and Stopp (post-production company). Starting today (October 15), the audience can upload film ideas in the form of written text, images or film clips onto a special website. A screenplay will be put together and sent to three directors at the beginning of November. Those who contribute to the screenplay will have the chance to be present at the shooting of three short films.

The films will be published online on November 19, and the audience can vote for their favorite or re-edit the films themselves using deleted scenes and behind-the-scenes footage. All re-edited films are published on the site. The three main films will be screened at the Stockholm International Film Festival awards ceremony on November 24.”

If you want to check the Let’s make a film site (unfortunately is only in Swedish) go here.

The festival will have the following sections: American Independent, Asian Images, Collage, Competition, Dedication, Open Zone, Schrader by Schrader, Special visning, Spotlight, and Twilight Zone. Most movies are quite outstanding, but I will not list all, as there are too many; but here are some interesting movies from the sections.

American Independent
Live!
, Bill Guttentag (critiques reality shows…)
Go Go Tales, Abel Ferrara (Asia Argento kissing a Rottweiler ??!!)
Interview, Steve Buscemi (Besides having Sienna Miller is a mise-en-scene shot on XD video… interesting story too!)
King of California, Mike Cahill (Michael Douglass and Evan Rachel Wood… hmm!)
Watching the Detectives, Paul Soter (Comedy noir with Lucy Liu…)
We Own the Night , James Gray (Been hearing a lot about this movie…)
Año Uña (Year of the Nail ), Jonas Cuaron (interesting movie technique…)

Asian Images
Soom (Breath), Kim Ki-duk, South Korea (described as pure art cinema…)
Mutuluk (Bliss), Abdullah Oguz, Turkey and Greece (terrible story but must be seen)
Seung Sing (Confession of Pain),Wai-keung Lau and Siu Fai Mak, Hong Kong (stars Tony Leung, cinema noir – from the directors of Infernal Affairs)
Hyazgar (Desert Dream), Zhang Lu, Korea and France (set in border between Mongolia and China makes it a must be seen for me!)
Kantoku – Banzai! (Glory to the Filmmker!), Takeshi Kitano, Japan (a film within a film…)
Ye Che (Night Train), Yinan Diao, China (Not approved to be shown in Cannes… terrible story but a must be seen for me!)
Our Time, Bappaditya, Bandopadhyay, India (four desperate countryside girls get fooled into human trafficking… )
Teeth of Love, Zhuang Yuxin, (very interesting story)

Open Zone
Les Amours d’Astree et de Celadon
(The Romance of Astrea and Celadon), France, Italy and Spain (legendary Eric Rohmer latest movie!!!)

Specialvising
Gay Night: will screen four films and documentaries Red without Blue, Horse Thieves, Caress of the Creature and Lagerfeld Confidential

Competition

24 Mesures (24 Measures), Jalil Lespert, France and Canada
4 luni, 3 saptamani si 2 Zile (4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days), Cristian Mungiu , Romania
Ane-eui Aein-eul Mannada (Driving with my Wife’s Lover), Kim Tai-Sik, South Korea
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford; Andrew Dominik, USA
Autum Ball, Velko Öunpuu, Estonia (seems interesting)
Control, Anton Cobjin, UK
Expired, Cecilia Miniucchi, USA
Garage, Lenny Abrahamson, Ireland
In The Valley of Elah, Paul Haggis, USA
Juno, Jason Reitman, USA
Mister Lonely, Harmony Korine, USA, France, Ireland, UK
The Nines, John August, USA
Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi & Vincent Paronnaud, France
Le Scaphandre et le Papillon (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly), Julian Schnabel, France and USA
Stellet Light (Silent Light), Carlos Reygadas, Mexico, France, Netherlands, Germany
Sukkar Bannat (Caramel), Nadine Labaki, Lebanon and France
Tai Yang Zhao Chang Sheng Qi (The Sun Also Rises), Jiang Wen, China (magic realism and widescreen grandeur… must be seen!)
Tejut (Milky Way), Benedek Filegauf, Hungary (interesting “ambient movie” with no dialogue
Voleurs de Chevaux (Horse Thieves), Micha Wald, France (Gay Interest)
La Zona (The Zone), Rodrigo Plá., Spain and Mexico
Vinnarfilm (??)

Another MOST interesting event is the ifestival described as an online film competition where users can rate the film on a 1-20 scale; ten films are presented this year via Qbrick that will do the online streaming, hope that this streaming accepts IP’s out of Sweden, so I’ll be checking for this outstanding opportunity to see some movies.

The fest site is extremely good with plot summaries and videos for most movies and I spend hours just checking the movies and reading some plot summaries. To check the site go here.

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Törst (Three Strange Stories)


Yes I have seen many Ingmar Bergman films with some that are still in my mind years and years after I watched them. But I have to admit that his earlier work has been inaccessible to me, until now.

Bergman is never simple and this film is no exception. Then finding that the idea and screenplay is not his, allowed me to understand why I did not found some key elements that I believe are always in his movies.

According to historians, Bergman had a tumultuous life (to say the least) and “to compensate for being a complete mess as a human being”, he decided he must at least try to shine as a filmmaker. With Three Strange Loves (1949), brought to him already scripted by Herbert Grevenius, he had the opportunity to give a convincing demonstration of sheer professional skill.

The screenplay was based on a controversial collection of short stories, Törst (Thirst) by Birgit Tengroth; better known as an actress, she was a logical choice to play a leading role in her own stories and she plays Viola. From the short stories collection “Thirst” became a flashback to Rut’s unhappy affair with Raoul, “The Faith Healer” became Viola’s visit to the psychiatrist, and “Avant de Mourir” was Viola’s disastrous evening with Valborg.

What I find most interesting is that the linking narrative, the turbulent train-ride from Basle to Stockholm as endured by Rut and her long-suffering husband Bertil, was derived from “Journey of Arethusa”. At the end you have four stories blended into one story told with flashbacks.

The complexity of blending the stories was brilliantly resolved and you can enjoy a young Bergman that uses the camera to give messages that are as much visual as verbal. One thing called my attention and was the dark scenes with Rut and Bertil and the clear almost white scenes with Viola.

Reading about the movie I found that Bergman had a phobia to July and August, when the sun shines day after day, and call them “a dreadful torment”. Then is easy to understand the cruel contrast between sunlight and shadow that he skillfully uses in this film.

As we all Bergman aficionados know, everything in his films has a meaning and here not only objects mean something (like the crystal carafe, the snake on an ant-hill, etc) but his own cameo as a train passenger also does.

This is a great Bergman film, but it is a different Bergman film, so if you decide to see it please remember that this is neither his idea nor his script.

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Ingmar Bergman and Michelangelo Antonioni


On last July 30 two of my most admired directors passed away in the same day maybe with just a few hours difference, and as one imdb user mentioned and I am borrowing his words, “God most not love cinema” as in one day he took away two outstanding filmmakers and storytellers.

A long time ago I was a very curious and knowledge hungry teenager and with my dearest friend Gustavo we explored the world of non-commercial cinema. Obviously that kind of cinema was not available at the usual theaters, but we found it at the cultural institutes of countries like France, Italy and Germany. Eventually one movie theater dared to start to show art cinema and that was just bliss and joy to my mind and eyes.

La Alliance Française was the place where I saw my first Bergman movie. I been thinking trying to remember the name but I can’t remember. Unfortunately with age and so many memories in that brain archive, I cannot remember… but perhaps was Persona with Liv Ullmann and Bibi Andersson, and if was not, definitively is one of his movies that I still treasure in my memory, as one that impressed my young mind forever and generated my total adoration for those two actresses.

But there are other Bergman movies I’ll never forget like Cries and Whispers (Fantastic!), Scenes from a Marriage, The Magic Flute, Face to Face (Excellent!), Autumn Sonata, Fanny and Alexander, Saraband, Wild Strawberries, and The Seven Seal. Of course the last movie I saw was Törst (Thist) and I have to truthfully thank Kibbs for facilitating me the pleasure of seeing one of Bergman’s early work.

Still, there are quite a few I haven’t seen, which now I feel is great as will keep him alive to me and know that eventually I will be able to live him once again and again until I am able to claim the honor of having seen all his movies.

Then, I do remember the movie that introduced me to Michelangelo Antonioni, it was Blowup, a mindblower movie that also introduced me to Vanessa Redgrave which became one of my favorite actresses. It also starred Sarah Miles and David Hemmings –for whom I fall into a terrible crush that lead me to eventually meet him years after, lol!- and still remember the place where I saw the movie, it was at that daring movie theater.

There are other Antonioni movies I cherish like Zabriskie Point, but his best work according to me is his body of work found in Italian films with the exotic and beautiful Monica Vitti. Il Desserto Rosso, L’Eclisse, L’Notte (also with Marcello Mastroianni and Jeanne Moreau!), and L’Avventura are a few Antonioni’s movies where Monica starred and make her and Antonioni well known to all serious cinephiles.

There are so many other Antonioni movies... but I'll mention another starring Jack Nicholson and then famous Maria Schneider, The Passenger that non-Europeans consider his masterpiece.

This is my little homage to these two great storytellers that wrote or co wrote most of their films and left a profound imprint in my young brain. Today I would not be the person I am if films by Bergman, Antonioni and many other directors did not open my mind into appreciating the world of images and imagination.

If you browse the Internet you could learn more about these two fabulous directors and their strong impact in cinema, as both of them created their own personal film language that inspired many other well-known directors and make them immortal in the cinephiles world.

Last but not least, I suggest to all my young readers to explore the body of work of these two directors and perhaps will give you the opportunity to begin to understand that movies can be art mainly because the outstandingly different way they represent and depict real life.

Then to those readers that are cinephiles hope my little homage that represents my life with Bergman and Antonioni, stimulates your own memories when you saw their movies and make you relive those treasured moments.

Bergman and Antonioni will live forever, no doubt about it.

P.S. A day before, on July 29 also a great French actor passed away, Michel Serrault that most of us remember him for his role as Zaza in the three installments of the original La Cage aux Folles, but his body of work is extensive with more that 150 films. Like the popular saying says, death comes in three…

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Saturday, April 07, 2007

Twee Vrouwen (Twice a Woman)


This is a rare 1979 film by French born George Sluizer based on Dutch Harry Mulisch novel that tells a quite surprising nice story about love and things you do for love.

Since this is 28 years old, information about this movie is quite sparse and confusing to read, as most data do not coincide among different documents. So my research skills helped a lot to find reliable information and were able to find a book called The Cinema of the Low Countries that has a chapter dedicated to this movie. I believe this is the most reliable source available to understand the background of this remarkable movie.

First, lets start with Mulisch novel that had mixed reviews with positive ones like this one “an ingenious but chilly melodrama whose emotions resemble those of successful films”. So it was no surprise that a few years later it became a film, the first for a Mulisch book.

From the many production-interesting facts I share these with you. Sluizer contacted Bibi Andersson after many other international actresses refused to play a lesbian character. To quote Sluizer “Perhaps we tend to assume rather easily in the Netherlands that such a relationship will now (1978) be accepted as a given, but when I was preparing the film, I experienced that this is by no means the case. The company that releases all films by Ingmar Bergman in the US let me know they thought the screenplay was very good but they didn’t want films with a ‘lesbian touch’.”

The film is in English (no Dutch, nor German, nor any other language) and is the object of analysis in other chapter of the book as being representative of the discussion about film language (English) versus literary language (Dutch).

Jazz composer Willem Breuker composed the music for the film and performed it with his internationally acclaimed Willem Breuker Kollektief. Still today the soundtrack is available to purchase as it seem to have sustained the test of time.

Both the film and the novel have a non-chronological structure and for some this may not help to understand the brief interruptions on the main story in the film, as some occur in the very beginning of the film. So, learning about the book helps to better understand the film.

The narrative strategy of the film, focus on one particular character and not show viewers information on other events was broken only in three scenes, when Sylvia and Alfred go to Paris. This change of style enables Sluizer to put in a love scene between a man and a woman, consequently toned down the controversial subject matter of the film and opened opportunities for better distribution.

Both the movie and the novel suggests classical literature background and one remarkable example is shown with one of Alfred opinions “only men or only women cannot produce tragedy… for that, a third party of the other sex is needed”. The parallel with his own role is obvious and it points ahead into a tragic ending. The twist in this story, rarely seen even today, is which character is going to be totally destroyed.

The film was released on May 23, 1979 in 28 Dutch cinemas.

Starring Swedish Bibi Andersson, American Anthony Perkins and Dutch Sandra Dumas (later she adopted the Sandrine name) makes this film a very international production, which is common nowadays but it was not in those days, especially for a Netherlands production.

Bibi Andersson (Laura) performance is great with all the signs of her performances in Ingmar Bergman movies. Anthony Perkins (Alfred) is a surprise as the macho ex-husband with a performance that goes beyond the one-dimensional character. Then newcomer Sandra Dumas (Sylvia) is truly credible as the girl.

As concluded in the book “in production terms both the film and George Sluizer were ahead of their time” and I cannot agree more as still today this film could be breaking new grounds and inspire other filmmakers to do quality stories with high quality performers in this genre.

By the way, this was a low-budget production that took ONLY seven weeks to do! To quote Sluizer: “actually it’s just a low-budget film … two highly-paid actors, a very small crew, and a fast shooting process”.

I feel cheerful and happy to have been able to watch again a Bibi Andersson film, as along with Liv Ullmann are two of my most favorite actresses of all time and still today cherish the memory of their performances in that magnificent Bergman movie Persona.

Truly remarkable high quality movie … still for today and we are in 2007!!!

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Monday, February 07, 2011

34th Göteborg International Film Festival Award Winners


Today fest closes and a few hours ago had the awards ceremony that gave the top award to a movie that definitively is Must Be Seen for me, but winning a top award at a renowned festival gives me hope that film has to be more than just another lesbian interest movie, which is outstandingly excellent news! I’m talking about Lisa Aschan’s Apflickorna (She Monkeys) that’s also competing for the Teddy Award at 2011 Berlinale.

These are the honored feature films.

Best Nordic Film: Apflickorna (She Monkeys), Lisa Aschan, Sweden
Jury statement: This was a film we loved unconditionally. It stayed with us all the time, and finally we felt that we must give this award to support a new, very special talent.

Nordic Vision Award: Kongen av Bastøy (King’s Devil’s Island), Marius Holst, Norway
Jury statement: For the clarity with which the anguish of the characters is transmitted and the coldness of the nature. The classical style is not easy to handle but it supports the intensity of the story.

Nordic Film Audience Award: Jag Saknar Dig (I Miss You), Anders Grönros, Sweden

FIPRESCI Award: Apflickorna (She Monkeys), Lisa Aschan, Sweden
Jury statement: She Monkeys is a story about love and jealousy, implicating a lonely father, his two daughters, a beautiful cousin and an enigmatic equestrian dancer. Thanks to a clever direction, each actor – even the youngest – deals with the most tricky situations with a surprising accuracy for a first feature. Beautifully crafted, She Monkeys found a rhythm as spellbinding as the sound of horses' hooves that punctuates the film. Lisa Aschan plays quietly with the codes of thriller, western and a very delicate eroticism. She preserved elements of mystery which gives us only one desire: to see her make a new movie.

Ingmar Bergman International Debut Award: Derek Cianfrance for Blue Valentine, USA
Jury statement: The 2011 Ingmar Bergman International Debut Award goes to Blue Valentine for an impressively precise yet sensitive analysis of human relationships from an impartially nuanced perspective.

To check short film and documentary winners go here and here to read more detailed info.

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Thursday, March 14, 2019

#Cannes2019 Wish List 1 - French Female Filmmakers


This year I'll start my Wish List with films by female directors as in the buzz list there is an unusual number of them plus most films I'm truly interested in watching (with few exceptions) are made by them.

Still no official news about selections announcements but there is some speculation:  Press Conference Official Selection on April 18,  Semaine on April 22 and Quizaine on April 23.  The only official announcement came yesterday with ACID selection on April 23, date is already in calendar.  The closing date for submitting films was last Monday, March 11th so now the decision process has begun in full.

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Thursday, August 09, 2007

Ingmar Bergman Soap Ads


Since I cannot share with you all Bergman's movies, I am sharing something very special to me, a clip with Bergman's Soap Advertisements! This is just unbelievable as joins two of my passions, cinema and advertising. The ads were done in the 50's and perhaps are the most avant-garde ads ever made.





If you want to see all the ads go here where you'll find the complete 8 ads.

Well, actually they are in Youtube, so I am sharing the ones I like the most.









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Friday, November 04, 2011

Thinking Notes of Today


I'm going public by admitting that I'm no fan of Martin Scorsese but do recognize him as one of the American contemporary master-filmmakers.  But as everything in life  -absolutes hardly exist- there are exceptions and the following letter absolutely is the exception that makes me "admire" Scorsese for being willing to make public what so many think about those countries where films with subtitles are not easily accepted.

The letter dated November 25, 1993 was published as a comment to an article in the New York Times on November 19, 1993. The letter date is important as was one week after Federico Fellini's dead.

Here is a copy and paste of the letter; if you wish to read it at the source I used please go here.

To the Editor:

“Excuse Me; I Must Have Missed Part of the Movie” (The Week in Review, 7 November) cites Federico Fellini as an example of a filmmaker whose style gets in the way of his storytelling and whose films, as a result, are not easily accessible to audiences. Broadening that argument, it includes other artists: Ingmar Bergman, James Joyce, Thomas Pynchon, Bernardo Bertolucci, John Cage, Alain Resnais and Andy Warhol.

It’s not the opinion I find distressing, but the underlying attitude toward artistic expression that is different, difficult or demanding. Was it necessary to publish this article only a few days after Fellini’s death? I feel it’s a dangerous attitude, limiting, intolerant. If this is the attitude toward Fellini, one of the old masters, and the most accessible at that, imagine what chance new foreign films and filmmakers have in this country.

It reminds me of a beer commercial that ran a while back. The commercial opened with a black and white parody of a foreign film—obviously a combination of Fellini and Bergman. Two young men are watching it, puzzled, in a video store, while a female companion seems more interested. A title comes up: “Why do foreign films have to be so foreign?” The solution is to ignore the foreign film and rent an action-adventure tape, filled with explosions, much to the chagrin of the woman.

It seems the commercial equates “negative” associations between women and foreign films: weakness, complexity, tedium. I like action-adventure films too. I also like movies that tell a story, but is the American way the only way of telling stories?

The issue here is not “film theory,” but cultural diversity and openness. Diversity guarantees our cultural survival. When the world is fragmenting into groups of intolerance, ignorance and hatred, film is a powerful tool to knowledge and understanding. To our shame, your article was cited at length by the European press.

The attitude that I’ve been describing celebrates ignorance. It also unfortunately confirms the worst fears of European filmmakers. Is this closedmindedness something we want to pass along to future generations?

If you accept the answer in the commercial, why not take it to its natural progression:
Why don’t they make movies like ours?
Why don’t they tell stories as we do?
Why don’t they dress as we do?
Why don’t they eat as we do?
Why don’t they talk as we do?
Why don’t they think as we do?
Why don’t they worship as we do?
Why don’t they look like us?
Ultimately, who will decide who “we” are?

—Martin Scorsese
[New York, 19 Nov 1993]

Also suggest to read the recent NYTimes article from April 29, 2011 "Eating Your Cultural Vegetables" that you will find here.

More than 15 years after the letter was written is impressive how the largest movie market in the world -when you count only money- has not opened to world movies. Won't elaborate but have to comment that one of the consequences I dislike the most is the doing of "remakes" that never are as good as the original ones. Sigh.

By the way the conversation about "Cultural Vegetables" has been going on since April 2011 and I'm just joining today.

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Monday, September 06, 2010

Daisy Diamond


A very hard, I mean HARD, to watch disturbing film on so many levels that absolutely don't recommend it to the weak of heart and/or those that don't like to watch all kinds of graphic scenes (including -but not only- sex scenes). Still, absolutely one film not to miss if you enjoyed Noomi Rapace in the three Millennium movies with the most incredible performance as Lisbeth Salander.

This film is all about Noomi Rapace performance as Anna and she's almost in every scene, if not all. There are many scenes where she's looking at the camera in very-close close-ups, so close that you can see her face skin pores. Her performance is absolutely impressive, so real that makes the movie so believable and completely makes more disturbing the already disturbing story.

Is a film that I know will confuse many, but to me everything that happens in Anna's auditions is what happened to her for real which only adds irony to her not getting the roles she's audition for. The layered story is about a young woman that wants to be an actress so leaves Sweden for Copenhagen only to get pregnant and have a child that will complicate her desire to be an actress enormously. While story unravels, you will start to go crazy with the child crying and don't doubt that very soon you'll know what will happen as probably you thought about it first. After the unthinkable happens everything is a downfall as she loses total control of her actions and her life in general.

This film has so many references to one of my favorite films, Ingmar Bergman's Persona, that I tend to think that Simon Staho, director and co writer, with this movie did his own homage to Bergman's classic. This is another reason why you should watch this film if you haven't watch it by now. Can't help but to mention that while this is a Danish production with a Danish director, the film looks and feels like excellent Swedish cinema.

For this magnificent role and performance Noomi Rapace won the Best Actress Award at the 2008 Bodil Awards and the 2008 Robert Awards, plus the film got 7 nominations in both awards.

Do I recommend the film? Yes I do, but be prepared for VERY HARD to watch visuals and story. Absolutely not a film to enjoy, but to keep the ratings here goes the closing line.

Enjoy!!!

Watch trailer @Movie On Companion

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Offret (The Sacrifice)


This is the last Andrei Tarkovsky film and is quite intense, very intense! Even for me that I can say that I’m used to very intense movies. Just imagine that some critics call this movie his “most generally accessible work”, yes sure… this is as complex as the movies made by who probably inspire him to do this drama full of words: Ingmar Bergman. For many moments I thought I was seeing a Bergman movie.

The film is in Swedish, filmed in Sweden very near to then Soviet Union and is a Sweden, UK and France production, but Tarkovsky says this movie is “as Russian as any other made by me” and no doubt about it as even if is only the third movie I see I can recognize many signs of his own and particular seal and legacy to worldwide cinema.

What story it tells? Think that there are too many stories here and is you the viewer who have to see the story that fits more your mind, your beliefs and your world. The story outline goes something like this: a middle aged intellectual whose birthday dinner is interrupted by something that you can say is like a nuclear bomb exploding (or perhaps is not…) and the TV sends a message to stay where you are as is the safest place to be (or perhaps is not…). Power goes out, nothing works in the isolated place where he and his family live. So, what do you do? Wait until everything is over, meaning total destruction and death or do something about it. He does something about it.

Outstanding cinematography that enhanced the idyllic island where the movie is set, but the use of the camera is so amazing and troubling, like the first take that lasts about 9 minutes and is a single shot! There is a majestic fire that will blow your mind because of the sounds and the images. Then the use of light, black and white for disasters and reality (he did the same in Stalker) and color for…bliss? fantasy? not reality? and a house full of natural light that becomes darker than darker. Amazing!

Very good performances complement this outstanding movie and make me more interested in seeing the other Tarkovsky films and I will, but after each of his movies I have to take a break as this is truly an extraordinary director with movies that you need time to digest.

The film was wrote also by Tarkowsky and won the Grand Prix at 1986 Cannes and many other awards and nominations in other festivals and awards.

Absolutely not for all audiences but is a must be seen for those that enjoy complex masterpieces based on dialogue and the excellent use of all available cinema techniques.

Enjoy!!!

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

32nd Toronto International Film Festival


From September 6 to 15 the TIFF will be screening 349 films from 55 countries!!! Wow! This is absolutely crazy with way too many movies for 10 days, as an average they’ll be screening almost 35 films a day. On the positive side, this is a marvelous opportunity to be able to see movies from allover the world and if you don’t want to sleep for a few days you may be able to see some remarkable movies.

There are many movies that were in the 2007 Cannes, Locarno, Venice or Berlinale, but there are some world premieres. So this time I wont list all the movies and I am just posting extracts from yesterday’s official press releases and some links that you could explore to learn more.

Toronto - Organizers of the Toronto International Film Festival today announced final programming details, including the complete lineup of films and programmes for its 32nd edition running September 6 - 15, 2007. At this year's Festival, 349 films from 55 countries will screen, including 275 feature and mid-length films, 85 per cent of which are world, international or North American premieres, and 71 of which are feature directorial debuts. Highlights from today's announcement include Mavericks presentations from former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and wife Rosalynn Carter, Bill Maher and Larry Charles, and Luis Moreno-Ocampo and Don Cheadle; Alain Corneau's LE DEUXIÈME SOUFFLE as a Gala Presentation; the first independent films from Wayne Wang (THE JOY LUCK CLUB) in ten years as part of Masters; cineastes' favourite Dialogues, featuring legendary actor Max von Sydow marking the passing of Ingmar Bergman with a presentation of Bergman's THE VIRGIN SPRING; Michael Moore's film CAPTAIN MIKE ACROSS AMERICA, the documentary MAN FROM PLAINS from Academy Award™ winning filmmaker Jonathan Demme (THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS), IN BLOOM by Vadim Perelman (HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG), JUNO by Jason Reitman (THANK YOU FOR SMOKING) and THE VISITOR by Thomas McCarthy (THE STATION AGENT) as Special Presentations; and Julian Schnabel's documentary LOU REED'S BERLIN as part of Real to Reel..

Four enlightening Mavericks presentations will feature appearances by Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, Bill Maher, Larry Charles, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Don Cheadle, Mira Nair, Santosh Sivan and more. Eight presentations in Dialogues: Talking with Pictures will feature Max von Sydow, Bell Festival Centre architect Bruce Kuwabara, Ken Loach, Arthur Dong and Nancy Kwan, Peter Bogdanovich, Ellen Burstyn, Sidney Lumet, and Lord Richard Attenborough showcasing films that have inspired them or have marked a significant period in their careers.

Thirteen titles have been added to Special Presentations for a complete programme of 50 films.

The 32nd Toronto International Film Festival is proud to announce a Special Event at which Hollywood great Peter Bogdanovich (THE LAST PICTURE SHOW) will be presented with the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) Award for his contribution to film preservation. He has chosen to screen Jean Renoir's historic gem LA GRANDE ILLUSION (1937) as an example of the importance of film restoration.

Toronto - Six titles round out the Gala Presentations lineup for the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival. The complete Gala Presentations lineup for this year's Festival will feature 20 titles.

CLEANER Renny Harlin, USA
CLOSING THE RING Richard Attenborough, UK/CANADA
LE DEUXIÈME SOUFFLE Alain Corneau, FRANCE
THE JANE AUSTEN BOOK CLUB Robin Swicord, USA
SLEUTH Kenneth Branagh, USA
THE WALKER Paul Schrader, USA/UK

Toronto - The Toronto International Film Festival finalizes its Special Presentations and Masters lineups with titles from an impressive range of filmmaking talent. Two thematically related films by filmmaker Wayne Wang (THE JOY LUCK CLUB, SMOKE, BLUE IN THE FACE) have been added to Masters, showcasing new work from the world's greatest filmmakers. 20 titles in total will screen as part of Masters in 2007.. These films join previous announced titles as a part of Special Presentations, showcasing major films, major stars and major filmmakers. 50 titles in total will screen as Special Presentations during this year's Festival.

Special Presentations
BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU'RE DEAD Sidney Lumet, USA
BILL Melisa Wallack and Bernie Goldmann, USA
CAPTAIN MIKE ACROSS AMERICA Michael Moore, USA Special Presentation
DEATH DEFYING ACTS Gillian Armstrong, UK/Australia
IN BLOOM Vadim Perelman, USA
JUNO Jason Reitman, USA
MARRIED LIFE Ira Sachs, USA
MAN FROM PLAINS Jonathan Demme, USA Special Presentation
RAILS & TIES Alison Eastwood, USA
REDACTED Brian De Palma, USA
THE TAKE Brad Furman, USA
THE VISITOR Thomas McCarthy, USA
WHEN DID YOU LAST SEE YOUR FATHER? Anand Tucker, Ireland/UK

If you want to see the complete list of films in the festival, press here and you’ll see the complete list with the name, director and programme in which the movie will be shown. If you want to read summaries and/or reviews about each movie go here . And if these links do not satisfy you, then you have another here where you will find an interesting sort by option that can show you how many films from your country will be shown.

As some of the movies are world premieres, I am listing the 20 movies in the Masters programme.

Alexandra, Alexander Sokurov, Russia
Les Amours d’Astrée et de Céladon, Eric Rohmer, France,Italy and Spain
Beyond the Years (Taek Chun-nyun-hack), Im Kwon, South Korea
Chaos (Heyda Fawda), Youssef Chahine, Youssef Khaled, Egypt
Christopher Columbus, The Enigma, Manoel de Oliveira, Portugal and France
Disengagement (Désengagement), Amos Gitai, Germany, Italy, Israel and France
Fados, Carlos Saura, Portugal
Le Fille Coupée en Deux, Claude Chabrol, France
Four Women (Nallu Pennungal), Adoor Gopalakrishnan, India (Malayalam) – with Nandita Das!!
Glory to the Filmmaker! (Kantoku Banzai!), Takeshi Kitano, Japan
It’s a Free World…, Ken Loach, UK, Italy, Germany and Spain
The Man from London, Béla Tarr, Hungary, Germany, France and UK
Ne Touchez Pas La Hache, Jacques Rivette, France and Italy
One Hundred Nails (Centochiodi), Ermanno Olmi, Italy
The Past (El Pasado), Hector Babenco, Argentina
The Princess of Nebraska, Wayne Wang, USA
A Thousand Years of Good Prayers, Wayne Wang, USA
Ulzhan, Volker Schlondörff, Kazakhstan, Germay and France
Le Voyage du Ballon Rouge, Hou Hsiao-hsien, France
The Voyeurs (Ami, Yasin Arr Amar Madhubala), Buddhadeb Dasgupta, India (Bengali)

I suggest you take a look at the Vanguard section with some movies that seem mindblowers. This is the description of this section: Vanguard spotlights bold filmmakers that run ahead of the pack. This programme is dedicated to irreverent, stylistically playful films that challenge the boundaries of social discourse. Aimed toward adventurous audiences who delight in movies that push the envelopes of technology, culture, and sexuality, these edgy films have a distinct, youthful feel. Interested? If yes, press here.

Another interesting section is Visions. This is the section description: It spotlights work that challenges our notion of mainstream cinema and explores new territory. Featuring unusual approaches to storytelling, experimental filmmaking techniques and new technologies, Visions is an exciting programme featuring the work of brazen newcomers and veteran filmmakers alike, pushing the boundaries of contemporary cinema. These are my kind of movies and if is yours, check the movies here.

If you are into avant-garde cinema then check the Wavelengths section here.

Well, once a long time ago, I was able to attend this festival but today seems so well organized and with movies to satisfy every cinephiles and non-cinephiles taste.

Lastly, Caramel will be shown in the Gala Programme, so if you’re in Toronto on September 14, do not miss the 9:30pm screen of this fabulous movie.

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Monday, February 02, 2015

37th Göteborg Film Festival Award Winners


Last Saturday night the festival had their awards ceremony and here are all the award winners.

Dragon Awards

Best Nordic Film
I dina hænde (In Your Arms), Samanou Acheche Sahlstrøm, Denmark and Germany
Jury’s motivation: The award goes to a film, that with honest sensitivity, brings up the questions: When is life worth living? When is life not worth living? Told in a pure language, with poetic moments, and with an acting that is vibrating of human authenticity. A film that ends with death – but also with life, love and hope.

This year’s jury consisted of the actor Maryam Moghaddam and the directors Pernille Fischer Christensen, Pirjo Honkasalo, Anja Breien and Benedikt Erlingsson.

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Sunday, February 03, 2013

36th Göteborg International Film Festival Awards Winners


Last night at the Stora Teatern the fest had the Dragon Awards ceremony and here are all the award winners.

Dragon Awards

Best Nordic Film
Før snøen faller (Before Snowfall), Hisham Zaman, Norway, Germany and Iraq
Jury’s motivation: “The Dragon Award for Best Nordic Film goes to a film with an original and honest vision that goes beyond clichés. By using an exceptional cast and a precise and vivid style of cinematography the director succeeds in telling a story that reveals the impact of tradition and culture and the fact that they can be conquered by naive, true love. The winner is Before Snowfall.”

The Ingmar Bergman International Debut Award
Carne de Perro (Dog Flesh), Fernando Guzzoni, Chile, Germany and France
Jury’s motivation: ”A man cannot cope with the deeds of his past and experiences an intense daily suffering. An exceptional performance constitutes the chore in a multilayered tale of redemption, executed with complete artistic control.”

Best Nordic Documentary
Laulu koti-ikävästä (Finnish Blood, Swedish Heart), Mika Ronkainen, Finland and Sweden
Jury’s motivation: “The Dragon Award for Best Nordic Documentary goes to Finnish Blood, Swedish Heart, a touching story of inner and outer exile, which brings out a rarely discussed trauma of the Swedish welfare state of the prosperous 60s and 70s. With great sensibility and refinement, the director describes a personal relationship between father and son and their emotional trip down memory lane in the search of a sense of belonging. Their conversations and meetings with other Swedish Finns along the way gradually unfolds the theme of rootlessness and estrangement, while intertwined live recordings of Finnish immigrant songs from the 70s poetically comment on the theme and widens the picture to encompass an entire culture.”

Lorens Award
Malik Bendjelloul for Searching for Sugar Man, Sweden and UK
Jury’s motivation: “Behind this exceptionally well-produced film lies labor that persevered, often against the odds. Despite considerable solitary labor, it has become an international success story. The film has prevailed at something unusual for documentary film: namely reaching out to a greater audience and using the full potential of cinematography. No journey was too long and no effort too great for the launch and contact with the public. The jury was completely unanimous that the 2013 Lorens Award would be awarded to Malik Bendjelloul for the film Searching for Sugar Man."

FIPRESCI Prize
Nordvest (Northwest), Michael Noer, Denmark
“For its solid acting performances and its balanced and realistic portrayal of a young man's descent into a criminal world.”

Audience Awards
Best Feature Film: Wadja, Haiffa al-Mansour, Saudi Arabia and Germany
Best Nordic Film: Kapringen (A Hijacking), Tobias Lindholm, Denmark

The Church of Sweden Film Award: Godheten, Stefan Jarl, Sweden (documentary)

Short Films
Dragon Award New Talent: La Ravaudeuse, Simon Filliot, France, 10'
Jury’s motivation: “So said—but so beautiful. Poverty, greed, fraternal affection, eroticism and painful death. It all begins with a dramatic birth in a home in the crack between dream and reality—where loneliness hangs over everything. With their accomplished craft, the director invokes both tension and strong characters. With La Ravaudeuse, Simon Filliot has created something entirely new, a completely living world of sackcloth, twine and tangled wool. A moving and well-made pastoral drama that leaves no one untouched.”

Startsladden Award: Gabriel och lasermannen (The Day my Dad was Shot), Babak Najafi, Sweden, 13'

Best Swedish Novella Film: Vatten, Niclas Larson, Sweden, 30'
Special Mention: 10 Guds Siffror (Remnants of a Life), Ivica Zubak, Sweden, 30'

Audience Award: Vatten, Niclas Larson, Sweden, 30'

Last, the best photo from this year's festival:  Baby Dragon.

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Monday, January 28, 2013

36th Göteborg International Film Festival Line-up


Since January 25th and until February 4th one of the most famous Swedish film festivals has been running and as soon, on Saturday February 2 will be the awards ceremony, I'm sharing with you all some of the great films that are in the two main competitions.


Dragon Award for Best Nordic Film

8-Pallo (8-Ball), Aku Louhimies, Finland
Djúpið (The Deep), Baltasar Kormákur, Iceland
Faro, Fredrik Edfeldt, Sweden
Før snøen faller (Before Snowfall), Hisham Zaman, Norway
Kapringen (A Hijacking), Tobias Lindholm, Denmark
Nordvest (Northwest), Michael Noer, Denmark
Som du ser meg (I Belong), Dag Johan Haugerud, Norway
Uskyld (All that matters is past), Sara Johnsen, Norway

The Ingmar Bergman International Debut Award

36, Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit, Thailand
Carne de Perro (Dog Flesh), Fernando Guzzoni, Chile, Germany and France
Crawl, Hervé Lasgouttes, France
Gözetleme Kulesi (Watchtower), Pelin Esmer, Turkey
It Felt Like Love, Eliza Hittman, USA
Lemale et ha'halal (Fill the Void), Rama Burshtein, Israel
Wadjda, Haifaa al-Mansour, Saudi Arabia and Germany
Zwei Leben (Two Lives), Georg Maas, Germany and Norway

To watch trailers for the above and more movies go here. This year the fest is larger than ever as the program includes almost 500 films from 84 countries and to check films in the many sections please go here.

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

34th Göteborg International Film Festival Line-up


The leading film festival in Scandinavia will run from January 28 to February 7 and here are some of the 442 films the fest will screen.

Dragon Award for Best Nordic Film

Opening Film: Kongen av Bastøy (King’s Devil’s Island), Marius Holst, Norway

Apflickorna (She Monkeys), Lisa Aschan, Sweden
Brim, Árni Ólafur Asgeirsson, Iceland
Jag Saknar Dig (I Miss You), Anders Grönros, Sweden
Odjuret (Savage), Martin Jern and Emil Larsson, Sweden
Princessa (Princess), Arto Harlonen, Finland
Sandheden om mænd (Truth About Men), Nikolaj Arcel, Denmark
Sykt Lykkelig (Happy Happy), Anne Sewitsky, Norway

To view films list at fest site go here or browse festival program magazine here.

Closing Film (out of completion): Isolerad (Corridor), Johan Lundborg and John Storm, Sweden

The Ingmar Bergman International Debut Award
Given to the director of first or second films

Ryan Redford for Oliver Sherman, Canada
Olivier Masset-Deppase for Illégal (Illegal), Belgium
Alix Delaporte for Angèle et Tony, France
Athina Rachel Tsangari for Attenberg, Greece
Clio Barnard for The Arbor, UK
Maria Sødahl for Limbo, Norway
Federico Vieroj for La vida útil (A Useful Life), Uruguay and Spain
Derek Cianfrance for Blue Valentine, USA

To check list at fest site go here and to check other sections go here.

Romanian Focus section will screen six recent new wave Romanian feature films plus four classics (1968 to 1982), shorts, seminars and a Mihail Livada retrospective. More info here.

Festival will show ten “Red Westerns” that were often shot in places like Yugoslavia, Mongolia and southern Soviet Union; quite often the roles were reversed compared to their American models: good Indians and bad cowboys. The concept of Soviet cowboys and East German Indians has a strange ring to it, but the fact is that the former Eastern Bloc produced lots of western films from the 1920s until the early 1980s. Read more here.

Also very interesting is The Dragon Award for New Talent that’s defined as: “The World’s Largest Online Short Film Competition” that screens short films for you to watch and VOTE. There are many shorts that you can find here voting is open until January 17th and winner will be announced on February 4th.

Film closing ceremony is Saturday, February 5.

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Day 9 Cannes News


Sorry about yesterday but today is a better day for Cannes and for me.

Today @ Cannes

Official Competition: Today Doug Liman’s Fair Game, please read below in Serious Nots what I think about this film. Also Daniele Luchetti’s La Nostra Vita (Our Life) and the last film to enter the competition Route Irish by Ken Loach that is a must be seen film for me even when early British critics’ reviews are not on the positive side.

Out of Competition: Yesterday the last film in this program was screened. I imagine that many of you have not much idea who Carlos is, but I do and hopefully I will be able to watch the 5 hours 33 minutes TV miniseries and not the 2 ½ movie version. Yes, I’m curious about this portrait of the so-called Jackal that has broken a no-no in Cannes when screening in such prominent way a TV program.

Un Certain Regard: Today a film that has stimulated my total curiosity, Rebecca H. (Return to the Dogs) by Lodge Kerrigan and I really hope that does not disappoint me when I’m able to watch it. Also Simon Werner A Disparu… (Lights Out) by Fabrice Gobert that French critics say "starts like an American film" but 'fast' becomes more" (lol!).

Cinefondation: Today Programme 2 and 3 with six short films. Tomorrow we will learn the award winners.

Cannes Classics: Yesterday they had the only Lecon de Cinema of the fest (?!?!) with Marco Bellocchio, plus had one movie that would like to watch the restored version, John Huston’s 1951 classic, The African Queen.

Today a film that I wonder if I wish to revisit as really shocked me when I first saw it and prefers to keep that souvenir than erase it today, restored version of Psycho by Alfred Hitchcock. Also, Roberto Rossellini’s 1941 short film, Il Ruscello di Ripasottile and 1973 Titash Ekti Nadir Naam (A River Called Titash) by Ritwik Ghatak. But the one I have to watch is Men Filmen Ar Min Alskarinna (But Film Is My Mistress) the documentary by Stig Bjorkman about Ingmar Bergman.

With these films the program closes today, but I hope that excellent DVD labels like Criterion will be able to hopefully soon release some of these restored versions, so we cinema lovers can enjoy those films again.

Cinema de la Plage: Today Roy Rowland’s 1963 The Girl Hunters.

Quinzaine: Yesterday they had one film that seems visually very interesting, Todos Vos Sodes Capitan’s by Oliver Laxe, plus one of the few with a female director, Alicia Duffy’s All Good Children and last the Rolling Stones documentary, Stones in Exile by Stephen Kijak.

Today one gay interest film that calls my attention beyond the genre, Picco by Philip Koch. Also Boxing Gym by Frederick Wiseman, plus the first (of two) screening of short films.

Wish to remind you that this section is non-competitive, still some awards are handled every year, like Label Europa Cinemas, Art Cinema Award and Prix SACD for feature films and Prix SFR for short films.

Semaine de la Critique: Today is the last day of this parallel section and will screen films that are an invitation to Mexican Festival de Morelia, Revolución by many great Mexican directors, especially Carlos Reygadas!!! (for sure will watch it in MUBI as I’m simply dying to watch Reygadas work); also the short film Señora Pajaro by Veronique Decroux and Julio Barcenas.

At 8:00pm Cannes local time the Award Ceremony will start with the screening of the two ‘unexpected’ short films Bastard by Kirsten Dunst and The Clerk’s Tale by James Franco. About 20 mins later the award ceremony will start and will follow it live at the section facebook site, so expect news as they happen. Additional collateral awards will be announced tomorrow evening.

Serious Notes

I’m watching the Fair Game press conference and if you are like me that wasn’t that much interested in an American film about a recent known story, I suggest you watch it as my impression changed dramatically. Yes, now I’m very interested in watching this film that –according to what they say- does not tell a ‘political’ story but a –sort of universal- story about first an incredible working woman and second about her colorful husband. My expectations have risen but I still remember that the director did a terrible film, Mr. & Mrs. Smith… which by the way was the last question!!! (lol!). His answer is acceptable and probably spoke truth.

Talking about the film and miniseries Carlos, some of you have to be interested in learning that in USA, IFC will release the 2 ½ film version and even before its theatrical release, Sundance channel will air the complete miniseries. Also Telluride and New York Film Festival have the film in this year’s program. By the way, American critics write very positive reviews (including the ones I read)… my question: should I worry? Nah, I’ll watch it anyway… even if really is similar to those action movies they mention, like The Bourne Identity (but they say “with more substance”). (lol!)

IFC also got the rights for North America of Xavier Dolan’s Les Amours Imaginaries; the film will be released on theaters and VOD.

As always Un Certain Regard Official Selection will be screened at Paris from May 26th to June 1st and if you’re interested check the schedule here.

The last (has to be) film to join the selection yesterday, Making Fuck Off is a documentary by Fred Poulet who followed the filming of Mammuth by Benoit Delepine and Gustave Kervern and starring Gerard Depardieu, Isabelle Adjani, Yolande Moreau and Anna Mouglalis. The documentary seems very interesting, as well as the film that was at the last Berlinale!

In the eve of the fest coming to an end this weekend I have to say that my spontaneous reaction to this year’s films is that they are not like last year at all. We know that’s hard to really ‘know’ if you’re going to like or not a film before watching, but at least you can feel curious about the latest job of a particular director, about a performance, a story and/or visual imagery. I really hope I’m absolutely wrong and many films from all the programs do ‘surprise’ me when I’m able to watch them, as we all know that the Cannes Selection ‘seal’ is not given freely to any film and let’s hope that this year is not the exception.

I strongly suggest to my photographer friend to check information about JR’s very interesting and complete project. The film Women are Heroes documents his work, but the scope of the project is wider than one film. Check all about the exhibition of this photographer that specializes in “illegal pasting”. Very interesting as a photography exhibition. The film has to be hard-to-watch with women telling their stories, but I’ll will watch.

The Not so Serious Notes

Vanessa Paradis will be at the red carpet during the weekend (probably the closing ceremony) I really hope Johnny Depp is with her (lol!).

The Irreverent News

If you’re into watching -for fun- the Worst Dresses at the fest, take a look at Canal+ slideshow here some are truly horrible! (like the one with an ‘eye’, lol!).




Recently a film that I didn't paid much attention was screened, Derek Cianfrance's Blue Valentine. Today I found many positive reviews by French critics and press writers. My surprise is that Michelle Williams not only plays the lead but also is a producer. Yes, now I'm interested in this film and to feel better here is today's photo with very nice-looking Michelle walking the Cannes streets.



I imagine that many of you know that if you click the picture you will see it larger (size is small so page loads faster), but in case some of you don't, I'm telling you.

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Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Revisiting Tarkovsky


Since I started this blog, my greatest pleasure still is the opportunity to watch almost everything by Andrei Tarkovsky and today I learned that some of you that live near New York City will have the opportunity to watch in the big screen a complete retrospective of the master Russian filmmaker. Lucky you all!!

The Film Society of Lincoln Center will screen from July 7 to the 14 the seven (7) feature films by Tarkovsky and besides being sorry for not being able to go to NYC, I’m sorry that they didn’t included his amazing short films.

Anyway you will be able to watch Andrei Rublev, Ivan’s Childhood, The Mirror, Nostalgia, The Sacrifice, Solaris and Stalker. Also the retrospective includes the documentary Meeting Andrei Tarkovsky by Dmitry Trakovsky that’s one of the several Tarkovsky interesting homage documents available and if you feel like watching the trailer go Movie On Companion.

If you feel like checking more information about this great retrospective and learn about showtimes and purchasing tickets go here. Because is a remarkable quote, I’m reproducing here the opening of the retrospective presentation at the Film Society official site.

"Tarkovsky for me is the greatest, the one who invented a new language, true to the nature of film, as it captures life as a reflection, life as a dream." -Ingmar Bergman

If you’re able to attend this retrospective, I know you will be transported to a highly imaginative visual and narrative world not often seen in any-country cinema. Tarkovsky’s mastery is really impressive!

Please do not miss this great opportunity.

Cheers!!!

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Thursday, January 08, 2009

32nd Göteborg International Film Festival Lineup


From January 23 to February 2 the fest will take place in Sweden and here are the eight films competing for The Nordic Film Award.

Drottningen och jag (The Queen and I), Nahid Persson Sarvestani, Sweden
The Swedish Iranian documentary filmmaker meets her former opponent - Farah Diba, the wife of the shah of Iran.

Sveitabrúokaup (Country Wedding), Valdis Oskarsdottir, Iceland
A drama about a wedding on the Icelandic countryside. Directed by the acclaimed editor of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Velsignelsen (The Blessing), Heidi Maria Faisst, Denmark
A story with personal visual language about a woman who tries to adjust to her new role as a mother.

Guidance, Johan Jonason, Sweden
A hopeful and humoristic and weird story about a man who tries an alternative therapy method to get rid of his back problems.

De gales hus (House of Fools), Eva Isaksen, Norway
An urgent and funny film about a newborn lust for life at a psychiatric ward. Based on the novel by the Norwegian author Karin Fossum.

Kielletty hedelmä (Forbidden Fruit), Dome Karukoski, Finland
A drama about friendship and revolt where 18 year old Mary runs off to the big city and Rachel goes after to make her come back.

I skuggan av värmen (In Your Veins), Beata Gårdeler, Sweden and Norway
A serious and sexually intense film about the relationship between a drug addicted security guard and a naive policeman, based on the novel by Lotta Thell.

Muukalainen (The Visitor), Jukka-Pekka Valkeapää, Finland
Strong and quiet, Tarkovsky inspired story about a mother and a son on an isolated farm. (Absolutely a must be seen for me)

To read the press release that includes another eleven Swedish world premieres go here.

The Ingmar Bergman International Debut Award is the film award to discover new talent with eight international debutants competing for the award described as for “a director making his or her debut with a film dealing with existential issues in a broad sense and displaying a dynamic or experimental awareness of the cinematic means of expression.” Have to say that just because of the award name this must be one award that many filmmakers have to wish to win. The nominees are:

Los Bastardos (The Bastards), Amat Escalante, México, France and USA, 2008
Das Fremde in mir (The Stranger in Me), Emily Atef, Germany, 2008
Desierto Adentro (The Desert Within), Rodrigo Plá, Mexico
Il y a longtemps que je t’aime (I’ve Loved You So Long), Philippe Clauderl, France, 2008
Al-Mor wa al Rumman (Pomegranates and Myrrh), Najwa Najjar, Palestine
Parque vía, Enrique Rivero, Mexico, 2008
Snijeg (Snow) Aida Begic, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Synedoche, New York, Charlie Kaufaman, USA

This is a very interesting movie selection that definitively jurors will have a hard time deciding the winner. Have seen only one but ALL are in my must be seen movie list.

The festival catalog is just great but unfortunately is available only in Swedish a language that I have very limited knowledge… still is quite complete and has great pictures of films. If you want to take a look go here.

The fest has a LGBT section that you can check the films here, again the lesbian interest films are not many as they will screen only To Faro and Affinity. If you want to read the press release with a very suggestive name: Gus Van Sant’s Milk heads massive gay section go here.

One of the most interesting sections is Turkey – Country in Focus that will screen 13 movies and one that I have to see is Milk (Süt) that is the next Semih Kaplanoglu film after Yumurta. You can check all the movies here.

There are many films in the fest and to browse the films you can go here and check each section of the fest to find the films. All films have an IMDb link if you need to use it to read more information.

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