Part of the 30 countries festival. Portugal
Famous director (Manoel de Oliveira) or not , this is definitely one of the worst films I have ever seen. The fact that it is a travelogue for the most part isn't the issue. A history professor travels to Bombay by ship in order to show her daughter the historical attractions on the way, explaining elements of myth and legend and history to the inquisitive daughter. That is fine, at least we get…
Part of the 30 countries festival. Uruguay
I didn't like this film as much as I had hoped, but I think it might be that type of film that ages well, that you like more and more when you think about it. That's what I'm hoping.
Set in Montevideo Uruguay, Jacobo (Andrés Pazos) owns an old run-down sock factory while Marta (Mirella Pascual) runs the place. Always very respectful of her boss, the dour Marta goes above and beyond when…
Part of the 30 countries festival. Italy
I want this, my first viewing of a Fellini film, to reflect what I saw, so I want to write this immediately after viewing. I don't want to reflect, I don't want to read, I just want to express, because I am far too emotional right now and I want to capture that.
I cried. I can't say that it is the first time I've ever cried in a film, but it is…
Part of the 30 countries festival. Finland
If you know Kaurismäki then you know some of what to expect when watching one of his films. You will get interesting shots and camera angles. The shots will be still from the most part. You will see the colour blue, red and green or aqua in the sets and perhaps in the clothes. There will be a decoration in the set: a painting, an interesting clock, an odd looking vase.
Part of the 30 countries festival. Japan
Ouch, that was awkward. So awkward we had to turn it off after just a little under an hour. I've only ever seen one other film that was this off and I keep it as a treasure in my "how not to make films" archive. This is going there too.
I get that Kitano was channelling Dirty Harry, but there was nothing, not the shots, not the locations, not the characters, there was…
Part of the 30 countries festival. Iran
A beautiful and simple film from Iran, about the consequences in the lives of a young brother and sister when her only pair of shoes goes missing. The film could have spent much time having the children looking for the shoes, but instead it follows how they work their schedule around sharing the remaining pair of shoes they have. This arrangement leads to simple yet interesting stories that writer/director Majid Majidi explores with…
Part of the 30 countries festival. Russia
This film is a perfect example of what I love most about cinema. How can a small story of two characters in an arctic meteorological centre be so gripping for a full 124 minutes? Whenever I ask this question about small films I can never come up with any answer other than it is the magic of stories and the magic of cinema. I'm that person who asks "How did she do that"…
Part of the 30 countries festival. Mexico
Young 6 year old Natan spends some time with his father in the Banco Chinchorro, a coral reef off the coast of Mexico before going to Italy with his mother. Natan and his father take a boat to their final destination and all you can sea is water for the longest time. You can't help but wonder how far into the ocean they are going. In a touching scene Natan's father contorts his…
Part of the 30 countries festival. Austria
I have no clue why this film works.
Michael is one sick puppy, that much we know right from the beginning.
He is the worst of the worst.
Considering that the film is basically a two-hander with Michael being the centre of it all, it is unimaginable that this film could hold your attention for more than 10 minutes. Why didn't I leave in disgust? Why was I so engaged? How did writer/director…
Part of the 30 countries festival. Peru
Máncora feels like a Film Movement film, all very slow, more about characters than plot, with geographical locations playing a substantial role. The kind of film I love.
Because there is very little plot other than road trip and a bit illicit sex here and there, the focus is very much on the three main characters. They don't have all that much in common but they are all connected through marriage. Santiago, the…
Part of the 30 countries festival. Hungary
"For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." – Matthew 12:40
Werckmeister Harmonies... Three days in the life of János, three days in the making of a revolution in a small Hungarian town, three days of threat, darkness, ignorance, duplicity. A three day eclipse of the sun/Son.
"And just imagine,…