Christine's reviews

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OK I get it, I think immature humour goes down well across nationalities!

Yeah bring on the Danish recommendations. I've only seen a few films, so I'd appreciate that

(note to self : Mikkelsen )

Now that Valhalla Rising looks my kinda film!



You want to post like me?
Danish Movies - The List

Aight let's get retarded:

1. Blinkende Lygter (Flickering Lights)


- You can't just run around shooting stuff!
- There was a f*cking SQUIRREL man!

Plot Summary from IMDB:
Four small gangsters from Copenhagen trick a gangster boss: they take over 4,000,000 kroner which they were supposed to bring him. Trying to escape to Barcelona they are forced to stop in the countryside, in an old, wrecked house, hiding there for several weeks. Slowly, one after another, they realize, that they would like to stay there, starting a new life, renovating the house and forming it into a restaurant. But they can't avoid being caught up by their past.

Cast:
Mads Mikkelsen!
Søren Pilmark
Ulrich Thomsen (The guy from Hitman)
Nikolaj Lie Kaas (This guy's awesome)

Among others.

PO (personal opinion):
To me this movie is great, but I don't know how people who don't know Danish will react to it though.

This is a kind of dark psychological comedy. There's a lot of funny stuff in there but we occasionally catch glimpses of the guys' childhood, which are very dark.
The title comes from a poem by Tove Ditlevsen. It plays a part in the movie and it's actually kinda cool since the poem is about emotional incapacity as a result of an unhappy and numb childhood. There's a scene in the movie where one of the guys reads it aloud. It's a really emotional scene, which is worth watching.

I hope you can appreciate the humor and the good writing in this movie, even though it's in Danish. I would rather watch this than the Pusher movies, that's for sure.

Flickering Lights



Looks good, but I'll have to source that one on region 1 cos it doesn't appear to be available on region 2 so isn't available to rent from Lovefilm.



I think it would be better if you made a separate thread on Danish films and post your reviews there. It would get more attention methinks. Plus it's tidier...



You want to post like me?
I think it would be better if you made a separate thread on Danish films and post your reviews there. It would get more attention methinks. Plus it's tidier...
I thought about that. Just didn't think that there would be any interest.



Well we're not talking about Croatia, I'm sure you have quite a few good Danish films to recommend... It doesn't hurt to try so be a true patriot and plug your cinematography...



I thought about that. Just didn't think that there would be any interest.
go for it! share the love around. Besides the thread would always be there then for you to add to



Hunger

Directed by Steve McQueen.(Being Steve McQueen the British artist, not Steve McQueen the Hollywood star)

Hunger tells of the IRA's so called dirty protest and the last days of Bobby Sands the hunger striker back in 1981.

The film opens with meticulously filmed scenes of a man preparing to go to work. Because you understand the subject matter you're waiting for him to take a look under his car before he moves off, only then you confirm he's a member of the security services, in fact a prison officer. A series of very beautifully filmed scenes begin, beautiful in contrast with the subject matter - grazed knuckles from beating up prisoners, cell walls smeared with excreta, urine soaked prison corridors, filthy prisoners wrapped only in blankets their shaggy hair and beards like biblical characters, crying prison guards, frightened young prisoners.

The film covers the few days of decision and the 66 days that it takes for Bobby Sands to starve to death - an amazing piece of acting from Michael Fassbender, absolutely gruelling to watch. There's a mid section when Sands is visited by a priest which allows for the thoughts behind his beliefs to be expressed. A whirlwind of an exchange contrasting heavily with the almost silent majority of the scenes, a slow paced affair which leaves time to think.

I think in order to have some perspective on this film beyond it's undoubtedly powerful attack on your senses, you must have some knowledge of the events of the time otherwise it'd be too easy to accept Bobby Sands as a martyr. I don't think that's the aim of the film, in fact it is pretty even handed in approach but without some background in knowing about Loyalist and Republican history and the effect on the citizens of Northern Ireland your understanding would be diminished.

Hearing Thatcher's intransigent tones playing over the radio at various points in Hunger takes me right back to those times when she, and only she was in the right (never even mind what her Ministers thought). So much heartbreak was caused by that woman's regime. Did she prolong the troubles in Northern Ireland by her stubborn resistance? Let's say she didn't contribute anything useful towards the peace, just like she did nothing for the people of Northern England...but then that's another story.

(sorry I've not posted much on this thread, we've been through a sad time lately)

4.5/5



The People's Republic of Clogher
Thanks Chris, good to see you back.

I really must get round to putting my own thoughts on Hunger down.

Bobby Sands was (briefly) my MP, by the way...
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Thanks guys, it's good to be back amongst friends

So, appropriately I watched :

Of Time and the City

director Terence Davies

Terence Davies personal ode to the place where he grew up - Liverpool. That much we share, and we share the fact that we left it as a home, he in 1973, me in 1976 although he's older than me. So in a way we share memories of Liverpool crystallised in the moment, and that's what this film is about.

Some reviews have been dismissive of Davies's scathing remarks about the Beatles and what he refers to as the beginning of the Betty Windsor Show (the Coronation of the Queen) , but these are his personal feelings and this film is his own elegy to the memories of his childhood. It's an idiocyncratic blend of song, poetry, and mostly archive footage although it is a linear visual film which starts in the '40s and ends with footage of Liverpool today.

One of the reasons that it's touched me so much is that in my late teens before I left Liverpool City Council had a slum clearance programme which in itself wasn't wrong as we'd lived in a house with no inside toilet and no hot water, but the estates they built to house people were the worse kind of high rise and jerry built houses which took no account of the communities that had stuck together through thick and thin. Davies's account of this is to juxtapose archive footage of this with Peggy Lee singing The Folks who Live on The Hill - a killer sequence that'd have any Liverpudlian in tears. Sentimental eejits that we are (according to Boris Johnson).

Anyway a fine film, made on a low budget but judging by some of the almost vindictive comments I've read about it on various messageboards, Davies is someone who doesn't have universal appeal. Maybe this film would only matter to people who can recognise the footage or sympathise with Davies's mockery of the establishment, I don't know. Maybe people expected a warm documentary read in a scouse accent not Davies's plummy tones (where did he get that from??)

3.75/5



Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
I haven't seen this one, and I'm not exactly Davies' biggest fan, but he's certainly about as personal a filmmaker as one can get. Aside from the fact that he's more "artistic" than Cassavetes, that's the kind of personal filmmaker I'm talking about.

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My IMDb page



Thanks for the great reviews Christine

It is nice to have you back
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The Road. hmm, I think I bigged it up too much to myself, I was expecting too much . The film does have some marvellous blasted landscapes, and some poignant moments, and I wouldn't have missed seeing it....but it didn't quite get the emotional connection between the boy and the man. Something wasn't right. It didn't grip your soul like the book did, but perhaps that was cos I knew what was coming. I dunno.

Robert Duvall was amazing in that small portrait of the lone old man. That for me was the most moving thing in the whole film. Viggo looked the part, as did the boy but I never felt the man's utter fierceness for the boy as I did in the book - you know that animal-like protective feeling you get for your kids? it was there in the book but felt watered down in the film.

Funny how your imagination can do so much better visually in your head than seeing things with your eyes. I felt the eerieness of those ashen forests so much better on the page.
ah well, don't let me put you off, it stands fine as a film but I think you might feel short changed if the book drained you like it did me.

3.5/5



Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I'm always a little apprehensive about watching films based on books I liked, especially when a big part of the reading experience is the pretty untranslatable writing style, such as McCarthy's. Not sure if I'm gonna watch this one....:/



I watch the film then read the book. To understand the characters more.
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Arnie Cunningham- Right up the little tramps @ss!



Not One Less directed by Zhang Yimou

Zhang Yimou's films have often stirred up controversy in China with the government banning showings of some of his films within China, so he has been seen as a 'political' director by the West although he denies this, claiming he only makes films.
Not One Less had a rough ride when presented at Cannes on its release in 1999. It was seen by the festival officials as a pro-Chinese government film - as Chinese propaganda, and was later withdrawn by the director. Seems unfair as his film history has been one of strong depiction of poverty and inequality within China. Indeed his own father was an officer in the Kuomintang, which meant that Zhang Yimou's family would have been treated badly by the Maoists thus giving him a good depth of understanding across class and politics.

Anyway, enough of the background. Not One Less is based on a true story set in a remote village. The teacher,Gao, whose mother is very sick must go away to visit her for a month. The village mayor finds a substitute teacher, Wei Minzhi, but the only problem is that she's 13 and not very forthcoming. Teacher Gao leaves the village reluctantly but not before issuing orders concerning excessive chalk usage and most important of all that young Wei mustn't allow any of the children to abandon school as Gao has already lost enough pupils.

One youngster goes missing and when Wei finds out that he's been sent to the city to work as his family is in debt, she juts out her chin and marches off determined to fetch him back. She's a tough, stubborn little cookie, but soon finds out that the city is a big place. Thus starts a tale of the huge difference between life in rural and urban China.

What's remarkable about this film is that Wei is played by Wei herself and all the characters are played by non-actors. The mayor is played by a village mayor, the teacher is Teacher Gao, the train announcer is a train announcer, and so on. Many of the scenes filmed in the city when Wei is desparately searching for the missing lad are filmed by Yimou with a hidden camera. You see real life reactions to this bedraggled looking girl, a salutary lesson in peoples perception of poverty.

The ending is a little fairytale, but then if that's what happened so be it. However seen another way it can be taken as a statement of the power of the media to enable, and hopefully not to forget.

A little supplementary info - according to this Chinese website, young Wei ended up at an American university in Hawaii so maybe we haven't heard the last of her



4/5