A Fold in My Blanket (Chemi sabnis naketsi)

Dimitrij{top} and Andrej{bottom} on an unreal adventure

Dimitrij{top} and Andrej{bottom} on an unreal adventure

Why Watch It: Cause I said so. Okay I’m kidding. The Georgia movie, written and directed by Zaza Rusadze, has got some nice moments . It explores the friendship between two male protagonists quite effectively. There’s also the breath-taking views of some Georgian mountains.

Warning: Plot spoilers ahead

Story: Andrej, a young unemployed man with emotional stability issues in a town in Georgia {the European country not the US state} keeps getting into trouble. Another young man, Dimitrij, in the neighborhood seems to have his head firmly on his shoulders, and appears interested in helping him. The troubled young man gets invited to go for climbing excursions in the Georgian mountains/hills This offers Andrej an outing and some reason to get out of the  house, and Dimitrij a change from his monotonous court-room job. It also aids them to bond as friends. However, we learn that there’s something terribly wrong when the police come knocking on the door, accusing Andrej of murdering a man on the streets. Dimitrij readily offers an alibi but Andrej refuses to use it. The nature excursions were a delusion harbored by Dimitrij’s bored and lonely mind. Finally, in the closing shot it seems that Dimitrij is trying to make peace with himself.

Rating: 3.5 for the capturing the beauty of nature in Georgia and the underplaying of the parts by the actors Tornike Bziava{Dimitrij} and Tornike Gogrichiani{Andrej}.

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400 Blows{Les quatre cents coups}

Why watch it: For the directorial work of François Truffaut. For the acting talent of Jean-Pierre Léaud who plays Antoine Doinel the delinquent school kid. For the story, which way back in 1959, provided insights into the troubled mind of a child moving towards crime {an issue that deserves attention even several decades later}.

Disclaimer: Spoilers ahead.

Cineaste365:  "The 400 Blows" - Fran...

Cineaste365: “The 400 Blows” – Francois Truffaut (October 30, 2013 – Day 018) (Photo credit: kndynt2099)

Story: Antoine, like others in his class, is involved in petty misdemeanors. But unlike others, he has a talent for getting quickly caught. The experience of punishments, fear of even harsher punishments, the encouragement in misadventure by a classmate who has it much easier, the disconnect from his parents, and the desire to escape his environs makes him do one wrong thing after another.

He can’t seem to fare well in school – he is at his wit’s end. He feels cut off from his parents and wants to leave his parent’s home but needs a permanent or at least a long-term solution. He has a tummy to feed and needs money for his needs. He wants to work but doesn’t know how to go about it. He has readied himself mentally for petty crimes like robbery but doesn’t seem to have the knack to be a success in it. The constant problems in the kid’s life and the oddness in his behavior are depicted very matter-of-fact, and no solution is presented. The movie closes with an open-ending showing the kid at an empty seashore. Perhaps the emptiness of that space personifies emptiness and emotional disconnect in his life. And perhaps we should, on our part, boost the spirits of young Antoines in our own families showing them that we care, be ready to listen to them, and help them do better in the battles they face instead of letting them feel that they have to do wrong to survive.

Rating: 4.5. Out of 5 for the interesting storyline, and the open-to-interpretation ending.

Blue is the Warmest Colour (La Vie d’Adele)

Why Watch It: For its highly acclaimed romantic drama between a teacher (who is initially a young student girl) and a lady artist(initially an art student). For the acting of the two female protagonists. For the character journey of the young teen as she comes of age. For learning why it’s been talked about why it has won Palm D’or award and the British Independent Film Award for Best International Independent Film. For the boldness of film-maker Abdellatif Kechiche who brings the award-winning graphic novel by Julie Maroh  to life.

Warning: Plot spoilers ahead

The two stars of La Vie D'Adele (Blue is the W...

The two stars of La Vie D’Adele (Blue is the Warmest Color) on fest tv, startlingly fully clothed. #Cannes (Photo credit: enderzero)

Story: A young student Adele is romantically involved with a young boy but somehow it doesn’t seem to be working between them. Adele secretly fancies a woman with blue-colored hair that she sees walking on the street. She begins to fantasize about that woman.

Seeking to explore her options, Adele thereafter heads off to a lesbian bar where the woman, art student Emma, helps her in handling an odd situation. The seed of friendship is laid and later romance grows between them. The couple keep it a secret from the girl’s parents. But later, Adele completes her studies, becomes a teacher and moves in with the woman artist who treats the teacher as a muse. However, work pressures take their toll and the artist and the teacher hardly spend time with each other. Loneliness affects the relationship and the relationship begins falling apart.

The movie has a lot of sexual content and viewer discretion is encouraged.

Rating: 5 stars out of 5 for the acting by both female protagonists and for the character development of Adele who plays the traveler and the muse of the tale.

The Isle(2000): Hooked to One Another

Cover of "The Isle"

Cover of The Isle

The Isle (2000) is an off-beat Korean film  {with English subtitles} by Kim-Ki-Duk. It is a story of two disturbed individuals trying to forge a romantic relationship while saving and destroying each other.

Disclaimer: The story of the entire film is presented below along with the ending.

A verbally-challenged woman Hee-jin {Seo Jeong} operates a bunch of floating rooms in an isolated lake where men party, do fishing, and engage with call-girls, far from the prying eyes of the public and police. Hee-jin arranges for these girls and even takes up such activities personally, apart from selling fish bait to the occupants. However, in one of the floating rooms is a reclusive man  Hyun-shik {Kim Yu-seok} who spends time making metal-wire toys and watching other men indulge themselves. The cruelty of the men is on open display — one of them taunts the woman for not speaking and throws the money owed to her in the water after his friend sleeps with her. Upset at this treatment the woman assaults the man from under the water. Juxtaposed with this roughness is the shyness of  Hyuk-shik who doesn’t bother Hee-jin and even gifts her a toy. One night, he awakens from his nightmare in which he sees/remembers a dead naked young woman. In depression, Hyun-shik tries to shoot himself but the Hee Jin secretly sabotages his  plan and makes him lose his gun.

She tries to convey her attraction towards Hyun-shik but he makes a rough, callous, overtly sexually agressive advance one night and Hee-jin fights him and leaves. A sombre Hyun-shik gets a call-girl to visit him though only for conversation. Touched by his softness, the call-girl starts to develop feelings for him even as her manager views the situation unfavorably.  The girl visits him on her off-day and then starts developing a relationship with him.

Meanwhile, Hee-jin begins to feel jealous and spies Hyun-shik having sex with the girl. Soon the police arrive at the lake with a list of fugitives and  Hyun-shik attempts suicide out of fear of getting caught, by swallowing fish hooks. Hee Jin hides him from the cops and then saves his life. While comforting him, she has sex with him. However, she gets angry when the girl comes to visit Hyun-shik. Hee Jin assaults the girl and ties her up, and the girl drowns in the lake while trying to break free. The girl’s manager suspects Hyun-shik in the disappearance and they both fight.  This fight accidentally leads to the manager falling into the lake and drowning. The deaths strain the relationship between Hyun-shik and Hee-jin. He decides to escape but he almost drowns in his first attempt and the woman is the one who saves him. When he is making his second attempt Hee-jin attempts suicide and he gives up the plan. 

For a while it appears that that Hyuk-shik and Hee-jin have finally created a long-lasting relationship. But in a twist in the tale, a customer loses his expensive watch when it falls in the lake. The divers called to retrieve the watch discover the bodies. The couple then do a runner. The end of the movie appears to convey that Hee-jin has committed suicide and Hyuk-shik is once again living quietly, hidden from the eyes of the world.

 

Rating: Lot of cruelty towards animals depicted. Contains nudity and graphic scenes of self-mutilation.  One feels very uneasy while watching the movie. Specifically meant for people who are curious about the works of Kim-Ki-Duk, the acting of Seo Jeong and Kim Yu-seok and/or wants to see the cinematography of the flick. Definitely not meant for for entertainment or for a romantic date .