Movies of a more arthouse/Black skivvy wanker type of genre

Yeah…IMDB, like BB, has some genuinely shiteful reviewers.

I’m coming up for a family lunch on the 27th, so making it up for Anzac Day.

I thought there were only a few films at the Spanish (and Latin American) festival this year that piqued my interest, so after organising accommodation, I checked what was on Thursday and Friday nights.

Happily, these four films are amongst them.

Went with Mrs S to see an Icelandic movie last night, Woman at War. The star is Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir (I had to copy and paste that) and the director is Benedikt Erlingsson (ditto). I had never heard of either of them. The story is about a woman who’s an extreme environmental activist, whose activism’s extremity goes to the point of knocking out substantial parts of Iceland’s power grid by blowing up part of it with stolen Semtex. She is also in the process of adopting a Ukrainean orphan girl.

It’s basically a manhunt (or woman hunt) movie, with long scenes of chases and evasion. It’s very entertaining and very quirky as well – for example, for most of the movie the musical soundtrack is provided by a trio comprising piano, sousaphone and percussion, with the trio sitting near the action in the landscape watching what’s happening and playing away. They are frequently joined by three female Ukrainean folk singers in full traditional attire.

The story gets a little far-fetched at points and the reason for the woman’s crusade is never really explained, but, as I said, it’s very entertaining and very enjoyable. Kind of like a Wes Anderson movie but more relaxed. I’d give it 8.

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That sounds great, ta

Spanish Film Festival is on at the moment. I was a bit constricted by my time in Melbourne, so got to 4 movies at the Kino on Thursday and Friday. Unfortunately, on Friday, The Realm, about government corruption, was booked out, so got to a film that had been on at the French Film Festival.

Thursday night, saw Crime Wave (Ola de Crimenes) and Hopelessly Devout (Mi Querida Cofradía).
Friday was an Argentinian family drama, Common Blood (La Misma Sangre).

Crime Wave starred Maribel Verdú (Y Tu Mama…) as a divorcee in Bilbao whose husband wants to sell the house, and during the visit to get his stuff, gets killed by his nerdish 16-ish son. She takes the blame but gets caught in a comical series of crimes, which her priest (played by old fave, Javier Camará) finds hard to believe. Maribel’s son’s schoolmate, who’s not so bright and is a bit older than he is, is obsessed with Maribel, and wants to give her an alibi. It’s like a British comedy of the 70s with all the people being at cross-purposes. The husband is a conman whose missing phone would cause massive trouble for the new wife and her lawyer. Maribel shows her love for younger blokes, as evidenced in Y Tu Mama, even 20 years on. Good fun, but no earth-shatterer.

The second one is set in Malaga on the Costa Del Sol and has Carmen, as a devout woman who’s run the local Catholic brotherhood which organises the big Santa Semana processions, famous in Spain. She’s in line to be voted in as president but the priest thinks it’s a job for a man and declares a ring-in as the winner. Similar to Crime Wave, it’s similar to old British comedies. The Spanish title means My Beloved Brotherhood. It is ostensibly about Catholics but more rubbishes them for their attitude to women.

The third film is definitely not fun, but then, the only fun Argentinian film I’ve seen is Relatos Salvajes (Wild Tales) which is a series of 6 vignettes about revenge. Some are quite funny, but very dark. This is about a Jewish family in BA who are not a happy family. The mother dies accidentally but her son-in-law suspects the father was to blame. All miserable sods.

I swear there is a Spanish Film festival on every week here Noonan or you are just pulling our chains.

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One month every year.

French about six weeks.

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And while I’m there, the French one was The Trouble With You (En Liberté) - not a translation. Stars Adèle Hainan as the widow of a slain police officer who tells her son elaborate stories of what a hero he was, but is shattered when she discovers he was totally corrupt and framed an innocent man who is just being released after 8 years. Prison has changed him a lot, but she is determined (as a police officer as well) to make sure the guy gets a fair shake.

Plenty of weird and wonderful things happen. Quite amusing and pleasant. Audrey Tautou has a minor role as the prisoner’s wife.

Like the Spanish ones, won’t be remembered in ten years…maybe even 5.

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l don’t know if it has been mentioned here before, but Night of the Sunflowers (La Noche De Los Girasoles) 2006, 123 min., is a superior Spanish production. Genre: Drama. Directed and written by Jorge Sánchez-Cabezudo with Carmelo Gómez, Judith Diakhate & Celso Bugallo. l recommend it highly.

No la he visto

The nearest cinema in Adelaide was a Palace cinema so got to see a couple of films of my usual genre.

First one was The Heiresses, about a couple of sixtyish women in Asunción, Paraguay, who’ve had to resort to selling the old furniture to get by. One of the couple, I assume of a sapphic disposition, gets jailed for fraud. Performance by the other who’s finally allowed a bit of freedom is quite excellent. It’s only her first or second film under the name Ana Brun, is quite excellent. She’s appeared in a lot of Paraguayan theatre and under other family names, and practises as a lawyer in Asunción. She won some big awards at San Sebastian for the role. First Paraguayan film I’ve ever seen. Paraguay is said to have been quite a nasty place, and was an alternative refuge for fleeing Nazis…or even when they fled from Argentina with the Israelis on their heels. The German Doctor featured the hunt for Mengele, who later escaped to Brazil.

Second was one that I tried to see at the Spanish Film Festival in late April, but was sold out. The Realm is a political corruption thriller where excrement is coming down on Manuel and he’s being deserted by the other members of his party. The last words in the film are quite potent, as he’s trying to shift the blame in a TV interview.

Next Monday, SBS are moving Viceland from Ch 32 to Ch 31 and bring in World Movies on Ch 32.


I watched “The Realm” today…I enjoyed it…the soundtrack was my style, like a pounding heartbeat…I liked the acting performances - they had to be good with the camera pulled close…the audience chuckled at the expressive conversation out on the little balcony…and then we got a nice little bit of action towards the end…(PS. I had a firm answer to that last question!)

On SBS World Movies, I watched a French thriller named Just a Breath Away (Dans La Brume - In The Mist) with Romain Duris and Olga Kurylenko.

An earthquake has happened in Northern Europe and dense smoke is rising from the ground, leaving only high ground and high apartments safe, but the smoke is continuing to rise.

The two main characters have a daughter with a syndrome which makes her a Girl in a Bubble. They’re trying to keep her safe so run around Paris in oxygen masks trying to get the required equipment.

This film exemplifies the difference between American movies and European movies…in a way I won’t mention.

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So was it good? I’m not generally a fan of Romain Duris and I don’t know the female lead at all. Or the director.

It was OK. Olga Kurylenko was in one of the Daniel Craig Bond movies, Russell crowe’s Water Diviner and quite a lot of French and English language films.

I’d give it a 6 or 7. I was more alluding to the difference in approach between Hollywood and Europe.

I just torrented a film I saw and loved three or four years ago…Truman, starring Ricardo Darín and Javier Cámara.

You pick all this up in the first ten minutes, so not spoilers.

Tomás (Cámara) is a Spanish emigrant living in Montreal who returns to Madrid to visit his old friend, Julián (Darín) who has lung cancer and has decided to forgo further treatment. Julián is an Argentinian actor working in Madrid, and his greatest dilemma is how his dog, Truman (a big ■■■■■■, maybe a boxer) will handle his death and who will adopt.

People may remember Darín from Nine Queens, The Secrets in their Eyes (original version) and Savage Tales - he’s the Argentinian Bill Hunter - but he’s been in a lot of Spanish films too. Cámara is in a few Almodóvars and plenty of others.

Very emotional film about friendship and impending death. Moisture may appear around the eyes.


The torrent I got came with subtitles embedded.

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SBS On Demand - The Emperor of Paris, starring Vincent Cassel and Olga Kurylenko. It’s about a criminal, Vidocq, in Napoléon’s time who escapes from a prison barge who later seeks amnesty by becoming a thief-taken. Not bad at all.

Vidocq became the man who founded the Sûreté National.

Do you mean superficial crap v interesting and good?

Anyone in this thread started booking their MIFF sessions yet?