Jaume Balagueró – Mientras duermes aka. Sleep Tight (2011)

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Quote:
SYNOPSIS:
Caesar is the keeper of an apartment building and would not trade this job for no other, because it allows insight into the movements, the most intimate habits, weaknesses and secrets of all tenants. If you want you can even control their lives, influencing them as God, open wounds and delve into them. And all without raising any suspicion. Because Caesar has a secret peculiar: he likes to hurt, move the pieces needed to produce pain around. And the new neighbor of 5 º B keeps smiling. In and out every day bright and happy, full of light. So soon become the new goal of the game of Caesar. This is a personal challenge of an obsession. (Translated from Spanish) Continue reading

Jens Lien – Sønner av Norge (2011)

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It’s 1978 and 14-year-old Nikolas is living an idyllic existence with his young brother and his archetypal, politicized hippie parents, the energetic Magnus (Sven Nordin) and the angelic Lone (Sonja Richter). When Lone is killed in a car accident, Magnus falls into a deep depression. Nikolas has nowhere to turn until his best friend proudly slaps his latest purchase on the turntable: The Sex Pistols’ Never Mind the Bollocks…. (The film was executive produced by former Pistols leader John Lydon, who plays a pivotal role in the movie.) Soon enough, Nikolas finds a new use for safety pins and buys a guitar. The real rub – and much of the comedy – comes when his father partially snaps out of his depression. Instead of disciplining Nikolas, Magnus encourages him. It may be hard to rebel, but it’s even tougher when your father is listening to the same records as you. Lively, entertaining and insightful, Jens Lien’s Sons of Norway is one of the funniest and most charming coming-of-age stories to come out of the Nordic region since Fucking Amal. Continue reading

Maïwenn – Polisse (2011)

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The daily grind for the cops of the Police Department’s Juvenile Protection Unit – taking in child molesters, busting underage pickpockets and chewing over relationship issues at lunch; interrogating abusive parents, taking statements from children, confronting the excesses of teen sexuality, enjoying solidarity with colleagues and laughing uncontrollably at the most unthinkable moments. Knowing the worst exists and living with it. How do these cops balance their private lives and the reality they confront every working day? Fred, the group’s hypersensitive wild card, is going to have a hard time facing the scrutiny of Melissa, a photographer on a Ministry of the Interior assignment to document the unit. (~IMDb)
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Aleksandr Sokurov – Faust (2011)

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The film depicts the instincts and schemes of Faust, and the world that gives rise to his ideas.The film is the final part in a series of films where Alexander Sokurov explores the corrupting effects of power. The previous installments are three biographical dramas: about Adolf Hitler in Moloch from 1999, Vladimir Lenin in Taurus from 2001, and the Japanese emperor Hirohito in The Sun from 2005. Continue reading

Abbas Kiarostami – ABC Africa (2001)

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Plot
Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami has often concerned himself with children striving to make the best of difficult circumstances, and this documentary finds him capturing a real-life corollary to the fictional tales of his best-known work. At the request of the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development, Kiarostami traveled to Africa to make a film about the work of the Uganda Women’s Effort to Save Orphans, a volunteer group established to provide food, shelter, and care for the more than one-and-a-half-million children left to fend for themselves in a nation torn apart by war, poverty, and the AIDS epidemic. While Kiarostami’s first visit was planned so he could see the country and map out what he would film, he brought along some digital video equipment, and upon arrival, he was so struck by what he saw that he immediately began to record the events around him, in which the tragedies of this struggling nation were contrasted with the warmth and boundless optimism of the children looking for a better life. (Mark Deming, All Movie Guide)
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Andres Veiel – Wer wenn nicht wir AKA If Not Us, Who? (2011)

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West Germany in the early 1960s. The country is quiet – for the time being. Bernward Vesper takes up his studies in Tübingen where he is attending Walter Jens’ seminar on rhetoric. Bernward wants to be a writer and spends his nights bashing the keys of a typewriter. At the same time he is keen to defend his father, the poet Will Vesper who was celebrated by the Nazis as a proponent of their ‘Blood and Soil’ ideology. The land where Bernward lives is being suffocated by its past. The war has only been over for fifteen years, old Nazis are back in positions of power, and nobody is prepared to talk about war crimes; the Republic is standing to attention. One day Bernward meets Gudrun Ensslin and her friend Dörte. Before long, the three friends are living together in a ménage à trois. But their three-way relation- ship doesn’t last long. It soon transpires that Gudrun and Bernward are twin souls. Continue reading