Monthly Archives: September 2011

My first @Raindance

I believe this is the first Raindance with temperatures in their late twenties. At the same time this is my first Raindance experience.

A brief summary of the first 24 hrs goes like this: so far I’ve seen 5 films. 1 proper arthouse, 1 phenomenal cinematic orgasmic experience, 1 indie with no handrails, 1 big budget studio from Balkans and 1 serious Scandinavian. The reviews will follow shortly.

About the festival: it is my first festival on such a small scale and yet with such massive ambition and programme. Am disappointed that some of the features only get one (ONE!!!!) screening, but on the whole the size of the festival allows for proper ‘mingling’ in the festivalgoers+filmmakers own sauce which is great!

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Drive by Nicolas Winding Refn (2011)

It’s a tribute to the art of cinema, cinematography, soundtrack, Quentin Tarantino, David Lynch, The Godfather and Los Angeles, California. A gem displaying the amazing attention to detail of the director and an incredible mastery of the cinematic tools.

Ryan Gosling plays a character who brings to mind a naive puppy who is unaware of its physical strength and wags its tail at any nice gesture from the outside world. Up to a point.

Slow motion, very long and slow introduction to the character’s world builds up to an unbearable suspense. This film has many good aspects. One of them is that despite a quite predictable genre, very few elements are easily predictable. Quite a few come up as a surprise.

The cast is carefully selected and has a surprisingly good chemistry. Notice the Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston.

Somebody said that this is the new Tarantino. It’s not. It is a brand new trademark of a brand new persona in Hollywood. Ladies and Gentlemen – remember this name: Nicolas Winding Refn.

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Crazy, Stupid, Love by Glenn Ficarra & John Requa

It’s funny. It’s self conscious. It’s got good pace (until the second turning point where I felt it was getting too long). All set in LA, shot in California at few locations.

The opening sequence accompanied by the music sets the expectations in a great way and leads the audiences into the style and world witnessed.

There is a lot of heavy dialogues fantastically written and amazingly played where characters all talk at the same time which rarely works on screen – more often on stage in theatre if at all. It works here!

A great satire on a certain type of macho and on a certain type of husband species. Full blown comedy!

The young Emma Stone reminds me of the young Jodie Foster in Taxi Driver, but her voice reminds me of Janis Joplin.

Ryan Gosling’s got talent (and a sixpack)…

It’s a good laugh and definitely not a waste of time – perfect for a Sunday afternoon like today… and hey! I bet you will not have guessed the biggest surprise of the film!

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Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by Tomas Alfredson

Adaptation of renowned John Le Carré’s novel of the same title. The famous writer also co-worked on the script.
Have my doubts whether somebody unacquainted with the book could easily follow the plot.
It’s a classic cinematic experience. Shot in very cold Scandinavian colours (director is Swedish originally), with impressive set design, costumes and props.
A very successful tool with old v. new eyewear to distinguish between flashbacks and present action. Great period recreation of 1970’s Budapest.
A few changes to the book are mainly geographically oriented, not sure why. Prague turned into Budapest and Bangkok into Istanbul. Budget constraints?
Other than that, the film looks as if it was made in 1970’s which is a plus. Gary Oldman as an introvertic opposite of 007 exceeds any expectations. He does not play George Smiley. He is George Smiley!
5 stars for the costumes and depiction of the world that is long gone and forgotten. But maybe not?
A nice brain teaser and classic cinema at its best!

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