Jumat, 31 Agustus 2012

The Long Hot Summer Movie Bits

My summer was hot, too hot. I'm talking about the weather as many movies I saw were not hot at all. I'm glad this season is about to be over so my favorite season of the year will come next. I'm an Autumn person, because the weather as well as for the movies and all the cinema industry events.

Bonsai by Cristián Jiménez, Chile, Argentina, Portugal and France
Wanted to like movie at least as much as Ilusiones Opticas but I did not. At first couldn't figure out why but believe was because the narrative as movie as a movie is not that bad. Imagine many could like it but not me. Sigh.

Dark Shadows by Tim Burton, USA
While watching wondered if Burton saw what he did, I don't think so. One of the worst movies I have ever seen and the story idea was good, but the end result was awful. Sorry to see Johnny Depp involved with such a bad movie. Sigh.

Chelovek s kino-apparatom (Man With A Movie Camera) by Dziga Vertov, USSR, 1929
Wanted to love this silent film as many have enjoyed the ahead of its time documentary. Started watching in awe but too soon it became the same, something different was being shown but it was the same. Still agree that its ahead of its time, but after a while was too much to endure. Maybe it was the music of the version I saw (there are several music versions) so I muted sound but the visuals did not improved. Saw it complete but watching was hard until the end even when is just 8 minutes more than an hour. But is a classic and one film that everyone should see, maybe you will enjoy it more than I did. Enjoy.

Skoonheid (Beauty) by Oliver Hermanus, South Africa, Germany and France
Came with great credentials but I was not prepared to see a film that look and felt old, very old. I do admit that what happens here still exists today all over the world and never ends well for anyone. There are many homophobic married men that are homosexuals and this is just one story. Never before have seen man-to-man rape, was very unpleasant to watch as much as it is with any kind of rape. I did not enjoyed this film. Sigh.

Fjellet (The Mountain) by Ole Giæver, Norway
The location was absolutely stunning and film had great visuals but fast, very fast I stopped enjoying the sights as this grieving story became truly annoying. Film tells about a couple of women, lesbians, trying to save their relationship while one of them (the biological mother) can't overcome the death of their child. Everything in this film is underestimated and maybe in the hands of a female director film could have been better, at least to help bring more credibility to these two women drama. Film is quite short, 13 minutes more than one hour, but felt like it was three or more hours Sigh.

The Dark Knight Rises by Christopher Nolan, USA
Not impressed at all. Batman has so little time in the screen that doesn't seem like a Batman movie which is similar to the Dark Knight; but unfortunately is NOT the Dark Knight as no one can do what Heath Ledger did in that movie. Marion Cotillard is here and I hardly notice her. Wanted my money back. Sigh.

I had not much luck with those movies but my luck was better with several documentaries.

First Love by Claire Gorman, Australia and USA
A true surprise very enjoyable to watch with a great story about three teenage girls that are in love, not with boys but with surfing. Narrative is so well constructed that makes documentary look and feel more like a movie, a very entertaining movie. Highly recommend watching film and definitively is must be seen for women that enjoy surfing. Enjoy!!!

Senna by Asif Kapadia, UK
Another surprise as yes I know who Ayrton Senna is, no I'm no motor-racing fan (even do once, only once I drove a Formula One) and no, knew nothing about Senna's life. A very emotional roller-coaster tale that shows us a very interesting human being. Very hard to believe that a car-racing driver story could be that much entertaining and so highly emotional but documentary has excellent tech specs and a most impressive storyteller and filmmaker. Bravo. Must be seen. Enjoy!!!

Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present by Matthew Akers and Jeff Dupre, USA
Very interesting documentary mainly because the story it tells. Documents the Serbian performance artist as she prepares for a retrospective of her work (we see old footage of some of her work) at The Museum of Modern Art in New York City, but also takes us into the most amazing, compelling performance she does for 3 months every day. I love Art as much as I love movies, but not much a fan of performance art; still this amazing artist has changed my mind, I fell in love with performing art. Bravo. I strongly suggest you experience this film. Big Enjoy!!!

The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom by Lucy Walker, UK
Lucy Walker makes impressive documentaries but this short documentary is more than impressive as is really beautiful to watch but at the same time awfully hard to watch and you can't help but shred tears while and after watching. For me was a very emotional experience. Tells a story about survivors in the areas hardest hit by Japan's recent tsunami and how they find the courage to revive and rebuild as cherry blossom season begins. Suggest you watch it, but maybe you have to be prepared for a strong emotional ride. Enjoy!!!

Vito by Jeffrey Schwarz, USA
Another surprise as documentary is very well constructed while the story is compelling. Tells the story of Vito Russo, founding father of USA gay liberation movement, vociferous AIDS activist in the 1980s and none the less, the author of the quite famous and the most iconic guide to gay and lesbian cinema history, The Celluloid Closet. I knew him for his work but his life story is very compelling and touching thanks to the great storyteller and filmmaker. I believe that even if you're not interested in the genre films, the story in this documentary could interest you as after all is part of the history of the United States of America, and in a way, that's exactly how I believe is portrayed in the documentary. Find this documentary many times more interesting than The Times of Harvey Milk documentary and yes, also than the film, Milk. Enjoy!!!

Surely I'm forgetting some movies but as you can suspect, where not interesting enough for me to like or dislike them.

Day 3 - 69th Venice International Film Festival

Today is a slow day for me as there are not many movies that I'm interested and the movie that really calls my attention is one that I have seen from one of my most admired directors, a 1969 movie by Pier Paolo Pasolini.No, I don't feel like revisit film, what I have in my memory archive is better than what I could see today.

Venezia 69

Paradies: Glaube (Paradise: Faith) by Ulrich Seidl

Thanks to Cannes we already know about Seidl trilogy and just a few months later we have the second installment that continues to explore sex but this time related to religion. Sex and religion are by itself complex themes, but having them together I'm sure will be even more complex and yes, more controversial.  The synopsis.

In PARADIES: Glaube Ulrich Seidl explores what it means to bear the cross. For Annamaria, an X-ray technician, paradise lies with Jesus. She devotes her vacation to missionary work, so that Austria may be brought back to the path of virtue. On her daily pilgrimage through Vienna, she goes from door to door, carrying a foot-high statue of the Virgin Mary. One day, after years of absence, her husband, an Egyptian Muslim confined to a wheelchair, comes home. Hymns and prayers are now joined by fighting. PARADIES: Glaube recounts the stations of the cross of a marriage and the longing for love. PARADIES: Glaube is the second film in Ulrich Seidl’s “PARADIES-Trilogy.” PARADIES: Liebe, the first part, is about Annamaria’s sister Teresa, for whom paradise is to be found in more earthly love in Kenya.

Wonder why the sex component was skipped from the synopsis, but not only early film reviews already have headlines with the sex and religion words, but we know that in the trilogy sex is a main component. Still, sex is clearly stated in the director's statement.

The starting point for the screenplay was a true story that I showed in my documentary, Jesus, Du weisst, and that I developed in PARADIES: Glaube using fictional means. It’s about a woman who, disappointed with earthly love and her marriage (to a Muslim), turns to Jesus—whom she not only worships and loves spiritually, but also desires sexually as a lover. Over the course of the film’s genesis, which spanned four years, my interest turned more to the conjugal conflict that erupts one day when Annamaria’s past catches up with her: she is unable to recognize that her blind love of Jesus leads to inhumanity and an inability to love—and the loss of the Christian virtue of loving your fellow man.

As some of you recall, I was not able to finish watching Seidl's Import/Export and wonder if I will enjoy his trilogy; maybe I'll watch the first installment for the dark humor I saw in clips but the second installment seems will not appeal at all to me. Then maybe if I like Love then could give a try to Faith.

At Any Price by Ramin Bahrani

Not particularly interested in movie that to me seems more mainstream than anything else and since I have an eclectic taste for movies know will watch this movie just because was in this festival but my expectations will be quite low. Not as bad as it seems as with low expectations film could surprise me.

Film stars are Dennis Quaid, Heather Graham, Zac Efron among others and has the following synposis.

Set in the competitive world of modern agriculture, ambitious Henry Whipple wants his rebellious son Dean to help expand his family’s farming empire. However, Dean has his sights set on becoming a professional race car driver. When a high-stakes investigation into their business is exposed, father and son are pushed into an unexpected situation that threatens the family’s entire livelihood.

Story seems like a father-son story but if we read the director's statement we realize that's more than that.

During the six months I spent with farmers in the American Midwest, the two phrases I heard most were “Expand or Die” and “Get Big or Get Out.” These mantras fuel American and global dreams of success. Modern farmers run multi-million dollar businesses with highly advanced technology, while doubling as genetically modified seed-salesmen, who constantly check the global markets on their smart phones. The pressures are immense. I wanted to know what happens to a man when he values expansion of business over his family, his neighbor, his community and ultimately himself. Can his family stay together in the face of this intensely competitive world?

Can't help but to mention that is surprising that Dennis Quaid is not in Venice as actually he is the lead in movie; maybe they want to promote the younger actors. Sigh. In this moment the live streaming of the movie red carpet with many teen girls screaming for Efron, no, will not watch it (lol).

Out of Competition

Tai Chi 0 by Stephen Fung

A film for Martial Arts movies fans, which I'm not even do I have seen my share of genre films. Filmed along the sequel Tai Chi Hero I don't doubt that both films will please fans. Here is the synopsis.

As an uncommonly gifted child, Yang Luchan had a fleshy abnormality that holds tremendous power growing on his forehead. However being teased as the town fool, Yang’s mother spurs him to practice martial arts, and following her wishes, Yang travels the distance to come to Chen village to learn Tai Chi. At this legendary village, everyone practices Tai Chi and uses Tai Chi in every aspect of their lives. Nevertheless, it is forbidden for a villager to disclose Tai Chi to an outsider, and Yang learned this the hard way. Upon arriving at the village, locals discourage Yang by challenging him with fights. From the strong men to hold ladies to children, everyone defeats Yang with their Tai Chi moves. After facing the toughest battle and being defeated by Master Chen’s beautiful daughter Yuniang, Yang is determined to master the art of Tai Chi and he needs to fi nd Master Chen. Little does Yang know, the poor strange man who he befriended with is in fact Master Chen who then saved him from the duel with Yuniang. Master Chen realizes Yang’s genius and disguises himself to secretly guide Yang to his self realization of Tai Chi. One day, a frightening steam-powered machine came to the village, lead by Fang Zijing, a childhood friend of Yuniang. He has bribed government officials to permit him to build a railway that will run straight through the village. Yang decided to join forces with Yuniang to defeat Fang Zijing and destroy the machine. This brave act may just win the hearts of the villagers...

To me seems like a classical story in the genre, which I confirm with the director's statement.

Tai Chi is an action adventure trilogy about a hero’s journey that takes place within an “altered history” universe. Instead or working in the realm of a clear historical background, it mixes elements from different eras in China’s past and brings together different fi lm genres in a completely unique way. When it came to how the film should look, producer Chen Kuo-fu and I were in complete agreement that we needed to create something fresh that would appeal to a younger audience. As fascinating as the true history of Tai Chi martial arts may be, our intention was never to preach about its philosophy. Instead, we let the true spirit and philosophy of Tai Chi seep into the story naturally whenever it serves the purpose of the narrative.

There will be a third movie for fans enjoyment. Sigh.

Out of Competition - Special Screenings

Bad 25 by Spike Lee. Lee describes film as his "love letter" to Michael Jackson; he "wanted this film to concentrate on the music".
Preceded by Glory to The Filmmaker Award to Spike Lee ceremony.

Sfiorando Il Muro by Silvia Giralucci and Luca Ricciadi.

Documentary could be interesting just because is about Silvia Giralucci's exploration into the incidents around her father's death; Graziano Giralucci was killed by the Brigate Rosse in 1974 in the MSI headquarters in Padua. Along with Guiseppe Mazzola, they were the terrorist group first victims.

El Impenetrable by Daniele Incalcaterra and Fausta Quattrini
Documentary seems interesting as is about the naive "aim of returning land to its original owners" while facing opposition from other landowners and Government corruption that "promote" aboriginal extermination. All happens in El Chaco, Paraguay. Check the director's statement.

What does being the owner of a piece of land in one of the last frontiers between “civilization” and nature mean today? This question and the role of the owner gave me the basis for the film. In fact, all of the people I met whilst filming opened their doors to me not as a filmmaker but as a landowner. In a system dominated by economy, there is still space for a different idea to the one that sees the planet merely as a chattel to possess and to exploit and where human lives count for nothing.


Wadja by Haifaa Al Mansour

A film by a female director with a nice story that could be interesting. The synopsis.

Wadjda is a 10-year-old girl living in a suburb of Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. Although she lives in a conservative world, Wadjda is fun loving, entrepreneurial and always pushing the boundaries of what she can get away with. After a fight with her friend Abdullah, a neighborhood boy she shouldn’t be playing with, Wadjda sees a beautiful green bicycle for sale. She wants the bicycle desperately so that she can beat Abdullah in a race. But Wadjda’s mother won’t allow it, fearing repercussions from a society that sees bicycles as dangerous to a girl’s virtue. So Wadjda decides to try and raise the money herself. At first, Wadjda’s mother is too preoccupied with convincing her husband not to take a second wife to realize what’s going on. And soon enough Wadjda’s plans are thwarted when she is caught running various schemes at school. Just as she is losing hope of raising enough money, she hears of a cash prize for a Koran recitation competition at her school. She devotes herself to the memorization and recitation of Koranic verses, and her teachers begin to see Wadjda as a model pious girl. The competition isn’t going to be easy, especially for a troublemaker like Wadjda, but she refuses to give in. She is determined to continue fighting for her dreams...

A girl story that seems common but what makes it different is that is set in the Arab world which undoubtedly allows exploration of the role of women in a men driven society. The director's statement shows more clearly about what I believe film will be about.

I’m so proud to have shot the first full-length feature ever filmed entirely inside the Kingdom. I come from a small town in Saudi Arabia where there are many girls like Wadjda who have big dreams, strong characters and so much potential. These girls can, and will, reshape and redefine our nation. It was important for me to work with an all-Saudi cast, to tell this story with authentic, local voices. Filming was an amazing cross-cultural collaboration that brought two immensely talented crews, from Germany and Saudi Arabia, into the heart of Riyadh. I hope the film offers a unique insight into my own country and speaks of universal themes of hope and perseverance that people of all cultures can relate to.

There are some film reviews out and seems that what impresses some is the young lead actress performance.

Poslednyaya Noch (The Last Night) by Julij Jakovlevic Rajzman, USSR, 1936
No, haven't seen film and of course will simply love to be able to watch it.

Venice Classics - Restored Films

Porcile by Pier Paolo Pasolini, Italy, 1969
Very complex film but very Pasolini. If you haven't seen it, what are you waiting for? If you're not familiar with director, this is NOT the first film you should see, try Teorema (still my #1 film of all I have seen) after all was the first Pasolini movie I saw.

Il Caso Mattei, Francesco Rosi, Italy, 1972. A classic starring great Gian Maria Volonté.
Followed by Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement Award to Francesco Rosi ceremony.

Karumen Kokyo Ni Kaeru (Carmen Comes Home) by Kinoshita Keisuke, Japan, 1951
No haven't seen it, yes will love to watch it even when is a comedy. The first ever color film shot in Japan.

Venice Classics - Documentaries

Dai Nostri Inviati - La Rai e L'Instituto Luce Raccontano La Mostra del Cinema di Venezia 1932-1953 by Giuseppe Giannotti, Davide Savelli, Enrico Salvatori
Yes, the fest this year celebrates its 80th birthday, but closed its doors during war time to re-launch in 1946. Documentary tells a slice of the fest history.

Venice Days

Queen of Montreuil by Sólveig Anspach

Not until today I paid attention to this film and after watching again trailer/scene believe that definitively like the filmmaking style even when film is labeled as a comedy. Then surely has to be a darker comedy. But who am I kidding, I love (good) French cinema, so will watch everything. Check the synopsis.

It is early summer, Agathe has come back to France and is at home in Montreuil. She is trying to recover from her husband's death and wants to return to working as a film director. The unexpected arrival at her house of a mother and son from Iceland, a sea lion and a neighbor who she has always desired but never managed to seduce, will give Agathe the strength to get her life back on track.

Synopsis clearly states the comedy lineaments but let's see what director says about his film.

Queen of Montreuil is a comedy about Agathe, and the closure that she will finally get thanks to the arrival of Icelanders accompanied by a sea lion. Queen of Montreuil is about the families we create for ourselves, because sometimes, standing on your own two feet is hard without roots, and because in any case surrounding yourself with many people is better than being alone.

No kidding, when roots are gone is very hard to stand on your own two feet, do I know it. Sigh. Not familiar with director but this film could allow me to meet her.

International Critics' Week

La Citta Ideale by Luigi Lo Cascio

Know that Critics' Week in any festival usually screen "strange" films and this films seems will not be the exception. On the positive side, it's about the first contemporary Italian film that does not look or feel like regular Italian movie. The synopsis.

Michele Grassadonia is a fervent environmentalist. A long time ago, he moved from Palermo to Siena, its ideal city. He has carried out an experiment in his flat for longer than one year: living in full self-sufficiency, without running water or electricity. On a rainy night, Michele gets caught up in a series of confusing and mysterious events. From this moment on, his joyful experience in the ideal city starts to waver.

Collateral Events
Mare Chiuso by Andrea Segre and Stefano Liberti. A documentary about Libyan refugees.
Followed by Council of Europe Meeting

Special Events

Salma Hayek-Pinault will present today the 2012 Gucci Award for Women in Cinema. The five candidates are:
Colleen Atwood, costume design, Snow White and The Huntsman
Nadine Labaki, director, Where do We Go Now?
Brit Marling, actress, Another Earth
Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, director, Saving Face
Thelma Schoonmaker, editing, Hugo

Update: This year winner is editor Thelma Schoonmaker.

Always related to Women filmmakers, yesterday Venice Days opened with the Women's Tales shorts but is today and tomorrow there will be Q&A sessions exploring women's creativity in film. It is a chance to dialogue with the short filmmakers but also with Susanne Bier, Mira Nair and Liliana Cavani among others. Great initiative.

Not So Serious

L'Oreal celebrates five years as festival sponsor with a photography exhibition called L'Oreal Paris, omaggio alla bellezza e al cinema, with some quite outstanding black and white photography by Danish photographer Kenneth Willardt. In expo there are photos of the likes of Aishwaraya Rai, Diane Kruger, Gwen Stefani, Leila Bekhti, Claudia Schiffer, Gong Li, Milla Jovovich and more.

Photos celebrating Women Filmmakers

In photo Nadine Labaki, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Thelma Schoonmaker, Brit Marlin and Colleen Atwood.

Group photo with the four directors of Women's Tales.


Dated Released : 1 June 2012
Quality : EXTENDED BRRip 720p
Info : www.imdb.com/title/tt1735898
IMDB Rating : 6.7 (15,196 users)
Star : Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Charlize T
Genre : Action | Adventure | Drama
By: icinema3satu.com

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Dalam sebuah pertempuran memerangai pasukan hitam, Raja Magnus (Noah Huntley) menemukan sebuah kereta yang berisi tahanan seorang wanita cantik bernama Ravenna (Charlize Theron). Wajah cantik Ravenna membius sang Raja yang akhirnya mempersuntingnya. Namun di malam pengantinnya, Raja Magnus pun akhirnya wafat setelah ditikam oleh Ravenna.

Snow White kecil (Raffey Cassidy) yang menjadi pewaris sah kerajaan akhirnya di penjara di dalam sebuah ruangan gelap di menara utara kerajaan. Snow White yang akhirnya dewasa (Kristen Stewart) akhirnya bisa meloloskan diri ke hutan gelap / Dark Forest disaat dirinya harusnya dibunuh oleh Ravenna. Ravenna pun murka dan menyewa seorang pemburu bernama Eric (Chris Hemsworth) yang tahu seluk beluk Dark Forest. Namun niat Eric berubah pikiran dan malah membimbing sang putri untuk bertemu dengan sisa-sisa pasukan Raja Magnus yang masih hidup.

Kamis, 30 Agustus 2012


Date Released : 14 February 2008
Quality : BRRip 720p
Info : imdb.com/title/tt1023481
IMDb Rating : 5.8 (39,988 users)
Pemain : Briana Evigan, Robert Hoffman
Genre : Drama Romance | Music
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Following the death of her parents, teen-aged Andie West is living with her mother's best friend, Sarah. Andie, who doesn't care about school, is trying to figure out where she fits in in life. The only thing she loves is dancing with her street crew, the 410, led by Tuck. The 410 are the most notorious of the street crews in Baltimore and are wanted by the police for their acts of vandalism and public mischief. Sarah threatens to send Andie to live with relatives in Texas unless she cleans up her act, which includes ending her association with the 410 and trying harder at school.

Day 2 - 69th Venice International Film Festival

After the festival opening ceremony and party, Venice wakes up to the first day full of movies. The first two movies in competition are screened today as well as the opening films in the autonomous sections. So, the real Cinema Festa commences today. Great.

Venezia 69

Izmena (Betrayal) by Kiril Serebrennikov.

I'm always very curious about Russian cinema -some of my most adored directors are Russian- so this film no matter if is labeled as a "disaster movie" by the director, seems like the kind of movie I like as is an exploration on human relationships . This is the synopsis.

A man and a woman, two casual acquaintances, learn that their respective spouses are having an affair with each other. This discovery drives them to do things they didn’t dare to do before. What will prevail—the feeling of jealousy or the passion? What to choose—revenge or forgiveness? The protagonists are looking for something to build a new life upon, but it is not easy: their every action is influenced by the fact of infidelity, and this infidelity has its own logic.

My first reaction to the story is hoping that is not similar to other films that have taken us into explorations of spouses reactions to finding about the affair and then end-up having an affair themselves. But then even if it is as the following director statement suggests, truth is that I haven't seen theme from a Russian perspective.

I made a “disaster movie” about man-woman relationships. The conjugal infidelity serves as the driving force of my story. It is a movie about hidden emotions and thoughts. About things that possibly have even no names in human language. We excluded many things from our movie: the city the protagonists live in, their friends, their enemies. There is only the air full of infidelity, the space of infidelity, the flesh embodying infidelity. Every detail emphasizes the same theme—the ardent desire of the protagonists not to stay lonely and their instinctive yearning to love somebody.

Absolutely a must be seen film for me. As press already have seen movie reviews are out if you wish to check them.

Let's see if there are no major spoilers in the press conference video, so I can fully see it. First question is about why director chose infidelity as the theme, he sees theme just as a beginning (as he says in above statement). Oh! spoilers in awful long question, will close my ears. Answer is good and talks about how he film (tech specs) is made. Video is not really nice to watch as has Italian translation while you can still hear Russian (hate when they do that, they should mute original language). Think will stop watching as more spoilers come and can't stand translator voice. Sigh.

Superstar by Xavier Giannoli.

Will not deny that I see everything with Cécile De France, so there is no surprise that this film is must be seen for me because the actress. Before Venice lineup was announced and because my love for French cinema, I knew about this movie. My first impression was that probably will not like story and film style but nevertheless knew will watch it. To find film in competition at this fest gives me hope that style could be better than what I saw in trailer plus made me curious to find if film was not as mainstream as I imagined.

Film synopsis at official site is brief: Overnight, a complete nobody becomes a celebrity without knowing why. But director statement explains more.

I began with a scene in the metro: passengers photographing and asking autographs from a nobody, who has no idea why they’re interested in him. He is Martin Kazinski and up until this day he was just another face in the crowd, with no ambition other than to do his job and lead a “normal” life. But the more he refuses this absurd celebrity, wanting only to return to his anonymity, the more people will love him. The more Martin will say modestly “I don’t want to be famous,” the more they will reply “That’s why we love you.” The more he tries to escape the system, the more he will lose himself in it. Martin is trapped in a contemporary labyrinth, with its rapacious media, intrusive social networks, crumbling human values and collapsing culture. Right away, I wanted to give his race to escape the madness that seems to take hold of the world a cinematic energy, simultaneously Kafkaesque and Hitchcockian. I wanted us to grow close to this man like a brother, to feel his hopes and his fears, to stick with him through his ordeals—by turn cruel and funny—to be moved by his melancholy view of a world collapsing to the soundtrack of an automatic talk show applause. It’s the story of a lone man standing up against oppression. The story of a man who wants to preserve his dignity, his anonymity, and his decency. I hope it’s also the story of human societies, past and contemporary, and their need for idolatry and sacrifice, that blind madness that can take possession of crowds, inciting them to cut off heads, burn books or tweet while watching cable tv. This is the turmoil in which I wanted my camera to venture, these are the faces on which I wanted to seek what human truth remains for us, and the spaces in which I wanted to examine our History.

Film suggest to be a exploration about today "celebrities", especially the kind that have no reason to be one -now very common in USA pop culture-, perhaps could be interesting.

Let' see the press conference (if just to see Cecile). Unfortunately can't hear original language, but at least video lowered original language, still is the same translator with the annoying voice (lol!). Oh! doing comparisons to Woody film!? Giannoli admits to similarities to Roberto Benigni character in Woody Allen film... hmm, "an homage to Woody". Closing my ears, spoilers, but continue watching Cecile. Should suggest Rai to have two versions, one with the original languages (for those that understand them) and another with translation to the fest official language (just as Cannes does). French newspaper woman does the great question, the role of media in making celebrities, fortunately is Cecile who answers but wisely avoids to directly answer the question, to talk about her character motives. Smart. Director has it easy and follows Cecile until starts to sort of answer the question... at the end says nothing clear. lol. There is no way someone is going to say whatever they really think, the room is full of journalists! (LOL). Seems changed the translator or the woman is losing her voice (!!) as sounds deeper and better. "La société moderne et sa folie".

There is a short interview video with director plus the two actors is in French with no translation (yay!) watching but has spoilers. Because chance not purposely film has similar "essence" story to A la Origine, hmm. Reality TV surfaces again but question is kindly related to Cecile role. A catastrophe film, a society with a catastrophe cultural! Yes, agree Mr. Giannoli. Good like the interview, not bad questions and better answers.

Have to comment that I find strange that film is in Venice as yesterday was released in Belgium and France. Can happen with Asian films, but is about the first time I notice happening with an European film in a major European festival.

Out of Competition

The Iceman by Ariel Vromen.

Not dying to watch film mainly because story but know will watch as films stars include Michael Shannon and Winona Ryder. Synopsis is brief: The Iceman is the true story of Richard Kuklinski, loving husband, devoted father, ruthless killer. He is believed to have killed more than 250 people between 1954 and 1985. This synopsis makes film more interesting to me as can imagine Shannon in the main role and know will be not only highly credible but bordering into scary. Check the director statement.

I always responded to the duality of Richard Kuklinski. In one life, he was an attentive husband and father and in the other he was a professional hit man working for the Italian mob. There is just so much inherent suspense in this story that I couldn’t get it off my mind, particularly when you consider that it’s all true. It’s an epic story about a character that kept his true identity from his loved ones for decades in order to maintain those relationships. He needed that love in order to hold on to his sanity and to feel normal, despite being anything but. The Iceman is a film with intense characters with great moral flaws that still manages to resonate entirely with the audience.

Probably film could be déjà vu for the story, but definitively even do I conclude that is fiction based/inspired by true events, film will have strong interpretations by great cast and will allow me to get to know better this Israeli director. Also in film, Ray Liotta and James Franco, the first is in Venice, the second is not.

They didn't left English in press conference, lol, so frustrating. Winona looks very good, older but more attractive. Video is worth watching for what Winona says with words but mostly with her body language around minute 19 up to 21. Director has had virtual contact with one Kuklinski's daughters as is his friend at facebook and that's the only contact with the real events. Not much interesting, with some spoilers but worth watching for Ryder and Shannon interventions.

Brief interview in English. Ah! there is a book and a documentary. Relation to Killing Them Softly story, but perhaps this is more a character study? Yeah, probably. Story, character are not black and white. Except for last question, questions were interesting as well as answers.

This is another movie that press have seen and has reviews all over the net, check them if you wish. Trailer has been released a few moments ago is at the trailer blog if you wish to check it, film seems to be not-easy to watch but looks and feels like a great movie.

Shokuzai (Penance) by Kiyoshi Kurosawa

It is not until this moment that I really pay attention to this film by Kiyoshi Kurosawa (no relation to Akira) only to discover that according to IMDb is a TV series and one reviewer tells us that is a miniseries with 5 episodes. Truth is that in the fest official site film is listed to have 270 minutes, which tells me that at Venice they will see the complete five episodes, great as is the best way to watch episodic series, in one run. Also tells me that Venice is following Cannes example by also screening TV films on their Official Selection.

You could ask me why would I be interested in talking about a TV series by a director that's famous for Japanese horror (J-Horror) films, when I don't like genre? First, we have to recall that Kurosawa also directed outstanding 2008 Tokyo Sonata and second, the mini-series is based on a book by Kanae Minato with the same name; perhaps some of you recall that Minato is the writer of Kokuhaku (Confessions), a novel that became a film by Tetsuya Nakashima, which went to be Japan's submission to 2011 Oscar. Most important, if you read my Kokuhaku review you will know that film blew my mind for story and movie as a movie. Immediately miniseries became must be seen for me.

Story is undoubtedly similar to Kokuhku; but in difference, does not stay among children as story is centered in the children adulthood. Check synopsis.

Fifteen years ago, tragedy struck a small town when a young elementary school girl Emili was abducted and killed by a stranger. Four girls who had been playing with Emili at the time are the first to discover her body. The abductor is never found and the crime goes unsolved. Crazed with grief, Emili’s mother Asako condemns the four girls, none of which can remember the abductor’s face. She tells them, “Do whatever you have to to find the killer. Otherwise, you can pay a penance that I approve.” Deeply affected by Asako’s condemnation, the four girls become adults burdened with the curse of “penance” which eventually triggers a chain of tragic events.

Director fascinating statement only makes me more curious thanks to him expressing surprising naiveté and doing what not many directors do, caring for viewers reactions.

I think of “murder” as an impulsive and irrational crime. Yet, I suppose it must be a process that takes years, maybe decades to culminate... I’ve never directed a film that chronicles such an extraordinary span of time. In this film, I had to grasp five such intervals at once, and it was staggering. How do I portray not one, but five such disparate lives? But in the end, I think this was the best way. When five tragic paths converged, I pictured a flowing, inevitable force called fate. Which of the five characters will viewers empathize with? Or will they just sit, mesmerized, holding their collective breaths? With a powerful story, amazing staff and dynamic actors supporting me, I may have captured true tragedy for the first time in my life.

There is a video with the press conference that I have not seen as I have enough information to make this film a must be seen for me. Great!

Out of Competition - Special Screenings

Come Voglio Che Sia Il Mio Futuro? Un Progetto di Ermanno Olmi by Maurizio Zaccaro

Ermanno Olmi developed this project with the students of the last five years of the workshop "Ipotesi Cinema Formazione" in Bologna. The hundreds of interviews conducted throughout Italy, selected and edited, have now become a film under the artistic direction of Maurizio Zaccaro, offering a significant cross section of the expectations, hopes, disappointments and fears of young people today.


Tango Libre by Frédéric Fonteyne.

The fourth film by Fonteyne brings us a love story, not a duo or a trio but between four people, one woman and three men; what calls my attention is that according to director, film also makes music and dancing the "part belle" These are his words: "Tango Libre est une histoire d’amour. Non, pas à deux ni à trois, mais à quatre. C’est aussi un film qui fait la part belle à la musique et à la danse." More dryly here is the synopsis.

JC is a prison guard. He is an ordinary man with an uneventful life. His only extravagance is tango dancing, once a week. In class one evening, he dances with a newcomer, Alice, who is in her 30’s, radiant and the mother of a 15-year-old teenager. The next day, he sees Alice again in the prison visiting room. She has come to visit two inmates, Fernand and Dominic, age-old friends and “partners-in-crime”—one is her husband, the other her lover. JC, the ordinary man, finds himself as a spectator to the all too eventful life of this uncommon woman. A woman who lives according to her desires and according to her own rules, divided between her men and her son. Prison regulations prohibit socializing with inmates’ families... JC is about to break all the rules that have defined his life. Tango libre is the last part of a trilogy by Frédéric Fonteyne about how women and love work. After Une liaison pornographique and La femme de Gilles he offers us—through the eyes of a prison guard in love—the portrait of a free woman who accepts life’s constraints in order to better overcome them.

I know will watch film that starts Sergi Lopez (usually enjoy his performances) but let's check the director's statement.

Tango and filmmaking have something in common. They both reveal things about bodies that you wouldn’t have seen, reveal the tragicomic awkwardness of the characters, its beauty. Tragicomedy, and, even more so, comedy, is about bodies and sex. The story always revolves around that... and the absurdity, awkwardness and beauty that goes with it, also, the stupidity, which fascinates and inspires me... and to which I feel a certain kinship. Not the stupidity that turns into violence, but the other kind, the one filled with love, the one we are guilty of because we try to make things work out. Prison is also a metaphor for the impossible nature of relationships between men and women. More than a prison film, this is a “visiting-room film,” a film about the place where families meet.

Seems that could enjoy film more than what imagined. Available the press conference video that I didn't watch.

Gli Equilibristi by Ivano de Matteo.

Valerio Mastrandea and Barbora Bobulova star in this film that seems to me like a regular good Italian drama. The synopsis.
Giulio is forty and lives a seemingly quiet life: a rented house, a permanent job, a car paid for by instalments, a rebellious but nice daughter, a sweet dreamy son and a wife he loves and cheats on. Giulio is caught out and dumped. His perfect life suddenly falls apart. So what happens to a couple that “dares” to separate these days? Through a series of sometimes tragic, sometimes ironic events, Gli equilibristi takes us by the hand into the world of a man who suddenly discovers how easy it is to be one step away from losing everything.

Pagine Chiuse, Gianni Da Campo, Italy, 1968
Director’s Statement: I made this fi lm because I wanted to expose the traumas that the pre-Vatican Council II Catholic education infl icted on so many human beings. In the 1950s Catholicism was the paradigm of violence, dishonour and bullying. In the fi lm there are insensitive priests who talk about Christ but do not know him.

Venice Classics - Restored Films

Heaven's Gate by Michael Cimino, USA.
Before movie screening Cimino receives the 2012 Persol award. Of course have seen what many consider as the biggest flop in America cinema, but no matter if it did not make money, I liked movie starring none other than Isabelle Huppert among other American actors. Restored film has the "original" 219 minutes and story is considered today as a "visionary critique" of American expansionism.

Camicie Rosse by Goffredo Alessandrini and Francesco Rosi, Italy, 1952
Another film starring Raf Vallone this time along extraordinary Anna Magnani that have seen a long time ago. It's a Giuseppe Garibalidi story, but seen from the wife perspective. A remake of a 1910 silent film. Worth watching if you haven't seen it and enjoy watching older films with a different style from contemporary cinema.

Sunset Blvd. by Billy Wilder, USA, 1950
Classic movie with William Holden and Gloria Swamson that I watched on TV when I was a little person.

Also today the following shorts.
Terra Animata by Luca Patella, Italy, 7', 1967
SKMP2 by Luca Patella, Italy 30', 1968

Venice Classics - Documentaries
Section screens today the following documentaries.
Miradas Múltiples (La Máquina Loca) by Emilio Maillé, Mexico, France and Spain (Puzzling)
Monicelli, La Versione di Mario by Mario Canale, Felice Farina, Mario Gianni, Wilma Labate and Annarosa Morri, Italy

Special Screenings
Convitto Falcone by Pasquale Scimeca. Seems like a regular Italian movie.

Venice Days

Women's Tales by Zoe Cassavetes, Giada Colagrande, Lucrecia Martel, Massy Tadjedin
The long "ads" by great filmmakers with crazy stories and truly visually stunning. Have seen all as the last one was released today. Check trailers blog if you wish to see it.

Pinocchio by Enzo D’Alò.
Have to be honest, don't like the drawings maybe the storytelling is nice but animation does not appeal to me. Sigh. The words from the director: "It was the most difficult, absorbing, experimental and tricky film I have ever made. Over three hundred artists shared my joy and pain for over four years, in an extraordinary atmosphere of collaboration. You can see all of this in every scene from Pinocchio, our very own darling in search of happiness".

Stories We Tell by Sarah Polley.

Sarah Polley's performances as an actor always impress me, some really scare me, but when she is behind the camera as a director, she impresses me more. Her latest film is a documentary inspired by a painful personal incident in which she learned the man who is her father was not her biological father. Here is what she says about her film:

“Making this film was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It took five years and tormented me. I didn’t want to make it, and I wanted to give up many times along the way, but I also didn’t want this story to be out there in the words of someone other than the many people who lived it.”

The story behind this documentary seems fascinating, especially when you consider that Polley's mother died when she was 11-years-old and found about her biological father by accident. Definitively will watch for story but mostly because Polley is behind the camera.

If you wish to learn more about film suggest to check the "story of how this film came to be" in a post by Sarah Polley at the NFB blog.  I can't write about the film as has not seen it but definitively will see it and then comply with Polley's request: "I hope people will write about the film itself and not only the story it is based on". Can't wait.

Film reviews are out and one particular harsh critic that I follow liked the documentary (!!!), good; browse net to find reviews.

International Critics' Week

Water by Nir Sa'ar, Maya Sarfaty, Mohammad Fuad, Yona Rozenkier, Mohammad Bakri, Ahmad Bargouthi, Pini Tavger, Tal Haring

The opening film is screened out of competition. A short collection about Istrael-Palestina relationships.  Check the synopsis.

In the countryside, a young couple from Tel Aviv has to share a fountain with a group of Palestinian workers, between ancestral fears and hints of solidarity (Still Waters by Nir Sa’ar e Maya Sarfaty). During the summer, a Palestinian water seller supplies tanks and wells in the Bethlehem area, as it is left dry by the settlers (The Water Seller by Mohammad Fuad). An Israeli soldier on the verge of a nervous breakdown and a Palestinian peasant who violates curfew to water his watermelons. Together, they try to tame a donkey. (Raz and Raja by Yona Rozenkier). A famous actor and his two sons have a particular relationship, based on misunderstandings and eyedrops, with their neighbour, an old woman who survived the concentration camps (Eye Drops by Mohammad Bakri). An old Arab man, who lived in the US for years, manages a swimming pool. Here we find Palestinian families, who have never seen the sea, but then bossy Israeli settlers come to invade this space. (Kareem’s Pool by Ahmad Bargouthi). An Israeli soldier, during a break from his drills, remembers an episode from his childhood: his mother was washing his hair in the bathtub, while his father was urging him on to hurry up. (Drops by Pini Tavger). A young and shy orthodox Jew is waiting for her parents to take her to a Shidduch, the meeting to combine a marriage. In the meanwhile, she has a bizarre conversation with an Arab plumber through a closed door. (Now and Forever by Tal Haring).

The directors: The shorts composing Water are directed by (clockwise from top left): Nir Sa’ar e Maya Sarfaty (Israel), Mohammad Fuad (Palestine), Yona Rozenkier (Israel), Mohammad Bakri (Palestine), Tal Haring (Israel), Pini Tavger (Israel), Ahmad Bargouthi (Palestine).

Special Events

Homage to Simone Massi with screening of seventen of his shorts. To read more go here.

Not So Serious

Been reading articles that this year the fest has not much "celebrities" but definitively is a matter of opinion and/or what writer consider as celebrities. In my book the fest will have many very good actors of the present and the past, but I do accept that most come from non-American films. For example today in Venice we see great Cecile De France, puzzling Sergi Lopez and interesting Valerio Mastandrea. Know that some of you might not be familiar with them but they're very well-known actors across the pond. Then maybe not Hollywood A-listers but today are here Michael Shannon, Ray Liotta and none other than Winona Ryder.

Last night was the festival opening ceremony but tonight start the less formal affairs, so we will see what we find tomorrow.


Laetitia Casta today and Kate Hudson last night.  Should remind you that just click any photo to see slide show.  Enjoy!


Dated Released : 2012
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Genre : Animation
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Pippi Longstocking Pippi’s High Sea Adventures review Captain Longstocking docks in the village to pick up Pippi and take her with him to the South Seas. Pippi Longstocking Pippi’s High Sea Adventures DVD Annika and Tommy are given permission to go along and they all set sail for adventure on the high seas. Pippi Longstocking Pippi’s High Sea Adventures movie Unbeknownst to the Captain and crew, Thunder Karlson and Bloom are castaways yet again in search of their fortunes. Pippi Longstocking Pippi’s High Sea Adventures video Unfortunately, they get very seasick and the fortune is not as easy to access as they had hoped.

Rabu, 29 Agustus 2012


Dated Released : 18 May 2012
Quality : BRRip 720p
Info : imdb.com/title/tt1586265
IMDB Rating : 5.4 (6,364 users)
Star : Cameron Diaz, Matthew Morrison, J. Todd Smith
Genre : Comedy | Drama | Romance
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A look at love through the eyes of five interconnected couples experiencing the thrills and surprises of having a baby, and ultimately coming to understand the universal truth that no matter what you plan for, life doesn't always deliver what's expected.

Day 1 - 69th Venice International Film Festival

La Mostra will open tonight and some of us are hoping to have a great "cinema festa" for a few days. As of today in the www finally the fest started to have some coverage as in the previous days had very little, suggesting a slight lack of interest in the festival. But as we can state today things changed.

Still I'm recalling why is not interesting to daily follow this festival. First, official site does not have updated information and to learn what is going on you have to be very creative. For example, already there have been three photocalls and there is nothing in the site. How do I know it? Well, thanks to those sites with paid photographs and celebrity gossip sites. Unbelievable.

Second, intended to follow the fest with all their mobile apps, to my surprise there are none for La Mostra! At least none created by Biennale organizers, as for the last two years if you had a phone you could download the iMiBAC Cinema Venezia app, that has basic fest info and yes, sells tickets online. The drawback is that app is available only for phone, no ipad app, unless you download the iphone app to the ipad and use the 2x button, but honestly is not worth it as app doesn't take advantage of all the features an ipad has.

But was able to find the Rai Movie Venezia site dedicated to the fest with today's videos and live streaming open to world; so know where to find more info. Now the fest has possibilities to entertain me and hopefully you too.

Here are my spontaneous reactions to the two opening ceremony events.

The Red Carpet

Watching live the red carpet at RaiMovie. There is man talking and talking about the fest but saying not much about people walking the red carpet (lol!). "La Madrina" Kasia Smutniak looking really elegant in a red dress. Isabella Ferrari, member of debut film jury, walked by as well French Bob Sinclair. Thinking that this red carpet looks and feels very European (more than Cannes at least). Ah! Beautiful Nadine Labaki with her Orizzonti jury colleagues. Laetitia Casta is here, soon the other international jury members will arrive and here they are. Gosh Ursula Meier looks tonight like Alba Rorhrwacher; for a few seconds, Pablo Trapero wife, Martina Gusman. Laetitia gets an interview with not-interesting questions (lol!), now Michael Mann in English with dumb questions but great answers as he loves the same Italian directors I do.

Kate Hudson and the press goes crazy! Naomi Watts signing autographs and stealing the show from Hudson (ha, ha). Naomi gets a fast question but Leiv quickly follows with more dumb questions with nicer answers. Kate gets her interview to tell a lot about her character. With no interview Mira Nair entered the Lido. It's over, next the opening ceremony.

Not that interesting but if you wish to see the red carpet, the video has been uploaded at RaiMovie Venezia.

The Opening Ceremony

Protocol opening with welcome and presentation of the jurors in the different juries, Debut Film, Orizzonti and Venezia 69. The first montage with Michael Mann films, gee have seen them all but hardly recall them. Brief speech by Michael Mann. They also invited Jahfar Parani and there is an empty chair among the jurors. Now what I'm waiting for the second montage. Nice clips especially from those movies that I haven't seen moving images just stills. But if I'm not mistaken there are two movie clips missing from the 18 in competition, not surprisingly one is Terrence Malick' film and not expected Brillante Mendoza's film.

Ceremony was brief not really interesting except for what I like to watch ceremonies for, the film clips.

These are the films that will be screened today in the Official Selection and collateral events.

Out of Competition

The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mira Nair.

The opening film that obviously is must be seen for me because of the director, even when I know story will not be easy to watch; still believe that Nair's narrative and beautiful visual storytelling style could make film a bit easier to see. Press has already seen the film and if you're into reading reviews (I'm not) browse the net to find the reviews.

Watching the English RaiMovie interview video and is interesting what Mira Nair talks about the project, very glad no spoilers. Press conference video is mainly in English. Can confirm that Keifer Sutherland did not attend tonight's premiere nor any of the other events related to the film. Great answers by Mira Nair, worth-watching for the answers in the beginning, before asking specifically about film. Soft spoilers from Liev Schreiber when talking about his character. Excellent Mira Nair's answer when asked how she thinks film will be receive in USA. Yes, definitively film has a story that will not be easy to watch.

Haven't read the book but after the press conference I'm interested; still my love for cinema tells me that will read it only after I have seen the movie.

Enzo Avitabile Music Life by Jonathan Demme.

This documentary is about Avitabile music but also about Naples and Avitabile's birthplace Marianella. Not familiar with this Italian musician, but was curious enough to learn a bit about him and found a site with excerpts from his latest work, Black Tarantella. Very Interesting music and voice. If you wish to "meet" Avitabile go here.  Did not watch them but there are two videos, an interview and the press conference, at raiMovie that if you wish you can check.

Medici Con L'Africa by Carlo Mazzacurati. A documentary about two Italian priests that work with African health institutions

Collateral Events

Citta di Venezia Award
Six films compete for award. Today will screen three of the films. To read about the award go here, available only in Italian.

Son of Babylon by Mohamed Al-Daraji, Iran
Sur La Route du Paradis by Uda Benyamina, Morocco
Aujoud'hui by Alain Gomis, Senegal

The Not So Serious

Since yesterday "celebrity" sightings activity began and the most covered are Kasia Smutniak, who is the hostess of this year opening and closing ceremonies, but most American sites got started with Kate Hudson and Naomi Watts. If you wonder why they are in Venice, well both came because the opening film. Hudson is in film while Watts is not but her real-life husband Liev Schreiber is.

Quite nice Colin Firth photos start to appear and since I like them one will be at the bottom. Most of the celebrities that are already in Venice attended last night "intimate" dinner party where L'Uomo Vogue issue dedicated to the fest was presented. One of the hostess was none other than Livia Firth, so now we know why Colin was there.

So that is for today, tomorrow's post will be more about the movies. A domani.


Laetitia Casta, Kate Hudson and Naomi Watts in first photo. Nadine Labaki and Colin Firth below.


The following video is what the fest organizers produced as highlights from August 29.