Lion

Lion (2016). Dir. Garth Davis

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Over 80,000 children go missing in India each year. This is the story of one of them.

Over 11 million children (11 million!) are living in the streets of India. Many die there or have terrible lives, suffering hunger, extreme poverty and child abuse. How many kids like little Saroo are able to tell their story?

Lion is a pure jewel. It is based on a true story (Saroo Brierley’s memoir A Long Way Home, published in 2013). Lion is one of the best movies of 2016, if not the best. The cast is superb, the direction is excellent (this is Garth Davis’ first feature film), the music (Volker Bertelmann & Dustin O’Halloran) is amazing, and the cinematography (Greig Fraser, Zero Dark Thirty and Rogue One‘s cinematographer) is stunning. Lion‘s screenplay is by Luke Davies (based on Saroo’s memoir), the writer of one of my favorite movies: Candy (Candy is autobiographical).

You will not understand the title of the movie until the end.

Sunny Pawar’s performance is breathtaking. He is only 8 years old and he’s a real talent. 4,000 boys were auditioned to play his part. He carries the first 40 minutes of the film brilliantly. We (the lucky and rich ones, who can eat every day and have the luxury of having really superficial problems) immediately enter in Saroo’s extreme reality, and suffer with him. There is nothing more disturbing than the suffering of children. That’s why this movie is so powerful: because it tells a cruel reality that is happening today to lots of children, in the midst of the 21st century. And it’s happening now, in this very moment, as I write this non-important review and drink a delicious hot chocolate, comfy in my beautiful big house with heating, water, and electricity; a house full of books, toys, clothing, DVDs, CDs, food, and plenty of other things that we give for granted and that millions of children cannot even dream of.

Dev Patel’s performance is superb. His accent is perfect. We don’t see him screaming or making big scenes, but his face contains so much pain and so much fear that we really feel for him. Rooney Mara (which I find a brilliant young actress –her performance in Carol was amazing–) is as great as always, even if she appears very little on screen. Her character is not real, and it is a combination of several girlfriends that the real Saroo had back then. Also, in real life, Saroo had two brothers and one sister, not one brother and one sister (I don’t understand why they changed these facts in the movie).

Abhishek Bharate, Priyanka Bose, and Divian Ladwa are absolutely perfect in their roles. Nicole Kidman and David Wenham are very good too.

The movie Lion has launched a charity campaign to support the street children of India. You can also help a bit if you want.

Lion is a movie that will go directly to your heart. It is a movie about despair, tragedy, hope, parenthood, and love. A movie for appreciating what you have and for remembering the millions of forgotten children who live in extreme poverty today and who go missing everyday in India and other countries in the world. Lion is a movie that will stay in your heart for many many many days.

The best: the incredible story, the stunning performances by Sunny Pawar and Dev Patel, the music, and the cinematography.

The worst: nothing.

 

dalit-antonia-joker-2016 Antonia Tejeda Barros, Madrid, February 8, 2017

La La Land: An Annoying and Cheesy Torture filled with cliches

 La La Land (a 2 hour cheesy torture). Dir. Damien Chazelle

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I love Cinema & Art. I don’t usually write negative reviews, because I like to spend my time and my words on the movies that I love and not on the movies that I hated. But since this movie is stealing all the awards so far, and some people are calling that dull & cheesy film “a masterpiece” I felt forced to write something about it. This is my Blog’s first critical review.

When a movie is bad and nobody seems to care, I never bother writing anything about it. But when bad movies and mediocre actors get all the attention and cast a shadow on really good movies and really talented actors, it makes me really angry.

La La Land is a movie made from plastic. It is full of cliches and it has a fake aroma of nostalgia. The beginning of the film (with that deodorant commercial tone) doesn’t have neither weight nor meaning. The director only wants to tell us here, in case we don’t notice afterwards, that this movie is a musical. Good for him, because who could have guessed that with all the bad singing and the bad dancing!

The love story is completely predictable and fake for the first hour or so, with terrible dialog and a lack of any real emotion, until the first fight (which is one of the very few situations that feels real in the movie).

Somebody has said that this is a super-white film about 2 “baby-dreamers”, and I completely agree. Where is the Art? Where is the real struggle? Is it so terrible not to succeed in a theatre play? There are today millions of people dying from hunger, wars, violence, and incurable diseases, and to sink because a play didn’t turn out how you expected or you cannot be the jazz pianist number one is really childish.

Good things about the film: the cinematography and the flashbacks are very good. The end is the best. That turn is actually original but does not make any sense any way. Let’s not forget that the girl and the boy are where they are because she was depressed about her career failure. As simple as that. So, the twist does not actually make any sense. The jazz is good too (I mean, the REAL jazz musicians). And Ryan Gosling (who is OK in the film but not amazing) is actually playing the piano, which, in a Hollywood movie is already a lot. Apart from that, the film is a 2 hour cheesy torture.

Annoying things: the worst is, in my opinion, Emma Stone. I never understood her “talent”. She is just a “pretty” face with a skinny (anorexic?) body who seems to think she is too good to prepare for her roles. Her singing in the film is awful and her dancing is not good enough. Let’s remember that in Irrational Man (I love Woody Allen!) she didn’t even bother taking a piano lesson for her role as a “pianist”. Her hairdo is very fake (she always seems to have just come out from the hairdresser) and I never understood why she cannot appear in even one frame without make up. How this mediocre actress won the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy in stead of the amazing Meryl Streep or the amazing Annette Bening shows how Hollywood is losing it. And the fact that she won the SAG Award (Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role) in stead of Meryl Streep or Natalie Portman shows how this movie has blinded Hollywood. The most hilarious thing would be that she wins the Oscar (and, sadly, she probably will), being in the same category as Ruth Negga (who made an stunning performance in Loving), Meryl Streep (always amazing and always great), Natalie Portman, and Isabelle Huppert (one of the best European actresses today). But, hey, if Sandra Bullock got and Oscar in 2010, Stone could definitely get one too!

Gosling can play the piano but he definitely cannot sing: his voice does not have any power and it sounds like olive oil. His dancing is, as his partner’s, mediocre. How come he ended wining the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy in stead of Hugh Grant (who gave his best performance ever in Florence Foster Jenkins) is a real mystery. Luckily, and for the sake of Art, he didn’t get the SAG Award (who went to the amazing Denzel).

The cliches of La La Land are endless: girl meets boy and at first they hate each other but after they like each other. The detail with the famous actress who enters in the Cafe is also so predictable (and how rude -not cool- it is to refuse an invitation). There are lots of holes in the movie. Boy and girl keep bumping into each other in a city as huge as LA, and many more, but I am not going to tell them because I don’t want to reveal the “plot” of the movie.

14 Oscar nominations? Give me a break! As somebody said, it’s the endless story about Hollywood in love with itself. Pity, I will definitely not watch the Oscars this year. There were lots of really great movies this year and they did not get 14 Oscar nominations: Collateral Beauty, Loving, Hidden Figures, Lion, Moonlight, Elle, Florence Foster Jenkins, Smrt u Sarajevu, Fences… In my opinion, La La Land should have got 1 Oscar nomination only (cinematography, Linus Sandgren). 

The whole movie, even if it features some great black jazz musicians, has a whitish taste that is unbearable. I don’t care AT ALL if the actors are white, black, yellow, orange or green. But this cheesy movie with 2 black actors definitely wouldn’t have got 14 Oscars nominations. Why? Because from the 6,000 and something Academy members, 73% are men, 27% women; 89% are white, and only 11% are people of color (and it’s not even clear which group the Latinos belong to). The world is, sadly, still very racist. That’s why many people are calling this film White White Land for a reason. The age average of the Academy members is 60 years old: that can explain the love for this mediocre musical (I would not call it a musical, because in the musicals the actors actually know both to sing and to dance).

The fact that this film is stealing all the awards and probably will also steal many Oscars shows the decadency of cinema today in the States. Either that or people are really bored and need an empty and cheesy love story to be entertained. I love many Hollywood movies, but I think that Hollywood should learn from the reality that European cinema knows to depict, away from cliches and empty love stories, away from pretty actors with fake hairdos and plastic bodies. If La La Land has achieved something it is that: a new line of decadence, cliches, and cheesiness in American cinema.

dalit-antonia-joker-2016 Antonia Tejeda Barros, Madrid, February 7, 2017

Collateral Beauty

Collateral Beauty (2016). Dir. David Frankel

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Amy / Love (Keira Knightley): “I’m the reason for everything. If you can accept that, then maybe you get to live again”.

I have read some (stupid) bad reviews about this amazing film. I doubt that all those people who left bad reviews are parents who have experienced the indescribable, gigantic, and unconditional love that a parent feels for his/her children. Clearly, they didn’t get the film! Also, this is a movie of many layers: there are many turns and twists, and that’s what makes this movie brilliant. But apparently only few people got the story.

Collateral Beauty is a beautiful, strong & deep movie that talks about parenthood, love, life & death. Don’t expect car races, fights, guns & superficiality! This is a movie that will make you think, will make you cry and will make you learn to accept the tragedies of life.

Collateral Beauty arrived to Spain on December 23, and I was dying to go and see it, because I am a huge fan of Will Smith. I find him very cool, sexy and fascinating: he is handsome, he is exciting, he is funny, and he is artistic. But the most sexy thing that I found about Will is that he is a loving father and a loving husband. As much as I love to see his muscles and his beautiful smile in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Bad Boys, Men in Back, Wild Wild West, Ali, I, Robot, Hitch, I Am Legend or Focus, I must say that my favorite Will movie is, definitely, The Pursuit of Happyness. Finally, I couldn’t go to the cinema that Friday, because I have three children (A girl, a boy and a little girl, ages 10, 8, and 3) and I had to bring them to the swimming pool and to Taekwondo, so I ran to the cinema only yesterday, Saturday the 24th. And I loved the film.

I stopped watching Trailers before having watched the movie, because the Trailers really ruin the movie for you. So, I didn’t have a clue regarding what Collateral Beauty was about, and I was very touched and surprised.

Will’s performance in Collateral Beauty is breathtaking! He is phenomenal. His eyes have so much pain and so much sadness that you can really feel his sorrow. Edward Norton is OK, Kate Winslet finally managed to get her American accent right (it took her almost 20 years!), and Michael Peña is good enough. I loved the fact that Keira Knightley kept her British accent. Jacob Latimore (I didn’t know him) is great, and Helen Mirren and Naomie Harris are absolutely amazing (Naomie is an spectacular actress: saw her in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom and her portray of Winnie took my breath away).

I was very surprised to read today that Will didn’t get a Golden Globe nomination for his portrayal of Howard and that the movie didn’t get any nomination so far. Oh, well, awards can be really stupid…

Go watch this amazing film today! But don’t forget to bring some tissues!

The best: Will Smith, Naomie Harris, the message of hope (stand up after a horrible personal tragedy), and the dominoes.

The worst: nothing.

cropped-antonia-dalit-2.jpg Antonia Tejeda Barros, Madrid, December 25, 2016

Inglourious Basterds

Inglourious Basterds (2009). Dir. Quentin Tarantino

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Film Title: INGLOURIOUS BASTERDSinglourious-basterds-10inglourious-basterds-43

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Michael Fassbender (Ltd Archie Hicox) in INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS.

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Film Title: Inglourious Basterds

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Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt): “Nazi ain’t got no humanity. They’re the foot soldiers of a Jew hunting, mass murdering maniac, and they need to be destroyed. That’s why any and every son of a bitch we find wearing a Nazi uniform, they’re gonna die”

¡Qué placer ver a los nazis morir! Tarantino hace con su arte lo que la historia no pudo hacer: matar a los malditos nazis.

Inglourious Basterds es una obra maestra. La película es muy violenta (con esa violencia tan característica y bestia de Tarantino que acaba siendo graciosa), pero un poquito de justicia no le hace daño a nadie, ¿verdad? ¡Brindemos por cada alemán y austríaco nazi muerto!

El principio de la película es espectacular. El diálogo entre Christoph Waltz y el campesino francés, interpretado a la perfección por Denis Ménochet, es algo fuera de serie. El diálogo  dura 12 minutos (empieza a los 6’50” y acaba a los 18’50”). Tarantino trabajó en el guión de Inglorious Basterds durante 10 años. La música de la película es buenísima e incluye obras de Ennio Morricone y una canción de David Bowie.

El casting, como en todas las películas de Tarantino, brilla por su genialidad. Waltz nos sorprende hablando a la perfección 4 idiomas, Brad Pitt brilla en su papel de Aldo, Fassbender aparece irresistible en su papel de crítico de cine británico y de espía, con su uniforme de SS. Mélanie Laurent encarna bastante bien a Shosanna, Daniel Brühl aparece macabro y simpático, Diane Kruger es la diva perfecta (su alemán es exquisito) y August Diehl aparece impecable en su rol de cerdo de la Gestapo. Uno de mis basterds preferidos es Hugo Stiglitz, interpretado por Til Schweiger (un actor alemán que siempre se había negado a ponerse un uniforme nazi en una película, pero que aceptó en Inglorious Basterds porque allí se le dio el privilegio de matar a nazis).

Inglorious Basterds obtuvo 8 nominaciones al Oscar (Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Achievement in Directing, Best Writing, Original Screenplay, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Achievement in Cinematography, Best Achievement in Film Editing, Best Achievement in Sound Mixing, y Best Achievement in Sound Editing), y ganó un Oscar (Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Christoph Waltz).

Inglourious Basterds es la última película de Tarantino editada por Sally Menke, quien editó todas las películas de Tarantino desde Reservoir Dogs (1992) (murió en el 2010).

Así como Saul fia es la mejor película que he visto sobre el Holocausto (impresionantemente real, deprimente y espantosa), Inglourious Basterds es el gran antídoto contra la tristeza, el dolor y la rabia que se sienten al leer sobre el Holocausto y al ver películas sobre la 2ª Guerra Mundial. Un placer para la vista, el oído, la mente y el corazón. Tarantino hace un poco de justicia a la horrenda historia de la humanidad. Una película entretenida, sorprendente, brutal y divertida.

¡Imprescindible verla (como todo el arte del cine) en VO!

Algunas curiosidades: Samuel L. Jackson es el narrador, Tarantino aparece dos veces como cameo (es el primer “scalped Nazi” y un soldado norteamericano en ‘Pride of Nation’), y el comandante norteamericano que habla con Waltz por teléfono hacia el final de la película es Harvey Keitel. Todas estas interpretaciones no aparecen en los créditos.

En Alemania, la esvástica fue eliminada o camuflada en todos los pósters de Inglourious Basterds, puesto que los símbolos nazis están prohibidos por ley en Alemania, salvo en documentos históricos.

Lo mejor: el diálogo entre Waltz y Méchonet, los nombres que Brad Pitt da a los alemanes nazis, Hitler pidiendo un chicle, la sonrisa irresistible de Fassbender, la música, el script, el estilo 100 % Tarantino, y los nazis en llamas.

Lo peor: la pésima actriz francesa de la taverna, algunos “cuts” y algunos anacronismos.

Inglourious Basterds / Trailer

cropped-antonia-dalit-2.jpg Antonia Tejeda Barros, 8 de diciembre de 2016

Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt): “Nazi ain’t got no humanity. They’re the foot soldiers of a Jew hunting, mass murdering maniac, and they need to be destroyed. That’s why any and every son of a bitch we find wearing a Nazi uniform, they’re gonna die”.

Such a pleasure watching Nazis being killed! Tarantino uses his art for doing what history couldn’t do: to kill the fucking Nazis.

Inglourious Basterds is a masterpiece. The film is bloody violent (violence which is so characteristic from Tarantino it ends out being funny), but a bit of justice does not hurt, does it? Let’s cheer for every fucking German & Austrian Nazi shot and dead!

The beginning of the movie is spectacular. The dialog between Christoph Waltz and the French farmer, brilliantly performed by Denis Ménochet, is awesome. The dialog lasts for 12 minutes (it starts at 6’50” and ends at 18’50”). Tarantino worked on the script of Inglorious Basterds for 10 years. The music of the film is amazing and includes works by Ennio Morricone and a song by David Bowie.

The casting, like in all Tarantino movies, is breathtaking. Waltz surprises us speaking 4 languages, Brad Pitt glows in his role of Aldo, Fassbender appears irresistible in his role as a British spy cinema critic disguised as an SS officer. Mélanie Laurent plays well enough the role of Shosanna, Daniel Brühl appears both nice and macabre, Diane Kruger is the perfect diva (her German is exquisite), and August Diehl appears impeccable in his role of a Gestapo pig. One of my favourite basterd is Hugo Stiglitz, performed by Til Schweiger (a German actor who always refused to wear a Nazi uniform in a movie, but he accepted it in Inglorious Basterds because there he was given the privilege of killing Nazis).

Inglourious Basterds is the last Tarantino movie edited by Sally Menke, who was the editor of all Tarantino’s movies from Reservoir Dogs (1992) (she died in 2010).

Inglourious Basterds got 8 Academy Award Nominations (Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Achievement in Directing, Best Writing, Original Screenplay, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Achievement in Cinematography, Best Achievement in Film Editing, Best Achievement in Sound Mixing, and Best Achievement in Sound Editing), and won one Oscar (Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Christoph Waltz).

Just as Saul fia is the best movie about the Holocaust that I’ve ever seen (it is terribly real, breathtaking and depressing), Inglourious Basterds is the great antidote to all the sadness, pain and anger that one feels when reading about the Holocaust and watching WWII movies. A pleasure for the eye, the ear, the mind and the heart. Tarantino makes justice to the horrible history of humankind. A cool, funny, brutal and surprising film.

Fun facts: Samuel L. Jackson is the narrator, Tarantino appears twice as a cameo (he is the first scalped Nazi and an American soldier in ‘Pride of Nation’), and the OSS American commander who talks to Waltz on the phone at the end of the movie is Harvey Keitel. These performances are uncredited.

In Germany all the swastikas had to be removed or hidden from all movie posters, since Nazi symbols are banned by law in Germany (except for historical documents).

The best: the dialog between Waltz and Méchonet, the names that Brad Pitt gives the German Nazis, Hitler asking for a chewing gum, Fassbender’s irresistible smile, the music, the script, Tarantino’s style, and the dirty Nazis burning in flames.

The worst: the bad French actress at the tavern, some cuts, and some anachronisms.

Inglourious Basterds Trailer

cropped-antonia-dalit-2.jpg Antonia Tejeda Barros, December 8, 2016

Im Labyrinth des Schweigens

Im Labyrinth des Schweigens (2014). Dir. Giulio Ricciarelli

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Major Parker (Tim Williams). En alemán en la película (el Mayor Parker, norteamericano, habla en alemán con Johann Radmann): “You were all Nazis. In the Eastern sector, now you are all communists. Jesus, you Germans! If little green men from Mars landed tomorrow, you would all become green“.

¡Por fin una película que muestra la culpabilidad del alemán común en el Holocausto! El Holocausto no se produjo gracias a 4 psicópatas nazis, sino gracias a millones de hombres (el 90% de los alemanes desde los años 1940-41) que abrazaron el nazismo y que colaboraron felices en las masacres de millones de hombres, mujeres y niños inocentes. Entre paréntesis: dos libros que muestran brillantemente la colaboración de la inmensa mayoría de alemanes en la gigantesca máquina exterminadora nazi son Rethinking the Holocaust, de Yehuda Bauer (una obra maestra) y Hitler’s Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust, de Daniel Goldhagen.

Im Labyrinth des Schweigens muestra el rápido olvido en Alemania de las atrocidades cometidas por los alemanes tan solo 10 años después de la liberación de los campos de concentración y exterminio nazis, y la impunidad de la que gozaron los millones de asesinos que torturaron, masacraron y gasearon a millones de judíos y no judíos en los años 40. Antes del famoso juicio de Eichmann en 1961, muy pocos alemanes habían oído hablar de Auschwitz.

Im Labyrinth des Schweigens se centra en el período anterior a los juicios que tuvieron lugar en Frankfurt del 20 de diciembre de 1963 al 19 de agosto de 1965 (proceso llamado en alemán der Auschwitz-Prozess) contra unos poquísimos malditos SS que operaron en Auschwitz. Los juicios fueron ridículos y un escupo contra las 1.100.000 víctimas masacradas y gaseadas en Auschwitz. De los 7.000 SS que operaron en Auschwitz durante la guerra, sólo 22 perros fueron enjuiciados en los juicios de Frankfurt. No obstante, el intento por una pizca minúscula de justicia fue importante. De los 22 SS, sólo 6 recibieron cadena perpetua, muchos unas penas ridículas de 3 a 10 años, y 5 fueron puestos en libertad.

Im Labyrinth des Schweigens muestra la extrema dificultad por juzgar a esos asesinos, debido al silencio de los alemanes y su intento por esconder la verdad.

Im Labyrinth des Schweigens obtuvo varios premios (aunque ninguno extremadamente importante) y fue la película que Alemania presentó para la categoría ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ (Oscars, 2016), aunque no llegó a ser nominada.

Siempre he creído que la única manera que tienen hoy los alemanes (y los austríacos) de limpiarse la sangre que sus padres y abuelos derramaron es ser profundamente antinazi. Pero ¿cuántos alemanes y austríacos hay hoy que sean profundamente antinazis?

“Schweigen” es “silencio” en alemán. La traducción correcta del título sería, pues, “En el laberinto del silencio”. En inglés, el título ha sido mal traducido como Labyrinth of Lies, y en español el título ha sido mal traducido como La conspiración del silencio.

Lo mejor: que la culpabilidad en el Holocausto del cerdo alemán común salga finalmente a flote.

Lo peor: que aunque la película muestre a Fritz Bauer (el juez que hizo posible los juicios de Frankfurt), el personaje de Johann Radmann (interpretado brillantemente por Alexander Fehling) sea ficticio.

Im Labyrinth des Schweigens / Trailer 

cropped-antonia-dalit-2.jpg Antonia Tejeda Barros, Madrid, 29 de noviembre de 2016

Major Parker (Tim Williams). Originally in German in the movie (the American Major speaks German to Johann Radmann): “You were all Nazis. In the Eastern sector, now you are all communists. Jesus, you Germans! If little green men from Mars landed tomorrow, you would all become green”.

Finally a movie that shows the culpability of the common German people in the Holocaust! The Holocaust didn’t happen just because of 4 Nazi psychos, but thanks to millions of ordinary men (90% of the Germans from 1940-41) who supported the Nazi ideology and happily collaborated in the massacres of millions of innocent men, women and children. By the way, two books that brilliantly demonstrate the collaboration of the vast and overwhelming majority of Germans in the gigantic Nazi killing machine are Rethinking the Holocaust, by Yehuda Bauer (a masterpiece) and Hitler’s Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust, by Daniel Goldhagen.

Im Labyrinth des Schweigens shows the fast oblivion in Germany of the atrocities committed by the Germans just 10 years after the liberation of the Nazi concentration and extermination camps, and the impunity millions of murderers enjoyed, people who tortured, massacred and gassed millions of Jews and non-Jews in the 1940s. Only very few Germans heard about Auschwitz before the famous Eichmann trial in 1961.

Im Labyrinth des Schweigens focuses on the the period prior to the trials that took place in Frankfurt between December 20, 1963 and August, 1965 (called in German der Auschwitz-Prozess) against very few fucking SS members who operated in Auschwitz. The trials were ridiculous and a spit on the 1,100,000 victims who were massacred and gassed in Auschwitz. From the 7,000 SS members who operated in Auschwitz during the war, only 22 dogs were judged at the Frankfurt Trials. Nevertheless, the attempt for a pinch of justice was important. From the 22 SS members, only 6 got life imprisonment, many got ridiculous sentences ranging from 3 to 10 years, and 5 were simply released.

Im Labyrinth des Schweigens shows the extreme difficulty of judging the murderers because of the silence the Germans kept and their attempt to hide the truth.

Im Labyrinth des Schweigens got many prizes (although none were extremely important) and it was the film that Germany presented for the category ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ (Oscars, 2016), although it was not nominated.

I always believed that the only way Germans (and Austrians) have today to clean the blood their parents and grandparents spilled is to be deeply anti-Nazi. But how many Germans and Austrians are there today who are deeply anti-Nazi?

“Schweigen” is “silence” in German. The correct translation of the title would be: “In the Labyrinth of Silence”. In English the title has been poorly translated as Labyrinth of Lies.

The best: the fact that the culpability of the German common pig in the Holocaust finally arouses.

The worst: that even when the film shows Fritz Bauer (the judge who made the Frankfurt Trials possible), the character of Johann Radmann (brilliantly performed by Alexander Fehling) is fictitious.

Im Labyrinth des Schweigens / Trailer 

cropped-antonia-dalit-2.jpg Antonia Tejeda Barros, Madrid, November 29, 2016

 

The Pursuit of Happyness

The Pursuit of Happyness (2006). Dir. Gabriele Muccino

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Chris (Will Smith): Don’t ever let somebody tell you you can’t do something. Not even me. All right?

Christopher (Jaden Smith): All right.

Chris: You got a dream, you gotta protect it. People can’t do somethin’ themselves, they wanna tell you you can’t do it. If you want somethin’, go get it. Period.

Tengo que confesar que estoy ridículamente embobada con Will Smith, un actor y rapper deliciosamente sexy, simpático, divertido y cool. He comprado recientemente muchas de sus películas y CDs. Sólo hace poco he empezado a ver The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air con mis hijos, y nos encanta (sí, por suerte no lo vi en los 90 en la TV, porque hubiera visto a Will doblado al español, qué horror, con esas voces tan postizas que siguen usando aquí en España –que son las mismas de los anuncios de desodorantes y compresas). Así que compré esta película sólo porque la protagonizaba Will. Y la película me ha impactado profundamente.

The Pursuit of Happyness (sí, con “Y”: esto es por un graffiti mal escrito que hay pintado en la pared de la deprimente guardería de Christopher) es una de las mejores películas que he visto: profunda, emotiva, sorprendente, triste y divertida. The Pursuit of Happyness llega profundamente al corazón y nos hace valorar lo que tenemos, incluidos nuestros propios sueños. No es una película deprimente. Es una película que habla de esperanza, amor, supervivencia, paternidad y sueños.

The Pursuit of Happyness está basada en una historia real: la historia de Chris Gardner y su lucha por vivir decentemente sin tener que separarse de su hijo. El verdadero Chris Gardner estuvo presente en todo el rodaje de la película.

Will Smith fue nominado al Oscar por su brillante interpretación. Definitivamente, esta es una de las mejores interpretaciones de la carrera de Will (posiblemente la mejor), junto a sus impresionantes interpretaciones de Muhammad Ali en Ali (2001) y del Dr. Bennet Omalu en Concussion (2015).

Chris Gardner pensó en un principio que Will no podía encarnarle. Pero su hija Jacintha le dijo: “If Smith can play Muhammad Ali, he can play you!“.

La interpretación de Jaden Smith es también impresionante. Jaden no era la primera elección, ni mucho menos. El director Gabriele Muccino escuchó alrededor de 250 niños, pero confesó que todos eran “monos” y correctos (cute and fine). El problema era que Muccino no estaba buscando un niño “mono”, sino un niño que pudiera ser real. Después de una semana, Muccino le pidió a Will si su hijo Jaden podía leer con él y, cuando lo hizo, quedó impresionado. El amor entre padre e hijo en la vida real puede definitivamente respirarse en la película. Jaden –quien interpreta a un niño de 5 años– tenía 8 cuando rodaron la película. El verdadero Christopher (el hijo de Chris Gardner), sin embargo, era sólo un bebé cuando Chris vivió los acontecimientos que ocurren en la película.

Lo mejor: la brillante interpretación de Will, la triste escena del lavabo, las carreras de Will, la fresca interpretación de Jaden, y la escena de la oficina hacia el final de la película.

Lo peor: nada.

The Pursuit of Happyness / Trailer

cropped-antonia-dalit-2.jpg Antonia Tejeda Barros, Madrid, 11 de septiembre de 2016

Chris (Will Smith): Don’t ever let somebody tell you you can’t do something. Not even me. All right?

Christopher (Jaden Smith): All right.

Chris: You got a dream, you gotta protect it. People can’t do somethin’ themselves, they wanna tell you you can’t do it. If you want somethin’, go get it. Period.

I have to confess that I have a big crush on Will Smith, an actor and rapper who I find super sexy, nice, funny, and cool. I’ve recently bought many of his movies and albums. I am only now discovering, together with my kids, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (Yes, I didn’t watch it in the 90s!). So, I bought this movie just because Will is in it. And I was blown away by the movie.

The Pursuit of Happyness (yes, with a “Y”: that’s because of a misspelled graffiti on the wall of Christopher’s depressing  day-care) is one of the best movies I have ever seen. The film  is touching, surprising, sad and funny. The Pursuit of Happyness will break your heart and will make you value what you have. But this is not a depressing movie. It is a movie about hope, love, survival, fatherhood, and about never giving up your dreams.

The Pursuit of Happyness is based on a true story: the story of Chris Gardner and his struggle for a decent life while keeping his son next to him at all times. The real Chris Gardner was present throughout the shooting and discussed several things with Will and director Gabriele Muccino.

Will Smith was nominated for an Oscar for his breathtaking performance of Chris Gardner. That’s definitely one of the best performances of Will’s career (if not the best), together with his stunning portrayals of Muhammad Ali in Ali (2001) and Dr. Bennet Omalu in Concussion (2015).

Chris Gardner first thought that Will was miscast to play him, but his daughter Jacintha told him: “If Smith can play Muhammad Ali, he can play you!”.

Jaden Smith’s performance is also amazing. He wasn’t cast in the film right away. Director Gabriele Muccino saw some 250 kids and he said that they were all cute and fine. The problem was that Muccino wasn’t looking for a cute and fine little boy, but for a little boy who could be real. After a week, Muccino asked Will if his son Jaden could read for him, and, when he did, Muccino was amazed. The love that father and son have for each other in real life can be definitely felt in the movie. Jaden, who portrays a 5 year old Christopher, was 8 years old when the movie was shot and released. The real Christopher (Chris Gardner’s son), however, was just a baby at the time of the real events.

The best: Will’s brilliant performance, the toilet scene, Will’s running, Jaden’s fresh performance, and the board room scene towards the end of the movie.

The worst: nothing.

The Pursuit of Happyness Trailer

cropped-antonia-dalit-2.jpg Antonia Tejeda Barros, Madrid, September 11, 2016

Saul fia

Saul fia (2015). Dir. László Nemes

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Saul fia es una obra maestra que describe genialmente los horrores del Holocausto. Es el primer largometraje de László Nemes, y la película es realmente espectacular. El uso de la cámara es impresionante y la interpretación de Géza Röhrig no tiene palabras. Sin ver demasiado, podemos escuchar a todos los hombres, mujeres y niños inocentes que fueron masacrados y gaseados por los alemanes y austríacos nazis. El macabro trabajo de los Sonderkommando es brillantemente mostrado en Saul fia.

Confieso que me pasé los primero 15 minutos de la película llorando. Saul fia es durísima, pero es una obra de arte crucial para este siglo cibernético y superficial donde el Holocausto parece estar ya pasado de moda. La película muestra de una manera poco ortodoxa los macabros gaseamientos descritos en los contados testimonios de los pocos Sonderkommando de Auschwitz que sobrevivieron a la barbarie (Shlomo Venezia, Sonderkommando griego judío, prisionero número 182727: Sonderkommando. Dans l’enfer des chambres à gaz; Filip Müller, Sonderkommando judío eslovaco, prisionero número 29236: Sonderbehandlung. Drei Jahre in der Krematorien und Gaskammern von Auschwitz; y los impactantes dibujos de David Olère, Sonderkommando judío polaco). Dario Gabbai, prisionero número 182568, primo de Shlomo Venezia y uno de los últimos Sonderkommando hoy sobrevivientes, vio Saul fia y alabó la película.

En mi opinión, Saul fia debería haber sido nominada en todas las categorías del Oscar (Best Movie, Best Director, Best Cinematography y Best Actor in a Leading Role) y debería haberlas ganado todas. Saul fia arrasó en el Festival de Cannes y obtuvo el Oscar a la mejor película extranjera (Best Foreign Language Film of the Year).

Saul fia es una OBRA MAESTRA con letras mayúsculas. Algo para nunca olvidar los millones de litros de sangre que Alemania y Austria derramaron sin haber pagado jamás por ello.

La película está en húngaro, polaco, yiddish, alemán, ruso, francés, griego, eslovaco y hebreo, y muestra brillantemente el caos de idiomas (la torre de Babel) de los campos de concentración y exterminio nazis. Imprescindible verla en V.O. Ver Saul fia doblada (o cualquier película doblada) es un crimen que destroza todo el arte del cine.

Sin duda alguna, Saul fia es la mejor película del 2015 y, en mi opinión, la mejor película sobre el Holocausto jamás rodada.

Lo mejor: la cinematografía (Mátyás Erdély), absolutamente pionera, la interpretación magristral de Géza Röhrig y la música (László Melis).

Lo peor: nada.

Saul fia / Trailer oficial

Primera escena de Saul fia comentada por el director Lászlo Nemes

cropped-halloween-2015-todos.jpg Antonia Tejeda Barros, Madrid, 31 de agosto de 201 6

Saul fia is a masterpiece that goes deep into the horrors of the Holocaust. Director László Nemes makes a feature film debut that is spectacular. The camera is astonishing and the performance of Géza Röhrig is breathtaking. Without showing much, we can hear the screams of all of the innocent men, women and children who were massacred and gassed by the Nazi Germans & Austrians. The macabre task of the Sonderkommando is brilliantly depicted in this film.

I confess that I cried the first 15 minutes of the movie. Saul fia is really hard to watch, but it is a crucial work of art for this cybernetic and superficial century where the Holocaust seems already out of fashion. The film shows in an unorthodox way the macabre gassing described by the few testimonies of the few Auschwitz Sonderkommando who survived the war (Shlomo Venezia, a Jewish Greek Sonderkommando, prisoner number 182727: Sonderkommando. Dans l’enfer des chambres à gaz; Filip Müller, a Jewish Slovak Sonderkommando, prisoner number 29236: Sonderbehandlung. Drei Jahre in der Krematorien und Gaskammern von Auschwitz; and the shocking drawings by David Olère, a Jewish Polish Sonderkommando). Dario Gabbai, prisoner number 182568, Shlomo Venezia’s cousin and one of the last remaining Sonderkommando saw Saul fia and praised the film.

In my opinion Saul fia should have been nominated in all the categories and should have won ALL the Oscars (Best Movie, Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Actor in a Leading Role). Saul fia triumphed at the Cannes Festival and got the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film of the Year.

Saul fia is a MASTERPIECE with capital letters. Something for never forgetting what Germany & Austria did and what they never paid for.

The film is in Hungarian, Polish, Yiddish, German, Russian, French, Greek, Slovak & Hebrew, and it depicts brilliantly the chaos of languages (the Tower of Babel) of the Nazi extermination & concentration camps.
A must see. Definitely, the best movie of 2015, and, in my opinion, the best movie about the Holocaust ever made.
The best: the cinematography (Mátyás Erdély), absolutely pioneer, the breathtaking performance by Géza Röhrig, and the music (László Melis).
The worst: nothing.

cropped-halloween-2015-todos.jpg Antonia Tejeda Barros, Madrid, August 31, 2016