Drama

BRIMSTONE (2017)

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A film by Martin Koolhoven

Cast: Dakota Fanning, Guy Pearce, Carice van Houten

In the American West, at the end of the XIX century. Liz, a young woman of about twenty years, leads a peaceful life with her family. But her life will shift one day when a sinister preacher visits them. Liz will have to leave  because this man hunts her without respite since childhood …

It is going to be a narrative in 4 parts pompously titled “Apocalypse”, “Exodus”, “Genesis” and “Retribution”.  The center of the story here is around the character of Dakota Fanning named Liz. She finds the preacher who is like a satanic preacher who is driven by lust, revenge and hatred. Liz here will be followed by her aggressor who without listing go is tuning liz’s life a living hell with a few twist and turn. Each chapter are like flashback.The film stretches nearly two and a half hours, and focus of how vicious and cruel is the west back then ruling by cruel and vicious man where woman will have little right to exist let along have human right before they get beaten. Beautiful performances by the actors here.  Dakota’s character here is a strong will woman who will learn how to survive but will make a lot of sacrifices along the way. As for Guy Pearce here incarnate this preacher who has its own demons who is sadistic in may ways. He lives into his own little world of pain, pervertion and violence. This western is going to feel like diabolical in many ways and yes it stands out with the other great western.

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Brimstone

GRAVE (2017)

Grave

A film  Julia Ducournau

Cast: Garance Marillier, Ella Rumpf, Rabah Naït Oufella 

English title: Raw

In Justine’s family everyone is veterinarian and vegetarian. At 16, she is a gifted teenager about to join the vet school where her older sister is also a student. But, barely settled, the hazing begins for the first years. Justine is forced to eat raw meat. This is the first time in her life. The consequences are not long in coming. Justine discovers her true nature. And by true nature I will not be dating this woman not even her sister See the end of the film.

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Ok the name grave is the name of the vet school in Belgium it also mean serious but they translate by raw. Ok this  French  / Belgium film is awesome someone has written a totally great script here by the name of well the director herself Julia Ducournau. It is a crazy film with demented atmosphere ,a disconcerting architecture, in its deliquescent decor, an oppressive psychology, in its febrile approach of the youth … Julia Ducournau dissects the passage to the adulthood, with the frustration that goes with it with a mutation in an environment where perception and madness are going to collide with each other into a chilling atmosphere. Authentic mix of cinematography genres, and some underground  classic cinema here. The ritual goes like this you will see people dancing half-naked, consuming a large amount of alcohol and drugs, blood flying all over to welcome the newbies also you will have the usual suspect the nurse who is not concern about the newbies skin rash, and the teacher who tell them especially the smart one that he does not like the smart one to finish with a macabre orgies of some what half awake zombie, and a perfect ending. You will get out of the theatre loving it like the critics that say it is the best horror film of the year or you are going to hate it there is no in between. Cheers!

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COMPARTIMENT TUEURS (1965)

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A film by Costa-Gavras

Cast: Catherine Allégret, Jacques Perrin, Simone Signoret, Yves Montand, Jean-Louis Trintignant

English tile : The sleeping car murder

Six people share a sleeping-car on a Paris-bound train. When it reaches its destination, one of them is found murdered. As the police headed by Inspector Graziani (Yves Montand) frantically search for the killer soon after an other murder happens ,no!!! this can’t happen in Paris. It is the work of a serial killer? Or not. Well….

The thing is here is an other one of Gravas film that kick ass, it is his first film feature . It is in black and white  and shot in Paris so cool. It is fun to watch those old film I get to see how Paris was back in the day plus I love the old cars. Gravas here has done a cool thriller frantic that moves quickly. But it is not your typical stylist thriller here it has been done differently , plus you will see a car chase with motorcycle throughout  Paris. Michel Piccoli plays this unusual dude who is a little pervert sweaty and talking to himself. Yves Montand who plays the inspector does it with finest bit like a French Columbo. Simone Signoret does an outstanding job here. The director uses effective camera angles that create a sense of claustrophobia during suspense scenes. The appearance go the killer has his own style trench coat, hat, and lather gloves. Once the killer  shoot ,he repeatedly does it until the victim is dead which the killer taking sufficiently long pauses in-between shots to allow for the frightened victims to struggle around and stare in terror at their assassin. Here Catherine Allégret and Jacques Perrin plays young lovers and yes their chemistry are fresh as a croissant from the oven. There a cool non stylist film noir.

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THE LOST CITY OF Z (2017)

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A film by James Gray

Cast: Charlie Hunnam, Tom Holland, Sienna Miller

The true story of Percival Harrison Fawcett, one of the greatest explorers of the twentieth century. Percy Fawcett is a recognized British colonel and a loving husband. In 1906, when he was about to become a father, the Royal Geographical Society of England proposed to him to leave to Amazonia in order to map the borders between Brazil and Bolivia. Right a way , the man has a passion for exploration and discovers traces of what he thinks is a very old lost city. Back in England, Fawcett constantly thinks of this mysterious civilization, torn between his love for his family and his thirst for exploration and glory …

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Here is a stroke a genius where James Gray reappropriates a genre fallen into disuse to offer us the masterful portrait of an explorer carried by his thirst for adventure.Here Gray choose to do an interpretation of the novel La cité perdue de Z écrit par David Grann. It is no secret that  Gray makes the viewer follow the adventure of the military man names Fawcett that disappeared somehow into the jungle never to return to England. James Gray’s latest feature film is a beautiful  scenario built around Percy Fawcett’s (Charlie Hunnam’s) back and forth between his home and the heart of the Amazon jungle. Here Gray shot this film à la classic mode the only thing to do to me otherwise the film will fall into the water. Fawcett is not crazy to go to the amazon forest but to reclaim his tile of his name he decided to go which trigger his thirst for adventure and exploration as well as glory. Charlie Hunnam here does a superb job to incarnate his character.It is interesting to see that Fawcett also has other obligations, well he is a  husband and father which his wife makes the sacrifices here  and is beautifully interpreted by actress Sienna Miller. You see  he returns to his home, after several years of travel so it takes a toll on his wife. He has a hard time with the children. The cinematography here is near perfect. I can’t wait until his next picture.

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EL CIUDADANO ILUSTRE (2017)

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A film by Gastón Duprat, Mariano Cohn

Cast: Oscar Martínez, Dady Brieva, Andrea Frigerio

English title:The Distinguished Citizen

Daniel Mantovani (Oscar Martinez) is a celebrated Nobel Prize-winning author living in Barcelona. His stories set in Salas Argentina but he has not return in 40 years is a matter a fact he never planed to go back. To the surprise of everyone he agrees to personally collect a trophy/reward as a ‘distinguished citizen’ and maybe rediscover his roots. It is a decision he is going to regret as the driver that pick up gets a flat tire in a middle of nowhere.

The local welcome him and the mayor boost his image because he is with a successful writer although who has not written a novel in 5 years. The Mayor has all the activities in place even the interview and the workshop with Mantovani which also include a painting competition. Meanwhile, his old friend Antonio brilliantly played by Dady Brieva who delights in seeing his friend so he can show off the fact that he married Mantovani’s old girl friends. Well thing s are not going to go to well if you know what I mean. As the film goes on you are going to feel that Mantovani is in danger and that he might or might not make it out of this town in one piece. The film is a bit predictable here but it is a well done and written dark farce.

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MONSIEUR ET MADAME ADELMAN (2017)

mr et Mme adelman

A film by Nicolas Bedos

Cast: Doria Tillier, Nicolas Bedos, Denis Podalydès

How did Sarah and Victor get along for more than 45 years? Who was really this enigmatic woman living in the shadow of her husband? Love and ambition, betrayals and secrets nourish this odyssey of an unusual couple, where they are taking us on the great history of the last century.

Victor Adelman, writer. In 1971, he meets Sarah, a free spirited  and independent girl, to whom he does not attach any particular importance. On the other hand, Sarah is taken  by him. But later on would become the woman of his life. For 45 years, like all couples, they will experience ups and downs, joys and sorrows. He will make her suffer everything: his infidelities, his lack of inspiration, his perversity and even sometimes his contempt. She will become his  muse, his inspiration. Like all women in the shadows she will keep with the appearances. But we are not there yet. For now, it all begins with the end. We have just buried the famous Victor Adelman, who died in suspicious  circumstances. A young writer  proposes to write about his life life. To do this, he meets his wife who gives him what was almost half a century of living together with this unusual character.

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Can you live with someone for 45 years here, the good , the bad and the ugly is going to come out but the director here has put an element a little perverse with this  eccentric character, he put everything under a microscope the meeting the parent, the kids, meeting the future In-laws, the success the high and the lows etc…. Here the director does a great job at telling the stories in chapter and get straight to the point. It is a beautiful love story injected with comedy.

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TOIVON TUOLLA PUOLEN (2017)

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A film by Aki Kaurismäki

Cast: Ville Virtanen, Kati Outinen, Tommi Korpela

English title:

 

Helsinki. Two destinies that will cross each other. Wikhström, in the fifties, decides to change his life by leaving his alcoholic wife and his work as a sales representative to open a restaurant. Khaled is a young Syrian refugee, stranded in the capital by accident. He sees his asylum application rejected but decides to stay despite everything. One night, Wikhström finds him in the courtyard of his restaurant. Touched by the young man, he decides to take him under his wing.

Here is a narrative of crossing paths, an apology for a rare optimism. Finnish director and writer Aki Kaurismäki, not happy with the way refugees are seen and portrayed in today’s society, created a story almost like an apology and an attempt to manipulate your emotions. How is it possible to change one’s behavior or the way people think, however, is subject to never-ending discussions.

Khaled (Syrian actor Sherwan Haji) goes to Finland on a cargo ship. The circumstances surrounding his arrival are not yet fully unknown that is what I like here. After taking a shower he goes to the police station and seek Asylum. What I like is that they take his fingerprint on a digital machine that will stream to the laptop as the police officer does the report he types it on a type writer too funny.  Some how after escaping the war he part ways with his sister with all of the chaos that is going on he gets arrested and thrown in jail. While he waits for the bureaucracy to kick in he is trying to find a way to find his sister only to end up later by the garbage can of a restaurant where the owner can’t help himself to help him.

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Although set in this day and age, the story looks, like and feels like in is stuck in the 60’s 70’s maybe a stroke of genius from the director. With it bold design and colour the viewer is going to feel like they are in an other dimension welcome to the twilight zone. This dramatic comedy has a life of its own with nonsensical lines are delivered with the straightest of faces in to navigated in such a way that it keep the dignity of the characters. Like I said pure genius here and yes an other successful film here. A series of local artists perform songs that merge blues and tango with local sounds an interesting concepts here that makes this film unique. I am telling you now do not miss this film directed with this unique director, I’ll say it again it is pure genius.

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