I Am Love

From it's glorious opening shots of a bleak snow covered Milan, it's buildings looking surreal, it's streets empty and over this, stark overly large titles, this film had my attention. We are introduced to a family, upper class, full of wealth as they celebrate the Grandfather's birthday. They live in an exquisite house, full of art and antiques, the family are presented as smart, clever and intellectual, yet there is a regulated manner to them, a certain behavior. Shots of the coldness outside, compare well with the warmth of the house inside. The film moves forward to summer and the mother, Emma, encounters a young chef through her son and an affair starts.

The affair is the start of the unraveling of both Emma and her family, a family that is almost void of emotion and suddenly they are thrown into chaos. It is a remarkable transition. The later stages of the film are so epic it feels like an opera playing out full of drama, tension and events unexpected. The film is a masterpiece. Firstly it looks stunning, every scene is beautifully shot, unusual camera angles give a new perspective on an otherwise ordinary shot and production values are superior throughout, the house, the setting, the wardrobes all fit into the world we enter so perfectly.

The film plays out with some stark contrasts brilliantly: the opening scenes with the cold stark bleakness of winter is comparable to the coldness, the stiffness of the family. The external shots of the house and the city are so bleak, they have the look of black and white film. As summer is introduced and Emma begins her affair we have another vivid contrast, full of light, colour and nature, that love and beauty can be combined. It is an excellent comparison of the characters lives.

The 400 Blows (1959)

The beauty of Francois Truffaut's The 400 Blows is not found in terms of its technical merit (even though, in technical terms, it is still a brilliant piece), but in the heart and soul of the film, the shear love with which it was made. Truffaut said time and time again that the cinema saved his life, and you get the impression that the only way he felt he could repay his sanctuary was by committing himself to it. He did so in many ways! Not only did the auteur commit his time to movies, by being a lover of film and a critic, he soon became a director, producing this inspired masterpiece. Perhaps, that is what makes it a masterpiece. The film truly is inspired; inspired by Truffaut's life, his passion for cinema, and his theories about how films should be created. The result is amazing! Antoine Doinel, played by Jean-Pierre Leaud, is a misunderstood young boy, trying to keep his head above water, despite being caught up in what seems to be a predestined downward spiral. His teacher and his parents do not trust him, and he knows this. Seeing no trust to betray, he does whatever he can to try to compensate for how miserable he is treated. His mother (Claire Maurier) is busy working and trying to be a housewife, despite an affair she is having with another man. His father (Albert Remy) seems nice enough, but loses his temper when he is disappointed in the young man. Because of an already-existent lack of trust the parents have for their son, everything he does is perceived as wrong. No one ever takes the time (not his parents, certainly not his despicable teacher) to actually look at the boy, to determine whether there is any malice in his actions, or if he is simply a misguided little boy, searching for something he cannot describe or define. This is Truffaut's gift - He allows us to look through the screen, to see this young man, to study him, maybe for only one hundred minutes, but we are given the time to see the truth in this child that few probably ever saw in the young, tormented Truffaut. To miss this film is to deprive yourself of a rare cinematic experience!

The movie was very well done in every aspect. The black and white helps to emphasize Doinel's somewhat dreary existence. I recommend this movie to everyone.

Jules et Jim

"Jules et Jim" directed by the great Francois Truffaut. This movie was shocking back in 1961 due to the causal manner it treats having affairs.  The film is about two friends, Jules (Oskar Werner) & Jim (Henri Serre) and their love for Catherine (Jeanne Moreau). Catherine owns both of these men. She takes turn in fooling around with both of them. And not covering it up. She openly cheats on them and they accept it hoping she will come back. The film is much more than this simple outline I have given. I must say it was hard for me to really like any of the characters. But I must it was a great ending, but I will not give that away. The ending left me feeling empty and like, what just happened? And I can't believe it. But I think that's what Truffaut is wanting you to feel. He's wanting you to wonder. You must bring your brain with this movie.

Ondine

Ondine, produced by Neil Jordan, is a story about a fisherman by the name of Syracuse (Colin Farrell) who one day fishes from the sea a beautiful "woman" (Alicja Bachleda) who apparently lost her memory but keeps a more. She wants to be called Ondine since Ondine is "the one who came out from the waters first". The chemistry between Syracuse and Ondine exist and you witness a surprisingly true story of love between these 2 characters. In his journey to understand her he realizes she is nothing but the selkie (half-human half-seal who loves to sing) the locals knew from the story about "the fisherman and the girl in the net". Annie, a girl who suffers from a kidney failure disease, is Syracuse daughter and she keeps a strong balance between his father and Ondine but things get interesting when a special villain infiltrates in the story who tries to deceive and destroy all the hope that surrounds these two lovers. The story gets deeper and deeper especially into the second part of the movie where Syracuse is frightened that Ondine will haunt him forever and then the emotional conflicts begin. Other than that the ending contains twists that make the fairytale seem ... real in a real world.

Sherlock

Sherlock Holmes has been done many times. Sometimes faithful, sometimes Guy Richtie. Whatever you like there is something about the character that needs revisiting now and again.

Sherlock is back this time in modern day London along with all the old skills but also has the technology savvy to go along with his deduction skills.

Benedict Cumberbatch plays Sherlock and does so with apparent ease - he is comfortable in the role, it fits him perfectly and as an actor has a certain magnetism that is required. Martin Freeman is John Watson -almost the audience really in following Holmes and being impressed with his logical and quick mind.

Having now seen all of the 3 episodes I can now say I can't wait for the next series - it has to happen - if not it would be a crime in itself! Each of the three stories are very well written - storywise and character wise. What I like most is that Holmes is not perfect. He can be childish and offensive, but the next minute he can be charming and brilliant. I was suprrised how well the character fitted into the modern age without it feeling wrong or out of place.

Each story is 90mins long and just great entertainment. At times it is suspenseful, then there is some action then it is funny.

True Blood

Well, True Blood is something kind unusual. The series got my attention because it's from the same creator of Six Feet Under and writer of American Beauty, and both are 2 excellent pieces of art. But when I heard about the plot of this new one I thought that it would have all the possibilities to be a huge mistake. For world's sake Buffy and Angel are not among us anymore, but vampires are on top once again because there's this new franchise, Twilight (2008), and also there's the fact that everybody loves a great vampire tale and we all were missing that on TV.

Anyway, vampire tales freaks people's mind because this fascination over these creatures and all their ambiguous qualities really impresses every human being.

Of course that's not all about it, and unlike Buffy or Angel this one is different from the vampire stories that we usually see on television because it's not for teenagers and also is not a crappy one. The vampires or even Sookie's psychic power are just forefronts to a plot that centers all the difficulties between humans and what is called different. So, it's not strange that entire series deals with all different kinds of people that once and still are being named "freaks" or "different", like: black people, gay people, southern people, older, addicted, women, whores, etc. And also is not strange that Sookie and Bill feel so connected because they are just the representation of these different social groups. Have you ever asked yourself why "freakies" have "freakie" friends? Because they share the same feelings and this is the base to construct any kind of relationship. That's why there's a psychic girl and vampires because otherwise it could had been just another series and people would say: "oh, okay... just another one about gay people or black people trying to prove something for someone". Remember X-Men and all its society issues? Well, it's quite the same thing because dealing with unreal things makes people incapable to point their fingers. So they just shut up and fit their selves in any kind of familiar circumstances it's shown with no constraint. So, positive points for Alan Ball once again.

Joker

Joker, one of the villains in Batman franchise. In some ways, nothing makes him special in the comics, just a regular villain. But however, there was something special with him in Nolan’s The Dark Knight. An arrogant character, stories about scars, doing regular villain stuff, that’s all you know...But his speciality is the man who played the character: Heath Ledger.

To prepare for the role, Ledger lived alone in a hotel room for a month, formulating the character's posture, voice, and personality, and kept a diary, in which he recorded the Joker's thoughts and feelings. "There's a bit of everything in him. There's nothing that consistent," Ledger said, and added, "There are a few more surprises to him. Ledger was allowed to shoot and mostly direct the videos the Joker sends out as warnings. Each take Ledger made was different from the last. Nolan was impressed enough with the first video shoot that he chose to not be present when Ledger shot the video with a kidnapped reporter. That’s what makes Ledger’s Joker is one of a kind, actually becomes the “Heath Ledger’s Joker”. Unfortunately, he passed away a bit of time later to give us one of the best villains ever in cinema history.

posted by Cem Cap

Inception

Inception is excellent. The direction, the script, the acting, everything adds up to make it one of the most challenging major studio films to come out in quite some time. It's tough to say if it is Christopher Nolan's best film but it definitely is up there with The Dark Knight and Memento.

I love the whole idea of being able to enter someone's dream in order to steal an idea of their's. It's such an interesting concept. I have of course heard by now that Christopher Nolan worked on the Inception script for a very long period of time, ten years or so. I can definitely say that it is worth it.

Ellen Page and Cillian Murphy are the standout performances in Inception, Ellen Page for successfully acting very well in a role far from many of the others she's played, and Cillian Murphy for taking a role that has so much emotional depth and executing it perfectly. The entire cast does well here and this is one of the best things about Inception. The fact that it can have such an outlandish plot line and still draw you in and make it believable is probably Inception's best trait.

I love how Christopher Nolan makes big budget action movies but isn't afraid to not only infuse his idiosyncratic style into them, but also to infuse an emotional depth in them.

  

Invictus

After being imprisoned for thirty years, a man steps out of a tiny cell, and he is ready to forgive the people who put him there. Invictus is a movie that inspires greatness. It's difficult to see this film and remain unaffected by such a heartwarming and inspirationally true story.

In every moment of the film, you can feel the relaxed hand of Eastwood, painting this rich and important story with his trademark of gracefulness and understatement. With each film that he makes, Eastwood sheds a new layer of his vision. His ideas and consummate understanding of the world gel, and through his talent, they become magnificent pieces of storytelling that will be talked about for a long time. As his career advances, Eastwood's films only get better; they're mature and always from the heart.

Morgan Freeman's performance of Mandela is so fluent that he disappears in the persona and becomes almost unrecognizable in the role. He had been preparing for this role since the early 1990s  Freeman is like a chameleon; he becomes Mandela.

Matt Damon is extraordinary. Physically, he does not look like Pienaar, but he embodies the spirit of the man. In each of his scenes, you see a man's conscience burning within him, driving him to satisfy his hunger for greatness. Mandela's vision inspires him to lead and become the example that everyone looks to for hope.

A Prophet

Quite simply the best prison movie in the last 10 years since America History X. A mark of a good film is the effect it has on you after you watched it, some films you enjoy but you forgotten all about it the next day. I think this movie will occupy my mind. The acting is the best you going to see, I think Tahar Rahim and the combination of his acting with Niels Arestrup is probably the best performances in movies recently. Story line is gripping and the tension is unbearable at times, you feel the misery, hope and desperation with all the characters and live the story for the 2 and half hours its on. Its well directed and a very deep storyline, something Hollywood is really short of at the moment, Jacques Audiard has a fan for life with me now. A must see.