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Secrets of the Dead: Sinking Atlantis (2008)

Metastories Somewhere along the line, we lost the thread. The way we approach art has been transformed into a fixation on artist as celebrity. The practice of governing has been ignored in favour of fantasies about how we should be governed. It matters less what Johnny...


Published February 14, 2024
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Inspector Bellamy (2009)
Director: Claude Chabrol
Drama
Crime

A well known Parisian inspector becomes involved in an investigation while on holiday.

Woman-defined Identity I was never a champion of Chabrol, but I am amazed at what he left as his last film. The film is superficially framed as a detective story but as it progresses it slowly turns inside out as it becomes a discovery about the...


Published February 14, 2024
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The Beach (I) (2000)
Somewhere on this planet it must exist.
Director: Danny Boyle
Drama
Adventure
Romance
Thriller

Twenty-something Richard travels to Thailand and finds himself in possession of a strange map. Rumours state that it leads to a solitary beach paradise, a tropical bliss - excited and intrigued, he sets out to find it.

Exotic Adventures For me, when a film fails to engage me by itself, I jump up a level, in this case making it a chapter in the movie of the life of Danny Boyle. I like the guy. I like his instincts. He envisions worlds that...


Published February 10, 2024
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Noriko’s Dinner Table (2005)
The family that eats together stays together.
Director: Sion Sono
Drama
Thriller

A teenager named Noriko Shimabara runs away from her family in Toyokawa, to meet Kumiko, the leader of an Internet BBS, Haikyo.com. She becomes involved with Kumiko's family circle, which grows darker after the mass suicide of 54 high school girls.

The Magical Inbetweens Magical spaces in Hispanically influenced films are easy to locate. We as viewers find it easy to place ourselves there it seems natural. Only Medem challenges. There are three similarly structured magical traditions in modern Japanese films, and I find them tantalising, sometimes difficult,...


Published February 10, 2024
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Snow Cake (2006)
Romance
Drama

A drama focused on the friendship between a high-functioning autistic woman and a man who is traumatized after a fatal car accident.

Brain Freeze Sometimes the folding is just too contrived. It panders, insults with its obviousness. Here we have a professional man, who in a car accident loses the child he has but has never met. The story arranges for compound suffering. Then we have the loss of...


Published February 10, 2024
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Sukiyaki Western Django (2007)
Director: Takashi Miike
Adventure
Action
Comedy
Western
Thriller

A nameless gunfighter arrives in a town ripped apart by rival gangs and, though courted by both to join, chooses his own path.

An Unworthy Opponent Sometimes a film presents itself to you as a character, whole in definition, with whom you have to deal. This is possible either because the film has a soul that the artist has created, or because the filmmaker borrows one by hijacking a...


Published February 10, 2024
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MasterChef Australia (2009)
Reality

MasterChef Australia is a Logie Award-winning Australian competitive cooking game show based on the original British MasterChef. It is produced by Shine Australia and screens on Network Ten. Restaurateur and chef Gary Mehigan, chef George Calombaris and food critic Matt Preston serve as the show's main judges. Journalist Sarah Wilson hosted the first series, however her role was dropped at the end of the series.

The Monk's Government The basic idea here is that the fundamental story in life is as a contest. Everything is a competition, and every competition has a single winner. The intrigue in observing such a story is the level of character brought to the context. We...


Published February 10, 2024
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For Your Consideration (2006)
Success in Hollywood is as fragile as a rumor
Director: Christopher Guest
Comedy

The possibility of Oscar gold holds the cast and crew of an independent film in its grip after the performance of its virtually unknown, veteran star generates awards buzz.

The Posey Poses Guest has a very narrow vision, so the game is seeing the various ways he can surround it. He and all his friends are performers with at best b-list careers, and mostly less successful. They all have some talent and commitment but find...


Published February 9, 2024
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L’iceberg (2005)
Comedy

Fiona is the manager of a fast-food restaurant. She lives comfortably with her family in the suburbs. In other words, Fiona is happy... until one day she accidentally gets locked into a walk-in fridge. She escapes the next morning, half frozen and barely alive, only to realize that her husband and two children didn't even notice she was missing. But when Fiona develops an obsession for everything cold and icy: snow, polar bears, fridges, icebergs--she drops everything, climbs into a frozen goods delivery truck and leaves home. For a real iceberg.

Purity I’ve seen one other project from this couple, ‘Rumba.‘ I liked it, but this one seems so much better, less cute and choreographed. All storytelling is about abstraction. Sometimes that can be done in ways that by agreement, we see as invisible. We think of the...


Published February 9, 2024
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