Sunday, July 4, 2010

Sanxia haoren / Натюрморт / Still Life / Akinites zoes / Chou kou ereji / Em Busca da Vida / Martwa natura / Naturaleza Muerta / Stilla liv (2006)






Coalminer Han Sanming comes from Fengyang in Shanxi to the Three Gorges town Fengjie to look for his ex-wife whom he has not seen for 16 years. The couple meet on the bank of the Yangtze River and vow to remarry. Nurse Shen Hong also comes to Fengjie from Taiyuan in Shanxi to look for her husband who has not been home for two years. The couple embrace each other and waltz under the imposing Three Gorges dam, but feel they are so apart and decide to have a divorce. The old township has been submerged, while a new town has to be built. Life persists in the Three Gorges - what should be taken up is taken up, what should be cast off is cast off...

Старый город Фенцзе с 2000-летней историей затоплен, новый город еще не построен. Что-то надо спасать, с чем-то расставаться. Шахтер Хан Саньмин приезжает в Фенцзе в провинции Шанси, чтобы повидаться со своей бывшей женой, которую он не видел 16 лет. Она когда-то бросила его и забрала с собой дочь. Они встречаются на берегу реки Янцзы и дают слово друг другу снова пожениться. Медсестра Шеен Хон приезжает в Фенцзе, чтобы разыскать своего мужа, который уехал 2 года назад и почти потерял с ней связь. Она понимает, что они не могут быть вместе и просит его дать ей развод.Золотой Лев Венецианского фестиваля режиссеру этого фильма в 2006г...

Chine. Ville de Fengje en amont du barrage des Trois Gorges. San Ming fait le voyage dans la région pour retrouver son ex-femme et sa fille qu'il n'a pas vu depuis seize ans. Aujourd'hui, l'immeuble, la rue, le quartier où elles ont vécu ne sont plus qu'une tâche verte engloutie sous les eaux du barrage des Trois Gorges. Dans la même ville, une femme, Shen Hong, cherche son mari disparu depuis deux ans. Là où la construction du gigantesque barrage des Trois Gorges a pour conséquence la destruction de villages entiers et les déplacements de population, deux quêtes amoureuses s'enlacent, deux histoires qui se construisent et se déconstruisent...

"In “Still Life,” which won the grand prize at the 2006 Venice Film Festival, the blood and the sweat run directly into the Yangtze River, where they mingle with more than a few tears. The movie takes place amid the clatter and misery of the Three Gorges Dam, which cuts across the Yangtze in central China. The largest dam in the world, Three Gorges is a site of great cultural and political strife because of both environmental and humanitarian concerns. More than one million people have been displaced because of the dam (more are expected to follow), evicted from their homes by a ravenous hunger for power, electric and otherwise, that is washing them and history away. This may sound like a prescription for social cinema, but Mr. Jia’s interest lies in visual ideas and human behavior, not agendas. “Still Life” has been painted with a lightness of touch, and with none of the hollow lugubriousness familiar from some of the recent Chinese imported pageants and epics.Mr. Jia’s characters are always of their historical moment, but not necessarily its martyrs. Neither is he a slave to history. His work exists on a continuum with the modernist masters, among other influences, but he is very much an artist of his own specific time and place." Written by Manohla Dargis, The New York Times...


Original Title / Оригинальное название: Sanxia haoren
Also Known As: Натюрморт / Still Life / Akinites zoes / Chou kou ereji
Released in / Год выхода: 2006
Genre / Жанр: Drama, Romance, Surrealism
Director / Режиссер: Zhang Ke Jia / Цзя Чжан Ке
Writers / Сценарий: Zhang Ke Jia (screenplay) and Na Guan (writer)
Cinematography by / Оператор: Nelson Yu Lik-wai (as Lik Wai Yu)
Original Music by: Giong Lim
Cast / В ролях: Tao Zhao, Zhou Lan, Sanming Han, Lizhen Ma, Hongwei Wang, Kai Chen, Ronghu Chen, Jian Chieng, Chuanan Fang, Zhongming He, Yong Huang, Deping Jiang, Shiping Jiang, Tianyah Lan, Bin Li, Fengmin Li, Jingsheng Li, Lunshuang Li, Changqiao Liu, Ping Liu, Yougzhong Li, Younghu Li, Zhubin Li, Xiaomao Long, Mingwang Luo, Qiang Lu, Xiang Ma, Jianlin Pan, Zhugui Qian, Changxiu Tan, Ling Tang, Jiquan Tian, Jianghong Wang, Qingsung Wang...

Additional Details
Country / Выпущено: China, Hong Kong
Company / Производство: Shanghai Film Studios
Duration / Продолжительность: 01:46:32

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Brazil / Бразилия (1985)



Brazil is a 1985 film directed by Terry Gilliam. It was written by Gilliam, Charles McKeown, and Tom Stoppard and stars Jonathan Pryce. The film also features Robert De Niro, Kim Greist, Michael Palin, Katherine Helmond, Bob Hoskins, and Ian Holm. John Scalzi's Rough Guide to Sci-Fi Movies describes the film as a "dystopian satire".

The film centres on Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce), a young man trying to find a woman who appears in his dreams while he is working in a mind-numbing job and living a life in a small apartment, set in a dystopian world in which there is an over-reliance on poorly maintained (and rather whimsical) machines. Brazil's bureaucratic, totalitarian government is reminiscent of the government depicted in George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, except that it has a buffoonish, slap-stick quality and lacks a 'Big Brother' figure.

Jack Mathews, movie critic and author of The Battle of Brazil (1987), described the film as "satirizing the bureaucratic, largely dysfunctional industrial world that had been driving Gilliam crazy all his life". Though a success in Europe, the film was unsuccessful in its initial North America release. It has since become a cult film.

The film is named after the recurrent theme song, "Aquarela do Brasil".

Directed by Terry Gilliam
Produced by Arnon Milchan
Written by Terry Gilliam
Tom Stoppard
Charles McKeown
Starring Jonathan Pryce
Kim Greist
Michael Palin
Robert De Niro
Katherine Helmond
Bob Hoskins
Ian Holm
Music by Michael Kamen
Cinematography Roger Pratt
Editing by Julian Doyle
Studio Embassy International Pictures N.V.
Distributed by Universal Studios (US)
20th Century Fox (Europe)
Release date(s) February 20, 1985 (1985-02-20) (France)
01985-02-22 February 22, 1985 (United Kingdom)
Running time Theatrical release:
132 minutes
Television Edit:
94 minutes
Director's cut:
142 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English


"Set in a fictional Britain, the film follows Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce), a low-level government employee who has frequent daydreams of saving a beautiful maiden. One day he is assigned the task of trying to rectify an error caused by a fly getting jammed in a printer, which caused it to misprint a file, which resulted in the incarceration and accidental death during interrogation of Mr. Archibald Buttle instead of the suspected terrorist, Archibald "Harry" Tuttle. When Sam visits Buttle's widow, he discovers Jill Layton (Kim Greist), the upstairs neighbour of the Buttles, is the same woman as in his dreams. Jill is trying to help Mrs Buttle find out what happened to her husband, but has become sick of dealing with the bureaucracy. Unbeknownst to her, she is now considered a terrorist friend of Tuttle for attempting to report the mistake of Buttle's arrest in Tuttle's place to bureaucrats that would not admit such an error. When Sam tries to approach her, she is very cautious and avoids giving Sam full details, worried the government will track her down. During this time, Sam comes in contact with the real Harry Tuttle (Robert De Niro), a renegade air conditioning specialist who once worked for the government but left due to the amount of paperwork. Tuttle helps Sam deal with two government workers who are taking their time fixing the broken air conditioning in Sam's apartment.

Sam determines the only way to learn about Jill is to transfer to "Information Retrieval" where he would have access to her classified records. He requests the help of his mother Ida (Katherine Helmond), vainly addicted to rejuvenating plastic surgery under the care of cosmetic surgeon Dr. Jaffe (Jim Broadbent), as she has connections to high ranking officers and is able to help her son get the position. Delighted that her son has finally shown ambition – he previously turned down the promotions which she had arranged – Sam's mother arranges for Sam to be promoted into the Information Retrieval division. Sam eventually obtains Jill's records and tracks her down before she is arrested, then falsifies her records to make her appear deceased, allowing her to escape the bureaucracy. The two share a romantic night together before Sam is apprehended by the government at gun-point for misusing his position.

Sam is restrained to a chair in a large, empty cylindrical room (the interior of a power station cooling tower), to be tortured by his old friend, Jack Lint (Michael Palin), as he is now considered part of an assumed terrorist plot including Jill and Tuttle. However, before Jack can start, Tuttle and other members of the resistance break in to the Ministry. The resistance shoots Jack, rescues Sam, and blows up the Ministry building as they flee. Sam and Tuttle run off together, but Tuttle disappears amid a mass of scraps of paper from the destroyed Ministry. Sam runs to his mother attending a funeral for a friend who died of excessive cosmetic surgery. Finding his mother now looking like Jill and fawned over by a flock of juvenile admirers, Sam falls into the open casket, finding it to be bottomless. He lands in a world from his daydreams, and attempts escape up a pile of flex-ducts from the police and imaginary monsters. He finds a door at the top of the pile and, passing through it, is surprised to find himself in a trailer driven by Jill. The two drive away from the city together".>>>>>>>

Good Bye Lenin! / Гудбай Ленин



Good Bye, Lenin!is a 2003 German tragicomedy film, released internationally in 2003. Directed by Wolfgang Becker, the cast includes Daniel Brühl, Katrin Sass, Chulpan Khamatova, and Maria Simon. Most of the scenes were shot at the Karl-Marx-Allee in Berlin and around Plattenbauten near Alexanderplatz.

Directed by Wolfgang Becker
Produced by Stefan Arndt
Written by Wolfgang Becker
Bernd Lichtenberg
Starring Daniel Brühl
Katrin Sass
Chulpan Khamatova
Maria Simon
Alexander Beyer
Music by Yann Tiersen
Claire Pichet
Cinematography Martin Kukula
Editing by Peter R. Adam
Distributed by Sony Pictures Classics
Release date(s) February 27, 2004
Running time 121 min
Country Germany

In a prologue, Alex Kerner (Daniel Brühl) recalls as a child (in 1978) how proud he was along with his countrymen when the first German to enter space, Sigmund Jähn, came from the East.

The rest of the film is set in East Berlin, spanning from October 1989 to just after German unification a year later. Alex lives with his sister, Ariane (Maria Simon), his mother, Christiane (Katrin Sass), and Ariane's infant daughter, Paula. His father fled to the West in 1978, apparently abandoning the family. In his absence, Christiane has become an ardent idealist and supporter of the ruling Socialist Unity Party of Germany (the Party). When she sees Alex being arrested in an anti-government demonstration, she suffers a near-fatal heart attack and falls into a coma. The police ignore Alexander's plea to assist his mother, rather releasing him later that evening to go and see her.

Shortly afterward, the Berlin Wall falls. In that time, capitalism comes to East Berlin, and Alex loses his job before "winning" a new position in a ballot to install satellite dishes with West Berlin resident Dennis (an aspiring filmmaker) while Ariane leaves university to work at a Burger King drive-thru. After eight months, Christiane awakes, but is severely weakened both physically and mentally. Her doctor asserts that any shock might cause another, possibly fatal, heart attack. Alex realizes that the discovery of recent events would be too much for her to bear, and so sets out to maintain the illusion that things are as before in the German Democratic Republic. To this end, he and Ariane revert from the gaudy decor of the west to the previous decor to their bed-ridden mother's bedroom in the family apartment, dress in their old clothes, and feed Christiane new Western produce from old-labeled jars. Their deception is successful, albeit increasingly complicated and elaborate. Christiane occasionally witnesses strange occurrences, such as a gigantic Coca-Cola advertisement banner unfurling on a building outside the apartment. With Dennis, Alex edits old tapes of East German news broadcasts and creates fake reports on TV (played from a video machine hidden in an adjacent room) to explain these odd events. Since the old news shows were fairly predictable, and Christiane's memory is vague, she is initially fooled.>>>

BAFTA Awards

* Best Film not in the English Language (nominated – lost to In This World)

European Film Awards

* Best Actor (Brühl, won)
* Best Actress (Sass, nominated – lost to Charlotte Rampling, Swimming Pool)
* Best Director (Becker, nominated – lost to Lars von Trier, Dogville)
* Best Film (won)
* Best Screenwriter (Lichtenberg, won)

German Film Awards

* Outstanding Actor (Brühl, won)
* Outstanding Actress (Sass, nominated – lost to Hannelore Elsner, Mein letzter Film)
* Outstanding Direction (Becker, won)
* Outstanding Editing (Adam, won)
* Outstanding Film (won)
* Outstanding Music (Tiersen, won)
* Outstanding Production Design (Holler, won)
* Outstanding Supporting Actor (Lukas, won)
* Outstanding Supporting Actress (Simon, nominated – lost to Corinna Harfouch, Bibi Blocksberg)

Golden Globe Awards

* Best Foreign Language Film (nominated – lost to Osama)

Goya Awards

* Best European Film (Becker, won)

London Film Critics Circle

* Best Foreign Language Film (won)

HOME PAGE (Germany)
HOME PAGE (ENGLAND)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Orhan Pamuk. Kara Kitap/The Black Book/Чёрная Книга








The Black Book (Kara Kitap in Turkish) is a novel by Turkish author Orhan Pamuk. It was published in Turkish in 1990 and first translated and published in English in 1994. In 2006, it was translated into English again by Maureen Freely.

"The protagonist, an Istanbul lawyer named Galip, finds one day that his wife Rüya (the name means "dream" in Turkish) has mysteriously left him with very little explanation. He wanders around the city looking for his clues to her whereabouts. He suspects that his wife has taken up with her half-brother, a columnist for Milliyet named Celal, and it happens that he is also missing. The story of Galip's search is interspersed with reprints of Celal's columns, which are lengthy, highly literate meditations on the city and its history. Galip thinks that by living as Celal he can figure out how Celal thinks and locate both him and his wife, so he takes up residence in Celal's apartment, wearing his clothes and eventually writing his column.

Galip starts getting mysterious phone calls from one of Celal's obsessed fans, who displays an astonishing familiarity with the columnist's writings. After Galip's columns under Celal's name start to take the form of impassioned pleas to Rüya, a woman from Celal's past misinterprets the articles and calls Galip, thinking they are actually Celal's attempts to win her back. It turns out that Celal and the woman had had an affair, and the fan who is calling Galip is the woman's jealous husband. In an eerie twist, it turns out that the husband has been following Galip around Istanbul in an attempt to find Celal through him, accounting for Galip's frequent apprehension that he is being watched. Galip finally agrees to meet both of them at a public location, a store called Aladdin's that figures in much of the narrative. Soon after, Celal is shot to death in the street. Rüya is found also shot in Aladdin's store. The identity of the killer is never discovered for certain.

The novel ends with the postmodern twist of the author revealing his presence in the narrative. The story is more concerned with exploring the nature of story-telling as a means of constructing identity than with a straight-forward plot. As such, it is full of stories within the main story, relating to both Turkey's Ottoman past and contemporary Istanbul".(WIKI)

In Weiter Ferne, so Nah! / Faraway, So Close! /Небо над Берлином 2




Faraway, So Close! (German: In weiter Ferne, so nah!) is a 1993 film by German director Wim Wenders. The screenplay is by Wenders, Richard Reitinger and Ulrich Zieger. The film is a sequel to Wenders' 1987 film Wings of Desire. Actors Otto Sander and Bruno Ganz reprise their roles as angels visiting earth, and the film also stars Nastassja Kinski, Willem Dafoe and Heinz Rühmann (in his last film role).

Cassiel and Raphaella, two angels, observe the busy life of reunited Berlin. Due to their divine origin they can hear the thoughts of the people around them and even try console a dying man. He also observes a forger who secretly asks for forgiveness for his forgeries.

Cassiel has been following his friend Damiel (a former angel himself) around, who senses his presence when he is with him and relates about his experiences of being human. Damiel now owns a pizza parlor under the name Casa dell'angelo (Angel's House), he has been married to Marion, a trapeze artist, who also works in a local bar in West Berlin, and the two have a little daughter (Marion).

Cassiel also follows Raisa Becker, an 11 year old girl who lives in East Berlin; he observes her life and the fact that she and her mother (Hanna Becker) are being followed around by Winter, a detective who works for Anton Baker, an American mafioso who seemingly owns a transport company. Others followed by Cassiel include Lou Reed and Mikhail Gorbachev.

Cassiel follows Hanna Becker (and Winter) to an abandoned building in the outskirts of East Berlin, she brings food to Konrad, a man that has been serving as a father to Hanna even though he was nothing more than her chauffeur during World War II. Cassiel travels back in time and sees that during heavy bombardment of Berlin at the end of the war, the Beckers were well off during the Nazi Régime but when the war was ostensibly lost, Dr. Becker fled to America with their boy and adopted the name Baker, but the mother, Gertrud Becker, decided to stay behind with little Hanna under the care of Konrad. Cassiel notices that Winter takes photographs of the old World War II cars that Konrad still keeps in mint condition.>>>>>>

Directed by Wim Wenders
Produced by Ulrich Felsberg
Michael Schwarz
Wim Wenders
Written by Richard Reitinger
Wim Wenders
Ulrich Zieger
Starring Otto Sander
Bruno Ganz
Heinz Rühmann
Peter Falk
Nastassja Kinski
Willem Dafoe
Solveig Dommartin
Rüdiger Vogler
Music by Laurent Petitgand
Nick Cave
Laurie Anderson
Lou Reed
Cinematography Jürgen Jürges
Editing by Peter Przygodda
Distributed by Sony Pictures Classics
Release date(s) 18 May 1993 (Cannes Film Festival)
France: 1 September 1993
Germany: 9 September 1993
United States: 21 December 1993
UK: 1 July 1994
Running time 144 min. (German)
140 min. (U.S.)
Country Germany
Language German
French
English
Italian
Russian
Spanish

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Wings of Desire/ Der Himmel über Berlin / Небо Над Берлином



Wings of Desire is a 1987 film by the German director Wim Wenders. Its original German title is Der Himmel über Berlin, which can be translated as The Sky (or Heaven) over Berlin. Rainer Maria Rilke's poetry partially inspired the movie; Wenders claimed angels seemed to dwell in Rilke's poetry. The director also employed Peter Handke, who wrote much of the dialogue, the poetic narrations, and the film's recurring poem "Song of Childhood." The film was followed by a sequel, Faraway, So Close!

Directed by Wim Wenders
Produced by Wim Wenders
Anatole Dauman
Written by Wim Wenders
Peter Handke
Starring Bruno Ganz
Solveig Dommartin
Otto Sander
Curt Bois
Peter Falk
Music by Jürgen Knieper
Cinematography Henri Alekan
Distributed by Orion Classics (U.S. only)
Release date(s) 23 September 1987
Running time 127 minutes
Country Germany
France
Language German, English, French and Italian


Set in West Berlin in the late 1980s, toward the end of the Cold War, it follows two angels, Damiel (Bruno Ganz) and Cassiel (Otto Sander), as they roam the city, unseen and unheard by the people, observing and listening to the diverse thoughts of Berliners: a pregnant woman, a painter, a broken man who thinks his girlfriend no longer loves him. Their raison d'être is not that of the stereotypical angel, but as Cassiel says, to "assemble, testify, preserve" reality. In addition to the story of two angels, the film also is a meditation on Berlin's past, present, and future. Damiel and Cassiel have always existed as angels; they existed in Berlin before it was a city, and in fact before there were even any humans.

Among the Berliners they encounter in their meanderings is an old man named Homer (Curt Bois), who, unlike the Greek poet of war Homer, dreams of an "epic of peace." The angel Cassiel follows the old man as he looks for the then-demolished Potsdamer Platz in an open field, where all he finds is the graffiti-covered Berlin Wall.

Although Damiel and Cassiel are pure observers, invisible to all but children, and incapable of any physical interaction with our world, Damiel begins to fall in love with a circus trapeze artist named Marion (Solveig Dommartin), who is talented, lovely, but profoundly lonely. Marion lives alone in a trailer, dances alone to the music of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, and drifts through the city.

A subpart of the film follows Peter Falk, cast as himself, who has arrived in Berlin to make a film about Berlin's Nazi past. As the movie progresses, it turns out that Peter Falk was also once an angel, who renounced his immortality to become a mortal participant in the world after he grew tired of always observing and never experiencing.

Eventually, Damiel too longs for physicality, and to become human. When he sheds his immortal existence, he experiences life for the first time: he bleeds, sees colors for the first time (the movie up until now is filmed in a sepia toned monochrome, except for brief moments when the angels are not present or looking), tastes food and drinks coffee. Meanwhile, Cassiel inadvertently taps into the mind of a young man just before he commits suicide by jumping off a building; Cassiel tries to save the young man but is unable to do so, and he is left haunted and tormented by the experience. Eventually, Damiel meets the trapeze artist Marion at a bar, and they greet each other with familiarity as if they had long known each other. In the end, Damiel is united with the woman he had desired for so long. The film ends with the message: "To be continued."

The story is concluded in Wenders' 1993 sequel, In weiter Ferne, so nah! (Faraway, So Close!).(WIKI)


MORE INFO

Monday, May 10, 2010

Waiter/ Ober/ Официант



Waiter (Dutch: Ober) is a 2006 black comedy film by Alex van Warmerdam. It tells the story of Edgar, a discontented waiter. The film had its world premiere on the Toronto Film Festival on September 10, 2006. It was the opening film of the Netherlands Film Festival, where Waiter received two Golden Calves, for Best Scenario and Best Production Design.

Waiter tells the story of Edgar (Alex van Warmerdam), a waiter with a flair for the unfortunate. His wife is sick, his girlfriend Victoria (Ariane Schluter) is overly possessive, customers at work constantly bully him and his neighbours make his life impossible.

Fed up with the way his life is going, Edgar goes to the house of Herman (Mark Rietman), the scriptwriter who invented Edgar and is currently writing his story. Edgar complains about the events in his life that keep getting worse and begs for some positive events in his life, including a decent girlfriend. Herman decides to create Stella (Line Van Wambeke), but soon Edgar realises that Stella will only complicate his life more. Meanwhile Herman is pestered by his pushy girlfriend Suzie (Thekla Reuten), who constantly tries to change the script. Driven to insanity by Edgar and Suzie constantly trying to interfere with his story, Herman decides to make the story more extreme and violent...

Directed by Alex van Warmerdam
Produced by Marc van Warmerdam
Written by Alex van Warmerdam
Starring Alex van Warmerdam
Ariane Schluter
Mark Rietman
Thekla Reuten
Line Van Wambeke
Music by Vincent van Warmerdam
Cinematography Tom Erisman
Editing by Ewin Ryckaert
Distributed by A-Film
Release date(s) September 28, 2006 (NL)
World premiere: September 10, 2006 (Toronto Film Festival)
Running time 97 minutes
Country Netherlands, Belgium

ON IMD

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Le Temps du Loup/ Время волков/ Time of the Wolf





Time of the Wolf (French: Le Temps du Loup) is a dystopian post-apocalyptic drama film, directed by Austrian director Michael Haneke. It was released theatrically in 2003. Set in an unnamed European country at an undisclosed time, the film follows the story of a family: Georges (Daniel Duval), Anne (Isabelle Huppert) and their two children Eva (Anaïs Demoustier) and Ben (Lucas Biscombe).

A disaster of some type has occurred, of which the audience only knows that uncontaminated water is scarce and livestock have to be burned. Fleeing the city, the family arrive at their country home, hoping to find refuge and security, only to discover that it is already occupied by strangers.

CAST:
# Isabelle Huppert - Anne Laurent
# Béatrice Dalle - Lise Brandt
# Patrice Chéreau - Thomas Brandt
# Rona Hartner - Arina
# Maurice Bénichou - M. Azoulay
# Olivier Gourmet - Koslowski
# Brigitte Roüan - Béa
# Lucas Biscombe - Ben
# Hakim Taleb - Young runaway
# Anaïs Demoustier - Eva
# Serge Riaboukine - The leader
# Marilyne Even - Mme Azoulay

Directed by Michael Haneke
Produced by Michael Katz,
Veit Heiduschka,
Margaret Ménégoz
Written by Michael Haneke
Starring Isabelle Huppert,
Béatrice Dalle,
Patrice Chéreau
Cinematography Jürgen Jürges
Editing by Nadine Muse,
Monika Willi
Distributed by Les Films du Losange (France, theatrical),
Palm Pictures (USA, theatrical)
Release date(s) 2003
Running time 110 minutes
Country France, Austria, Germany

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Where the Wild Things Are (2009)






"Where the Wild Things Are is a 2009 American fantasy drama film directed by Spike Jonze and adapted from Maurice Sendak's 1963 children's book Where the Wild Things Are. It combines live action, performers in costumes, animatronics, and computer-generated imagery (CGI). The film stars Max Records, Catherine Keener, and Mark Ruffalo, and features the voices of James Gandolfini, Paul Dano, Lauren Ambrose, and Forest Whitaker. The film centers around a lonely 9-year-old boy named Max who sails away to an island inhabited by creatures known as the "wild things", who declare Max their king.

In the early 1980s Disney considered adapting the film as a blend of traditionally animated characters and computer-generated settings, but development did not go past a test film to see how the animation hybridizing would work out"

"The film begins with Max (Max Records), who is a lonely eight-year-old boy[4] with an active imagination, wearing a wolf costume and chasing his dog. His older sister, Claire (Pepita Emmerichs) does nothing when her friends crush Max's snow fort (with him inside) during a snowball fight. Out of frustration, Max messes up her bedroom, specifically destroying a special frame that he had made for her. As he lies in bed, he stares at a globe he was given by his father (who is gone because of a divorce). Max's teacher Mr. Elliot (Steve Mouzakis) teaches him and his classmates about the eventual death of the sun in school. His mother, Connie (Catherine Keener), invites her boyfriend (Mark Ruffalo) to dinner. Max gets upset with his mom for not coming to the fort he made in his room. He wears his wolf costume, acts like an animal, and demands to be fed. When his mother gets upset, he throws a tantrum and bites her on the shoulder. She yells at him and he runs away, scared by what just transpired. Max finds a small boat in a pond, which he gets into and departs.

Sailing across the ocean, Max eventually reaches an island. Still in his wolf costume, he explores the island and stumbles upon a group of six large creatures. One of them, Carol, is in the middle of a destructive tantrum while the others attempt to stop him. As Carol wreaks havoc Max tries to join in on the mayhem but soon finds himself facing the suspicious anger of the wild things. When they contemplate eating him, Max convinces them with a lie that he is a "great king with magical powers" capable of bringing harmony to the distraught group. They promptly crown him as their new king and introduce themselves:

* Carol (voiced by James Gandolfini), the most impulsive of the Wild Things.
* Ira and Judith (voiced by Forest Whitaker and Catherine O'Hara), a gentle-speaking pushover and his aggressive "downer" girlfriend.
* Alexander (voiced by Paul Dano), a goat-like wild thing who is constantly ignored, belittled, and mistreated.
* Douglas (voiced by Chris Cooper), a bird-like peace-keeper who is Carol's best friend.
* Bernard the Bull (voiced by Michael Berry Jr.), a quiet and intimidating beast who mostly keeps to himself and doesn't speak until the end of the movie.
* K.W. (voiced by Lauren Ambrose), the loner of the group whose constant departures irritate Carol greatly as he wants all of the Wild Things to stay together. (MORE ON WIKI>>>>>>)

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Road








he Road is a 2009 drama film directed by John Hillcoat and written by Joe Penhall. Based on the 2006 novel of the same name by American author Cormac McCarthy, the film stars Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee as a father and his son in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Filming took place in Pennsylvania, Louisiana, and Oregon. The film received a limited release in North American cinemas from November 25, 2009 and was released in UK cinemas on January 4, 2010

"The Road shares the premise of the novel on which it is based: a father (Mortensen) and his young son (Smit-McPhee) struggle to survive a number of years after an unspecified, devastating cataclysm has destroyed civilization, killed all plant and animal life, and obscured the sun; only remnants of mankind remain alive, reduced to scavenging or cannibalism. Man and boy are traveling southward, in the hope that it will be warmer. Along the way, they search for shelter, food, and fuel, and avoid bands of cannibals while trying to maintain their own sense of humanity. The man carries a revolver, but has only two bullets which he wants to keep in case they need to commit suicide. Flashback and dream sequences spaced throughout the narrative show how the man's wife, who has a much more expanded role in the film than in the book, committed suicide after delivering the child and losing the will to go on in a seemingly doomed world".

Directed by John Hillcoat
Produced by Nick Wechsler
Steve Schwartz
Paula Mae Schwartz
Written by Joe Penhall (screenplay)
Cormac McCarthy (book)
Starring Viggo Mortensen
Kodi Smit-McPhee
Michael K. Williams
Robert Duvall
Guy Pearce
and Charlize Theron

Music by Nick Cave
Warren Ellis
Cinematography Javier Aguirresarobe
Editing by Jon Gregory
Studio 2929 Productions
Distributed by Dimension Films
The Weinstein Company
Release date(s) November 25, 2009 (limited)

Official website


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Animation. Metropia









Metropia is a 2009 Swedish animated science-fiction film directed by Tarik Saleh. The screenplay was written by Fredrik Edin, Stig Larsson, and Tarik Saleh after a story by Tarik Saleh, Fredrik Edin and Martin Hultman. The film uses a technique where actual photographs have been altered and heavily stylized in a computer program, and then animated. The visual style is inspired by the works of Terry Gilliam, Roy Andersson and Yuriy Norshteyn.

A futuristic look at a terrifying Europe where the world is running out of oil. A gigantic underground network is created by joining all the various undergrounds together underneath Europe. Roger (Vincent Gallo) from a suburb of Stockholm avoids the underground because he finds it disturbing. Sometimes when he is too near the underground, he hears a strange voice in his head.

One day Roger stumbles upon the truth that his life is controlled in every detail. In order to break free he combines forces with super-model Nina (Juliette Lewis).

CAST:
* Vincent Gallo as Roger
* Juliette Lewis as Nina
* Udo Kier as Ivan Bahn
* Stellan Skarsgård as Ralph Parker
* Alexander Skarsgård as Stefan
* Sofia Helin as Anna
* Shanti Roney as Karl
* Fares Fares as Firaz
* Fredrik Eddari as Mehmet
* Doreen Månsson as asylum TV-hostess
* Indy Neidell as Wayne Marshal
* Joanna Zofia Bard Mikolajczyk as metro voice
* Goran Marjanovic as asylum seeker
* Magnus Skogberg Tear as Roger's boss
* Lotta Bromé as news anchor
* Annelie Persson as Trexx commercial
* Sandy Månsson as office gossip
* Michael Månsson as old man buying ticket
* Jon Wigfield as annoying customer

Official website

Directed by Tarik Saleh
Produced by Kristina Åberg
Written by Screenplay:
Tarik Saleh
Stig Larsson
Fredrik Edin
Story:
Tarik Saleh
Fredrik Edin
Martin Hultman

Music by Krister Linder
Editing by Johan Söderberg
Studio Atmo Media Network
Distributed by Sandrew Metronome
Release date(s) Venice Film Festival:
3 September 2009
Sweden: 27 November 2009
Running time 86 minutes
Country: Sweden Denmark Norway Finland
Language English

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Animation. MARY AND MAX




International Narrative Feature Films
Australia, 2008, 92 mins., color & b/w


{Mary and Max} is unique. A claymation animation by Academy Award–winning filmmaker Adam Elliot (Harvie Krumpet), it tells the simple story of a 20-year pen-pal friendship between two very different people: Mary Dinkle, a chubby, lonely 8-year-old girl living in the suburbs of Melbourne, and Max Horowitz, a 44-year-old Jewish man, who is severely obese, suffers from Asperger’s syndrome, and lives an isolated life in New York City. It is very much a triumph of emotion, insight, and eccentricity—a complete delight.Animation's ability to capture the intricate complexity of life has never been on display in as absorbing fashion as with the storytelling of this Australian filmmaker, who truly makes you forget what you are watching. The originality of the voices in this ever-spinning kaleidoscope of innocence and idiosyncrasy comes straight from an incredibly rich imagination and complete artistic vision. This desire for acceptance and love amid the pain of existence is masterfully narrated by Barry Humphries and fleshed out by the voices of Philip Seymour Hoffman and Toni Collette.This film that explores friendship, autism, taxidermy, psychiatry, alcoholism, where babies come from, obesity, kleptomania, trust, copulating dogs, sexual and religious differences, agoraphobia, and more, and is rooted in a very personal relationship, is proof of why we go to the movies and a truly exceptional portrait of compassion and love.

Director(s): Adam Elliot
Screenwriter(s): Adam Elliot
Executive Producers: Mark Gooder, Paul Hardart, Tom Hardart, Bryce Menzies, Jonathan Page
Producer: Melanie Coombs
Cinematographer: Gerald Thompson
Editor: Bill Murphy
Production Designer: Adam Elliot

CAST:
* Toni Collette as Mary Daisy Dinkle
* Philip Seymour Hoffman as Max Jerry Horowitz
* Eric Bana as Damian Popodopoulos
* Barry Humphries as the Narrator
* Bethany Whitmore as Young Mary
* Renée Geyer as Vera
* Ian "Molly" Meldrum as Homeless Man

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Schläft ein Lied in allen Dingen/Колыбельные / SLEEPING SONGS




"An artist's search for new ideas leads him on a journey of self-discovery in this drama from German filmmaker Andreas Struck. Martin (Stefan Rudolf) is a musician who works with a well-respected experimental jazz ensemble. Martin is a man driven to break the rules and defy creative convention at every turn, but he feels he's losing touch with his muse, and has begin to suspect his girlfriend is more interested in dating a well-known musician than in his true nature. One evening, it all becomes too much for Martin, and he leaves the stage midway through a performance, stopping by the banks of a river to toss his horn into the water. Martin becomes a drifter, wandering for the sake of wandering, until he crosses paths with Hannah, an eccentric elderly woman who writes poetry. Hannah may not seem like the sort of person Martin has been waiting to meet, but the longer he reads her work, the more he suspects she has an understanding of both art and life that he lacks. Schlaeft ein Lied in Allen Dingen (aka Sleeping Songs) was an official selection at the 2009 Berlin International Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide"



Credits
SCHLÄFT EIN LIED IN ALLEN DINGEN

Director
STRUCK, Andreas
Production Company
Neue Mediopolis Filmproduktion
Production Company
WDR - Westdeutscher Rundfunk
Production Company
ARTE
Producer
HENGGE, Petra
Producer
RIS, Alexander
Producer
ROTHE, Jörg
Production Manager
HESS, Hans Christian
Assistant Director
SEIBERT, Dirk
Casting
DIHRBERG, Anja
Screenplay
GABLER, Dagmar
Director of Photography
DOUB, Andreas
Editor
JACOBS, Karin
Production Designer
FREYER, Jutta
Costume Designer
WEGNER, Elena
Music
MOLVAER, Nils Petter
Sound Design
SCHMIDT, Sebastian
Mixer
MEHL, Olaf
Sound
VARZA, Siddh


Martin
RUDOLF, Stefan
Kristina
KHAMATOVA, Chulpan
Hanna
HÖSS, Traute
Rio
METSCHURAT, Barnaby
Atze
ALTMANN, Michael
Maggie
KALENBERG, Paula
Wiesel
KIEFER, Martin
Konrad
PACKHÄUSER, Wolfgang
Rick
FRISCH, Arno
Jakob
GROTHGAR, Andreas
policewoman
ENGELHARDT, Bettina

Friday, March 19, 2010

Novel. "Loneliness in the net" by J.L Wiśniewski




"...find out on your own what a true love is. A love full of passion and sacrifice, born in the virtual reality. Find out what a friendship, betrayal and death really are...J.L Wiśniewski puts in words a story of two lost, lonely people and he does it in a truly brilliant way. She''s got theoretically everything - a good job, a husband and a house. The only missing thing is love. He loved once before, passionately and selflessly, but the death took it all away from him. They meet by chance in an internet chat. They made friends and after some time they''d decided they can''t live without each other any more.. They fell in love.Their lives got complicated again. Guided by the feeling of guilt towards her husband she decides to go back him, even though she''s pregnant with Jakub. He can''t aceept that and surely will never do that.The book makes you shed more than one tear and touches you deeply from the inside.I recommend it to you, it''s worth it".

A more contemporary story would be impossible: the Internet, pagers, airline e-tickets, genome decoding, text messages. And it"s a classic love story. A story of love on the Internet. The ultimate love, the one of dreams. Wiśniewski tells the story superbly and analytically taking his reader from near celebratory tenderness only to amaze a few lines later with daring eroticism. Loneliness on the Net is also a tribute to knowledge intertwined with a love story. It"s a story about molecules of emotions, about who discovered DNA, and what happened to Einstein"s brain.

Loneliness on the Net hit all bestseller lists in Poland (over 300.000 copies sold). The novel has been translated into many languages and was brought to the Polish cinema theatres as a feature movie in 2006.


Janusz Leon Wiśniewski (born 18 August 1954 in Toruń) is a Polish scientist and writer mostly known for his novel S@motność w Sieci translated into English as Loneliness on the Netю
Wiśniewski holds a Master of Physics and Master of Economics, qualifications both from Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, Doctor of Informatics from Warsaw University of Technology and Habilitation in Chemistry from the Technical University of Łódź. He is one of the authors of the computer program AutoNom, a naming tool for organic substances in the IUPAC nomenclature
Currently Wiśniewski lives and works in Frankfurt, Germany.

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

O Lucky Man!/О, счастливчик! (1973)




This sprawling, surrealist musical serves as an allegory for the pitfalls of capitalism, as it follows the adventures of a young coffee salesman in Europe. Many actors play multiple roles, giving the film a stagy tone...

O Lucky Man! is a 1973 British comedy film, intended as an allegory on life in a capitalist society. Directed by Lindsay Anderson, it stars Malcolm McDowell as Mick Travis, whom McDowell had first played as a disaffected public schoolboy in his first film performance in Anderson's film if.... (1968). The film was entered into the 1973 Cannes Film Festival.

During his journey, Travis learns the amoral lesson, reinforced by numerous songs in the soundtrack by Alan Price, that he must abandon his principles in order to succeed, but unlike the other characters he meets he must retain a detached idealism that will allow him to distance himself from the evils of the world: a fact which causes the film to often be considered a reappropriation of Candide by Voltaire. As one of the film's songs says:

Smile while you're makin' it, Laugh while you're takin' it, Even though you're fakin' it, Nobody's gonna know.

In O Lucky Man!, Travis progresses from coffee salesman (working for Imperial Coffee in the North East of England and Scotland), a victim of torture in a government installation and a medical research subject, under the supervision of Dr Millar (Crowden), where he is almost turned into a sheep.

In parallel with Travis' experiences, the film shows 1960s Britain retreating from its imperial past, but managing to retain some influence in the world by means of corrupt dealings with foreign dictators. After finding out his girlfriend is the daughter of Sir James Burgess (Richardson), an evil industrialist, he is appointed Burgess' personal assistant.

With Dr Munda, the dictator of the fictitious Zingara, a brutal police state which nevertheless manages to be a playground for wealthy people from the developed world, Burgess sells the regime a chemical called PL45 'Honey' for spraying on rebel areas (the effects resemble those of Napalm). Burgess connives at having Travis found guilty of fraud, and he is imprisoned for five years.

The final scene of the film shows him becoming involved in a casting call for a film, with Lindsay Anderson himself playing the director of the film. He is given various props to handle, including a stack of school books and a machine gun. When asked to smile Mick continually asks why. The director slaps Travis with his script book after he fails to understand what is being asked of him. After a cut to black (a device used throughout the film) a slow look of understanding crosses Mick's face. The scene then cuts to a party with dancing which includes all of the cast celebrating.(WIKI)

Directed by Lindsay Anderson
Produced by Lindsay Anderson
Written by David Sherwin and Malcolm McDowell (Story)
Starring Malcolm McDowell
Ralph Richardson
Rachel Roberts
Arthur Lowe
Helen Mirren
Graham Crowden
Dandy Nichols
Music by Alan Price
Cinematography Miroslav Ondříček
Editing by David Gladwell
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date(s) 1973
Running time 183 min.
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Preceded by if....
Followed by Britannia Hospital

O Lucky Man! on IMDb

Friday, March 12, 2010

Transylvania / Трансильвания (2006)




Zingarina arrives in Transylavania, accompanied by her close friend Marie and her guide and interpreter Luminitsa. She is not there only to visit this region of Romania but to trace her lover Milan, a musician who has made her pregnant and who left her without a word of explanation. When she finds him back, he brutally rejects her and Zingarina is terribly upset. She leaves her two companions and having become a wreck she hardly survives by following a wandering little girl. Her destiny changes for the best when she meets Tchangalo, a traveling trader...

Starring: Beata Playa, Alexandra Beaujard, Birol Unel, Amira Casar, Asia Argento
Directed by: Tony Gatlif
Produced by: Tony Gatlif



Genres: Art/Foreign and Drama
Running Time: 1 hr. 43 min.

Ты, живущий / Du levande / You, the Living (2007)




You, the Living (Swedish: Du levande) is a 2007 Swedish black comedy film written and directed by Roy Andersson.
This is an absurdist take on the everyday foibles of human nature. Andersson couples his iconic visual style (stationary shots, a monochromatic palette of grays and greens) with a meticulous eye for composition (compared by some critics to the work of German painters Otto Dix and Max Beckmann) to yield a brilliant succession of dreamlike tableaux: a bride and her electric guitar-playing groom sail along in a house moving like a train; a distraught man complains of his financial woes while his wife tries to make love to him; a drunken woman shouts “No one understands me” to a bar full of silent patrons; a man waiting in line to buy a train ticket changes queues repeatedly, to no advantage. Running the gamut from quotidian struggles to big philosophical questions of love, sympathy and purpose in an uncaring world, Andersson brings a blast of distinctive Nordic humor to our universal woes.

Directed by: Roy Andersson
Cast: Elisabet Helander, Jessika Lundberg, Bjorn Englund

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Bacheha-Ye Aseman / The Children of Heaven / Дети небес (1997)




Ali takes his little sister Zahra's shoes to the shoemaker to be repaired, but loses them on the way home. The siblings decide to keep the predicament a secret from their parents, knowing that there is no money to buy a replacement pair and fearing that they will be punished. They devise a scheme to share Ali's sneakers: Zahra will wear them to school in the morning and hand them off to Ali at midday so he can attend afternoon classes. This uncomfortable arrangement leads to one adventure after another as they attempt to hide the plan from their parents and teachers, attend to their schoolwork and errands, and acquire a new pair of shoes for Zahra. Zahra sees the shoes on a schoolmate's feet, and follows her home, but the two soon become friends...

Directed by Majid Majidi
Produced by Amir Esfandiari, Mohammad Esfandiari
Written by Majid Majidi
Starring Amir Farrokh Hashemian, Bahare Seddiqi
Music by Keivan Jahanshahi
Cinematography Parviz Malekzaade
Editing by Hassan Hassandoost
Distributed by United States Miramax Films
Release date(s) United States January 22, 1999
Running time 89 min.
Country Iran

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Раны / Rane (1998)




Directed by: Srdjan Dragojevic
Genre: Comedy,Drama
User Rating: 8.0/10 (1,401 votes)
Runtime: Canada:103 min | Hungary:100 min
Awards: 2 wins
Cast (first 5): Milan Maric, , , Vesna Trivalic, Nikola Kojo

Awards
Stockholm Film Festival 1998 Won Bronze Horse Srdjan Dragojevic
Thessaloniki Film Festival 1998 Won FIPRESCI Prize Parallel Sections Srdjan Dragojevic For its powerful, dramatic depiction of the brutal reality and complexity of life in the Balkans today.

How easy is it for desperate youngsters to become dangerous gangsters in a decaying society washed all over by the blood of war? Fairly easy indeed. Rane shows incidents, probably somewhat facts, that took place in Serbia of the war era. Things similar to what you see on this film could happen virtually everywhere, but this film gives a very Yugoslavian feeling to everything. Yugo style mafia, Yugo style murder, and all that. Revolting politicians and their greed are to blame, not only the desperate young men who lose their reasoning while trying to be someone. The film and the casting is overall successful, and it's so very Serbian. I recommend it to anyone who.. well anyone who likes a good film. But don't expect anything American style on this one, as I say it's Yugo to the bone...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Stratosphere Girl / Девушка из стратосферы (2004)



The story (if you can call it that) is of a girl who works in a Tokyo hostess bar only to uncover a bizarre murder mystery. The screenplay is a rambling mishmash of ideas that -while not entirely successful- maintains our interest throughout and leaves us scratching our heads in bewilderment. From the opening scene, we are submerged into the film's environment without warning or introduction, and without expectation, for that matter. The plot is so non-linear and, quite frankly, non-important that we have no choice but to take the picture on its own terms. Even though nothing seems to fit from a conventional perspective, every bizarre moment of the script seems perfectly ordinary within the film's world. None of the characters seem remotely aware of just how strange their surroundings are, and this is how the film manages to succeed. The film-maker does not even TRY to offer an explanation for anything that takes place, he just presents it and expects us to draw our own conclusions. And even if you never reach a conclusion, as was the case with me, it is still an entertaining experience...

Directed by Matthias X. Oberg
Produced by Karl Baumgartner
Written by Matthias X. Oberg
Starring Chloé Winkel,
Jon Yang
Distributed by TLA Releasing
Release date(s) 9 September 2004 (Germany)
Running time 90 min


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Monday, March 1, 2010

Sweet Rain / Shinigami no seido /Accuracy of Death (2008)



Sweet Rain: Shinigami no Seido (Sweet Rain 死神の精度, lit. "The precision of the agent of death") is a 2008 Japanese movie based on a Kotaro Isaka novel and directed by Masaya Kakehi.
CAST:
* Takeshi Kaneshiro
* Manami Konishi
* Sumiko Fuji

Adapted from the bestselling novel by Kotaro Isaka “The Accuracy of Death”. Chiba (Takeshi Kaneshiro) appears seven days before a person dies an unexpected death. His job is to observe the person for seven days, and then decide either to ‘execute’ or ‘pass over’. Getting his work quickly out of the way, he goes to the listening booth of a CD shop and indulges in his favorite pastime, listening to ‘humanity’s greatest invention’: music.

He is...a Grim Reaper. Today, again, in the rain, he waits. His subject, her death due in seven days, is Kazue Fujiki (Manami Konishi), 27. She works for a manufacturing company, in the complaints department. Exhausted after her day, she emerges from her office. It’s time for the Reaper to go to work.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Yarik / Ярик (Russia, 2007)



In the last five years 62,000 Russian children have been abducted, taken out of the country and sold.THIS HARD-HITTING DRAMA is the remarkable story of one of these children."The lucky ones are adopt...( read more read more... )ed by rich families in the West. Others are sold into a life of prostitution, drugs or crime. But many are murdered so their organs can be sold on the black market, often with the collusion of the Russian police.


PRODUCER
Konstantin Serebryakov

DIRECTOR
Cecile Henry

WRITER
Andrey Sherbinin, Cecile Henry

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
Alexander Gusev

COMPOSER
Vadim Sher

PRODUCTION DESIGNER
Serguei Filenko

SOUND
Yakov Geronimus

PRODUCTION COMPANY
Project WE, Krasnaya Strela, SD Cinema Park
CAST:
Yarik - Maxim Kolesnikov
Boris - Anatoly Bely
Major - Dmitry Persin
Buyer - Mikhail Gorevoi
Gurgen - Armen Djigarkhanya
Samokhin - Sergey Badichkin
Boris's Wife - Inessa Moskvicheva
Boris's Daughter - Polina Arsentieva
Mother - Elena Ksenofontova
Master - Sergey Vexler



Sunday, February 21, 2010

Jim Jarmusch. Mystery Train (1989)



Mystery Train is a 1989 independent anthology film written and directed by Jim Jarmusch and set in Memphis, Tennessee. The film comprises a triptych of stories involving foreign protagonists unfolding over the course of the same night. "Far From Yokohama" features a Japanese couple (played by Youki Kudoh and Masatoshi Nagase) on a blues pilgrimage, "A Ghost" focuses on an Italian widow (Nicoletta Braschi) stranded in the city overnight, and "Lost In Space" follows the misadventure of a newly single and unemployed Englishman (Joe Strummer) and his companions (Rick Aviles and Steve Buscemi). They are linked by a run-down flophouse overseen by a night clerk (played by Screamin' Jay Hawkins) and his dishevelled bellboy (Cinqué Lee), a scene featuring Elvis Presley's "Blue Moon",[3] and a gunshot.

The starting point for the script was the ensemble cast of friends and previous collaborators Jarmusch had conceived characters for, while the tripartite formal structure of the film was inspired by his study of literary forms. Cinematographer Robby Müller and musician John Lurie were among the many contributors who had been involved in earlier Jarmusch projects and returned to work on the film. Mystery Train's US$2.8 million budget (financed by Japanese conglomerate JVC) was considerable compared to what the director had enjoyed before, and allowed him the freedom to rehearse many unscripted background scenes. It was the first of Jarmusch's feature films to depart from his trademark black-and-white photography, though the use of color was tightly controlled to conform with the director's intuitive sense of the film's aesthetic.

Mystery Train was released theatrically by Orion Classics under a restricted rating in the United States, where it grossed over $1.5 million. It enjoyed critical acclaim on the film festival circuit, and like the director's earlier films premiered at the New York Film Festival and was shown in competition at Cannes, where Jarmusch was awarded the Best Artistic Achievement Award. The film was also shown in the Edinburgh, London, Midnight Sun, Telluride, and Toronto film festivals, and was nominated in six categories at the Independent Spirit Awards. Critical reaction was overwhelmingly positive, with reviewers praising the structure, humor, and characters of the film, though there were discontented rumblings that the director had not been sufficiently adventurous.

The film consists of three stories that take place on the same night in downtown Memphis. The three stories are linked together by the Arcade Hotel, a run-down flophouse presided over by the night clerk (Screamin' Jay Hawkins) and bellboy (Cinqué Lee), where the principal characters in each story spend a part of the night. Every room in the hotel is adorned with a portrait of Elvis.

The first story, "Far From Yokohama", features Mitsuko (Youki Kudoh) and Jun (Masatoshi Nagase), a teenage couple from Yokohama making a pilgrimage to Memphis during a trip across America. Mitsuko is obsessed with Elvis to the point where she believes that there is a mystical connection between Elvis, Madonna and the Statue of Liberty. The film follows the couple as they travel from the train station, through downtown Memphis and an exhausting tour of Sun Records, to the Arcade hotel.

The second story, "A Ghost", is about an Italian widow, Luisa (Nicoletta Braschi), who is stranded in Memphis while escorting her husband's coffin back to Italy. Luisa, who has been conned twice and stuck with armfuls of magazines, is forced to share a room at the hotel with Dee Dee (Elizabeth Bracco), a young woman who has just left her husband and who plans to leave the city in the morning. Luisa is kept awake by Dee Dee's constant talking, and when the young woman finally does go to sleep, visited by an apparition of Memphis' most famous icon – Elvis Presley.

In the final story, "Lost In Space", Dee Dee's husband Johnny (Joe Strummer) is introduced. Having gotten drunk after losing his job, Johnny – known, much to his chagrin, as Elvis – drives around the city along with his friend Will Robinson (Rick Aviles) and brother-in-law Charlie (Steve Buscemi). They stop at a liquor store, which Johnny attempts to rob using the gun and severely wounds the owner in the process. Fearing the consequences of the incident, Johnny, Will and Charlie retire to the hotel to hide out for the night; there, Johnny gets further drunk. Charlie realizes that Will shares the same name as the character Will Robinson from the television show Lost in Space, which Johnny has never heard of. Charlie and Will proceed to tell him about the show, and Will comments that that is how he feels then with Charlie and Johnny; lost in space. The next morning Charlie discovers that Johnny isn't really his brother-in-law, which angers him because of what they've been through. Johnny attempts to shoot himself, and while struggling to prevent him, Charlie is shot in the leg. Leaving the hotel, the three escape a police car that isn't even looking for them. The closing credits show the train, the airport and the final views of the characters from the first two stories.(WIKI)

Directed by Jim Jarmusch
Produced by Rudd Simmons
Jim Stark
Written by Jim Jarmusch
Starring Youki Kudoh
Masatoshi Nagase
Screamin' Jay Hawkins
Cinqué Lee
Nicoletta Braschi
Elizabeth Bracco
Rick Aviles
Joe Strummer
Steve Buscemi
Music by John Lurie
Cinematography Robby Müller
Editing by Melody London

Thursday, February 18, 2010

April Story / Shigatsu monogatari/Апрельская история





Following up on the phenomenal success of his Love Letter and Swallowtail Butterfly, Shunji Iwai spins this sweet tale about a young lass' first steps in the bustle of the big city. Uzuki Nireno (Takako Matsu) is leaving her rural home in the snowy north of Hokkaido for college in Western Tokyo. Her transition to big city life isn't easy; she muffed her self-introduction in class and she had an unfortunate incident in a movie theater with an overly solicitous pervert. In spite of this, she starts to feel settled after she unpacks and after she explores her neighborhood. She also befriends tough-talking Saeko (Rumi) who invites her to join the school's fishing club. Though she initially has no interest in the pursuit, she soon is practicing her cast in a parking lot as upper classmen lavish her with attention. Uzuki, however, is not interested. When she was in high school, she fell for a hunky classmate (Seiichi Tanabe) who just so happens to be working in a local bookshop. Will she summon the courage to say "hi?" ~ Jonathan Crow, All Movie Guide

Directed by: Shunji Iwai
Cast: Takako Matsu, Seiichi Tanaba, Kahori Fujii, Rumi
JAPAN
1998