Author Topic: Around the World in 86 Movies  (Read 36821 times)

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Around the World in 86 Movies
« Reply #30 on: September 02, 2012, 04:57:40 AM »
Where We Are:  Ecuador
wikipedia

What We Watched:


Cuando me toque a mi (My Time Will Come)
Year of Release:  2008
Directed By:  Víctor Arregui
Genre:  Drama
Starring:  Manuel Calisto Sánchez, Ramiro Logroño, Randi Krarup, José Alvear, David Nieto

Overview
A predawn murder sets in motion a series of interlocking tragedies that eventually find their way to the city morgue's brooding Dr. Arturo Fernandez.  Physically and emotionally isloated from the world around him, Arturo develops an oddly intimate relationship with the personal lives of his cases, gradually forcing him to confront his connection to the living, and the dead.  Adapted from the novel De Que Nada Se Sabe, director Victor Arregui's serpentine tale is a dark but sympathetic portrait of one man's solitude set against a richly textured rendering of Quito, Ecuador's capital city.

My Thoughts:
My first thought was that the overview made Arturo sound like much more of a prominant character than he was, for the first part of the film is very much an ensemble piece.  Gradually, however, Arturo takes a greater role in the film, until he does become the protagonist, such as the film has.  This is a low-budget film not overly concerned with the technical (the camera work, for instance, is a bit shoddy).  Instead, this is a slice-of-life kind of picture, a look at the lives of these characters, where and how they intersect, and the dark, gritty Quito they inhabit.  It is also a character study of Arturo, a man with an inability to form connections with other people.  One wonderful scene, perhaps the best scene in the film, is very short and completely wordless, but tells the viewer everything they need to know about Arturo's family.  I couldn't help but think after that scene that a US film would have felt the need to have a lot of dialogue there, but that instead Arregui had the actors convey everything with body language.  It was a wonderful moment and really showcased that Arregui has quite a bit of talent as a director.  If you like quirky, character-driven films that aren't transparent as to where they're headed, give this one a try.  Much like others I've watched, if you need a lot of action or a tidy, wrapped-up ending, skip it.

Bechtel Test:  Fail

Overall: 3.25/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Around the World in 86 Movies
« Reply #31 on: September 02, 2012, 05:01:38 AM »
Where we're going next:  Peru

I own three films from Peru:

- Altiplano
- Dioses (Gods)
- Madeinusa
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Around the World in 86 Movies
« Reply #32 on: September 03, 2012, 02:33:27 AM »
Where We Are:  Peru
wikpedia

What We Watched:


Dioses (Gods)
Year of Release:  2008
Directed By:  Josué Méndez
Genre:  Drama
Starring:  Maricielo Effio, Sergio Gjurinovic, Anahí de Cárdenas, Edgar Saba

Overview
In director Josué Méndez's stylishly composed second feature, Elisa – the soon-to-be-wife of a wealthy industrialist – is eager to shed her working-class background in favor of the opulence of her fiance's elite lifestyle. To her dismay, she soon realizes her hopes to slip into magazine-ready images of domestic splendor must also include her future stepchildren: Diego, who is hounded by his overbearing father and reluctantly preparing to enter the family business, and Andrea, Diego's party-girl sister and the object of both his desire and disgust. As Elisa embraces her new life of lavish parties and beachfront estates, Diego and Andrea rebel against their upper-class upbringing, setting the stage for an ironic contrast of fate and ambition in this biting satire of upper-crust wealth and privilege.

My Thoughts:
Dioses is a great depiction of a dysfunctional family.  The overview is a bit misleading, as it implies Elisa trying to develop a relationship with Diego and Andrea, and that isn't the focus of the film at all.  Instead Diego and Andrea's primary relationships are with each other, while Elisa works at trying to fit in with the elite and develop her relationships with the other wives in her new social circle.  All of the main characters are very well drawn.  They're believable, sympathetic, flawed individuals and the actors really breathe life into them.  I was very impressed by all four of the main actors.  The director, meanwhile, focuses on the artificiality of their lives while contrasting them with brief glimpses of the genuine.  Great little film, quite well made, very much worth a watch if you have an interest in familial drama.

Bechtel Test:  Pass

Overall: 4/5
« Last Edit: September 03, 2012, 02:40:04 AM by Danae Cassandra »
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Around the World in 86 Movies
« Reply #33 on: September 03, 2012, 02:36:00 AM »
Where we're going next:  Chile

I own two films from Chile:

- En la cama
- La sagrada familia (The Sacred Family)

Since we've watched En la cama before, we shall be watching La sagrada familia this time.  Hopefully tomorrow (crosses fingers).
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Around the World in 86 Movies
« Reply #34 on: September 10, 2012, 03:40:05 AM »
Where We Are:  Chile
wikipedia

What We Watched:


La sagrada familia (The Sacred Family)
Year of Release:  2004
Directed By:  Sebastián Campos
Genre:  Drama
Starring:  Sergio Hernández, Coca Guazzini, Néstor Cantillana, Patricia López, Macarena Teke, Mauricio Diocares, Juan Pablo Miranda

Overview:
A dinner guest turns a family's Easter weekend upside down in this sophisticated comedy drama from Chile. On Good Friday, college freshman Marco brings his beautiful new girlfriend Sofia to meet his parents at their house on the beach. Sofia quickly charms everyone, but her impulsiveness and honesty hint at her disruptive nature. When mother is unexpectedly called away and the trio are joined by another three of Marco's friends, Sofia's flirtatious, manipulative ways soon expose latent frictions, sexual tensions, and the unspoken rules that tie the family together.

My Thoughts:
Hand-held camera, improvised dialogue, three day shoot; this is a film that shows its low budget and revels in it, using it to achieve a look that is like watching a home movie.  It works well for this film, as it wouldn't for others.  The cast all do their work very well, each inhabiting their character believably.  Nonetheless, there's a distance between them and the viewer that makes it hard to care about them.  The film is sort of raw and real, but also rough and in parts a little poorly finished.  Transition in one scene in particular is very poor and jumpy, leaving the viewer confused as to how and what exactly happened.  The ending is the same, while Marco comes of age and finds his truth at the end of the film, and there is some closure, his actions before that don't make a lot of sense either way one interprets them.  Interesting film, however, but only recommended if you're a fan of art films.

Bechtel Test:  Pass

Overall: 3/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Around the World in 86 Movies
« Reply #35 on: September 10, 2012, 03:43:42 AM »
Where we're going next:  Argentina

I own several films from Argentina:
- Bombón: El Perro
- A Cada Lado (On Each Side)
- El delantal de Lili (Lili's Apron)
- Diarios de motocicleta (The Motorcycle Diaries)
- Hoy y mañana (Today and Tomorrow)
- Las mantenidas sin sueños (Kept and Dreamless)
- La ventana (The Window)
- Las vidas posibles (Possible Lives)
- XXY

Mom wants to watch Bombón: El Perro so that's what we'll be watching.  :)
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Around the World in 86 Movies
« Reply #36 on: September 15, 2012, 05:22:51 AM »
Where We Are:  Argentina
wikipedia

What We Watched:


Bombón: El Perro
Year of Release:  2004
Directed By:  Carlos Sorin
Genre:  Drama
Starring:  Juan Villegas, Walter Donado

Overview:
A unique story about hope and endurance.  Juan Villegas finds himself jobless overnight and begins desperately to look for work aware that age and lack of skill are his greatest weaknesses.  Fate leads him to a farm where he receives an unusual payment for a repair job: a striking-looking breeding dog.  Although initially frustrated, Juan soon realizes that he is blessed with his new companion, who will take him through a fascinating journey filled with incredibly wonderful twists.

My Thoughts:
This is a lovely little film about an ordinary man and the relationship he develops with a dog.  Juan is a genuinely good person, a gentle, trusting soul who is simply trying to find work and get by in life.  This is very much a slice-of-life picture, a basically realistic story where Bombón brings Juan to a new place in his life and a new start.  Everyone is very believable, they look and act like real people.  The ending is very upbeat but doesn't have the "closure" Hollywood movies have taught many viewers to expect.  If that doesn't bother you then I give this a whole-hearted recommendation.  You can watch this with the family, with older children, or with friends who refuse to watch films where something bad happens to a character you care about.  It's just a very nice little film.

Bechtel Test:  Fail
(while there are 2 times when women speak to one another, at each time one of the women does not have a name)

Overall: 3.5/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Around the World in 86 Movies
« Reply #37 on: September 15, 2012, 05:23:48 AM »
Where we're going next: Uruguay

I own two films from Uruguay
- El cuarto de Leo (Leo's Room)
- Whisky
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Around the World in 86 Movies
« Reply #38 on: October 01, 2012, 05:08:25 AM »
Where We Are:  Uruguay
wikipedia

What We Watched:


Whisky
Year of Release:  2004
Directed By:  Pablo Stoll & Juan Pablo Rebella
Genre:  Comedy, Drama
Starring:  Andrés Pazos, Mirella Pascual, Jorge Bolani

Overview:
The deadpan style of Jim Jarmusch meets Aki Kaurismaki's wry sensibility in this perversely funny story set in Montevideo, Uruguay.  When Jacobo, a lonely sock factory owner, hears about the impending visit of his irritatingly cheerful brother, who he hasn't seen in years, he enlists his faithful assistant Marta to pretend to be his wife.

My Thoughts:
This is another low-budget film.  In fact, Whisky is so minimalist, you could call it a no-budget film.  It is quiet, droll and subtle.  It's a deceptively simple film - a few days in the lives of three people who mostly go through the routines of their days.  But nothing is given to the viewer, who must decide for themselves whether this is comedy or tragedy, where to laugh, where to feel sad, what happens afterward.  This is a fine little film, about real life and real people, but it's for art film fans only.

Bechtel Test:  Pass 

Overall: 4/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Around the World in 86 Movies
« Reply #39 on: October 01, 2012, 05:08:54 AM »
Where we're going next:  Brazil

I have ten films from Brazil.

- Amarelo Manga (Mango Yellow)
- O Caminho das Nuvens (The Middle of the World)
- Casa de Areia (The House of Sand)
- Cidade de Deus (City of God)
- Cidade dos Homens (City of Men)
- Cinema, Aspirinas e Urubus (Cinema, Asprins and Vultures)
- A Festa de Margarette (Margarette's Feast)
- O Homem do Ano (The Man of the Year)
- Mutum
- Quase Dois Irmãos (Almost Brothers)

I hear a lot of good about Cidade de Deus, so that's likely what we're going to watch.
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Around the World in 86 Movies
« Reply #40 on: November 22, 2012, 06:39:07 AM »
Where We Are:  Brazil
wikipedia

What We Watched:


Cidade de Deus  (City of God)

Year of Release: 2002
Starring:  Alexandre Rodrigues, Leandro Firmino da Hora, Phellipe Haagensen, Matheus Nachtergaele, Seu Jorge
Directed By:  Fernando Meirelles
Genre:  Drama, Crime

Overview:
Celebrated with worldwide acclaim, this powerful true story of crime and redemption has won numerous prestigious awards around the globe! The streets of the world's most notorious slum, Rio de Janeiro's "City of God," are a place where combat photographers fear to tread, police rarely go and residents are lucky if they live to the age of 20. In the midst of the oppressive crime and violence, a frail and scared young boy will grow up to discover that he can view the harsh realities of his surroundings with a different eye: the eye of an artist. In the face of impossible odds, his brave ambition to become a photographer becomes a window into his world and ultimately his way out!

My Thoughts:
First, what a wonderfully made film.  Powerful, energetic, substantial.  This is a film with a good story, well-drawn characters, and powerful, important themes.  It starts strong and doesn't let up or lose the viewer for a moment.  Great cinematography, great direction, great work by the actors. 

This is a film about violence, about violence begetting violence, about the cycle of violence, and the end only shows the next generation.  It's a film about class, about poverty, about poverty begetting crime begetting violence begetting hopelessness.  It's a film about the corruption of the police, the corruption of government, the harsh realities of society.  And yet there is a small ray of hope, in the character of Buscapé, the one person who may manage to escape the violence and poverty of the favelas and make something of his life.  Buscapé has grown up in the favelas, and because of this he can tell the story of the rise and fall of drug lords and the wars around them.  His insider status is what allows us to enter; his outsider status is what allows us to be able to watch it - without him the film would likely be to bleak.

Cidade de Deus is an intense, visceral, magnificent film about a brutal life.  Live fast, die young, leave a corpse on the street in a pool of blood.  Recommended for any serious film fan, anyone who enjoys a good film, anyone with the stomach to watch it (in other words, not for my friend Katrina). 

If you get a chance, watch the featurette included on the disc as well, for a further look at the favelas and the drug/gun running culture.  Very informative.

Bechdel Test:  Fail

Overall:  5/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Around the World in 86 Movies
« Reply #41 on: November 22, 2012, 06:43:18 AM »
Where we're going next:  Venezuela

Since starting this marathon I picked up a film from Venezuela, Oriana, so we're going to watch that next in this marathon.  Then it's off to Africa!
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

samuelrichardscott

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Re: Around the World in 86 Movies
« Reply #42 on: November 22, 2012, 08:29:48 AM »
City of God is phenomenal. Have you seen the television series City of Men? Also worth checking out.

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Around the World in 86 Movies
« Reply #43 on: November 22, 2012, 01:09:33 PM »
No, haven't seen City of Men.  I have the film they made for it, but don't have the series.
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Around the World in 86 Movies
« Reply #44 on: February 01, 2013, 04:19:00 AM »
Where We Are: Venezuela
wikipedia

What We Watched


Oriana

Year of Release: 1985
Starring: Doris Wells, Daniela Silverio, Mirtha Borges, Maya Oloe
Directed By: Fina Torres
Genre:  Mystery, Romance

Overview:
A taut, Gothic, Latin American romance, winner of the Camera d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Marie returns to a rundown Venezuelan house in the jungle where she spent summers as a child. Her return ignites memories of a summer when her adolescent sexual curiosity led to a surprising encounter. "An exotic JANE EYRE set in a jungle-choked hacienda" (SEATTLE WEEKLY).

My Thoughts:
Ignore the rather lurid overview there.  This is a mystery.  Yes, Maria does return to the hacienda where she once spent a summer with her reclusive aunt Oriana.  The mystery is Maria trying to figure out her aunt and the mystery of her life and family.  The film is told in three timelines:  Maria as an adult, Maria as a teen, and Oriana as a teen, but I didn't find it confusing when it moved between times.  It's a pretty good mystery, as you are led through in Maria's perspective who is naturally curious and inquisitive about her aunt, especially as she finds clues to Oriana's past and is constantly redirected away from her attempts to find anything out.  The end of the film gives you some answers, but other answers must be figured out by the viewer.  While the clues are there, my mom and I had a good discussion figuring out exactly what the relationships within the family were and why Oriana had remained at the hacienda her whole life.

Very glad to have finally gotten the time to watch this, and recommended for anyone who might enjoy a family-centered mystery.

Bechdel Test:  Pass

Overall: 4/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield