@4 hours ago
#jodaeiye nader az simin #a separation #asghar farhadi #peyman moaadi #leila hatami #sarina farhadi #shahab hosseyni #shahab hosseini #babak karimi #kimia hosseini
Jodaeiye Nader Az Simin
Jodaeiye Nader Az Simin (English title: A Separation) is a groundbreaking movie directed by Iranian born Asghar Farhadi. Because of political turmoil, Iranian cinema has never fully had the chance to flourish until 1983, when the Farabi Cinema Foundation was given the task to reassemble the by-then current state of cinema, which was disorganized because of years of political tensions. Since 1983, more and more Iranian movies have been released and appraised by fans and critics, but it was the release of Jodaeiye Nader Az Simin that had the biggest impact on the rest of the world. It was the first Iranian movie to win the Academy Award for best foreign language film, in 2012, and also won numerous other awards in the festival circuit.
In a confrontational opening scene, the titular Nader (Peyman Moaadi) and Simin (Leila Hatami) appear in court to settle Simin’s file for divorce. Simin does not want her to raise her daughter Termeh (Sarina Farhadi) in Tehran, where conditions have grown rather scary and not ideal to raise a child. Nader however feels that he needs to stay in Tehran, so he can take care of his father, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. Their quarrel has unforeseen consequences when Nader loses his temper when he suspects the maid from stealing money.
Farhadi addresses a bunch of aspects that are mostly ignored by American or European (art house) cinema, most notably Alzheimer’s disease and its consequences and a realistic view of life in Iran, not intervened by bombs going off or fighter jets causing other kinds of mayhem. Instead, he presents us with a gripping story told in a suspenseful way western audiences have grown familiar with and are bound to appreciate. A Separation is exciting, with many underlying tensions and (sometimes tricky) plot twists. The message that remains at the end of the movie is one of hope and dependence on the children, who Farhadi shows as the only human beings that are fully to be trusted. There is hope in this movie, a poignant and beautiful elaborated kind of hope in the eyes of children. A drama set in a country most foreign for its western audience, but it’s all the more familiar.
@1 day ago with 3 notes
#good will hunting #matt damon #ben affleck #stellan skarsgard #stellan skarsgård #robin williams #minnie driver #casey affleck #cole hauser #matt mercier #stephen trouskie
Good Will Hunting (1997)
The story of Good Will Hunting was written by two of its stars still waiting for their big breakthrough which evidently came just shortly after: childhood friends Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. They promptly won an Academy Award for their screenplay in 1998 and their careers skyrocketed, although more so as actors than as (screen)writers.
Will Hunting (Damon) is a troubled young man living in South Boston. He works as a janitor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, even though he is incredibly smart (self taught) and has a photographic-like memory. When MIT’s mathematics teacher Gerald Lambeau (Stellan Skarsgård) writes down a difficult math problem for his students to solve, Will walks by and solves it with no apparent trouble. Gerald sees potential in Will, and sends him to Sean Maguire (Robin Williams), a psychology teacher who has a way to deal with hard-to-deal-with kids. The movie focuses mostly on the relationship between these two.
Sometimes it doesn’t really matter how believable a story is, as long as it’s recognizable and compelling. Luckily, director Gus Van Sant has a way for making movies like this, and the first 45 minutes or so of Good Will Hunting are thriving on these very aspects. Then you would expect there to come this scene which brings Good Will Hunting in the next level, characterwise or plotwise. Sadly though, it kind of stalls and fails to progress in a refreshing way. Basically everybody in Will’s life is getting into fights with him or about him, and this raises the question if he is really worth it? I don’t think so. Will comes across as a young man who doesn’t appreciate what anybody is doing for him and at the same time he is pushing these very people away. With his reasons, sure, but these reasons don’t show in the movie’s narrative and it leaves people guessing, having to rely mostly on Damon’s portrayal, which is OK at most, but is not good enough to have my sympathy at least. I had more sympathy for his just-as-troubled friend Chuckie (Affleck), who does seem to realise what’s going on in the world.
Good Will Hunting is still craftly filmmaking by Van Sant and his crew, who know how to make a solid movie with dramatic content. Van Sant makes sure that in the end every single detail is taken care of, leaving the audience fulfilled and heart warmed, but not challenged.
@2 days ago
#the great escape #john sturges #elmer bernstein #daniel l. frapp #richard attenborough #steve mcqueen #james garner #james donald #charles bronson #donald pleasence #james coburn #david mccallum #gordon jackson #john leyton #nigel stock #jud taylor
The Great Escape (1963)
In the spring of 1943, a group of allied forces being held against their will in German prison camp Stalag Luft III conceived a major plan to escape this camp, which eventually occurred during the night of March 24-25, 1944. Director John Sturges biggest hit and arguably most ambitious movie was an adaptation of these events, with obviously a couple of compromises taken in order to make it more ‘watchable’. With an intriguing and gripping story like this, and with Elmer Bernstein as composer, Daniel L. Fapp as cinematographer and a range of the most popular actors of the time, The Great Escape could never have failed.
German forces have spent much resources on hunting down and capturing some of Allied prisoners of war that have been most determined to plan an escape every single time they have been captured before. Under the direction of ‘Big X’ Roger Bartlett (Richard Attenborough), the group conceives a grand plan to let more than 200 prisoners escape.
Despite its running time of 172 minutes, Sturges manages by use of skillfully made cinema to never become dull. From the moment the prisoners arrive until the final moments of their escape, The Great Escape is a thrilling ride. Whereas in the present a filmmaker would focus almost solely on the excitement a story like this would bring, Sturges has an eye for character development without stigmatizing anybody. All of the characters are fascinating to see working on their own small task for the bigger whole, which gives Sturges the opportunity to alternate deftly between them to keep the pace going, not being afraid to add a joke or two in the process.
The Great Escape is classic war/action movie. It is a beautiful explanation of finding hope in the most tormenting of situations, of trying to stay rational instead of emotional, evoking the most emotional of results. There is almost nothing wrong with this movie: from casting to setting, from production design to music, everything is worked out in perfect detail.
@3 days ago
#illégal #illegal #olivier masset-depasse #anne coesens #alexandre gontcharov #luc dardenne #jean-pierre dardenne
Illégal is the second feature film directed by Belgian filmmaker Olivier Masset-Depasse. It was received quite well, especially in Belgium, where it was nominated for eight Magritte Awards in 2010. It tackles the controversial subjects of immigration and the practices of immigration officers, although Masset-Depasse’s presentation of the events is highly unnuanced, sensational and not entirely based on facts.
The story follows a couple of weeks in the life of Tania (Anne Coesens, the director’s wife). She is a Belarusian woman living illegally in the southern parts of Belgium with her son Ivan (Alexandre Gontcharov). She has secretly lived in Belgium for eight years without getting deported, but when she is speaking Russian with her son she gets arrested and sent to a detention center, where she desperately tries to find a solution to her problems.
Masset-Depasse is clearly influenced by the work of the Dardenne-brothers, also born and raised in the French-speaking parts of Belgium. By constantly focusing the camera on his leading actress, he tries to realise a realistic feeling that will only strengthen the sympathy of his audience. Granted, this approach works alright, but at no point does Masset-Depasse reaches that point of poignant and heartfelt cinema that the Dardenne-brothers flourish in. It is still only Masset-Depasse’s second feature film and he has lots of potential to get better however, so there’s no hope lost.
Although the subject of this movie is relevant and gives the opportunity to evoke discussions, Masset-Depasse presents his story in a black-and-white way. Immigrants are all good and immigration officers are all bad. A risky subject with a disappointing elaboration.