Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Free Fall (Freier Fall)

Free Fall (2013) Poster

Germany 2013

Details imdb

Seen 16 December 2013

Ratings from other sources
IMDB 7.2/10

My ratings 7.0/10
An encounter opens the floodgates.

My impressions:

At first nothing
Not the best of buddies

At first
Just a physical attraction
That unconsciously develops deeper
Touching an inner part
That is not acknowledged

Denial even

Where will all these lead
The lives before the meet
And the lives after the event

The feelings are still there
For the past
But such a mix now
Making decisions hard

The feelings ever growing
For the present and future
Feelings that has to be nurtured

Not abandoned

Wednesday, November 06, 2013


Argentina 2011

Details pragda

Seen 5 November 2013

Ratings from other sources
IMDB 6.6/10

My ratings 7.0/10
The life of a Jewish immigrant family in Argentina.

My impressions:

An escape from the past
Which is still ever present
Unknowingly, unconsciously in the background
Always there
As a reminder

Of a time
That is hard to forget
Especially for those
Witnesses during that period of their lives

The new generation
With their own concerns
Problems and struggles
Might be able to break free
From the past but
Certainly are rushing headlong
Into new territory
On their own terms

The past will always be there
As a reminder

For the present, and future

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

It's the earth not the moon (É na Terra não é na Lua)

It's The Earth Not The Moon

Portugal 2011

Seen 5 November 2013

Ratings from other sources
IMDB 7.4/10
Rotten Tomatoes Average Rating 6.6/10

My ratings 7.0/10
A documentary of an isolated island and its inhabitants.

My impressions:

Pristine, that is the first impression
Idyllic, bucolic

A small island
A small population
Everyone knows each other

Outsiders come and
Some stay
For reasons of their own
Finding that peace and solace
They were searching

But others want to leave
As the island is not
Big enough, challenging enough

An island isolated
The presence of man, alas
Has changed its character
Fortunately, not too much
At the moment

But we are not sure of the future

You are all captains (Todos vós sodes capitáns)

Spain 2010

Details zeitunfilms

Seen 4 November 2013

Ratings from other sources
IMDB 6.0/10
Rotten Tomatoes Average Rating 6.9/10

My ratings 6.5/10
A European film director and his experience in a film making project with children from a social center in Tangiers.

My impressions:

Children, what do they know?
Or do they know more than us, the adults

A child
Sees with a different outlook
Reacts differently

To assume, to expect
A child to be in your mould
To follow diligently
Might be putting too much hope
A burden on the child's shoulders

He will disagree
He has his own ways
He has his own mind
Thinking, wondering

It might not be pleasant
To adults who are used to
Rules and regulations

A child is different definitely

Monday, November 04, 2013

She, a Chinese

She, a Chinese Movie Poster
UK 2009

Details impawards

Seen 3 November 2013

Ratings from other sources
IMDB 5.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes Average Rating 5.7/10

My ratings 6.0/10
The journey of a girl from China to the West.

My impressions:

How does one reconcile
Life experiences
With expectations

Such glaring differences

Ordinary lives
Are special in their own way
Tiny moments of joy
Tinges of colour, wind swept vistas

In contrast
Hardships, struggles
Another journey
Leading to another destination
Such a long hard road

It was a decision made in the past
The present has to be faced

What come may

Paradise: Hope

Austria 2013

Details cine-vue

Seen 31 October 2013

Ratings from other sources
IMDB 6.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes Average Rating 7.2/10


My ratings 7.0/10
First love during the summer holidays.

My impressions:

Feelings for an older person
Quite common
Persistence in its pursuit
Is also acceptable

The consequences
The journey of discovery
Of who you are
Of where you're going
Of those you can depend on
Of those you love and care

At such a young age
Love has no equal

That feeling
Occurs again later in life
Perhaps repeatedly
But the first is always
The one that will remembered


Paradise: Faith

Paradise: Faith (2012) Poster
Austria 2012

Details IMDB

Seen 29 October 2013

Ratings from other sources
IMDB 6.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes Average Rating 6.4/10

My ratings 6.5/10
A woman finds solace in her faith but someone from the past upsets the equilibrium.

My impressions:

Faith, an intangible entity
So soothing, calming, reassuring
Others should bask in its warm glow too

Thus a routine, an effort
Spreading the word to others
Is forged, followed
Diligent, persistent
Overcoming any obstacles

But the past catches up
Puts a dampener

So many tests
So many rejections
Is this all part of a bigger plan

As believers of a glorious end
Thorns, sharp and wily
Strewn along the path
Are they mere irritations

A divergence from the true direction

Tokyo Story

Tokyo Story (1953) Poster
Japan 1953

Details IMDB

Seen 26 October 2013

Ratings from other sources
IMDB 8.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes Average Rating 9.7/10

My ratings 8.0/10
Parents and children, how they treat each other.

My impressions:

Parents, children, grandchildren
The scheme of family life
How it is developed, and where will it end

The love and care in bringing up your children
Do we expect returns

Would we just be glad
And thankful
That they have managed
To stand on their own

They might not be the success
We envisaged
But we are proud of their achievements nevertheless

Of course we should not make comparisons
As that would be a never ending

Friday, October 25, 2013

Paradise: Love

Paradise: Love (2012) Poster
Austria 2012

Details IMDB

Seen 24 October 2013

Ratings from other sources
IMDB 6.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes Average Rating 6.5/10

My ratings 7.0/10
Finding love in paradise.

My impressions:

The paradise in the title refers to a holiday resort in Kenya. The story centres on a middle aged woman, Teresa who goes on vacation in the hopes of finding love.

There are many men waiting and ever willing to give love but all at a price. She does realise at the end that what she is seeking could not be had there, at the supposedly paradise. Her friends might have a different opinion as they have found the kind of love that they seek. The attention for a price.

A tourist in a foreign land. The air itself smells different. The atmosphere makes one giddy with anticipation of happy endings. In the beginning the money is of no consequence. Unfortunately, it gets messy when one starts to feel an attachment for the toy. Then one tries again. There is always that feeling that maybe the next one will be better.

The truth hurts. Paradise is expensive.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Village without women

Serbia 2010

Seen 23 October 2013

Ratings from other sources
IMDB 8.3/10

My ratings 7.0/10
Finding a woman to be the life partner.

My impressions:

Three brothers seemed without any hope of a woman in their lives until one day one of them decides to make an effort finding that perfect mate. Their village itself is a minus factor as it is quite inaccessible to modern amenities. In the middle of nowhere with no neighbours would be quite daunting for any woman.

The brother, Zoran, is steadfast in his pursuit of that ideal woman. He wants a wife, not just someone to have fun with but hopefully a soul mate as well. He tries his luck in the immediate village but the advice given is to seek that woman of his dreams from a neighbouring country.

He goes through the hassle of the red tape and trips to look for the right candidate. The other brothers are unsure whether Zoran is making the right decision looking for a girl from another country since both countries are at loggerheads at that time.

He continues in his search but marriage is not a business transaction. The human factor comes into play and that ultimately decides whether he will succeed in his quest.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Out in the dark

Out in the Dark (2012) Poster
Israel 2012

Details IMDB

Seen 22 October 2013

Ratings from other sources
IMDB 6.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes Average Rating 6.6/10

My ratings 6.5/10
Love blossoms between two men from different sides of the border.

My impressions:

It is always a challenge to be in love with someone from a different background. Further complications arise because they are from two opposite sides which have been perpetually at war with each other for a long time.

The dilemma, choices and decisions that has to be made in the name of love is told with compassion in the film. There is a tinge of sadness that engulfs the lovers facing so many obstacles. Their tender moments compensate the frustrations felt. We want them to succeed but will they ?

Most probably relationships such as this still abound and one wonders how are they surviving.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Black's Game (Svartur á leik)

Black's Game (2012) Poster
Iceland 2012

Details IMDB

Seen 15 October 2013

Ratings from other sources
IMDB 6.6/10

My ratings 6.5/10
A childhood friend opens the doors to a bigger world.

My impressions:

A chance encounter with an old childhood friend while Stebbi was just out from the police station after a brawl the previous night leads to a different lifestyle altogether.

The mix of drugs, partying and sex does bring a high to a young adult. The money is good too. There are moments when Stebbi wonders where it will all end up. This was especially apparent when an encounter with the big boss during a big party made him see things differently.

Stebbi has to decide and face the consequences.

Another look at the underbelly of a country and its inhabitants.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Brotherhood (Broderskab)

Brotherhood (2009) Poster
Denmark 2009

Details IMDB

Seen 11 October 2013

Ratings from other sources
IMDB 6.7/10
Rotten Tomatoes Average rating 5.6/10

My ratings 6.5/10
An ex-army man join a neo-Nazi group.

My impressions:

In the beginning, the ex-army man, Lars was not even interested and even said that the group of neo-Nazis were just a bunch of losers. He is depicted as being from an established family with all the support that can be gained from that social standing but nonetheless rebels against the family wishes. He wants to strike out on his own.

The neo-Nazis gives a welcoming embrace. He is tutored by a senior member of the group, Jimmy during the initial period of familiarisation with the workings and philosophy of the group.

The initial cold relationship between the two turns into something unexpected. The warm feelings get stronger until one day when Jimmy is given an ultimatum. Jimmy has to choose since he can't have it all.

His decision led them to a different path in their lives.

Initial hatred and misgivings turn into love and affection. Despite the odds, they will triumph.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

In Another Country (Da-reun na-ra-e-seo)

In Another Country (2012) Poster
South Korea 2012

Details IMDB

Seen 9 October 2013

Ratings from other sources
IMDB 6.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Average rating 6.7/10

My ratings 6.5/10
Three stories of a foreign woman in South Korea

My impressions:

Three stories played by the same group of actors with the action taking place at a seaside resort. The sequence of events is almost similar in each story as the woman will go through the same routine in each story. The only difference would be why and how she is there.

All stories revolve on how a foreign woman copes with the different cultural background in a foreign country. Her past history still has a hold on her and the sojourn at the resort is in a way an escape from reality.

There are moments of sweet innocence between two strangers trying to communicate using the limited vocabulary of a common foreign language, in this case, English. Sometimes there is a feeling that the story persist in portraying certain characters in a stereotypical way.

A fleeting moment, most of it happy but certain aspects remain unsolved.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Raging Sun, Raging Sky (Rabioso sol, rabioso cielo)

Raging Sun, Raging Sky (2009) Poster
Mexico 2009

Details IMDB

Seen 8 October 2013

Ratings from other sources
IMDB 6.1/10

My ratings 6.0/10
A story of love, sex and destiny

My impressions:

The film is a bit too long with some unnecessary scenes. There are times the long duration of a film adds more insight into the story but in this case, a shorter version would have conveyed the message as effectively.

The age old of story of love, passion and jealousy is shown in snippets of long walks and wanderings. Fortunately the actors manage to transcend the sometimes tedious scenes and the audience are able to feel for their characters. A plus factor of watching the film on DVD is the ability of using the fast forward button to skip those indulgent scenes.

A love story. Triumphant and raging mirroring the film title.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Caterpillar (Kyatapirâ)

Caterpillar (2010) Poster
Japan 2010

Details IMDB

Seen 7 October 2013

Ratings from other sources
IMDB 6.7/10

My ratings 7.0/10
During the Second Sino-Japanese War, in 1940, Lieutenant Kurokawa returns home as a honored and decorated soldier... but deprived of his arms and legs lost in battle in mainland China

My impressions:

How does a wife cope when the husband returns from war without any limbs. She has to assume responsibility for everything. The husband himself, is deemed a living war god. Such is the honour attached to war heroics. War itself has never brought any semblance of good to most people. This film shows the consequence in the lives of ordinary folks.

Living with an invalid husband is no stroll in the park. The wife has her limitations as well and copes as best as she can. She remembers the past too when the husband was well and that affects how she treats him now. Often times, she goes through highs and lows. As a consequence the husband and wife team might seem such a devoted couple to the public, but the struggles between the two at home takes the audience into the inner circle.

Both actors show depth especially the actress who has the pivotal role. The cinematography is kept simple and to the point, bringing the story closer to the audience.

A denunciation of war and its horrific effects on ordinary lives.

Monday, October 07, 2013

Eyes Wide Open (Einaym Pkuhot)

Eyes Wide Open (2009) Poster
Israel 2009

Details IMDB

Seen 6 October 2013

Ratings from other sources
IMDB 7.1/10

My ratings 7.0/10
A married, Orthodox Jewish father of four falls in love with a twenty two year old male student.

My impressions:

How does one reconcile feelings and affection as well as loyalty to the family, and community. In this case, he is a man of God, devoted and pious until another man enters his life.

That event triggers emotions unknown previously or it might have been just latent waiting for the right person or moment. The realisation that he can feel for someone of his own gender puts him in a spot. He at first tries to discard and prevent those feelings from taking root. It was not meant to be.

The story of love between two men is juxtaposed against another story of a young couple's unapproved relationship. The treatment meted out by the community is justified in order to preserve the traditions and sanctity of future generations. The impure must be cast out.

That is the fate of those deemed sinners in the eyes of the others.