Le Havre is perhaps one of Aki Kaurismäki’s most cinephilic films, from its nod to the colours of Jacques Demy’s Cherbourg; the faceless, lower-half bodies of Robert Bresson; the late neorealism of Vittorio de Sica; and to the studio-bound fantasy atmosphere of French poetic realism, Jean Cocteau’s Orphée (1950), and Luchino Visconti’s White Nights (1957). Yet over and above these references, the film is staunchly a Kaurismäki film for several reasons. One, it brings together these references to arrive at the disjunctive temporality that characterises all of Kaurismäki’s films.
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Cast: Dennis Farina , Jamie Anne Allman , Ian Barford Director: Joe Maggio Country: USA…
Fans of the video game franchise that belongs to the name of Tom Clancy might feel or think they’re being cheated due to the first movie outing is a 25-minute short film. But make no mistake, Ghost Recon: Alpha packs a hell of a wallop in that time frame.
La promesse (1996) may have introduced sibling filmmakers Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne to the international world, but in no way did it prepare everyone for their subsequent film, the astounding Rosetta. Even if the larger world is absent in a way that it is present in La promesse through the narrative of human trafficking, the drive behind Rosetta and the teenage titular character as an outcast who wants to re-enter society quietly implicates the state. Like Aki Kaurismäki, the Dardenne brothers present portraits of labour and economic depression. They do so not with sweeping, grand gestures and messages, but in a very insular way through a particular individual’s trajectory in a limited space and his/her encounters with several persons.
La promesse, directed by Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne, presents the screen debut of Jérémie Renier at fourteen years of age, playing a son whose unemployed father is involved in the trafficking of illegal immigrants. While not their first feature film, the Dardenne brothers consider La promesse their official debut feature, insofar as it follows the disillusioning experience of their second fiction feature Je pense à vous (1992); and embodies on several levels the brothers’ documentary impulse and beginnings and mode of independent filmmaking that they had lost during the production of Je pense à vous. The title La promesse thus refers not only to the narrative but also to the Dardennes’ henceforth stubborn commitment to their distinct mode of filmmaking and economical, visceral cinema of often young outcasts bent on survival; of ethical encounters; and often set against the post/industrial landscape of Seraing, Belgium.
A an attractive female poet is rescued from the sea by a seasoned male writer. This happenstance collision of fate would change the lives of these two forever, as we never really know when someone that will be crucial to our existence will stumble (or swim) into our lives. Carice van Houten’s Ingrid Jonker masks great pain under her carefree wisps of hair and infectious smiles. It is a pain honed by a lifetime of internal scars as she tries desperately to gain the affection and approval of her tyrannical father (menacingly portrayed by Rutger Hauer). Ingrid’s chance encounter with Liam Cunningham’s Jack Cope will bring new excitement and passion into her life, but the temporary elation of new love will eventually erode and expose the deep cracks lying just below the surface. This would be Ingrid’s chance to clean the slate and live a lifestyle more suited for satiating her poetic curiosities, but the inescapable pain that lives in the darkest recesses of our minds will eventually resurface, and truly satisfying closure is usually something that only happens in the movies.
Margaret is something of a time capsule. Shot and originally scheduled for a release in 2007, director Kenneth Lonergan struggled for years in the editing booth to find a cut he was satisfied with, leading to multiple lawsuits that delayed the release of the film even further. Four years later, the film was quietly released in the fall of 2011 in a 150-minute cut that Fox Searchlight demanded he trim the film down to. Unfortunately, the scars of the lengthy post-production hell the film went through are apparent in the theatrical cut. The editing is choppy at best, and while certain sections, particularly in the first 100 minutes, benefit from it, the last 50 suffer greatly and stunt the impact of the film. The script, direction, and performances are firing on all cylinders, but the film becomes something of a beautiful mess in this rendition of it. The good news is that for this Blu-Ray release, Fox Searchlight saw fit to release an extra DVD disc with the film that houses the long awaited extended cut. Running at 186 minutes, this cut was apparently closer to Lonergan’s original vision. The result is something of a masterpiece.
It should really come as no surprise to anyone that governments are still capable of pure unmitigated evil beyond the wildest Dickensian nightmares of any 19th century street urchin. Evil never really went anywhere, it just figured out how to hide itself behind paperwork. Oranges and Sunshine explores the story of Margaret Humphreys, a British social worker that uncovered a long buried state-sponsored child abduction scandal. An estimated 150,000 children were torn from their homes in this debacle, and it would take a permanent toll on many of these children’s lives. Children and parents alike were purposely misled and lower class children were forcibly deported to childcare facilities overseas. The intentions aren’t entirely clear, but I’m sure someone was making money from these horrific deeds. The thing with governments is that they aren’t necessarily more evil than the populations they supposedly represent, but they are infinitely more capable at covering their own ass.
We Need to Talk About Kevin isn’t as much a film as it is a stream of consciousness. Presented in an entirely non-linear structure and forgoing traditional storytelling, one might think Gaspar Noe directed it. Instead, Lynne Ramsay has brought the now famous best-selling novel to the screen, and if this movie is any indication, she is filmmaking force to be reckoned with. This isn’t just a literary adaptation; it’s a cinematic tour-de-force of the most chilling kind, propelled by extraordinary performances from three young men and career-best work from the great Tilda Swinton.
Don’t go into the woods! The woods are silly with strategically unkempt hipsters carrying out their band practice and there may be no escaping the acoustic driven torture of their emotional warbling! While this was once a problem that mainly plagued the wooded areas of the Pacific Northwest, it has escalated in to a nationwide epidemic of bad beards and skinny jeans. Your best bet is to avoid wooded areas and the five block radius surrounding any Urban Outfitters store so as not to get swept up to become yet another casualty in the culture plague of ironic mustache humor. Vincent D’Onofrio wrote and directed a horror/musical about the dangers lurking in such hipster infested woods, appropriately titled Don’t Go in the Woods. If my facetious introduction isn’t doing anything for you, then try the first part of that last sentence, “Vincent D’Onofrio wrote and directed a horror/musical”. If that isn’t enough to warrant a viewing out of sheer morbid curiosity, then I’m not sure what else I can say to convince you.