The White Ribbon (2009)

white_ribbonIf you want to see how kid’s education may turn future citizens into fascists, this is a film you must see. It all begins with the fact that kids have a sense of justice which is unblemished by the dirt of  the grown ups’ around them. They tolerate a lot, but hypocrisy combined with unjustified cruelty, is the perfect recipe to lead them to extreme behavior. Although this is not an easy film to see, it is certainly worth your time.

My rating: 9/10

Moon (2009)

moonMoon is a science fiction film (my favorite species!) talking about people (best of breed). A movie by Duncan Jones, which under a well conceived plot, touches a number of issues: What can be said when a person does not even like its own self? :).  How can he/she like others? What helps a person endure a really hard situation? What is the driver behind all this technology around us and what the limits of this drive? Even if you do not like SciFi films, it is worth seeing! On the other hand, if you do like them, do not be intimidated by the film’s philosophical aspect.

My rating:  8/10

Julie & Julia (2009)

julie and juliaI loved this film. Although it did not have a “big” message to convey, there was Meryl Streep which really emerges you in the soul of the character portrayed and with Amy Adams, they cook! Well, if you love cooking, as I do :), this film is an inspiration!

My rating: 8/10

PS. If you are really interested in learning what Julia Child wrote, then the book “The Art of French Cooking” is the one the film refers to.

Taking Woodstock (2009)

talking woodstockTaking Woodstock is a lesson on how one may transform misery into something better (I hate the word “success” so much used these days!), about how people you really love and try to help may step on you because they do not know otherwise and how you may find love and hate where you do not expect them to be found. The scenes where Demetri Martin (playing the main character of the film, Elliot) sees seas of colors under LSD influence prove that [a] cinema IS amazing and [b] Ang Lee should have experienced something similar 🙂

My rating: 8 /10


A friend asked “are you going to do your backlog too?”. He was referring to the films of the 15th Athens cinema festival. Since some of these films now appear in Athen’s movie theaters, it is a good idea to transfer the “telegraphic” descriptions sent by email back then.


hookedTo start with, the Romanian title of the movie means “Fishing Sports”. A title which relates to more than one levels with the movie’s story. It seems that distributors, in their marketing fever, decide whether a title is attractive or not and change it in an arbitrary manner, hence the title “Hooked” in English, “Picnic” in French and “Κυριακάτικο Κάλεσμα” (i.e. Sunday Invitation)  in Greek!

If one could find a similarity between a movie and a human being, one might say that this movie “keeps a low profile”. Do not get me wrong here. People that keep a low profile does not mean they do not have potential: most of the time, it is the other way around!

When I watched it, there were things that annoyed me: a hand held camera shifting from actor to actor, scanning the space between them was enervating for me. As it turned out at the end, the technique contributes more to the film than aesthetics and is one more tool in the hands of Andrian Sitaru.

It also seems that it is a film moving with a slow pace. From another point of view, it does give the chance to the spectator to assimilate the meaning of every scene taking place. When the movie ends, one wonders how did it manage to put so many questions forward and also, give back some answers! Questions like: how much one can stick to its values when a tough decision has to be made? If we faced a person full of kindness and love, are we in a position to recognize it, or we would consider it an idiot because it does not fit the usual behavior we encounter?

It is really difficult (if not impossible) to fully praise a movie without revealing its plot. Bottom line: it is a movie worth seeing.

My rating: 7/10

PS. A dear friend of mine said that I am probably lenient in my rating. Please consider that this is an austere judgement 🙂

Broken Embraces (2009)

Broken EmbracesIt is really funny: Pedro Almodóvar was not of my favorite directors. Although I did enjoy the movies I’ve seen because of their anarchic approach and exaggeration of human figures, after a couple of days, it was hard  for me to remember the movie as a whole. Was I missing the main idea? May be. “Broken embraces” is however a different movie. The funny thing is that it triggered me to start writing this blog.

One will find in the movie the “usual” Almodóvar hilarious discussions between its characters :). But this is not the strong point of the movie. This movie really touched me for several reasons. It is a movie about love and obsession which takes away love’s very essence. About people and passion. About misconceptions and misunderstandings. About the truth, which when revealed, is healing people. About having in life a second chance when one thinks everything is lost. A well written story, like a thriller, a puzzle which reveals its parts, its links and dependencies along the way, doing so in a majestic way, without getting the spectator tired of the back-and-forth in time.

What may I say about the film’s photography? There are scenes that may stand alone as photographs, as paintings. Well, I did admire those…

I enjoyed every actor’s performance. But Blanca Portillo was really amazing.
From another point of view, it is a movie which partially talks about a movie! Who knows if Douglas Hofstadter is a movie fan: if he is, may be he would put in GEB another section about movies addressing the concept of recursion!

But do not let this last comment put you off-track :). If you have not seen the movie, do see it! Hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did!

My rating: 10/10

Movie fan

So, finally, the dice are thrown! Instead of writing my thoughts about movies I’ve seen in emails, an attempt for a blog is made. It did cross my mind several times but seems that this was the time to do it :). We’ll see how it goes…