I Am Heath Ledger

I Am Heath Ledger (2017). Directed by Adrian Buitenhuis & Derik Murray

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I am a huge fan of Heath. I actually discovered him after he already died. He struck me and enchanted me, and I suffered a Heath’s fever that lasted more than a year. I bought all his (16) films, and saw his TV series. I also spent more than 3 months writing an article about Heath’s art. Today, my obsession is gone, but the admiration will always be there. So, I was eagerly waiting for the new documentary about him, I Am Heath Ledger, and I bought it on DVD as soon as it came out. I watched it with my husband (who fell asleep) on our cinema projector, and, although the documentary is beautiful and touching, I must say I was a bit disappointed. I wanted more of Heath the artist and Heath the actor. I think that the documentary tends to forget why we all love Heath. We love him because of his movies. We love him because of his art. Also, the image we get from Heath in I Am Heath Ledger is a one-sized-image, not a multidimensional one, and that’s a real pity. Heath was human, and, as amazing as he was, I am sure he also had many flows, like all of us, but nobody dares to mention any of them.

I Am Heath Ledger has a very personal touch. Heath’s friends, ex-girlfriends, parents, and sisters talk about him with love and admiration, which is very nice, but, in my opinion, other angles are missing. I definitely missed more directors, actors and actresses talking about Heath’s art. I would have loved to see and hear Jake Gyllenhaall, Wes Bentley, Shekhar Kapur, Christian Bale, Christopher Nolan, Rose Byrne, Bryan Brown, Gregor Jordan, Julia Stiles, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Billy Bob Thornton, Lasse Hallström, Sienna Miller, Jeremy Irons, Todd Haynes, Abbie Cornish, Geoffrey Rush, Terry Gilliam, Christopher Plummer, Andrew Garfield, Verner Troyer, and Matt Damon talking about Heath.

Also, many of Heath’s films are simply missing. Nobody even mentions them: Two Hands, The Sin Eater, The Brothers Grimm, Casanova, and Candy are just not there. Why? How can you make a documentary without mentioning these films? It’s not that Heath made 100 films and you can easily omit 5 of them. He only made 16 films, some better than others, surely, but I definitely think that they all should have been included. The amazing documentary about Woody Allen, directed by Robert B. Weide, Woody Allen: A Documentary (2012) also omits some of Allen’s films, which is a pity, but is understandable and can be forgiven since Woody Allen has made more than 50 films.

In addition, I Am Heath Ledger does not mention some roles Heath took in some TV series, and his uncredited appearances in some movies. Before his first big role for the big screen (Two Hands), Heath appeared in 1992 (at the age of 13) in the movie Clowning Around as an orphan clown (uncredited) and in 1993–1994 in 3 episodes of the TV series Ship to Shore as a cyclist (S1, Ep.12 & Ep.13) and as an actor (S2, Ep.1). In 1996 he appeared in 26 episodes of the TV series Sweat as Snowy Bowles, a gay cyclist (yes, gay!), and, in 1997, in 11 episodes of the TV series Home and Away as Scott Irwin, and in small roles in the drama Blackrock (as Toby) and in Paws (as Oberon). The documentary only mentions Roar (an American production –13 episode TV series– shot in Australia) where Heath stars as Conor (which is a quite bad series, despite Heath’s smile).

And, what about Heath’s death? His death is only mentioned by the way. Well, we don’t have to get stuck on his death, we don’t have to see again those horrible photos of Heath’s body covered by a black sheet carried by policemen out of his apartment that the media loved to show time and again during the days after his death… but to talk a bit about his death, to throw some light about his sudden end, wouldn’t have hurt, would it? The only thing we can feel in the documentary is the fact that Heath was not depressed the days prior to his death, that he was full of projects and wishes, but that was already said by Terry Gilliam and others years ago.

Heath died at the age of 28 (two months and a half before his 29th birthday) due to an accidental overdose of prescription pills (a combination of 6 different painkillers, sleeping pills and anti-anxiety pills: oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam –Valium–, temapezan, alprazolam –Xanax– and doxylamine). A real lethal cocktail indeed. Today he would have been 38 years old. Heath appears in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus much thinner. When Heath came back to New York after shooting in London, he said he was a little depressed about not having seen his daughter. Nevertheless, Gilliam and Heath’s co-stars in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus remember Heath’s vitality, energy and strength, and denied that Heath was down.

Although his life wasn’t easy by the time of his death, Heath had a strong love for life and was full of projects. His father shows in the amazing documentary Too Young to Die: Heath Ledger (2012) several scrips of projects that Heath kept for doing in the future. The day after he died he was supposed to meet director Shekhar Kapur to discuss several projects. Heath suffered from insomnia. In addition, he had a strong backache and a chest infection the days prior to his death that didn’t allow him to sleep. Heath had several types of pills prescribed by doctors from different countries. Although no pill taken on its own was extremely dangerous, the combination of all together proved to be lethal. He took 6 pills (which is a lot), but he didn’t take 30, which is common in suicides. Heath died probably without suffering. He just stopped breathing. His death was purely accidental.

A missing figure in the documentary I Am Heath Ledger is the mother of Heath’s daughter. That did not surprised me, because I never found Ms. Williams generous enough to share anything about Heath with Heath’s fans (but, still, didn’t she have anything nice to say about him? Weird). Not that I think she was more special than all the others girlfriends of Heath, but, nevertheless, she is the mother of his daughter. Heath had many girlfriends and none lasted more than 2 years. To fall in love is not difficult, on the contrary, it’s rather easy. What it’s difficult is to keep the love, year after year, and that was something that Heath didn’t know to do or didn’t want to do, because he kept having short relationships one after the other, which is a bit of a pity. There are two ex-girlfriends of Heath who are generous enough to talk in the documentary about Heath: Christina Cauchi and Naomi Watts.

A nice thing about I Am Heath Ledger is that the documentary finally puts emphasis on the creative side of Heath as a photographer, video camera man, and director of video clips. Heath was fascinated by Nick Drake whom also died at a very young age (26), in 1974, and thought about doing a movie about him. And he created a music label called Masses Music Co. (known as The Masses) and directed several music videos. “I do have some wonderful distractions … I have a music label and I direct music videos and so I immerse myself in a different industry which kind of keeps acting really fresh for me”, said Heath once.

I Am Heath Ledger shows us lots of unseen footage of Heath: Heath with the camera and Heath with his friends, which is amazing and touching to see.

The worst: the lack of directors, actors, and actresses taking about Heath, the one-dimensional view of Heath, the missing movies and TV series, and the fact that the DVD does not have English subtitles (so deaf people can’t enjoy the documentary).

The best: the unseen footage, and the human and personal touch.

DALIT-ANTONIA-JOKER-2016 Antonia Tejeda Barros, Madrid, June 26, 2017

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

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

 

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

Intouchables

Intouchables (2011). Dir. Olivier Nakache & Eric Toledano

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Antoine (Grégoire Oestermann): “Fais attention: les gars des cités n’ont aucune pitié”

Philippe (François Cluzet): “C’est exactement ça, c’est ce que je veux: aucune pitié” 

Intouchables es una película impactante, profunda y divertida a la vez que habla de una forma fresca y poética sobre los marginados (los discapacitados y los inmigrantes). Está inspirada en una historia real: una amistad y confianza aparentemente imposible entre Philippe (un francés blanco millonario tetraplégico) y Driss (un francés pobre de origen senegalés).

Los personas reales que inspiraron Intouchables son Philippe Pozzo di Borgo y Abdel Sellou (francés de origen argelino). Como los directores ya habían trabajado con Omar Sy y no concebían la película sin él, modificaron la procedencia de Driss.

Intouchables obtuvo 8 nominaciones a los César (los César del 2012 a la mejor película y al mejor director se los llevó The Artist y Michel Hazanavicius), y ganó el premio César al mejor actor (Omar Sy, Meilleur actor). La película estuvo nominada al Golden Globe (Best Foreign Language Film). Sin grandes efectos especiales, explosiones, metralletas, culos ni tetas, Intouchables devino una de las películas francesas más taquilleras.

Lo mejor: Omar Sy, la amistad entre Philippe y Driss, la música (Ludovico Einaudi), Salimata Kamate (la tía de Driss), Nina Simone y las nubes, la escena de la ópera, la orquesta con instrumentos de la época (Capriccio Français) y el poético final.

Lo peor: la alusión a la gordura como algo feo en la mujer (Driss bromea sobre el peso de Eléonore). ¡Las mujeres y hombres gorditos también son guapos y sexies, estúpidos! La belleza, en todo caso, se halla siempre dentro y nunca fuera. Un fallo gigante en esta obra maestra que pretende romper con los estereotipos y prejuicios de la sociedad de hoy.

Intouchables / Trailer

Antonia Tejeda Barros, Madrid – Aix-en-Provence, 8 de julio de 2016

Antoine (Grégoire Oestermann): “Fais attention: les gars des cités n’ont aucune pitié”

Philippe (François Cluzet): “C’est exactement ça, c’est ce que je veux: aucune pitié” 

Intouchables is an amazing, breathtaking, deep and funny film that talks about the outsiders (the disabled and the immigrants) in a fresh and poetic way. The film is inspired on a true story: the apparently impossible friendship and trust between Philippe (a millionaire -tetraplegic-white French) and Driss (a poor Senegalese French).

The real people who inspired Intouchables are Philippe Pozzo di Borgo and Abdel Sellou (a French of Algerian origin). Since the directors had already worked with Omar Sy and didn’t conceive the movie without him, they changed Driss’ background.

Intouchables got 8 César nominations (the 2012 César for Best Picture and for Best director went to The Artist and Michel Hazanavicius), and won the César for Best Actor (Omar Sy, Meilleur actor). The film got a Golden Globe nomination (Best Foreign Language Film). Without big special effects, no explosions, guns, asses or tits, Intouchables became one of the most successful French movies worldwide.

The best: Omar Sy, the friendship between Philippe and Driss, the music (Ludovico Einaudi), Salimata Kamate (Driss’ aunt), Nina Simone and the clouds, the opera scene, the orchestra with period instruments (Capriccio Français), and the poetic end.

The worst: the explicit offensive derogatory connotations toward fat women (Driss jokes about Eléonore’s weight). Fat women and men are also beautiful and sexy, you idiots! Beauty, in any case, is always in the inside and never in the outside. A huge slip in this masterpiece that pretends to break from stereotypes and prejudices in today’s society.

Intouchables Trailer

cropped-antonia-dalit-2.jpg Antonia Tejeda Barros, Madrid – Aix-en-Provence, July 8, 2016