En Kärlekshistoria * Roy Andersson (1970)

We got a box with Roy Andersson films and started with the oldest one. Roy Andersson got known for his extremely slow and absurdistic films, but this teenage lovestory is pretty straightforward.

The just-fifteen Pär and the beautiful big-eyed, short skirted and almost-fourteen Annika fall in love. This does initially not go too smoothly, but soon things are a-okay and they even spend a weekend with both families. Like I said, the film is pretty straightforward with no unexpected storylines or filming. Towards the end, with the family weekend, the film forshadows later Scandinavian films such as “Festen” a little.

O Apóstolo * Fernando Cortizo (2012)

I have no idea why it took two years before this film reached the cinemas, but we did see “O Apóstolo” on the big screen. It is a gloomy, Spanish animation; ‘Burtonesk’ in atmosphere. The largest parts are pretty detailed clay-animations, but there are also drawn animations, beautifully Medievalish in style.

Two inmates escape. Only one does it right. Carlos sets out to a village where his partner in crime supposedly hid a lot of jewelry that he stole. Tapping into the Santiago de Compostella pilgrimages, Carlos finds the village that he is looking for, but it proves to have some very sinister inhabitents. Finding the hidden jewels proves to be quite an ordeal too and Carlos gets sucked in to the secrets of the village.

“O Apóstolo” is a nice film with a slightly absurd, dark atmosphere and wonderfull characters. Being a clay-puppet animation, the people in it can be nicely exaggerated visually, the same for the gloomy village.

The Conjuring * James Wan (2013)

Do you know that movie about a haunted house? “Which one?” you ask? Exactly. Here we have one of those.

You can make a good shot about the story. A family moves onto a big, remote house and soon gets haunted by the inhuman inhabitants. There we have the first half of “The Conjuring”. The story is predictable, but the atmosphere is well enough. Halfway, the family calls in two ghost-busters whose story is intwined with the main story. The ghost-busters move in with the family as they try to get rid of the demonic spirit.

I am not sure how “The Conjuring” ended up on my to-see-list, but lest you should like the predictable kind of horror, it need not be on yours.

The Time Traveller’s Wife * Robert Schwentke (2009)

A film about Heny (Eric Bana) (or judging the title, the film is actually about his wife Annette) who jumps back and forth in time without having any influence on when he leaves and where he goes to. To make a story, Henry seems to only jump through his own life and that of the ones that he loves. He meets his wife when she was only a child and by the time they have about the same age, they get married. Henry can even meet himself at a different age or his mother or his father.

The people in Henry’s life just have their lives at a normal paces. It is just that they meet Henry at different ages. After a while they understand his situation. This is worked out better in some scenes than in others, but the starting point is enough to make an entertaining film. However the story has some inconsistencies and a few mistakes, “The Time Traveller’s Wife” makes nice romance and drama that work well.

Trance * Danny Boyle (2013)

Aha, DVDpost.com sent me two Danny Boyle films, the not too great “Sunshine” which I apparently forgot I already saw and “Trance”.

Unfortunately “Trance” is not a too great film either… Starting as a fairly standard crime thriller about a stolen painting, the film goes towards somthing of an “Inception“-like story when the main character receives hypno-therapy to find out where he hid the stolen painting. The story makes the obliged twists and turns while Franck (one of the lesser parts of Vincent Cassel) and his buddies try to find the information that they are looking for with the help of the beautiful hypno-therapist Elizabeth (Rosario Dawson, Gail in “Sin City“). I shall not tell you anything more lest you would want to see the film. It is not that good though, so if you are going to watch it, is up to you.

The Freemason * Sohrab Mirmont (2013)

When I heard about this film, I wondered if a film with such a title would bring anything new to the ‘evil Freemasons conspiracy’ genre. When I set out to try to see it, I found out that this is actually not a Hollywood production, but an independently produced film only available from the creators and through Amazon. That, of course, made the question even more relevant.

“A wealthy banker lies ritualistically and brutally murdered.” Thus open the lines trying you to convince you to buy the film. Nothing new… The opening titles also refer to the big secret and the keeping thereof. What follows is a fairly standard crime thriller in which a police officer, a private detective and the daughter of the murdered man try to find the killer. Much emphasis is laid on the deceased’s membership of ‘the order’ and the investigation needs a lot of digging into Freemasonry. In this way the creators found ways to present the fairly standard, but nonetheless the fairly standard answers of Freemasonry, to questions about the secret (only the experience of the individual members), how to join (ask one) and the explanation of some of the symbols. Some scenes are filmed within a lodge and even during rites, but they clevery give an idea without showing anything. This might suggest that some Masons created a film (or helped to create) in which they, for a change, are not entirely put down as evil conspirators. The film also taps into a few popular ideas about the brotherhood though, so I am not sure ‘which side’ the film tries to show.

The result is an alright, but not too good, thriller with some peeks into the organisation about which so much is written.

As Above, So Below * John Erick Dowdle (2014)

A not too convincing attempt to bring a Dan Brown-like story to a Blair Witch-like horror.

The gorgeous investigator Scarlett continues her father’s search for the philosopher’s stone. In a Da Vinci Code-like pursuit she concludes that the philosopher’s stone can be found below the gravestone of Nicholas Flamel (1340-1480) (in whose tomb they find a drawing of Eliphas Levi (1810-1875)). To get there she descends with a group of explorers into the catacombs below the city of Paris. Using shallow alchemical and hermetical symbolism (“above above, so below” means: ‘a door on the ceiling, means a door in the floor’) Scarlett and her group go through the haunted maze that lays below the city. The adventure is pretty predictable, the atmosphere not always as pressing as intended and the Blair Witch-like camera work is not used all the way through.

Just an occult horror with a semi-interesting story. Not boring, but nothing that needs to get up high on your wishlist either.

Children Of Men * Alfonso Cuarón (2006)

However this film is from 2006, it is the pre-last full-length film of the director of “Gravity”. “Children Of Men” is also a sci-fi, but a wholly different from the space adventures of “Gravity”.

In an initially bleak, but lateron downright apocalyptic future, mankind has become infertile making a cult of the young. This infertility is only one of the problems. There is massive inequality. In the UK the situation is the least bad of the globe and many go their to test their luck. These immigrants are aggressively kept apart from the original inhabitents who enjoy a relatively good life. Activists try to change the system and persuade the former activist (and now bureaucrat) Theo to assist in their cause.

The atmosphere of the film is descent and the story makes easy links to our own time thus making “Children Of Men” a film to think about.

Puppylove * Delphine Lehericey (2013)

IMDb.comWhen this film came out I read that the soundtrack was made by ‘riot grrl’ band Soldout. Curious what film Soldout would lend their name to and what director would have Soldout for the music, the film came on my wishlist. It took two years before the film was made available on DVD. “Puppylove” proves to be a nothing-new coming-of-age film, but not a bad one.

We mostly follow the adolescent Diane who lives with her father and little brother. When Julia comes to live next door, the two get along well. Julia is slighly older and very sexually active, thus speeding up Diane’s adolescence.

The story is nothing that we have never seen and the music is just nice, but like I said, “Puppylove” is an alright film about youth.

Resident Evil * Paul W.S. Anderson (2002)

This film starts as a high tension sci-fi thriller, but inspite of that tension, it is not that good. The too eleborate introduction to the film promises more story than is needed. Halfway the film drops into an unimaginable zombie slasher causing another drop in level.

In some future a big company has a big underground laboratory for secret experiments. Something does wrong, the AI defence system takes over and a small group of soldiers has to enter the city to shut down the main computer. Anderson apparently could not choose a genre and he goes from sci-fi thriller to gory horror to drama to action, coming to an unbalanced, not too well acted and story-wise uninteresting film.

I guess this film is for people who feel like some mindless action.

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Fantasy bombast

During two airplaneflights I have killed some time watching to fantasy spectacles. First the lauded "Avatar", second the first "Hobbit". I did not expect "Avatar" to be some sort of "Matrix", but the famous blue characters inhabit some sort of 'inbetweenworld' that men can only come using some sort of machine. The film is an 'ecological awareness' film and I hope that all the people who saw the film picked up something of the message.
The "Hobbit" then seems to have been given in by all the people who did not find the "Lord Of The Rings" trilogy spectactular enough. Over-the-top action, tons of special effects and a high speed; yep, LOTR in overdrive. I personally prefer the worked out story of the earlier trilogy.
Anyway, on corny earphones in a noisy plane it is close to impossible to follow dialogues, so I undoubtely missed so much from the films that I decided not to really review then. I do not think I will watch either again on my couch if you are curious about that.

Pandrogeny Manifesto on Youtube

This comment was on such a strange place, that I almost spammed it. When I checked what this was about, I found a film with Genesis P-Orridge. The director apparently uploaded his 2006 short to Youtube for your entertainment. Check it out if you are interested. (more…)

Breaking Bad

Now that I think of it, we also watched the first series of the lauded series "Breaking Bad". The series have a nice joke here and there, but also here the first series did not make me want to watch the second. Many people say that the series develops, but frankly, when you want people to watch your series, the first have to be very good, right? I guess I missed that part.

Series

We usually spend one evening a week watching series. Not on TV though, I am terrible with following things on TV, I just want to watch something when I want to watch it. Also I am no fond of all these 7+ season series and consequentally not of still running series. Also I find little of interest actually. (more…)

Enter The Void

It has been a while since I saw "Enter The Void". Taking that the DVD would be released by now, I thought I would get myself a copy and watch it again. Well, the DVD is available, but from the average DVD shop downtown... Fortunately there is the internet.

Four days of Dexter

The circumstances were thus that we watched "Dexter" four nights in a row, it were the first eight episodes of the second series. "Dexter" started in 2006 and is still running (season 6). (more…)

Il Campeggio dei Morti Viventi

Remember "Horizonica" (2007)? The team of "Schat Ik Ga Fietsen" is working on a new full-length "Nederhorror" ("Netherhorror" after the Netherlands) zombie slasher with a plethora of volunteers. Make-up is done by Suzy Terror (who else), Ramon Etman (director of "Horizonica") has his influence because of the cooperation of "Broet. The title is in Italian "Il Campeggio dei Morti Viventi" and on the Facebook page you can find more information. Also 'Googling' the title will bring up Youtube 'trailers' and the like. It looks like there will be some zombies in the film that I know, just as in "Horizonica", hopefully "Il Campeggio..." will be a bit better :-)

Dexter

As a new series we got ourselves "Dexter". These series actually have a 9.3 on IMdB (just as Twin Peaks) and a friend of mine says that it is getter better with every episode, even upto the fifth series. I am no fond of still running series, neither of series with too many seasons, but last week we saw the pilot and first (or second) episode. As in "American Psycho" we get the viewpoint of a serial killer. We hear him thinking, the story is with him as focal point. Dexter is an adopted child and has had urges to kill since his youth. His adoptive father, a policeman, knew all about these urges and taught Dexter to use them 'for good', hense, kill the people the police cannot catch. In his normal life Dexter is a forensic expert with "blood splatter patterns" as his speciality. The police is not his employer, but he works for them. His (step?)sister followed her father's footsteps. Dexters jog inspires his other work.
The first two episodes were amusing, but not brilliant. The series have a grim sense of humour and it is funny that a serial killer is the hero of a popular series. I know that I gave all the information already, but I myself wonder how a series of five seasons with 12 episodes each remain interesting when the pilot already gives everything away. I suppose it does not (and so neither did I) or the writers manage to keep coming up with new ideas. Time will tell.