After posting solely Thursday Movie Picks for a month I figured it was about time to review something. This November I have had the opportunity to participate in the 24th Black Nights Film Festival. An event that is near and dear to my heart. Due to the pandemic a lot of the movies are available online which makes it a lot more accessible. I will try to review a few stand outs from the festival in December. But today I want to talk about When I’m Done Dying.
There comes a time in ones life when they must ask themselves: if life is so shit, why not make it worse? And when that question is raised, the doubt starts to linger. Why not? Why not put yourself through something awful because life’s pretty messed up anyways. Maybe it will help, maybe it will not make things worse. So then you make up your mind and decide to go for it… only to realise that life was never that bad and you just made it a whole lot worse. 365 Days is an awful movie. Step away from 365 Days! Do it now before you make the same mistake I made.
It’s been almost a week since I saw one of the most anticipated Estonian films of the decade – Truth and Justice by Tanel Toom. A film that tells a harrowing story of life, family and honor. But while the film’s themes are imbedded in the past, its message reflects the present and asks questions about the future. It’s also a film that might seem strongly connected to Estonian history, and yet, it manages to convey a universal message. Here are my thoughts on it.
After two months of not stepping into a movie theater I broke the curse, and saw two movies on a Sunday at my local theater. Both movies were apart of the Black Nights Movie Festival, and both movies I loved for their emotional impact and powerful story telling. First of those movies was 4 Kings, a German movie about four teenagers and their struggles.
Trying out some new image editing but can’t get rid of that rating twitching – I’m guessing it’s just shaking from fear or something.
For those who happen to stumble upon this blog because of this post, keep in mind, I’m definitely not a horror person. When I was a kid, I was terrified of The Mask and that shit was funny so you can just imagine what real horror might have done to me! So for the longest of times, I have thought that horror is not a genre I will ever watch or let alone like. After watching High Tension, a French horror movie, with the most minimal amount of eye-hiding I’ve ever done, I realized – horror is not that bad.
Instead of writing about House of Cards, which I actually enjoyed, I decided to write down a review of a movie I saw a while back. War Witch, originally called Rebelle, caught my eye on the Apple trailer list and I thought why not watch yet another foreign movie in French this year. Turns out, it’s serious topic, the take on war, symbolism of death and some very brave scenes, made it into another great movie experience I have had the pleasure of enjoying this year.
By pure coincidence, I’m listening to Scala & Kolancy Brothers version of Nothing Else Matters and I can’t help to suddenly feel like I should avoid writing up this review because I will be an emotional wreck by the end. Still, it’s going to be hard to write about Amour a week from now, two weeks or even further in the future due to its ability to crawl under my skin each time I think back at its plot, punch me in my heart and make me cry like a god damn baby!
Certainly I’m no expert on the matter of foreign films, I watch them quite rarely and well, I’m no Bonjour Tristesse but I do stumble on some when I get the courage. Love Me If You Dare was a French movie I watched about a month ago and the reason I’m getting to this now, is because I just remembered its ending the other day. Before that, I had every attention to skip this movie review completely, because I found it impossible to review up to the point where I couldn’t get it out of my head.
Warning: this is more of an emotional and personal review.
It may cause tears but it probably won’t.
There comes a time in my everyday life when I’m willing to offer my whole attention to a movie – usually it means that I’m focused enough to read subtitles! I know it may sound a bit crazy and lazy, but I stopped reading subtitles in a very early age when it came to movies that had English as an audio. I was around 10-11 years old (and I checked this fact with my mom and she agreed) when my parents noticed that I wasn’t paying attention to the TV anymore – they asked if I could understand what was going on, and I translated some of the lines from the movie without looking at the screen. I’m not bragging, honestly, I just wanted to explain that my comfort with English has sort of guided me through life and now I have to really push myself towards a foreign (non-English) movie.
What an introduction to my review, a childhood story that serves no actual point in the review but I guess it was just nice to share something about myself. Now on to the movie that caught my eye, or technically my ears, when I was in Tallinn last week – two of my friends recommended me this movie in two separate occasions. Usually I pass these things up, like I said I’m a bit lazy when it comes to subtitles, but I remembered my last foreign experience and I thought I’d give it a go. Movie in question is The Intouchables (2011) – a masterpiece from French about an odd friendship that has made it to the top 250 in IMDb.
I might be over selling it a bit too much when I say it’s a masterpiece but there is something special about a movie that can make you cry and laugh at the same time. Some might disagree on the matter just because they find it to be offensive, for reasons I’m not willing to touch ground with, so all I’m gonna say is that it has a life-like quality I enjoyed. For me, not only did the writers, Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, who also directed the movie, capture the true story The Intouchables is based on (this really happened!) but the actors made me believe in their relationship. So basically, the movie was a masterpiece because it was utterly realistic and here’s another interesting thought I just had. Does any of you sometimes think that the belief in a role is dependent on the knowing-factor: if you are familiar with the actor you might not be as convinced by him/her in a role but if you haven’t encountered them before, like in my case with The Intouchables, you automatically believe them a bit more. Well, whatever the case is, I thought Francois Cluzet and Omar Sy portrayed their parts remarkably.
By the end of the movie emotions have run wild with this one, as I said, it will make you cry while you laugh, and laugh while you cry. The saddest effect the movie actually had on me was the fact that it made me miss friendship. It may sound a bit emo when I say I haven’t experienced friendship in a while but it’s just the cold reality of my lonely (filled with blogging) summer. All my good friends are either in a different city or out of the country and I miss that feeling of spending time with a friend. The Intouchables had that bitter sweetness to its funny moments because one of the characters was paralyzed from neck down. While I couldn’t help to feel sorry for him, I envied him as well, because he found a caretaker who became somebody he trusted, who he considered as a friend and who treated him as a person rather than a disability. It’s obvious by the plot but I’m gonna tell it anyways – there’s a lesson of life hidden in The Intouchables. It’s not the lesson about treating people equally or seeing good in people who don’t look the part (both obvious things anyone should learn from The Intouchables), it’s knowing that there is always room to
Images from Rotten Tomatoes.
I just finished watching Tomboy, a French movie about a 10 year-old girl who moved to a new place with her family and decided to tell everybody she was a boy. It is certainly an intense movie from the point of view of its topic but it is a nice addition to my Foreign subcategory which has not gotten many posts.
I had Tomboy in my “to watch” list for a long time and today I felt like watching it. Directed and written by Céline Sciamma for who this is a second feature film. She tackles a difficult issue with Tomboy by trying to show a rough topic through the eyes of children. Laure who is brilliantly played my Zoé Héran wants to fit into a group of young boys and since she has boyish looks, manages to do so. She sure does look like a boy and if I had not known she was a girl I would have found it much more shocking when the plot finally revealed it. Although the moment was still surprisingly shown to the audience!
The movie continues as the rest of the summer passes for Laure and as Michaël to others. She plays football without her shirt, spits on the ground like a boy, wrestles with boys and even goes swimming as a boy! When a group member Lisa develops feelings for him she replies to them. Meanwhile at home she plays with her little sister as if she was just a girl. I kept wondering what will happen if others found out her secret and I did not have to wait long. The ending gives a solid but not too light finishing touches to this intriguing situation whilst her mother’s words truly describes the movie: “It doesn’t bother me that you pretend to be a boy. And it doesn’t hurt me. But it can’t continue.” Yes, Laure is a boy to others but school is soon starting and she can not be one any longer. But it gives an idea that the mother does not care if she keeps acting like a boy, keeps wearing boyish clothes and even carries some boy-like physical attributes. So in a sense, it leaves everything open for Laure who for one summer got to be a boy…
All this and all of it in french gave me an amazing experience this evening and I wanted to come and write about it immediately! Although I am giving it a 4 out of 5 (cause 5 is still rare) I want to give Zoé Héran a 7 out of 5! She was so great and I can just see her in my future in so many movies yet to come.