1. a pretty weak movie as we probably were expecting way too much from a Russian director. Main thought we both shared after viewing it: it's a movie about Nothing (but not that Sienfeld's Nothing where Nothing means Everything but a nothing-nothing). I felt more like standing in front of an ocean and waiting for a nice weather or a good surfing wave or a tide at least, but the ocean turned into a small Georgian brook (cute but insignificant).
2. we did not understand the intention of the main characters nor their actions were explainable to us or comprehensive enough to connect with them. It was like life that takes a chance of this or that - and it takes it and leads it to nowhere. The actions of the characters were unpredictable and strange not to say stupid as people simply did not take responsibility for their actions. Be it Love I would connect somehow but where there is no Love nor other strong emotion - just walking by - I doubt in the Truth shown... unless of course the people were simply stupid as I mentioned already. The characters were not fully uncovered too so could not fall in love with them...
3. the nature scenes were beautiful but unreasonably long to watch one of them for entire 3-5 minutes.
4. the music did not touch nor disturbed us in any way...
5. the people with shallow views might find it rather entertaining though... but I doubt even that...
6. the trailer is fantastic though!
Sorry it was
Please allow me to remain silent and not to rate this movie - it is too hard to do so...
Alliance Francaise French Film Festival 2013 - The Cherry on the Cake NEW The less we like the woman the more she likes us... ............................................................................Men It is the movie about complex relationship when a woman demands a lot from a man and the man does not pay much attention. Women naturally are very giving creatures. They do not expect anything in return - they like giving - but just a small sign of attention in return makes them more than happy... When a woman knows that her gift of love is received with gratitude the relationship work in unison. If a man figures that out he can be a winner: in relationship. It does not cost a lot to say a kind word or to remember an important detail but the difference is huge - sometimes negligence leads the relationship to fall apart.
Anna Karenina NEW
"Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way..."
""Why?" "You cant ask why, about love..."
Lev Tolstoy must be in heaven after watching this masterpiece. He would be praying for the souls of all actors and actually the whole film crew as an appraisal to their aptitude. Theater blended with film and some breathtaking photography (frozen shoots inspired work of an art director) – it’s a new art genre created by a real artist who knows what he is doing and whose deeds are guided by the hand of the highest power.
The accessories and the style are pictured in the most spectacular manner: women dressed in designer fur and silk are in abundance made with fine attention to detail; their jewelery are tasteful, eye-catching and lush but not overpowering (the movie got three awards for best costume designs). The country side is painted so realistic you deep yourself into the creation of fine art and melt into the surroundings of the movie. The film is watched in one breath – but you do not breath it in – on the contrary – it breathes you inside of itself and leaves you in a moment - you notice that you are sitting in the cinema with the last note of music impulsively dropped...
Classical books to be screened is a very big challenge. To make an exceptional movie out of the classics is the hardest work ever as you have to keep up to the Master, harder it seems to make it so unique and so distinctive. The film will be interesting to watch not only to people who did not read the novel but also to those who are familiar with this Lev Tolstoy’s genius book.
Surrealistic pictures are nothing compared with the Nikita Mikhalkov’s look of Stiva Oblonski, with Anna’s bottomless glance and Vronski’s thefty but wide opened eyes; with exciting scenes of their passion; with revolting sanity of Karenin; with the Russian (note: pure, with no accent) cute songs, speeches and remarks on the background.(which are not falling out of the current moment but only adding that extraordinary flavor of truth to it); with fragrant grasses everywhere, everywhere where the drama is and where the peace is...
Moments switching is done with incredible talent of director’s brilliance… She is in the room opening the curtains – one move sounds like a sword and the next instant – she is already inside the steaming train… The sound of Anna's flopping hand fan turning into a sound of galloping horses... Brilliant!
This movie can be comparable only to “Faust” by Sokurov that’s why we give it
The movie with a great exotic Asian flavor that would be very entertaining to watch for everyone. Gorgeous women, nice Hong Kong city shoots (reminded me of my days there), excellent actors (except the fake secondaries), not expected story line and intrigue, no too rough fighting scenes (so usual to Asian movies), two very romantic love stories that do not interrupt with each other but blend together harmonically, add to this the best music and songs selection and you will leave the cinema with a light feeling of happiness...
PARIS OPERA AT PALACE CINEMAS - CARMEN NEW
A couple of notes on performance. Fabulous voices that sound like gods from another planet where all the people sing instead of talking, so much passion and expression in voices, you get yourself lost in the richness of the sound...
Amazing interpretation of original story with combined contemporary life elements like lifestyle and outfits. It was really uniquely done as you felt more like in France rather than in Spain. Was amazed to see Carmen who looked like Merlyn Monroe with died hair compared to her dark hair Spanish Seville-ian girlfriends. She was rebellion by her looks not only by her deeds. As to her new boyfriend Toreador he looked like a good copy of Elvis. But their be-witching voices (actually the whole troupe) were unique like nothing else (as I already mentioned but never mind)
The orchestra and the music performed was above any celestial level... The stage decorations were very smartly designed by a real master...
We were a bit upset that the secondary actors (mainly the crowd of the Seville streets) were performing out of the script (meaning not matching what was happening in the main act) and sometimes we could see the surprised glances over to the audience which was unacceptable for a School of Stanislavsky but could be neglected as a small under-worked detail...
Alliance Francaise French Film Festival 2013 -ERNEST and CELESTINE NEW
Very very entertaining for kids and adults alike this is a story beautifully painted in soft watercolors following the ideas from the book of Belgian author Gabrielle Vincent. In the real world, which consists of two parallel universes where mice and bears can not possibly meet Ernest (a bear who looks more like Gerard Depardieu, big and kind) and Celestine (a tiny mouse who does not look like anyone too famous) become good friends whose hearts become to beat in unison, who support and love each other and help each other in the awkward life situations. Ernest had the past being a judge, Celestine has a bright future to become a dentist. Their story leads them both to jail... Yes, yes, yes... this is the place where all the honest hears and mice end up... but what happens next is left to French artists and Melbourne kids imagination or... you need to take them to watch this beautiful story... Who knows whom your kid is going to be in his/her next life as this story with a light humor and tender characters might teach your kids something they already know - friendship that does not know the boundaries?
Alliance Francaise French Film Festival 2013 - preview screening for TV and Media NEW
In 2012, the Alliance Française French Film Festival filled 126,000 cinema seats nationwide. The 2013 edition promises to be just as popular with plenty of great movies, big-name movie stars and chic parties. 43 Films and documentaries and more than 1,300 anshlague screenings across Australia are planned for upcoming 2013 season.
In The HouseNEW
(by Transmission Films) The film was awarded the main prize at the 2012 San Sebastián International Film Festival, the Golden Shell, as well as the Jury Prize for Best Screenplay
There is a danger living next to a writer or as a matter of fact to a poet/poetess: sooner of later you will be an object in her/his poetry or novel... Imagine everything you do in your life is observed and recorded... But there is more to that: imagine that the writer living next to you or deliciously teasing you, intruding into your house is changing his/your script and becomes a character of his own book who alters, creates and changes the events and the circumstances, your faith and your destiny... He kills and forgives, he makes you fall in love with him and observes your feelings, his book is classical and it will be there on the same shelf as Flaubert and Kafka, Tolstoy and Dostoevsky ("oh I hate those Russians!" "Literature and Art teaches people nothing" - ...and sorry but there were the words from the movie...) I deep into this film like a sailor-writer lost in the ocean between his lines; the writer who does not know what the fiction and what the reality is anymore: ethically troubling, bold, psychologically intriguing and dangerously sensual the script is and there is no end to it... "To be continues" - are the last words... But he hooks you up, as a reader, on his floating words, he plays and manipulates with your feelings, he tells you semi-truth and one quarter of a lie, as the other quarter is up to your imagination and there is no air in the movie anymore... Every one is a story, every family has secrets, there is no suburban fairy tale, no happiness, no hate, no suffering - just a long endless story line and frustrated wives... "Yesterday I ate pizza and watched TV..." - oh, this is a different and boring composition. "Are you in love with this boy?" - "No, I love women"... "This is strange as since you started reading his stories we do not make love anymore..." - she remarks. Add to this the stories are written by a 16-years old boy who is guided and assisted by a confused teacher. To be continued...
The second movie screened as a part of the media preview selection -
Happiness Never Comes Alone NEW
(by Madman Entertainment) When there is a true LOVE nothing else is an obstacle. You can trick yourself and the others, you can hide behind the obstacles on your way to be together but the Truth as a girlfriend and the main part of Love will find its way to the surface. Add to this a fantastic physical comedy full of falling bodies, unpredictable noise and broken sinks and other furniture and you may consider yourself half way to the perfect picture. The rest will be painted by the amazing performance of two French stars: Gad Elmaleh (Sacha) and Sophie Marceau (Charlotte). They are both charming, full of life force, breathtaking chemistry and love in their eyes... Oh yes... your bonus is sensational soundtrack!
Our opinions on the movie got divided. Although Alex found it dark and very negative overall when it came to picturing men in this movie as none of the male characters bear anything positive, I found the movie brilliantly done be it Binoche's acting masterpiece or director's talented solutions and bravery touching such complicated subjects as middle aged woman's crisis and her life broken into pieces shared between family responsibilities, work uneasy assignments and personal life choices; and lives two young prostitutes in fact not struggling but enjoying their journeys: sex, love, attention and a river of money. When you compare the life of a middle-class bourgeois Anne (Binoche) and the life of one of the girls - is there any difference? When one is struggling to get her sex life in place and balance, does the same happens with the other? When one is arguing with her relatives does not it look familiar for the other? The last scene is a mirage of an urban life: tragic classical music and happy family having breakfast together looks like a joke in the desert of emotions... Actually I did not like the movie myself... unless I like suffering of that poor women...
Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained NEW
This is Quentin Tarantino and Westerns at their best for you: rivers of blood, piles of guts, handfuls of guns, flying brains, vicious dogs, riding cowboys, aristocrats - those powerful and shown stupid, - peaceful fires in the canyons warming up some coffee and houses in fire, dynamites targeting, raffles, ambiguous sheriffs, mind games, Negros, chained and unchained and incredible cruelty and human humiliation at its peak, cotton fields, trouble making lovers and saviours of all... and lots of humour… It would not be QT if we did not see all of the above plus more... This is an entertainment at its best indeed... Some scenes I would already consider classical. This is the movie people would talk about the next day after watching: "Do you remember how he said this...hahaha"; "I still do not understand how did he manage to trick them like this..." “What’s your name? - Django, the “D” is silent…” Enjoy!
PS. And more quotes: Calvin Candie: I'm curious, what makes you such a mandingo expert? Django: I'm curious what makes you so curious.
Calvin Candie: You sir are a sore loser. Dr. King Schultz: And you are an abysmal winner.
Dr. King Schultz: Alexander Dumas. He wrote 'The Three Musketeers.' I figured you must be an admirer. You named your slave after his novel's lead character. If Alexander Dumas had been there today, I wonder what he would have made of it? Calvin Candie: You doubt he'd approve? Dr. King Schultz: Yes. His approval would be a dubious proposition at best. Calvin Candie: Soft hearted Frenchie? Dr. King Schultz: Alexander Dumas is black.
Dr. King Schultz: Inn keeper! Remember, get the sheriff, not the Marshall... (later)Now you can get the Marshall...
Big Daddy: Did I say we ain't wearing bags? It's a raid! Who cares if you can see! Can the Horses see!? That's all that matters!
Django: Hey there, trouble-maker. Broomhilda: *Faints* Dr. King Schultz: You silver-tongued devil you.
This production was way below our expectations: the characters were too weakly played and too plain pictured. The best out of all was Gavroche - best actor of the whole film, such a shame. The young voices were also good - should be credited for this. Even Sasha Baron Cohen was too predictable in his character. The movie looked especially weak compared to a famous French screening of 2000 with master piece of Gerard Depardieu. To add to the misery of Les Miserables the decorations were too obvious to appear fake, the singing of Russell Crowe and Hugh Jackman were off key, no voices at all and absurd to the maximum that it could be. The question we kept asking during this musical: why? Why did they do it and did the actors really understand what their aim was?.. Very sorry to be so disappointed...
Hitchcock We were impressed by the actors’ performance: Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren and Scarlett Johansson were all above any possible words of appraisal; just standing ovations – that’s what the whole cinema did after the movie finished. Husband and wife alliance and mutual cooperation and support be it work, business or just life are important for any genius: be it Alfred or his wife Alma. They are both gems for us – now we know. There would never be a Hitchcock is it was not for Alma with her approach to work on the movie; there would never be Alma without Alfred and his crazy innovative ideas that changed the cinematography and uplifted it to another higher level. What would we all do without our other halves? It might also change your view on your life… who knows?
There are some nice shots from the movie and the movie trailer:
Life of Pi
Beautifully done movie: not only technically but the scenario is written with lots of humour and lots of philosophical, life, moral and religious thoughts embedded. Luck, faith.. no matter what - this life story is amazing – believe it or not…
I cannot resist not to share some nice quotes from the movie:
“To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation”
“I must say a word about fear. It is life's only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life. It is a clever, treacherous adversary, how well I know. It has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy. It goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unnerving ease. It begins in your mind, always ... so you must fight hard to express it. You must fight hard to shine the light of words upon it. Because if you don't, if your fear becomes a wordless darkness that you avoid, perhaps even manage to forget, you open yourself to further attacks of fear because you never truly fought the opponent who defeated you.”
“If we, citizens, do not support our artists, then we sacrifice our imagination on the altar of crude reality and we end up believing in nothing and having worthless dreams.”
“Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it, a jealous, possessive love that grabs at what it can. But life leaps over oblivion lightly, losing only a thing or two of no importance, and gloom is but the passing shadow of a cloud...”
“It is true that those we meet can change us, sometimes so profoundly that we are not the same afterwards, even unto our names.”
“When you've suffered a great deal in life, each additional pain is both unbearable and trifling.”
“Dare I say I miss him? I do. I miss him. I still see him in my dreams. They are nightmares mostly, but nightmares tinged with love. Such is the strangeness of the human heart.”
“If you stumble about believability, what are you living for? Love is hard to believe, ask any lover. Life is hard to believe, ask any scientist. God is hard to believe, ask any believer. What is your problem with hard to believe?”
“You must take life the way it comes at you and make the best of it.”
“You might think I lost all hope at that point. I did. And as a result I perked up and felt much better.”
“To lose a brother is to lose someone with whom you can share the experience of growing old, who is supposed to bring you a sister-in-law and nieces and nephews, creatures who people the tree of your life and give it new branches. To lose your father is to lose the one whose guidance and help you seek, who supports you like a tree trunk supports its branches. To lose your mother, well, that is like losing the sun above you. It is like losing--I'm sorry, I would rather not go on.”
“The world isn't just the way it is. It is how we understand it, no? And in understanding something, we bring something to it, no? Doesn't that make life a story?”
“All living things contain a measure of madness that moves them in strange, sometimes inexplicable ways. This madness can be saving; it is part and parcel of the ability to adapt. Without it, no species would survive.”
“These people fail to realize that it is on the inside that God must be defended, not on the outside. They should direct their anger at themselves. For evil in the open is but evil from within that has been let out. The main battlefield for good is not the open ground of the public arena but the small clearing of each heart.”
“Hindus, in their capacity for love, are indeed hairless Christians, just as Muslims, in the way they see God in everything, are bearded Hindus, and Christians, in their devotion to God, are hat wearing Muslims.”
“I challenge anyone to understand Islam, its spirit, and not to love it. It is a beautiful religion of brotherhood and devotion.”
“The reason death sticks so closely to life isn't biological necessity; it's envy. Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it, a jealous, possessive love that grabs at what it can.”
“I know zoos are no longer in people's good graces. Religion faces the same problem. Certain illusions about freedom plague them both.
“What a terrible thing it is to botch a farewell. I am a person who believes in form, in the harmony of order. Where we can, we must give things a meaningful shape. For example - I wonder - could you tell my jumbled story in exactly one hundred chapters, not one more, not one less? I'll tell you, that's one thing I have about my nickname, the way the number runs on forever. It's important in life to conclude things properly. Only then can you let go. Otherwise you are left with words you should have said but never did, and your heart is heavy with remorse. That bungled goodbye hurts me to this day. I wish so much that I'd had one last look at him in the lifeboat, that I'd provoked him a little, so that I was on his mind. I wish I had said to him then - yes, I know, to a tiger, but still - I wish I had said, "Richard Parker, it's over. We have survived. Can you believe it? I owe you more gratitude than I can express I couldn't have done it without you. I would like to say it formally: Richard Parker, thank you. Thank you for saving my life. And now go where you must. You have known the confined freedom of a zoo most of your life; now you will know the free confinement of a jungle. I wish you all the best with it. Watch out for Man. He is not your friend. But I hope you will remember me as a friend. I will never forget you , that is certain. You will always be with me, in my heart. What is that hiss? Ah, our boat has touched sand. So farewell, Richard Parker, farewell. God be with you.”
“That's what fiction is about, isn't it, the selective transforming of reality? The twisting of it to bring out its essence?”
“Life will defend itself no matter how small it is.”
“The presence of God is the finest of rewards.”
“If there's only one nation in the sky, shouldn't all passports be valid for it?”
“I love Canada...It is a great country much too cold for good sense, inhabited by compassionate, intelligent people with bad hairdos.”
“Scientists are a friendly, atheistic, hard-working, beer-drinking lot whose minds are preoccupied with sex, chess and baseball when they are not preoccupied with science.”
“The paths to liberation are numerous, but the bank along the way is always the same, the Bank of Karma, where the liberation account of each of us is credited or debited depending on our actions.”
We are all thinking: we will never get old... Is it right?..
The subject is very interesting and complex as the movie is about talented and aging people. Some of them are still full of life but some just give up on almost everything...
There is one more thought: love scars that never heal exist but watch what can happen if you just give it a go, open the doors of possibilities and open your heart...