Wednesday, 14 May 2014

048. Le Moine / The Monk (France - 2011)


Dominik Moll recreates one of the most famous Gothic tales on film. And what a surprisingly pleasant rendition Le Moine was, from the spectacular acting of Cassel and Mouchet to the use of framing and clever editing in order to create an atmosphere of clerical dissolution. Ambrosio is an icon of religious genius being the gateway to ultimate sin and rupture with the Christian institution. A film well constructed in terms of setting and authenticity, it tells the story of a Spanish context in French, a genuinely Gothic modus operandi (Gothic fiction usually tells stories set in foreign lands, in different territories and mentalities). The story of incest and imminent doom gives way to beautiful photography and sound, and odd montage construction in scenes that depict dreamy situations. Great rendition of Matthew Lewis' text.

Director: Dominik Moll.

Score
Cinematography: 8.5
Acting: 8.5
Editing: 8.0
Sound: 8.0
Text: 7.5
Concept: 7.5
Premise Execution: 8.0

Average Score: 8.0

047. Die weisse Massai / The White Massai (Germany - 2005)


Again, here I am, taking ages to update the blog, but I'm back! Some new films (some of them were fantastic and enlightening experiences, whereas others were just mediocres conventions of film), and I'll be adding them in the next four days or so. The first ones will account for the films that I watched during the months of March and April, mostly. I'm a little behind schedule, because of a book chapter I had to write and some other academic activities, but I'm catching up progressively, and me and Jéssica are finally rejoined in Florianópolis and we can watch more films together.
So, here we go with The White Massai, which I had watched mid-March for a course on Post-colonialism and De-colonialism.

--

This is an interesting biopic as far as initial construction of plot and concept goes. The film begins well, and the tale of the white woman from the European reality comes in contact with the African otherness, and falls in love with the warrior spirit of the Masai warrior. Cliché enough, but cute enough, I must say. She immediately dumps her Swiss boyfriend - who was travelling with her - and goes after Lemalian, the Masai warrior. The failure of the film is in the poor representation of the brave white woman that wants to free herself from the chains of colonisation and blend in the African tribal society and ultimately sees that not all was a paradise that she thought it was primarily. The film only reaffirms the sense of otherness of the African, of the "primitive", the tribal. She snatches the riches of Africa, reiterates the image of the coloniser,and offensively dismisses Lemalian's culture in a disdainful manner fleeing cowardly from the country and taking with her their son, representing the soul of the African people. The fruit of her now faded away love is whitened violently. Okay, it's a biopic, but a film always has a soul of its own, and the right to distance itself from reality in order to avoid depreciative discourse.
Good initial attempt, but ultimately a failure.

Director: Hermine Huntgeburth.

Score
Cinematography: 7.0
Acting: 8.0
Editing: 7.0
Sound: 7.0
Text: 6.5
Concept: 8.0
Premise Execution: 4.5

Average Score: 6.6


Wednesday, 26 March 2014

046. Oktapodi (France - 2007)


Another short-length animation. Last film before this long hiatus in which I'm going through a major change in my life, starting my doctorate in English Literature and Film in Florianópolis (I apologise for not having updated the blog in a long while). This one much better and more concise in its purposes than the last one. Two octopuses escape from their roles of attraction and decoration in a restaurant and fight their way through a small town to get to sea. It's a beautiful piece, and very well done in terms of animation, of mechanics. The sound is also synchronised, consonant with the premise of the film. Nice idea and well executed. And the first film on this blog with multiple directors.

Director: Julien Bocabeille, François-Xavier Chanioux, Olivier Delabarre, Thierry Marchand, Quentin Marmier, and Emud Mokhberi.

Score
Cinematography: 8.0
(No Acting/Voice Acting)
Editing: 8.0
Sound: 8.0
(No Text)
Concept: 7.5
Premise Execution: 8.0

Average Score: 7.9

045. Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty (Ireland - 2008)


A short film with a cheeky idea. Granny O' Grimm is a naughty old lady who tells her grandson the story of Sleeping Beauty with a whole new concept of horror and evil. The kid, who's already nearly having a heart attack from the fear of the dark itself, almost pisses himself at hearing the story, which is more comic rather than fearsome. Apart from the funny imagery of the story retold by the old lady, nothing interesting stands out from this animation. Bland.

Director: Nicky Phelan.

Score
Cinematography: 7.5
Voice Acting: 7.5
Editing: 6.5
Sound: 6.0
Text: 6.0
Concept: 7.0
Premise Execution: 5.5

Average Score: 6.5

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

044. Gravity (United States - 2013)


What the human mind did here was thinking of a sadistic, breathtaking narrative and filling it with so many minor problems that it became a huge, problematic work of art. Gravity deals with themes such as suffocation, solitude and despair, cosmic fear (something by which I'm fascinated), extreme survival, desperate love, etc. The concept had everything to turn into a perfect film. But it didn't. The film is full of problems, beginning with the little annoying details of acting: the repetitiveness of Bullock's reactions to her predicaments, something which is almost always followed by gasps and sobs but without any facial reconcilement. She's just too expressionless to delve into the character's drama, the unspeakable horror of being left alone in the space, stranded in the endlessness and blackness of the universe outside our tiny planet. What a superb idea, I think to myself every time I remember it. The film feels like it's supposed to be watched on a 3D version, and I've heard many people claiming that; but then, the film is not really reliable in quality if it depends on such a specific mode of reproduction to be considered actually immersive as it was supposed to be naturally. The negative Deus Ex Machinae of the film were always facepalm generators in my mind, as I saw flying debris from the Russian accident passing through at a convenient time of the story. Anyway, the film's plotline is very annoying and artificial, the acting is mediocre at best, horribly simplistic script, and the sound effects are completely predictable in their attempt to raise suspense. One of the best ideas for a story ever made in cinema, nice POV shots, and great photography, but poor overall construction. An overrated film that is full of little problems. A shame, really, considering that it could've well being one of the best films of all time.

Director: Alfonso Cuarón.

Score
Cinematography: 8.5

Acting: 6.0

Editing: 7.5
Sound: 8.0
Text: 6.0
Concept: 10.0
Premise Execution: 7.5

Average Score: 7.6

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

043. Dallas Buyers Club (United States - 2013)


Struggle and indignation are the two words that prevail in this film. The struggle of a man who finds out about a gruesome fact of having contracted AIDS. Ron Woodroof is portrayed as being extremely homophobic and having to cope with the disease that was then viewed as a homosexual issue. Woodroof starts to search for a better way to live with the virus without having to use the highly toxic AZT, a primary drug tested back then to fight the disease. He finds alternative, more useful drugs in his search, but all of them are prohibited for selling by the American Food and Drugs Administration. It exposes the bigotry of the pharmaceutical in its essence. Ron finds his way round it though. He founds the Dallas Buyers Club to enrol members that wish to get these new drugs to help them fight their sad condition. A touching film, that while staying away from the conventional mode of execution tied to needless melodramatic sequences, typical of films about terminal diseases, keeps the despair of the characters well visible, especially through the amazing performances of both Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey, which earned them Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actor and Best Actor, respectively. A no-nonsense drama of an abyssal reality for many people.

Director: Jean-Marc Vallée.

Score
Cinematography: 8.0

Acting: 9.5
Editing: 8.5
Sound: 8.0
Text: 9.0
Concept: 8.0
Premise Execution: 9.5

Average Score: 8.6

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

042. Philomena (United Kingdom - 2013)


Simple film. A bit too simple. A biographical piece about a mother who's in a search for her son, taken from her 50 years before, when she was in a convent. She now asks a man (Martin Sixsmith, played by Steve Coogan, the beloved Alan Partridge) to write a book on her life, and what was just sessions of storytelling becomes a hunt for a long-lost son. Full of emotional clichés, the film didn't quite convince me, although it's well polished and with good enough performances from the actors. Very average film, about a theme that could also be considered average. Another one nominated for Best Film last Sunday, which I don't quite know why was there, if I'm being honest.

Director: Stephen Frears.

Score
Cinematography: 8.0
Acting: 8.5
Editing: 8.0
Sound: 7.5
Text: 7.5
Concept: 7.0
Premise Execution: 7.5


Average Score: 7.7

041. 12 Years a Slave (United Kingdom - 2013)



I was sobbing, I was speechless after we were done. This must be the most moving and socially relevant film made in the mainstream scene in the last five years or so. The conscience of human suffering that it awakens is remarkable. A truly moving experience, and a fine piece of art.

The beginning is just textbook editing all the way. We're showed the former situation of Solomon Northup's life before the film moves on to how he was kidnapped and sold to slavers. A black free man returned to his wretched past. The carnage of slavery in the mid-nineteenth century was still strong, unabating, and going southward. Lupita Nyong'o does an amazing job as Patsy (which earned her an Academy Award for Supporting Actress), and both Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender do a superb job in the protagonist-antagonist layer of the film. The storytelling is pristine, and no plot holes at all are left behind. The calm, thought provoking cinematography is also perfect.

12 Years a Slave is a film that doesn't come about too often. It's a story not only to be moved by, but also to reflect upon. The historical suffering of people can always be revisited by art; in fact, it must. Cinema serves well as a reminder of how society can be misled by dangerous conveniences and wrong perspectives. This film is an aesthetic portrait of that. 

Director: Steve McQueen

Score 
Cinematography: 9.5
Acting: 9.5
Editing: 9.0
Sound: 8.5
Text: 8.5
Concept: 8.5
Premise Execution: 9.5

Average Score: 9.0

040. Her (United States - 2013)


Okay, with the commotion of the 86th Academy Awards gone, we can look at some of the films that were part of the celebration. Just moments before the event, me and Jéssica could watch two fine motion pictures: Her and 12 Years a Slave. Let's look at them, one at a time.

Her is a truly innovative concept for a film. A very nice experience, all in all. It received an Oscar for Best Writing - Original Screenplay. No wonder. A unique story with little touches of other romantic concepts, but proposing something post-modern and akin to our reality. Spike Jonze proposes a future world in which the protagonist Theodore (played by the talented Joaquin Phoenix), a letter composer - job unique to the film -, finds himself trapped in the mourning of a previous relationship that didn't quite work out. After buying his copy of a brand new OS that has its own Artificial Intelligence like none before seen, he starts interacting with it; well, with her. The OS's name is Samantha, and after some icebreaker conversations, both of them get more and more connected, until Theodore finds himself in love with the AI of his system. The intricacies of love, possession, companionship, issues of body, identity and representations of human personalities are excellent and like no other that I've seen. The character construction in the film is very realistic, each one with highly believable love dilemmas and conflicts. The ending is not so impressive, but it's always goo to acknowledge a well-written piece of screenplay. Well done.

Director: Spike Jonze.

Score
Cinematography: 8.5

Acting: 8.5
Editing: 9.0
Sound: 8.0
Text: 9.0
Concept: 9.5
Premise Execution: 8.5

Average Score: 8.7


Sunday, 2 March 2014

039. Donnie Darko (United States - 2001)


A striking one, this one. Unique experience, and confusing one at the middle. I had a lot of expectations regarding its cryptic meanings, and the film turned out to be quite simpler as I finished watching it. Apart from the choice of actors, in my opinion, the rest forms an excellent piece. Donnie Darko challenges your speed at deciphering codes of language as you go through its chapter transitions, and the nice thing is that the pictures of the film explain themselves as you go, so that you do not depend on those confusing texts. A story of tangent universes, a boy finding another fate for himself while his family lives a darker, sadder one; a story of how one rebels against greed, ignorance and the passive way of life in the American culture. His psychiatrist provides much of the significance of the main themes, and the great thing about this film is that Richard Kelly could communicate greatly with just the use of images, Darko's actions, instead of relying on excessive text, like other directors do. A great film.

Director: Richard Kelly.

Score
Cinematography: 8.0

Acting: 7.5
Editing: 9.0
Sound: 8.0
Text: 9.5
Concept: 9.0
Premise Execution: 9.5

Average Score: 8.6

038. The Castle of Cagliostro (Japan - 1979)


A good remedy for those who don't like the anime narrative style - like myself. It's surely one of a kind. And completely different from the everyday anime bullshit that we're used to. Seriously, all the Hayao Miyazaki's films that Jéssica is showing me are teaching me to see the true anime jewels. This is Miyazaki's first one, full of exaggerations and a way of functioning that determines its own physics. Lupin is an absurdist thief who is out to discover the secrets of the fake money notes of European casinos. But then he's entangled in other, more romantic businesses at the castle of the corrupt Count Cagliostro. Funny and clever in its peculiar way of storytelling, and the art is hilarious.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki.

Score
Cinematography: 7.5

Voice Acting: 8.5
Editing: 8.0
Sound: 9.0
Text: 7.5
Concept: 7.5
Premise Execution: 8.5

Average Score: 8.0

Friday, 28 February 2014

037. Christopher and his Kind (United Kingdom - 2011)


This is a BBC television film. And there's not much to expect, especially while watching through the first sequences. It's a story with an interesting concept and background: the story of men who went to Berlin in the interbellum period to seek pleasure with other men, and all the turmoil that befalls them with the rise of the Nazists. Promising for a dramatic story in film. The problem is the poor cast, and poor direction of acting. When I say poor, I mean plainly mediocre. Nothing special, and it lowers the level of the storytelling. The protagonist, Christopher Isherwood is played by a forcefully posh-accented Englishman (the famous Eleventh Doctor from Doctor Who, Matt Smith), is uninteresting and completely passive in the role of being a protagonist, merely watching the story go by him, and not in the good, narrative-friendly sense. No, it'd be perfect that way. It's in the poor, "important character that doesn't develop and drags the whole cast and story down with him" fashion. An average film with great themes at hand and a strange way of executing them.
Just to balance things out a little more: the soundtrack is excellent.

Director: Geoffrey Sax.

Score
Cinematography: 7.5
Acting: 6.5
Editing: 7.0
Sound: 8.5
Text: 8.0
Concept: 8.0
Premise Execution: 6.0

Average Score: 7.3

036. The Big Lebowski (United States and United Kingdom - 1998)


[already watched before]

Sarcasm, anarchy, bowling, sunglasses and inappropriate clothing. It had been a long time since I had last watched this film, and I had forgotten how much of an emblematic figure The Dude is. He's the bum we'd all like to be when there's no reasonable perspective of life ahead of us. We envy his attitude, his stupidity, and in some parts, his brilliance. This film is a pathetic experience because it tells a pathetic story; the way it's meant to be told. There's almost no mismeasuring in The Big Lebowski. All the filmic tools that could be used to tell such a dark humoured saga of a loser is used. Although some vague sections could be done without, and some of the actors can lack verisimilitude, the film is pleasurable as hell.

Director: Coen Brothers.

Score

Cinematography: 8.0
Acting: 8.5
Editing: 8.0
Sound: 8.0
Text: 9.0
Concept: 9.0
Premise Execution: 9.0

Average Score: 8.5

035. もののけ姫 / Princess Mononoke (Japan - 1997)


I had watched some bits of the film in another occasion, and had dropped it before the ending due to... well, hurrying up to do something else, I guess. And what a stupid bastard I was in doing that! Princess Mononoke is such a touching, absolutely wonderful film in many regards! Art, sound, linearity, the way the plotline sequence deals with the innovative strategy of mixing up fantasy and anti-industrialist themes... it's just a mouthful of audiovisual delight. Whilst watching the piece, I couldn't help but let tears well in my eyes, and they welled in full honesty of feelings. 'Mononoke forces you to consider both sides of environmentalist causes, dramas, struggles. And you go with the flow, as the film gently takes you with the struggle for survival of its ill-fated characters. A prominent characteristic of Miyazaki's animations. Genial.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki.

Score

Cinematography: 9.0

Voice Acting: 7.5
Editing: 9.0
Text: 8.5
Sound: 9.5
Conception: 10.0 (first time in all of Filmic Jeran thus far)
Premise Execution: 9.5

Average Score: 9.0

034. The Broken Circle Breakdown (Belgium - 2013)


A highly anticipated film, which I only came to discover from a friend's girlfriend. We watched it together last weekend (me, Jéssica and the two of them). Oh, just pointing out: the film has been nominated for Best Foreign Language Film in the 86th Academy Awards which will take place this Sunday evening, if there's anyone who cares about such a thing.
I don't know if I should feel guilty for saying this, but the film didn't stick out for me at all. Certainly not deserving of the attention it's received and the status it's achieved. The pointless use of a character's trait of loving American bluegrass music served the film absolutely NO purpose. I've gotta say it. That's what bothered me the most. They could've been playing blues, salsa, polka, rock... goodness, samba for all I care; it would've had the same direction of motivations for the upper themes of the film (marriage, differences, children, religion, life and death, terminal illness, family, etc...). It doesn't make a whole lot of difference in the film, yet it plays a big part in it and permeates a big chunk of its aesthetics; they play it at the beginning, all of a sudden in sections where it doesn't belong at all, Didier brags about how "the USA are perfect and the land of freedom", they play it at their daughter's funeral... bluegrass is bloody everywhere, and it's annoying, because apart from not addressing the atmosphere and overall sentiment that the film proposes, sometimes it doesn't even sound like authentic American folk music.
Besides that, another aspect of the film that bothered me a bit was dialogues. Some of them look absolutely disconnected, incohesive, out of place... their deepest angers seem to be triggered by the most trivial events, out of the blue. It made the film look silly to me, mediocre editing - especially the confusing and foolishly bold sequences of flashbacks and flashforwards - and motivations.

Anyway, I don't want to write too much about bad things, even because the film isn't bad per se; besides, the analysis is already too long for my original blog proposal, so...
The positives of the film would be the art direction in general: most of the cinematography is beautiful, acting serves the purpose of the film - albeit sometimes silly - very well, and the ending is extremely moving.

Oh, and Flemish sounds amazing to my ears!

Director: Felix Van Groeningen

Score
Cinematography: 9.5

Acting: 8.0
Editing: 6.0
Sound: 7.5
Text: 8.0
Concept: 8.5
Premise Execution: 5.5

Average Score: 7.5

033. Les 400 Coups / The 400 Blows (France - 1959)


Another great film about family dissolution. The myth of school as a redeeming institution in the life of every man and woman doesn't sound convincing enough to the ears of Antoine Doinel. Truffaut creates a compelling tale of parents-child conflicts over the difficulties in raising a problematic son. Antoine is never successful at school, and his rebelling character strengthens itself with time, leading him to a life of thievery and lies, until his parents cannot stand it any longer, and finally send the lad to a correctional centre for youngsters. The problem is: are these parents - like many in real life - aware of their mistakes and negligence in raising their kid? They never seek any sensible dialogue, they never reconcile with the difficulties and try to face it realistically. To me, that was the point that stood out in Les 400 Coups.

Director: François Truffaut.

Score
Cinematography: 8.0

Acting: 8.5
Editing: 8.5
Sound: 7.5
Text: 7.5
Concept: 8.0
Premise Execution: 8.5

Average Score: 8.0

032. となりのトトロ / My Neighbour Totoro (Japan - 1988)


A piece of art that is both cute and contemplative. My Neighbour Totoro often engulfed me in the atmosphere that it creates of peaceful living, bucolic disinterest in luxuries, family's comprehension and loving, and the cutest little girls there have ever been in cinema. Hayao Miyazaki doesn't disappoint with all the reputation that precedes him. The wonderful lines of purity and heartiness, and the soft soundtrack that accompanies the storytelling. A true children's story in its core, but which carries you with it all along, as though you forgot you were a grown-up (if you are).

Director: Hayao Miyazaki.

Score
Cinematography: 8.5
Voice Acting: 8.0
Editing: 8.5
Sound: 8.5
Text: 7.5
Concept: 9.0
Premise Execution: 8.5

Average Score: 8.3

Monday, 24 February 2014

031. Oldboy (South Korea - 2003)


[already watched before]

Another amazing experience watching Oldboy. Even better this time. Me, Jéssica, Fellype, his wife and a friend of ours got together to watch it two Saturdays ago (sorry for the delay in posting about it, folks). It's such a well crafted film, in terms of adaptation, plotline sequence, the way the story unfolds, and the ultimate drama being put into action. Oldboy is a masterpiece of contemporary Far Eastern cinema. You watch it and you feel the visceral fury in the actions of the two vengeful characters (Oh Dae-Su and Lee Woo-jin); a contrast in terms of protagonist-antagonist duality. Both of them are protagonists and antagonists. Dae-Su is a tormented man, but pursued by a disgraceful past of which he's not aware due to the foolish disregard of his acts in the past. Lee Woo-jin is a man who holds a sense of revenge older than Dae-Su's, and seeks his ultimate vendetta by using a game of interests against the latter, which turns out constructing an ending that deserves to be kept in secret (even from this blogger, who doesn't usually care about spoiling endings and plot twists if need be). I prefer to leave you to the psychological abyss of Oldboy's plotline. Vengeace is treacherous and vindictive in itself in this film. A two-way road whose arduous paths lead to only one destination: desolation.

Director: Park Chan-wook.

Score:
Cinematography: 9.0

Acting: 8.5
Editing: 9.5
Sound: 8.5
Text: 8.5
Concept: 9.0
Premise Execution: 9.5

Average Score: 8.9

030. The Magnificent Ambersons (United States - 1942)


The Magnificent Ambersons is Welles' adaptation of the 1918 novel of the same name by Booth Tarkington. Welles finds interesting ways to set his arguments forward with an entertaining voice-over narration at the start, letting the audience familiarise with the historical background under which the film's premise is established. Habits of the time, the advent of automobiles, clothing and properties: everything is purposefully displayed at the start, and referred to as the film goes. A very well delineated narrative with the rise and downfall of a family due to natural deaths and the subsequent inability of an heir to cope with the financial difficulties at hand. Great actors (special commendations to Joseph Cotten's performance), polished linearity, nice soundtrack and continuity.

Score:
Cinematography: 8.0
Acting: 8.5
Editing: 8.5
Sound: 7.5
Text: 8.5
Concept: 7.0
Premise Execution: 8.5


Average Score: 8.0

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

A few additions to the premise of this enterprise...

Hello all!

I have got no clue who's reading this blog, or if anyone is reading it at all. Yet it satisfies me just to imagine that someone is reading (or at least looking at it, judging from the views account on my Blogger main page), so I'd rather believe it. In any case, I'm opening this extra post just to clarify some new rules for my severe filmic undertaking.
  1. Two new categories have been added to the scoring section, although this has already been discussed before. These are Concept and Premise Execution, which I think are important aspects of any work of art to look for. Concept refers to the general idea of the film and its innovative or simply dramatic features; its intricacies, so to speak. Premise Execution is related to the director's efficiency in delivering the experience he suggested with the tone and the theme of the film (something like thematic coherence and cohesion).
  2. I've just decided that I'll also add to the list films I've already watched before, but haven't watched in a very long time. This would be a great opportunity for me to quit being so lazy and revisiting those striking audiovisual experiences I had in the past. These films shall have an already watched before tag to identify them amongst the ones that are new to me.
  3. As some of you may have noticed, some short-length films are also included in the list. Short films are also films, they help build the history of cinema as much as any other kind of film. However, I understand the reasons some people may find to criticise my use of short films in the project, so I'll restrict my use of them to 65 at most. The remaining 300 films will have to be full-length ones.
This is it for the time being. I shall come back with more tweaks as regards the functioning of the blog as they come up.

Cheerio!
George.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

029. Touch of Evil (United States - 1958)


One of the last of its kind (the film noir kind, I mean), Touch of Evil can surprise in many aspects. It may be the innovative cameras (who in the world hasn't talked about the film without mentioning the nearly 4-minute-long shot at the very beginning?) and sound effects, or the illustrious cast of fine actors/actresses for top-drawer performances. There is something in this Orson Welles' pearl that tickles everybody's fancy, and drags them close to the screen to keep them there all the way till the solving of the crime and Hank's decadence. It may be the 1950s charm, or the nostalgic accents, or the feeling of intricate plot. It got me. At last.

Director: Orson Welles.

Score
Cinematography: 9.5
Acting: 9.0
Editing: 9.0
Sound: 8.5
Text: 8.5
Concept: 8.0
Premise execution: 9.0

Average Score: 8.7


028. 猫の恩返し / The Cat Returns (Japan - 2002)


If you like cats, you'll find this film at least cute. I say at least because the art is superb. Hiroyuki Morita has subtle and realistic lines, the ones that colour the world of anime every now and again. The theme is very animeish. A little girl saves a cat on the streets of her city; a cat who happens to be the prince of the Kingdom of Cats. His kinsmen (or would it be kinscats) want to repay her for the kind and heroic act, and bring her to their country in order to arrange a wedding with the prince. But she doesn't really buy into the idea, and wants out, only to notice that she's gradually turning into a cat herself. She then needs a little help from her cat friends from Planet Earth to take her out of there and break the speel. A lot of cats, heh?

Well, the film is well made, no major problems whatsoever. The dialogues are pretty no-nonsense, and the art is, as I've said before, sublime. Simple enough anime. Simple enough - and cute - concept. Well done, Morita. ;-)

Director: Hiroyuki Morita.

Score
Cinematography: 7.5
Voice acting: 7.0
Editing: 7.5
Sound: 8.0
Text: 7.0
Concept: 7.5
Premise execution: 7.5

Average Score: 7.4

Saturday, 15 February 2014

027. Dressed to Kill (United States - 1980)


What a waste of a great concept. The idea of a psychiatrist tormented by his sexual identity and gone murderer. Dr. Elliott/Bobbi (Michael Caine) is a double-character that feels impulse to kill any of his patients who happen to seduce him anyhow (oops, spoiler, lads and lasses!). That's a nice thriller in itself. The problem is that Brian de Palma is as confuse concerning narrative as his main character is concerning his sexuality. A messed up experience, full of odd, "silent film dragged out of history's line" scenes and bad close-ups and suspense triggers. A critique by Roger Ebert states that "Dressed to Kill is an exercise in style, not narrative; it would rather look and feel like a thriller than make sense, but DePalma has so much fun with the conventions of the thriller that we forgive him and go along". I don't, Roger. I'm sorry. It's not just because Brian is such a big name in the industry that I'll forgive his bizarre plotline presentation, the bad performances (except for Caine, sure) and obtuse photography.

Big names behind mediocre films don't buy out my point of view.

Score
Cinematography: 7.0
Acting: 6.5
Editing: 5.0
Sound: 6.5
Text: 7.0
Concept: 8.5
Premise execution: 4.5

Average Score: 6.4

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

026. Marie Antoinette (United States and France - 2006)


A lavish production with empty premises. Sure, the parodic way Sofia Coppola found to depict the historical figure of Marie Antoinette can be a bit interesting, but that's as far as it goes. A bit interesting. The film contains beautiful images, both of scenery and of costumes/make-up/setting, but the dialogues are completely out of place. It seemed as though Sofia hadn't made up her mind about whether she wanted a historical film or a temporal adaptation, bringing the thematic nuances of the production to today's fads and language, as well as music. But it was a failure. Empty dialogues, messed up dramas and conflicts, and a disservice as regards social conscience: the working classes are seriously taken as a rather dull hindrance to the queen's luxury, while she celebrates her own futile events and indifference to her people. And there's no resolution that justifies that in the end. The subjective figure of Marie keeps on going as materialistic as possible.
What a lousy job, Sofia...

Director: Sofia Coppola.

Score
Cinematography: 7.5
Acting: 7.0
Editing: 6.0
Sound: 6.0
Text: 5.0
Concept: 6.0
Premise execution: 4.5

Average Score: 5.9

025. The Shining (International Co-production - 1980)


This is one of the films I felt ashamed of never having watched before. We watched it on Sunday, and it was a curious experience. I expected more, having heard previously about the innovations it brought to the field of suspense/horror films. I didn't see much, to be honest. What I saw was a great acting by Jack Nicholson, and some nice props and brilliant editing and photography. That I already expected from Kubrick. But the annoying soundtrack - although it's highly atmospheric and composed to provide a purposefully bothersome sensation, it's way too loud for my ears to balance it with the images and text; it becomes a sensorial mess - and the predictable suspense disappointed me. I didn't see anything that special. It is, by far, the "least good" Kubrick film I've watched so far. Considering Clockwork Orange, Dr. Strangelove, Barry Lydon and the two short documentaries. I know, there's more to come.

Director: Stanley Kubrick.

Score
Cinematography: 9.0
Acting: 8.5
Editing: 9.0
Sound: 6.5
Text: 8.0
Concept: 7.0
Premise execution: 7.5

Average Score:
7.9

Monday, 10 February 2014

024. Harvie Krumpet (Australia - 2003)


Harvie Krumpet is a constant prototype of subjective disaster. But he's never really dragged in there directly. His life could be much worse, were it not for his tiny fortunes and accomplishments. His constant changes and realisations about his psychological condition. An Adam Eliot's typical, full of the Australian director's motifs, from the unusual ways of life of his characters to the pleasant and cunning narrative, usually uttered by great actors (in this case, Geoffrey Rush). Won the Academy Award for Best Animation in 2003. A finely made animation.

Director: Adam Eliot.

Score
Cinematography: 8.0
Voice Acting: 8.5
Editing: 8.5
Sound: 7.5
Text: 8.0
Concept: 7.0
Premise execution: 8.0

Average Score: 7.9

023. La Vie d'Adèle / Blue is the Warmest Colour (France - 2013)


Adèle is a girl like any other, but who has always been in some bothersome conflicts concerning her love life. As the film goes, she finds people in whom she'd be interested, but her doubts about her sexuality start tormenting her. That's before she meets Emma, a plastic artist whose blue hair possesses the main mise-en-scene element in the whole film. Not in vain, since Kechiche chooses well when to use the colour blue and what transitions it can trigger in the mood of the story. The strong scenes of love and sex between Adèle and Emma are probably the forte of the film, atmosphere-wise. Both "protagonists'" performances are great, and the drama generated by their conflicts (also caused by the ever tormenting doubt Adèle has towards her sexuality) divides the film in two major sections: the peaceful and caring living between the two of them (still when Emma has her charming blue hair) and the quarrelsome dilemmas in Adèle's life, especially when seeing her sweetheart already re-married and well-off with her art (and whose hair no longer responds to the English-language title of the film).

And the ending is superbly unconventional.

Director:  Abdellatif Kechiche.

Score
Cinematography: 8.5
Acting: 9.0
Editing: 8.5
Sound: 8.0
Text: 8.0
Concept: 7.5
Premise execution: 8.5

Average Score: 8.2

022. Barry Lyndon (United Kingdom - 1975)


An anti-epic, a brilliant story. A man is born in a fairly well-off family, and grows to be less and less proud of his background and his own merits. He kills an officer (a faked death by his tutors) and has to flee from his hometown and join the British army. A cruel and sometimes comedic adaptation of the picaresque The Luck of Barry Lyndon, by William M. Thackeray, it can be deceiving in showing the direction of Barry's misfortunes and joys. He is betrayed by hiw own foolishness and greed, and oftentimes finds himself in positions of moral dichotomy and mishandling of the power he is granted. A clever, sometimes laughable story of a privileged, mischievous young man. And here Kubrick shines in his eye for cinematography and sound. Although acting is not really big in Barry Lyndon, it obeys its own logic to the very end. Bravo.

Director: Stanley Kubrick.

Score (note: two new categories are being included here to enhance the judging patters - Concept and Execution)

Cinematography: 9.5
Acting: 7.0
Editing: 9.5
Sound: 9.5
Text: 9.0
Concept: 8.0
Premise execution: 8.5

Average Score: 8.7

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

021. Flying Padre (United States - 1951)


Kubrick's second short-film was a bit more liturgic and mournful; yet one can already see the striking features of a filmic visionary. He directs and writes for the production. Bird's-eye shots of gorgeous landscapes that impress when considering the simplicity of such a short film, and the clean voice-over narration, so pleasant to the ears as it carries that typical tone of 50s cinema with it. Not to mention the smart sound mixing. It's a story of two ritualistic days in the life of a priest in New Mexico, yet portraying a certain impartial - and merely documental - perspective on religion. It was a portrait of a man's duties, religious or otherwise.

It is interesting to note how Kubrick, being so talented, started with such unpretentious projects for films. Both this and Day of the Fight show the rudimentary Stanley in action, already showcasing his talents as a filmmaker and as a writer. Well-organised plotline and polished text. Too bad it was too short and simple to gather much of his talent.

Director: Stanley Kubrick

Score
Cinematography: 8.5
Acting: 5.0
Editing: 8.0
Sound: 7.0
Text: 7.0

Average Score: 7.1

020. Day of the Fight (United States - 1951)


The first of many Kubrick's films to come on this list. And this is, in fact, his first film. It impressed me in terms of cinematography - the framing was close to perfection -, cuts and the pace of the narration. A documentary-like short film depicting the moments before a fight of a boxer (Walter Cartier, as himself) who has to go through physical constraints to have a good performance not only in his bout, but also in the weighing before it. Nice portrayal of the hard boxing life several fighters had to endure back in the first and early second half of the 20th century.

Director: Stanley Kubrick.

Score
Cinematography: 9.0

Acting: 6.0
Editing: 8.5
Sound: 7.0
Text: 8.0

Average Score: 7.7

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

019. Je Vais Bien, ne t'en Fais Pas / Dont Worry, I'm Fine (France - 2006)


Adapted from a novel of same name by Olivier Adam, this is a film with a poor execution of a great concept. A young woman (Elise) returns home in Paris from a long trip to Spain to find that her brother - to whom she is extremely close; they're twins, you see - has had a violent argument with her father, and left home. The problem is, no one in her family knows where he is. Seeing as he is a talented musician, everyone pretends to assume that the young man is travelling all around the country, visiting cities and playing the guitar. No one seems to care much. Elise becomes obsessed with finding her brother, suffers from serious health problems resulting from her denial to eat anything. Ultimately, she finds out her brother has been dead all along, and that her parents have been covering up the story with his made up trips to exotic cities in France. Strong acting, good writing, gorgeous mise-en-scene elements.

The big issue here is the predictability of the film. From the very moment when the father sits in his armchair to watch the telly and bears a rather melancholic look on his eyes: we know what's happened. And that's about 10 min into the plot. That's a problem, Mr. Director. A big problem. Such a strong outcome of events shouldn't be so out there, and so early, for the narrative's sake. Halfway through the film he tries to turn the story around with the fake letters from Loïc to Elise, but by then the viewer has probably found cunning clues against the authenticity of such letters.
And don't you worry about spoilers, the film really establishes a sort of plotline forecast right at the beginning. A disappointment.

Director: Philippe Lioret.

Score
Cinematography: 8.0

Acting: 9.0
Editing: 5.5
Sound: 7.0
Text: 7.0

Average Score: 7.3

018. Running with Scissors (United States - 2006)


Confusing linearity, but that's the good thing about this film. The performances are good enough for the purpose of the storytelling, and well balanced with the use of progressive disintegration of the characters' subjectivity. Everyone here dies away quickly, from Deirdre and Norman (the parents) to Dr. Finch (the weird and apparently cunning shrink with an ego that flies about with excessive pride). Everyone but Augusten. He is caught up in the middle of bad business in his family, where both parents want to impose their own honour, causing detriment to the son's welfare (a reality in many families that we all know). Augusten proves to have a strong sense of individuality, which he may well have inherited from any of his parents, and walks away with his supposed dignity, free from the chains of tutelage, either from the selfish Deirdre or from the delusional Finch. Good film, although redundant with the use of montage and long, unnecessary sequences of drama-driven dances.

On the other hand, superb performance by Annette Bening.


Director: Ryan Murphy

Score
Cinematography: 7.5
Acting: 8.5
Editing: 7.0
Sound: 7.0
Text: 8.5


Average Score: 7.7




017.Ubornaya Istoriya - Lyubovnaya Istoriya / Lavatory - Lovestory (Russia - 2007)


A simple but funny animation. A woman indifferently watches her days go by as she keeps a tip jar on her balcony, where she works as a lavatory attendant. She cleans up the place, goes back to her work booth, and anxiously awaits the possibility of a lover when she finds a bouquet in her tip jar. He's nowhere to be found, though. The fun resides in her frantic search for the said gentleman, the mysterious admirer who will finally give her joy in her sentimental life.


And yes, she eventually finds him.
Not bad, but not out of the ordinary.

Director: Konstantin Bronzit.

Score
Cinematography: 7.5

Acting (not present)
Editing: 7.0
Sound: 6.5
Text (not present)

Average Score: 7.0

016. Shortbus (United States - 2006)


A very hard film to digest, at least for me. It's not the explicit footages of sex, it's the frequent use of them. Explicit sexuality will still be, for many people, a taboo for years to come. I don't agree with that; it's fine, really. A film in which the central topic is sexuality may very well make use of sexual audiovisual motifs; it must, even. Shortbus doesn't shock one with its carnal images as much as it shocks one with the internal conflicts, though. The characters are flawed, or better yet, carry out flawed sexual lives in deep frustration, and there are beautiful moments of joy and freedom for each one of them in their own universe of dilemmas. The problem here is absolutely personal. My sensorial apparatus is not always ready for such a strong load of instinctual narrative.

Director: John Cameron Mitchell.

Score
Cinematography: 8.0

Acting: 9.0
Editing (a confusing one, by the way): 6.5
Sound (very polluted passages quite often): 6.0
Text: 8.0

Average Score: 7.5

015. つみきのいえ / The House of Small Cubes (Japan - 2008)


A beautifully moving story.  Often referred to as La Maison en Petits Cubes, it tells of an old fisherman who has to constantly build additional floors for his house because of an evergrowing problem of flooding. As his favourite pipe falls into the water and ends up at the bottom of the ocean, he has to dive to fetch it. On his way down, he revisits old floors of his house and with it, all the past memories of his life. Besides being touching with such a creative plot, the animation also touches by its simple yet calming art: the smooth lines that delineate the old man's facial demeanour bring a sense of peaceful conformation, and triggers some inner switches of longing, of nostalgia in our lives. A gorgeous film that has just the exact length to get hold of your feelings.

Director: Kunio Kato.

Score
Cinematography: 9.0

Acting (not present)
Editing: 9.0
Sound: 8.0
Text (not present)

Average Score: 8.6

014. Hesher (United States - 2011)


Another American film that me and Jéssica watched last week. Pretty decent one. Story of a father and kid who have to go through the pain and suffering of losing a mother/wife to a car accident, and still have to cope with the presence of a rather bizarre individual that emanates anger and indifference (excellently played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt). Hesher shows us an interesting way of constructing a peculiar character: Hesher is the façade that expresses T. J.'s hate for losing his mother, a mirror through which the little lad sees himself and which he uses to give vent to anger. A bothersome challenge that defies the senses of order and convention. No boundaries for Hesher, and for Gordon-Levitt's performance.
Only the occasional soundtrack by Metallica sounds a bit cheesy and out of place sometimes. That put me off during some moments of the film's experience.

Director: Spencer Susser.

ScoreCinematography: 7.5

Acting: 8.5
Editing: 7.0
Sound: 7.0
Text: 7.5

Average Score: 7.5

Monday, 3 February 2014

013. Top Secret! (United States - 1984)



(Finally back after several days of hiatus; the next five or so films were watched about one week ago)

A wave of good and bad. Mostly bad.
Val Kilmer is decent in this film, especially seeing as how comedy isn't his forte, he carries on a consistent character and seldom fails in his performance. And it all begins well, with nice parodies of spy movies in the 50s and 60s, and with reference to American stardom of the same era. This is the same style as Airplane!; actually, made by the same director, Jim Abrahams; so you can't expect much, since the options for comedic passages in such films quickly vanished in the very 80s that begot them. As the film progresses, it just gets bad and with silly mistakes of continuity. It just gets old quickly.

Director: Jim Abrahams

Score
Cinematography: 7.5

Acting: 7.0
Editing: 6.0
Sound: 6.5
Text: 6.0

Average Score: 6.6

Monday, 27 January 2014

012. Vozvrashcheniye/The Return (Russia - 2003)


A film about family disintegration is intense enough. The Return has a superb framing - and photography in general -, and an appeal for many audiences, I suppose. What the director realised is that he could utilise this complex nucleus of three characters (the father and the 2 sons) and make it into a bubble about to burst; three opposite personalities and often collide and expose common dilemmas of family life. Ivan never abandons his pride and infantile anger, whereas Andrei carries a submissive and less conflictive demeanour, and the father tries to rule over them both, ultimately regretting being a careful father figure. Too late, as cruel films often portray. Good film, if one does not quite consider the bizarre actings in the climatic scenes.

Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev.

Score:
Cinematography: 9.5

Acting: 7.5
Editing: 8.5
Sound: 7.5
Text: 8.5

Average score: 8.3

011. Eu Não Quero Voltar Sozinho/I don't Want to Come Back Alone (Brazil - 2010)


Short, simple film with an interesting and creative premise. A blind boy always goes back home from school with the help from a close female friend. Then he gradually discovers that he's falling in love for another boy, a new student named Gabriel. A nice thematic construction, that sometimes lacks acting that is up to the same level (the young actors still carry that bland acting style that converges with Brazilian TV, so hard to detach from since it's a solid dimension of the country's artistic repertoire). Other than that, nice presentation progression and great production level.

Director: Daniel Ribeiro.

Score:
Cinematography: 7.0
Acting: 6.0
Editing: 8.0
Sound: 7.5
Text: 6.0

Average score: 6.9

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

010. Precious (United States - 2009)


"In New York City's Harlem circa 1987, an overweight, abused, illiterate teen who is pregnant with her second child is invited to enroll in an alternative school in hopes that her life can head in a new direction." I found this summary on IMDb, and there's no better way to sum up what Precious is in a few words. A stunning dramatic experience, the struggles of a bottom-of-the-social-beauty-patterns girl (played by Gabourey Sibide) who also lives with the disgrace of a neglectful and selfish mother and the burden of early-age pregnancy caused by being raped by her own father. It's hard to present a worse urban background than that. The film surprises in that it does not seek to show a happy ending, but to affect the viewer's notion of comfort and adversity. I was deeply sunk into a sea of a sincere portray of an extremely indigent and violent family nucleus in the worst-case scenario of living in Harlem, NYC. Precious can shock for good.

Director: Lee Daniels.

Score:
Cinematography: 8.5
Acting: 9.0
Editing: 8.0
Sound: 7.5
Text: 8.5

Average score: 8.3

009. I'm not there (United States - 2007)


On Saturday, while at my cousin Fellype's house, I watched I'm not there. Now, that's a unique experience in itself, a film that disembowels the most abstract aspects of Bob Dylan's career, sorting out all his memorable moments in life in six different personas throughout the film (played by Ben Whishaw, Marcus Carl Franklin, Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Cate Blanchett and Richard Gere, in order of appearance). I never expected to watch a biographical film like that. However, I'm not sure I grabbed every meaningful instance the film had to offer, so I finished it quite confused. I was certain that it had been a great cinematographically sensorial experience, but had little to comment on for my knowledge on Dylan's life is very short. Only the temporal and graphical continuation can be deceiving sometimes, and to me, that was a big con for I'm not there. Besides, the long length of it can wear one out, but just if you're not delved into the magnificent photography and the emblematic dialogues. Great film.

Director: Todd Haynes.

Score
Cinematography: 9.0
Acting: 9.0
Editing: 6.5
Sound: 8.5
Text (amazing one, but considering the viewer has got a previous - and wide - knowledge on Dylan's life) : 8.0

Average score: 8.4

008. Kutoja/The Last Knit (Finland - 2005)


A short-length animation telling the story of a woman who can never stop knitting. She knits until her scarf starts hanging from a cliff, becoming heavier and heavier and dragging her down with it; even then, she doesn't stop. Simple enough concept, but quite nicely put in the animation. It's all about obsession, how some people can't stop pursuing something even if something vital to them is in jeopardy. The setting around her is uninteresting and bland, to say the least, following the simplicity of the film to the letter (perhaps due to a possible low budget the team had to make the animation). All in all, nice piece of story.

Director: Laura Neuvonen.

Score:
Cinematography: 4.5

Acting (there is almost none, apart from the protagonist's little reactions): 4.0

Editing: 7.0
Sound: 6.5
Text (there is none, so it does not enter this evaluation)

Average Score5.5

Monday, 20 January 2014

007. Fargo (United States - 1996)


"A homespun murder story." Nice little film. It portrays a bizarre plot of a fictional series of murders that the Coen brothers pulled out of different real-life incidents in 1987 in North Dakota and Minnesota. A husband that is greedy enough to plan a fake kidnapping of his wife by hiring two bandits who ultimately destroy his life by killing his wealthy father-in-law, a policeman, two citizens and his wife (sorry for the spoiler, lads and lasses). The drama is full of Midwest hillbilly-themed humour and odd elements of detective narrative (the actress Frances McDormand plays a light-spirited police officer who's in charge of the investigation, and yanked an Oscar for Best Actress out of it). Good one for the Coen bros. I liked it quite a lot.

Director: Joel Coen.

Score
Cinematography: 8.0
Acting: 8.5
Editing: 8.0
Sound: 7.5
Text: 8.5

Average Score: 8.1

Saturday, 18 January 2014

006. Black Swan (United States - 2011)


A succession of dramas in the life of a compulsively perfectionist ballerina. Nina lives the dream of being the Swan Queen of the famous Tchaikovskiy's ballet piece, and the road to it is hurtful, full of identity and sexual conflicts. Aronofsky directs a beautiful filmic fiction on the White Swan/Black Swan duality of the piece, and proposes the artist's perspective on the theme (in this case, the ballerina's). The sensorial doubt between reality and Nina's deliria is sometimes bothersome, but I found it to be part of the film's cathartic process. Black Swan, with the geniuses of acting such as Portman and Cassel, and a compelling narrative, is a wonderful film.

Director: Darren Aronofsky.

Score
Cinematography: 8.5
Acting: 9.0
Editing: 8.5
Sound: 8.5
Text: 9.0

Average score:
8.7

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

005. Welcome to the Dollhouse (United States - 1995)


Now this is an odd one. The protagonist, with whom we sympathise and whom we hate at the same time, suffers from bullying at school and bullies at home, as a way of externalising her frustrations and at once feel like a real person after the humiliations from her classmates. A film of American monsters from the 90s, and satirising the teenage film culture of the 80s/90s, Welcome to the Dollhouse surprised me with its concept, despite its all too trivial dialogue, generally bad acting, and sometimes confusing graphical shot relation.



Director: Todd Solondz.

Score
Cinematography: 7.0
Acting: 6.0
Editing: 5.5
Sound: 5.5
Text: 6.0

Average score: 6.0

004. Carnage (International co-production - 2011)



Poor acting. Poor acting. Poor motives. Poor acting. Poor linearity. That's all I can think now.

Right after Mammuth, we started watching Carnage, which is a 2011 adaptation of the 2006 Yasmina Reza's praised play God of Carnage. I've never watched another rendition of the story, but this one is already silly in itself. It just doesn't convince me. And if there is something I have got to be when I'm watching a film, is convinced. Polanski failed on this one.
I do believe such trivial narrative can be interesting, and one setting only is a great idea (Sunset Limited is one of my all-time favourites), it reverberates the theatre aura. But the choice of actors, of editing, and of the use of the house... tsc, just not right there. It might be something personal, I don't know... I hate Foster's way of acting, and I quite disliked Winslet's amateurish overreactions here. Reilly is not shining either, and I miss the touch and bright of Waltz.
The rhythmic crescendo is poor, the reasons for the such a crescendo are just not convincing. Sorry, folks, just not convincing.
Pros? The dialogue, I'll give it to them.

Director: Roman Polanski.

Score
Cinematography: 7.0
Acting: 5.5
Editing: 6.0
Sound: 7.0
Text: 8.0

Average Score: 6.7

003. Mary and Max (Australia - 2009)


On the 12h, me and Jéssica watched this beautiful animation. Mary and Max is a stop-motion film with clay figures that tells the story of a young and lonely girl from Australia and her 41 year-old pen friend from New York as they start writing about the former's doubts about life. It's a film that depicts the innonence of a young girl who is bullied in school and grows to like her only friend, a socially bothered man that suffers from Asperger and eating compulsion from the other side of the world. They support each other in their sociological and psychological conundrums. The writing is beautiful, an honest way of communicating to the viewer that is unusual for relatively big-budget animations such as this one. But so are its tragic happenings throughout the story.

Director: Adam Eliot.

Score
Cinematography: 8.5
Voice acting: 9.0
Editing: 8.0
Sound: 7.5
Text: 9.0

Average Score: 8.4

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

002. Mammuth (France - 2010)


Not sure what I felt when I watched Mammuth. It was also on the 11th, right after Summer Wars. From a relatively flamboyant filmic experience (typical of animes) to an apathetic, dull session of this French drama. Don't get me wrong, this is not necessarily bad. I quite like apathetic, dull narratives. Serge Pilardosse is a misanthrope that will win one's heart either by his honesty or his stupidity as he sets out on a French motorcycle quest in search for documents needed for him to be entitled to a retirement pension.
How can't one love Depardieu's acting? It's great here too, as usual.
However, the film has got plenty of cons, beginning with the confusing camera movement and cuts. Editing here is an enigma, floating from sequence to sequence without so much as a random blink. Dialogues are not special, but the general idea of the narrative is quite pleasing and dramatic. A subtle schizophrenia, dream-like existence, and the suffocating reality of Serge. I liked it.

Directors: Benoît Delépine & Gustave de Kervern.

Score (all the categories are score out of 10)
Cinematography: 8.0
Acting: 8.5
Editing: 5.5
Sound: 5.5
Text: 7.5

Average Score: 7.0

001. Summer Wars (Japan - 2009)


Same director as Digimon. I've come a long way. Not exactly into animes or anime-style motion pictures (their melodrama and thematic stalling gets on my nerves), but Jéssica convinced me that this one was good. She wasn't wrong. Summer Wars carries a fairly creative idea for a theme - the world of the social networks and their symbiosis with life itself -, and with a careless although cunning drop of naiveté, the film presents us with chaotic climax enhanced by conflictive and selfish characters. 

Nice art, flat dialogues, bad ending.

Director: Mamoru Hosoda (細田 守).

Score (all the categories are score out of 10)
Cinematography: 7.5
Acting (in this case, voice acting): 6.0 
Editing: 8.0
Sound: 7.5
Text: 6.5

Average Score: 7.1


P.S.: Watched on the 11th, just now reviewing. Oh, well...


01/11 to 01/11 - Prelude

The name is George. Born 1987. Brazilian. Love for film.

My story with cinema is no different from the man on the street. Grew up watching them in a linear proportion that always accompanied my age and maturity, to a certain extent. Cartoons and Disney classics as a child, action films and blockbusters as a teenager, and all sorts of films as an early adult to this day.

Favourite genre for films? Heh, the ones that have got no genre. Those are the ones that transcend the taste discussion more often than not.

Finished undergraduation (in English languange and literature) in 2010, finished MA in Literary and Film Studies last year, starting my Doctorate in the same area in 2014. Can't say that I'm not passionate for the thing for no reason.

However, something here needs a reason. The begetting of this blog. Talking to my girlfriend two nights ago while watching some films, I realised that watching the same number of films as the days of a year would be a great idea to get my - our - knowledge catalog vaster. She agreed, and we got all the hype that always comes out of a fresh idea for creative writing, thinking, whatnot. It was only a sketch of an idea, really. As we woke up, during a beautiful brunch she had made us, I had the idea of setting up yet another blog for myself. Soup, sandwiches, orange juice and Earl Grey can make one get insights, after all.

Starting another blog... that's a tough endeavour, considering the handful of them I've left behind thus far. I like to believe this one is for good.

So, watching 365 films in the timespan of 11 Jan 2014 to 11 Jan 2015. That's my goal. And criticise them in a brief paragraph. And give them marks regarding basic aspects of filmmaking/organisation.
I'll finally pay my respects to my repertoire of films watched to this day and start a casual blog-style catalog of my thoughts on some of them. I can't wait.

This shall also shorten my "Bloody hell, I've never watched that film that everybody's watched, even though I'm a film student, in theory!" list.

Well, I believe that's all there is to it for now. I'll start writing critiques up later today. It's 04:27 AM and I've gotta have some respect for my own sleep before I can have respect for the film medium.

Good night, and good luck (to me and Jéssica).


P.S.: The title of the blog (more specifically, the word Jēran) comes from the Old Germanic root for the word YearNo, not original, not neat, I know. I was simply looking for an adequate name for the project. :-)