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(My other username I use especially for the Soapbox: http://imdb.com/user/ur4847100/boards/)
Table of contents (latest update: June 27, 2007)
Part I) My current "I need to know" unsolved researches (please help!) Part II) Here are some few informations about me Part III) Personal links Part IV) Something that I don't really understand on these boards Part V) My personal meaning of imdb ratings Part VI) Favourite movies Part VII) Selection of short movies Part VIII) Miscellaneous favourite things in cinema Part IX) I like cultural diversity Part X) Other favourite things Part XI) Nice things people had said about/to me on imdb boards Part XII) Miscellaneous personal thoughts Part XIII) Conclusion
Part I) My current "I need to know" unsolved researches (please help!):
* 9 different film titles I'm looking for: http://akas.imdb.com/name/nm1327235/board/thread/31221515
* Myth: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0424018/board/nest/29607125?d=29607125#29607125
* About Lars von Trier's short film: http://akas.imdb.com/title/tt0081245/board/thread/31221029
* Dubbed voice in Police Academy: http://akas.imdb.com/title/tt0087928/board/thread/25945258?d=25945258#25945258
* Cast of German film: http://akas.imdb.com/title/tt0065625/board/nest/17177443
* Crin-Blanc (white horse film): http://imdb.com/title/tt0044518/board/nest/20930312
* Chinese adaptation: http://us.imdb.com/name/nm0656528/board/thread/25691883
* Oldest satire puppet show: http://akas.imdb.com/title/tt0353044/board/thread/25917278?d=25917278#25917278
* French puppet show: http://akas.imdb.com/title/tt0173553/board/thread/25917148?d=25917148#25917148
* Kazakh train: http://imdb.com/title/tt0406216/board/nest/18859661
Apparently solved out (thanks for those who helped!):
* very desperate to find that movie: http://akas.imdb.com/name/nm1327235/board/thread/34455240
* Copy of a film: http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt0133249/board/nest/23475502
* Kurosawa OST: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0100998/board/nest/19457569?d=19457569#19457569
* Car chase: http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0082199/board/nest/21650434
For my studies:
I was wondering if one had ideas of good and quite accurate films (documentaries or fictions) on the following subjects since I have to study them and films would be a good complement:
- Roman Africa from 69 to 439
- Economy and society during the Byzance Empire
- Societies in France and Great Britain during the 17th century
- Social and politics evolutions in countryside in Europe from 1830 to 1929
- South-America: history, geopolitics...
Message for French (or Belgian) users:
Je cherche des albums de la BD "Hugo" de B�du. Est-ce que quelqu'un sait si c'est toujours �dit� et disponible? Chez quel �diteur?
Part II) Here are some few informations about me:
First name: Rapha�l [angel]
Born in: April 27, 1980 in Saint-Etienne (France) [3c]
Sex: male, heterosexual [love5]
Height: about 164 cm (therefore I'm a very tall jraf! [wink]) ---> I am just making fun on me with a pun because of my family name (which starts with 'j', and this letter is pronounced 'jee' in French) and my first name (Rapha�l, abbreviated as Raph or Raf). Ironically that makes 'jraf'=giraffe while I'm not that tall!
Religion: I'm more a theist/agnostic than an atheist. I think anyone might believe in something even if it's not a shared dogma and even if it's abstract and unclear. I used to call myself an atheist with Catholic origins! ] But I realized that I was denying my own unconscious beliefs. Anyone might have beliefs somehow, even if they don't sound religious at all. But I don't understand people who follow a preconcieved dogma!
Places where I used to live: in France: Le Chambon-Feugerolles (Loire), La Ricamarie (Loire), Villefontaine (Is�re) and Paris.
Overseas: Geelong (Victoria, Australia)
Where I live now: in France, in Lyon (Rh�ne), and sometimes at my parents' in Fraisses (Loire)
Former studies: Scientific Baccalaur�at, Audiovisual & Cin�ma Studies [trendy]
Now studying: Geography and History (to be a teacher)
Languages: Well of course my mother tongue is French and I suppose I can say that I'm speaking English quite fluently! I learnt Spanish too during 6 years but even if I still can understand/read it quite well, I lost my ability to "find my words"! I've got to learn it again... I also tried a bit of Japanese, Icelandic, German and Arabic in my life but not enough! I'd love to speak many languages! [wild]
If I had to define my own character with some adjectives: sensitive, ecclectic, frank, anxious, sceptical, a bit quirky, shy (but not on boards), fragile...
Where to find me on imdb boards: I need to know, Best and Worst, The Soapbox, European Cinema, The Sandbox, Independent Films, Contributors Help...
Part III) Personal links:
-Involved in 2 associations: The first one (abusdecine) deals with cinema critics and interviews (http://www.abusdecine.com), the other one (Tohu-Bohu) deals with miscelleanous artistic projects: concerts, short films, exhibitions... I might soon exhibit some of my photos[smile] (this association is only one year old but our website is starting to look like a website! http://tohubohu.net.free.fr/)
-If you want to see one of my photo creations: Go to http://www.hypegallery.com, register (it's free), click onto the big globe (not the little blue globes), then type "hand positions" (the title of my picture) in the search engine... you'll find it and will be able to zoom. Tell me what you think!
-Picture of me: You can find some on http://www.hi5.com/friend/displayProfile.do?userid=21015349 but you'll have to register (for free) to hi5 if you want to see them...
-My imdb page:yes my name is on imdb! [smile] http://akas.imdb.com/name/nm1327235/
-The list of mini-biographies I wrote on imdb: http://akas.imdb.com/SearchBios?Rapha%EBl%20JULLIEN%20%3Cjraf3615@yahoo.com.au%3E (4 directors, 4 actors, 3 writers, 3 sportsmen, 2 music artists, 2 politicians, 1 "historical figure")
-My imdb vote history: http://akas.imdb.com/mymovies/list?l=3022384
-My ymdb page:http://www.ymdb.com/jraf/l22482_ukuk.html
-My DVD list on DVDAficionado: http://www.dvdaficionado.com/dvds.html?cat=1&id=jraf3615 (uncomplete list... and including DVD's that I have but in a different edition that is not available on this site!)
-My profile on French Wikipedia: http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utilisateur:Jraf
-My must-see lists:
USA, UK, Canada & Ireland: http://www.imdb.com/mymovies/list?l=3506636
Australia & New Zealand: http://www.imdb.com/mymovies/list?l=3512414
France, Quebec, Belgium & Switzerland: http://www.imdb.com/mymovies/list?l=3506652
Western Europe: http://www.imdb.com/mymovies/list?l=3506654
Northern Europe: http://www.imdb.com/mymovies/list?l=3506653
Eastern Europe: http://www.imdb.com/mymovies/list?l=3506634
Former USSR: http://www.imdb.com/mymovies/list?l=3510818
Latin America & West Indies: http://www.imdb.com/mymovies/list?l=3510367
Africa & Middle East: http://www.imdb.com/mymovies/list?l=3510316
Short films: http://www.imdb.com/mymovies/list?l=3641634
-Some favourite links (after imdb of course! [biggrin]):
(* means it's only in French, otherwise it's in English or multilingual)
- On-line encyclopedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page
- French-English on-line 'technical' dictionary: http://www.granddictionnaire.com
- French cinema: http://www.unifrance.org
- Music: http://www.allmusic.com/
- French TV archives: http://www.ina.fr/index.en.html
- (*) Allocine: http://www.allocine.fr/
- (*) Origins of French expressions and sayings: http://www.francparler.com/
Part IV) Something that I don't really understand on these boards: [confused]
HOW TO REPLY!
If you could use the correct reply button it would help to send answer messages to the person who's concerned and interested in your reply! Although your answer could be interesting for anyone, please always try to think who you want to answer and hit REPLY on this person's post instead of the last post! Because if you don't respect that, the discussions are crazy! It has the same effect as speaking to walls!
It's like in real life if someone asks a question and the other guy answers another guy! It'd be annoying for both the guy who didn't receive the answer and the guy who didn't asked anything!
I can understand that some people don't care about that themselves, but using that correctly would be a kind of respect towards people who care!
BTW In case you don�t know, in your profile, you can choose "Notify new private messages with an email" and "Notify replies to messages with an email" .
It's very handful to know when you receive some answers to your questions, but if people don't reply the correct persons, well you don't know when you get answers! You understand the problem? (if you don't, well I guess there's no solution of improvement!)
Flat mode: it sometimes looks to me that flat mode has been designed for narrow-minded users! (I guess there are exceptions) At least I don't understand what could be so good about the flat mode: it's completely messy, it doesn't allow the user to get the discussion...while boards are supposed to exist FOR discussion! Please explain!!!
Part V) My personal meaning of imdb ratings: (well it's approximative but...)
10: a) masterpiece, b) movie I just personally venerate for some reason
9: a) just some few details missing to be a masterpiece, b) movies that are kind of cult or that I really love but couldn�t consider it a masterpiece (generally comedies or animation), c) I think it is objectively a masterpiece but it doesn't totally speak to me! (sometimes 8 or even 7 for that case)
8: very good, must-see
7: good... but I can forget it (so it means I shouldn't be able to forget a movie I rate between 8 and 10!)
6: a) quite OK but we can miss it (it's starting to be very disappointed to pay for it!) b) films I think overrated or for which I didn't get into it!
5: not quite OK but still not totally bad
4: starting to be very bad!
3: a) very bad , b) so bad that it's enjoyable! c) see 2b but less mean!
2: a) crap , b) movie that I personally hate for some reason even if I objectively think it's worth more!
1: shouldn't have been made!
Part VI) Favourite movies: (I'm unable to make any ranking with such a diversity of films so I just created 3 different categories and displaid the titles alphabetically except for the first category!)
Out of reach:
Dancer in the Dark (2000)
Lola rennt (1998)
Luna Papa (1999)
Hotaru no haka (1988)
Shichinin no samurai (1954)
�Es para ti! (2003)
4 saisons d'Espigoule, Les (1999)
Abre los ojos (1997)
American Beauty (1999)
Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)
Auberge espagnole, L' (2002)
Ba wang bie ji (1993)
Bowling for Columbine (2002)
C'era una volta il West (1968)
Chelovek s kinoapparatom (1929)
Cidade de Deus (2002)
Cit� des enfants perdus, La (1995)
Citizen Kane (1941)
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Crna macka, beli macor (1998)
Dark City (1998)
The Dark Crystal (1982)
Dom za vesanje (1988)
Ed Wood (1994)
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
Fabuleux destin d'Am�lie Poulain, Le (2001)
Fight Club (1999)
Fucking �m�l (1998)
Full Metal Jacket (1987)
The Great Dictator (1940)
Living in Oblivion (1995)
Lost In La Mancha (2002)
Lost in Translation (2003)
The Matrix (1999)
Mies vailla menneisyytt� (2002)
Modern Times (1936)
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
Mua he chieu thang dung (2000)
No Man's Land (2001)
North by Northwest (1959)
O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)
The Piano (1993)
Poup�es russes, Les (2005)
Punch-Drunk Love (2002)
Requiem for a Dream (2000)
Scaphandre et le papillon, Le (2007)
Schpountz, Le (1938)
Science des r�ves, La (2006)
Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi (2001)
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
To Be or Not to Be (1942)
Todo sobre mi madre (1999)
Train de vie (1998)
The Truman Show (1998)
Twelve Monkeys (1995)
Vacances de M. Hulot, Les (1953)
Vita � bella, La (1997)
Wo hu cang long (2000)
� nous la libert� (1931)
Alice in Wonderland (1951)
Appartement, L' (1996)
Arizona Dream (1993)
Ast�rix et Cl�op�tre (1968)
Back to the Future (1985)
Ballade des Dalton, La (1978)
Beetle Juice (1988)
Being John Malkovich (1999)
Beneath Clouds (2002)
Bonheur est dans le pr�, Le (1995)
Brassed Off (1996)
Breaking the Waves (1996)
Brysomme mannen, Den (2006)
Broken Flowers (2005)
Bronz�s font du ski, Les (1979)
The Castle (1997/I)
Cit� de la peur, La (1994)
Dances with Wolves (1990)
Dead Man (1995)
Dead Man Walking (1995)
Dead Poets Society (1989)
Depuis qu'Otar est parti... (2003)
Douze travaux d'Ast�rix, Les (1976)
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
Edward Scissorhands (1990)
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)
Fond Kiss..., Ae (2004)
Forrest Gump (1994)
Fresa y chocolate (1994)
Fugitifs, Les (1986)
Garden State (2004)
Gegen die Wand (2004)
Go�t des autres, Le (2000)
Good Bye Lenin! (2003)
Grand bleu, Le (1988)
Grande vadrouille, La (1966)
The Green Mile (1999)
Guerre du feu, La (1981)
Hable con ella (2002)
Haine, La (1995)
Harry, un ami qui vous veut du bien (2000)
Holy Lola (2004)
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
Itin�raire d'un enfant g�t� (1988)
Jeux interdits (1952)
Kabinett des Doktor Caligari, Das (1920)
Krieger und die Kaiserin, Der (2000)
Ladri di biciclette (1948)
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
Lepa sela lepo gore (1996)
Life of Brian (1979)
Massir, al- (1997)
Match Point (2005)
The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc (1999)
Midnight Express (1978)
Milou en mai (1990)
The Mission (1986)
Mon oncle (1958)
Monsters, Inc. (2001)
Mulholland Dr. (2001)
Mysterious Skin (2004)
Nanook of the North (1922)
Nuit am�ricaine, La (1973)
Ours, L' (1988)
P�re No�l est une ordure, Le (1982)
Petits d�sordres amoureux (1998)
Peuple migrateur, Le (2001)
The Player (1992)
Quatre cents coups, Les (1959)
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Rear Window (1954)
Roi et l'oiseau, Le (1980)
Romeo + Juliet (1996)
Se souvenir des belles choses (2002)
Shallow Grave (1994)
The Sixth Sense (1999)
Snow Falling on Cedars (1999)
Sommaren med Monika (1953)
The Station Agent (2003)
Stealing Beauty (1996)
Sur mes l�vres (2001)
Sweet Sixteen (2002/I)
Tokyo Eyes (1998)
Tonari no Totoro (1988)
Toy Story (1995)
Toy Story 2 (1999)
Trois fr�res, Les (1995)
Twin Falls Idaho (1999)
Un air de famille (1996)
Un homme, un vrai (2003)
Unendliche Geschichte, Die (1984)
Vieux fusil, Le (1975)
Visiteurs, Les (1993)
What Dreams May Come (1998)
Yolngu Boy (2001)
Part VII) Selection of short movies:
Out of reach:
Copy Shop (2001)
Ilha das Flores (1989)
Luxo Jr. (1986)
Moine et le poisson, Le (1994)
78 Tours (1985)
Aventures de la fin de l'�pisode, Les (1998)
Chevalier myst�re, Le (1899)
Colour Cry (1952)
D�shabillage impossible, Le (1900)
Er� m�la m�la (2001)
Extn. 21 (2003)
Free Radicals (1958)
Geri's Game (1997)
A L�gy (1980)
Music for One Apartment and Six Drummers (2001)
Pauvre Pierrot (1892)
Rabbit of Seville (1950)
Sortie des usines Lumi�re, La (1895)
Voyage dans la lune, Le (1902)
What's Opera, Doc? (1957)
Ambassade, L' (1973)
Arriv�e d'un train � la Ciotat, L' (1895)
Arroseur arros�, L' (1895)
Before Dawn (2005)
The Boy Who Saw the Iceberg (2000)
Cortex Academy (2003)
Criminal Tango (1985)
Elvis Lives! (1997)
Emilie Muller (1993)
Escamotage d'une dame au th��tre Robert Houdin (1896)
Exercice of Steel (1998)
Father and Daughter (2000)
For the Birds (2000)
George Lucas in Love (1999)
Homard, Le (1995)
Homme sans t�te, L' (2003)
Hot Dog (2000)
I Can't Get Started (2002)
Jet�e, La (1962)
Late Night Shopper (2002)
Lauf der Dinge, Der (1987)
Living with Happiness (2001)
M�s quel mundo (2004)
M�saventures d'Alfred le crapaud: Roulette russe, Les (2001)
The Man with the Beautiful Eyes (1999)
A Mouse in the House (1947)
Night Highway (1990)
Outer Space (1999)
P'tit bal, Le (1995)
Pas de repos pour Billy Brakko (1984)
Patiente 69 (2005)
Red Hot Riding Hood (1943)
Revanche de M. Seguin, La (1995)
Sang des b�tes, Le (1949)
Screwball Squirrel (1944)
Sculpture physique (1988)
The Tale of the Floating World (2001)
Trois petits chats (2003)
Un jour (1997)
Vache folle (1997)
Vis, La (1993)
Wait 'Til Your Father Gets Home (2002)
Wallace & Gromit: A Close Shave (1995)
Wallace & Gromit: The Wrong Trousers (1993)
We Have Decided Not to Die (2004)
Yaourts mystiques (2000)
Part VIII) Miscellaneous favourite things in cinema
Lola (Lola rennt)
Joel Barish (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind)
Selma Jezkova (Dancer in the Dark)
Nasreddin (Luna Papa)
Xavier (L'Auberge espagnole/Les Poup�es russes)
Am�lie Poulain (Le Fabuleux destin d'Am�lie Poulain)
Homer Simpson (The Simpsons)
Jacques Mayol (Le Grand bleu)
One (La Cit� des enfants perdus)
Edward Norton's unnamed character and Tyler Durden (Fight Club)
Agnes (F ucking �m�l)
Andrew Beckett (Philadelphia)
Barry Egan (Punch-drunk Love)
Shlomo (Train de vie)
Batman (Tim Burton's Batmans)
Jean-Claude Dus (Les Bronz�s font du ski/Les Bronz�s font du ski)
Favourite directors: (alphabetically)
Darren Aronofsky, Luc Besson, Tim Burton, Joel & Ethan Coen, Terry Gilliam, Michel Gondry, Alfred Hitchcock, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Bakhtyar Khudojnazarov, Takeshi Kitano, C�dric Klapisch, Emir Kusturica, Vincenzo Natali, Tom Tykwer, Lars von Trier, Peter Weir...
Favourite actors: (alphabetically)
-French (or French-speaking): Mathieu Amalric, Jean-Pierre Bacri, Edouard Baer, Fran�ois Berl�and, Alain Chabat, Clovis Cornillac, G�rard Darmon, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Charles Denner, Jean Dujardin, Albert Dupontel, Romain Duris, Olivier Gourmet, G�rard Hernandez (for his dubbed voices in animated films & TV series), Tch�ky Karyo, Dominique Pinon, Jean Reno, Pierre Richard, Jean Rochefort, Michel Serrault...
-Not French: Moritz Bleibtreu, Steve Buscemi, Jim Carrey, Johnny Depp (the best of the best!), Morgan Freeman, Cary Grant, Tom Hanks, Ed Harris, Dustin Hoffman, Jeremy Irons, Michael Keaton, Harvey Keitel, William H. Macy, John Malkovitch, Miki Manojlovic, Bill Murray, Jack Nicholson, Edward Norton, Gary Oldman, Pete Postlethwaite, Kevin Spacey, Peter Stormare, Max von Sydow, Christopher Walken, Denzel Washington, Robin Williams...
Favourite actresses (MAINLY for their talent, but some also for their beauty): (alphabetically)
-French (or French-speaking): Josiane Balasko, Isabelle Carr�, Marie-Jos�e Croze, C�cile De France, Catherine Deneuve, Emilie Dequenne, Alexandra Lamy, Mich�le Laroque, Val�rie Lemercier...
-Not French: Helena Bonham Carter, Emily Browning, Jennifer Connelly, Cameron Diaz, Kirsten Dunst, Jodie Foster, Scarlett Johansson, Manuela Martelli, Nathalie Portman, Franka Potente, Christina Riccci, Emily Watson...
Favourite actresses (MAINLY for their beauty and sex-appeal! [biggrin] But some also for their talent): (alphabetically)
-French (or French-speaking): M�lanie Bernier, Blandine Bury, Ingrid Chauvin, Vahina Giocante, Claire Keim, Virginie Ledoyen, Roxane Mesquida, Julia Molkhou, Clara Morgane, Barbara Schulz, M�lanie Thierry...
-Not French: Jessica Alba, Monica Belucci, Hannah Cornett, Elisha Cuthbert, Emilie de Ravin, Eliza Dushku, Dafne Fernandez, Salma Hayek, Katie Holmes, Lisa Jakub, Keira Knightley, Kate Mara, Thandie Newton, Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen, Tara Reid, Julia Stiles, Liv Tyler...
Favourite cinematographers: (alphabetically)
Thierry Arbogast, Bruno Delbonnel, Frank Griebe, Janusz Kaminski, Darius Khondji, Roger Pratt...
Favourite composers: (alphabetically)
Goran Bregovic, Bruno Coulais, Danny Elfman, Ennio Morricone, Michael Nyman, Eric Serra, Howard Shore...
Guilty pleasures: (alphabetically) (under construction)
Clefs de bagnole, Les (2003)
Dumb & Dumber (1994)
The Girl Next Door (2004)
Jack Frost (1997)
Lost in Space (1998)
Encino Man (1992)
Taxi (1998) and its sequels
Brice de Nice (2005)
Part IX) I like cultural diversity. [rainbow]
So far I've seen movies from 69 different countries (including short films): Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia-Herzegovina , Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong (not really a 'country' I agree but not really China for many reasons so I felt the need to list it apart...), Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel/Palestine, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia/Soviet Union, Senegal, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkey, UK, USA, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Yugoslavia/Serbia-Montenegro
Trips: I love to travel and discover/share cultures. Here is the alphabetical list of countries where I've been so far:
Australia (Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland)
Belgium (only Brussels)
Hong-Kong (only one day)
Italy (only one day in Pisa...)
Monaco (huge independant country! [laugh])
Morocco (3 times)
Spain (many times + Canary Islands)
Switzerland (only Geneva)
USA (1st time in California, Nevada, Colorado, Arizona; 2nd time in Georgia, Louisiana, Texas; 3rd time in NYC)
Part X) Other favourite things:
TV: I'm not a big fan of TV series (mainly because it takes too much time when you actually want to see everything from particular TV series!)
My favourite TV series are: "Lost", "Quantum Leap", "Ally McBeal", "Friends", "The Simpsons", "The Secret Life of US", "South Park", "Malcolm in the Middle"...
Otherwise I like to watch documentaries, politics/debate shows, or other TV programs that deal with geography, geopolitics, history, etc... (in France: "Le Dessous des Cartes", "C dans l'air", "Arr�t sur Images"...)
Oh and the parody-puppet show "Les Guignols de l'info" (http://akas.imdb.com/title/tt0173553/combined)
Music: Bj�rk, definitely! [jump2] But I'm quite ecclectic even if I prefer electronic music, movie soundtracks, rock and pop. I generally can't stand R&B nor Jazz, but there are some few exceptions.
Other music artists I love include Tom Waits, Moby, Eels, M (aka Mathieu Chedid), Garbage, Goran Bregovic, The Cranberries, Dire Straits, Portishead, Radiohead, Coldplay, Amon Tobin, UNKLE, Vivaldi, etc, etc... you see, I like many different stuff!
Books: Not a big fan of reading! Mainly because I'm slow and can't really concentrate![biggrin] I love French/Belgian comic books (Enki Bilal, Goscinny, Van Hamme...). My favourite non-graphic books are Dino Buzzatti's short stories, Agatha Christie's "Ten Little Niggers", Stephen King's "Carrie", Sarah Turnbull's "Almost French", Tim Winton's "That Eye The Sky"...
Art: I love modern and contemporary art, including architecture. Among my favourite artists: Dali, Miro, Kandinsky, Richter, Kahlo, Turner...
Animals: I'm a big fan of platypuses! I love squirrels too... And chameleons.
I like animals but I couldn't bare living with some (mainly because I'm allergic to many animals!)
Sports: I'm not very sporty but not too lazy either. "My" sport is tennis (I started to play it when I was 10yo). And ski-ing too, which I started when I was about 7yo. I quite like to watch sport on TV but less than I used to. I love Olympiads though, for their diversity of sports, people and cultures, even if now it's too commercial! Favourite sports to watch: tennis, soccer, athletics, F1, cycling, ski-ing, fencing...
Food: French cheese, dark chocolate, pizzas, mushrooms... [tongue2]
I hate coffee and ginger.
Words: Words that I love for some reason: (under construction)
-in French: d�j�, c�lin, c�ur ...
-in English: awkward, eavesdrop...
-in Spanish: refunfu�ar...
Most beautiful/sexy model in the world: Adriana Lima
Part XI) Nice things people had said about/to me on imdb boards [biggrin] (the egocentric part!)
Hutch48-2 (April 15, 2005... about TimeForLime and me): "Thanks, gentlemen (especially jraf, fighting a language handicap), for your persistence, patience and commitment not to switch to flame-throwers"
Zezette-2 (April 18, 2005... about a post I wrote about Albanian cinema): "wow. This is one of the most impressive posts that I have seen in a while and thought I would let you know. Your knowledge of history is impressive"
TimeForLime (April 18, 2005): "Well I was doing great, thinking I had seen films from cool, out-of-the way places. Then I read your post in this thread. KA-POWIE. I took all my trophies off the mantlepiece and decided I needed to step up my search for world film. Just Kidding. But your post was great and deserves appreciation."
jw-tutor (April 24, 2005... for having helped him to reconcile with Filmfan788!): "jraf, you're a class act."
EBennet (April 27, 2005): "Anybody who passes on smoochies is good by me [biggrin]"
Ms_Rae_deLarge- (May 3, 2005... about my thread "how would you sum up your passion for cinema in 3 words?"): "What a neat post!"
tgiov (May 5, 2005):"I just read your profile and your list of movies, and there was not one in it, that I couldn�t underline"
adw-4 (May 8, 2005... about my review of Russian Ark): "I've read your review and although I must first see the movie, I like your style already and especially the way you relate certain aspects, which other critics easily can comment on negatively, to normal human living: "Don't we wait sometimes?", "after all we don't understand everything that occurs around us in our lives!". Maybe it's an excuse for writing in positive direction, but in contrast I think it's a very honest view."
MrOrange1990 (May 12, 2005): "Nice profile and movie tastes"
covenant1978 (May 12, 2005): "Nothing wrong with being an idealist Jraf, I've read what you've written all around this site and I will commend you for being one of the few regular posters who has a brain... keep it up..."
luvstoresearch (May 14, 2005): "I've been to France twice and love the country and its people. (...) The people were lovely, warm, generous, friendly, and gracious. The countryside was breathtakingly beautiful. The FOOD was heaven. I love many of the movies that you have listed in your profile and agree that diversity is important; seeing the world through the eyes of other cultures can only broaden our knowledge and understanding."
Cazziewaffle (May 27, 2005... about a picture of me): "Very cute, I have to say!"
Cazziewaffle (June 12, 2005): "You have a kick ass fave film list there!! (...) it's quite diverse taste, doesn't follow the usual trend which is so awesome to see!"
Ms_Rae_deLarge- (June 20, 2005... about my exams): "You're intelligent--you'll have no problems with the ones in July...congrats and good luck."
fukeneh (June 23, 2005... about my sentence for sex and nudity on-screen, see further): "well said. very well said."
Silent-Hill (July 16, 2005... about my failed exams): "I'm sure next time you'll kick their @sses ]."
bengalbaby (July 22, 2005... about my situation concerning my exams): "Wow! You should be proud of what you accomplished!"
MaeBea (August 6, 2005): "I thought a person of your obvious high intellect would be able to decipher what was meant. (...) PS, I still think you have a good intellect."
Ms_Rae_LeBeau (August 24, 2005): "I am sorry to hear about your exams, but I think your attitude is great. Like I've said in the past, you are a very intelligent person, and I know next year will be awesome for you!"
tenpercent (August 26, 2005... about my ultimate sex fantasy!): "Floating in a spaceship - what a neat idea. [smile]"
Angelica_Lee (August 26, 2005... after I told her "Angelica, you're really the sunshine on that board. I can even imagine your smile when I read your posts!"): "Dude that is really sweet [shy] thanks."
MrsO_again (August 26, 2005): "I think you are intelligent and patient, and it is very good to make your acquaintance."
smiling- (August 27, 2005): "Your English is a lot better than my French. ;) You are doing well."
Non-Believer (August 28, 2005): "You seemed really sweet in some of your posts h], so I came to say hi![smile]"
Angelica_Lee (August 28, 2005): "thanks for being so cool, I'll talk to you sometime [wave]"
CandyFlavouredBoobies (September 3, 2005): "christ, your profile is vast, btw!!! I enjoyed it!"
Angelica_Lee (September 2005, in her profile): "You are so sweet and cool and I don't think I deserve it [laugh]"
ziegfeldgrl (September 5, 2005): "I'm sure there are girls out there that would have unserious relationships with you." ([wink])
why_does_r_goon_run_amok (September 6, 2005... about my thought about Jews, see further): "very intelligent response. I'm glad to see someone here is on the right track"
CellarDoor (September 6, 2005): "I am amazed at your patience to write such a long profile and to actually advertise it. I wonder how many other people have spent 15 minutes looking at it... I liked your profile a lot, you definately have a very good taste for movies. (...) I'm very impressed, as a whole. Well done."
Boogie_XxX (September 9, 2005... about my reply to the question "Would you completely trust your spouse again after s/he have had an affair?"): "I think yours is the most honest answer I have received."
leotitanic (September 11, 2005): "It is good to see not everyone is narrowminded."
leotitanic (September 24, 2005): "I have you on my friends list as I like what you post."
Christy31Ala (September 25, 2005): "Your profile is Great!!. I took time to read all of it. I agree with a lot of it."
Angelica_Lee (October 9, 2005): "Thank you for being soooo sweet and nice, I'll miss talking to you. I'm going back home finally, I'll be sad to leave the sandbox and happy to go home [biggrin] I have a feeling everything will turn out amazing for you, my friend [kiss] Take Care [wave]"
peasncarrots_001 (November 7, 2005): "I was reading your user profile and I thoroughly enjoyed doing so. I completely agree with you on issues such as abortion, HIV and anti-Americanism and appreciate that you took the time to voice your thoughts. I certainly woudln't be patient enough.(...)your english is very commendable considering you're French.(...)Well done!"
Part XII) Miscellaneous personal thoughts (archives from the boards discussions)
[angry3] ATTENTION: I'm not trying to be a smart arse, nor to give lessons nor anything like that. Those are just some personal opinions but they're not necessarily clearly defined. I'm open to any discussions on any topic to make my opinions evolve...
* Religion: I didn't make this up by myself but LVS did and it says my opinion very well: "practice what you preach..and leave the rest of us alone..."
* Sex and nudity on screen: Sex and nudity are part of life and I think it's far more "normal" than violence. So sometimes I don't understand why people get more offended by sex and nudity on-screen than violence on screen.
* Comedy/drama: I never understood why people had such difficulties to see comedic actors in serious roles and not any problem with drama actors in comedic roles! It's a mystery to me...
* Anal sex and HIV: Many times on these boards there were people talking about links between anal sex and HIV. Let me try to clear it up. Yes anal sex is slightly more risky than vaginal sex for HIV contaminations, but when I hear people saying gay and bi are responsible of spreading HIV it's nonsense! When HIV was discovered there were a lot more gays than straights people that were contaminated but anal sex is not the explanation. The reason was their average sex life/morals, that was (maybe still is) a lot more "free", "chaotic" or however one can describe it. Some persons told me "think about the reasons why lesbians are less touched by HIV than gays" to argument their opinions about the anal risk! That's completely stupid, the reason is obvious: they don't have penetrations, neither anal nor vaginal (I mean no penetration from a sex of course since they do other stuff...) I am just trying to say that anal sex is NOT GUILTY NOR ABNORMAL (no matter if it's homosexual or heterosexual), even if statistics tend to prove that it is a very important mean of HIV spread. We should not forget that in any case condom use would participate to the eradication of the virus. So anal sex is not responsible: non-use of condoms is.
* The Jewish 'problem': Jews have been elevated to martyrs status after WWII and now no-one dares criticizing them in Occidental countries with the fear of being accused of antisemism. But it's clear Jews and Israelis are ALSO highly responsible of the troubles in their country and in the world in general between Muslims and Jews... That IS the big problem. But as long as USA and many Occidental countries will support anything from Israel and the Jews (quite powerful Jewish lobbies...) nothing will be improved. Our countries must make effort to try to be more neutral between Jews and Muslims. But unfortunately no-one seems to be ready for that yet. We are all responsible of our world problems.
* Art and religion: Religion has been useful, still can be, but it seems to have lost its peace/tolerance goals. I agree that art wouldn't be the same without religion but nowadays one can be an artist without any religious faith. I didn't say without faith, right? Faith is not always religious. Anyway, that's an interesting debate, one of those that could help atheists/agnostics extremists (yes there are some!) to think a little harder about the reasons why religion shouldn't be globally condemmned (oh BTW I'm atheist too!)
* Abortion: People deserve the right to choose to have their unwanted baby or not. Unfortunately there will always be some dumb people who'd consider that as a contraception mean but it's the price to pay for a better life for people who really need this right. I hate people who always try to make people feel guilty with such weak arguments as pictures of aborted foetuses! Of course these pictures are awful! Of course it's not an easy choice to do. Do you really think people do that as a game? No, it's a torture (apart from these dumb people I was talking about).
* Interracial relations: To me interracial relationships or adoptions are of course not wrong but they don't seem good either! I mean it's just normal! That's why I'm sometimes a bit annoyed by people who place those relationships on a pedestal. To me it sounds like "positive segragation". Noticing the interracialness means we're still seeing some differences while we shouldn't. Are we seeing any person wondering about couples between skinny/fat or blonde/brown hair or something like that? No! What I mean is that the colour of the skin should be taken just as any physical aspect. I've already argued a long time ago with a friend who, when he saw a blonde white girl with a black guy in the street, stated "that's admirable". Well yes and no! Of course it's good that it happens, but that doesn't mean it's admirable! No more than a 100% white couple! It's just love, whatever the persons look like!
* Message to God: If you really exist, show us evidences of your existence and tell us (everybody) what you really expect from us and how you want us to live and be... After that we'll finally all agree and stop arguing for stupid unproved things/ideas/values!
* Future & Me: I almost stopped predicting my or the world's future when I realized that it prevented me from living my life happily and seizing opportunities to make the most of my present life. I try hard not to follow my dreams all the time nor to forget them. It's a kind of balance I need: if I think about my dreams too much (as I used to do), I'm scared that I may not fulfil them, but on the other hand of course I need them to have goals and reasons to live and evolve.
That said I have hopes. I'm a kind of "happy pessimist" sometimes but overall I believe in human ability to stop their bullsh!t in time! When I see how fast the world evolved (not progressed but evolved!) in the lattest century compare to the slow evolution of civilizations in the rest of the world's history, I'm confident. I'm certain the world will finally calm down during the 21st century. I just hope 'we' don't cross a no-return border (in term of pollution for instance).
As for my own future, I still hope I'll have a stable and happy family with children, and that I'll find a balance between my professional life and my personal life (with a blossoming creativity concerning my artistic inspirations...)
I believe in love and that makes me feel optimistic enough...
* Anti-Americanism: One must keep in mind that being anti-Americanist doesn't mean being anti-American. I'm anti-Americanist (which to me simply means I'm anti-imperialist and at present USA are imperialist) but I'm truly not anti-American.
What can Americans do to reduce it? Well it's quite hard to say since they're not fully responsible of that situation. Their governments and other powerful people (bosses of big companies...) are responsible of the negative image of the USA in the world. Of course we can't generalize but that's a fact: the overall negative image of the USA in the world is carried by a bunch of arrogant smart arses who take very egoistic and stupid decisions that often have serious consequences on the whole world (in term of pollution, wars, poverty...)
* What God really wants: I didn't make this up by myself but Gwailo did and it says my opinion very well: "I suggest a theory: God wants us to turn our minds to earthly duties of solving human poverty, disease, famine and violence. He seeks to galvanise our efforts by setting a supremely bad divine example (this guy's c.v. makes Hitler and Stalin look like Bert and Ernie), in the hope that we will stop spending so much time worshipping him and squabbling over the small print of scripture. The correct response to God's tests is to realise that God hates the devout. He created the world for humans to live in. He wants them to live in it and deal with it and stop trying to show how much they love him with rituals and prayers and chanting and sacrifices (what use does God have for burned goats, wafers, and effigies anyway?) - God loves those who ignore their creator and who set about fulfilling their roles as humans. He hates those who spend their lives trying to suck up to the boss in the hope that they will someday be promoted above the fellow humans they claim to care about."
* Bisexuality: I personally believe we are all partly bisexual even if we're not aware of our 'other side' (or don't accept it) and even if this 'other side' is a very small part of us.
* Original religious theories are quickly forgotten: Any religion might have a relatively peaceful primal goal but the rivalries between men bring some different aspects/interpretations to a religion even if it was not its characteristics before! That leads to dangerous combinations such as thinking the Quran approves stoning and honour killing...
Part XIII) Conclusion
"In case I don't see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night!"
[party] [kiss] [wave]
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La bonté d'Alice (2004)
A piece of garbage!
I've been so impatient to see that since I was in the credits! But I knew (by reading the scenario, participating to the footage, seeing the rushes...) it would be a piece of garbage. Well I'm not surprised: I was right! The scenario and dialogue are very weak. The humour doesn't work at all. Only Sophie Le Tellier makes you smile with her great talent. The other actors are not all bad but I have to say it was hard for them to show their talent with so weak characters and stupid quotes! Well, almost everything is bad. That's strange to see that a film like that will stay in my memory because my name is on the credits!
Heartbreak Ridge (1986)
Eastwood can be that bad ?!
Gosh i wasn't expecting such a bad film from Eastwood! I have not liked all the movies I saw from him (I found Space cowboys very bad for example) nor really loved any to be honest, but I wan't aware that he made such a crap film! Heartbreak Ridge is one of the most clichéd film I've ever seen.
Its directing and editing are very weak, its cinematography is generally quite poor (apart from some Sergio Leone look-alike shots like this beautiful close-up on Eastwood's eyes), and its acting... well I have to admit that I unfortunately saw this film on French TV and it was badly dubbed (dubbing is already something I generally can't stand but it's even worse when it's that badly made!). So I couldn't judge the "voice-acting" but just the "body-acting", and I found it generally either over-acted or under-acted. Some sequences are just awfully static. I also couldn't judge the dialogues but I suppose the dubbing generally kept the main aspect of them so I suppose I would have hated the original dialogues too!
As for the subject of this film, it's kind of silly: army and war are shown like games. There's nothing serious enough nor funny enough to allow us to think that it could have been a kind of critic of army/wars. So it sounds like a clichéd stupid patriotic speech, without any real touch of humanity and reflection on consequences of conflicts etc. A useless movie, really...
it's for you! (2003)
A simple and deeply moving masterpiece!
Movies that catch so immediately your eyes and your heart are so rare! From the very first moments you feel like you're entering an intimate auto-documentary, and even if you quickly understand that's fictitious, the tone is given : one can detect it's kind of real-life, genuine, human ! The granule of digital video symbolically takes us inside the main character, who is painting his own portrait himself in a simple neo-romantic narration. Of course, while he's speaking to Sundra, Julián is speaking to us so that it's even easier for us to be caught up in his life. Strangely the film never falls into voyeurism, even during the few quite erotic sequences. It's intimate but also really prudish and sincere: so far away from TV reality shows!
The feeling of authenticity is strengthened by a not inconsiderable part of improvisation palpable and well done that tends to compare the movie with John Cassavetes's work. « It's for you ! » also seems to be a successful hybrid of theatre and cinema, a heir of a less pretentious and less eccentric underground cinema, and a declaration of love to so many things ! Bruno Lázaro Pacheco seems to enjoy an alternation of rhythms, laughs, tears and sometimes a kind of contemplation with nearly abstract and purely aesthetic shots: plane tracks in the sky, graffiti
The main virtuosity of this movie is its use of digital video. Unlike lots of films, it isn't only about saving money here. The digital media and the filming process are directly included in the narration, giving the director and the audience a character status. And let's not forget the aesthetic potential of video that Bruno Lázaro Pacheco use with magnificence ! A proof that we can make great cinema without film! A movie that would deserve to be a lot less confidential! 10/10
Strange worrying animation
I've seen this short animated artwork at the Biennale of Contemporary Art of Lyon in 2003. The hypnotic music made of chimes and percussion sounded like a weird lullaby and spread its atmosphere in a big part of the museum. It was kind of calling the visitors from the entry, guiding us to the dark little room where the movie was screened. And directly I was catch by this quite amazing atmosphere. The inexorable repetition of this 4 minute film was adding something more to the worrying dream that was shown on the screen. This was all about paradox: the dark combination of black and blue (almost purple) was personifying the frightening appearance of the sequence when white and pink were showing some more dreamy joyful look. Horses and trees were mixed with soldiers and bubbles, in an animation that was somehow both jerky and smooth. Half a dream, half a nightmare. And a feeling of being at ease in our uneasiness... or the contrary! In a word: strange... but great.
The Eurovision Song Contest (2004)
It's the first time I've watched the whole show and it was fun as I expected! Fun because most of the songs were kitsch! Fun because of the costumes, choreographies, etc... Fun because the French commentary was hilarious: Laurent Ruquier reading the sms that Geluck, Fogiel and other of his famous friends were sending to him during the show, Elsa Fayer commenting the show with sincerity, freshness and humour (and rating 2/20 almost every candidate!). Fun because of the Turkish persenter's hair! Fun because my parents and I played to the voting game. Fun because some few things were not that crap: Turkey's ska band was certainly the best, Ukraine's winner was fun to watch, French candidate was not that bad compare to former French entries, Serbia-Montenegro had a great music (what a pity the singer didn't have the same quality), Germany sent us a non-Eurovision-like candidate, and Russian teenager was cute to see and hear (with Kamel Ouali's choreography that is certainly the only good one...) The worse? Well, I suppose the egocentric gay disco diva from Bosnia is part of them, among the Austrian boys band, the Maltese old-fashioned duet and the Romanian symbol of vulgarity!
Surprising: not that bad!
Well, I went to see that in order to empty my stressed mind and to
forget my personal problems. So I was not expecting a good
movie. Knowing 3 movies by Jan Kounen (Dobermann, Gisele
Kerozene and Vibroboy), I was also expecting a rather violent and
almost inhuman action movie. But to my surprise: NO! It was exactly the contrary: a kind of hypnotic western movie, far
from what we've seen before in that cinema genre. Of course it's
not a masterpiece and it has some clichés and "bad" scenes. But
the style is quite original and it's more an insight of Blueberry's
mind than a Blueberry's adventure. This movie is far from the
comic book's character (I have to admit that I don't really know the
comic book so it's probably why I was not that upset by the
difference!) but in one way it's not a big deal! It's announced in the
opening credits: "freely inspired by"! Therefore, I think that's just a
re-invention of the myth of Blueberry as "O Brother" is a
re-invention of Ulysses by the Coen Brothers or "Romeo + Juliet"
a re-invention of Shakespeare's work by Baz Lurhman. Adaptation shouldn't be a copy, in fact. And that's why lots of
people always say: "oh my God, if you know the book, the cinema
adaptation is totally failed!" Because they (we) are often afraid of
re-invention. To come back to the movie "Blueberry", I have to say that I was
completely hypnotized by the animated almost abstract part of it. At
the end, the long insight of Blueberry reminded me of "2001 a
space odyssey". Of course "Blueberry" will not be remembered as
"2001" is and will still be, but it looks like a kind of tribute to
Kubrick's movie. "Blueberry" seems to be a very personal movie for Kounen and I
suppose that's the reason why it's misunderstood and underestimated. People were probably waiting for a more
conventional western movie. And I think this one is kind of
in-between: both a commercial movie and a more experimental
author's film. So have a try, and just fly in Blueberry's mind... and don't expect too
many action scenes! 7/10
Russkiy kovcheg (2002)
An amazing maze through Russian history. Let your eyes be your keys to unlock the doors.
Sokurov is not the first man to try make a one-shot movie. Hitchcock was probably the first with "Rope", and he would have done it in one single shot if it was technically possible at the time. More recently Mike Figgis attempted to approach the problem differently with "Time Code" ( one screen divided into four simultaneous images , each of them, a single shot ). But even so, "Russian Ark" is a tour de force! If an unedited movie is always a challenge, this one is almost provocative. Making a movie with more than two thousand actors, an amazing number of costumes and props, and in no less a place than the Hermitage, involving scenes in more than thirty of its rooms, would be impressive in a conventional movie, but shooting it for a duration of more than one and a half hours without a single cut is just crazy! I suppose the famous French cinema theorist Andre Bazin would have loved this movie. Of course Bazin and other defenders of unedited sequences are correct about one thing: that you can feel more involved in a movie that is free of the distractions of editing. Coinciding with the apparent current invasion with reality TV, this movie seems more realistic than these awfully edited shows. The filmmaker has fewer opportunities to cheat, with a single shot. Of course cinema will never be reality: it was, is, and will be an IMAGE forever. But a single shot accompanying the characters through a whole movie is an amazing thing, to attract us and to make us feel we're part of the story. Naturally there are some disadvantages with a single shot, if indeed we can regard them as such. Apart from the technical difficulty involved, the problem is to have something to show all the time. Indeed there are some quite lengthy scenes in "R.A" that are either tedious or meaningless, but since an unedited film is closer to reality than any other kind of film, the question is: aren't there some moments like that in our lives? Don't we wait sometimes? Naturally, lots of people would contend that they don't go to the cinema in order to be bored (possibly because their own lives are filled with enough tedium), but the fact is that cinema is quite an eclectic art: you can find American blockbusters made simply for fun, or to wash your brain, and otherwise you can access movies that are more "clever"(and that does not mean that blockbusters are necessarily "dumb"), but it is worth acknowledging that some cinema is concerned with values that have no connection with fun or frivolity. This may seem obvious, but it is an essential consideration if we are to do justice to a brave new film like "R.A", and let us come back to the movie and the way it deals with the single shot: the 'empty' sequences manifest a mirror of life, and in that case a reflection of the life in Russia especially. We can appreciate Sokurov's rationale for making an unedited movie: that is , the camera is subjective; indeed our actual physical vision is not cut in real life (even if you close your eyes for a moment, your vision is not 'cut' but only blackened for a brief period.) Not only does the single shot give a feeling of reality, but it also makes us think we are the character whose eyes are replaced by the camera. The character's eyes became the camera, then the screen, then OUR eyes. There is a double indirect connection between the character and us. In Noah's Ark, all of the animals are in pairs. In "Russian Ark", the VISION is double. That leads me to discuss the character's voiceover. The voice might have been a bit odd for the audience because it seems that it was pasted, since it was recorded after the shooting and then added to the movie, and so the movie partly loses its unedited quality, due to the sound. During the first minutes of the movie, we feel no connection between the image and the voiceover, but as we continue to follow this character through the 'maze', we're getting closer to him thanks to the 'eyes', and then we accept the voice. Indeed, don't we hear our own voice differently from the way we receive other people's voices? If the voiceover has a strange murmuring quality, it is because it manifests as our own voice! This effect may not work for everybody, but it worked (sometimes) for me. If the single shot and the voice are employed to project us into the 'action', the subject is quite fascinating and challenging as well: relating three centuries of Russian history by using the Hermitage Museum in St.-Petersburg! It is particularly interesting to see that Sokurov has employed a kind of sci-fi convention to communicate the idea of two men wandering through corridors of history. That creates a kind of duality between past and future. Lots of things reminded me of Tartovski's "Stalker" (another Russian metaphorical and metaphysical sci-fi film); the slowness, the strange unexplained situations, the odd dialogue, the loneliness of the characters, and the fact that the unreal part of the story is neither visible nor barely discussed, which probably suggests that Sokurov chose a sci-fi approach more as a simple narrative device rather than any desire to make a sci-fi movie. To have cast a non Russian character to help Sokurov to look at his country's history more objectively, is a wise decision. And so he refrains from any temptation to make a glorious kind of propaganda film: instead we see a well measured film which yields an exposure of positive and negative aspects of Russian history and culture. The film's element of satire ensures that there is no indulgence in the self-congratulatory that is evident in the worst of US cinema. Well, to be honest, I think I did not know enough Russian history to really understand this movie because it can be very confusing without that knowledge. (I had the exact same concerns with Rohmer's "l'Anglaise et le Duc"). But on the other hand, it encourages the viewer to learn more about Russia, and to see this movie again to enjoy it more. It is also the kind of movie that makes you regret that you do not speak the original language, obviating the absence of more genuine comprehension. Actually it is quite talky, and not everything is subtitled: sometimes you cannot identify which character IS subtitled, and it becomes it a bit more confusing. In spite of any negative remarks, partly due to (any) spectator's ignorance of Russian culture, this movie is generally rewarding and worth seeing. I should add that the shots are generally beautiful: the exterior scene in the snow is stunning, but regrettably too short! And the ball scene is also sublime
Just watch it with a Russian-speaking friend who has an encyclopedic knowledge of Russian history, and it will be even better! Otherwise just let your eyes be your guide: after all we don't understand everything that occurs around us in our lives! 7/10
'How-more-than-Why' is Natali's trademark!
This movie is confirming what we thought about Vincenzo Natali: he prefers to ask "How?" than "Why?". Although there are more explanations in "Cypher" than in "Cube" or "Elevated", the movie is more focused on the way the character is trying to get rid of his problems. Of course the heroes of Natali's movies are always trying to find the causes of what occurs to them but they realise step by step that explanations would not help them. Therefore Natali's movies seem to have a more philosophical meaning than expected. If fantasy/sci-fi components are almost permanent in his movies they are only excuses to show the craziness of human beings and to display the fact that humans are dangers for humans themselves! The danger never comes from where you expect it to come in Natali's films and that's why it doesn't matter to try to find the source of Evil: it can be anywhere! And you cannot go backward to resolve problems so reasons of problems appear to be useless. Natali is also confirming that he's trying to get rid of his own claustrophobia by making 'shock therapy' movies, even though the claustrophobic angle in "Cypher" is less obvious than in "Cube" or "Elevated". Is he actually saying that Evil can only be beaten by itself? Well his characters are also generally trying to use Evil against itself. But against all expectations, Natali's films are not that Manichean. Every character has something bad and something good in himself. To finish with the subject of "Cypher" and its meanings, I have to say that it's less good than "Cube" but it couldn't have been better. Let me explain: at the end there are some few explanations that first seem to be a bit disappointing. Indeed the "Cube" mysterious end was not repeated here but on the other hand a lack of explanations would have been weirder in "Cypher" and quite unpleasant. The end was harder to build in "Cypher" than in "Cube" and the kind of funny twist at the end of "Cypher" seems to be the best compromise that they could find. (Natali is probably experiencing the difficulty to overcome the hard task to make a second movie after a welcomed first movie as "Cube".)
And now, let's speak about the stylish beauty of the movie! Again, Natali is making a very good sci-fi movie with few special effects. Wouldn't it be the best way to make a sci-fi movie? Far better than some meaningless and dull use of special effects in movies as the latest episodes of "Star Wars"? As in "Cube", Natali worked with cinematographer Derek Rogers, production designer Jasna Stefanovic and visual effects supervisor Bob Munroe, who created a quite simple but very beautiful atmosphere. As for the music, it seems that Michael Andrews is a twin of Mark Korven because their respective musics for "Cypher" and "Cube" are both perfect for the claustrophobic and mysterious ambience of Vincenzo Natali's movies. The performance of Jeremy Northam is just fabulous in a sort of schizophrenic role, and the short appearance of David Hewlett (who was already in "Elevated" and "Cube") is a major moment of the movie. As for Lucy Liu, it seems that she's here more to make the movie a bit more commercial but her presence is quite appreciable and her performance is good. As a conclusion, I have to say that I was also delighted to see a kind of homage to Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange" and Hithcock's "North by Northwest". A very good moment. (7.5/10)
Maybe one of the worst editing ever!
Everybody who wants to be an editor should watch this movie! It shows you about every mistake not to do in editing a movie! My grandma could have done better than that! But that's not the only reason why this movie is really bad! (It's actually so bad that I'm not able to write a sentence without exclamation mark!) If the first episode of Les Visiteurs' was a quite good familial comedy with funny jokes and cult dialogues, this sequel is copying badly the receipe of the first one. The funny parts could be counted on one hand and maybe half of it. Clavier is over-acting his role even more than in the first part, Robin is trying to act like Lemercier (because she's replacing her) but that's grotesque'. Lemercier is Lemercier, Robin is Robin! Even if Muriel Robin can be funny by herself on stage, she is not in this movie because she's not acting as she used to act. I know that it should be hard to replace somebody who was good in a role (Lemercier obtained a César award for her role in the first movie) but she made a big mistake: instead of playing her role, she played Lemercier playing her role'! As for the story, it's just too much! Of course we knew at he end of the first movie that there would be a sequel but Poiré and Clavier should hae tried to write a more simple story like the first episode. The gags are repetitive, childish and déjà-vu. No, really, there's no more than 3 funny parts in this. The only good things might be the costumes and some special effects. So you have only 2 reasons to watch it: 1) if you want to learn how to edit awfully a movie, 2) if you want to waste your time or if you really need a brainless moment'! 2/10
967 et les anges (1995)
An amazing and funny view of reincarnation!
This derisory version of reincarnation is extremely funny and refreshing! A few years before `Dogma' and `A life less than ordinary', French director Pierre-Yves Touzot showed delirious angels, all perfectly performed by only one man. Indeed Denis Dommel transformed himself from one scene to another with majesty. Such majesty that it's sometimes difficult to think that it's him again! Thus he performed not less than 7 angels, all very different but all funny. Writers Touzot and Hadmar ridiculed the idea of reincarnation and also gave us a message of equality by giving the role of Saint-Pierre to an Arabic actor (Karim Yousfi), showing that maybe all the religions are the same!
Otherwise the production design is simple but perfect for the story: immaculate walls and furniture, without any shadow! The cinematography and the sound are also brilliant for the context, as well as the crazy new version of the song `la Dirladada' which brings us in totally mad ending credits where we discover that Denis Dommel took a different name for each of his angelic roles by making 6 anagrammes from his real name! (By the way, are we sure that Denis Dommel is his real name?!).
Actors are pretty bad, the sound is awful, the black and white seems to be here to hide some technical defects, the story is not very original but well-done and the direction is quite good by showing different points of view of the same action. In fact the best is the `Pulp Fiction' kind of thing with the unchronological editing showing different points of view. Therefore it's not a bad movie but it's not unforgettable!
La pisseuse (1997)
It could have been better than that.
The burlesque serie of accidents and unlucky situations is often very funny; Iris's need to take a p*** is used like a real McGuffin.
Actors are quite good especially the impressive and charming Suzanne Legrand who is also a bit moving sometimes. What a pity that the end is scamped and that the direction is not very original!
Le passager (1997)
This black comedy is well-done, mostly thanks to the performance of Dieudonné and Jean-Christophe Bouvet. The shots are beautiful, the direction and the lighting have everything for a good film-noir, the sound is also exceptional but the permanent music during the movie is quite annoying! Moreover this music is rather kitsch and repetitive... in a word it's tiresome! But the main drawback of the movie is not the music: it's the almost total lack of suspense! Unfortunately the end can be expected very quickly! But the tone of the film and the dialogues are luckily here to improve that! 6/10
Dormez, je le veux! (1998)
Go to sleep instead of watching that!
*Warning: this comment may contain a spoiler at the end! (but you'll be informed again before it so you can read the start without worrying!)*
The title means `I want you to sleep!' and they don't have to tell us that because it's more enjoyable if we sleep! This movie is a catastrophe! Never a film has shown a relationship between an adult and a teenage girl so badly as this one. It tries during 1 hour ½ to discuss the problem of a pseudo-paedophilia in a very strange way and it awfully fails. Even if -contrary to me- you didn't like `Lolita' or `Léon' (`the Professional'), believe me: they are better than this! `Dormez je le veux' was certainly too ambitious compare to what it was able to do! The direction, the story, the lighting. every technical or `artistic' detail in the film are closer to a bad French TV-movie than a movie for cinema. (By the way I saw it on TV and I'd never heard of it before when it was supposed to have been released!). It's impersonal and it alternates between a `politically correct' way to tell the story and a too ambitious way to do it. Moreover it's naively stupid sometimes so it becomes a little bit shocking but not for the reasons we could expect at the start. Only some few sequences are a bit more ambitious and daring, e.g. when young actress Céline Milliat-Baumgartner is in the bed with Féodor Atkine or when she appears topless. In fact most of the time there is a lack of daring and when the film dares more it maybe dares too much -mostly if you compare to the rest- and very badly! It's an inconsistent road-movie with different acting skills. Atkine is quite good in his role, Catherine Frot acts very well in a role which is perfect for her (a `disconnected' woman like in `Un Air de Famille'.) but unfortunately she has a little role, François Berléand is also brilliant in the 2 different roles he has (but like Frot he's too absent!) and Jean-Louis Loca is quite bad. The young Céline Milliat-Baumgartner has to improve her acting skills even if she's OK. Her little resemblance to Nathalie Portman is a bit disturbing during one scene: indeed at one moment, Cora (Celine Milliat-Baumgartner) says to the hotel receptionist that she's Katz's (Feodor Atkine) wife! Doesn't it remind you another scene with Nathalie Portman and Jean Reno in a movie called `Léon'? Hem. To finish with let's speak about the only very good scene which allowed me to give a generous 3/10 instead of 1: the end! (*so don't read what's next if you don't want to know the end!*). What a pity that the movie is not all the time as good as the end where Cora tries to put a baby to sleep by hypnotising him (and in English!). Finally some original and interesting thing!
Lola rennt (1998)
Unforgettable masterpiece! Germans have found their new master!
Time is money... and Tom Tykwer is the time-maker! Germany's new genius has made an exciting tryptic by controlling Time (with a big `T'!) with an incredible majesty. The idea of chance was never shown so well before and the idea of `anything-can-happen' has reached its peak in this movie. The three parts are amazingly built and each detail can be important. Contrary to most of the movies the spectator can't expect everything; each meter Lola runs, each corner of each street, each character, and each second can be a surprise. And we run with her during the whole movie wondering what can happen next second although we don't really do that for our own lives! And this movie is just about life and about the fact that every detail can be important: everything can change something else, and we can choose some things but not all. In the movie Lola and Manni try to control their own `destiny' (but can we talk about destiny or fate in this film or about chance?); of course they can't: some things are not connected to them and Tykwer uses video system to film that, I mean every shots that don't involve neither Lola nor Manni. This is one of the numerous examples of well-used techniques in `Lola Rennt'. Do you need another example? OK let's talk about the way Tykwer uses photographies! They allow him to speak about the future, which is very interesting because photographies are generally about the past, about memory, about remembrance. And photos are still and Tykwer speaks about time with them. How can you better talk about time by mixing past, present and future at the same time like Tykwer did? Aesthetically and technically the movie is perfect for the story: Tykwer follows the rhythm of Lola's running by making a quick alternation of shots (with the help of editor Mathilde Bonnefoy), beautifully combined with the techno music he also composed with Johnny Klimek and Reinhold Heil. Of course sometimes Lola stops or the story focuses on Manni who waits for her, and Tykwer takes advantage of that to make the spectators think more about what's happening... and also what happened and what will happen! Therefore Lola, Tykwer and the audience are all able to breathe again for a while before continuing their epic race for life! Roberto Benigni told us that life is beautiful, Tom Tykwer showed us that life is just life! So let's run and try to catch the Time!
Conclusion: a huge 12/10 for everything!!!
Théo, t'es là? (1998)
The mix-up is not very original (we can guess the end very easily) but this one-shot movie is well-done anyway. The performance of Johanna Menuteau -alone in front of the door (i.e. the camera)- is very good although being a little bit too theatrical sometimes, and she's quite funny and charming. She uses her voice and her body like tools to create a relationship between her and a virtual partner. Dialogues are good and spicy, the direction and the construction of the shot are rather elaborate, and the final music is nice (especially the violin). To conclude: a good moment. 7/10
La vis (1993)
A totally crazy movie! (and clever...)
This short movie is a jewel! It brings us in a very strange world which is not very understandable but which is finally quite close to our world of incomprehension. For that Didier Flamand used a weird language, showing (like Tati already did a long time ago) that people don't understand each other even with the same language. And the weakness of languages is well shown here!
Flamand created a new language by mixing French words and foreign tones that mostly sound German. German? Hem It's quite ironic when you see the "Hitler-like" mustache of Jean Reno in the movie! And this leads us to think about Chaplin's "Great Dictator". "la Vis" is really influenced by Chaplin or Buster Keaton because of the beautiful black and white shots, the "mute" sense of humor, the old captions at the beginning, the way Reno acts and the production design which reminds Chaplin's `Modern Times'.
Thus the mixed influence of Chaplin and Tati works very well, and the special atmosphere can also remind Jeunet and Caro's "Delicatessen" mostly for the craziness of the characters. The actors are perfect, especially the magistral Jean Reno, and they should deserve a standing ovation because of the difficulty of their roles. Therefore it's an amazing mad movie and the end is splendidly burlesque! 10/10 and the movie really deserved all the prizes it won everywhere in the world.
The point is not `is it entertaining?'
How can't you rate this movie with 10/10? I admit to say that this movie is not very entertaining but the goal is not to tell you a story but History! This is the first `real' movie of cinema history (`le Prince de Galles' was first but it was not technically perfect enough
) and it has an undoubtedly huge international value. These people that you can see finishing their working day in the movie had the chance to participate to a historic moment, becoming the first persons to be able to see themselves moving! And above all the shot is a beautiful shot! And it's very moving when you think about the first persons to have seen that! What a moment! Historic for science first (because the Lumiere brothers first invented the cinematographe for scientific reasons) and for art later. A movie to venerate!
Analyze This (1999)
It was a great idea but...
... but they could have made such a better movie! Almost everything is disappointing in the movie from the scenario which could have been much better and funnier to the promising cast who seems to have been very lazy about their performance! Robert De Niro is not always very convincing when he `cries', Billy Crystal is less funny than he used to be, and Lisa Kudrow's character alternates between a `Friends' weird Phoebe' style and a normal and not interesting style! Nevertheless there are some few very good scenes
but a few ones because just one came to my mind! It's the parody of the scene of `Godfather' where the Don is shoot! Very good parody! What a shame that the movie is so irregular! (5/10)
PS: I prefer the French title which is `Mafia Blues' (a little bit more original...)
The film is bad but the book was brilliant!
Almost everybody who read Stephen King's novel will agree to say that the film does not bear the comparison. The film is too fast and forgets far too much to concentrate on the psychology of the characters. On the other hand the film has a big chronological problem compare to the novel, we get lost a little bit and everything does not seem logical: for example how can Billy and Chris foresee the blow of the bucket before knowing that Carrie goes to the ball? Simply because the film is too fast! Therefore the film can be a good horror film (but not more) for those who don't know the book and almost a disaster for the fans! Especially that the atmosphere is not completely there either and the actors are rather weak besides the impressive Sissy Spacek which almost saves the movie by herself! And what to say about Brian De Palma's obsession for Hitchcock? Unable (once again) to impose his own style, he goes as far as copying in a hideous way some details of "Psycho" (the music, the knife
), but so significant and so famous details that we start to think of the other movie during some seconds by wondering which film we are watching! Anyway the conclusion is simple: read the novel or wait for somebody else to make a better adaptation! (4.5/10)
Copy Shop (2001)
One of the best short movies ever! A very clever idea!
I've never seen any Austrian movie before and I would have thanked God to have made me tape this short movie if I believed in God!!! This is an excellent experimental movie which develops a very interesting idea and clever new technics which consist in animating photocopies of pictures. Moreover Virgil Widrich wrote the right story to stick with the technics. And the result is amazing: the aesthetics are very good and the special effects well-done. But it's not all: Zlamal's music is very moving and Johannes Silberschneider performs his several roles with majesty! At the end I felt very strange and wondered a lot of things but above all I thought about problems of cloning humans! Generally I thought about the dangers of homogeneity: can we become all fools?... But I won't tell you more because suspense is so important in cinema!
Watch the TV-serie: it's 20 times better than that!
As the cartoon ("Madeline", 1990) is intelligent and funny, as the film is a disaster! The scenario is very poor and déjà-vu and contains lots of mistakes or illogic and unbelievable things. (For example Uzbekistan was independent only after the fragmentation of the USSR thus had no ambassador when the film takes place!) But the most disastrous is the vision of France by Americans who seem to know nothing! Even if the story takes place in the 50s, many things are cliché. You will tell me: " yes but it is a movie for children, we don't care! " It is exactly where the problem is! Young Americans will believe that France is always like that and it won't help either France for its image or the USA for their knowledge of the world! The worst is to see that the movie wants to show that you should not judge people's appearances (I speak about characters of Pepito and Lord Covington) but on the other side it judges the customs and the life of the non-English-speaking countries (not only France) too fast! And what to say about the absurd mixture of the French and English languages? That adds a little bit of ridiculous to the movie, that's all! As a Frenchman, that even made me smile often by imagining first of all that Americans who look at the movie don't understand anything and then that some "bilingual" situations would be a little bit stupid in the true life! In fact it is maybe the only thing which made me laugh in the film! I don't understand how some Frenchmen agreed to co-produce this movie!
Otherwise the actors are mostly very bad: only France McDormand appears to be a little bit better (but we wonder why she was in this film so far from the spirit of the Coen brothers!), the French actress Chantal Neuwirth is rather good also (but the film won't allow her to go out of the anonymity in her country!) and the young Hatty Jones is only one more child who will certainly never play a leading role again even if her performance remains correct!
To finish let's speak about some positive points: the film manages to have a few feelings and the ending song is a good lively song for a film for children. Conclusion: 4/10 even if I admit that the children can spend a good moment!...
PS: I have nothing against Americans, I just have pity for them when I see that a lot of Americans know just their own country or their own state!
Ça se discute (1994)
Maybe the best talk-show
Jean-Luc Delarue produces and hosts this show (on the national channel France 2) with a quite sensible manner. He has this special gift to be able to control his guests and his public with an impressive charisma. And above all, he manages to show different things with a clever way, not like in most of the talk-shows which are made just in order to choke or to entertain the viewers. (e.g. not as other shows Delarue produces as "C'est mon choix")
In this show we don't feel like encouraging voyeurism! It's just made in order to inform us about different things in the world life! And when you start to see one "episode", you can't help watching it until the end and you go to bed very late! This is the only real drawbacks of the show: it's too late on TV! Anyway thank you Jean-Luc to have (finally) made at least one good talk-show! That might be the only one I think is interesting...
Don't Say a Word (2001)
Just Brittany Murphy's performance is interesting!
My title shows what I think about this movie: just Brittany Murphy's performance is interesting! She's very nice and amazing and I almost voted 7 for the movie thanks to her (but I finally put 6!). The rest is simple and "déjà-vu"! Douglas is quite good too but the story is a little bit boring sometimes and the direction and the cinematography are really not original... And I DON'T want to SAY Another WORD for this movie!...
Halifax f.p.: Playing God (2001)
This episode of "Halifax f.p." is the first I have seen and I was very impressed by the performance of the beautiful teenage actress Emily Browning! I hope that she will have a good career in her future... Otherwise, this TV serie is not really original but well-done and it was a good evening for me! It reminds me some TV series I saw in my country (France) like "Julie Lescaut" or things like that... But I didn't really enjoy the lighting (like in most of the TV series!). Nevertheless the story was not so politically correct as the TV series in general!... To conclude I want to congratulate another time Emily Browning who I hope to see more!...