>cph pix – a mix of the last four days

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The Anarchist’s Wife (Spain, 2008) – I was more interested in watching this film because of Ivana Baquero (Pan’s Labyrinth). She appears mostly in the film’s second half, as the teenage tailor wannabe daughter of Manuela, the wife from the title. Manuela’s husband leaves to fight against Franco’s nationalism during the Spanish Civil War, leaving her pregnant wife and young daughter behind. As a war drama, there’s plenty of terrible happenings surrounding the heroin’s life, who strongly fights each one of them until the end. I was more pleased by the costumes, which serve as a 1940s source of style inspiration, as for the story, I just wish it was either Black Book or Charlotte Gray, but it’s neither original nor emotional.

Synecdoche, New York (USA, 2008) – Charlie Kaufman’s directing debut had to be as or more intriguing as his scripts (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Being John Malkovich). Naturally, he also wrote the script himself, a story made of many parts, which together form a single piece, where life and fiction are united and boarders between reality and imagination don’t exist. I know, it sounds just like the movie scripts he created in the past, but this time, he went as far as he could, and he had the help of the best ensemble cast I’ve seen this year so far. Philip Seymour Hoffmann plays the main character, a stage director struggling with his art, trying to create his masterpiece, the work he’ll be remembered for, while thinking about the meaning of life in a Woody Allen esque manner, where the fear of death and the sense of immediatism life possesses dictates his neuroses. Ironically, everyone but him seems to be passing from this life to the next (if there’s any) – just count the number of funerals this movie has! There’s no doubt about the film’s originality, but it doesn’t make it more interesting, apart from the A-class supporting ladies Kaufman recruited.

Frozen River (USA, 2008) – I confess I knew nothing about the story, and was attracted to watch this due to the fact the actress (Melissa Leo, a great performance, indeed) was nominated to this year’s Academy Awards in the best actress category. I was positively surprised by the whole thing, though! Here’s a good example of a movie dealing with a heavy thematic (look at the still above) without surrendering to pessimism. It leaves an optimistic message, but never underestimates our brains with an easily bought conclusion, as typical “sad in between, happy ending movies” usually do (and God, how I hate such movies).

The Beautiful Person (France, 2008) – I think I may consider Christophe Honoré one of my favourite new directors. Or at least one of those which new films I look forward to since the moment I hear about the production. And the fact he always works with Louis Garrel (Love Songs) make it even better (Long live the partnership between Garrel and Honoré!). He conducts a group of teenagers in a parisian middle-class school in the most elegant manner, observing the beauty of youth, but behind the apparently superficial look the camera gives in the first place, there’s deeper perceptions hidden. Louis Garrell plays Nemours, the first lover as usual, a seductive italian teacher whose lips goes from teachers to students, and whose interest in the new student Junie (Léa Seydoux) is shared with a romantic and almost love-idealistic student, the timid Otto (Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet), who declares his love, unlike Nemours. When it comes to love, it’s everything or nothing, with Nemours in one extreme, and Otto in another, whereas Junie always stays in the middle, and melancholy wins.

Dream (South Korea, 2008) – Kim Ki-Duk films get worse and worse. This wasn’t entirely a bad film, but it’s nevertheless far from the poetic movies he did at first. I think the problem is, that every time I see his newest film, I expect nothing but the new 3-Iron or the new Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…and Spring. Was Dream supposed to be a drama? If yes, then there’s something wrong with it. It made me laugh in several scenes. It seemed ridiculous at times, like a trash esque thriller. At some point, it acquires sensibility, but then it’s too late for metaphors envolving paranormal disappearances. The story revolves around a man and a woman, Jin and Ran, whose lives intertwine as she sleepwalks and does exactly what he dreams during his sleep. In his dreams, Jin finds a subterfuge to meet the woman who left him and love her again, whereas Ran unconsciouly performs his dreams with the man she left and now despises.

Revanche (Austria, 2008) – One knows things will never turn out as planned when a movie character decides to rob a bank and start a new life. The film (nominated to this year’s Academy Awards in the best foreign languague film category) is divided in three parts: the life before the robbery (which helps to understand why the main character went through such extreme decision), a twist, and the life after the robbery, in which the film title (revenge) starts making sense. The story is simple and universal, but conducted in a realistic and minimalistic manner, almost lacking heart and soul. It believes too much in its actors, but luckily all of them deliver a tangible performance.

26 Comments to “>cph pix – a mix of the last four days”

  1. >I love your reviews.. I was wondering if you would like to have a section in FRINGE INDIE MAGAZINE and write about films??.-..

  2. >I'd love to contribute, as long as it's not on a daily basis! Send me an e-mail and we could talk more about it.. 🙂

  3. >Quero muito assistir "Frozen River" e "Revanche". Os dois filmes têm o tipo de premissa que me interessa DEMAIS!!!!!!!

  4. >great movie post!i guess i'll have a look at some of them..i guess i'd like to see the 1st!

  5. >Juliana Paes de bollywood foi o melhor…auahuahauhauhauh1 abraço=)

  6. > HII !!LET ME INTRODUCE YOU MY BLOG ABOUT BLACK SUPERMODELSVISIT AD LET ME KNOW WHAT U THINKABOUT MY WORKWAITING FOR YOUR VISIT AND COMMENTSGONNA DO THE SAME FOR UHOPING ILL SEE U SOON !!!

  7. >I absolutely ADORE Ivana Baquero in Pans Labyrinth. I would love to see this other movie of hers. Your reviews are great lol.

  8. >Eu gostei de "Frozen River", mas não tanto quanto você. Apesar do bom argumento, acho que a Hunt pecou um pouco pela falta de experiência na direção. Espero arranjar tempo para ver "Synecdoche" ainda nessa semana….

  9. >I want to see all of these movies, all of them interrest me. But neither interrest me more than "Synechdoche, New York". I LOVE Charlie Kaufman's work and am very curious for his directing debut. And the cast is remarkable, as you put. I wish I like it more than you =/Ciao!

  10. >i like happy endings, romeika. i like to think my life will have a happy ending, that the world will one day be happy. i like romantic movies that always end in love.i used to like melancholy movies, sad movies, dark movies. scary movies. but they are too much like real life.

  11. >i just had my first charlie kauffman experience with Adaptation … quite an interesting movie! i think i may check out synechdoche, ny simply because i adore PSH and michelle willams.

  12. >Oh, I wanna see that "The Beautiful Person" one and a million more, but uni is stressing me out right now 😦

  13. >Wow, thanks for this! I must check them out!

  14. >Very intrigued by The Beautiful Person and Revanche; Would love to be able to catch them somewhere; somehow. LOVE your purchases which you've featured on your prev post! ESP that parasol! YOU HAVE to take a picture of you using it someday!:D It's gorgeous!

  15. >Romeika!VC não pode imaginar quanto tempo eu esperei para fazer as fotos dos bastidores do desfile…mas no fim deu tudo certo! Foi super legal conhecer o Walério e ainda ver tudo de tão perto!Fico feliz que tenha gostado…pois amo muito o seu trabalho aqui!!!Mil beijinhos,Até logo,Kira

  16. >I love your reviews!!!Preciso ver todos esses filmes, fiquei curiosa!

  17. >Olha eu aqui denovo..aauhauhauauh1 abraço

  18. >Hi,because of your post I'm eager to go and watch the first one.. I love spanish movies!

  19. >Hey Romerika, where did you go? I miss your posts 🙂

  20. >Hi Maja! I've had a surgery on my left eye, it's been 10 days, and since I use computer for other daily activities besides blogging, I decided to give blogging a break, or at least post more sporadically.. I might post something this weekend anyway, I miss blogging!:-)

  21. >Nossa, preciso ir ao Cine!Mil beijos Romeika e bom fim de semana!!

  22. >Hi Romeika,I enjoy your reviews…I've been watching a few Korean movies & really enjoyed each one of them. Thanks to Sundance Channel! Lovely weekend dear…

  23. >Oh, that explains it! I hope the surgery went well 🙂

  24. >Maja, everything went well:-)Have a nice weekend, all of u!

  25. >I dont think I have seen one of them. I will try to check it out when I have time (sometime in the summer, after my exams tho). Good one

  26. >Também acho que o Kaufman foi longe demais com essa história e guiando um elenco impecável, mas dessa vez suas loucuras ficcionais só me pareceram intelectualóides e desinteressantes. Rio Congelado não deixa de ter alguns cacoetes do cinema independente norte-americano, mas o filme tem um grande coração e uma protagonista maior ainda. Já Revanche me pareceu uma promessa não cumprida, pois o filme se configura a partir de uma proposta que nunca se concretiza. O pior é que não há nada de mais interessante para que a premissa principal seja abandonada. Não entendi porque foi indicado ao Oscar.E morro de vontade de assistir a Sonho e A Bela Junie porque são de dois diretores que eu adoro.

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