30 June 2005

La Turbulence des Fluids (Canada, 2002)

This film from Québec explores the possibility of a drastic change in the tide waves along the St. Laurent river. A woman specialist is called to investigate. She travels from Japan back to her hometown, Baie Comeau, in Québec, to help scientists understand this strange phenomenon. During her stay in this small city, she gets to meet interesting characters, along them a mysterious Marc Vandal, for whom she quickly falls in love. In the meantime, everyone in town seems to have been affected somehow by this sudden stop of tidal waves, in their personality and state of mind. We soon realize that Marc has a tragic family story behind him, which I will not write here because I would be giving off the whole story. The final earthquake sequence tells us this story is quite implausible, though a very interesting and suspenseful one.

28 June 2005

Lili Marleen (West Germany, 1981)

Director H.W. Fassbinder lived a crazy life. He died very young and during his life, his more than 20 films encompass a whole history of German cinema. He was able to revolutionize German movies with his unique style. Fast cuts and scene transitions, groovy sounds and tragic plots all combine in his films. This is perhaps one of his more controversial productions. Lili Marleen is a young German cabaret singer who becomes famous overnight thanks to a melody that becomes all of a sudden the hymn of German soldiers during World War II. Based on a true story, we see how Lili gets to meet the Führer. Just as she becomes famous, her fame vanishes once the war is over. She flees to Switzerland with her fiancé. This is a very interesting view of Germany during the Nazi regime. But if you want to learn about contemporary German cinema, Fassbinder is a must.

27 June 2005

My Ipod

Yes, I bought an Ipod. After months of strenuous deliberation and consulting with friends, I decided it was the right choice. Now that I have it, I actually think it was a good choice. On the other hand, I was confident I wasn’t going to need the whole 20 GB memory, but I’m on 4GB now and not even half done with all my CD’s! I hope I can fit them all in. You need a tutorial to better understand your Ipod’s functions? It couldn’t be easier: go to the Ipod website at apple.com. You want to change the color of your Ipod or add an accessory? There are heaps of companies who manufacture every kind of accessory you can imagine; but the official Ipod magazine to find out more. OK, that was enough Ipod publicity for today.

14 June 2005

Life is a Miracle (Zivot je Cudo) Bosnia-Herzegovina, 2004

Luka lives with his wife and son Milo in Bosnia. Right before the outbreak of the Civil War in 1992, Milo is sent to the army. Luka’s wife cheats on him and goes to live with a Hungarian immigrant. Once the war begins, Milo is captured and sent to jail. One of Luka’s friends brings a young and beautiful Muslim girl who he kidnapped. The plan is to keep her in the house as a hostage and later use her to free his son, in a sort of exchange. Unfortunately, or fortunately for Luka, he falls in love with her, and when the war is over, and people go back to their original towns, she must leave, and his wife and son come back to him. Luka feels sad because he has now lost his new love.

As is Director Emir Kusturica’s style, the film is full of parties and people dancing, drinking and celebrating for every possible reason. The two and a half hours of the film go by quite fast, thanks in part to the many action scenes. Kusturica has been greatly influenced by the tragic Civil War of his country, the former Yugoslavia. He expresses his points of view in this and other previous films, like Underground, for which he won the Palme d’Or in Cannes.

04 June 2005

My Top 30 (week of 3 June)

1. Beverly Knight – Keep The Fire Burning (Remix)
2. Lemar – Time To Grow
3. Basement Jaxx – Oh My Gosh
4. Rob Thomas – Lonely No More
5. Mariah Carey – It’s Like That
6. Akon – Bananza (Belly Dancer)
7. Amerie feat. Eve – 1 Thing
8. Gwen Stefani – Hollaback Girl
9. Selma – If I Had Your Love
10. Anastacia – Heavy On My Heart

11. Mario – Let Me Love You
12. Ashanti – Only U
13. Good Charlotte – I Just Wanna Live
14. The Chemical Brothers – Galvanize
15. Usher – Caught Up
16. Lisa Stanfield – Treat Me Like a Woman
17. Snoop Dogg – Signs
18. Nelly – Flap Your Wings
19. Daddy Yankee – Gasolina
20. Rupee – Tempted To Touch

21. Mustafa Sandal feat. Gentleman – Isyankar
22. Baby Bash – I’m Back
23. Jem – They
24. Chipz – Chipz In Black
25. Lunik – The Most Beautiful Song
26. Nu Pagadi – Sweetest Poison
27. Tiziano Ferro – Ti Voglio Bene
28. Ashlee Simpson – La La
29. Jet – Look What You’ve Done
30. Nelly – Over And Over
31. 50 Cent – Disco Inferno

03 June 2005

The Lady Vanishes, UK 1938

Alfred Hitchcock is considered the master of suspense. With this black and white feature, The Lady Vanishes, he earns a reputation for making what seems a normal story into a conspiracy plot full of secrets. In a remote Alpine resort hotel, Iris meets Miss Froy, a friendly English lady who is travelling alone. When both take the train the next day to go back to London, Iris is accidentally hit with a stone. Once inside the train, she faints and feels week. Miss Froy takes care of her. When Iris wakes up, Miss Froy is gone. From this point on, the film turns into an investigation into the disappearance of this passenger. Iris meets a couple of people who help her out. There is the strange psychiatrist who believes Miss Froy is just a product of Iris’ mind. With the help of another passenger, they discover that several persons are involved in the possible kidnapping of Miss Froy. The film delivers good acting and plot twists, ending in a shooting scene that puts everyone’s lives in danger.

01 June 2005

Un Deux Trois Soleil, France 2002

This is a French love movie, but a very unique one. Natalie lives with her mother, but she hates her. Her mother is all over her, taking care of every single detail in Natalie’s life. We then meet her father (Marcello Mastroianni) an alcoholic fellow who is always drinking small “aperos” and “pastice” in the neighbourhood café. In some scenes, Natalie acts extremely childish, as if she were 5 years old. At other scenes, she acts as a grown-up spoiled teenager, or even an insulting adult. She then meets Paul, a teenage thief with no aspirations or future. References to sexual acts are made throughout the story, and characters appear and disappear in the same scene: they appear in the corner of the house, peek in the room thru a window, and so on. You can say dream and reality are sometimes mixed together. An overall strange film about teenage love and growing up in the suburbs of Marseille.