Sunday, 30 November 2008
Last day of IDFA, I'm working from 2 pm until the last film finishes. It has been the coolest thing, I'm definitely going to miss it. If I'm able to I will be back next year for my second IDFA, can't wait! I didn't know film festivals were this cool. RiP: A Re-mix Manifesto which I saw yesterday while working has won the audience award. I can see why. It's a fun documeentary which deals with something that really is part of our time, namely, sharing music illegally by downloading and making own songs by doing mash-ups. During the screening people yelled things, applauded, they were completely into it. Today I will watch Dear Zachary: A Letter To A Son About His Father, which is said to be a good one.
Saturday, 29 November 2008
Friday, 28 November 2008
I just saw it, Entre Les Murs, and I really enjoyed it as did most of the audience from what I could see by looking at their response. I definitely can see why it won the Palme D'Or at Cannes early this year. I like how different it is from last year's winner 4 Luni, 3 Saptamâni Si 2 Zile, but then again, maybe it isn't that much. Both films really focus on a certain issue which at the period of time that the film is situated in is very much alive. Where 4 Luni dealt with abortion in Romania of the '80s, Entre Les Murs deals with contemporary issues of France by looking at it from the perspective of the youth. Presenting a class of 14, 15 year olds and the everyday tension between these kids and their teacher, Entre Les Murs really centres on this particular moment in time. A class of kids from different nationalities, a class of kids who seem bored, not at all interested in school, Entre Les Murs shows issues which are going on today not only in this class but at a much larger scale. It provied a nice example of today's youth, the way they act to their teacher, to each other. It really succeeds in giving a realistic view of today's youth and what goes on inside the classroom. If this film was made in Hollywood you probably would have had this story of a teacher who would change his class and would have made a difference with all of the kids eventually arriving on the right side of life, overcoming all of the issues. A film a la Dangerous Minds which starts with a class of no good, but ends up with the kids really looking up to their teacher and all of them doing better. Entre Les Murs takes a complete different path and even its teacher doesn't always know what to do and you can even question if how he acts is correct or not. I thought this was one of the most wonderful aspects, that instead of showing this picture perfect teacher, he also has flaws and struggles in finding the right approach for addressing these kids and he too makes mistakes. Entre Les Murs shows issues which exists in society at large, but showing that these already are existent in an everyday class room filled with kids of different backgrounds. At one point one of the kids speaks of how during the African cup some of the African people don't have any team to support when they don't qualify, which has one of those kids saying that he actually does has a team to support, the French team, 'cause he insists, he is French, though his parents might have a different background. Entre Les Murs really manages to kind of let the bigger issues seep through unnoticed, without putting too much emphasis on them. But through everyday issues that a class deals with issues at large come to be addressed. I really enjoyed it. It's very thought provoking and leaves you with enough content to discuss. Go check it out if you can!
Sunday, 23 November 2008
I've been working at the IDFA for three days since the opening on Thursday as an usher in Pathé De Munt, now have two days off, and I have to say I already kind of miss it, so I don't want to even think about next week's Sunday when it'll be the end of the festival :( I spoke to a guy who sat next to me during the screening of Nikolaus Geyrhalter (who did Our Daily Bread) new film called 7915 Km (it was the premiere so he was there for a Q&A, cool cool cool) who told me he had been going to the IDFA for about five years now and is completely addicted to it which I can totally understand. It's my first film festival ever (if you don't count my participation in this review writing competititon thing of the Leids Film Festival, which I didn't win btw) and I'm loving every minute. The people I'm working with are fun and nice, the atmosphere is so good. I love to help out and they make you really feel part of the festival. Can't wait for Tuesday when I'm working again. Might go check out a film tomorrow. I already signed up for the film festival in Rotterdam! :D It's my new hobby! How come I didn't do this before?!
Friday, 14 November 2008
Just saw it. It's very strong, and really gets under your skin. I like this type of film which really makes you feel uncomfortable. It's a very solid drama with a very impressive performance by Andrew Garfield who plays the film's main character. You so come to feel for him, it's all very affective and hits all the right notes. It must be tough taking on a topic like this, it's not something I myself would like to tell, or at least I don't think so, wouldn't be my first choice. But John Crowley, the director, handles the film so well. It slowly sets up everything and at the end you really feel kind of trapped just like the main character. It even gave me some chills at certain moments. You really undergo the entire process with him. Again, Garfield is excellent. From small mannerisms, to the sound of his voice, he gets it all right. No doubt that he isn't the main character, which I know sounds pretty weird. But he really is. You could not tell who he is in real life, what he's like as a real person, the actor. He's so convincing in every aspect. It's one of the strongest performances I've seen so far this year. The character asked for it, yes, but Garfield really takes it on and nails it. Strange though that from only looking at that one picture of him standing at the beach with his hoodie on I already kind of made this whole idea up in my mind of how the film was going to be and how that guy in the picture looked like and would behave. The film just took all of that away from the second it started. My expectations crushed and replaced by a strong thoughtful film which really got to me. I was so immersed and now still it lingers on in my head. That's how a night out at the movies should be like. Tomorrow waking up early to go to this meeting where I will be informed about the calamity plan of Pathé Tuschinski in Amsterdam (a cinema) as I will be volunteering there from the end of next week, because of the IDFA (International Documentary Festival Amsterdam). I'm volunteering as an usher and hopefully get to see some documentaries as well! :p
When I first saw its trailer it immediately skyrocketed to the top of my must-see list. Now, finally, after buying the DVD on eBay and having listened to the soundtrack many times already, I saw the accompanying visuals. For everyone who doesn't know, Across The Universe is a film which story derives from songs by The Beatles, those songs being featured in the film thus with the characters singing. So yes, it's a musical, but a much cooler one because The Beatles are cool and I love their songs and the actors who sing them in this film do so very well. I love Jim Sturgess's voice who plays Jude (of course) and Evan Rachel Wood who plays (again, of course) Lucy. People should stop bashing her for having dated Marilyn Manson and trying to copy Dita Von Teese, the girl's very talented which should be the focus, not her personal life. It has to be said that the film does lose momentum, but overall it's really fun. It's one of those films that make you think, wow, I wish I could have been part of this film, filming it seemed to have been such a nice experience. Julie Taymor who did Frida and Titus makes for a visual feast with great looking colourful sets. Sometimes the film looks more like an art installation. It's a really cool film and what's very important is that the two main characters have chemistry and I think they really do. They make for a very believable couple and at the end I found myself really caring for them, which was a bit cheesy of me. :)
One of my favourite scenes takes place at a bowling alley. Love it when they jump and run near the end:
Thursday, 13 November 2008
Seems noone took pictures from Monday night while Cold War Kids were on stage. I don't need them though, 'cause I witnessed it all myself. I did bring my camera along, but didn't use it. Can´t take pictures and enjoy the performance completely at the same time. So I left it in my backpack and didn´t take it out. There wasn't much stage light anyway. I was standing up at the front. I was at Paradiso like an hour before they were supposed to show up which was 20.30, but they took a while before coming on stage. When they eventually did they gave a very vibrant performance. They had fun and it showed. It was cool to watch them going completely up in their music. It's important a band still enjoys doing gigs, having to play the same songs over and over and sound fresh to a new and different audience every night. Nathan Willett's voice, the band's frontman, sounded as bluesy live as on the albums. Highlight was the last track of the show after they already left the stage but came back to do two more songs. I knew what the setlist was going to be so I was already expecting Saint John, one of my favourite tracks from their first album Robbers & Cowards. And as can be heard on the album one of the band members brought an empty bottle and hit on it with a stick, which at times made me just a little bit afraid it would shatter into pieces with pieces of broken glass flying my way. It made their performance very energetic though. The dimmed lighting really fitted all that the band stands for, being known for singing not so positive songs, especially on their last album which sounds a bit darker and more bluesy than their first. Their first one being a bit more soulful. I was wondering how the songs from their latest album would sound live and I'll be honest in saying that I expected them to be a bit boring and tough to go through. But to my surprise they sounded very danceable and thus I was moving almost the entire show and the longer they played the more I lost myself in the music. So I was very happy with the way they performed their tracks live. I do really like their new album and found it to be very funky, but yes, most songs don't have that commercial appeal and are less expected to be singles than some of the songs of their first record. So overall it was an amazing night and a great warm-up for Wolf Parade who I will see December 2nd. That one is really going to rock my socks and I expect the crowd to go completely crazy including me. I can't wait!
Wednesday, 12 November 2008
I just came back from working at SMART some minutes ago. Yesterday I went to see Cold War Kids, I know, will tell about that later. But, have to tell about this film I saw tonight. Like with the Lynch one I was allowed to watch a film. This time I saw Unknown White Male a documentary which has affected me deeply. Every human being needs to see this film. Why? Because it tells you all about who we 'are', about what identity is. It's a amazing documentary about this guy who one day loses his memory while taking the New York underground. Memory loss just all of a sudden kicks in. When it happens you're not even aware of it immediately. By the time this guy realized he didn't know who he was anymore, it was already the next day and he was somewhere he didn't know. It really is the most fascinating thing. Once he is found by someone who knows him and taken back home he has to face his past. A past only the people who know him hold. He himself has no memory of past events. He doesn't know who he was and has no sense of identification with the person he sees on photos, the guy he used to be. Watching this film suddenly you become aware of how things which seem so normal become strange and really receive meaning. When you would walk into my room you would go like, haaaa, yep, that's Danilo, typically him. But think about losing your memory and than enetering your own room which tells everything about you. You come to rediscover yourself, you come to face the person you are, were, or are supposed to be. It's the craziest thing. You basically have all these things, objects, saying this is you, this is all yours, this is part of you, you bought these things, choose them, but you yourself have no recollection of it, no memory. These things belong to that person you're supposed to be but are no more. And while this guy tries to find out who he is he gets the chance to start all over again. He is able to reinvent himself. He's like a newborn baby who doscovers life but from an adult perspective. He became so fascinated about everything, had to rediscover things like the ocean, snow, eating a hamburger. Everything. It is incredible to watch. It's scary but also such a beautiful thing. I think a lot of people would love to get the chance to start over, though it's a huge sacrifice, 'cause you won't remember your closest friends, your family. And for them, you suddenly have become a stranger. They will be afraid what you will come to think of them, will you still like them as your friends? You might have changed, your dad doesn't recognize you anymore, or there have been character traits you now have but didn't in the past. You've changed and you might never go back to being the same. Like a child you are formed again by all you see and experience, you start completely anew, from the start. This film, ughhh, see it. SEE IT! It's incredible. You will get the urge to write things down while watching, call friends to tell them they NEED to see this film. It's that kind of movie. It's remarkable. There are skeptics out there though who say the film is a hoax and is all staged, fake because the director has provided so little real proof. I don't know if that's true, but nomatter if it is or isn't the questions it comes to raise and which you leave the cinema with are what are the most important and makes all this so fascinating and affective. The questions are the core of the film, the idea of what if this all would happen to you, you could start life over again, really anew, fresh and the way identity is formed, how much we know about our friends, or actually how little. Noone knows everything about me, only me. So if I lose my memory of my past I might not be the same person anymore, I might become interested in complete different things. And my friends and family will realize what our friendship really consisted of. This guy was a supporter of Chelsea and with one of his friends he always talked about cricket. These were things they shared in common, both liked, now all that was gone and the guy didn't even know what cricket was. Crazy things like that. This film had a similar effect to the effect The Matrix had on me when I first saw it, that one raised so many questions and this film does as well. It's a fascinating piece.
Monday, 10 November 2008
Monday, 3 November 2008
It was never so much about what I missed, story-wise, but the way what I missed was shown. How it ended, the story, was less important than how it ended visually. I remember being really annoyed by not having seen the ending. It was the main reason and the real eye-opener, of why nowadays I never, but really NEVER, go drink something before the start of a movie. At least, not when I'm about to see it at a cinema. When I'm at home playing it myself I can put it on hold and start it again whenever I want. I love Reprise. I really do. It's a film which shows how important the wrapping of something is, the way the product is presented. I mean, every story almost is the same or is about the same things. Boy, girl, in love etc. But it's the way how you tell it that makes it special and different from the rest. Joachim Trier achieves just that. He has made of Reprise this perfect atmospheric film by the way he edits, mixes up images with dialogue coming from different scenes, having characters move their lips, but the conversation being heard taking place at a different time. Reprise feels so fresh and so daring. It's so full of details. Yesterday after watching C.R.A.Z.Y. I watched the making-of of the film and I realized again how everything you shoot, the images, all of it, is just only to have content. There's a story in your head that you want to tell. But in order to do so you need content, you need the visuals. Those thoughts in your head translated into filmic images. Once you have your content you can start telling your story by editing it. That's what all of this really is about. All these directors want to do is tell a story and the way they want to tell it depends on the content they shoot. Between the writing down of the story and the editing process is this large gap. Without content the director can't tell anything. You need those images.
Here are some words by Mr. Joachim Trier himself, showing all the different layers which Reprise contains. It's about two young wannabe writers trying to write in fresh ways and being different in order to be able and distinguish oneself from the rest, while the film itself is so cut up and kind of questions this whole idea about what real writing is about. Also, the idea of the artist who goes mad, the mad scientist in a way, who suffers because of his art, his creative yearnings. Oh, and Mr. Trier is a former skateboarding champion. Coolness.
Sunday, 2 November 2008
Just finished watching C.R.A.Z.Y., I finally got to see it. It has been one of those movies I really wanted to see for a long time and lately the thought of buying it crossed my mind many times. So when I found Reprise, the film of which I missed the ending because I had to pee BADLY(!) for 8 euros in the DVD Valley (great DVD shop in Haarlem) and which I took from the shelf without any hesitation, I decided to buy C.R.A.Z.Y. as well, which had the same price. As expected it easily lived up to my expectations. It's such a cool film and the main character Zac is so easy to relate to, he's a great example to every kid growing up. The best scene I wanted to share plays to David Bowie's Space Oddity. If only I had seen it on the big screen, would have been magical. The screen of my laptop is alright too though. The actor who plays the father in the film, Michel Côté, is brilliant in this. So well played. Loved his performance. The only negative thing about this movie I can think of is that it makes smoking look majorly cool! :D
But right now I present to you, youth coming of age captured in 2.32 minutes (Recommend you to turn up the volume!):
+ I LOVE my job at SMART, can't say it enough! :-)