Sunday, July 13, 2014

Exotica

Canada 1994


Details IMDB
Seen 12 July 2014

Ratings from other sources

IMDB 7.2/10


The 'Exotica' is a nightclub on the outskirts of Toronto, where Eric, DJ and MC, watches nightly as his ex-girlfriend Christina performs. A regular customer triggers mixed feelings for many.




My ratings 7.0/10

My impressions:

A place where customers spend a few hours forgetting their everyday lives. An escape from reality. As the proprietor says, it is a place for relaxation not of healing. Past entanglements plays a role in the present. Then we realise that those pent-up emotions have not disappeared but continued smouldering. A blow up triggers those feelings to the fore and we have to come to terms with the past.

The past, present and future interlinked.


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Where is the Friend's Home? (Khane-ye doust kodjast?)

Iran 1987


Details IMDB
Seen 11 July 2014

Ratings from other sources

IMDB 8.0/10


An 8 year old boy must return his friend's notebook he took by mistake, lest his friend be punished by expulsion from school.






My ratings 8.0/10

My impressions:

Action speak louder than words. The desire to help a friend in need knows no bounds in this story. The journey, effort and hardship encountered while trying to help is most admirable. The adults might never be able to come close to this level of friendship. That strong will to do what is required. The right thing to do despite the obstacles.

It seemed ordinary at the beginning but the end was worth the wait.


Friday, July 11, 2014

Last Life in the Universe

Thailand 2003


Details IMDB
Seen 10 July 2014

Ratings from other sources

IMDB 7.7/10


A suicidal, obsessively compulsive Japanese librarian is forced to lie low in Thailand with a pot-smoking woman coping with the recent loss of her sister.






My ratings 7.5/10

My impressions:

There's a world of difference being alone and being lonely. A man and a woman find a common thread, an understanding of each other. Each has his own world. Not the normal working life but those who remain in the margins. They are driven by another force. Often times seeking solace in another who share the same journey.

Unlikely mates in another universe.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Three times (Zui hao de shi guang)

Taiwan 2005


Details IMDB
Seen 9 July 2014

Ratings from other sources

IMDB 6.9/10


Three stories set in three times, 1911, 1966 and 2005. Two actors play the two main characters in each story






My ratings 7.0/10

My impressions:

Three stories. Three different periods. A boy and a girl. A man and a woman. Love is the common thread. An unspoken longing for the other. Each couple has to find the strength to bring the relationship to the next level. They have to decide how to make it stronger and last.

Gentle look at love.



Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Antares

Antares

Austria 2004

Details IMDB
Seen 8 July 2014

Ratings from other sources

IMDB 6.4/10

A deadly car crash sets off three parallel stories of women at crisis points, faltering behind the doors of the same, plain Vienna apartment block





My ratings 6.0/10

My impressions:

Glimpses of ordinary lives, loves and desires. An apartment block that houses residents struggling with their inner selves. A love that has lost its spark. A love that needs constant assurance. A past love that keeps coming back to make its presence felt. All connected in unexpected ways.

Satisfying watch.


Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Z

Z

France 1969

Details IMDB
Seen 7 July 2014

Ratings from other sources

IMDB 8.1/10


Following the murder of a prominent leftist, an investigator tries to uncover the truth while government officials attempt to cover up their roles





My ratings 7.0/10

My impressions:

The struggle between the new and the established. The conscience of one man pushed the envelope further. One by one, painstakingly trying to piece together what happened before the incident. Everyone knows there is a bigger power behind the scenes but the effort to pin them down is the main theme of the story. Whether the guilty get their just rewards, only history will tell.

A snapshot of one of the events leading to a new ruling class.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Old Boy (Oldeuboi)

South Korea 2003


Details IMDB
Seen 16 June 2014

Ratings from other sources

IMDB 8.4/10


After being kidnapped and imprisoned for 15 years, Oh Dae-Su is released, only to find that he must find his captor in 5 days.






My ratings 8.0/10

My impressions:

The old wound festers until the right time arrives when all will be revealed. The wound might heal but scars remain as a reminder of what happened in the past. Was it worth the time and effort to wait for that day. Others are involved just because of that one incident in the past. That past is entrenched in the soul and the mind works to avenge itself.

Mesmerising.