Friday, February 28, 2014


"Et surtout je voulais voulais remercier Céline, pas que...pas que je l'aime, voilá. Merci."
Said Adèle, at the end of her speech, with a shacking and emotional voice. I don't think it needs translation. It's pretty universal.

P.S. I guess I also have to give a huge thanks to Céline Sciamma, given that she technically brought back Adèle Haenel to the screen.


Adèle Haenel won the César for Best Supporting Actress for her work in Suzanne.
And I thought the year had started great. It got even better.
My favorite Adèle in the world has won her first major acting award and it was about time. She deserves every inch of it. She deserves hundreds more. She's brilliant. This is just a nice little and big confirmation that the french cinema already had a really really great Adèle. 
Adèle Haenel.
Oh god, I can't believe it, she even won to Léa Seydoux. This will definitely made headlines somewhere!
More to come...

P.S. Genuinely crying and freaking out because of you.

L'autre Adèle du Cinema

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

In Hollywood

In Hollywood, like in other place in the world really, you have to fight really hard for what you want. But in this particular case, it makes for a bigger, maybe stranger example. Angelina Jolie is Angelina Jolie, the world's most famous girl, The Hollywood Star, and yet she had to work her butt off to make it happen. I obviously mean her new directorial effort, the film Unbroken. It's hard to believe for a bit, given that it is such an American story, it is a male hero, it is all these things and yet no one seemed to want to support it. 
Though there's then this part of Angelina Jolie which is that on the other hand she comes with this terrific marketing. It seems she's already promoting her film and it is February. The film is set to premier in December. 
The fact is that her work seem to have paid off as she has this pretty brilliant team behind her, from Alexander Desplat to the legendary Roger Deakins, just to name a few. Needless to say, I can't wait to see this film. I have all the reasons to watch it. 
The video is really interesting. To think that they lived in the same neighborhood for so long makes it like fate.

Monday, February 24, 2014

The Lady in Number 6

"I know about the bad things, but I look where it is good."
Alice Herz Sommer.

"Music was our food."

Alice Herz Sommer died at the age of 110, to me she was the most optimistic and life affirming survivor in this world. She was also the oldest Holocaust Survivor.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Written and Directed by Spike Jonze.

This may sound completely off the point, but I’ll start this way anyway.

I have this recurring dream where I meet Angelina Jolie and every time I do I desperately want to say a few simple words – thank you. I want to thank her for everything. A few days ago I dreamed exactly this and what I remember from it is she saying to me that I was lucky. I don’t know why but I’m thinking of this today after viewing Her.

Theodore is a lonesome man hurting after a painful heart break as he goes through his divorce. Her is set in the future, right from the beginning seems like a positive and clean future, where the sky is clear, everyone seems pretty regular and not alienish. They still don’t have one eye, are bold and pale. Humans are stable, like everyone seems to have a job and such. The mails are still opened with a metal key. And on I could go. Technology is adapted to humans, the same as today. Theodore is not really trying hard enough to become emotionally available, not with online dates nor face to face dates until he decides to try an OS (an Operation System, the world’s first intelligent operating system,  designed to meet with the human’s needs). This will be the new challenge for humans and Theodore will be a part of a group that will fall in love with his OS.

Theo’s OS is called Samantha. She sounds young and joyful, warm and comfortable and inevitably sexy (if anything, you’re picturing Scarlet Johansson). Gradually his spirits are lifted. Theo and Sam have one of the sweetest and most beautiful chemistry, it’s pretty exceptional. Just with this aspect in particular, shows us how good this film is. It’s in the perfectly timed editing, it’s in the story growth and how connected we become. It shows us these little things that hurt us, makes us mad or hopeful. It also shows us a non judgmental side, that I hope today will improve loads until Her’s future. But even Theo’s previous relationship, his marriage with Catherine, played by Rooney Mara, is well told. Joaquin and Scarlet are touching, in their separated ways. There are certainly good things about this film, especially because it is undeniably consistent in tone, every little detail from every department comes together and becomes Her.

Her is a romance, it’s about relationships, it’s about sharing one’s life. Machines will be as smart as humans. And humans will be humans – with feelings (and never should we forget its complexity). Throughout Theo’s journey, Spike gives us the excitement, the pain, the work, the joy and the involvement of being in love. Spike doesn’t want to show us a version of the end of the world, of like a world changing natural catastrophe and so on.

I hate to sound pedantic, I hope I don't, but I think I’m coming close to the reason why I mentioned Angelina Jolie’s dream and “being lucky”. Theodore is one of the lucky ones because he has the opportunity of being sad, hurting, of feeling hopeful, of being in love and finally to live through all of this. Not to mention that some people can’t even reach these stats when they have the chance. I hope in the future, the majority of people have the freedom to love and have a heart break like Theo. I hope there will not be any more slaves of any kind. I hope there will be no more refugee camps because of wars. In general, I just hope for a better future and for all of us to be better people, even if you’re in love with your OS or your dog. We’re the lucky ones, I believe. 

Wikileaks and Fifth Estates

The Fifth Estate
It is entertaining but it is hard to live up to the utterly tremendous and grand story behind Wikileaks. I would suggest if you want to know the truth, or ‘someone else’s version’, to watch Alex Gibney’s doc “We Steal Secrets – The Story of Wikileaks”.

I don’t really understand why this film was so bad received, and was a huge flop. Partly it is because this guy, Julian Assange is quite unlikable, for sure. And weird. Way more complex than what he appears to be in this film, I think. But I also think the film is an acceptable and entertaining one. Maybe it is because I had already seen the doc I talked about, maybe not. So anyway, I would not waste time with The Fifth Estate and just jump to the doc.

By Alex Gibney.

We Steal Secrets – The Story of Wikileaks
I had to watch this documentary again. When I first saw it, my thoughts were basically that I am an ant in this crazy unreachable world, like I am the most oblivious of the species, I am in that box. There’s too much out there. My thoughts now are pretty much the same – all I seem to know is that the world that I’m surrounded goes way beyond my depths. And then it is personal, it becomes personal. It is a personal battle.
We Steal Secrets is to me quite truthful, and then quite tragic.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Other Films seen in January Part II

Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée.
Written by Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack.

Dallas Buyers Club
I would compare Mr. Woodworf to someone like Schindler, except that the Texan saved a lot more people, way more. Like its character, this film goes straight to the point, there’s no time wasting, there’s no bullshit and it is refreshing and sometimes out of the ordinary to look at it because of that. It becomes quite an interesting film. At the end, what I take is that this early homophobe end up saving thousands of lives during the AIDS epidemic and taking a completely different turn to his life and his attitude towards life. It’s about being hit with odd chances and do something positive and life affirming about it. Dallas Buyers Club is about living. 
I should write a post just about the performances, especially by Jared Leto, who besides transforming himself physically, he is so raw and touching, he transcends. 

Written and directed by J.C. Chandor.

All is Lost
I would say this is a daring film, quite daring. Part of it it’s because it’s quite linear – a sailor tries to survive after his boat is crushed. It’s about a survivor. And it is a one man show.
At the end, I was so touched, I really appreciated the film, its story and I would say its boldness, really touching. It's a really great film and well made.
P.S. I prefer this film over Gravity, completely.

Written and directed by Joel and Ethan Cohen.

Inside Llewyn Davis
It is exceptional.
It feels both witty and melancholic or nostalgic. It is essentially nostalgic. It makes total sense if you watch this film more than once, because like many great films, Inside Llewyn Davis tells us a few things between the lines, so it feels like a simple film but it isn’t. There are a lot of things to look for in this story.
And now the question – just how many people can relate to Llewyn Davis these days? I would say a lot. Me included, absolutely.

Written by Tracy Letts.
Directed by John Wells.

August: Osage County

It is often boring, though I need to find another word other than boring, maybe unnecessary sometimes, maybe unbalanced, like Julia Robert’s shouting to her mother to eat her fish. It isn’t compelling.

Written by Gonzalo Maza and Sebastián Lelio.
Directed by Sebastián Lelio.

Authentic portrait of a middle aged woman.
It is so interesting that this film is written and directed by men when the story is such a personal story of a woman’s journey through a particular time in her life. Though it is quite identifiable and true and worthy of praise, it is interesting that he decided to portray this Gloria, because it is a great portrait of a woman looking for happiness in her ordinary day life. He gets it.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Other Films seen in January, Part I - Docs

Directed by Rick Rowley.
Written by David Riker and Jeremy Scahill.

Dirty Wars
It will never end.
I actually realized this a few years ago, which in itself is great because it means it is becoming clearer.
Dirty Wars tells us that the American war is an endless war and it also tells us that, well to me at least, like not only the war on terror will never end but more and more it feels like it will be an endless human slaughter. Therefore I should assume it will end until there are literally no more people to kill. But obviously, this is also pretty unlikely to happen.

Directed by Sebastian Junger.

Which Way is the Front Line Here? The Life and Times of Tim Hetheringhton
What a beautiful human being Tim was. He was kind to everyone, thoughtful and considerate. With this doc I have the good fortune to witness his work, his life and what an inspiring one.

Directed by Jacob Kornbluth.

Inequality for All
Docs are one of the most inspiring revelations about the world you can find.
This film is partly about making a difference and it’s about one man that actually does. Or I believe he does.
If you like to be taught, if you like to learn and get inspired by what you learn than this is quite a really nice option. Robert Reich gives us an inside look at the American economy, which translates to the rest of the world, I would say. Not only he explains the gap, but he also brings optimism, he brings understanding and resolutions. In resume, it’s up to us. He is quite heartfelt and he brings the humanity in the numbers. And then it becomes quite inspiring. 

Written and directed by Zachary Heinzerling.

Cutie and the Boxer
It is such a painfully realistic portrait of an immigrant Japanese couple - they’re artists living in New York. They don’t sell; therefore they’re poor, off course. But it is more than being an artist in New York, it’s about relationships. And theirs is pretty heartbreaking too.

Off topic - pretty unfair this film was nominated for the Oscar over Stories We Tell!!!

From Berlinale

Watching the queen live from Berlinale. You want to? Click here.
It is so great that she keeps coming to these world class festivals, with different films so often. It is just great how she keeps working and working so well.

Off topic:

I'm tired of watching this man in every single press conference! Part of it it's because it's annoying because I want to be there too the other reason is because sometimes he's pretty silly. Like mentioning the fact that soon is Valentine's what's the point? Toni Colette, I mean actors, need to be patient sometimes...


"Tell him to tuck his dick up his ass and fill himself with piss."
Liz Garvey.
Brit Marling plays Liz Garvey and to see her say these words is a treat.
Five minutes in and I was cracking up. I like it.

Sunday, February 9, 2014


I saw Blue is the Warmest Color for a second time and for some closure. It is pretty much how I remember it.

Here’s to a perfect case of how hype and expectations can destroy a film and its film experience. Though I don’t really think I’ve changed my mind.

It’s a love story. Though I know love isn’t simple, you could say Blue is a simplistic film. It’s about living, it’s about society. I can’t say what makes this film so great but rather Adèle and Léa make this film. It would be wrong to say what makes this film so great. And that’s the trick. The film has exceptional moments because of them. They are the ones that bring a few of the most heartbreaking, raw and passionate scenes I’ve ever seen. It’s like you can’t breathe like them, or you’re speechless like them, or you can identify completely with what they’re feeling at a particular moment. That’s what they do. If it wasn’t for them, the DP’s work, the production design, the co-stars, it wouldn’t probably have been the same. It’s all about them. So I still struggle whether to consider this film great or not mostly because it isn’t. This film had many unnecessary scenes, or too long scenes. For three hours, it could have said more. It is just beautiful disguised by the performances. And there are a few worth scenes. Like their first glance. Like when they meet for the first time. When they fight and break up and when they see each other again for some closure.

Blue is a simple film that lives breathes and moves by Adéle’s and Léa’s forces. That’s what Abdelatiff Kechiche brought out of them, whether skillfully or not, intentionally or not, consciously or not, for whatever he did and didn’t do, this film is exceptional on its performances and often beautiful scenery. You fall in love, you love, you struggle, you break up. Maybe you get back together maybe you don’t. Maybe you stay friends, maybe you don’t. And with every case, comes a different example.
Blue has the performances for the ages.

Bottom line – I have made a huge film, about this film. I need to learn how to not take films so seriously sometimes. I can say I am at peace with Blue.
Next obsession – Carol.

Pic of the Day

From Berlinale:

Sunday, February 2, 2014


Please, please, please, stop it.
Stop with the question "But will it hurt her Oscar chances?" I know it is the job of most of Oscar pundits, but please stop. Don't even start with it, actually. It's absolutely off the point right now. It's freaking me out.

One thing is a family conflict, a big one. Something so large, fragile, difficult, and delicate that to be between a 'regular' family or a 'famous' family must all be the same pain, though adding the fact that the 'famous' creates other lines of conflict. Like watching your abuser on posters, on the Time Magazine, being celebrated. Then the attention - attention that comes from many sides and with a great number of questions to be asked about the questions alone - about what questions ask, what questions not to ask, or how to approach it, which is probably the question. How to approach it.
Is it a believe or not believe, who to defend or how to defend - No, these are not the questions either, I think.

The thing about the internet, is that makes people be entitled of an opinion about everything. And I think this can be quite irritating and wrong.

I don't know but you probably start realizing I am speaking about the Open letter Dylan Farrow wrote about her childhood and sexual assaults she suffered from her father, Woody Allen.
You can read it it here.

I've read it.
I think, mostly, with this letter, she evokes some kind of internal debate within us. Also for some kind of closure.
To another extent, she calls on American society (and possibly every other society) to take a moment to consider how sexual assault survivors' stories are taken upon society and law.
Then finally, she asks what's our favorite Woody Allen film.

Should we hate his films?
Should we not watch them?
How hard is it for you or for you to separate the film and the person who makes the film? The art and the artist? Do you even separate both?
I don't have a strong formed opinion about this, but I can read the debates.

Right now I do feel one thing quite clear - I feel pretty sick about him and even his films.

But then there's another thing - which is movies. Movies! Actresses. Cate Blanchett.
Ok, Cate Blanchett. It's so unfortunate for her, and OK, any other actor for that matter, to be in this position, because she has nothing to do with this. Nothing. Unless you believe actors shouldn't accept working with Woody Allen in the first place. But still, she's an actress in a movie. Of course actors have an opinion, but my point is that I think it is ridiculous to be talking about OSCARS CHANCES when there's a bigger and quite delicate matter that is way beside the point "Oscars" and film business. You know?
So this is why I'm freaking out, because it's awards season, and it happens that Cate Blanchett is in it with a Woody Allen film.
So, the question freaks me out. Stop it, stop with the question if the Allen-Farrow controversy will hurt her Oscar chances. Yikes.

Why not? Let's do this:
Do you really think so? He did just got a nomination for Blue Jasmine. He has been nominated one hundred times more over the past thirty years, so has been his actresses. The most recent Academy Award winning Actress was in this very decade. So, please, one last time, do you really think it will hurt her chances? 
And now quoting Jared Leto, "...only in America."

Phillip Seymour Hoffman

Or Phillip Hoffman Seymour, as Alan Arkin once put it at an Academy Awards show.
I just can't believe it.
Utter denial.

No no no no no no.

Carol, I love you

Therese and Carol.
Call me dramatic, but my heart just skipped a bit.