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Written By: frenchy on March 15, 2009 6 Comments

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Another year, another film festival. Just one movie shy of my record number of movies seen during a festival (23).

Best movie: Daytime Drinking (and funniest..)
Best FeelGood movie: Pranzo di Ferragosto
Most Intense movie: Bronson
Most Disappointing movie: Ecce Momo!
Have a look at the rest of my ratings here.

Here’s the top three of the Audience Award for the 2009 Festival:

# Film Score
1 Slumdog Millionaire (surprise, surprise) 4.764
2 Troubled Water 4.585
3 Maman est chez le coiffeur 4.525

Oh, check out the list of the Audience Awards for this years festival. I’ve got just one movie in the top ten, good enough.

Have a look at some of the pics I made of the festival; counting down the days for next year!

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Written By: frenchy on March 15, 2009 No Comment

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Movie: Achilles And The Tortoise (Kitano Takeshi, Japan, 2008, 119′) imdb link

Date: Jan 31, 2009

Rating: ★★★½☆
(He didn’t disappoint this time )

Plot: The young son of an art collector is encouraged to become a painter. He loses his parents, his home, endures many hardships but his life’s quest is to be confirmed as an artist. Even at the cost of his own wife, daughter and sanity.

Cast: Nice cast, especially the actress, Aya Enjôji, playing the loyal and supporting wife of the painter.

Visuals: If Kitano wants to give you some visual treats, you will get them: the scene with the wife on the bicycle, helping to create a new painting, is priceless.

Conclusion: Always a big fan of Takeshi Kitano, but the last couple of years, he’s been trying to share his frustrations of being typecast with his audience a bit too much. But this time it’s more subtle: what defines an artist? Or art? Is it what is presented by the artist or what others choose to perceive as art? Etc. At nauseum. Etc.
Nicely done, still miss the qualities shown in his earlier works, but that, of course, is just how I perceive things ;)

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Written By: frenchy on March 15, 2009 3 Comments

side note: back again after some blogging fatigue.. let’s see how long I’ll last this time, heheh..

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Movie: Il Divo ( Paolo Sorrentino, Italy, France, 2008, 110′) imdb link

Date: Jan 31, 2009

Rating: ★★★☆☆
(an interesting political biopic-thriller; sitting on the 3rd row was a bit too much tho ;) )

Plot: A biopic about one of the thoughest survivor-type rats politicians of Italy and maybe the world: Guilio Andreotti.

Cast: Very well-balanced cast playing their roles beautifully; they add to the absolute absurdity of the story.

Visuals: Predictable visuals: long shots across old squares with beautiful old buildings and scored with classical music (not a visual aspect, I know). I was right. Great slow-motion shots, shadowed profile and close up shots, the works.

Conclusion: I got what I expected: a classy, bombastic biopic about the devilish deeds of a politician and some insight into the world of Italian politics.

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Written By: frenchy on February 8, 2009 One Comment

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Movie: Pranzo di Ferragosto (Gianni Di Gregorio, Italy, 2008, 75′) imdb link

Date: Jan 31, 2009

Rating: ★★★½☆
(Funny, not hilarious, typical ItalianWeirdness)

Plot: Like the typical Italian bachelor, our main character lives at home with his very elderly mother. Bills are not getting paid and people are getting annoyed with our man. To solve some of his financial problems, he agrees to let some other elderly ladies stay over for the weekend.

Cast: I can imagine that these ladies were glad to let loose a bit during the movie. They all shine in their 60 to 80 year old graces. Beautiful!

Visuals: Nothing special, just sharing a view of Italian life and cookery that we all envy ;)

Conclusion: It’s all a bit predictable, but you do empathize with our main character; swimming in a shark tank with a bloody nose would be nothing compared with the careful manoeuvrings of our guy. I really enjoyed watching the ladies give an excellent performance.
It’s another typical tripleF: a feelgood festival film.

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Written By: frenchy on February 8, 2009 No Comment

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Movie: The Hungry Ghosts (Michael Imperioli, USA, 2008, 105′) imdb link

Date: Jan 30, 2009

Rating: ★★★★☆
(When everything falls down..)

Plot: Three people; three different stories. All three are moving/running away from their problems, only to be harshly confronted with them in the end.

Cast: Strong cast with nice performances from all three protagonists.

Visuals: Okay stuff. Very weird scenes, nicely shot.

Conclusion: Great scenes include the total deconstruction/destruction of a girl’s psyche and the radio show where the presenter collapses. Also the family trip to the mountains at the end of the movie, where they’re watching the landscape: very weird, but very calming. I can keep on reciting weird scenes, the movie was full of them!
I enjoyed the small and quiet way the director had set up and presented the storylines. The dialogues were also very amusing, a bit too over-eloquent some times, but fun nonetheless. Our Sopranos actor-turned-director delivers a nice movie.

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