September 28, 2012


Talk to Her
2002/112 minutes/Spain/Spanish
Directed by       Pedro Almodóvar
Produced by    Agustín Almodóvar/Michel Ruben
Written by        Pedro Almodóvar
Starring            Javier Cámara/Darío Grandinetti/Leonor Watling/Geraldine Chaplin/Rosario Flores
Music by          Alberto Iglesias
Cinematography           Javier Aguirresarobe
Editing by        José Salcedo
Talk to Her (Spanish: Hable con ella) is a 2002 Spanish comedy-drama film written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar, and starringJavier Cámara, Darío Grandinetti, Leonor Watling, Geraldine Chaplin, and Rosario Flores. The film won the 2002 Academy Award forBest Original Screenplay and the 2003 Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign-Language Film.
The film's themes include the difficulty of communication between the sexes, loneliness and intimacy, and the persistence of love beyond loss.
In 2005, Time magazine film critics Richard Corliss and Richard Schickel included Talk to Her in their list of the All-TIME 100 Greatest Movies. Paul Schrader placed the film at 46 on his film canon of the 60 greatest films.

Benigno ("benign" or "harmless" in Spanish) Martin and Marco Zuluaga cross paths when they attend the same concert dance, only eventually meeting again at a private clinic where Benigno works. There, he is the personal nurse and caregiver for Alicia, a beautiful dance student who lies in a coma and with whom Benigno has become obsessed. Marco, a journalist and travel writer, is at the clinic to visit his girlfriend Lydia, a famous matador who is also comatose after being gored by a bull. As the men stand vigil over these women, the story unfolds in flashbacks, giving details of the two relationships. Marco leaves Lydia in the hospital when her previous lover informs him that they had reunited a month before Lydia's accident. He travels to Jordan to write a tourist guide; while there he reads in a newspaper that Lydia has died in her coma.
Meanwhile, Alicia is discovered to be pregnant. Benigno, who believes his relationship with the comatose Alicia is a mutual love affair, is accused of raping her and is sent to prison in Segovia. Marco returns to Spain and begins trying to help Benigno. He finds out that Alicia had awakened during or sometime after giving birth, but the baby was stillborn. Following Benigno's lawyer's urging, he does not tell Benigno about her unexpected recovery. Desperate, Benigno ingests a large quantity of pills to try to "escape" and reunite with Alicia. He dies of an overdose. Meanwhile, Alicia has begun rehabilitation to recover her ability to walk and dance.
The film ends with Marco, sitting two rows in front of Alicia at a dance concert, turning around and smiling at her for a moment, and then turning back around. The screen lists Marco y Alicia as the next act.

EL BANO DEL PAPA / The Pope's Toilet

Directed by    César Charlone/Enrique Fernandez
Written by      César Charlone/Enrique Fernandez
Starring          César Troncoso/Virginia Méndez/Mario Silva

The Pope's Toilet (Spanish: El Baño del Papa) is a 2007 Uruguayan film directed by César Charlone and Enrique Fernandez, starring César Troncoso, Virginia Méndez, Mario Silva and Virginia Ruiz.


It is 1988, and Melo, a Uruguayan town on the Brazilian border, awaits the visit of Pope John Paul II. Numbers begin circulating: hundreds of people will come, thousands say the media. To the poor citizens of Melo this means pilgrims in need of food and drink, paper flags, souvenirs, and commemorative medals. Brimming with enthusiasm, the locals hope not only for divine blessing but also a small share of material happiness. Petty smuggler Beto is certain that he’s found the best business idea of all: “The Pope’s Toilet”, where the thousands of pilgrims can find relief.
Beto is thwarted by lack of funds and the local mobile customs enforcement officer. Ultimately the promised "60,000 to 200,000" Brazilians do not materialise. Apparently (in the film's postscript) only 400 Brazilians came, disproportionately served by 387 stalls for food and trinkets. The film makes it clear that the visit was a financial disaster to the town rather than bringing any wealth as promised. Beto has spent his daughter's college fund to no avail, but she forgives him, and at least he has a nice toilet.


2003/147 minutes/Brazil/Portuguese

Directed by        Hector Babenco
Written by          Hector Babenco/Fernando Bonassi/Victor Navas
Story:Dráuzio Varella
Starring:Luiz Carlos Vasconcelos
Music by              André Abujamra
Cinematography              Walter Carvalho
Editing by            Mauro Alice

Carandiru is a 2003 Brazilian and Argentine film directed by Hector Babenco. It is based on the book Estação Carandiru (English: Carandiru Station) by Dr. Drauzio Varella, a physician and AIDS specialist, who is portrayed in the film by Luiz Carlos Vasconcelos.
Carandiru tells some of the stories that occurred in Carandiru Penitentiary, which was the biggest prison in Latin America. The story culminates with the 1992 massacre where 111 prisoners were killed, 102 by Police. The film was the last thing the prison was used for before it was demolished in 2002, one year before the release of the film.


This episodic story is set in São Paulo's notorious prison Carandiru, one of Latin America's largest and most violent prison systems.
Dr. Drauzio Varella arrives at the prison as a volunteer to test the prisoners for the deadly HIV infection.
Seeing the disease, overcrowding and rampant circulation of drugs, the Doctor realizes much of the prison is controlled by the inmates. They decorate their cells and have an established pecking order. The strong inhabit messy individual suites and the weak are jammed together, as many as sixteen sharing a 100-square-foot (9.3 m2) cell.
Several narratives develop in the film: the attempted murder of Peixeira, the solitary confinement of Chico and the romance between Lady Di and No Way.
Dr. Varella establishes a routine and comes to see the prisoners as survivors.
The movie ends with a violent prison riot that historically took place on October 2, 1992. The repression of the riot became known as the Carandiru Massacre.
Director Hector Babenco shot the film on location in the actual penitentiary, and in neo-realist fashion he used a huge cast of novice actors — some of whom are former inmates.

Disquiet (2010)
Filme do Desassossego (original title)
120 min / 2010/ Portugal

Cinematic adaptation of the Livro do Desassossego (The Book of Disquiet) by the poet Fernando Pessoa.
Directed By: João Botelho
Written By: João Botelho, Fernando Pessoa
Starring: Alexandra Lencastre, Rita Blanco, Catarina Wallenstein, Ana Moreira, Filipe Vargas, Pedro Lamares

Lisbon, nowadays. A room in a house in Rua dos Douradores. A man invents dreams and establishes theories about them. The very essence of dreams becomes physical, palpable, visible. The text itself becomes matter in it's musical sonority. And, before our eyes, this music felt in our ears, in our brain, in our heart, spreads through the street where he lives, through the city that he loves most of all, and through the whole world. Disquieted movie about fragments of an infinite and trapped book, of an almost mad flamboyance, but, of a brilliant clarity. The solar moment of Fernando Pessoa's creation. The absolute and perfect loneliness of the I, outer and hopeless. God am I!, also wrote Bernardo Soares.

Boccaccio '70

Italy/1962/205 minutes
Directed by:Vittorio De Sica/Luchino Visconti/Federico Fellini/Mario Monicelli
Produced by:Carlo Ponti/Tonino Cervi
Written by:Cesare Zavattini/Luchino Visconti/Mario Monicelli/Federico Fellini
Starring                :Anita Ekberg,Romy Schneider,Sophia Loren,Marisa Solinas
Music by:Nino Rota/Armando Trovaioli

Boccacio was a 14th century Italian poet, storyteller and humanist who among other works wrote "Decameron", a collection of licentious stories which is very much appreciated even nowadays. In 1962 four great Italian film directors (Monicelli, Fellini, Visconti and de Sica) made this movie in four episodes (each one by one of them) inspired on the same theme of Bocaccio's work i.e. erotic love in our times under several of its forms: marital, repressed, adulterous and paid for. It combines Monicelli's humour with Fellini's symbolism, Visconti's psychological realism and de Sica's social and moral satire.
In Renzo e Luciana, a young couple tries to hide their marriage and the wife's supposed pregnancy from the draconian book-keeper of their employer, who has banned female employees from getting married and having children but does not mind a few cheap thrills at their expense himself.
In Le Tentazioni del Dottor Antonio, an elderly citizen is fed up with too much immorality in the form of indecent content in print. His anger knows no bounds when a provocative billboard of Anita Ekberg advertising 'Drink more milk' is put up in a park near his residence. Little does he know how that billboard will go on to change his life. Throughout the film, children are heard singing the jingle "Bevete più latte, bevete più latte" - "Drink more milk!" The image begins to haunt him with hallucinations in which she appears as a temptress and Dr. Antonio as St. George to spear the dragon - he is pursued and captured by the buxom Swedish star in a deserted Rome and at one point, his umbrella falls between her breasts.
Il Lavoro is about an aristocratic couple coming to terms with life and marriage after the husband is caught visiting prostitutes by the press.
La Riffa shows a lottery with the winner entitled to one night with the attractive Zoe (Sophia Loren). Zoe, however, has other plans.

Zemsta/ The Revenge/

Poland/polish/2002/ 105 minutes

Directed by     Andrzej Wajda
Produced by    ArkaFilm, Kredyt Bank, Telewizja Polska, Vision
Starring:Roman Polanski,Janusz Gajos,Andrzej Seweryn,Katarzyna Figura,Daniel Olbrychski

The Revenge is the English title for Zemsta, a film released in 2002, directed by Andrzej Wajda. This film is an adaptation of a perennially popular stage farce of the same name by the Polish dramatist and poet Aleksander Fredro.
Raptusiewicz (Janusz Gajos) resides in one half of a castle with the other half inhabited by his hated rival Regent Milczek (Andrzej Seweryn). Raptusiewicz wishes to marry Podstolina (Katarzyna Figura), the widow of the Lord High Steward, for her money, while Podstolina herself seeks a wealthy match. Regent Milczek's wish, on the other hand, is to bring about the union of his son Wacław (Rafał Królikowski) with Podstolina. To complicate matters more, Wacław is in love with Klara (Agata Buzek) - ward and niece of Raptusiewicz, who took her in following the death of her parents - and the feeling is mutual. The plot thickens when Klara turns into Papkin's (Roman Polanski) declared object of love.
Written in a sharp, ironic style, The Revenge portrays those national characteristics that in time brought on many of Poland's national tragedies. Written for the stage, Wajda has changed very little and transferred practically the entirety of the work to the screen.

Facing Windows (2003) 

La finestra di fronte (original title)

Italy/Italian/102 minutes

Directed by:Ferzan Özpetek
Written by:Ferzan Özpetek,Gianni Romoli
Starring: Giovanna Mezzogiorno,Massimo Girotti,Raoul Bova,Filippo Nigro,Serra Yılmaz,Massimo Poggio
Music by:Andrea Guerra
Giovanna (played by Giovanna Mezzogiorno) and her husband Filippo (Filippo Nigro) have settled into life. They both have jobs that make them unhappy. She works as an accountant. He works the graveyard shift because he is too weak to ask his boss for a daytime slot. They argue about money, sex, time and work... There is a subtle sense that this is a marriage whose love is dwindling fast. Perhaps they are only going through the motions for the sake of their kids
One morning, the two of them are walking home and cross paths with an elderly man (Massimo Girotti). He is suffering from transient global amnesia, remembering nothing about himself and his current situation, although recalling random episodes from his remote past. And despite Giovanna's protests, Filippo brings him back to their home for the night so that he can take him to the police the next morning in the hopes of unraveling the mystery. As complications ensue, that one night stretches to a few days. The old man experiences strange episodes, flashbacks of sorts, that reveal clues to his mysterious past. His actions lead to a meeting between Giovanna and Lorenzo (Raoul Bova). Lorenzo lives across the street from Giovanna and their apartment windows face each other. The sexual tension between the two is quite palpable as they have both been secretly watching and lusting after each other from their dimly lit windows.
Giovanna and Lorenzo's instant friendship swiftly moves to flirtation and then to a passionate kiss. However, Lorenzo's job is transferring him to another city very soon and Giovanna is put in an awkward spot having to make a very quick decision. Her heart tells her she should act on her feelings. Her mind tells her to be responsible. Nevertheless, the two of them puzzle over the mystery of the old man as they try to come to terms with their feelings for one another.
The only thing the old man seems to remember is the name Simone, so Giovanna and her family take to calling him this. Giovanna takes Simone's suit to be cleaned and discovers a love letter in the jacket pocket addressed to him from a certain Davide Veroli. The next morning, Simone disappears, so Giovanna sets out to trace Davide Veroli as a means of identifying Simone and at this point also of tracing him. A meeting is arranged between them.

The Man Without a Past
Finland/2002/97 minutes/finnish
Written/ Produced/ Directed by         Aki Kaurismäki
Starring:Markku Peltola,Kati Outinen,Juhani Niemelä
Music by:Leevi Madetoja
Cinematography:Timo Salminen
Editing by        Timo Linnasalo
            The Man Without a Past (Finnish: Mies vailla menneisyyttä) is a 2002 Finnish comedy-drama film directed by Aki Kaurismäki and starring Markku Peltola, Kati Outinen and Juhani Niemelä. It is the second installment in Kaurismäki's Finland trilogy, the other two films being Drifting Clouds (1996) and Lights in the Dusk (2006). The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2002 and won the Grand Prix at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival.
The film begins with an unnamed man arriving by train to Helsinki. After falling asleep in Kaisaniemi park, he is mugged and beaten by hoodlums and is severely injured in the head, losing consciousness. He awakes and wanders back to the train station and collapses in its bathroom. He awakes the second time in a hospital and finds that he has lost his memory. He starts his life from scratch, living in container dwellings, finding clothes with help from the Salvation Army and making friends with the poor.