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Ember (2016)
8/10
Human condition predicament
18 March 2017
Kor utilizes the traditional love triangle that is often used in soap operas and melodramas, to twist it or dress it if you like with an existentialist cloak.The major themes are moral ambiguity, alienation and lack of communication in the context of an anonymous and indifferent Cityscape.Emine and Ziya are not sure about the terms of their relationship, their perspectives seem to change due to the moral rules of society.Values like family and subordination of female to male are voiced but not followed.Cemal himself shares the same moral ambiguity, although his pride is hurt and beats his wife, he don't ask for a divorce and continues to work in the workshop of the fornicator Ziya.Dialogues between the three protagonists are sparse and many times inconclusive high lightened sometimes by lengthy pauses of silence.Demirkubuz frames his characters in enclosed spaces with oblique camera angles to emphasize their entrapment that is physical and psychological.Although the first part of the film is mostly focused to Emine who is divided as a love object and as a loyal spouse, slowly the film shifts to Cemal's predicament.Again we don't witness some clear action, he becomes distant and self absorbed working overtimes being unable to express his emotions with words.Fate seems to resolve the conflict with the accident of Niyaz, but there is no resolution between the two spouses and their distance is unabridged.Someone can to think that Demirkubuz is distrustful of language as a vehicle of communication, his subjects are trapped and unable to change the course of events. History seems to be a force that crushes them with no explanation.This is a typical Existentialist view of the human condition and Demirkubuz apply it in his film vocabulary with static shots in tight spaces, frames that separate the characters, blurry Cityscapes etc.Demirkubuz seems to be a person with few ideas but he refined them through the course of time in his filmography and has developed a film language that is distinctively his own.That is not a small achievement and he deserves praise and respect, he brings a literary sensibility in his films that maybe are sometimes a bit pedantic but always thought provoking.
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6/10
tepid
28 September 2014
Good casting and acting, a story about domestic violence in which the director observes his characters but does not implicate them in any dramatic tension that lasts long enough to boost the narrative.Towards the end i expected a closure but i realized that it was a full circle. Some viewers like open ended films because they can fill with their imagination what follows next. I prefer a film that is a closed universe and makes a statement.The filmmaker was critical in the way he portrayed Croatian manhood in an indirect way, showing men to indulge in heavy drinking, fornication, violence etc, but refuses to take a clear position.It felt sometimes that i was watching a documentary about.It was not a bad film but i don't like obscurantists filmmakers, i like a firm a political statement about the affairs portrayed.
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4/10
The french have an urge to reinvent love.
10 August 2014
The french like to depict in most of their films. their favorite lifestyle which is usually middle to upper class. Sitting around a table drinking wine, eating food and pondering about politics and relationships. A bit later we will see some passionate sex and the story start to unfold, if the characters are on their 20's it has political overtones, if the characters are in their mid 30's it is about the coming of age, in this film is about the taboo of having an affair with a much younger partner and the predicament it accompanies such a decision.Nicely photographed, uplifting location near the sea can not to save this clichéd and bland film.It seems to me that a lot of french films suffer from trying to RE-invent love, which is fine but it becomes to be predictable and boring.
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7/10
for solitary viewers and listeners...
8 September 2013
This is definitely a political film and maybe this explains why the fact that the two protagonists never establish a romantic relationship.This would weaken the pro Kurdish's sentiments that the narrative tries to evoke to the viewers.I cannot comment on Turkish history since i don't know much, one thing i know is that the recent generation of Turkish filmmakers tend to show the beauty of their country via cinematography.I like films that are focused on images not on the narrative flow, even though this will make some viewers to discard this because they feel bored.The horse symbolism was too obvious and redundant.Still i think that so many images of the vastness of mother nature render human conflict insignificant...So maybe it would be more effective in an ideological level the background of politics to be the city scape and not remote territories.Sometimes the issue of alienation between characters seems a little contrived especially in pastoral settings.I recommend the film to people who consider cinema as an art and not as entertainment.
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45m2 (2010)
Adorno of cinema
9 September 2011
i listened tzitzis in you-tube talking about the generation of 700 in Greece and he made a political analysis of contemporary youth.This film is an illustration of the division between an aristocracy of well paid individuals and a post industrial working class that strives to find an identity.This identity has to be limited by the perils of a protective yet authoritative family structure and the desires dreams etc that are marginalized by the 700 euro wage.Tzitzis clearly sends a message of defiance with the attitude of her protagonist to demarcation lines that the dominant ideology imposes upon individuals.He don't adopt a leftist prose only in one instance with graffiti on the wall is an indirect allusion to anarchy, and he lets the audience to decide if the stance of the protagonist is a positive or negative.For me tzitzis is saying that every form of struggle is positive and welcomed vs inertia and apathy (friends and former boyfriend).Tzitzis thinks like an intellectual showing us the problem and to take initiative to the discourse.This can only be respected and esteemed, but the price is that he misses the essence of cinema which is to deliver images.His images of observing deliberately dull a real Adorno of cinema.Still he is an author that his work must receive attention.
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Bereavement (2010)
4/10
lame
4 September 2011
after the expression trigger happy now is time for stabbing happy, usually takes place in some isolated wilderness or some forsaken town in America.A psychopath individual or family brutally assault and kill supposedly innocent people to a climactic finale sometimes positive or negative mostly depending if a sequel is to come next.It is cliché and i think it is becoming a genre of it's own mostly for gore fun because true horror fun know that it must be suggested the fear not actually shown and there is no need for blood torture etc to scare the audience, a good story with atmosphere will suffice.No need need for mediocre acting big breasted Lolita's or numb children, so avoid this film if you agree with me better try the caller 2011 which reminds me a story from the twilight zone series .
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Majority (2010)
the abused abuses.
2 May 2011
Turkish cinema produces fine films and this is one of them.It shows a patriarchal family structure in which all members are alienated and no real communication exists.They exchange messages but the lines of the father cannot be crossed no matter how this makes the other members unhappy.Father is violent corrupt disrespectful and racist as we see from different manifestations of the film.Mother seems to understand her predicament but she is reluctant to take any action and accepts her fate.Son has an opportunity that is given to him via his relationship with the Kurdish girl to see his life from a different perspective but he don't have the education the support from friends and family and he is a coward.So in the end the abused son becomes the abuser towards the workers because he don't know nothing else to do, he reproduces his father.Th e irony on the socio-political level comes from the emancipatory call that comes from the Kurdish girl (the book that later is thrown away)to the modest but well off Turkish family.In other words a region which is backward economically socially compared to the rest of turkey.Maybe this is a hint that the Turkish government play a role for that situation.Excellent performances from all the actors.
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Autumn (2008)
8/10
simplicity is beautiful
28 November 2010
this film is under the influence of ceylan work, characters that are outside of society, filmed in idyllic locations, with a lot of non narrative shots of nature, slow pace until the eventual downfall of the central character.I don't know if Turkish directors discovered existentialist approach in cinema 40 years later but those works are compelling.They really promote their country with beautiful photography and sometimes story becomes secondary, personally i started to wish visiting turkey!People who like images like me will always search of films that celebrate mise en scene.The political aspect of those films (ceylan, ustaoglu)seems to me little under developed or if you wish undermined from the tribulations of the characters, still people who take cinema more seriously than entertainment must see that body of work.
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Rampage (2009)
7/10
kevlar samurai attends bingo session
8 July 2010
this film apart of the bingo sequence which is excellent on the verge of the surreal- i guess michael moore would like to have it in his films-has not a lot to offer aesthetically.ON the contrary is very rich in ideological content.Probably uwe boll may have been a distressed leftist earlier in his life and in this film he expresses his indignation.The person that kills our individualist-misfit-macchiaveli-unabomber, you name it, is the typical leftist ideologue who want to save human race with his wise narrative of utopian collective, ecology oriented version of leftist ideology.Sarcasm becomes even more bitter when father of the victim a Vietnam veteran is apprehended as a terrorist, eh patriotism hippie ideals are again ridiculed.Ultimately this is a polarization of individualistic versus collective values, apparently for boll like thatcher don't exist society only individuls-without their families haha.Someone is tempted to interpret the film as a version of a pervasive demoralized society, our hero uses science and technology that constitute our version of "progress" to achieve his ends.Morality which is a coolective ideal is totally absent i am sure that Jihadists will see an affirmation in this film of what they believe a bout the west, they can to use it as propaganda material ha ha.Overall maybe boll wanted to attack western foundations but he lacks good ideas apart the bingo session which is memorable, blood and graphic violence don't promote such an enterprise, if someone wants to see an orchestrated attack on western values must to see is SONGS FROM THE SECOND FLOOR-2000.The protagonist of the film is very good on delivery of this idea of controlled madness to reach his goals.A nice try but execution is rather lame.
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5/10
horror for half an hour
4 February 2007
This film proves once more the fact that Hollywood is interested to sell his creations in the domestic market only.Although the film has in the start a very chilling setting beautifully photographed and some fine moments of a supernatural menace with nice effects, the case of Emily rose is not developed.This is because the film takes a turn towards the judicial drama, a genre that is very popular in the united states.Emily remains almost mute, she only screams, we learn almost nothing from the perspective of her boyfriend who was supposedly very close to her or the priest.Instead we listen to many scientific jargon in the court that towards the end gives it's place to speculations about the proper moral behavior.Emily should be a saint because she does not succumb to the suggestion of virgin Mary.Please spare me the cheap religious and moralistic dilemmas i had them at school.Not for horror fans.
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8/10
ambivalence is my middle name
20 January 2006
The cinematographer,real or fake,who would have been free to explore life and death, through narratives and images of his own conception, becomes an object of exploitation from the medium and it's economic concomitants.So he fools himself by abandoning his art to the conventions of economic necessity.Friedrich, and by implication Wenders,is afraid of the void that precedes the stories and the void that comes after.They both desire to integrate and at the same time they fear the outcome of this integration.The project of discriminating between false and authentic representation, between autonomy and manipulation or seduction is omnipresent in DER STAND DER DINGE.Against the threat of manipulation, Wenders romantically upholds the image as something pure and autonomous, an image that derive it's meaning through a network of signification but is meaningful in itself.Wenders task is "Wahrnehmen", that is to authenticate and to perceive at the same time by ascribing truth and beauty.Hence Wenders attempts to preserve something that is bound to disappear.His agenda is the recovery of vision.In Paul Cezanne's view,Wenders expresses a desire to hold the ephemeral: "Things are looking bad.You have to hurry if you want to see anything.Everything is disappearing".His films pay homage to his models who taught him the art of seeing:paintings of Edward Hopper and the par excellence Romanticism of Caspar David Friedrich, the photography of Walker Evans and August Sander.Yet his films increasingly become aware of the difficulty and even impossibility of combating the power of images through cinema.This is characterized by a paradoxical situation in which Wenders has to create images in order to battle them.Clearly this invocation of an older generation is an attempt to rid himself of a cultural legacy that he repudiates yet dares not fully confront.
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Alila (2003)
6/10
introduction to israel 101
29 November 2005
this is a film that tries to criticize Israel's public morality.It addresses several issues such as: fornication, racism, immigration,national pride and allegiance to state ideals.both female protagonists have sexual encounters that are outside the norm.The one ends up in grief and the other one is dismissed as insignificant.The Arabs receive pejorative characterizations many times through out the film.the Chinese immigrants sleep in a van they are entities that the state refuse to recognize but they serve as cheap labor for the Israeli civilians, they wonder around freely in the streets of tel-aviv and they don't get deported because of corruption of the police.The boy wants to flee from the army and seems to express a form of indignation towards it's country.Sporadically we are informed about various conflicts between Israeli-Palestinians, suicide attacks, political controversy, etc.Apparently for Gitai Israel is in a state of turmoil, THE OLD GODS ARE DEAD and the new ones are not yet present, in other words Israel is in a transitional state. Cinematically speaking some of the vignettes are interesting and some extremely clichéd and boring, some they last too much time especially some sex scenes.the acting overall is good.It is a pity because Gitai tried to achieve a social commentary towards his country and also to portray some dramatic tension and i think he was lame in both of them.But i recognize his noble intentions so i will give his next film a try if can get hold of it here in Greece.
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The King (2002)
6/10
anti-hero celebration
15 August 2005
the king in this film is what can be called here in Greece freak, marginal misfit and other words with negative connotations, but in the film is clearly the vehicle of the director to criticize the provincial mentality of the people and Greece by extension. the director must have a leftist ideology or anti-establishment and doesn't hesitate to show it in his films, in APONTES is more clearly stated than in VASILIAS.My problem with his film-making is that he tries to teach me a lesson(if you succumb to the ruling class ideology you become an a*****e or a person that attracts his despise) i don't disagree with him but thanks for the lesson i already had it.Nevertheless although the film gets a little boring and predictable after a while, but is still worth seeing for the indigenous population who is bombarded by worse films in the multiplex. better to see a clichéd old fashioned anti hero drama than some junk mainly from the states.
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Thirteen (2003)
4/10
lame video-clip drama
15 August 2005
excuse me did i missed something?What was the point of the film?to glamorize teenage delinquency? to idolize disjointed families? a demand for a surrogate father? OK the music was fine, the hand-held camera manages to create some tension in some instances, the acting except (eve's) was adequate and not much else.Maybe the film may look very cool or hip to audiences below 25 so if you are at that age group see it, if you like something more than an MTV ride that lasts over an hour with beautiful people skip it, watch F*****G AMAL is funnier and dramatic that really grips you because of the fine acting and because it touches the larger picture (the hypocritical Swedish society).
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Harvest Time (2004)
10/10
end of an era
27 April 2005
excellent footage using a fifties camera to attain the era zeitgeist,with very powerful poetic images of nature that may not serve the narrative still very beautiful. it can be read as the lost cause of communism and the triumph of personal will and the eventual downfall of patriotism in the soviet era.Although the heroine is presented as a one dimensional character we tend to sympathize with her in an indirect way, her inability to love anyone except her duty towards the soviet ideals is a perfect parable for self destruction. must see for every serious film lovers.the final sequence is very ironic towards the sufferings of a whole nation but still very clever and thought provoking.
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10/10
inarticulate real
6 February 2005
Herzog's characters tend to have an uneasy relation to language, whether they are Kaspar, who lives years in his life without language at all,Bruno(Stroszek,1976)who, rather than explaining his emotions,builds a "schematic model" of his feelings, or Fini Straubinger(Land of Silence and Darkness 1970),who cannot explain in words how it feels to be blind and deaf.Indeed, virtually all of Herzog's films are populated by marginal beings who resist language or who affirm its insufficiency to produce "true" meaning.For Herzog, their resistance to language is clearly a sign of their purity.More importantly, this resistance has the effect of rendering such figures opaque and image-like.An image that is visually striking but not wholly susceptible to verbal explanation.Their opacity gives them the quality of an unformulated image, an image that to some extent retards or actually interrupts the narrative flow with its non narrative effect.Kaspar is "outside of language and outside of difference," and later resists the patriarchal narrative with which he is equipped.Despite the pronounced literary subtext in these films, the dismissal of writing as a secondary mediation in contrast with the immediacy of the image occurs persistently in Herzog.The words of Kaspar's name spring up as the watercress he has planted, becoming living things in a triumphant romantic gesture that recalls Holderlin's longing, in BREAD AND WINE, for "words which spring up like flowers."By gestures such as these, Herzog has, in his view, redeemed language by transforming it first into a thing and then into an image.The lack of erotic impulse in Herzog's narratives is pronounced: the sexualized body is not of interest to Herzog and in his characters libidinal impulses tend to be sublimated into an all-consuming vision or to disappear into introit by some other means.Kaspar's enthusiasm for knitting that so shocks Lord Stanhope and in his general refusal to distinguish between male and female tasks.The black caped man who initiates Kaspar's entry into narrative, a symbolic father whose identity nevertheless remains enshrouded in mystery, resembles on one so much as Dr. Caligari in his black cape.As in some measure the "founding text" of German cinema and as an allegory per SE, THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI would naturally speak to a filmmaker anxious to create a bridge between German films of the Weimar period and those of his own time.So the black caped father functions here as the symbolic father of German cinema as well.Within the overall narrative of the film, it is the Caligari figure who intervenes with violence at various junctures in order,it would appear, to be able to direct its course.This violence, in turn, generates in the imagination of Kaspar a succession of visionary images that, like Herzog's films, begin with landscapes.When, in one dream sequence, Kaspar creates a mythical landscape of the Caucasus, a landscape with golden temples for which there has been no equivalent in his experience, Kaspar is creating with natural signs, like Herzog in hoping to bring "the real" into his film-making.
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8/10
101 introduction to BIG BROTHER
28 January 2005
I saw that film when i studied films in england, i liked the director's techniques with his subjects.First of all he provokes them in order to get more informations from them, second he manages to become intimate to the viewer with his monologues that take the form of a confession.Many commented that his life is pathetic, maybe so, but it takes courage to expose to the public some very 'personal' moments.Many people might comment about the ethics of documentary, because sometimes he seems to abuse some of his subjects, or even mock them,i have a specific scene in my mind:When he interviews one of the so called patriots,inside a snack bar he pans his camera and while we listen to the 'patriotic credo' we watch another man dressed like a clown.I think this is a film that deserves to be seen because it is a prerequisite for people who enjoy BIG BROTHER and other similar assortments, that victimize their subjects sometimes to the extreme.Compared to those SHERMAN'S MARCH is very innocent much more entertaining though.8/10
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