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 Greek Film, uncategorized

SUNTAN (2017)

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A film by Argyris Papadimitropoulos

Cast: Makis Papadimitriou, Elli Tringou, Dimi Hart

Kostis, (Makis Papadimitriou) in his forties, is engaged by the municipality as a doctor on the island of Antiparos in Greece. He spent a lonely and dreary winter. But when summer arrives, the island turns into a hedonistic resort with its naturist beaches and endless festivals.

My kind of party I have to go to Greece in the summer. Well Boris comes to the island in the winter where there is a lot of solitude and it is cold and raining, but soon the summer arrives colourful as hell plenty of beautiful women on the beach. One day a patient named Anna comes in his office to get stitches with her gang of friends .Kostis wants some of their vitality, as well as to become a member of the gang. Some sparks flies between him and Anna and soon after the two become serious friends. But Kostis wants more.

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The director has not shown the tile later in the film when summer came up tan bodies beautiful women running, Kostis , a man wearing sunscreen with high protection and hat, can hardly be protected. Temptations are many and he not experienced at all. Kostis has this new taste for life he is in the hurry to live. He is no longer the buttoned up doctor, he becomes more care free. He is in a company of young people and is trying to keep up with them, but also he is reminded by an old acquaintance back when he was a student who tells him it is not for them. Here also Anna has energy, vitality, and she stands out from the rest of the gang which attracts Kostis. You can see why and understand why kostis is attracted to her beside being a beautiful creature. This film is like a comedy / Drama  about the body  growing old sort of speak. When seeing this film make sure to wear suntan lotion 50+.

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Posted in French film

L’AMANT DOUBLE (2017)

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A film by François Ozon

Cast: Marine Vacth, Jérémie Renier, Jacqueline Bisset

English: The double lover

Chloe, a fragile and depressed young woman, undertakes psychotherapy and falls in love with her psychiatrist, Paul. A few months later, they settle down together, but she discovers that her lover has hidden some of her identity.

Here Ozon did not win at the Cannes films festival but adapted the screenplay from  the novel Lives of the Twins by  Rosamond Smith, this stylish over-the-top genre cocktail combines satire, melodrama, tongue-in-cheek horror tropes, and a hell of a visual especially at the beginning of the film has done a hell of a thriller here where you are going to have a good time watching this extravaganza and don’t forget the wine please.

A the beginning of the film the editing is an audacious move that you have not seen before well I have not. L’Amant Double may be a film that puts one in mind of nineties erotic thrillers but there’s also a lot of Hitchcock / De Palma there too, and as this opening  Ozon put his own sauce to it. The story goes like this ,  Chloe (Marine Vacth) depressed god to a psychiatrist named Paul (Jeremy Renier) who soon fall for each other. Soon moves in together and one day Chloe discovers that Paul is hiding something. The visual here is outstanding resemble at a film like Vertigo an homage at Alfred Hitchcock of course. the film is filled to the brim with pure cinematic imagery brutally edited in such a way that it ressemble at several film at times. Ozon once said I have no intention of making a classic film. I want to experiment , I want to push boundaries and he has done just that with is film. He spends is time on human relationship here and made it a, brilliant erotic-Freudian thriller, hitchcockian just as much as naughty and quite disturbing.

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Posted in French film

DE PLUS BELLE (2017)

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A film by Anne-Gaëlle Daval

Cast: Florence Foresti, Mathieu Kassovitz, Nicole Garcia

English: More beautiful 

Lucy is cured, her illness is almost a distant memory. Her family is pushing her to go ahead, to live, to see the world … So she meets Clovis, charming  and  arrogant. Intrigued by his frankness, Clovis will do everything to seduce Lucy, who has no desire to be seduced . In contact with Dalila, A dancing teacher, Lucie will learn to love, to finally become the woman she never knew how to be. For his mother, for his daughter, for Clovis …

This is the first film of costume designer Anne-Gaëlle Daval. Keep in mind there are many women director in my country than most. She who is accustomed, after all it is her job to dress actors and actresses, she will make us see these them naked, or rather get naked,  stripped of this second skin which is a protection, an interface between the body and the others.The film is the story of Lucie (Florence Foresti) told with decency and fragility and with a touch of humanity. When she meets Dalila (Nicole Nichole Garcia) the dance teacher will allow Lucie to get rid of her tinsel of that prevents to see her as she is and not as she thinks she is. With this little show a dance that we shade off her skin so a new one can be born. Clovis the seducer who is having trouble seducing Lucy is asking himself what is wrong with me or is it her?  The film is moving,  like a fairy tale. Yes we know how to make them very well but to sell this over seas it is going to be a tough one.

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Posted in Japanese Film

YOUR NAME (2016)

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A film by Makoto Shinkai

Cast: Ryûnosuke Kamiki, Mone Kamishiraishi, Ryô Narita

Shinkai Makoto’s dreamily emotional animation romance, the highest grossing film in Japan so far this year. Your Name is about a high school girl and boy, named Mitsuha (Mone Kamishiraishi) and Taki (Ryunosuke Kamiki) respectively, who wake up one day realising that their bodies have been swapped and they’ve never met each other before. Their bodies are not permanently switched,  it happens 3-4 times a week on random. They reluctantly try their best to adapt to each other’s life following respective rules. After a while, Taki decides look for Mitsuha to meet her for the first time but  as  the film progresses, it starts to add  a time-travelling supernatural element and the tense challenge of a natural disaster.

Tony surprise i found this story telling beautifully well done here and it has become a master piece. The body swap stories and been around for a long time but the director put some more element into it and in the second act there is an impressive twists. The body-swapping phenomenon are kept vague. I think it makes the mystery more of a compelling drama. It is quite spectacular toward the third act. And yes there is humour in there somewhere a nice touch and of course It’s so beautifully crafted and meticulously detailed.

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Posted in Korean film

THE HANDMAIDEN (2016)

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A film by Chan-wook Park

Cast: Min-hee Kim, Jung-woo Ha, Jin-woong Jo

South Korean director Park Chan-wook is probably best known for his 2003 Cannes Grand Prix winner Oldboy, and now he has come in with this other master piece The handmaiden

During 30s, during the Japanese colonization. A young woman is hired as a maid for a rich Japanese  living in a huge mansion under the thumb of a tyrannical uncle . But Sookee has a secret.

Park loves intricate narratives so Sarah Waters’ source material, the 2002 novel Fingersmith, fits  him well. You trow in there a pervert old man, something horrible in the basement, two beautiful woman, and a con artist,and a seemingly naive heiress all simmering together in a savory mixture of deception. Park moves the story from 19th century England to 1930s Korea under the Japanese occupation. The film has layer of mystery here in which you will be glue to the screen. Park has created a film of delightful erotic mystery that will please your brain. The Handmaiden is ultimately a tale of freedom and transformation very well choreograph as a four-course meal. The film has won the Grand prix at the Cannes film festival with the Prix du Jury.

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Posted in U.S. Film

CAPTAIN FANTASTIC (2016)

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A film by Matt Ross

Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Frank Langella, George Mackay

Deep in the forests of Oregon , Ben (Viggo Mortensen) lives with his six children, isolated from the modern world. A devoted father, Ben has dedicated his life to raising his kids with a rigorous physical and  highly intellectual education, and drilled in them a rare and primal connection to the natural world. Suddenly the children must face the dangers and turmoil of an unfamiliar world, while Ben is compelled to rethink  what it means to be a parent.

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We will experience two lifestyle that is going to collide where a father is teaching his six kids survival skills in their forest wilderness home. Viggo Mortensen who slips naturally into the shoes of a mountain man who home schools his children and train them physically and mentally. Ben believe to tell the truth to his children don’t matter their age, especially about sex, if they ask a question about it, Ben will answer it with honesty. He has no-nonsense way in which he tells the children about sex, life and death that will shock you. Books play a major role and there are philosophical discussions. Plus at the end of the day they will sing a song even play instruments. When it is time to go on a road trip the kids have to put to the test their training and do they ever. There are some touching moment with the girl in the trailer park , some funny moment at the grocery store even when they get to their destination. Here there is a lesson learn yes it is good to prepare the kid into a survival mode but is it if they are not in touch with the rest of the world. Ben in confronted at what point when the incident happens is he a good father? what I am doing with my kids. To me you need both world. I think we have lost touch with nature. We became urban human too much.

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