Archive for June, 2010

Les herbes Folles (2009)

Directed by Alain Resnais, this film follows the romantic adventures that ensure when a man discovers a lost wallet and is intrigued by it’s owner. This film was at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival and I have been waiting forever to see it, I’m sure it’s great.

Restrepo (2010)

This documentary focuses on a group of American soldiers in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley at an outpost named Restrepo – considered one of the most dangerous posts in the military. The documentary is experimental and doesn’t follow the usual rules of interviews – there are no politicians or diplomats interviewed here. All there is, is 90 minutes of war, filmed to make the viewer feel like they are part of the military outpost. Restrepo is a must see documentary. 

Cyrus (2010)

Jay and Mark Duplass direct this comedy about a divorced man, John (John C Reilly) who meets a beautiful woman, Molly (Marissa Tomei) and her son Cyrus (Jonah Hill). Molly and Cyrus have an unconventional relationship and are extremely close to each other to the point where Cyrus doesn’t want anyone else in his mother’s life. Naturally, comedy ensues with John and Cyrus both battling for the affection of Molly. If you see this one, keep in mind that the directors used an improvisational technique and rarely relied on the script so what you are watching is most likely improvised by the actors themselves.

The Killer Inside Me (2010)

Casey Affleck stars in this western neo-noir about a psychopathic serial killer who has run out of alibis to explain the dead bodies that are piling up around him. But in this film, nothing is as it seems, and everyone, including those pursuing the serial killer have secrets to hide. 

The Trotsky (2009)

Leon Bronstein, a high school student in Montreal, claims to be the reincarnation of Leon Trotsky. Yes, you read that correctly. And just like Trotsky, Bronstein acts the part, embarking on a series of political and social movements, strikes and protests. If you ever wondered what Trotsky was like as a student in high school, then you should see this film.

Mid-August Lunch (2008)

A middle aged man, named Gianni living with his mother spends his day between home and the local bar, until his landlord asks him to spend the day with his own mother on the national bank holiday. Gianni accepts but the manager turns up with two women, not just his own mother and Gianni’s holiday is overwhelmed with these three women. You must watch the film to find out what happens.

Mao’s Last Dancer (2009)

A young boy is plucked out of poverty and taken to study ballet in communist China. He then travels to America, learns what freedom is all about and is on a path of defection from communist China. This is an autobiographical film and centers on what it is like to be caught between two worlds – your homeland and your desired homeland and the price that must be paid for self-expression.

Micmacs (2009)

From the director of Amelie comes a fun, quirky film about a man who’s life has been plagued by weapons and one day gets a stray bullet lodged in his skull. Fed up with the destructive nature of all these weapons in his life he is determined to find out the manufacturer of the bullet and bring down the company that made it. Along the way he meets up with a group of eccentric junkyard dealers who help him on his quest to destroy the weapon’s manufacturers. 

Summer months are usually the worst in terms of film releases, unless you can find a great hidden gem suffocated by the Hollywood dreck. So, for these summer months there won’t be themed film months, rather I’m going to pick some films that I believe are worth a watch. And since I have not seen most of these films I will not be putting in Filmmaker Fridays, for the obvious reasons. Maybe I’ll throw in one of those popcorn, fluff, lame, escapist films that we all need to see once in a while even if we don’t admit it. The month of May, for reasons unknown was skipped but I have come back full force with a great offering of films I can proudly say are reminiscent of beatnik cinematic coffee houses. Enjoy.

Exit through the gift shop (2010)

This film is directed by world renowned graffiti artist Banksy, some like him, some don’t to the point where his works are erased from city streets (like they recently did in Toronto). An amateur French filmmaker was on a mission to make a film about the notorious Banksy only to have his subject turn the camera and the story away form himself and onto the French filmmaker. If you like documentary, Banksy, films that pose questions about art and the political nature of art then this one’s for you.

Harry Brown (2009)

I really really want to see this film, so if any of you do then you must tell me what it’s like. Harry Brown is Michael Caine, a retired serviceman who’s friend is murdered by thugs. Unfortunately, justice is on the side of the thugs so Harry Brown decides to take matters into his own hands to avenge the death of his friend.