18th International Athens Film Festival – 2012

The festival ended on Sunday. Yet, the essence of the last movie I saw, “The Beasts of the Southern Wild” was still “played” in my head. For some reason, it was impossible for me to write a post for it and “close” the festival. Until today. I am not entirely happy with what I wrote but some things need to be wrapped up some time!

This was a much better festival than the one last year.

Regarding new movies, the best ones are:

  • The Sessions
  • Beasts of the Southern Wild
  • Monsieur Lazhar
  • Rust and Bone
  • Garbage in the Garden of Eden


  • Barbara
  • Safety Not Guaranteed

You may also enjoy:

  • See Girl Run
  • On the Road
  • Cosmopolis
  • Smashed


  • Rent-A-Cat
  • Faith, Love and Whiskey
  • Amour

The following are not bad

  • Una noche
  • Gimme the Loot

but I would avoid the following:

  • Between Us
  • Graceland

Regarding old movies

  • The Firemen’s Ball is a masterpiece and
  • Pigs and Battleships is very good

Each movie has its own post and rating 🙂



Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)

There are many amazing things regarding this film. To start with, despite the fact that one may not fully grasp the film’s allegory at first, it generates so many emotions that one feels like a bucket ready to overflow. The scene of Hushpuppy (Quvenzhané Wallis – who gives one hell of a performance for a child) running holding the fireworks in her hands is one to be remembered in time to come.

From the direction’s point of view there is an entirely different, exhilarating filming approach during the opening of the movie, intensified by the background music. A feeling which continues through out being less intense but still there.

The rest of the post discusses the movie’s allegory, so you may want to skip it till you see the movie itself.

My rating: 09/10

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The Firemen’s Ball (1967)

The Firemen’s Ball is an allegory filmed bi Milos Forman in 1967 which is more than contemporary in 2012.
Another (or the only?) aspect of the reasons we face a world wide financial crisis: you may see it in different scales. The outcome is the same 🙂

My rating: 10/10

On the Road (2012)

On the Road: the film conveys an intense feeling that Walter Salles, the director, is following the story from a book, more than in any other film. Even if someone has not read the homonymous book of Jack Kerouac, the concept driving the lives of the Beat generation are vividly presented.

Garrett Hedlund gives an outstanding performance as Dean Moriarty.

My rating: 07/10

Monsieur Lazhar (2011)

Philippe Falardeau, the director of  “Monsieur Lazhar” mentioned  before the movie that there is a guideline for directors: do not make films with children or animals! Yet, he ignored that guideline and made an amazing film with kids. Kids which are righteous, generous, wonderful, magnificent, which we need to consider as full-grown ups in small size but we usually forget to do so.

A story that unfolds little by little, adding pieces to the puzzle as the film moves on. A teacher who learns from its pupils as much as they learn from him. A society that does not forgive sidestepping even if the results are healing.

Another film you should NOT miss…

My rating: 09/10

Graceland (2012)

  Graceland: corrupted politicians, child molesters, people forced to work for them, criminals, kidnapping, murderers, desperation, misery …

No doubt these things exist and make our lives miserable. But do we need to see it?

My rating: 03/10

Rent-A-Cat (2012)



Rent a Cat: Loneliness. Isolation. A hole in the heart. A cat that (even that if it is rented) may fill the void.A repeating pattern of different people with the same problem. Even for the renter 🙂 A different film worth watching.

My rating: 06/10

Faith, Love and Whiskey (2012)


Faith, Love and Whiskey: an engaged woman comes back to her native place to get together again with her old love. No faith,a lot of love, craziness and whiskey. The most beautiful point of the film is at the end where a poem is narrated about faith, hope and love.

My rating: 06/10

Una noche (2012)

Una noche: the misery of life in Havana for the film’s characters, the dream and realization of escape. Apart from that, not much really.

My rating: 05/10

Barbara (2012)

Barbara: humanity and kindness trying to survive under harsh conditions.

My rating: 08/10