IFFR 2010 – Report #5

Filed under: — Arjan Welles on February 7th, 2010 06:02:40 pm

This is the day after… Yesterday, I got back from a thoroughly pleasant IFFR experience that went by way too fast. I was planning to do a final update earlier, but due to network problems (that occurred quite often the past ten days), I wasn’t able to post anything sooner.

Traditionally, yesterday the Tiger Award and Audience Award were handed out. Both went to films I have not seen (this seem to happen nearly every year). The Audience Award went to the Spanish drama Yo, también by directors Álvaro Pastor and Antonio Naharro. I heard very positive signals about this film and all I can hope is it will get a release here in the Netherlands.

The Tiger Award for films (co)funded by the IFFR’s Hubert Bals Fund this year went to three films (which seems to become common practice): Costa Rican Agua fría de mar, Mexican Alamar and Thai Mundane History.
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IFFR 2010 – Report #4

Filed under: — Arjan Welles on February 4th, 2010 03:02:10 pm

In my previous report I had a big rant about the Dutch films shown on the IFFR that I really disliked. I did this for a reason, because there are, in fact, at least two films I would like to mention that are actually really worth the price of a ticket. And that highly contrast with the titles I mentioned two days ago. If you have a chance to go see My Queen Karo I sincerely hope you will undertake the effort. It is a Belgian/Dutch drama about a little girl who moves with her free-minded parents to Amsterdam to live in a community of squatters where free love and chaos prevails. Another Dutch film I’d love to recommend is Hunting & zn (Hunting and son), about a very civil couple facing difficulties when a pregnancy is combined with an eating disorder. Tough stuff, but extremely well executed.

Today’s update includes Korean The Mother, by the director of the critically acclaimed The Host and a review of Romanian comedy Tales of the Golden Age. I also highly recommend both!

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IFFR 2010 – Report #3

Filed under: — Arjan Welles on February 2nd, 2010 06:02:23 pm

Time for a third update. I have seen some pretty spectacular films, but also some really lousy ones. Unfortunately, two of them were Dutch productions. This is somewhat awkward, since the past couple of years, the Dutch film seems to be increasing in quality. I won’t elaborate too long on these titles I sincerely disliked, I will just restrict myself to mentioning them. Okay and a very fast verdict. First of all try to avoid the kitschy Meat by Dutch directors Victor Nieuwenhuijs and Maartje Seyferth (the concept was okay, but the execution messy and incomprehensible). Secondly, Shocking Blue by Mark de Cloe needed some serious reworking (Dutch off-focus teenage drama with a incredibly small attention span).

But, that set aside (and written off my chest), the festival DOES have a lot of eye candy to offer, and let’s face it: that is what it is all about. I will discuss two of my favorite films of the IFFR so far: François Ozon’s Le refuge and Swedish The Ape.

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IFFR 2010 – Report #2

Filed under: — Arjan Welles on January 31st, 2010 05:01:57 pm

It’s time for a second update, right from the grounds of the IFFR. I just got back from an exquisite screening of Hitchcock’s Dial M for Murder… in 3D! Back in the ‘50s the film was intended to be released on 3D, since it was a huge hype then and the ultimate weapon to fight the uprise of television (history seems to be repeating itself). But when the film was finished ,the hype was over and it was released in normal format. It is fun watching this classis in its original format. The funny thing is, I watched the film some weeks ago (not knowing it was scheduled for 3D here at the IFFR) and I never noticed how Hitchcock had deliberately placed objects like lamps and flowers in front of the screen to emphasize the 3D-effect. It does not add a lot to the original theatrical version, though, but it is fun seeing a huge theater filled with people watching a classic.

Today’s update will include two reviews: of Korean horror film Possessed and of the hailed Un prophète.
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IFFR 2010 – Report #1

Filed under: — Arjan Welles on January 29th, 2010 03:01:07 pm

This first update derives from an incredible lack of sleep, a very smelly hostel room (causing some of the lack of sleep) and hardly any time available to write. This year, the festival’s organization should be praised, worshipped almost, for the absolute flawless ticket system. Being a member of press, I don’t have much trouble obtaining tickets anyway, but many of my loved-ones have to get tickets the regular way. They usually end up cursing behind their computers because ordering tickets is an utter mess. This year, it all went extremely smooth, leaving them speechless behind their computers. Even picking up the tickets was a delight. So kudos for the IFFR!

This first report contains two reviews: for Wes Anderson’s The Fantastic Mr. Fox and Australia’s entry for the Oscars: Samson & Delilah.

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The International Film Festival Rotterdam 2010

Filed under: — Arjan Welles on January 25th, 2010 11:01:24 pm

IFFR2010The 39th edition of the International Film Festival Rotterdam will be held from Wednesday January 27th to Sunday February 7th. The line-up of the festival is a continuation of last year’s change in which the amount of films was slimmed down into a more streamlined schedule. The 2010 issue has a total number of fifteen films that will compete in the VPRO Tiger Award Competition, the festival’s annual attempt to put beginning film makers in the spotlight. Other films screened at the festival include François Ozon’s latest, Le refuge, two films by Roman Herzog (including his David Lynch produced horror flick My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?) and Wes Anderson’s Roald Dahl based fable The Fantastic Mr. Fox. Traditionally (or call it good custom), the IFFR has a strong emphasis on Asian cinema and this year is no exception. The opening film of the IFFR will be the South Korean Paju by director Park Chan-Ok.

Like previous years Choking on Popcorn will report exclusively from the IFFR with small reviews and impressions.

For more info and the full program go to www.iffr.nl (also available in English)

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Golden Globes 2009: Hollywood’s Return To The Best and Worst

Filed under: — Darren Seeley on January 12th, 2009 06:01:47 pm

goldenglobes.jpgI generally skip watching the Golden Globes because I feel the GG are typically hokey from year to year. It could even be argued that the small amount of those who make up The Hollywood Foreign Press. But I made the exception this time, because of the nominees and due to the promise of H’wood to go all out in style. I’m not disappointed with much, just four things, really, and deals with class, or lack thereof. But there were some strong, classic moments in the event as well.
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Lindsay Lohan Hates Her Image- Really?

Filed under: — Darren Seeley on January 9th, 2009 02:01:04 am

lohan.jpg While the CoP site generally focuses on movie and DVD reviews, every now and then I come by a movie-celeb news article which I feel compelled to share and comment on. This time around, it’s about Lindsay Lohan. There is lots of talk about the February 2009 issue of Interview, some of which has been leaked to the masses. I don’t know if the quotes are taken out of context or other blurbs around them in the article are more defined or less eye grabbing.
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Tarantino offers remake of Meyer film role to…who?

Filed under: — Darren Seeley on August 6th, 2008 11:08:01 pm

Faster Pussycat offered to Britney Spears. You got to hand it to Quentin Tarantino. When the Kill Bill director wants to make a film, it will always be surprising and out of the box thinking. It is widely known that as soon as he’s done filming the WWII action flick Inglorious Bastards he will shortly move on to remaking the cult camp classic Russ Meyer B film Faster Pussycat!Kill!Kill! for mass consumption. Word is getting out on who is actually being considered for one of the Faster roles…none other than that wonderfully gifted thespian… Britney Spears. What?!
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Terry Gilliam Challenges The Windmill …Again

Filed under: — Darren Seeley on August 5th, 2008 04:08:43 am

Terry Gilliam Challenges The Windmill …Again There is an age old mantra: If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. Considered by many to be a creative yet misunderstood director, and a pain in the neck to studio heads, Terry Gilliam hasn’t given up yet on Man Who Killed Don Quixote . In fact, the controversial director thinks he’s ready to go as soon as Johnny Depp is ready. Aside from Depp – who is currently connected to Tim Burton’s new version of Alice In Wonderland, the only other actor being talked to is Gilliam’s old Python alum, Michael Palin.
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