31 January 2006

Enduring Love (UK, 2004)

A tragic hot air balloon accident changes the life of the main character in this movie. Director Roger Michell has created a psycho stalker thriller with a very romantic title. After trying in vain to save two people in a hot air balloon gone out of control, our main character feels guilty about what happened, and especially the fact that he couldn't save the two people in the air balloon. He then meets another guy who was there at the time of the accident. It turns out this guy is obsessed with our main character. He stalks him, tells him that he loves him, etc., and at the end follows his fiancé and threatens her. At times a little slow, the story becomes more interesting near the end, where we see the real consequences created by a traumatic experience. A nice psycho thriller.

30 January 2006

3 Iron (Binjip) South Korea, 2004

A guy posts publicity pamphlets on the entrance doors of many houses. By the end of the day he comes by again and sees which pamphlets are still hanging on the doorknobs. He chooses any one of these houses, breaks in and spends the night, and he never steals anything. Next day is the same story. He drives a BMW motorcycle and never seems to have any concern about money. One night he goes into a house where a woman is inside. We soon learn that this woman is married and unhappy. She gets beaten by her husband quite often. He decides to take her with him. The husband files a claim to the police. In the meantime this new couple (the motorcycle guy and the woman) spend several nights together at different houses. One day she comes back to her husband and decides to solve her marital problems once and for all. A very poetic plot with very few dialogue and a very subtle ending make an interesting story with a romantic undertone.

27 January 2006

My Birthday

Yes, the day has come: it's that day of the year again. Today I am celebrating my 27th birthday. Just wanted to let you know...

23 January 2006

Broken Flowers (USA, 2004)

This is another Jim Jarmusch movie. The pace is slow, so I was really trying to stay awake. For a moment or two my eyes were closing. But the problem is not the slow pace of the movie, it's the story. Bill Murray receives a letter from an old girlfriend telling him she was pregnant at the time and had a baby, his son. Bill decides to go look for her, since she didn't write her name, she just gave some clues. Throughout the film we meet a couple of her ex girlfriends, some of them happily married, others less fortunate. At the end we do not find out who the person was, so the whole travelling around doesn't come up to anything. The end leaves you with unanswered questions, and with a very ackward feeling of "did I miss something here?"

16 January 2006

Old Boy (South Korea, 2004)

"Laugh and everyone will laugh with you; cry, and you will cry alone". That is the slogan of this film. It is a story of revenge and cruelty. Director Chan-Wook Park adapted this manga series into a shocking and entertaining movie. It is the story of a man that has been kidnapped for 15 years. When they let him out, he decides to seek revenge. What he doesn't know is that the people who kidnapped him have set up a plan for him. Everything he does, everyone he meets seems to be planned ahead of time by the masterminds of his kidnapping. A very interesting take not only on revenge and vengeance, but also on hypnosis and how people can be controlled using their subconscious.

10 January 2006

Downfall (Der Untergang) Germany, 2005

This movie was nominated for best foreign picture at the last Oscar Awards. People had told me it was somewhat boring, but I disagree. It lasts almost two and a half hours, but for me it went by very fast. This is the real story of what happens during the last days and last hours before Germany surrenders to the Allies during World War II. We learn many shocking details about Hitler and his group of collaborators and defence ministers, who spent their last days isolated in a bunker in Berlin. During these last days, the Russians arrive to Berlin and the German soldiers are not even able to defend their city properly. To make a long story short, many of them commit suicide, while a few escape and run for their lives. Seeing how Ms. Goebbels, the wife of the Propaganda Minister of the Third Reich, kills her own children one by one is really a truly disturbing image. I like the objectivity and realism of this film, showing us that war has catastrophic consequences for all of those who are involved.

07 January 2006

Gift idea for my birthday #2

Somebody please get met Paul Auster's newest book, The Brooklyn Follies. Or his most famous novel, The New York Trilogy, which I haven't read either. I will love you even more!

04 January 2006

Brokeback Mountain (USA, 2005)

This two-hour long romantic movie about two cowboys getting in love is a new change of direction for director Ang Lee. Her previous films have won many international prizes, and this movie will be no exception. Combining the beautiful landscapes of the province of Alberta, Canada, Lee creates a moving love story between two cowboys and their lives through the years. They lead different lives with their families, but they get together several times a year to spend some time. They love each other, but for many reasons they cannot live together. The ending is quite moving and sad, but it is definitely worth watching.

03 January 2006

Gift ideas for my birthday (#1)

No one has ever given me a gift certificate: those little cards that you exchange for merchandise at a given store. Any gift certificate will do, even Starbucks!

02 January 2006

Stranger Than Paradise (USA, 1984)

Director Jim Jarmusch has his own style of filmmaking. His films are always slow paced, but the story is interesting enough to guide you all the way through the end. In his first film, Stranger Than Paradise, Willie (John Lurie) lives alone in New York. His cousin Eva comes from Budapest to stay with her aunt Lotte in Cleveland. Eva stays a couple of days with his cousin in New York. At first he does not like her around, but then a friendlier relationship establishes between them. Eva goes to Cleveland. Willy decides to go visit her. He and a friend borrow a car and drive to Cleveland. They visit aunt Lotte, who speaks more Hungarian than English, then they take Eva with them to Florida. It is as though they were looking for adventure and fun, but the cold weather in Cleveland and the lack of money do not help. This movie won at the Cannes Festival and earned Jarmusch international recognition.