September (2013)

SeptemberThe story is simple and the strength of the movie is not in the story. It is in the acting (even by small kids), the direction and the fact that it is one of these movies where almost everything is said without words. It is the face of the actor, the scenes, the sequence of the events that convey all the feelings about the loss of someone you love, the struggle to get some support while in that position, and what other people are willing to do (or not) in order to help. It is also about life itself, which has its turns and the light may hit you when you are inside the tunnel. Humane, realistic and optimistic (after all).

My rating: 08/10

A Burning Hot Summer (Un été brûlant) (2011)

UnEteBrulantA Burning Hot Summer” or love passion in multiple versions and expressions. The dependencies, misunderstandings and unrealistic expectations between people who (as usual) use the word “love” as a crutch to fill their personal void. The flirt with the idea of death when the “dream” fails to come through. All the above wrapped up with excellent acting and a plot without surprises. Some scenes are very attractive nevertheless, despite the “deja vu” experience.

My rating: 06/10

Before Midnight (2013)

BeforeMidnightBefore Midnight, is an ambitious film. There are numerous elements amalgamated that make it interesting. The really interesting philosophical discussions between people of different ages and cultures, the eternal conflicts between the male and female in a couple, the way each of them sees things, their life with their children, their relationship with ex-partners, a really amazing summer scenery in Southern Peloponnese (Greece), the concern of the parents for their children and many more.

It is supposed to be a sequel to Richard Linklater‘s “Before Sunrise (1995)” and  “Before Sunset (2004)” but it has a different style and despite the fact that I liked both of them, it did not ring a bell. There are times where it becomes tiring, but fortunately, they are not many.

Well, make sure you see it when you are not tired, otherwise you will not enjoy it.

My rating: 07/10

Woody Allen: A Documentary (2012)

WoodyAllenADocumentaryApart from a very short period of time (something like less than a year) I am a big Woody Allen fan. I’ve seen almost all his films. So, when the documentary was released in a film festival, I thought: “but I know the guy inside-out, watching it should be a waste of time!”. Big mistake! This is an excellent film worthy of its subject.

It is very interesting to see how Woody Allen started, as a person that was extremely uncomfortable with a live audience and became the director he is now. How things in his childhood affected his obsessions, ideas, beliefs. The way people who worked with him speak about their collaboration. The way he sees his work, life, love and of course death!

It is such a pleasure to see a man at his age to have such clarity, soberness and maturity about all aspects of his life and work.

He is really amazing as is this film that shows the man behind the work done. If you like his movies do not miss it. If you don’t, well, you may learn something in another level 🙂

My rating: 09/10 (Ok, I said I am a fan!!!)

Le magasin des suicides (2012)

leMagasinDesSuicides“Le magasin des suicides” has an excellent idea / script: in a gloomy world where depression (financial and humane) is everywhere, the birth of a happy child brings everything upside down. Qualities of the film:

  • The animation is very good
  • The characters are well portrayed
  • The ideas behind the plot are worth presenting

…but Patrice Leconte is like a cook with all the right ingredients of a recipe which turns out mediocre. It is hard to point out where things went wrong but the result is far from the enthusiasm generated at the initial idea.

My rating: 05/10

The Meaning of Life (2005)

The Meaning of Life” of Don Hertzfeldt is a short annimated film which you may see here. Austerity in the design, simple (but not simplistic), it shows the essence of the human (or extraterrestrial!!!) nature, the tendency we have to look at our (sometimes) small problems, argue, scream, feel sad, while all these things seem so … small when we look at the beauty of the bigger picture 🙂

My rating: 06/10

The Fountain (2006)

TheFountainThe Fountain” is a philosophical film. It presents a point of view about love and death. It is Darren Aronofsky‘s analysis about the meaning of death presented in a really awesome manner. May be this film needs to be watched more than once to be fully understood, but it is really worth it. On top of that, the soundtrack by Clint Mansell is also amazing.

My rating: 09/10

Midnight in Paris (2011)

 Before reviewing the film, there are some feelings that I must share with you. Feelings that may have affected my point of view for this movie.

A couple of weeks ago I had a discussion with a close friend of mine about Woody Allen. That friend of mine pointed out that the director’s physique is mainly responsible for his neurosis. A neurosis that he cleverly uses in most of his films, out of which he makes a lot of money. Films that present the same topics, i.e. love and death. A neurosis that he is sarcastic about, but the spectator cannot tolerate to see again and again.

There was a strong point that really got me thinking. It was so strong that for the first time, I could not enjoy one of his films that I had not seen for a long time. How much truth was in what was said? What makes a real artist? If there an artist that created a masterpiece, while he (or she) had a peace of mind and everything solved? For sure we are not talking about masterpieces here, but the concept remains: we create because we need to transform the pain we feel in life. Whether we like or not the work of an artist is subjective for sure and everybody is entitled of his own opinion. Somehow however I feel that we should not be criticizing the conditions that led to the creation.

Even if I did rationalize, the effect remained. It is said that a dress hides a body’s defects. The memory however of a body with defects does not vanish when the body is dressed up again. Midnight in Paris was out in the theaters for two weeks and I was not in the mood to see it! Until tonight!

The film is not one of his best. There are some neat things about it though. A look of Paris from a person that is in love with the city, excellent photography, the idealization we make for another era (or situation) because we are disappointed from what we currently have, the need to fall in love (yes, again!), the fear of death (yes, I know!), a smart script plus others…We do not want spoilers, now, do we?

My rating: 06/10

PS. The post has changed since its original publication. Needless to say there are no grudges against the friend mentioned above for ‘removing the dress’. We must be in touch with Reality after all. It is just that sometimes, we cherish our small illusions and feel sad when we are deprived of them :). This post was the trigger to have a look in Friendship is a two-way street which I really liked and you might want to have a look at.