Reviews written by registered user
Gecq

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11 reviews in total 
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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Powerful and intriguing, 21 February 2011
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Victoria Mahoney is herself and made the first feature film depicting the lives of children of a "mixed-race" couple (citation Mahoney). Sweetness (played by Zoe Kravitz, daughter of Lenny Kravitz) is the name of an adolescent girl who is being the subject of racism from both sides, black and white. Her father (white) is a manic-depressive, violent alcoholic, while her mother seems on the edge of killing herself. When her older sister finally leaves the house to give birth to a child, Sweetness decides to turn around and be the bully instead of being bullied. This movie has not gotten a lot of appreciation or positive reviews by the media. Unrightfully so! I find it to be a powerful and intriguing movie with a lot of almost physically tangible anger and heart. Also stars Gabourey Sidibe in a small role.

14 out of 20 people found the following review useful:
Stunning!, 16 February 2009
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a highlight. "Adam resurrected" is a powerful narration about a German-Jewish Holocaust survivor and his struggle to cope with his traumata in a psycho-therapeutic clinic in Israel. Adam Stein, our protagonist, embodied by Jeff Goldblum, has survived a German concentration camp but lost his family. An SS-officer made him live and behave like a dog and it is only when another dog-like being arrives in the clinic that Stein finds a way to escape his manic world of excess. An extraordinarily mighty and brilliant performance by Jeff Goldblum who carries the whole movie to a difficult, funny and intense experience.

Mammoth (2009)
18 out of 31 people found the following review useful:
Gloablisation clichéd, 16 February 2009
4/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Mammoth tells the story of a rich New Yorker couple and their daughter and their nanny and her family. While the one side - she is a doctor and he is some kind of creative director at a tremendously successful gaming website - has more money to spend than is good for them, the other side - their Philippine nanny - is working in New York to earn the money for her kids at home. The movie seems to enjoy the contrast between rich and poor in a grotesque manner yet doesn't manage to achieve anything profound. The result is cliché and commonplace up to total boredom or a hidden sarcasm I don't understand. After the previous works of Moodysson, "Fucking Åmål", "Tilsamman" and "Lilya 4Ever" this disappointment leaves me absolutely puzzled.

6 out of 22 people found the following review useful:
Interesting for fans, 16 February 2009
5/10

Three guitarists from three different generations are being interviewed and meet to discuss the essence of Rock'n'Roll guitar: Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin), The Edge (U2) and Jack White (The White Stripes). This movie is well produced, is a short-whiled delight for Fans of the bands (which I am of all three) and yet does not achieve something that would point to something larger than its ingredients. Of course those three aren't philosophers, they are musicians and while they certainly have understood what the magic of guitar play feels like, they are not able to show or explain it. I might add that even the widely discussed jam session of the three seems rather average. Hence this movie fails its explicit goal. Director Davis Guggenheim and The Edge were present and greeted the masses, cheerfully welcomed - but couldn't add anything substantial.

Bluebeard (2009)
10 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
Unconventional retelling of a fairy tale, 16 February 2009
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Director Cathérine Breillat folds two fairy tales into another, one of her own design and the classic narrative theme Barbe Bleue (King Blue-beard). I guess she deliberately renders the performances and sets artificial and hollow. This is for example clearly indicated in the tower stairs scene, where the same part of the spiral stairs is shown over and over again to give the impression of a high tower but there are distinctive parts showing it's always the same. As if this wasn't already clear enough, at one point she needlessly lets the image flip to show its cut. I interpret this as a cryptic reflection of narrative tradition where she blends the image of the girl devouring King Blue beard into a new image of the girl's courage and fearless endeavor. Hence Lola Creton is the only one who seems to be allowed to give a glowing performance and so she does. A difficult film, but worth a watch if anything of the above made sense to you or you know and like Breillat's unconventional work.

15 out of 21 people found the following review useful:
Traditional ballad transformed, 16 February 2009
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Oh well, we have a directing debut here and quite an impressive one at that. Good camera, beautiful images and musical score, this narration is set in Hungarian-Romanian Transylvania.

Spoiler: Our female Protagonist, impressively played by Hilda Péter, had been raped by two men in the past. When the truth about this incident which she had been hiding and which resulted in the birth of her only child, a son, comes to light ten years after, she is cast out by her husband and decides to take revenge on the men who raped her. She takes her wagon and her son and sets out on a journey of tracking down the men, planning on confronting and killing them. This narration clearly is based on Mihail Sadoveanu's famous novel "Baltagul" (The Hatchet) which is transforming the traditional Romanian theme of the ballad "Mioriţa" into a modern detective story and blending the traditional role of a Romanian woman into Modernism. Our protagonist starts on a similar journey but the ends which we are facing are showing cruelly how Sadoveanu's story could have ended more realistically.

17 out of 20 people found the following review useful:
Masterful narration by Costa-Gavras, 16 February 2009
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a very well written tale about the odyssey of an illegal immigrant into the European Union. Our hero arrives by boat on the shores of Greece, hides in a Luxury tourist resort called "Eden Resort" and after many adventures there travels to Paris to meet a magician with whom he made acquaintance in the tourist club. We witness the adventures of Elias, our hero, only to see through his eyes the different approaches of Europeans to illegal immigrants living and struggling in their midst. Excellent camera work, brilliant performance by Riccardo Scamarcio, masterful narration by Costa-Gavras. I recommend watching this strongly.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Guts of trying, 16 July 2008
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I have just seen this in cinema. Francis Ford Coppola adapted a novella by Romanian theologian and writer Mircea Eliade: "Tânereţe fără bătreneţe şi viaţa fără de moarte" which I would translate as "Youth without ageing and life without death" but has been published under the name the film has now.

The film's plot in short: A romanian Orientalism-professor has lost the love of his life when he was still young and lives as an old man now in fear that he wouldn't be able to finish his one great book about the origins of language and the birth of consciousness (a feeling we all know oh too well, don't we? ;-) ). By accident he acquires (eternal?) youth again and is endowed with supernatural intellectual powers which might help him finish his work when he gets access not only to his lost love again but also to the foundations of men's language.

I haven't read the novel as I almost ignored Eliade's work for years now so I cannot comment on issues of adaptation. This certainly has become a complex and phantastic (in a genre sense) movie which leaves the viewer with many open questions and does not try to really solve the logical problems composed by the plot which does justice to Eliade's intentions I would guess and to the topic for sure. As much as I like the topos and seeing something intelligent (compare the hilarious "Man from Earth") on screen dealing with philosophical issues, I cannot _really_ say that this was well executed, though. It certainly has been a daring enterprise and did not totally fail. Performance by Tim Roth is brilliant, a very good choice, too. Lara is doing well although I can't stand her German accent when talking English. Camera is OK, imagery is OK.

On a sidenote: it is amazing how Eliade's vanity shone through the writing into this film - even without having read the novel myself.

1. Mai (2008)
4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Intense cinematic experience, 13 February 2008
6/10

This movie uses Kreuzberg, a district in the heart of Berlin as plot driver for several little episodes. Since the famous May Day riots in 1987 where Kreuzberg was a marginal district cornered by the Berlin Wall and charged with social conflicts due to Ghetto-politics concerning the Turkish immigrants minority Kreuzberg on 1st of may has been the magnet for politically left sided tourists, cops form abroad etc. In recent years with the crisis of the German political left the events have largely deescalated and 1st of May in Kreuzberg not only became folcloristic but also the riots seem to be part of the past. However 'Berlin 1. Mai' depicts a very realistic image of Kreuzberg today. The different episodes' plots seem a little overdone on some occasions but that doesn't hurt the overall impression of a very intense cinematic experience.

Contemporary soap operas put to the test, 13 February 2008
6/10

Die Helden aus der Nachbarschaft ('Heroes from the neighbourhood') (GER 2008) by Jovan Arsenic. A good friend of mine played the lead role in this movie so you have to mistrust my judgement. Jovan Arsenic takes the imagery and plot ideas of contemporary soap operas and puts them to the test in this movie. He is not using the usual soap opera methods to solve the plots and dramas in this little story centered around several characters in Berlin's district Prenzlauer Berg who are living in the same block. Instead he is following up the plots as they would go on in real life. Consequently the narration oscillates between impressions documentary and soap would usually induce which is supported by a good cast acting intentionally insecure at times as if they weren't good players. This triggers strange humour and sad moments as well. Nice camera, good performances and interesting direction between everyday German television and experimental documentary.


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