>Nat Film Festival – Days 5 and 6

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Across the Universe (USA, 2007) – When I first watched its trailer, something reminded me immediatly of Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge and Romeo + Juliet, the first due to its stunning and fast images, the second due to the adolescent love, both blended in a musical of non-original songs. It comes out that Julie Taymor’s musical enchanted me with the breathtaking beauty of its images and made me believe in the characters’ romance, and just because of that (besides being a huge Beatles’ fan), I won’t condemn the fact this film, after all, is a huge editing mess.

Expired (USA, 2007) – Samantha Morton (outstanding, as always) plays Claire, a kind-hearted meter operator and traffic control officer who lives alone with her stroke-victim mother. Her colleague Jay (Jason Patric, in his best performance I’ve seen) is the other side of the coin – he’s also a lonely man, but unlike Claire, it’s easy to understand why love doesn’t come to him: often angry, he treats everyone around him (especially the ones he tickets) disrespectfully, to say the least. Despite their opposite personalities, Claire and Jay will start a relationship, twisted, turbulent, darkly humoured, as this is not a conventional romance.

Azuloscurocasinegro (Spain, 2006) – I haven’t yet figured out how the film title connects to the story in deeper terms, besides refering to the colour of the business suit the lead character Jorge (Quim Gutiérrez) dreams of wearing one day, as the obvious symbol of social and economical sucess. Forced to abandon his studies to take care of his stroke-victim father, he’s intimidated by his girlfriend’s professional accomplishments, at the same time he agrees to impregnate the imprisioned gilfriend (Marta Etura) of his also imprisioned, but sterile brother (Antonio de la Torre). To complete the dramatic circle, there’s Jorge’s best friend, Israel (Raul Arevalo), a sexually confused young man who has just discovered that his father is an avid client of a male “massagist”. Melodramatic, as well as humoured, it’s hard not to think of a Pedro Almodóvar influence in the way the story is told, although it doesn’t reach the emotional power of so many films from the acclaimed spanish director.

Black House (Geomeun Jib, South Korea, 2007) – Being a huge fan of contemporary south korean cinema, I tried to see as many south korean titles as possible, although I knew this film was going to be a horror/thriller and I’m tired of asian horror/thriller films, but since this one was south korean, it could be different, right? Wrong. Based on a novel previously adapted to the big screen in Japan, the film is about an insurance agent who gets too involved in a boy’s suicide case, after visiting the house where the suicide or perhaps, the crime happened. It begins quite well with a psychological atmosphere, due to the character’s childhood demons (which connects to his present), but by its final part it becomes laughable, nevertheless better than the last american films of the genre (that insist to remake asian pictures).

Cruel Winter Blues (Yeol-hyeol-nam-ah, South Korea, 2006) – Another south korean film that didn’t deliver as much as I expected, despite its interesting plot and good moments. Perhaps I wanted to see a typical gangster film, which Lee Jeong Beom’s directorial debut is certainly not. The film is almost a moralistic tale about one man’s difficult choices. Jae-Mun (Sol Kyung Gu, charismatic enough to play the not so likable character) is a gangster that searches revenge in a rural area in the middle of nowhere. He’s looking for the man who assassinated his friend. In the company of his subordinate and newcomer Chi-Guk, younger and softener in manners, he develops a bond with the local restaurant owner, an old lady who happens to be the mother of the man he’s looking for. This is definitely a film I’d like to give a second look in the future.
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19 Comments to “>Nat Film Festival – Days 5 and 6”

  1. >I agree with you about Across the Universe- and that Expired movie looks really interesting- I think I'll give it a shot

  2. >Romeika, faço minhas as suas palavras sobre "Across the Universe". A edição e o roteiro são uma mistureba só. Gostei da trama de "Expired", mas este parece ser aquele tipo de filme que vai demorar a chegar por aqui.E cadê o texto de "Angel"???? 🙂

  3. >Como deve desconfiar, apenas "Across the Universe" (o mais "famoso" desses filmes) estreou no Brasil por enquanto. Gostei, apesar de ficar muito aquém da qualidade vista nesses longas do Baz Luhrmann. Visualmente impecável e com versões maravilhosas dos Beatles, peca por um roteiro que é uma verdadeira bagunça – e não há melhor termo para definir isso. Ah, adorei o Jim Sturgess!Abraço!

  4. >I absolutely loved Across the Universe

  5. >aw…bleeding strawberries? :T

  6. >Mariel, "Expired" is a must see film, the actors are amazing in it.Kamila, concordamos bastante sobre "Across the Universe" – o filme eh uma vitamina soh, mas o visual eh tao belo, alem de outras qualidades que me fizeram gostar do filme. Kamila, acho que em Natal "Expired" estrearia numa sessao de arte. O texto de "Angel" sai em breve, no proximo post do festival:-)Vinícius, esse foi o unico defeito do filme pra mim. As cancoes foram muito bem interpretadas, se encaixam perfeitamente em cada momento vivido pelos personagens, e o visual eh de tirar o folego.. Tb adorei o Jim Sturgess! Abs!Fashion Ivy: I didn't love it, but I liked it a lot.Terren: Yup, the guy is confused and kind of broken-hearted hehe

  7. >I love Expired, specially for the Samantha Morton performance; Azuloscuro… It's a god movie but I agree, It Doesn't reach the deep that the movie needs, I'm sorry but I hate Across The Universe (maybe because I hate Moulin Rouge and Romeo+Juliet) I consider it a very bad adaptation of the Broadway musical and the Beatles covers are horrible, but this is the good thing about movies, sometime you agree with someone and other times don't.I was expecting to see the Korean movies but after your review I believe that I am going to wait until the DVD realease.Cheers to you from the other side of the world

  8. >Across the Universe was such a great movie.

  9. >A.R., I agree with you, and how boring it would be if everyone had the exact same opinion about all films. It's always nice to hear different point of views, and in that way we can discuss about movies:-) Most of the Beatles' songs I liked was the ones performed by Jim Sturgess. Some versions, like "I wanna hold your hand" were a little annoying..Don't be so hard on the korean films, if you have the chance to see them in a theater, go for it (I wouldn't really recommend "Black House", but "Cruel Winter Blues" is worth watching). Cheers back.Wendy, it was nice, I'd like to see it again.

  10. >Eu também gosto de ver bons filmes da Korea do Sul.Sues comentérios sobre filmes são ótimos! Adoro!

  11. >i adored across the universe. jim sturgess is gorgeous and i love the beatles.

  12. >I soooo envy the bunch of movies you are seeing, rsrsrsrs. I saw only Across the Universe and I loved it for the energy, the audacity, the passion behind it, the cast and of course, the music. Not forgetting the visual spectacle. But the screenplay is the biggest flaw, with an indeed very strange editing.Anything with Morton is worth seeing, and I'll see this Expired as soon as I can.Ciao!

  13. >Carolina, o melhor filme sul-coreano que vi foi "Breath", como esperado. Ainda que nao tenha sido o melhor do Kim-Ki Duk.Emily, Jim Sturgess is indeed so gorgeous ^.^ heheWally, I saw these films in april, it was a long procrastination until I started writing about them.. It's remarkable how most of them are still clear in my mind, despite the fact I saw them in a rush (3, 4 films a day, one after the other). I agree with you about "Across the Universe", and if you get the chance, watch not only "Expired" as well as "Control" (Samantha Morton is genious).

  14. >i've seen 2 films from this post (i havent seen any of the previous posts) and its true what you say about 'across the universe' amd baz luhrmann, it totally has a thing very similar to that. the film is ok, i love jim sturgess and evan rachel and while i'm not a fan of the beatles (mainly because i listened to many songs that i like but havent got the time to really listen to their music) i enjoyed the versions though for sure, they have nothing to do with the originals.and 'azuloscurocasinegro' is a spanish film (like me! 🙂 and it's a very odd one, with some bizarre and sad situation but it was all good, i really like quim gutierrez, he does always great.and i agree about the cosmopolitan issue with scarlett, i mean, why do they modify the pics so much? it looks artifical and its a shame but well… a kiss for you romeika!

  15. >Miss_Scarlett: I don't remember seeing Quim Gutiérrez in a movie before (I prolly haven't seen any of his previous films, then hehe), but the actings I liked the most in "azuloscurocasinegro" were the ones of Marta Etura and Raul Arevalo. You should give "The Beatles" a chance, their music is wonderful. Kiss back!:-)

  16. >O trailer de Across the Universe deixou muita gente (eu incluso) de água na boca, mas o filme tem todo um ar falso como se aquelas situações e personagens só estivessem ali por capricho dos realizadores e não a favor do desenvolvimento de uma narrativa sólida. Todo o texto segue aquilo que as canções dizem, fazendo com que o roteiro se encaixe nelas e não o contrário, como costuma acontecer. Enfim, uma decepção! Os outros eu não conheço, mas tenho gostado muito também dessa nova safra de filmes sul-coreanos! Valeu, bjs!

  17. >Rafael, vc tem um argumento muito bom pra não ter gostado de "Across the Universe", entendo seu ponto de vista, no entanto, apesar de estar ciente das falhas do filme, gostei do resultado, ainda que não seja um ótimo musical, quanto mais um ótimo filme. Espero que consiga ver os filmes sul-coreanos. Beijos!

  18. >I want to see Across the Universe.. I'll have to wait until the dvd is avalable

  19. >i absolutely adored that movie, and the image you posted of Jude with the strawberries is lovely!

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