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I liked Persona but was a little disappointed. I may need another viewing but right now there's about 10 other Bergmans I like more.

I loved Waltz with Bashir and enjoyed Krisha, a couple of pretty unique movies.

Haven't gotten to Incendies yet.



movies can be okay...
I liked Persona but was a little disappointed. I may need another viewing but right now there's about 10 other Bergmans I like more.

I loved Waltz with Bashir and enjoyed Krisha, a couple of pretty unique movies.

Haven't gotten to Incendies yet.
What would you say is Bergmans best ?
You should definitely check out Incendies, especially if you're a fan of the other works of its director, I personally think this is his best so far.
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"A film has to be a dialogue, not a monologue ó a dialogue to provoke in the viewer his own thoughts, his own feelings. And if a film is a dialogue, then itís a good film; if itís not a dialogue, itís a bad film."
- Michael "Gloomy Old Fart" Haneke



What would you say is Bergmans best ?
You should definitely check out Incendies, especially if you're a fan of the other works of its director, I personally think this is his best so far.
I wouldn't even bother recommending a Bergman film to anyone because everyone seems to have a different favorite. My favorite so far is Smiles of a Summer Night, which happens to be a comedy. Also up there for me is Cries and Whispers, The Virgin Spring, Autumn Sonata, Shame, and The Passion of Anna.



Nice, movies...



movies can be okay...
Thesis (1996)



Description:
"Thesis" is a Spanish thriller film about grad student Angela, who stumbles upon a real snuff video while doing a thesis on audiovisual violence, she later find out that the victim is a missing student in her faculty, which drives her to crave for more answers.
Thoughts:
"Thesis" is Alejandro AmenŠbar's feature debut, the film has snatched seven 1996 Goya Awards, which leaves me in a puzzled state, because unfortunately, I fail to understand how that's even possible, and what exactly did the general consensus see that I somehow missed ?
I quite honestly found the film equivalent to garbage, there are no characters, everyone is just a moving corpse, and let me tell you that these living objects make some ridiculous amount of retarded actions and decisions. How ironic that our main "character" Angela, is a university student, who's doing a thesis on an intriguing subject, yet somehow manages to be a complete idiot in every sense of the word.
Luckily, I didn't end up hating the movie after all, it's actually a comedy gold sometimes, just witnessing Ana Torrent's (Angela) acting is enough to keep anyone entertained, she looks like a deer in headlights in every single scene, not to mention her extremely awkward and bizarre behaviour that generates some hilarious sequences.
The writing is awful, it's so cheesy at times, but it's also plain and unusually strange at other times, I really want to know if the writers were on some sort of stupidity pills while doing their job ? Seriously ! There are a lot of scenes where characters behave as if they're from out of this world, its fairly similar to "The Room" in that aspect.
There's literally one scene in the entire film that is actually well done, which is the opening sequence, other than that, there is absolutely nothing to see in this 125 minutes long pile of poop, even if you're looking for an unintentionally funny movie, you have other immensely better options to choose from.
Rating:
These are the times where I wish there was a rating of DUMB/10, it would perfectly describe my feelings towards this feature, so if you're interested in seeing "Thesis", don't... and just take a nap instead.




movies can be okay...
The Fool (2014)



Description:
"The Fool" is a Russian drama film written and directed by Yuri Bykov, it follows a simple plumber who realises a larger problem while doing his job at a building, which is that this old dormitory is in danger of collapsing and burying over 800 inhabitants under its blocks.
Thoughts:
In an unnamed 40 year old town in Russia, corruption, greed, and poverty overwhelms the population, with only a small minority consisting of the city's officials living life to the fullest, mainly due to them benefiting off of public works funding for themselves. In this world exists our main character Dima, played by Artyom Bystrov, who decides to take matters in his own hands and face the corrupt system.
Dima is an extremely likeable character who easily manages to make the audience root for him and his ambition, even though the rest of the world seems to think of him as a fool, and Artyom Bystrov does him justice by giving a fantastic performance, matter of fact, everyone without an exception gives an exceptional performance, which immensely helped at making the film more of an emotionally impactful experience.
There are other substantial qualities such as the director's capability at ably building tension, especially during the explosive climax, I was also very fond of the score, it merged pretty nicely with the icy and dark atmosphere that the film obtains.
The movie makes quite a few interesting statements that makes us question the world we're living in, but their delivery is what I'm actually disappointed by, unfortunately Yuri Bykov constantly keeps hitting us in the head by the main theme of his film, it's all for a good cause but more subtlety would of definitely increased the message's effect.
I have other minor complaints, such as the few noticeable technical errors, as well as the contradicting logic and actions of some characters, also, the writing could use a little bit of tweaking, but, despite all of the above, I still loved this movie, it successfully managed to do what it was supposed to do, which is to shake the viewer and raise his awareness.
Rating:
The director intended for his film to be a morality lesson, not only to his country, but to everyone around the globe, and the fact that this lesson is wrapped in a pretty well made movie should be a huge and commendable achievement. This is a high Matinee.




movies can be okay...
Amour (2012)



Description:
"Amour" is a French-language romantic drama film written and directed by the Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke, and it is about the strength of an old couple's love being measured and tested by life itself.
Thoughts:
I purposely described the film as vaguely as possible because it is a must-see, and it is definitely an experience where going in blind is the best way to go. Michael Haneke keeps proving me wrong and is slowly but surely climbing my ladder of favourite directors, and I'm super excited to check out the rest of his films.
The acclaimed director this time tackles a powerful subject with such brutal honesty, and I don't think anyone could pull off what he did successfully in any other way, he is clearly aiming for the film to touch the viewer in a personal way, and despite it not working for me as effectively as the movie probably hoped for, I was still able to appreciate it for what it did.
"Amour" which means "love" in French, is pretty close to being a flawless film, that is mainly due to Michael's hard work and dedication, just watch the making of Amour and you'll see what I'm talking about, there aren't any technical problems and if there actually are, they're extremely unnoticeable, in fact, everything seems to be carefully put together.
It's impossible to praise the acting enough, since every last actor does a phenomenal job, we spend the majority of our time with Emmanuelle Riva and Jean‑Louis Trintignant characters, and they portray them in such a truthful and realistic manner, not to mention, their relationship is a confronting and honest portrayal of love, they're truly magnificent to watch.
This is a very cold picture, and Haneke makes sure that the audience absorbs every bit of the coldness from start to finish, despite how hard and emotional it may get, what I also admire about his filmmaking techniques is his lack of use of music, the only time we hear a song is when it is actually played in the movie's universe, which adds to the genuineness that the film consistently reaches for.
And of course, this being a Haneke film, it has its fair share of symbolism, and no it doesn't come off as pretentious or complex whatsoever, they simply help at making the message of the story much more powerful.
The only reason why "Amour" didn't connect with me as much as I wanted it to is because of the pacing, it is incredibly slow, don't be confused though, I'm not calling it boring or dull since it is clearly far from that, but I can't help to think that certain scenes dragged on for way too long, the former is actually intentional so it isn't much of a critique rather than a personal issue.
Rating:
"Amour" is a beautiful looking movie that is as authentic as it can possibly be, it's sad, it's emotional, it's admirable, and it achieved pretty much everything that the director wanted to achieve. This is a Full Price.




movies can be okay...
Benny's Video (1992)



Description:
"Benny's Video" is an Austrian film written and directed by Michael Haneke, and it is about 14 year old Benny, who is obsessed with watching violent acts on film, to the point where he decides to commit murder in order to fulfil his fantasy.
Thoughts:
Yes, I do realise that I have already reviewed this, but upon second watch, I was able to appreciate it much more, and I would feel extremely guilty if I left my thoughts on this great movie just as I had, maybe I will check out other previously reviewed films of mine, but I doubt my opinion on them would change as much as it did in this case.
So who exactly is Benny? Benny is a 14 year old boy who sees reality through the media, we rarely see him express any sorts of emotion due to his extreme detachment and disconnection from the real world, he is apart of a bourgeoisie family that supplies him with all of his needs, yet it is very apparent that the sense of love is absent when it shouldn't be, Michael Haneke asks the audience for their opinion on this matter and what may be the cause of his behaviour, which allows for multiple interpretations and interesting conversations to be had.
There are many subtleties that I missed during my first watch, and they definitely made for a fantastic second viewing, they absolutely helped at understanding the characters, the message and the unanswered questions even more, but what exactly are the statements that the director is trying to convey to the viewer ? Many, and I'd like for everyone to discover them by themselves and make their own interpretation of the happenings.
I don't even have to get into the acting and the directing, I've already said this before, even when I had bitter feelings towards this feature, the acting is pretty great, especially when we're dealing with a teenager as the lead, I was very impressed by Arno Frisch's portrayal, it would've been so easy to mess up his character, but with Michael's directing that was out of the question, there was also some greatly framed shots similarly to all of his other works.
This is by no means as flawless as "Cachť" or "Amour", but where it shines the most in my opinion is once you take it as a character study of Benny, I still hold some of the same critiques I once had, such as the weak and slow pacing, but I think that I easily had a better time and experience once I paid more attention to the little things which made time go by smoothly.
Rating:
"Benny's Video" is a dark and gritty realistic take on quite a terrifying situation, if you've watched it once, I definitely suggest you give it another look. This is a Full Price.




movies can be okay...
A Separation (2011)



Description:
"A Separation" is an Iranian drama film written and directed by Asghar Farhadi, it tells the story of a married couple who are on the verge of getting a divorce, over a disagreement about migration, meanwhile, their daughter tires her best to make sure that doesn't happen.
Thoughts:
Asghar Farhadi and his crew were able to assemble a fantastic cast, that brought the story's tragic characters to life, in such a beautiful way. It is pretty rare to have the entire participants of a project do their jobs to the fullest, and that clearly shows in this feature, I seriously can't even pick a stand-out performance due to how equally well everyone appeared.
And Mr. Farhadi proves to be an exceptional director without even looking at the "behind the scenes" footage that shows how determined he is, I really love and admire when a director has a clear vision in his head, and won't stop until the former is brought to life elegantly, that's Asghar Farhadi for you.
The film not only has a gripping story to tell, but it also uses it as a bridge to broadcast Iran's culture, religion, society structure and its justice system, which most of the viewers probably aren't exposed to, and that creates (hopefully) some rich and interesting conversations.
The events themselves are genuinely engaging, your emotions easily get invested in this world's characters, and each of them are presented in a great manner that makes you understand them and their motives, right or wrong, at least we can see their point of view and perspective and that's due to the great writing.
This is no flawless film though, it has its missteps, for example, the movie cheats when trying to make us believe that a certain scenario is impossible and illogical, when clearly at least through my eyes, I can definitely see it easily happening, I would like to think that this issue stems from the inability to find the perfect flat to shoot in, but if that's the case then they should of just scrapped this whole plot point.
Another thing that bothered me is the daughter's reaction when opening a door, her scream clearly came way before she could possibly see what was wrong, they even tried to fix this problem in the trailer, but it looked bad and unsynchronised. Finally, there's a whole unexplored situation with a woman and her going to a doctor, the writers thought it wasn't significant enough I guess ? But for realism's sake, it should of been explained further, because not doing so kinda created some plotholes.
Rating:
Overall this film is awesome ! The magnificently shot happenings pin you down on your seat, and make you go through its runtime while on the edge, not to mention, the ending is absolutely fantastic. This is a Full Price.




movies can be okay...
Close-Up (1990)



Description:
"Close-Up" is an Iranian film written and directed by Abbas Kiarostami. It tells the true story of Hossain Sabzian and his unusual crime: fraud and attempted fraud.
Thoughts:
"Close-Up" is an extremely hard film to categorise, and that is a great thing in this case, Kiarostami merges the documentary style with drama by being able to shoot the raw and real footage of this compelling tale, while also convincing its participants to re-enact the earlier events of the story. So if you're looking for an original and unconventional film, this would be a fantastic choice.
I purposely described the movie as vaguely as possible, and that's because I went into it without knowing the background of the story, and whether it was real or fiction, and I was pleasantly surprised by how internally complex yet interesting it was.
To me, the film is mainly about art, specifically cinema, and how it is used as an effective technique to convey to the audience the experiences cultivated by the artist, and its ability to depict relatable and personal situations that emotionally move and stick with the viewer. Cinema is life changing, not only for our main character, but for us as well, therefore, this is without a doubt an important piece in the history of films, that shouldn't be missed.
The film is also largely about the wide differences between social classes, the former is not only presented in a spelled out manner but subtly as well. The struggles of the poor and their sufferings are heavily touched on without guilt-tripping the audience. We are given a close-up of a poor man's upbringing which partially defines him and is an essential reason why he is the way he is.
In "Close-Up", Abbas Kiarostami not only plays an important role in the story, but also behind the scenes, he smartly tends to deflect our attention by not revealing which point of view is being privileged during certain parts, he also loves to fool around with our expectations which I find to be amusing.
My only problem with the film lays during its last sequence, which is also quite the emotional scene, although, it isn't clear if the director expects the viewer to see it as "raw" and "real" footage or re-enactment, he goes out of his way to make it seem as genuine as possible, while it also being evident that it is staged.
Rating:
The movie's dialogue is its action, and the compelling characters tremendously help at making it hard-hitting and personnel, furthermore, there is a fantastic scene starring and aerosol can, so go check it out. This is a Full Price.