Posts Tagged ‘ movie ’

Movie I dig 035: A better life (2011)

Carlos is a Gardener in LA. Just like so many people in this world he is looking to improve his life and – more important – his son’s current life and future. He is looking for the better life that a rich country like the USA should offer – to the eyes of an outsider that is. He is currently working for another guy who like him has only come to this country to earn more money than back home. His employer is on the verge of heading back to his home land, to live and work on a farm and the land he bought with the money earned in the US. Thus, Carlos will lose his job and that will land him back to square one, which means he will be begging for work in a well known beg-for-work-corner-spot. Obviously this is not what he wants and Blasco his employer offers him to sell his truck and the machinery that comes along with being a gardener. Carlos is in doubt though, because he hasn’t got a driver’s license that is valid in the US. Meanwhile his son is hanging out with the wrong type of friends. The type that aspires to become a latin gang member. After having considered the opportunities and risks of buying the truck from Blasco, Carlos decides to buy it. Things get interesting fast after this.

‘A better life’ is not exactly an underground movie, but it is kind of alternative to main stream movies that are being produced in the US. The film doesn’t focus so much on how the foreign workers are treated bad by the Americans, but more on how the system works and how for a lot of foreign workers it doesn’t work out at all. Carlos is struggling day in day out, to get by and to save up a little money for his son Luis’ education. In the film it kind of looks like he does a little better (at least in the beginning) than most other foreign workers. It must be hard to keep ones values up, working for what little money they can get, only to find out, that at the end of the month they haven’t saved all that much.

The film made quite an impression on me. Try to see it, even though it’s not being and has not been screened in many places.

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Movie I dig 018: También la lluvia (Even the rain) (2010)

A film-maker, his manager and their team head to Bolivia to shoot a movie about Columbus’ discovery of South America and the oppression and genocide against the natives. While they are in the process of shooting their film a big uprising against the government and foreign companies unfolds. The local government (forced by the World Bank) makes it illegal for the local people to gather the much needed rainwater. This sounds quite ridiculous, but unfortunately it is true. Some of the local actors are in the midst of this uprising – since it would affect them greatly – and the guy playing Taino leader Hatuey in the movie, is one of the leaders of the protests.

You probably already guessed it. The current events are – although they are 500 years apart – very similar to the events in the movie they are filming. This is very nicely done and very important: it is not overdone.

I liked the fact that this film gives the viewer a quick history lesson before the events really start off. This makes sure you can fully focus on the current events and link them to the history projected in the movie to be in this movie. Besides that, the acting is really good. Sometimes you hardly notice you are watching the movie in the movie. If it weren’t for the fact that you only see small bits, it would’ve been a decent movie by itself.

I would recommend this movie. It’s a nice and sometimes embarrassing (to be western) movie with two great history lessons included.

Movie I dig 017: L’affaire Farewell (2009)

L’affaire Farewell is a movie that made a deep impression on me. Especially the acting by Emir Kusturica is amazing. The acting is not overdone and neither is it too nonchalant. Which is quite an accomplishment considering the immense implications of his actions. Guillaume Canet as usual, acts really well.

Anyone who is interested in the Cold War, spionage or both should definitely watch this movie.

Movie I dig 012: Anche libero va bene (Along the ridge) (2006)

In ‘Anche libero va bene’ the famous and experienced Italian actor Kim Rossi Stuart gives it a go at directing. And quite successfully I must say.

It’s a story about a lower middle-class dis-functional family in an urban Italian area. The story is mostly told through the eyes of 11-year old Tommi. The other family-members are his sister Viola, his unemployed cameraman father Renato and his mother Stefania who is absent most of the time because she keeps on leaving the family for other men. So most of the time it’s just the father and his two kids who make up this family. The father is always struggling to make ends meet and underneath seems to be struggling because the mother of his children comes and goes. This makes him very very edgy. He sincerely tries very hard to be a very loving and good father, but being on edge like he is, he can go from the coolest and sweetest father in the world to an angry mad man in seconds and over the littlest things. Viola seems to be this kind of annoying, kind of sweet girl. Played quite good by Marta Nobili. In a few scenes she (and a friend) tries to make Tommi touch her. This sexual exploration is only touched upon very lightly. Something I can appreciate. Let’s not make a big deal of something that clearly isn’t. I can imagine how this would’ve been blown-up in American cinematography. Mother Stefania (played very credible by Barbora Bobulova) decides to show up after leaving them all behind, halfway through the movie. This shakes the already fragile family up quite a bit. It is clear that this has happened before and father Renato consults his children whether they want to forgive their mother again. I’m not spoiling any more.

The father Renato is played by Kim Rossi Stuart who also (as aforementioned) directs the movie. He wasn’t even supposed to play this role, but the actor who was initially supposed to play Renato drew back from the project 15 days before shooting would start. Considering this, the achievement in bringing such a complicated character to live deserves even more praise. The real star in this movie, however, is Alessandro Morace, who plays Tommi in such a credible and mesmerizing way, that this can only promise much much more in the future from this young actor. The ways he finds to portray all the necessary emotions to the screen is simply magnificent! Overall the movie is a true gem, but just because of Alessandro Morace’s acting it’s a must to see!

Movie I dig 011: Les Petits Mouchoirs (Little White Lies) (2010)

After watching ‘Les Petits Mouchoirs‘ I’m ready to go-go on a summer holiday at the beach. Sea food, beach-life, friends, meeting new people, sun and fun!

It’s a bunch of friends who decide to go on their annual holiday at one of the friends’ beach-house in the south of France, despite one of their friends being in the hospital after he was hit by a truck while driving his scooter. While being on this holiday everyone of these friends seems to have their own personal issues. Telling more would spoil it.

All in all I had a really good time watching this movie. The characters are quite likeable and the directing is done nicely.

Movie I dig 010: Maria Full of Grace (2004)

Shit! I love Spanish movies and that rapid fluent Spanish tongue! That was the first thing I thought when I was watching ‘Maria Full of Grace‘. Obviously it makes a difference when it’s a stunning young latina who’s using that tongue. And stunning is exactly what Catalina Sandino Moreno is; both in physical appearance and acting! Considering that this is her very first movie, she deserves nothing less of a standing ovation.

It’s a story about a girl working in the flower-business who is sick and tired of her job, her boring boyfriend and pretty much her entire life as it is. One day she quits her job and starts looking for something else in Bogota. On the way there she meets this guy which she met earlier on a night out. He gives her a ride and learns that she is looking for a job. He offers her a job as a courier, even though he is a bit hazy about the details. Deciding against what her instinct, likely because of being sick and tired of so many things, she decides to accept the job offered.

After this follows a very real and informative story about drug trafficking and it’s (sometimes) harsh consequences. This movie has won so many prices for a very good reason. It really is that good!

Movie I dig 005: La tête en friche (My Afternoons with Margueritte) (2010)

The things I dig about this movie are easy to sum up. Firstly there is the adorable  but slightly naive Germain (Gerard Depardieu) which is a very lovable character right from the start. He’s into gardening, has got a pretty hot girlfriend (Sophie Guillemin), is famous within his French little town, has a very disturbing, crazy mother and whenever made fun of (which happens often) seems to forget it quickly and will be in a good spirits again. Then there is de really nice and incredibly patient elderly woman Margueritte (Gisèle Casadesus) whom Germain starts to meet regularly in the park. Thirdly there is the love for books and reading that I can relate to!

All this is set in a lovely French village. Another thing I dig.

Overall ‘La tête en friche‘ is a very pleasant ride and even the things in the movie that about upon life’s not-so-bright things are pleasantly worked out by the director (Jean Becker). So if you are in for a feel-good movie and you dig the French, than ‘La tête en friche’ might be something worth checking out.

Here’s the trailer: