Cinéphile

FILMS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD.

BLACKkKLANSMAN (2018)

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A film by Spike Lee

Cast: John David Washington, Adam Driver, Laura Harrier 

Ron Stallworth, an African-American police officer from Colorado, manages to infiltrate the local Ku Klux Klan. Based on a true story.

Here Spike manages to tell this story like a blaxploitation film with comedy into it as well. It’s the early 1970s, and Ron (John David Washington) son of Denzel Washington, the first African-American officer hired by the Colorado Springs Police Department, has infiltrated the local Klan chapter and talk on the phone with David Duke (Topher Grace). and Adam Driver’s ably plays Flip Zimmerman, a Jewish cop. Now you are going to say how did he do that a black man infiltrating the KKK. Well you will have to see the film. It is downright hilarious especially when Ron calls the KKK to join because he saw an ad in the paper.  Spike makes references to the trump regime. It is so funny at times. Here is a dude who has some strikes against him He is black police officer the first in Colorado Spring , and he is trying to infiltrate the klan, if his boss let him do it to begin with. Persistence, and perseverance will pay off and at what cost. Comic with absurdity, real tension caricatured characters, everything contributes to making the film a happy pamphlet, soaked in the music Motown. A perfect casting, great acting and story telling what more do you want this summer.

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EASY MONEY II: HARD TO KILL (2012)

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A film by Babak Najafi

Cast: Joel Kinnaman, Matias Varela, Dragomir Mrsic 

The continuation of the film Easy money where JW (Joel Kinnaman) A promising business student who went to bed with the mob and now is serving A hard and long  sentence for drug dealing.

We pick up where we left off and three years later  Mrado and JW are in prison together: JW eager to get out and do a business deal with an old friend; Mrado paralysed from the waist down after his collision with a car in previous story. But  Jorge is still in the drug business, about to do a heroin deal that should be his one final one . But is it going to go well? That is the big question. Easy money and Easy money II / hard to kill was not well received in France by the critics as well as by the fans. It is a slow burner thriller nordic Neo-Noir and it does it job effectively. However was not well received in the US do to the fact that were subtitle to the film and not too many friends that I have over watch foreign films. However it did well in Sweden.

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JW Here gets sometimes outside the prison because he has done a nice job doing tax return in prison. so he goes in business with his friend outside the prison. No need to tell you what is going to happen there. Jw reconnects with his old friends and the new story will emerges with new characters. Meanwhile a hooker will surfaced that will be saved by Jorge in another word they need each other and will form an unlikely relationship. The film here moves as well as it should be. The thing here is that the characters here are digging their own holes  gets out of it and goes back further in. No disappointment here there will be twist and turn. It has dialogue in Swedish, Spanish, Serbian, Arabic, and a little bit of English where you don’t see too much in films those days. Here Najafi recycled a crime story and made it an original story has done as well as the first one here.

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PREMIÈRE ANNÉE (2018)

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A film by Thomas Lilti

Cast: Vincent Lacoste, William Lebghil, Michel Lerousseau 

English: The freshmen 

Antoine begins his first year of medicine for the third time. Benjamin arrives directly from high school, but he quickly realizes that this year will not be a cake walk . In a fiercely competitive environment, with tough classes and nights dedicated to studying  rather than partying , both students will have to work hard to find the right balance between today’s hardships and tomorrow’s expectations.

After Hippocrate (2014) and Medecin de Campagne (2016) here Lilti invites us to discover the medical school and the competition of the entrance examination that goes with it  denouncing the passage of an unequal educational system. In order to do this, Lilti follows the course of two of students who, if they have to pass  the entry exam in order to become a doctor, have neither the same path, nor the same motivations.

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Benjamin (William Lebghil) knows his way around his dad is a surgeon and medicine is running through his veins , however Antoine (Vincent Lacoste) who is his third time trying to pass his first year, he is intelligent and study hard but does not pass and he is having a hard time. The two are going to meet and they will share the studying, the all nighter and so forth. Lilti demonstrates the ability to portray with  humanity, with humour and the sadness that goes with it. To him it brings back memories when he was a student like I said in the previous film Lilti was a doctor , he just left the practice to pursue his other passion film making. The camera invites us to share as close as possible to the crowded amphitheaters where there are at least 400 students taking the exams and in the university’s library where they are packed of students studying in the early morning plus the families’ lives of the two students we are following. A third film well done here with a great script with a great casting where the two actors are the phenomenal chemistry. The thing is here there is a bit of realism with some great humour. Do not miss this one.

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UNDER THE SILVER LAKE (2018)

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selection officiel competition

A film by David Robert Mitchell

Cast: Sydney Sweeney, Topher Grace, Riley Keough

Los Angeles, Sam, 33, unemployed, is a dreamer. When Sarah, a young and enigmatic neighbor, suddenly vanishes, Sam goes looking for her and then begins an obsessive, surrealistic survey of the city. It will plunge him into the darkest depths of the City of Angels, where he must elucidate disappearances and mysterious murders against a backdrop of scandals and conspiracies.

It seems to me what are the directors that influenced Mitchell are Paul Thomas Anderson, David Lynch big time because the film has a film of the weird kind. The film goes into the weird atmosphere in L.A kind like film Neo-Noir which it is going to feel like the 60’s but it is not. It goes into a crime film, drama and comedy of sorts. Sam goes into the adventure of looking for this missing girl next door and goes into like the twilight zone. He meets some kind of weird characters and fall into some kind of conspiracy theory. However the sound track is dead on could have been better. the shots are very creative here and flows beautifully well. Like I said it feels like the 60’s , it is like a retro 60’s film. It is a very cool feel where you are going to lose yourself in and get out the movie theater saying damn going back to reality. Technically it is a pop culture extravaganza.

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LE MONDE EST À TOI (2018)

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A film by Romain Gavras

Cast: Karim Leklou, Isabelle Adjani, Vincent Cassel, François Damiens

English title: The world is yours

A small time drug dealer has a dream and he is unable to make it happen, so he does one last job in Spain which will get him the money to get the life he so dreams for. Two things however has to happen here, get rid of his overbearing mother and to get a girlfriend that is missing in his life.

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Here is a crime comedy that we were waiting for which Gravas has pulled off very well with a couple of screenwriters. A goofy sort off crime comedy with a perfect casting. Adjani becomes  mother who loves to spend money as well as to steal it , is the head of a gang of North African pickpockets, Philippe Katerine a business lawyer with rather amateur aspects, and Vincent Cassel a former father-in-law of the most disturbed. It has a cocktail of action and goofy characters that is going to be a delicious platter of pastries with laughter. It has the cliché  of the french suburb on fire where the drugs and the dealers takes over at night.   Le monde est â toi maintain a rhythm from hell and has a lot of surprises at every turn.  Terrific performances from the actors here and fun to watch especially Vincent Cassel who is busy those days. Here Gravas reinvent comedy in France with a bunch of gangsters who are obsessed with their power and money but also in taking the throne. And gravas has giving a boost in reinventing a perfect french comedy. Watch this one while drinking whiskey with moderation.

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THE LOOMING STORM (2018)

THE LOOMING STORM

A film by Yue Dong

Cast: Yihong DuanYiyan JiangYuan Du 

1997. A few months after the handover of Hong Kong, China will experience great changes …….. Yu Guowei, the chief of security of an old factory, in the South of the country, investigates a series of murders committed on young women. While the police stomp, this investigation will quickly become a real obsession for Yu … and his reason for living.

And yes here is an other film Neo-Noir and dark. Yu Guowei (Duan Yihong) is the head of security of a factory of  which one of the victims was found, and with the local police severely understaffed for such an investigation. Yu is has an appetite for detective work is put to use by the police chief (Du Yuan). Though an amateur detective, Yu manages to have a close encounter with the killer, But the killer manages to get away. He is more determined, despite the death of his sidekick as the result of nasty fall while they were chasing the killer in an abandoned factory, Yu meets a prostitute (Jiang Yiyan), whom he decides ti buy here a beauty shop where her dreams is to cut hair. The setting for the story has  political and social changes brought forth by modernisation affecting the lives and actions of the characters. It feels like a classic serial killer film from way back in the day. The film is dark very dark. It is filmed in the industrialize zone of this town where it must smells like burning metal all day. also there is a never ending rain that is going to drive you nuts. However for me I loved it because it is part of a good film noir. Dong here who was a cinematographer now turned director has a great visual on the story. Yes there are twist and turns in this film but you will not believe the end. Yu’s life is going to take a turn in a dark place. The cinematography is beautiful in its own way. It is a dark film very noir the way I love them. Do not miss this one.

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FLEUVE NOIR (2018)

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A film by Erick Zonca

Cast: Vincent CasselRomain DurisSandrine Kiberlain 

English title: Black Tide

The family Arnault, Dany, the eldest son, disappears. François Visconti, police commander used by his job and drown in a bottle of whiskey , is in charge of the case. The man tries to find the teenager while reluctant to take care of his own son, Denis, sixteen, who seems involved in drug trafficking. Yan Bellaile, private teacher of Dany, learns the disappearance of his former student and offers his services to the commander. He is very interested in the investigation. Too interested it seems …

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You want a film noir you got one a very Neo noir, a dark story. Vincent Cassel replaces Gérard Depardieu who was scheduled at the very beginning of the shooting he had to go to the hospital and was not available. As Vincent said in and interview that he was shown the script because Depardieu can’t make it , Vincent liked the script and told the director he wanted to meet him, he takes the plane meets him want Zonca says to him we start shooting tomorrow. Ok then. Here is a great cast and Vincent Cassel delivers the role however his character has many demons. He is used by the job and drinks a little too much. He also does not know how to love his son who is getting in trouble with drugs. In the mean time he meets the  creepy neighbour who is also the private tutor of Dany where François thinks there is more there. The story here goes into deep mode noir and will reveal secrets. The story focuses on the cat-and-mouse game between Visconti and Bellaile which it is going tot be complicated and weirder at times. Duris here delivers an outstanding performance. However it is missing something in the story to me it does not feel right but I still like this film.

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ADRIFT (2018)

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A film by Baltasar Kormákur

Cast: Shailene WoodleySam ClaflinGrace Palmer

In September, 1983, Tami Oldham Ashcraft and her fiance, Richard Sharp, were hired to take a 44-foot yacht on a 4,000-mile journey from Tahiti to San Diego. About half way there the encounter a hurricane which was building for a couple of weeks. Caught into it full force the yacht in 145-knot winds, the boat over turn a few time to find themselves adrift.

Here is a couple who found love a first sight while traveling on boats. They meet in Tahiti where Tami running away from her town San Diego not in the hurry to go back any time soon. Love blossomed and soon after that they fell in love, they had a big thing in common they love to travel by sea to discover the world. Everything was fine until an english couple asked them to take their yacht to San Diego and give them $10,000 plus a first class ticket back to Tahiti. Until they get caught into the hurricane. When she find herself adrift she is going to have to pull through right away in order to survive. It is based on the true story , from the book that Tami Oldham Ashcraft wrote in 2002 Red Sky in Mourning: A True Story of Love, Loss and Survival at Sea. A terrific story of survival and will power to stay alive. Adrift has flashback between their hot romance on Tahiti and the increasingly difficult situation after the storm, as Tami struggles to keep herself and Richard alive. I love the shot of the yacht up in the hair where you see the waste ocean and this little tiny boat. It is scary no land to be seen. The shoot must have been difficult because when you see the beautiful scenery that the ocean and the sunset has to offer it is breathtaking. The question here that you have to ask yourself is would I have survive this if I was Tami. What would you have done. The thing here is that Tami has a positive attitude and said to herself I will stay alive I will survive this. What she is using duck tape to do what?

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AU POSTE! (2018)

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A film by Quentin Dupieux

Cast: Benoît PoelvoordeGrégoire LudigMarc Fraize

English: A police station

A police station. A tête-à-tête, in custody, between a commissioner and his suspect.

Keep in mind it is an absurd Comedy that Dupieux knows how to do so well. It is  weird and weirder, plus here the director plays with the words so I do not know if this film is going to go overseas. You think that those people are stupid and how do they function like that everyday? The director navigate this big ship of absurdities. It is a crazy night at the police station the actors gives it a fluidity to the story which, can never cause annoyance by its short duration of an hour and 13 minutes . It is like airplane the movie  but done the french way. I guess that is the shortest review.

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DOGMAN (2018)

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A film by Matteo Garrone

Cast: Marcello FonteEdoardo PesceNunzia Schiano

In a deserted  suburb, Marcello, dog groomer discreet and appreciated by all, sees returning from prison his friend Simoncino, a former boxer addicted to cocaine, which quickly racketeering and brutalized the neighborhood. At first confident, Marcello lets himself be dragged into a criminal spiral . He then learns treason and abandonment, so Marcello is planning is revenge very carefully  …

Dogman opens with a large vicious pit bull barking into the face of the camera. Saliva flies, teeth flash and the urge of attacking. Marcello keeps him calm and washes the animal with  affection and the dog calms down. Here is Marcello who is a dog groomer with this unusual face who does his job well and his clients knows him well he also a loving father to his daughter Alida (Alida Baldari Calabria), with whom he enjoys scuba-diving. . It is all going to hell because his friend Simoncino (so he thought) wants some cocaine which marcello gives him but Simoncino needs money and takes Marcello on a crime spree. It is all going to hell from here. Simoncino here is this tough guy who is a pain in the ass to everybody in the neighborhood want to get rid of him. So Marcello’s  life is going to go into a spiral and he is going to plan his revenge. 

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Here Marcello wants to exist because nobody sees him for who he is and his ex-wife ignores him however the one who loves him for who he is , is his daughter who worships him. Later in the film Marcello is going to try to exist and to show everybody what he is capable of doing. Here Dogman is a powerful, deep, and brilliantly directed film. A Wonderful movie about the need to exist and to be loved, that is bitter, violent, sometimes funny with a shattering humanity. This film is a black diamond of Italian cinema as Matteo Garrone knows how to make hem. It is a sort of dark beautiful revenge tale.

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