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Le nez dans le ruisseau (2012)
Director Christophe Chevalier has paid an excellent tribute to Geneva's greatest citizen Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) in the year of his 300th birthday.
"Le Nez Dans Le Ruisseau"/'The nose in the stream' is all about Switzerland's greatest citizen Jean-Jacques Rousseau's philosophy which resonates throughout the film. Whether it is adult students reading passages from Rousseau's "Les Confessions" or an animated yet passionate discussion about the importance of money,simple yet philosophical ideas by Rousseau convey their universal appeal in daily lives of people. This film by Christophe Chevalier is set around three people from absolutely different age groups, different backgrounds who have something to do with Rousseau. However, they have their own problems. How they find a solution to their problems remains a key element of this film. For admirers of Rousseau (1712-1778),2012 was a great year as it marked the tricentenary of the birth of this great champion of humanity and human freedom. There were plenty of celebrations throughout the world but as a feature film which paid tribute to Rousseau's thought, the importance of "Le Nez Dans Le Ruisseau" would grow in the years to come. The title of the film finds its origin in the famous song "La Faute à Voltaire" sung by Victor Hugo's character Gavroche (Les Misérables).Lastly,there are excellent performances by Sami Frey, Liam Kim, Anne Richard but it is Swiss actor Jean-Philippe Ecoffey who stands apart in his small yet touching role as a father who would like to see his son happy.
Turkish film "Jîn" confirms its creator Reha Erdem's immense talent.
Although his first film "Oh Moon" was a huge success, Turkish director Reha Erdem firmly established his career in cinema with enormous worldwide success of Kaç Para Kaç/"Run for money". In "Jîn", he has chosen to portray the intrinsic nature which human beings share with animals. This film scores well in all departments especially photography which is highly close to nature. Animals and birds have been captured vividly to such an extent that one cannot help wondering whether they are really more natural than some of the most famous popular actors. Despite its overt political message for peace, "Jîn" begins with the portrayal of a young girl on the run. How is she able to conquer all obstacles and emerge a winner appears to be the film's main theme. Although it presents viewers with some idea about what is happening to people living in remote parts of Turkey, one cannot fail to marvel at the realistic depiction of the life of Kurdish people. This is one of the principal strengths of this film.
Walesa. Czlowiek z nadziei (2013)
As a young man aged 87 years in year 2013,Mr.Andrzej Wajda is making great films which confirm viewers faith in the strength of "World Cinema".
At the outset, Walesa: Man of Hope is not an ordinary film. It is one of the best examples of Polish director Mr.Andrzej Wajda's unending talent and enormous cinematographic vision. The best thing about this film is how does one dramatize real life incidents to create a biopic which is both entertaining and rich in details. It is because of this quality that the film is so tightly structured that while watching it, one doesn't even realize how 128 minutes have passed. The film finds its origin in a detailed interview conducted by noted Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci. She takes the help of an interpreter (Italian-Polish) in order to ask important questions to Mr.Lech Walesa related to his turbulent life. What is of interest is that not only she asks pertinent questions but also receives candid answers. The manner in which these questions and answers are represented on the screen speak volumes about Mr.Andrzej Wajda's method of filmmaking. He goes to a relatively distant past to reveal unknown facets about a man who would become hugely famous after a decade. Polish actor Robert Wieckiwicz is extremely ideal in his role as Lech Walesa-one of the most famous Polish citizens whose name is known even to many young schoolchildren all over the world.Lastly,Walesa:Man of hope is not a film.It is pure history in making about a person who changed the destiny of a whole nation.
Jeffrey Jeturian makes good use of cinema to speak about Filipino television industry.
In "Ekstra"/The Bit Player viewers get a chance to understand the complicated world of television through cinema. The film is authentic to the core as coming from television background has helped its director Jeffrey Jeturian to make a film about extras of a popular TV show. One can sense a lot of authenticity as Jeffrey Jeturian has already experienced what he has portrayed in his film. For viewers who have a little idea about Filipino film industry, it needs to be stated that this film's star attraction Ms.Vilma Santos acts in one of the most deglamorized roles of her career. In many ways, this enables her to have a direct experience of the problems faced by junior actors who use all their energy to land a small role. Most laughs in "The bit player" are generated when viewers get a chance to watch what really happens during the shooting of a TV serial. Director Jeffrey Jeturian takes viewers on a hilarious behind the scenes ride where one watches with dismay how junior artists are lodged, kind of food they are provided, conditions in which they work and how weather can sometimes spoil all good plans. At the end of this ride, it is made clear that television is not a joke and a lot of hard work needs to be put both by actors as well as technicians in order to create shows which are loved by millions in a country. Lastly, it is said that ideas are important when there is shortage of finance. This assertion has been proved true with the inclusion of an ordinary cake to represent a large cake.
L'inconnu du lac (2013)
The success of "Stranger by the lake" proves that Alain Guiraudie is an important director to be watched with attention.
Stranger by the Lake/ "L'Inconnu Du Lac" is the sixth feature film by Alain Guiraudie. Judging by the feedback his films have received in France as well as abroad, he has become an important filmmaker to be followed with interest. Most of his films make effective use of unconventional narrative techniques in order to deal with the world of homosexual people.Although the initial suspense in this film builds step by step, it is the portrayal of frank male sexuality which might upset some prudes.In later parts,there is a lot of focus on ordinary conversations but the charming location and aerial shots involving a police helicopter contribute a lot to embellish the overall feel and mood of the film.By making "Stranger by the lake",Alain Guiraudie questions how homosexuals are perceived by heterosexuals ? In a brutally frank yet innocuously innovative way Alain Guiraudie films an all exclusive gay zone whose inhabitants are free to choose their behavior ranging from merely watching each other to hardcore acts of sex. Lastly, anybody watching "Stranger by the lake" with a Hitchcockian notion of suspense and its resolution would be greatly disappointed. This is why this film needs to be watched without any preconceived notions.
The Mirror-An exceptionally brilliant film about childhood,memories and war directed by Andrei Tarkovski.
Apart from its focus on childhood memories as well as war,Russian director Andrei Tarkovski's film "Mirror" is a good mix of past as well as present times.Both time segments are given equal importance.They have been filmed in such a meticulous manner that one can observe how clearly past is separated from the present.The Mirror/Zerkalo is the autobiographical tale of an ill filmmaker who is about to die. This imminent news gives him a fresh chance to assess his relationship with other people. One is able to hear only his melancholic voice. It can be surmised that the filmmaker is not shown as it would help to make viewers appreciate Tarkovski's cinema in a much more sincere manner. As there is a recurring image of a mother, Tarkovski shows a feminine world where women have outnumbered men who have all gone to tackle enemies at the front. The Mirror is not a feature film per se. It is more of a cinematographic essay through which an author is trying to come to terms with issues which have been weighing high on his mind. Should this information be borne in mind before viewers start to watch this film,it would do immense good to those viewers who are not serious. Lastly, although "The Mirror" was not banned by Soviet authorities, it was retained by them in Russia and managed to get an extremely limited release outside of Soviet Union. This did not deter the film to be classified as a masterpiece.
Kalina krasnaya (1974)
The Red Snowball Tree-A Vasily Shukshin film which shows that some people do not want to see other people happy.
The most unique thing about "Kalina Krasnaya" is that it is absolutely true to itself. Everything about it whether it is costume, decor or pastoral setting is truly authentic. The people shown in this film are simple but they do not hesitate in showing their maliciousness towards a person who had a shady past. This proves the point that human society is cruel with wicked people. While watching Egor's suffering one wonders whether there is any such thing as a reformed criminal as society does not give any second chance to criminals. In the 1980s and 1990s,Russian cinema was largely known due to films made during 'Glasnost' and 'Perestroika' times, Kalina Krasnaya was much ahead of its times as it spoke about holidays and brothels which were alien concepts for Russian cinema in 1970s. The Red Snowball Tree/Kalina Krasnaya is an important film in the history of Russian cinema. It was the last film made by Vasily Shukshin in 1974 both as an actor as well as director. For countless people in the world who are aware of the richness of Russian culture and civilization, the name of Vasily Shukshin is easily recognized as one of Russian cinema's greatest actors. Kalina Krasnaya impresses viewers with excellent acting performances. Apart from his own role as an actor, Vasily Shukshin has managed to extract excellent performances from leading actors such as Lidiya Fedoseyeva-Shukshina and Georgi Burkov.
We Are What We Are (2013)
There is a good mix of drama and horror in "We are what we are" directed by Jim Mickle.
'We are what we are' is too arrogant a title which has ever been bestowed on a horror film.However,this film is not at all about arrogance or any other negative behavioral trait.It is the tale of Parker family which is facing tough times after the sudden death of Mrs.Parker in a drowning incident.This sudden demise is merely a cover for even greater things to happen as director Jim Mickle has been true to life in order to honestly depict things which might go wrong in a small town in America.Nature can cause a lot of damage in the form of bad weather.However,it is nothing compared to the damage inflicted by a man on other human beings.Much of the sense of horror is depicted through various settings namely interiors of the house where the father lives with this three children-2 young girls and 1 small boy.There is a good mix of drama in this film based on an original screenplay by Mexican writer Jorge Michel Grau.Lastly,a viewer would be wrong if "Evil dead" is considered ultimate expression of horror film.This viewer would have to watch "We are what we are" to understand how a film invents a completely new genre due to its subject matter.
Mexican director Amat Escalante is a success as his film 'shocks' anybody who watches it.
Heli directed by Amat Escalante-a Mexican director,is gripping from the start.The first few minutes show a young albeit bulky boy being mercilessly hanged from a bridge.It is only in the later half that the same bridge makes it re-entry and events are explained.Heli avoids many clichés with which viewers have accustomed themselves.This film does not give any idle space to a serious viewer as whatever that is happening on the screen has direct bearing on film's protagonists' to progress in life.One should also note that two probable reasons explain why 'Heli' was an immense hit during 66th Cannes International Film Festival 2013.Its success owes a lot to its choice of location as well as its shock effects.One gets to see remote parts of Mexico where not much choice is offered to anybody who wishes to make sense of everything around.Although it does not talk explicitly,role of sex and violence in Mexican society is also discussed in this film.For example: pornographic violence featured in the film is not easy to watch but one cannot also have other methods of dealing with violence in contemporary Mexico.Lastly,it is the episodic nature of different events in the life of a young man which makes an attempt to make screenplay as coherent as possible.However,it is just a mystery why these episodes are unable to make a coherent whole of this film ? It is this weakness which would irk many viewers.
Dast-neveshtehaa nemisoosand (2013)
Iranian director Mohammad Rasoulof gives an honest account of the difficult lives of intellectuals.
For his sixth Iranian film,"Manuscripts Don't Burn" Mohammad Rasoulof chose to highlight the difficult lives of intellectuals in Iran.His film shows the extent to which certain intellectuals notably writers are forced by government authorities to remain silent in order to avoid becoming a major embarrassment to the government.This is one easy angle used by many to watch this film.The film also suggests that the persecution of people who are against government is not restricted to any particular country.It is a global phenomenon.Although this film starts as a hurried thriller,it chooses to change its narrative content in the subsequent parts as audiences are led to witness intense psychological games of oneupmanship.There is a good description of all kinds of mind games being played by intellectuals and their rivals.One learns that intellectuals are not easy to crack as they use all their might to tackle any use of force by their rivals.The unique thing about this film is Rasoulof's decision to view human beings as vulnerable to folly as two killers are shown to confront their own personal problems. Despite its run time of 125 minutes,'Manuscripts don't burn" is honest in its depiction of Iranian intellectuals who are constantly being watched by pro government authorities.Lastly,it is just a wonder that such a film was made under extremely difficult conditions.It is now for audiences all over the world to ensure that it gets a major success.