luni, 18 martie 2013

One World Romania: 6th Edition

The Punk Syndrome (2012)-8/10-> The Punk Syndrome is a film which is strong enough to erase every prejudice that the viewer has about the subject matter. Great work.

The Mayor (2012)-7.5/10-> Luckily for the filmmakers, the character and his stories are fascinating, and most of the film's grade is thanks to that, but a part of that is also because of the good cinematography.

Anatomy Of A Departure (2012)-5/10-> It starts off well and stylistically it's terrific, but after 30 minutes or so, the characters start getting quite repetitive and boring.

Matthew's Laws (2012)-10/10-> Matthew's Laws is a heartbreaking and interesting case study, in which a director shows us his personal experience, making the viewer get attached to Matthew in under 80 minutes. An achievement in documentary.

Call Me Kuchu (2012)-7.5/10-> Call Me Kuchu is a fine documentary about a mostly unknown subject about the courage of a few people fighting against bigotism and homophobia.

Sofia's Last Ambulance (2012)-7/10-> Sofia's Last Ambulance discusses some very important themes, but the line between documentary and fiction here seems a bit thin to me.

Anton's Right Here (2012)-8/10-> A very tough film, Anton's Right Here shows the pain of the disease and how it can affect those around the suffering, without retaining any detail of Anton's sad world.

joi, 21 februarie 2013

15-21 February

The Fifth Gospel Of Kaspar Hauser (2013)-7/10-> Probably the most original take (but not the best) on the classic legend, a haunting portrayal of a mysterious character's psychology, this might be this year's Post Tenebras Lux, a film which most people didn't fully understand. And this is also the case here and I admit I didn't fully understand this one either, though I consider both films that they have offered the viewer more than meets the eye.

No (2012)-5/10-> Amusing, sometimes powerful and the commercials are pure genius, but No has some sort of annoying Hollywood touch to it, which Larrain's previous films didn't have, rendering the director unable to treat his subject with the cynism that "Tony Manero" and "Post Mortem" had.

Sans Toit Ni Loi (1985)-7.5/10-> A bit too episodic, Varda's bleak and strong film about a drifter (brilliantly interpreted by Sandrine Bonnaire), is beautiful. 

The Misfortunates (2009)-6.5/10-> Although predictable and not particulary positive (something I thought that would never bother me), The Misfortunates is misfortunately flawed even though this is an above average sweet and sour comedy.

Room 237 (2012)-5/10-> Although it shows some mind-blowing theories, it never seems to embrace only one of them especially and so, the film ends up being quite indecisive.

Nordvest (2013)-10/10-> No objections come in mind here really, Nordvest is fantastic, raw filmmaking at its' finest.

The Beaches Of Agnes (2008)-7/10-> The first half is great, but after that The Beaches Of Agnes gets boring and it starts to be more about Jacques Demy than about Agnes Varda.

R (2010)-8/10-> A bit faulty towards the end, but R brings out the horrors of prison unlike many prison themed films and the central performance is riveting.

Rocker (2013)-7/10-> Rocker is quite slow and the performance by Chiorean is sometimes a bit overdone, but otherwise Rocker might very well become a Romanian cult classic in 10 years or so. 

vineri, 11 ianuarie 2013

4-10 January

Le Grand Soir (2012)-7/10-> Completely insane and refreshingly humourous, Le Grand Soir might be a bit uneven, but otherwise it's a nice experience.

The Paperboy (2012)-3/10-> It's not a tribute to anything, it's just a mix of southern trash and sick sexual fantasies. The imagery is nice, despite the content.

Zero Dark Thirty (2012)-8/10-> Much more suspenseful and well written than The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty is actually one of the best American films I've seen this year. Also, Chastain shines throughout.

The Impossible (2012)-5/10-> The acting is pretty strong, but The Impossible tries too hard to be compelling and ends up being really corny.

Seven Psychopaths (2012)-8.5/10-> Seven Psychopaths is powerful and complex cinema, although it might not look like it. Its' main strength is as always with McDonagh its' script with his witty dialogues and coherent and smart storytelling, but the ensemble cast is also fantastic.

Django Unchained (2012)-7/10-> The first 45 minutes are great and also the last 45 minutes, but that leaves us with 75 minutes, which of course are necessary for the story to stick well, but they are too long and somewhat aimless. 

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)-6/10-> Not as bad as I was expecting it to be, The Hobbit is an entertaining, funny and sometimes powerful film. Although, I think, Jackson has wasted all the material from the book in this here first part of the announced trilogy.

A Glimpse Inside The Mind Of Charles Swan III (2012)-3/10-> The plot is great, but this is a failed Wes Anderson movie attempt, non-humourous, boring and uninspired.

Smokin Aces (2012)-4/10-> Smokin Aces is a lot of fun and the cast is big enough to hold it up in some moments, but its' story is too incoherent and the twists are too often.

vineri, 4 ianuarie 2013

21 December 2012- 3 January 2013

The Imposter (2012)-7/10-> An OK made documentary, but sometimes the viewer can't be too certain about the veridicity of the story.

Flight (2012)-7/10-> Flight is overlong and predictable, but Washington's capturing performance and the good script make this one of the best American movies I've seen in quite some time.

Dredd (2012)-6.5/10-> Not only entertaining, but also impressively stylized, Dredd is a full-on B movie. But it works.

Cloud Atlas (2012)-4/10-> Cloud Atlas is an achievement of some sort, but its' narrative is too sprawled and the acting is uneven and flawed.

Frankenweenie (2012)-6/10-> Not bad, but it's the usual kind of treatment we get from Burton.

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry (2012)-8/10-> A fascinating insight of a fascinating artist, funny, dramatic and compelling.

GoldenEye (1995)-5.5/10-> Your typical James Bond vehicle, entertaining, but overlong and sometimes dumb. Bean and Janssen do a great job, though.

Liberal Arts (2012)-7.5/10-> Not as complex as it could be, but Liberal Arts is a sweet and smart film, with ace performances from Josh Radnor and Richard Jenkins.

Lincoln (2012)-4/10-> Incredibly formulaic and really really long, Lincoln gets saved by the good performances from most of the cast.

Life Of Pi (2012)-4/10-> Visually incredible, even though most of it is CGI, but Life Of Pi is mostly disgusting and boring religious propaganda.

This Is 40 (2012)-6/10-> Quite funny, but This Is 40 is overlong and very uneven.

John Dies At The End (2012)-6/10-> To call this movie original would be an understatement, but the special effects are a bit flawed and false.

Skyfall (2012)-7.5/10-> The latest installment in the Bond series is one of the best ever made, the Craig serie going in deeper into Bond's origins and life.

Hit And Run (2012)-3/10-> Not funny and not fun, Hit And Run has a few acceptable moments, but moments can't hold up a film.

Red Hook Summer (2012)-1.5/10-> Spike Lee's ultimate worst: bad acting, bad storytelling, bad music, bad everything and everywhere. 

sâmbătă, 22 decembrie 2012

7-20 December

Historic Centre (2012)-5/10-> Kaurismaki isn't anything special, he sticks to his usual recipe (if not a bit colder), which is not necessarily something bad.
Costa is disappointing, starting off with some of his usual picturality and continuing with a meaningless and dull part.
Erice is the most accomplished of all, sending off emotions and knowledge to the audience.
Oliveira has no plot whatsoever and it's there just for the sake of the director, probably.

Fortress (2012)-8/10-> One of the best documentaries I've seen in a while, Fortress is a humourous and also dark account of the Transnistrian country. Beautifully shot, very well made and wound together.

Quitting Smoking By Smoking (2012)-8.5/10-> One of the most honest and revealing films about smoking, Quitting Smoking By Smoking is not necessarily very personally made, which makes it even better to watch.

The Man With The Iron Fists (2012)-1.5/10-> The mix borrowed elements, terrible acting and haywire editing make this a really bad film, if not actually the worst of this year so far. 

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower (2012)-7.5/10-> It's mostly predictable, but the film has what not most of the films with teenagers have. It has a heart and an ability to actually capture the struggles of adolescence.

Pieta (2012)-6/10-> You might have seen this story in another form, but that doesn't  necessarily make Pieta a bad film. It's got some originality and the outcome is great.

vineri, 7 decembrie 2012

22 November- 6 December

The Ruined Map (1968)-4/10->It nails an original atmosphere, but The Ruined Map is too incoherent and some moments are either too complex or either too stupid to understand.

Moara Cu Noroc (1955)-7/10->One of the few good adaptations of Romanian literature from that period, Moara Cu Noroc has good acting and a good script which respects the source material, but in my opinion it could have been bigger.

Something In The Air (2012)-8/10-> A powerful film, Assayas's latest is a beautiful piece on the French student movement of the early '70s.

More Than Honey (2012)-5/10->It's too slow and light,but otherwise More Than Honey is a good documentary.

The Details (2012)-5.5/10->A bit inconsistent, but otherwise The Details achieves its' black comedy standard, by becoming more shocking (not necessarily funny) as it goes along. And Maguire is a damned good pick for this role.

L'Enfer (1994)-4.5/10->Unexpectedly predictable and common, L'Enfer works as an OK film about jealousy with a good performance from Cluzet and that's it.

Gerry (2002)-8/10->It's very slow, but ultimately worth it.

duminică, 2 decembrie 2012

EFA 2012: The Films and The Awards

Best Film




  • Barbara
  • Cesare Deve Morire
  • Jagten
  • Shame 
  • Intouchables

Did the winner deserve its' award? : Sure, "Amour" is pure cinema.

The other nominees : Except "Barbara", I didn't like any other film from the nominees for Best Film. I really hated "Intouchables" and the others aren't that bad, but they aren't that good either.

Omissions? : The biggest one is Benedek Fliegauf's "Just The Wind" (which is my favorite film of this year so far) and Paradise:Love.

Best Director




  • Once Upon A Time In Anatolia
  • Shame
  • Jagten
  • Cesare Deve Morire

Did the winner deserve its' award? : Seeing the other nominees, yes. Seeing the fact that it also got Best Film, no.

The other nominees : Weak, weak competition for Haneke. I don't even see how "Anatolia" is still eligible.

Omissions? : I stand with the first two films I said in the first category. But I would also add "Holy Motors".

Best Actor


Jean-Louis Trintignant for Amour


  • Francois Cluzet & Omar Sy for Intouchables
  • Michael Fassbender for Shame
  • Mads Mikkelsen for Jagten
  • Gary Oldman for Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Did the winner deserve its' award? : Tough competition for Trintignant. But, yes, he gives one of the most compelling roles of the year.

The other nominees : Good actors giving good performances.

Omissions? : Yes. Schoenaerts for "Rust & Bone", Serban Pavlu for "Everybody in Our Family" and Denis Lavant for "Holy Motors".

Best Actress


Emmanuelle Riva for Amour


  • Emilie Dequenne for Our Children
  • Nina Hoss for Barbara
  • Margarethe Tiesel for Paradise:Love
  • Kate Winslet for Carnage
Did the winner deserve its' award? : I liked Tiesel more, but Riva was just fine.

The other nominees : Good nominees, excepting Winslet.

Omissions? : Lola Creton for "Apres Mai" and Olga Dihovichnaya for "Twilight Portrait".

European Screenwriter




  • Amour
  • Carnage
  • Intouchables
  • Beyond The Hills
Did the winner deserve its' award? : The script is good, but not great.

The other nominees : "Amour" and "Beyond The Hills" are alright, "Carnage" is much lighter than it should be and "Intouchables" is atrocious.

Omissions? : "Just The Wind", "The Exchange" by Eran Kolirin, "Tabu" by Miguel Gomes and "Apres Mai" by Olivier Assayas.

Carlo Di Palma European Cinematographer Award




  • Faust
  • Once Upon A Time In Anatolia
  • Amour
  • Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy
Did the winner deserve its' award? : Yes, the second best part about "Shame" is the cinematography.

The other nominees : "Once Upon A Time In Anatolia" and "Faust" are the most dazzling here, but "Amour" and "TTSS" aren't half bad either.

Omissions? : I don't know if they're eligible, but my favorites for 2012 are "Laurence Anyways" and "Post Tenebras Lux".

European Film Academy Animated Feature Film


Alois Nebel


  • The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists
  • Arrugas 

Did the winner deserve its' award? : No, the film is beautiful visually, but otherwise it's a mess.

The other nominees : Well there's not much of a competition here. "Arrugas" is fine, haven't seen "The Pirates!" yet.

Omissions? : Haven't seen any good animations this year.

European Film Academy Short Film


Superman, Spiderman or Batman


  • The Ambassador & Me
  • Back Of Beyond
  • Beast
  • How To Pick Berries
  • In The Open
  • Morning Of Saint Anthony's Day
  • Objection VI
  • Out Of Frame
  • Silent
  • Tomorrow It Will Be Good
  • Two Hearts
  • Two Ships
  • Villa Antropoff
Did the winner deserve its' award? : Yes, of course. Not only this one of the best Romanian shorts I've seen this year along with "From Now On",  but one of the best shorts I've seen this year.

The other nominees : I have seen only a few of them; "How To Pick Berries" is pretty, "Morning Of Saint Anthony's Day" is weird,but good, I didn't get "Out Of Frame", "Silent" is a nicely done love story and "Villa Antropoff" is a funny critique on modern society.

Omissions? : No, not really.

(the categories I haven't commented are either the ones I haven't seen nothing from, or the ones I don't really know what to say about)