Posted in French film

LA VILLA (2017)

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A film by Robert Guédiguian

Cast: Ariane Ascaride, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Gérard Meylan

English title: The house by the sea (don’t ask)

When Maurice (Fred Ulysse) suffers a stroke, his middle-aged children come back to the family’s seaside villa near Marseille. The three grown children and friends remembers the past when they were kids. Each carrying his or her own burdens, that they have forgotten which will bring back some good memories and some they would rather forget which is going to help them moving on.

Here is a film with a bunch of friends that will see each other again which they have not seen each other for a long time which they have to be accepting past regrets. Nothing really happens in Guédiguian film there are a lot of moment where people are thinking and you absorb the scene and wonder what they are thinking, some are just looking at each other I call it the silent attraction. The director has his cast down to a T, he uses almost the same actors most of the time. Also he added element of some news today which I like. Here is a terrific film of which they all smoking and someone makes a comment too funny and so French.

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Posted in News

E-CINEMA

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In recent weeks, the jargon of the film industry has been enriched by a new term: e-cinema. To summarize, this digital format wants to gather under its banner exclusive first films which, instead of theatrical release, will first be available on a television screen, computer, tablet or telephone, for a clientele enjoying a flawless visual acuity. For a price of 4.99 € per film or 5.99€ unlimited which included only 4 new film per months. So I am in France I would see foreign film only not domestic film of course because the domestic film will go straight to the movie theaters. That works for me so far I am thinking of trying it. The studio thinks that those film are too risky to show them in the movie theaters. So they decided to show it in the platform e-cinema. The e-cinema formula allows the film to stay five weeks on VOD platforms and avoids much of the technical costs. This provides an  interesting conditions for the film’s career and, for us, it’s a good way to explore to avoid taking monumental risks. For the studio system in America could be a win-win for them instead of spending a lot of money for advertising and others things this would be a bit cheaper for the big risk films which they would be making some money out of it. The films will stay on e-cinema for 5 weeks only I hear. Not too bad I will check it out and see what happens and I will get back to you. I think the first month is free.

Posted in Belgium Film, French film

TUEURS (2017)

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A film by Jean-François Hensgens, François Troukens

Cast: Olivier Gourmet, Lubna Azabal, Kevin Janssens

English title: Above the law. 

A criminal who escape prison who is going to plan one last heist and get out for ever. He performs his heist without a hitch but has as soon as it is started it is doom to fail.

Here the real translation is Killers. It is the first feature for the two director Jean-François Hensgens, François Troukens. The protagonist, Frank Valken (Olivier Gourmet), a robber, has just pulled off yet another masterful robbery without a hitch. At least that is what he thinks , but soon after the cops knows his every move. He gets pinched which is the ideal suspect for a bunch of murders that happens 30 years ago. Of course  Frank knows he is set up. The film includes the Belgium’s most famous criminal incidents at the heart of its narrative. The Brabant Killers, which was much talked about in the 1980s. Responsible for  some fifteen break-ins, the Brabant Killers, who had a preference for supermarkets, did not care about leaving bodies in their wake (almost thirty victims),  killing children and seniors. To this day, there are still doubts about the identity of the murderers, and some see it as more than a simple crime, but as a state affair some others thinks that the CIA as something to do with that. 

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The directors here plunge right in the old gangsters school film doing a heist where the robbers does not kill anybody just takes them hostage. Frank believe that he is not a killer a man of principle old school like I said. The film maintain its integrity and knows that along the way there is going to be one way out is killing is going to take place.

The film follows Olivier Gourmet who fit the role perfectly well I do not care what film he is in but I will see all his film eventually I am trying to catch up and what a terrific actor he turned out to be, which he is trying to save his skin and his honour. The rest of the cast is on it as well which brings me that this casting is so perfect it is not even funny. First features for the directors and they did not disappoint. I can’t wait until the next film.

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Posted in U.S. Film

SWEETWATER (2013)

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A film by Logan Miller, Noah Miller

Cast: Ed Harris, January Jones, Jason Isaacs

Jones is a former prostitute named Sarah in the late 1800s. She has moved on from that life, and married a Mexican man named Miguel (Noriega), which a local preacher does not like them much.. One day Sarah is looking for Miguel who has not come home. Suddenly as the days goes by the preacher wants her land and all hell breaks loose soon after.

Here is this little western who slipped under the radar a revenge tale. You have this crazy  sheriff who is not crazy about the preacher and a preacher well who is evil. Sarah who is this woman who owns land with her husband is already getting shafted at the bank that is stealing their money to top it all off the preacher wants their land. Here is a slow pressure cooker western that is solid but this time it is a woman who is getting revenge. The preacher here has his way of doing thing saying that is god way and most of the time it is violent. The sheriff however knows that the preacher is up to no good and is pissing him off. The sheriff plays by Ed Harris who plays this eccentric sheriff is the best character her in the film. The cast is terrific here plus I like the fact that Sarah has a purple dress on a horse looking for a prey and what she does with the peeping tom that’s got to hurt. Like I said I think this one has slipped under the radar give a try.

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Posted in French film

LE DEUXIÈME SOUFFLE (1966)

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A film by Jean Pierre Melville 

Cast: Lino Ventura, Paul Meurisse, Raymond Pellegrin

Three men escaped from Castres prison, including Gustave (Lino Ventura) , known as Gu, who had just spent eight years there. Commissioner Blot (Paul Meurisse) is on their tale while a hold-up is organized …

Yes I was watching tv and bang on Arte my favourite channel this film of 2 hours and 30 minutes comes on and for the second time I am seeing this film, and a great film it is . The title translate as the second breath. The Ricci family dominates the underworld, Headed by Paul (Raymond Pellegrin), in Marseille and Jo (Marcel Bozzufi) has his bar in Paris. Manouche (Christine Fabréga), a classy dame who is Gu’s sister. Now Gu has to hide from the cops that are on his tail. In the meantime a hole up is being set up and they need a fourth guy.

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Jean-Pierre Melville here adapted the novel of José Giovanni in this case Melville is not interested in realism however the book was it was from a real gangster but Melville here invented a character for his film named Gu. Here is Paul Meurisse who wanted to play in this film but wanted his character to be as smart and a wit because Paul was smart as a wit. I love the scene in the club after the shooting where Commissioner Blot (Paul Meurisse) tells them how it happened and who did what. It is so written for Meurisse no doubt. In every film noir there are betrayal and honor but Melville here avoid the clichés . You have everything in this film shooting, robbing an armored truck, Gangsters hiding out, betrayal more shooting, a beautiful dame, whiskey, cigarette smoking a must in film noir back then, two dancing girls number . Melville was crazy about cinema from all over the world especially American cinema. He has done only 16 films before he passed on to the next life. I hope you enjoy this one as I did.

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Posted in Norway film

THELMA (2017)

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A film by Joachim Trier

Cast: Eili Harboe, Kaya Wilkins, Henrik Rafaelsen

A young student in Norway discovers falling in love which it is going to cause her seizures or maybe…..

The opening scene here in this film is a bit unnerving as you see a man and his young daughter hunting in the forest. When the father takes aim at a deer standing in the distance, the daughter is so taken by it when her father turns to point the rifle at the back of her head. Its effect spills over into the rest of the film, creating a hall of suspense.

The film jumps into the future a young woman now she is going to the University ti study biology. Soon after an other young woman sits by her then suddenly Thelma hand is shaking and birds are hitting the window which cause her to have a seizure. The doctor is trying to find out what she has. As the story goes along Thelma is drawn to an other human being that is going to put sin question her belief in god since she has been raised a christian. You sense that Thelma was raised in isolation and is just making friends which is a little weird to her at first. As she is trying to find out more about herself things are starting to happen.

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Joachim Trier wrote this coming of age story like a fable/ horror . As she fall in love her psychological situation deteriorates. The seizures get stronger, more violent. Trier keeps the film firmly in Thelma’s point of view. Something will not be clear for some people throughout the flashback or even the present scenes. Not too worry at the end it all comes together. Remembering the look on her father’s face when he hold the gun to her back of her head was just religious paranoia or he was scared of what she might become. 

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Posted in French film

M (2017)

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A film by Sara Forestier

Cast: Sara Forestier, Redouanne Harjane, Jean-Pierre Léaud 

Mo is a beautiful dark brown, charismatic, who has a taste for adrenaline. During illegal underground car race, he meets Lila, who stutter and is shy , and it is love at first sight. He will immediately take her under his wing. But Lila is far from imagining that Mo carries a secret……

I know I know a love story but not the kind you think. Here Is a young lady Lila who is in a group session for people who stutter to top it all off she is shy. When she meet Mo it is love at first sight but she can’t speak to him she is does know him. Two broken people are going to fall in love and it is going to be a challenge. The insensibility of her father does not help and even the fact that Mo ’s family especially her mother who does not love him. Falling in love accepting the other person as they are, living together etc…. It is not an easy thing to do. Even in school where she is making fun of,  here Lila wants to pass the final exam so she can get her diploma but she has to pass the oral part and there is going to be a challenge because she is dead terrified of speaking in a front of stranger. Mo also carried a secret want to tell Lila but can’t he is too a shamed.

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Love as a solution to all social handicaps: the solution may seem childish at first, but Sara Forestier takes care that the tenderness and does not hide an omnipresent dramatic setting. The family conflicts they are  facing  but also the tension of the exam for her and the professional integration for him, are all challenges that will only return them to their respective defensive  behavior: the silence for her, the violence for him. Here the director make sure that love does not resolve people’s problem and handicap. The two great actors here give great energy to this timeless romance.

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