Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Best of the First Half of 2006 (Dec. 1, 2005 - May 31, 2006)

10. RECONSTRUCTION by Christoffer Boe (Denmark) – Reconstruction is just like a jigsaw puzzle that Director Christoffer Boe constructed in his mind; random, sophisticated and achingly beautiful.

10. NO REGRETS by Benjamin Quabeck (Germany) – At first, it is a common story of happiness and frustrations brought by first love, but in the end, Quabeck’s crazy cinematogphy and clever editing give so much style and flavor with his well written script.

9. CRASH by Paul Haggis (USA) – Despite of being preachy at times, Crash is a well acted feature with seamless editing that secures its dynamic and intense human drama. Crash is at the same time, commentary about the current assimilated form of racism in the continental America.

8. THE WHITE SOUND by Hans Weingartner (Germany) – The White Sound is a lot better than A Beautiful Mind. The film showed a very realistic vision of how someone is suffering from schizophrenia and how love ones is terribly affected by such disease.

7. SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS by Brad Silberling (USA) – Silberling’s film is FUN, FUN and FUN. Amazing production design, costumes and visual effects, this dark comedy is a family film with a big and caring heart.

6. CHRONICLES OF NARNIA by Andrew Adamson (UK) – Not just for the kids but also for everyone who’s losing faith, hope and goodness in their hearts. Narnia is more than just a fantasy film, it is a metaphor.

5. KING KONG by Peter Jackson (USA) – Peter Jackson is a true landscape master. Better than the original 1933 version, Jackson recreated the old New York City in chaos dealing with an in love monster! King Kong is a true classic.

4. SYMPATHY FOR LADY VENGEANCE by Park Chan Wook (South Korea) – The third and final installment of Park’s revenge trilogy is a humorous, occasionally comical and dark at the same time, the film has successfully shown the nakedness of human emotion to the reality of anger and vengeance.

3. HOTEL RWANDA by Terry George (USA) – The context of the film involved politics, culture, family, religion, race, and many other questions of ethics. It told the WHOLE story from all perspectives and made you see the HUMANITY.

2. FATELESS by Lajos Koltai (Hungary) – Fateless’ different insight about the holocaust made it so touching and sad without succumbing to over sentimentality. It is a classic which continuously reminds us that how dark, painful and difficult life can be; there is something like an unavoidable trap along our way which is similar to happiness.

1. THE EDUKATORS by Hans Weingartner (Germany) – The Edukators is a brave, original, ultimately award winning feature that takes a look on the lives of three political activists. Being the only German film in Cannes for the last 10 years, this funny, intelligent and clever film jolts the current system that creates the demarcation line between the rich and the poor.

Monday, May 29, 2006

FATELESS and the Truth Behind It...

FATELESS is one of the best Holocausts film ever made showing how adolescence can suddenly be interrupted by war. In contrast with other World War II classics like The Schindler’s List and The Pianist, FATELESS did not focus on the gruesome images and unnecessary pains of war, but rather the film showed another dimension of the universal truth by which most people fails to see and realize.

Gyorgy is fourteen, a boy who gradually understand that life and survival is not that easy in the kind of world he is currently living. “And then I understand the simple secret of our universe, I can be killed, anywhere and anytime.” ironically said by the boy when he was in Auswitz and a series of bombing occurred in towns nearby. We can feel the depressing mode of the film because of the characters will to survive hunger, cold weather, humiliation and death but it never instill too much horror because it did not show how the defenseless Jews are massacred by the Nazis or how they suffered inside the gas chambers. As the days go by in the camps, despite of being scared of what might happened, it seemed that he is rather bewildered by the war, he has no time to mourn and all that he can think of is how to survive.

When the boy returned to his home in Hungary, he missed the brotherhood and the simple life inside the concentration camp, where you can easily appreciate what it is like to be happy.

FATELESS is not just a Holocaust masterpiece but it is a testament of truth, the truth that no matter how random, dark and hard life can be, happiness, just like the air we breath will find its way out from a suffocating enclosure to give us life. FATELESS is not for everyone, it is not a typical movie that you’ll always expect that something is going to happen but it is a film with a lot of symbolisms between its scenes. FATELESS shows how turmoil, pain and hopelessness can suddenly give happiness its sweetest flavor.

My Top Ten Movies of the First Half of 2006 (December 2005 - May 2006)
1. THE EDUKATORS by Hans Weingartner (Germany)
2. FATELESS by Lajos Koltai (Hungary)
3. HOTEL RWANDA by Terry George (USA)
4. SYMPATHY FOR LADY VENGEANCE by Park Chan Wook (South Korea)
5. KING KONG by Peter Jackson (USA)
6. CHRONICLES OF NARNIA by Andrew Adamson (UK)
8. THE WHITE SOUND by Hans Weingartner (Germany)
9. CRASH by Paul Haggis (USA)
10.NO REGRETS by Benjamin Quabeck (Germany)
10.RECONSTRUCTION by Christoffer Boe (Denmark)