France

Gigola

Gigola posterDirector: Laure Charpentier
Stars: Marisa Berenson, Lou Doillon, Marie Kremer and Eduardo Noriega

Based on Laure Charpentier’s book, film shows the night life of Paris in 60’s. The main character is a female gigolo. A female escort for women but also a pimp. It introduced me to a lesbian world of prostitution. I haven’t even been aware that something like this existed. I guess I’m pretty unaware in general of sexual history of nations. I started to read The History of Sexuality but it was a bit difficult in English so I didn’t go very far. I guess I should get a Polish copy.Gigola

Back to the movie. It made me ask myself a couple of questions. First of all is there any difference between female pimp and male one. This film left me with a feeling that the difference in male and female sensitivity makes a difference but after consideration I believe the director might want to convince us there is none. In the end Gigola hits and abuses her “proteges”. Maybe it’s just the way it was filmed that I didn’t percieve it as brutally agressive.

Another observation is that women know how to satisfy other women needs and it can be purely mechanic.

Poor is the man
Whose pleasures depend
On the permission of another

(Madonna Justify my love)

I love her suits. Well tailored. It brings to mind the one Madonna wears in Me against the music. I hope one day I can spoil myself and get one of those.

Overall I think the movie didn’t make me very emotionally involved. I think it just lacks the creditability. I feel the main character was supposed to be torned inside. The big love didn’t seem so big. The problem of seduction of underage, family destroyed by gambling and prostitution skin deep. Even the abandoning of a child… Well what was the most sad that I didn’t feel the reason why she couldn’t change her life. In some movies you get the sense of predomination of one desires over racionality here it seemed like there was 50% chance that she will choose either.

I like the pictures of Paris. Especially the shot of Moulin Rouge. And Lou Doillon just has this undeniable charm. So watch it, but don’t expect too much.

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Private fears in public places – Coeurs

private fears in public placesDirected by Alain Resnais, staring Sabine Azéma, Isabelle Carré, Lambert Wilson and Laura Morante.

I watched it because of Isabelle Carre after seing her in Romantics Anonymous. I have to say I liked that romantic comedy far better than Coeurs. For one thing I didn’t really get into the movie on the second I still don’t really know what the author wanted to say.coeurs

If you ask me it’s a movie about lonelines and people hidden faces. Quite sad. The only thing I really like about it is the snow present almost in every scene. It makes the movie magical.

French Gigolo – Cliente

Directed by: Josiane Balasko
Stars: Nathalie Baye, Eric Caravaca and Isabelle Carré

Well don’t know what to say really. I enjoyed the movie. It’s not very deep or sensual. french gigoloIt shows the reality of dealing with financial issues in what seems an easy way. The things we do for money or maybe rather for what money can buy. It also shows that you can’t avoid/cheat feelings even if you justify your actions logically. I’ve seen better movies dealing with this fenomena nontheless I don’t have a sense I wasted my time watching this movie. And I love Judith dress.

He loves me. He loves me not. À la folie… pas du tout

He_Loves_Me_He_Loves_Me_NotBrrr terrible idea how to destroy somebody’s life. I won’t say no more – not to spoil it for you.I didn’t read any reviews and I recommend you do the same. It just shows you how we let our predjudice and stereotypes influence our judgement.

Director: Laetitia Colombani
Stars: Audrey Tautou, Samuel Le Bihan and Isabelle Carré

I think Audrey Tatou is magnificent in this role.

Romantics Anonymous – Les émotifs anonymes

Romantics Anonymous chocolate

It was just what I needed last night. Charming romantic comedy. French.

Directed by Jean-Pierre Améris
Stars: Benoît Poelvoorde, Isabelle Carré and Lorella Cravotta

The new flavours of the chocolate include: paprika ganache, green tea whites, fresh mint with cashews, porcini tuiles. I love the language they use talking about chocolate (especially in French). Those scenes are very sensual as eating chocolate is.

solidarnosc-wisnie-w-likierze-203g-FullRecently I have a craving on Cherries in Liquier from Solidarnosc (Polish chocolate producer) they have more alcohol that other and very nice dark chocolate.

Of course there is more to this movie than chocolate. It talks about taking risk, overcoming fear, support groups and that love is for everyone with this specific French sense of humour. Enjoy.

The Women on the 6th Floor – Les femmes du 6ème étage

Women on the 6th FloorAnother film I wanted to see after watching trailer probably in the cinema. Do you get that often? I mean you want to see a movie and then you don’t get a chance and forget about it for a while just to discover it by some accident? I started watching The Maids and I didn’t like it. I prefer this one. Maybe because it’s sweet rather than bitter. Still, you will not find in it pretense, banality or infantilism. Instead, you get a straight story about the inner transformation, friendship and love, naive, but extremely charming.

Can a person change? Yes. At 45? Whenever. Women on the 6th Floor

How many people go on living never being independent? Not having their own space where they feel safe and comfortable and can spend time with themselves? I miss having my own little castle.

And yes I used to work abroad. We had a joke that Ireland has the best educated manual labor in Europe. This is a type of life “in waiting”. Waiting to go back home and start your normal life. I’m glad some of those women succeeded. And I also do remember things that become a certain “work habit”. For example after working in hotel accommodation I know what to check to see how the room was cleaned.

For those who love French it’s a quick glimps into ignorant bourgeois mentality. Enjoy!

Director: Philippe Le Guay
Stars: Fabrice Luchini, Sandrine Kiberlain and Natalia Verbeke

With Love From the Age of Reason – L’âge de raison

L'âge de raisonTitle comes from a popular French saying that when you turn 7 years old, you reach “the age of reason”.

Director: Yann Samuell
Staring: Sophie Marceau, Marton Csokas, Jonathan Zaccaï, Juliette Chappey

I really enjoyed this movie. It’s one of these that are supposed to make you rethink your life and the way you live it. Like The Bucket List. The main question of the movie is: “Who did we dream of becoming when we were young, and how does that compare with who we are now? ” I tell you honestly I can’t remember who I really wanted to be. I know for a while an archaeologist, but it was only until I discovered that not every archaeologist is Indiana Jones.

I love details in this movie, the letters & post cards among others. I wish I could make amazing things like that. It’s hard to believe they were made by a 7 year old. Although it probably was a prop maker. I found out the production designer was Jean-Michel Simonet.

The relation between brother and sister is a mistery and I think it could have been more thorough.

It was also filmed in Morocco. Desert scenes as you can imagine.

Gainsbourg (Vie héroïque)

Directed by Joann Sfar
Staring: Eric Elmosnino, Lucy Gordon, Laetitia Casta, Anna Mouglalis, Kacey Mottet Klein

Where to begin…

For those who don’t know Serge Gainsbourg (real name Lucien) was a French singer, songwriter, poet, composer, artist, actor and director. And he also was Jewish what may matter at least for some critics and the beginning of the movie which takes place during Nazi occupaction of France. The film is a semi biography, rather a personal statement of the director than historical facts put together. Which makes it so good in my opinion. Much more interesting than movie about Coco Chanel, Margaret Thatcher or even Edith Piaf.

It’s a drama film written and directed by Joann Sfar, based on his graphic novel. And you can clearly see the influence of author comic style in the movie. To be honest it reminds me a bit of “Maus”, a graphic novel by American cartoonist Art Spiegelman, I read it a couple years back. But if you can’t see the connection I won’t blame you, this is just the way my brain works.

In a pre-credit sequence the young child Serge (born Lucien) is rejected as “too ugly” by a little girl on a summer beach. I was just talking about this with my friend on Tuesday, how being ugly or fat influences the lives of people and how others judge them. Nothing that wasn’t said before, but I do tend to like not obviously beautiful people more. Yes this might be a discrimination towards beutiful people, but well World is not black & white.

I’m tempted to describe all my favourite moments in the movie but I let you watch it for yourselves. Let me just say I loved when my Mum, Dad and me were laying the LEGO bricks in the middle of the night creating houses or pirat’s islands…

At the end of the movie we are left with the final words from the director “I prefer his lies to his truth,” his dreams to his reality.

Le Gueule is bornedIt’s a full of imagination tale with intriguing figure of Gainsbourg caricature (La Gueule) being a cartoon and his demon at the same time. Love him or hate him. I love him.

Beautiful pictures, women, great music, including the very famous song “Je T’aime,…Moi Non Plus “.

At the end I just want to say I love men in well-tailored suits.Le Gueule

I’ve chosen the least reaviling trailer for you. P.S. You might also want to visit a review in The Guardian by Philip French but you may want to do it after seeing the movie first.

“In the mood for love” Fa yeung nin wa

Directed by Kar Wai Wong
Staring Maggie Cheung and Tony Liung Chiu Wai

She has kept her head lowered… to give him a chance to come closer. But he could not, for lack of courage. She turns and walks away.

In the Mood for LoveIt makes me want to smoke cigarettes. That, and it is probably one of the best love stories of all time…

The movie is a feast for the eye, ear, heart and intellect, and the plot is not the most important. Music by Michalea Galasso and Shigeru Umebayashi is amazing and in tune with the emotions, incredible. The characters are beautiful and young, very lonely and locked up in themselves. The place of the events is Hong Kong – claustrophobic, dark and closed: the narrow streets and cramped apartments (the Asia most of us adventure/budget travellers is looking for). Only when the action moves to Singapore, you see the sky.

I’m left with a question to which I’m trying to find an answe for some time now. Like in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Galaxy the question is more important than the answer so I’ll let you figure it out for yourselves.

He remembers those vanished years. As though looking through a dusty window pane, the past is something he could see, but not touch. And everything he sees is blurred and indistinct.

A few connections:

It’s the same director as Chungking Express.

It shows scenes filmed in Angkor Wat, Cambodia.

It has the same song as Tortilla Soup which I’m going to post in the Music section just after finishing this post.

Mr. Nobody

One of the better movies I’ve seen recently.

If you are not looking for easy answers DON’T WATCH THE TRAILER!

And I mean it. Watch it after you see the movie!

Directed by Jaco Van Dormael
Starring: Jared Leto, Diane Kruger, Sarah Polley

The music is fantastic! It’s creating a story on its own at the same time complementing the movie.

There are also so many beautiful details and special effects. Amazing.

I’m hesitating if I should write more as I don’t want to spoil it for you. I don’t want my words to influence your perception. I guess I will write someting below trailer, so stop here and watch the movie, then I welcome you to come back and read what was important for me in it.

Let me start from saying that quantum physic and science in general are more and more penetrating the cinema. Ideas created by scientist are so hard to imagine, understand and absorb that they create a marvelous ground for imagination. I’m talking Matrix, Inception, Shutter Island etc

The scientific “base” fro this movie is string theory, string theorytime theory of relativity and concept what happens when the force of gravity no longer compensate for the expansion of the universe. It also challanges the idea of time and reality. Yes, quite confusing.

ZugzwangAll of this is only a context to contemplate the problem of decision making. A choice between “YES” and “NO” but also Zugzwang. “When the only viable move is not to move”. I guess when we make choices we imagine what will the consequences of those choices be. Without it making decision would be impossible in some way, cos it wouldn’t matter what you choose.

Every path is the right path. Everything could’ve been anything else. And it would have just as much meaning.

People attach a great meaning to their lifes and decisions and feel a pressure to be right. Right about how does the World work, what is the best choice, how others should behave. I’ll ask you to serously consider the idea that there is no meaning. How does that make you feel? It makes me uncomfortable, but I’m going to try to experience it.

There comes a time in life where everything seems narrow. Choices have been made. I can only continue on. I know myself like the back of my hand. I can predict my every reaction. My life has been cast in cement with airbags and seatbelts. I’ve done everything to reach this point and now that I’m here, I’m fucking bored. The hardest thing is knowing whether I’m still alive. (…)

Before he was unable to make a choice because he didn’t know what would happen. Now that he knows what will happen, he is unable to make a choice.

On a personal note: how can you choose between your parents when you love them both the same?