Saturday, May 3, 2008

All about Lili Chou Chou / Riri shushu no subete (Japan, 2001)

I was told to watch this movie by my friend far away, she said it's a movie almost no one understands but that I would like it. And like everything she ever said: She was complete right!
It's film that is not easy to be understood but it is a very good one, though it will hurt every inch of your soul.
I am talking about All about Lily Chou Chou by director Shunji Iwai. It's difficult though to explain what this movie is about. I guess you could say it's a movie about growing up. Growing up in an absurd Japanse popculture and growing up as virtual indentities. One of the best coming of age movies ever made, I dare to say. How dofficult your life can be in your teens, when no one can understand you but yourself or an idol who seems to write her songs for you.

This movie lacks almost everything most people are looking for: like a good storyline, clear characters and the development of this. It is no ta bad thing it points the finger at the problems in such a society like Japan where the pressure to be succesful is too high. Childs get bullied in the most heavy ways and the lack of open communication makes it worse. It's about getting hurt over and over again, about boys who get bullied and turn themselves in the meanest bullies there are. About trying to find your way out of this hellhole on the internet where you describe your own world, the ether you live in. About escapism through music.

This movie consists entirely of pain and loneliness, it will feel like a knife through your heart. The music is almost too great and with the scenery and the entire cinematography is brilliant.

Not too many will like it I am afraid but in my eyes it's a modern day masterpiece that gets you in every way possible.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Tears for you / Nada so so (Japan, 2006)

When you visit my site I guess you will notice that most films I watch are not the most happy ones. So when you think this time the movie has to be funny or happy, I have to disappoint you again. But what I can offer, is a film about love as strong is at can be. And to be honest.... when loves seems to be too perfect.... how can it end happy anyway. Destiny has a cruel way of pushing the most beautiful moments out of his way!

The film 'Tears for you' (Nada so so) by director Nobuhiro Doi is a film which stars Satoshi Tsumabuki and Masami Nagasawa, is about two half-siblings who are lft by there dad in at a very young age. The boy takes care of his sister in any way he can. she is able to go to a good school so he works to earn money. His dream is to have his own restaurant in the future but it isn't going that smoothly, he is deceived by some con-artist and his sister wants to live on her own because she loves him too much. Then he gets ill....

This film is all about love, not the common boy-girl relationship but a more difficult relationship between two half-siblings. A situation that is hard anyway. It's very subtle, and that makes it very beautiful. Not that it is an innovating movie, because it's not... you always know in which way the story will evolve but it's not even necessary. The things the director wants to do, he does perfectly, fantastic scenes about the chemistry between siblings which is totally believable.The sister calling her brother niinii (big brother in Okinawa accent) can be a bit irritating in the end though.

Even though it's very subtle, it is a very emotional film too so make sure you bring some tissues with you.

And to remember, watch the beautiful song during the ending credits cause you will be given a brilliant scene afterwards.

nd for my special friend and soulmate who lives far away:), I hope you will like this one too. I wish you wellness and happiness, it's hard missing you.

Column on film with my participation

On the first of May there is a new edition available of 'Academia', an online magazine and resource for academic librarians. Sarah Buck-Yasin has a column about movies in this magazine and she asked me (among others) to participate in an investigation about the oscars. What are the oscars to you and do they really reflect the finest in film? The reactions of several people (including mine) are published for this month, so why don't you take a look at it!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

KT Tunstall live at Paradiso, Amsterdan 29-04-2008

What a perfect evening to go to our capital to see a concert of KT Tunstall. It was just a day before our Queensday and the night of the concrt it is called Queensnight, everybody dresses in orange and parties all night long.
In the fantastic pop temple 'Paradiso' KT Tunstall was the queen in my eyes! What a brilliant concert it was. An amazing performance with one of the most stunning voices I ever heard.
She started with a few famous songs like 'Other side of the world' 'Little favours & 'Hold on', the audience was completely going mad already. One of the most brilliant songs was 'through the dark; which she played on the piano and the country-folk song 'Ashes'. It made me happy that one of the band members played the contrabas, such a beautiful instrument which has it's charm. It's a shame you don't see this instrument too often anymore.

And ofcourse she was performing 'Black horse and the cherry tree', what a stunning moment was that. everyone wnet wild when the first notes were played and she played it with an orange hat, our queen would have been proud. In the end she played my favourite 'Saving my face'. The feeling it gave me is just beyond words.
She had her funny moments too, at about 21.30 in the evening it was the time for random facts like 'cat's urine glows in the dark' and the brilliant 'do you know in England nothing rhymes on orange?'

Well too say in short, a fantastic night which won't be forgotten! After the concert it was time to see the completely filled streets with partying people in Amsterdam.