Panagiotis Fafoutis – Paradeisos AKA Paradise (2011)

vf6GML Panagiotis Fafoutis   Paradeisos AKA Paradise (2011)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Panagiotis Fafoutis   Paradeisos AKA Paradise (2011)

Synopsis: Marianna returns to Greece on a whim to surprise her boyfriend, secretly plotting to stay with him forever, while Nikos is using the carnival as an excuse to confess his love to his unsuspecting boss. Eugenia hesitates to tell her daughter about her secret romance with the much younger carnival crew leader, while Ilias has no qualms about begging his estranged wife to come home.

Four couples, each one desperately trying to either rescue or escape their relationship, lose themselves in the intoxicating atmosphere of the carnival before they finally reveal their true colors, hidden behind the masks.
In the midst of carnival madness, four duets are staking their claim on their own personal Paradise… Continue reading

Steve James – Life Itself (2014)

l9J4z8 Steve James   Life Itself (2014)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Steve James   Life Itself (2014)

Late in this documentary about film critic Roger Ebert, the subject himself e-mails director Steve James from the hospital to insist that a difficult conversation with his wife Chaz be captured for the movie. After all, he writes, “This is not only your film.”

The correspondence underscores how this filmic profile is also a kind of a self-portrait by Ebert. It shares a title with the critic’s 2011 memoir, passages of which are lifted to narrate his rise from precocious tabloid reviewer to unlikely celebrity to national treasure. And while it’s too candid about Ebert’s ego, petulance, and late-career critical softening to be called hagiography, that very frankness does harmonize with the critic’s own eleventh-hour turn toward full and fearless disclosure. He came out as alcoholic in 2009, used his blog to inform readers of his health issues (which rendered him unable to speak in 2006), and here thrills to James’s documenting of his most painful medical ordeals.
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Jeanne Balibar & Pierre Léon – Par exemple, Electre (2013)

5de3c4 Jeanne Balibar & Pierre Léon   Par exemple, Electre (2013)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Jeanne Balibar & Pierre Léon   Par exemple, Electre (2013)

Synopsis:

Balibar, well-known as an actress and singer, left none of her talents unused in her directing debut. In this eclectic homage to Greek tragedy, Balibar and Léon are free of any convention. With a cameo by Barbet Schroeder.

Jeanne Balibar and Pierre Léon roam in tourist outfits through Paris and prepare a play with a producer who keeps changing her clothes. In a parallel world, another layer if you wish, actors rehearse their texts for a Greek tragedy on the beach at Deauville and at prominent Parisian locations. It is the story of Electra, probably a rather inefficient character, one who perseveres and refuses to give up the battle against injustice.
This absurd, slightly surrealist and occasionally humorous film looks like a theatre performance with its solemn dialogues and mise-en-scène issues. The makers, the actress Balibar and filmmaker Léon, however also use the medium by inserting screenshots of business e-mails – reflections on their plans. In addition, Balibar is a singer and she sings the texts as if the e-mails were edifying lieder. Electra, for Instance is, as one of the characters puts it, a true ‘culture souq’.
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Fernando Trueba – El artista y la modelo AKA The Artist and the Model (2012)

77b19e Fernando Trueba   El artista y la modelo AKA The Artist and the Model (2012)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Fernando Trueba   El artista y la modelo AKA The Artist and the Model (2012)

Quote:
Fernando Trueba, one of the most prestigious filmmakers in Spain, has set his latest film somewhere in occupied France in the summer of 1943, not far from the Spanish border. An old renowned sculptor, tired of life and mankind?s folly, rediscovers the desire to work and sculpt his last piece thanks to the arrival of a young Spanish woman who has escaped from a refugee camp. “The lovely and poignant drama ‘The Artist and the Model’ stirringly presents art, life and death as one irrevocably tangled trio” (Los Angeles Times). “[Trueba and Carriere] imbue the material with genuine feeling-exploring the melancholy of waning days and a defiantly naive belief in artistic transcendence. Continue reading

Juraj Lehotsky – Zázrak AKA Miracle (2013)

1o67t Juraj Lehotsky   Zázrak AKA Miracle (2013)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Juraj Lehotsky   Zázrak AKA Miracle (2013)

Juraj Lehotský’s riveting feature debut is about a troubled 15-year-old named Ela (electrifiying newcomer Michaela Bendulová) sent to live in a correctional facility. Forced there by her mother and cut off from the outside world, she keeps to herself, preferring to spend her time in solitude writing letters to her boyfriend. After escaping during New Year’s celebrations, she moves in with him, in the garage below the train tracks he calls home. Her life soon moves in unexpected directions, and, after a series of unpredictable events, Ela faces a life-changing decision. An official selection at the Toronto International Film Festival, Miracle is intense, daring filmmaking. Continue reading

pixel Juraj Lehotsky   Zázrak AKA Miracle (2013)