Jiro dreams of Sushi

Beautiful, though-provoking and engaging are some of the adjectives that I can think off best to describe this documentary. Its about the relentless pursuit of one man in his quest for excellence. Jiro Ono has been a sushi chef since he was 9 years old after being abandoned by his father. This is all he has ever done and known in life. In Japan there is a word, Shokunin,” meaning “artisan or “craftsman”. It stands for the Japanese philosophy of being perfect at your particular craft. Shokunin spend their lifetime in trying to achieve absolute perfection in whatever craft they choose and Jiro seems in every fiber of his being to embody this spirit.

Read more...

Lovers of the artic circle

Lovers of the Arctic Circle (Los amantes del círculo polar) is a Spanish drama movie from 1998. Its written and directed by Julio Médem. The level of complexity of his work is again evident, as in all of Medem’s previous movies. This particular story is portraying a grand love affair that started when Otto and Ana where young. They met as children and the movie follows them into adulthood. The two eventually fall in love, but are put in situations time and time again that make it very difficult for them to stay that way. Both having palindromic names. A palindrome is a word that reads the same in whichever direction you read it. Spelled the same forwards or backwards and it has a special meaning. The end is as the beginning and the beginning is as the end. This is an important fact, as this ties back into the whole story where everything always revolves as in a circle.

Read more...

Y tu mama tambien

Y tu mama tambien is the Mexican version of a classic American road movie. This is a movie where two (usually young) people go on a road trip and come out on the other end having discovered something about themselves through their experiences. This however offers a little twist on the genre, as Its about an impulsive sexual journey that two teenagers (don’t worry, they are 18 years old) take with an attractive older woman.

Read more...

Man hunt

Man hunt from 1941 is a movie from German-Austrian director Fritz Lang. He was of Jewish ancestry and had fled Germany for America when the Nazi’s came to power in the mid 1930’s. he was already a very acclaimed movie-director in Germany and when he came to America, he then started working in Hollywood. Man Hunt was one of the first movies that he directed there. It has a strong anti-Nazi sentiment and was the first of four of these movies that he produced. Considered by many to be a classic movie now. This is an interesting story that also shows very well the anti-nazi sentiment living in America at that time and for many this was an uptick for America to eventually join the war.

Read more...

Entre les murs

This movie is loosely Based on the novel “Entre les Murs” by French writer François Bégaudeau and his own experiences working as a teacher in an multi-ethnic inner-city school in Paris's socially-deprived 20th arrondissement. The book was a success in France and soon followed interest to adapt this novel into a movie. He worked together with screenwriter Robin Campillo and director Laurent Cantet to do this. Cantet wanted to make this film as realistic as possible and avoid any of the standard cliches and show a realistic and gritty portrait of a real inner-city school and the struggles of the teachers there. You can clearly see in this movie how big the culture clash in a classroom in the averige multi-ethnic Parisian school is, which makes for an interesting look at how teachers are having to deal with the most difficult circumstances on a day to day basis while teaching in these schools.

Read more...

Kick-Ass

Kick-Ass manages that and subverts the comic-book superhero genre in a big way. I love movies that try and redefine a particular genre and this is definitely one of these movies. Based on an actual comic-book by Marvel, Kick-ass takes a bit of a different approach to the typical Hollywood adaptation version of a comic-book superhero movie than the regular movies it turns out.

Read more...

12 Angry Men

12 Angry men is a 1957 drama film, which is entirely set in a jury room where a jury of men of 12 men are deciding the innocence, or guilt of a young Puerto Rican boy who is accused of having stabbed his own father to death. Each juror came into the courtroom with their own prejudices and also perhaps some bigotry. This comes out all throughout the movie and adds a lot of intensity and conflict as you see each juror is looking at the case from their own standpoint and the experiences he has had in his life.

Read more...

The Gods must be crazy

The Gods Must Be Crazy is a South-African comedy movie from 1980, directed by Jamie Uys. It started of as a small independent movie, but quickly drew critical acclaim and had to be translated from the original Afrikaans into English for its foreign release. It was well liked by many audiences all across the world, as somehow this story always seems to resonate with people. It did with my parents, who showed me this movie when I was a young boy, about 10 years old. I remember it making a quite an impact on me and when I found it again recently, it just had to be included here.

Read more...

Pan's Labyrinth

Pan’s labyrinth, or El Laberintho del fauno as it was originally called in spanish, is a 2006 Spanish-Mexican Dark Fantasy film, directed by acclaimed Mexican director Guillermo del Toro. He is well know for making films in the fantasy genre and with this life-long obsession for fantasy and monsters I can assure you that you will find your fair share of that in this movie too. He himself said in an interview “This movie deals with brutality an innocence with children in war and how they cope with this situation. They sometimes will create a fantasy world that is as real for them and sometimes just as scary or dangerous as the real world to escape their situation”. This is the most beautiful way I can put it here to describe this movie.

Read more...

Chef

Let me start by saying that if you havent eaten before watching this movie, then that’s a very bad idea! You will litrally be salivating from the moment this movie starts. Jon Favreau has created what I can only describe as one of the best movies about food and chefs. Being trained as a chef myself, I can relate really well to the main character and his need for creative expression. But let my biased opinion on this movie not sway you either way. The script has many comedic notes and its good to see John favreu going back to his original roots of swingers. So despite a plethora of big Hollywood stars that you will see dashing past on your screen in small cameo roles, this movie manages to never looses its indie feel.

Read more...

Adventureland

Adventurland is a coming of age movie, albeit one that is extremely entertaining, funny and a quirky in how it portrays growing up as a confused teenager. Dealing with your teenage crush and what to do next in life. Staring Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart and Ryan Reynolds, this is the follow up to cult classic Superbad . The script is loosly based on the director’s own experiences as a teenager, where he worked at Farmingdale amusement park Adventureland.

Read more...

Blackbook

Robocop, Basic instinct, Starship troopers. Some of the biggest grossing Hollywood films of the last two decades. Who does not know these movies? They all are the work of Dutch director Paul Verhoeven. However he started out in Holland as an indie-director, directing influentual films there such as Soldier of Orange and Turkish Delight. This making him one of the most important Dutch filmmakers at the time. Blackbook (zwartboek) is his return to Dutch cinema after all those years in Hollywood.

Read more...

Monsoon Wedding

As much as I have a problem with the typical Hollywood movie, I have exactly the same issue with Bollywood movies and the over the top unrealistic movies they produce. This Indian movie from director Mira Nair however, couldn’t be more removed from the Typical Bollywood movie. Its gritty and shows a piece real life. I believe that she had exactly this in mind when making this movie. Her work consitst a lot of her kicking against the traditional views and this film is no different. Of course it still has the singing and dance elements that make a movie so distinctive Indian, but not every five minutes and totally out of context. And we would never want them to cut out that part out totally too.

Read more...

The Iron Giant

This is a animated Children’s movie that’s both fit for children and adults. So if you have a family then this is one of those movies that you both can watch together and love, as it has a different message for both children and adults. The iron giant never really catched on as a mainstream movie, and that is actually a real shame because the message for both adults and children is a really good one in this movie. Poet Ted Hughes, considered one of the greatests poets of his generation by many, first wrote this story for his own children before it got eventually got adapted for film.

Read more...

Internal Affairs

For decades, Hong Kong was the third largest movie industry in the world (after Hollywood and Bollywood) and it always had its own very distinctive style. However, after the financial crisis of 1997, their output had drastically decreased and Hong Kong lost its place as a movie powerhouse. Internal Affairs was officially credited as reviving Hong Kong’s cinema and has also been one of the most succesfull movies in Asia in recent memory. If you have ever seen Martin Scorsese’s the departed and liked that movie, then this movie is a must-see, because this the original movie from which that film was based.

Read more...

Rabbit-proof fence

This is a movie detailing a dark part of the Australian history. Between 1910 and 1970 the Australian government had a policy of forcefully removing aboriginal half-cast children (a child whose parents are of different races) from their parents and they would be taken to institutions across Australia. This was part of the Ausralian government’s idea of assimilation of the native population. The children where seperated from their parents and taken to settlements where they tried to get them to be assimilate and let their black part die out. These generations of children where called, the stolen generation.

Read more...

Next Goal Wins

Sometimes a documentary comes along that captures everything that is beautifull about sports. This documentary is about what is considered to be the worst international football (soccer) team, in the national football team of American Samoa, who have never won an international game. British filmmakers Mike Brett and Steve Jamison went to the island to make a documentry to show what it means to still love the game and continue to play in the face of defeat after defeat. However, that is not quite what they got after they began filming.

Read more...

City of God

This is probably one of the most iconic movies to have ever come out of brazil, and its easy to see its popularity. The character development is some of the best I’ve ever seen in a movie and its even more of a major feat that the director has pulled this off succesfully--since most of the people in this film where not even professional actors at the time of filming. They where mostly residents of the City of God itself, where most of this movie was shot.

Read more...

Scott Pilgrim vs the World

Welcome in the fantasy world of Scott pilgrim. A unsuccesful rock musician in a Toronto band. Scott’s universe is a universe where just about anyone in this movie, at litrally anytime can turn themselfs into a super hero with the accompanying super power and just about always does. He has to battle the seven evil exes of his new mysterious girlfriend. But he not only faces them, but also a slew of his own ex-gf's that also seem to randomly pop up at any time in this movie.

Read more...

Captains couragous

There is just something about the nostalgia of movies from the 1930’s that is just ever so special. Far ahead of its time and one of cinema’s greatest classic adventure stories ever told, is 1937’s Captain’s Courageous. This movie has a beautiful sentiment that has held up to this day.

Read more...

Snowpiercer

Before you quickly sigh and think, wow, another one of these post-apocalyptic movies with a big hollywood superstar (Insert Chris Evans in this instance), I have to say, no no no, not for this movie. But the exception is just for this one.

Read more...

Il postino

Il postino is a 1994 Italian movie directed by Michael Radford . Its about an unlikely friendship of two men, the famed Chilean poet Pablo Neruda and a postman called Mario Ruoppolo. The two meet during Pablo Neruda’s political exile from chile to Italy, where he stays on a small island in the bay of Naples. Mario who lives there is dissatisfied with his life and decides to take on a job as a postman to deliver mail to the house of Pablo Neruda. This turns into a daily occurrence as the mail pours in from his fans all across the world.

Read more...
Subscribe to this RSS feed