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Bloody Mondays & Strawberry Pies (2008)

7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 101 users  
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A substantial part of life is claimed by boredom. Beauty, love, work.. sometimes it just isn't worth getting out of bed. A girl in a strawberry pie factory, a stressed desert nomad, a Wall ... See full summary »

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A substantial part of life is claimed by boredom. Beauty, love, work.. sometimes it just isn't worth getting out of bed. A girl in a strawberry pie factory, a stressed desert nomad, a Wall street stockbroker, the last living WW2 female spy, a painter who paints Time for 42 years, the first school shooter in history who wounded eleven children and killed two adults because: 'I don't like Mondays', are the characters in this film. John Malkovich gives voice to the inner bored human being. He crawls under your skin prompting questions: Howmany people in the world are like me? Written by Bonanza Films

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8 January 2009 (Netherlands)  »

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A Freshly Skinned Dog  »

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Is Life Wasted on the Living?
3 October 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The early sequences of Bloody Mondays and Strawberry Pies, directed by Dutch filmmaker Coco Schrijber, present a striking series of shots: an endless desert landscape, a young girl wandering through a maze of gray obelisks, news footage of a school shooting. Above all this is John Malkovich's sparse, cryptic narration drawn from passages of Dostoyevksy's Notes from Underground and Brett Easton Ellison's 1991 novel, American Psycho.

American television audiences--thumbs ever hovering over the remote control--are never allowed to be confused long enough to get used to it, so some viewers will chafe early on at Schrijber's willingness to put off telling us what these images mean, but the camera work is lyrical and compelling, and soon enough those opening scenes--and the title itself--begin to make sense. In the end, the film's argument is fairly straightforward, stated in the opening scene: Greta Garbo's wry observation that "life would be great if we only knew what to do with it."

Bloody Mondays is both a subtle critique of the over-hurried lifestyle and a serene and fascinating meditation on the multiple ways humans experience time: Schrijber interviews harried Wall-Street brokers who make rapid-fire sales calls 60 hours a week then introduces an artist who spends his days painting an immense canvas he has filled with tiny numbers, from one to five million and counting. In another sequence a Moroccan camel driver reclines atop a sand dune, laughing about tourists who must always know what time it is, what day of the week. Later we see a jeweler's hands caressing gem-encrusted $400,000 wristwatches, a 92 year-old former British spy struggling to recall the grandest time in her life and a young factory girl working numbly at a conveyor belt assembling strawberry pies, each rolling by like the days of her passing youth.

Through these intertwined stories, Bloody Mondays and Strawberry Pies takes a cohesive shape, ultimately rewarding viewers with a wholly original film-going experience and asking the profound and unsettling questions that all great art strives to ask.


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