Archive for June 2014

白日焰火 / Black Coal Thin Ice

I'm gonna be honest with you, the synopsis didn't really interest me because I'm not usually a crime fic person but what got me to see it was that it won this year's Berlinale, which for some reason is probably my favourite international film awards (maybe because Miyazaki won it with Spirited Away)

The film was a bit bizarre and a bit confusing, could be due to the translation or maybe crime films tend to be this way, but that actually adds to the charm of this movie. The English title suits pretty well with the bleak base tone, which an immediate big plus for me. But compared to most Nordic films which tend to be very cool tone as well, this one is definitely more vivid, if that makes any sense at all.

What I have to mention is how beautiful the shots are. Not beautiful in the same way as Monet's paintings but basically if you screencap the film every 2 seconds you get a stunning photography book of a Northern Chinese city. Unpolished streets, rusty factories and out-dated cars, probably not your best-city-to-live-in type of photos but definitely artistic.

During the Q&A session the director (I was shocked how young he looked but then I realised he's Asian..) said that the female protagonist in the movie represents the passive female position in traditional Chinese culture and even modern Chinese society, an oppressed figure in a patriarch society. And so I was disappointed that he didn't really explore further in that direction. Of course I'm not saying that every good film has to promote women's rights or only political films are worth watching but since it was mentioned in the film personally I'd love to see it digging slightly deeper.

Which also led to the police force in the film. The director said again in the Q&A that the crew did their best to realistically represent police forces in Northern China and the actors went in training with the cops and stuff. Again, shocking (like basically their cops are doing the same thing to Chinese citizens what our people are doing on Manus Island to asylum seekers) but a bit of a shame that the film didn't expand that further either.

All in all, great crime film with 10/10 artistry, shame to me that the director seems to lack of political ambition.


ps. the female lead reminds me of Eri Fukatsu (and coincidentally she also starred in a well received crime romance film)

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Återträffen / The Reunion

Sydney Film Festival Day 3

As expected from Anna Odell, provocative and thought-provoking.

Keyword: Bullying, Documentary, Art, Stockholm, School Hierarchy

I won't say too much on this but I definitely highly recommend this to everyone. To everybody that's been bullied, isolated and hurt during school, to everybody that has bullied, isolated and hurt and to everybody that has seen people being bullied, isolated and hurt and done nothing. It doesn't necessarily make you cry or laugh or moved or any of those emotional climax that for whatever reason one may expect from a good movie but it makes you think, which I think could be much more important.

To me it's more of an art/social project than a film, which any of my friends would know I love.

 As a film per se, 7-7.5/10
 As an art project, 8.5/10

Can definitely see why it won guldbaggen

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Vi är bäst! / We are the best!

Punk ÄR INTE DÖD!' (Punk not dead!)

Sydney Film Festival Day 2

Keywords: Punk, 1980s, Stockholm

Again another film so up my street! So lighthearted and fun and energetic it was just a fantastic experience! Not necessarily a film that'd make its way into my top list but it is definitely memorable.

And girls with mohawk and boyish short hair, seriously! And Ebba grön! And KSMB! And so many swears!

'Det spelar ingen roll vad ni säger, Vi är ändå bäst' (No matter what you say, we are still the best)


Biased Rate:

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Nånting Måste Gå Sönder / Something Must Break

'Du är så jävla vacker att jag spyr.' (You are so fucking beautiful I want to vomit.)

A beautiful fairy-tale.

Keywords: Gender-queer, Stockholm.
It's like a film specifically caterred for me. So relatable that it was almost painful to watch.

Compared to my last year's favourite romance film, Blue is the warmest colour, Something must break is somehow harsher, and softer. Harsher because it exhibits the struggle of gender-queer people so, real that when everybody else in the cinema was laughing at the puns I was feeling like someone was squeezing my lungs. Softer because unlike Blue is the warmest colour, which was an entire journey of Adele growing up and you know there will be an endless regrets and sorrow after the ending, this film felt much shorter. It was still real love and there were still heaps of tears but you know, or rather you hope that the scar will heal and Ellie/Sebastian will get up again one day.

And it will get too personal if I keep on going.

Another thing, it is as expected very very cool-toned, a distinct feature in Northern European cinemas, which I love. I mean I still like sunny Italian or French flicks but it is this gloomy palette that I'm the most comfortable with. The lonely coldness that numbs your face and your heart.

Also why were both actors so darn good-looking? SÅ. HIMLA. SNYGGA att jag dör. Like the fudanshi inside me kept making squeeky sounds during the kissing scenes.


First Sydney Film Fest film, bra start!

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Wild Onesie

So from the 2nd to the 6th of June I will be wearing my tiger onesie to school and work, as part of the WILD ONESIE WEEK campaign run by WWF in the hope to raise public awareness of endangered species and hopefully, raise money to support WWF's work to protect these animals from poaching and habitat loss.

If you would like to donate and help stop beautiful Siberian tigers and Sumatran orangutans from disappearing from this world you can head on to my fundraising page by clicking my picture above. I will be posting photos everyday throughout the week as well and if you're sydney-based you're most welcome to come humiliate me.

But please don't feel like you have to give a certain amount of money. A fiver would be already good enough as I understand that most of my friends are povo students without stable income.

And you can always share, share it with your facebook mates or your fam I don't mind strangers laughing at my stupid photos.

ps. If you need that extra push, June is my birthday month. (but ofc I wouldn't mind if you insist to give me a bottle of Tom Ford)

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