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Love true stories, dramas, sci-fis and a good crime or thriller.
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Elva bak huset (2007)
SHORT REVUE: Behind the House
A young boy struggles with his quarreling parents, and find refuge from it all behind the house, where a small river runs. De decides to change the path.
The film is underplayed and short-film-strange in a way that makes you interpret what you want into it. Others will find it frustrating.
Director Jon Haukeland has made several documentaries which has made an impact, however this doesn't to me.
Der nede sørger de ikke (2006)
SHORT FREVUE: Down There They Don't Mourn
Two classmates who don't know each other, but can't adjust to life at school. Thomas has moved in almost a year ago, but isn't a part of his class yet. He has no friends. Karsten is an odd boy, liking to ruin things.
The film tells about the day the sneak away and go on a rampage at school.
Dramatic told, and gives an impression of being outside, still it's not fulfilling.
Director Per Sveinung Larsen have had success with the film Brettkontroll, about skateboarding,
The nice performance of thre kids are a great plus.
Lykke til, pappa (2007)
SHORT REVUE: Good luck, Dad
The narrator is Nine, who looks back on when he was year old Erlend, visiting his beloved father. Back when Norway was a great speed skatinbg nation, with the four best in the world. A father which isn't among the best, and have had his struggles, but still tries to learn his son the importance of speed skating on ice. During the next days the film follows, their fragile relationship will be challenged.
The film relies very on nostalgia, which work fine with me, remembering the period. The period setting of the late 70'ies is good, as well as the acting. The film touches strings that is profound and heartfelt.
Director Stian Forgaard har later made three more short films with kids in the main role.
Ut og stjæle hester (2019)
Visual and poetic nostalgia, with a sting of real tragedy
Out stealing horses (Ut å stjæle hester) is a very careful adaption of the very successful novel with the same name by Norwegian author Per Petterson, a novel which have solid millions in at least 50 languages. The film won the silver bear in The Berlin International film Festival.
Let this be said up front: if you're not up to watching a slow storytelling, and not able to sense the small and careful waves of air, glimmers of sun and the wet sensation of rain woven into the nostalgia here, this film will not be for you. You need to be completely at ease when watching, otherwise the film will feel very slow.
Hans Petter Moland has made a film true to the poetic and nostalgic tone of the book, which tells the story about a newly pensioned man, in grieve after the loss of his wife, moving out in the remote countryside, not too far from where he have had childhood memories. The he randomly meets a neighbor which he realizes he must have known some 50 years back. This brings back a lot of forgotten memories from the past. Memories of fondness and great tragedy.
The film is slo and thoughtful, with a stark nostalgic thread, but also a tiny fracture of humor. The film is very sensible, with a lot of thoughts put into photography, with pictures of grass and wind. The film is narrated by the mans telling voice, which in this case adds to the feeling of storytelling. A work of art of a film!
Venuto al mondo (2012)
Over the top story which is OK, before the final crash
I had hopes for this, which never came to me country either on cinema , nor as a DVD/Blu-Ray.
well, now i get it, because what seems like a credible story ends up completely ridiculous, and too far fetched.
A typical 8 hours read as a romantic novel made in to a film which really is getting over the top when supposed to put into a two hour movie. melodramatic, unbelievable, ridiculous and over played.
Be kind to yourself and spare the two hours you'll need to see this. Just as stupid as the title, though the actors do their best to keep it afloat.
Paha perhe (2010)
Compelling about concequences of a ruined family
This Finnish family drama manages to build up suspense after starting off a rather slow first 15 minutes.
We get to know a broken family's response to a mother's death. A well respected lawyer who is left behind bringing up his son, when the addict of a mother leaves. An estranged daughter which left with her mother and turns up, now in her early 20'ies, to live with them when the mother dies. A younger son - with another woman - in a relation that is growing bad. An old father with severe alzheimer, and a stone face, which still seems to get what's happening. An estranged family, where no natural family relations have had time and grounds to grow.
The family father, played brilliantly by Ville Virtanen, is unsuccessfully trying to keep the facade and make a difference when he suspects the daughter is having a bad influence on her brother, and even suspects them being too close. But he isn't able to be more than a witness, except that he contributes to what seems like a disaster.
The film functions well due to the excitement the film is able to build up, as the father wonders how to deal with his problems. Whatever you think about how the family deals with their differences, the film is well worth a watch.
Rolling Kansas (2003)
Absoluelty rediculously awful and unfunny movie
If you like your comedies intelligent and not with people in their mid thirtees playing high school kids, finding it funny to say poop and fox piss, and having fun with disabled, homosexuals and old people, this movieaintfor you.
Not a single funny moment, and a complete time waster of a movie.
The plot about them driving on a long trip the weekend before their final exams to find a big field of free weed, isn*t worth commenting.
Stay away at all costs!
French situation described with nerve and intelligence
Not unlike Laurent Cantet's famous movie "Entre les murs", this new one "The Workshop" (Originally "L'atelier", the film takes us to a class with different personalities. In both films we meet a group of French teenagers, brought together under the supervision of a teacher.
Location is a French southern coastal town not far from Marseilles, La Ciotat, a town on the Mediterranean coast, which is beautifully filmed.
The Workshop starts off with a class i creative writing which is to make the script of a thriller novel, and develops into a story which seem to spiral out of control due to one of the students, Antoine, which is a smart guy, but with obvious right wing thoughts when it comes to politics, though he says politics isn't of interest.
La Ciotat is a port yard town in decline, but with nostalgic memories of its important past. The town is almost as a player in this itself, and when an elegant Parisian author Olivia Dejazet, great played by Marina Foïs, the student in the workshop finds her a snob. Dejazet is intrigued by the loner Antoine, with provocative attitude at the workshop. Antoine is brilliantly played by Matthieu Lucci, which is soon the main character in the movie. I won't tell more, except that it all spins out of control, and the film's best part is the tension and the question you start asking yourself.
I would say this film in a very good way discusses the problems of modern French society today, with the start tensions which should be a huge concern. The film also refers to the Bataclan massacre, the Norwegian right winged terrorist Behring Breivik and his massacres as well as the truck driving terror incidents. Terrorism is not all a muslim activity.
Political yes, but also a psychological drama between strong characters, and a French society under the microscope. I found the movie exiting in three ways. First what was going to happen, secondly what I would have done as the teacher, and thirdly the way the film takes up this discussion. I love that fact. the film is intelligent, and worth all the praise it's got from critics.
For vi er gutta (2018)
I only give 10710 to films which are really great, or to films that touches me deeply on an emotional level. This did.
I knew the film had good critics, but it came as a shock how heartfelt a rollercoaster of emotions this deocumentary is.
First of all it's funny. Some Norwegian well known personalities from TV, radio, music and culture are mixed with 15 others in a male choir, called "The Male Choir", started by the vocalist of DumDum Boys, Prepple Houmb and radioperonality Geir Schau. Every tuesday they meet and rehearse and drink beer. now they have got their biggest concert job ever, thanks to festival general Dvein Bjørge, warming up for Black Sabbath with Ozzy Osbourne. But weeks before they get to know that their choir conductor just have weeks to live, due to cancer. The race is on. Will he experience the big event?
Sometimes very funny, other times very sad, this movie will not let you off. The emotional rollercoaster is a gem of a film, and an experience you'll never forget.
En affære (2018)
A forbidden affair
An affair (En affære in Norwegian) is productive film maker Henrik Martin Dalsbakken's fifth film, and his best so far. The film really show his talent as a young film maker, and should be a festival hit around the world.
We meet the middle aged newly appointed sports teacher Anita (played by Andrea Bræin Hovig), when she meets a new class af 16 year olds at her new work place. She's been married for five years with a husband who have two grown up daughters, that both has left home. He travels a lot in his work, and leaves Anita to her own fantasies. Already on the meeting with the class Anita is challenged by Markus, as he at her introduction, when she asks for their name and a fun fact about themselves, he tells he is well equipped. Soon afterwards she gets the feeling of being watched and followed. Soon messages and flowers start turning up, and a text message is answered with a shock message. This is the start of an affair they both seem to wish. A troublesome and forbidden affair.
The film is a drama thriller about going too far with a fantasy. As such it is done well. The film is both able to be creepy, cringy, exciting, as well as funny and well made. The humour serves as well put comic relief, as the film is quite graphic in both sex scenes as well as the chances they take. Thay co,me through dialogue and questions, where Anita impossibly can answer with small little white lies.
Small, well played roles by well known Norwegian actors add to the quality of the film, and the dialogue functions well. So the script is definitely Dahlsbakken's best so far.
The production value of the film is good. So far the best of Dahlsbakken's five outings, which tells he is refining his talent. So is his brother's photography. Their joint company FilmBros are definitely going somewhere, and they also have three new films on the way. Well worth a watch!
Awful script ruins what could have been
A lot of good reviews here, but the trailer sells a bad script. the plot is OK, but nothing in the script holds water.
It's simply awful, and I left the theater 15 minutes before the end. Then I had fallen asleep, bored with the killing.
Garner does great with an awful script, and is the only one saving this from a 1/10.
Not a thing here is believable, and there are so many stupid shortcuts that is both laughable and annoying.
It's a C-thriller, quite similar to the worst of Charles Bronson's vigilante films, and far, far away from his best.
Lacking ability to feel pain but needs love in a corrupt system
16-year-old Denis (Denis Vlasenko) has a kind of superhero-ability. He has congenital analgesia, a rare condition in which he feels no pain. As an infant, he was put in a baby hatch at an orphanage, by mother Oksana, which now 16 years later comes back to steal him out to exploit his abilities.
Just like his las year's movie "Loveless," Tverdovsky's cynical contemporary Russian story gives a portrait with parenting sneaking in a portion of pervasive corruption and lack of moral abilities.
We learn about his ability among his boarding-school comrades who often wrap him hard in a rubber hose and squeeze him to see how long he can take the pressure before fainting, as the director implies that such numbness is practically universal for those raised in a system like this. Either it is an orphanage like this or it's Putin-Russia as a whole.
At first, Denis is delighted to escape the orphanage and thrilled to get his own room, gorging on 16 years' worth of belated birthday cake when they get to Oksana's flat, although he soon learns the cost of staying there are high and possibly fatal.
The film is beautyfully shot by Denis Alarcon-Ramirez in beautifully lit long-take sequences. Direction is flawless, and main character Denis is a find in his role. Except when Denis plays the hose game, the kids on either side are clearly only pretending to pull, while Denis Vlasenko merely looks like this is a strain at all.
I very much liked the film, though I don't think it'll meet the director's intentions. Director Tverdovsky probably wants this to be a wake-up call, although the final part of the movie is heartfelt, it's hard to deliver - since Denis is an expendable kid in a system obviously too rotten to reform.
So the film is good, but no masterpiece.
On the borderline of human existance
If you liked the Norwegian movies Troll hunter or Thale, you'll also like this Swedish-Danish co-production, which has been a festival hit at both Cannes and Karlovy Vary, and probably a lot more festivals to come. You could say the Swedes and Danes seem inspired by the folkloric tales from Norwegian directors, having huge success the latter years.
Saw this at the screening in the Thermal grand hall (cap. 1150) and hardly any went away during the showing, due to the this film being quite captivating.
Border (Originally: Gräns) first appears to be a drama about an odd looking and rather strange woman in her late thirties with a seemingly unique talent in semlling fear, and she has a suitable job as a customs inspector at a Swedish ferry port. She can sniff out guilt, shame, fear and rage. Off-duty, she is a loner, loving quietness in the woods close to her rural home, with a redneck living with her, in separate beds, and she visits her seemingly half demented father in a nursing home. But one day she meets a man which looks surprisingly like her.
This is only the beginning, as the film now takes a slide into a different genre.
Director is Ali Abbassi, who has the equally strange concepts before in the movie Shelley. Well directed and well played. This is far from being a comedy, but there are many funny moments and the audience had huge outburst of laughter.
The title "Border" is really well suited in all ways. Very much recommended, and really something else.
Trash on Mars (2018)
Whitney Houston, we have a problem!
An easy going Czech sci-fi comedy filmed on a minimal budget of $ 123.000, and it's filmed during 22 days in the desert. The film is partly spoken in English, partly Czech, both translated in the version I saw at it's world premiere in Karlovy Vary Intl. Film Festival i the grand hall at Thermal.
The script is OK, and so are some of the jokes, a couple of them even laugh out loud-funny, like the title here, but all in all are the lack of good enough jokes the reason the film comes out mediocre. The grand hall was full to last seat, which means 1150 spectators, and they had too few laughs, even most of them obviously were Czech. So it wasn't that.
The effects are minimal, but you don't mind in a low budget movie like this, where the actors are doing a good job. Will function just as well on a small screen as at a cinema.
Girl in the Box (2016)
Surprisingly creepy film, beautifully filmed
This is a little hidden gem of a of a psycho killer movie, about a kidnapping that found place in 1977, of a young hitch hiking woman, picked up by an odd couple in rural California.
The 20 year old woman is soon gagged and put in a wooden box and kept there for a long time, before being kept as a slave.
The film immediately gets your attention for being very beautifully filmed, and kept in sunny warm colors, asa contrast to the chilly story.
The film is also well acted, by the estranged couple, played by Zelda Williams and Zane Holtz, both doing a great job. The victim is played by Addison Timlin.
Well worth a watch!
Awful and incoherent movie without any logic
Ghostland is a mess of film, I'm afraid.
The film offers a couple of good jump scares quite early, and the sound i crisp, but then there's nothing else than a bad script, annoying women and a couple of insanely insane killers which are really to far out to believe.
The whole film turns out the same way, and the women aren't able to do a single logical thing.
They just sit and wait to be tortured, and falls asleep because they are so afraid! (sic!)
Avoid at all cost!
20 Weeks (2017)
Seems like the verys same as the German movie 24 weeks
I saw the German film "24 Weeks", and the plot is exactly the same.
I recommend you checking out that one as well.
Intense chamber play in remote cabin
Amnesia, written and directed by Nini Bull Robsahm, is an intenaepsychological thriller about the fear in a relationship.
On a weekend trip to a remote island cabin the psychopathic Thomas loses his memory after bumping his head, and Kathrine, which is suppressed in her partnership, sees an opportunity to get out of the unhealthy relationship. She hides his ID and wallet, and it really seems he doesn't have the faintest idea who he is. Or does he?
This starts off a roller coaster of a nightmare for Kathrine, played by Pia Hjelta. Her boyfriend is played by Christian Rubeck. Both doing a great job.
The play between them is intense and raw, and you never really knows what to expect from this unhealthy relationship. The film is kept in shallow dark colors, and the nature feel bleak and brutal, though still beautiful. And the intense situation promises a solution.
Can affection grow out of nothing?
Handle with care by Norwegian director Arild Andresen has it's original title Hjertestart, which should translate to "heartstart" or the starting of a heart, which is the far better title of this film, than the international english version title.
Kristoffer Joner plays one of the main roles, as he did in director Andresen's fabulous The Orheim Company which I rated 9/10. The other is played by young Kristoffer Bech. As father and adoptive son they are a the little remains of a family after the death of their most important family member.
In the role as the father, Kjetil, we meet a troubled man after the loss of his wife. He goes to psychological treatment, where he reveals that he has trouble in finding affection for his adoptive son, Daniel, being adopted by him and the wife Camilla. It's obvious that his life is on hold, which also affects his small adoptive son, which in his own way misses the mother just as much. They are not able to communicate, and hasn't been able to talk out the tragedy in their lives. This soon leads to another crises, before he decide to go back to his son's native country, Colombia, to try to find Daniel's biological mother in hope of delivering him back!
Joner plays well, as always, being able to portray the mixed emotions the father snows towards his son, as well as his own well being. The film is well acted also by the other main characters, which really all makes this to be a very watchable and heartfelt story. Marlon Moreno does a fabulous role as the Colombian contact which helps out in the detective work in Bogotá. The film has good tension throughout.
This is director Arild Andresen's third feature movie, after the through out charming The Liverpool Goalie and the profoundly heart breaking and also uplifting The Orheim Company. It's very clear that Andresen is another Norwegian directorial star. This film he also has been co-writer.
This film bombed at the box office due to lack of marketing, which is really to bad, because it's well worth a watch!
Den 12. mann (2017)
A story of fighting spirit and survival
Den 12. mann / 12th man is a different retelling of the story about the flight of Jan Baalsrud, hunted by the Nazi occupants after a sabotage action hiding important papers. The story was told from Baalsrud's angle in the 1957 Academy Award nominee-movie Ni Liv (Nine lives) by director Arne Skouen,
This time it's Hollywood director Harald Zwart, known for his comedies and the rather good remake of The Karate Kid, and he has made something he has never done, a survival drama and war film.
And he has succeeded well in telling a story about a hero, which became so due to good helpers in good believing Norwegians, being able to assist him on the two month struggle of a journey through very harsh winter terrain and weather.
The film tells the story of not only Baalsrud, but also the 11 other which were alle killed by the Nazi's, and also tells the story about the survival spirit of a war-occupied country. This film is actually much more accurate than the original 1957-film, and completely differently told, which serves both the story and the film well.
Debuting Thomas Gullestad is amazing in the lead, and Jonathan Rhys-Meyers is excellent as the German Kurt Stage. And the rest of the cast does fabulous as well.
Well worth a watch!
Tense and realistic tale of retribution
Revenge (original Norwegian title Hevn) is a rape revenge flick based upon Ingvar Ambjørnsen-novel "Dukken i taket", and the debut feature of film maker Kjersti G. Steinsbø.
Under false identity Rebekka takes in at an idyllic small country hotel by the Norwegian fjords. Saying she is a travel correspondent, she is taken in as a queen. but she has false pretentions. She is seeking revenge of her sister's rape back when she was thirteen years old. She is ready to ruin the perpetrators life. How far is she willing to go?
The film has many strong points, not only the breath taking western Norwegian nature, but also the tension which builds up slowly. I liked it, still the film is afr from being a perfect revenge flick. Difficult to point out what's not making the mark, but if you are patient, you'll get your reward.
Mate-me por favor (2015)
Weird, smart and Lynchian thriller-drama from talented director
Kill me Please (Mat-me por favor) is a different film. A youth sex comedy with more mystery than comedy, and more kissing than sex. Still there are some good laughs, and a couple of good screams. You really never know where the film will take you, and as such I found it very exiting.
In Barra de Tijuana in the richer outer parts of Rio de Janeiro we meet a gang of usually bored youths full of hormones, living a sheltered life. Well, that's until a serial killer turn up in the neighborhood. Young Bia is very fascinated by the killings, especially when she and her best friends find one one the girls in the bush, just before her life runs out. Bia is obsessed with sex, and her cute boyfriend Paulo, gives in to her needs, though he'd really like to keep away from sex until marriage, and tries to get Bia a bit more religious.
More shouldn't be said, but the film is filled with great stuff, well filmed, and great and well suited soundtrack. he film is never boring, and we find a lot of mystery going on. Bia's mysterious brother is also taking a great part.
The writer and director Anita Rocha da Silveira has made an exiting, beautiful, drama thriller with horror elements which is difficult to forget, and is most certainly taking the Brazilian youth right on the head. She has told her inspirations are David Lynch, Dario Argento, Brian De Palma and Claire Denis, and this is quite obvious. Especially Lynch mystery can be found here.
Profound, beautiful, sad and important from debuting director
Daha, or in English More, is a near master piece of a Turkish movie, made by first time director Onur Saylak, which is an actor with some very good films in his portfolio. He is also a very good director, this film proves.
We meet 14 year old Gaza. Quite grown for his age, and we soon get to know why. He lives alone with his father which is a criminal, earning his money on human trade with refugees, forcing Gaza to join in as his co-worker. Gaza doesn't like this, and already in the opening of the film we get to know that the father is regarding himself as the most important man in the world. He's an upright swine, also treating his son like trash.
The film is beautifully filmed, and we have both great acting and great scenery, mixed with some nasty stuff when it comes to moral.
The film is very recommended, and even though it is severe, I would say anyone above twelve could watch it without being traumatized. This film gives out much reality about the refugee shipping over to Europe, and is well worth a watch.
Young Hayat Van Eck does a phenomenal job as young Gaza, but also the disgusting father is well played by Ahmet Mümtaz Taylan. Recommended!
Corruption-criticizing film smuggled out of Iran
I attended this film at a packed theater at the Films From the South Festival (FFSF) in Oslo in November 2017, and this s the first of the films Mohammad Rasoulof has made that i've seen. this film was awarded at the Cannes Festival, and participated in the main program in FFSF, and was smuggled out of Iran. The director was to present the film at the festival, as well as doing a Q&A afterwards, but couldn't show due to his passport was taken away from him just before he was to leave.
The film is about a family of three trying to get by by using his land to produce fish, but is challenged by a mysterious company which corrupts the entire society, even the police and justice system. A film about the little man not ready to bow for the suppression. he actually has to join to get by.
This is a well made film, and not a very happy one. The story telling is quiet and quite slow, but has it's dramatic parts. A good and important film, from a re-known film maker in a country which needs this kind of films. Still the film had a little trouble in engaging me.
A beautiful filmed masterpiece with mysteries bound in belief, fear and imagination
Norwegian filmmakers (writer/director) Joachim Trier has made another great film together with Eskil Vogt. I simply loved Reprise and the last before this, Louder than Bombs. Oslo 31st of August is also very real though a sad story. Trier is a very promising director, getting better for each film released. But never has he and his writing companion Eskil Vogt made anything as profound as this masterpiece.
Already in the opening scene this film grips you hard in the neck, and keeps the grip through. What kind of family is this? Why is the father so controlling? Is it something other than love?
We meet young Thelma old enough to go studying in Oslo, but we sense that the family don't like to send her there. Thelma is a fragile, religious girl, from a heavily religious family, hiding some secret, or secrets. Moe shouldn't be told, other than it seem that when Thelma falls in love her burdens are too much for her. She feels profound shame about her feelings.
This is a film difficult to categorize. It's a drama-thriller, with mysterious parts, and even some horror elements or if you like some paranormal stiff - if you chose that. Because the film lets you decide. What's wrong with Thelma?
The film beautifully shot, with lovely camera work and angles. Some scenes are sublime. As is some effects. The CGI is also sublime. Simply immaculate, and totally believably made. Eili Harboe is excellent in the main role, as are the others.
The film is very original, still it reminds in parts of other films with troubled girls, like Carrie and films like that.
The film has many sides, all positive. It's exciting, mysterious, artful, beautiful, complex, mind-bending, thrilling, tragic, creepy and sensual film explores several different theories and possibilities, and makes you decide - What's happening to Thelma.