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


It was very squirmy…very Ricky Gervais.


It’s leaving On Demand soon, so I’m watching it now.


A bit heavy for me tonight, so I’ve moved over to the 1955 movie Sissi, also on On Demand, which brought Romy Schneider fame. It’s in German and subtitled.

It’s the film about the meeting of Emperor Franz Josef of Austria and Princess Elisabeth, the famous Sissi, whose pictures and history adorn the magnificent Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna.

Little bit Sound of Music, but I’m enjoying it. Franz Josef was Emperor of Austria-Hungary for 68 years, ending during WW1.


The last part of Romy Schneider’s life was very sad.


The last part of Franz Josef’s life was pretty grim too.


The last part of Sissi’s wasn’t great either. She was constantly put down by her domineering mother-in-law. Her son committed murder-suicide with his mistress, as portrayed in the movie Mayerling. And when she was in Italy in 1898, an assassin stabbed her with a skewer-type blade. She was very conscious of her figure and wore very tight corsets. No-one realised she’d been stabbed until it was too late.


If being the last genuine emperor of the Austro-Hungarian empire was grim, yes. He died in 1916.


After outliving his only son the Crown Prince, who murdered his mistress then killed himself in 1889.


At Mayerling.


A decade since its release, however, I finally saw Yōjirō Takita’s wonderful film, Okuribito (Eng. Title: ‘Departures’) last evening. I highly recommend it.

While I have attended several Japanese wakes called ‘otsuya’ (held prior to Japanese funerals) over the years, I have never attended a viewing of the body. As such, I was completely in the dark as to the dignified rituals performed by the nōkanshi (mortician) in front of grieving family members and relatives. In the movie, this role is played by a gifted cellist - who loses his job in Tokyo, and returns with his young wife to his rural hometown. I won’t spoil the rest of the plot, but it is worth a viewing.

Although I watched the film in Japanese, without access to subtitles (via Amazon Prime Japan), please look out for the English subtitled option before you watch it.


It won the Oscar, didn’t it? Very gentle and touching film.


It sure did. Best Foreign Language Film in 2008. Well-deserved, too.


Not sure if it’s in the ballpark we’re looking for here… but one of my fav foreign movies is Brotherhood of the Wolf.

Main actors include Vincent Cassel and Monica Bellucci… mmm Monica Bellucci.

Not sure if these two got together as a result of working together on the set of this film.

Anyway, the movie is referred to as a historical action horror film.

Entertaining from go to wo. Set in the late 1700’s so has that period feel about it. Some pretty cool action scenes too with an engaging story line.


Although l have it on DVD and like it, there is no way l could consider it art house. l particularly liked Mark Dacascos in it.


I watched High Plains Drifter last night that I’d recorded on Foxtel. Directed by and starring Clint Eastwood, and one of three that I always think of together, the others being The Outlaw Josey Wales and Pale Rider. Pale Rider is the best of them, although it’s stolen a lot from the old Alan Ladd film Shane. High Plains Drifter has a fairly incomprehensible story about a mining town in the middle of nowhere where the former marshall has been whipped to death by a bunch of thugs with most of the townsfolk looking on; a lone stranger rides into town and promptly shoots three other thugs; the whole town ends up in flames and with a lot of dead bodies as the lone stranger rides off. In the meantime he’s raped two women who enjoyed the experience (this was made in 1973; something tells me that Clint wouldn’t include that particular story element these days) and killed 8 or 9 men.

It’s beautifully filmed and the music is interesting but I didn’t really like the film. Pale Rider is okay but I find Josey Wales unwatchable.


Heresy, it is a great film. up there with some of the best Westerns of the 1970’s like Little Big Man, Soldier Blue & Judge Roy Bean.

My brother watched it so often, he counted once how many times Clint spat tobacco juice (18 times I believe) & who can forget this great quote:
Laura Lee: Kansas was all golden and smelled like sunshine.

Josey Wales: Yeah, well, I always heard there were three kinds of suns in Kansas, sunshine, sunflowers, and sons-of-bitchs.


This. Only a total goose could think o/wise.

Bizarre assessment.


Can’t go past Evil Roy Slade for a quality Western.


And Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension for science fiction (kind of).


The Outlaw Joesy Wales got played far too many times on TV. For Clint western l prefer the man with no name series, which elevated him to the top echelons of movie cowboys, and Unforgiven.