Random Musings of the Month
Even though this is the last one for 2011, I'm not going to do a lengthy recap and just report on what went on over the past month.
You may or may not have noticed, but I've been working on a few cosmetic touches here and there, mostly minor things, but I think they improve the overall look of the blog. Changes to the menu at the top, and the navigation bar at the bottom, and a change of the default post font from Corbel to Verdana, which hopefully makes the text more readable.
Earlier this month, I also added a dedicated Best New Films
page that automatically updates itself as new films are tagged with the Best New Film tag. I also used that code to make a Movies of the Month page, and have some more ideas to expand on that in the future.
Friday, December 30, 2011
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Director: Dragan Bjelogrlic
Starring: Milos Bikovic, Petar Strugar, Nina Jankovic, Danina Jeftic
Language: Serbian, Bulgarian
Duration: 140 min.
A story about a team that decides to follow a dream that takes them on a journey to the First World Football Championship in Montevideo, Uruguay in 1930. A dream that allows them to become true stars and living legends.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Genre: Sci-Fi / Drama
Director: Gian Alfonso Pacinotti
Starring: Anna Bellato, Teco Celio, Ugo De Cesare, Gabriele Spinelli, Luca Marinelli
Duration: 100 min.
A story seen through the eyes of a seemingly misogynist man with only a desire for solitude and routine, that takes place during the last week before the arrival of an extraterrestrial civilization on Earth.
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Monday, December 26, 2011
Director: Andrés Wood
Starring: Francisca Gavilán, Gabriela Aguilera, Daniel Antivilo, Stephaina Barbagelata
Language: Spanish, French
Duration: 110 min.
The remarkable life story of Chilean composer, songwriter, folklorist, ethnomusicologist and visual artist Violetta Parra.
Sunday, December 25, 2011
Director: Christian Carion
Starring: Diane Kruger, Benno Fürmann, Guillaume Canet, Gary Lewis, Dany Boon
Language: French, German, English, Latin
Duration: 116 min.
The year is 1914, and as The Great War continues to rage across the European countryside, four individuals stuck on the front lines find themselves changed forever by a momentous event.
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Genre: Drama / Comedy
Director: Nanni Moretti
Starring: Michel Piccoli, Jerzy Stuhr, Nanni Moretti, Margherita Buy
Language: Italian, Latin, German, English, Spanish, Polish, French
Duration: 102 min.
The newly elected Pope suffers a panic attack just as he is due to appear on St Peter's balcony to greet the faithful, who have been patiently awaiting the conclave's decision. His advisors, unable to convince him he is the right man for the job, seek help from a renowned psychoanalyst (and atheist). But his fear of the responsibility suddenly thrust upon him is one that he must face on his own.
Friday, December 23, 2011
Director: Ján Kadár, Elmar Klos
Starring: Idá Kaminská, Jozef Króner, Hana Slivková Martin Hollý
Language: Slovak, Yiddish
Duration: 125 min.
Slovakia during WWII. Tono lives a poor life, but the authorities appoint him the Aryan controller of a Jewish widow's little button shop. She is old and confused and thinks that he is only looking for employment and hires him. Tono and the old woman form a friendship, but when the order goes out that all Jews are to be rounded up, he is forced to make a difficult decision.
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Director: Maria Peters
Starring: Ricky Koole, Sergio Hasselbaink, Angelo Arnhem, Daniel van Wijk
Language: Dutch, German
Duration: 130 min.
The true story of the relationship between Waldemar Nods, a 19-year-old student from Suriname, and Rika van der Lans, a married Dutch woman in her 40s, and mother of 4 children. The pair meet in the 1920s, fall in love, and Rika becomes pregnant soon thereafter, causing a scandal with far-reaching consequences, leading up to World War II.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Director: Michelangelo Frammartino
Starring: Giuseppe Fuda, Nazareno Timpano, Bruno Timpano, Artemio Vellone
Duration: 88 min.
A poetic look at the cycles of nature and life through a frail old man's struggle to continue his goat herding existence, the birth and life of a baby goat, and the fate of one tall tree.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Genre: Comedy / Drama
Director: Milos Forman
Starring: Hana Brejchová, Vladimír Pucholt, Vladimír Mensík, Ivan Kheil, Milada Jezková
Duration: 90 min.
Andula is a young factory worker from a small town where because of the draft, the girls outnumber the boys 16 to 1. She catches the eye of and is seduced by a jazz pianist from Prague hired to play at a gathering to boost local morale.
Monday, December 19, 2011
Director: Carlos César Arbeláez
Starring: Hernán Mauricio Ocampo, Nolberto Sánchez, Genaro Aristizábal, Hernán Méndez
Duration: 90 min.
While the adults in their lives try to avoid both the armed military and the guerrilla rebels fighting each other in the area, Manuel and his friend Julian play soccer any chance they get. When their new soccer ball gets kicked onto a minefield, Manuel, Julian and their albino friend Poca Luz do everything in their power to recover their prized belonging, an essential part of their everyday lives and dreams.
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Director: Ivan Passer
Starring: Karel Blazek, Zdenek Bezusek, Vera Kresadlová, Jan Vostrcil
Duration: 72 min.
In a small town, two former classmates are reunited, one is a successful cellist in the philharmonic orchestra, the other a music teacher in a rural school who plays the trumpet at funerals...
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Genre: Western, Fantasy
Director: Jim Jarmusch
Starring: Johnny Depp, Gary Farmer, Lance Henriksen, John Hurt, Robert Mitchum
Language: English, Cree, Blackfoot
Duration: 121 min.
On the run after murdering a man, accountant William Blake encounters a strange Indian named Nobody who prepares him for his journey into the spiritual world.
Friday, December 16, 2011
I know every blog and their dog has already posted the same copy pasted list so I'll spare you all that and just talk about the category this blog is primarily concerned with, the Foreign Language Film category.
Since 1986, when the category was changed from Best Foreign Film to Best Foreign Language Film, up until last years awards (24 years), the winner of the Golden Globe has also won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film on ten occasions (42% of the time). Those titles were:
- The Assault (1986)
- Pelle the Conqueror (1988)
- Cinema Paradiso (1989)
- Indochine (1992)
- Kolya (1996)
- All About My Mother (1999)
- Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
- No Man's Land (2001)
- The Sea Inside (2004)
- In A Better World (2010)
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Director: Nikita Mikhalkov
Starring: Nikita Mikhalkov, Oleg Menshikov, Ingeborga Dapkunaite, Nadezhda Mikhalkova
Language: Russian, French
Duration: 135 min.
Russia in 1936, revolutionary hero Colonel Kotov is spending an idyllic summer with his young wife and six-year-old daughter Nadya and other assorted family and friends. Things change dramatically with the surprise arrival of Cousin Dimitri from Moscow, who charms the women and little Nadya with his games and pianistic bravura. But Kotov isn't fooled: this is the time of Stalin's repression, and he knows that Dimitri isn't paying a social call...
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Director: Agustí Villaronga
Starring: Francesc Colomer, Marina Comas, Nora Navas, Roger Casamajor
Language: Catalan, Spanish
Duration: 108 min.
Set in Catalonia during the immediate post-war years. A young boy named Andreu, who belongs to the losing side in the conflict, happens upon the bodies of a man and a young boy in the woods. Local officials want to blame Andreu's father for the situation; in response, Andreu decides to try and help his dad by setting out in search of the real killers.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Director: Zbynek Brynych
Starring: Miroslav Machácek, Olga Scheinpflugová, Josef Vinklár, Jirí Vrstála, Jirí Adamíra
Duration: 100 min.
A Jewish doctor in Nazi occupied Czechoslovakia risks his life and attempts to regain his identity by assisting a wounded political fugitive.
Monday, December 12, 2011
Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev
Starring: Andrey Smirnov, Yelena Lyadova, Nadezhda Markina, Alexey Rozin
Duration: 109 min.
Elena and Vladimir are an older couple from different backgrounds. Vladimir is a wealthy and cold man, Elena comes from a modest milieu and is a docile wife. They met late in life and each one has children from previous marriages. Elena's son is unemployed, unable to support his own family and relies on Elena for money. Vladimir's daughter is a wild child who has a distant relationship with her father. After a heart attack puts Vladimir in hospital, Elena comes up with a plan to give her son and grandchildren a better chance in life.
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Director: Vladimir Blazevski
Starring: Jordanco Cevrevski, Flora Dostovska, Toni Mihajlovski, Jordan Simonov, Kamka Tocinovski
Language: Macedonian, Albanian, English, Serbian
Duration: 101 min.
Mirsa, once the singer of Macedonia's most popular punk band, is now a washed out 40 year old living in the slums. One day he gets a once in a lifetime offer to perform for a 'multi-cultural' event in a neighboring Albanian town, and he hits the road with his best friend Ljak and girlfriend Nina in search of his former bandmates.
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Friday, December 9, 2011
Director: Jannicke Systad Jacobsen
Starring: Helene Bergsholm, Henriette Steenstrup, Malin Bjørhovde, Matias Myren, Beate Støfring
Duration: 76 min.
Alma is a small-town teen with a big imagination. Horny and looking for love, she has only her lively imagination and a kindly phone sex operator to ameliorate her frustratingly lonely and chaste life. But Alma's active fantasy world and even more active libido only seem to get her into trouble.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Genre: War • Drama
Director: Jang Hun
Starring: Shin Ha-kyun, Go Soo, Ryu Seung-su, Ko Chang-seok, Lee Je-hoon
Duration: 133 min.
Towards the end of the Korean War an uneasy ceasefire is ordered, but out on the Eastern front line of the Aerok Hills in an expanse of land called the Aero.K, fierce fighting continues. A race to capture this strategic point to determine a new border between the two Koreas is the ultimate prize.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Director: Pernilla August
Starring: Noomi Rapace, Ola Rapace, Outi Mäenpää, Ville Virtanen, Tehilla Blad
Language: Swedish, Finnish
Duration: 99 min.
A drama set in 1970s Sweden and centered on a young woman's experiences growing up in a home riddled with abuse and alcoholism.
Monday, December 5, 2011
Genre: Martial Arts
Director: Peter Chan
Starring: Donnie Yen, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Tang Wei
Language: Mandarin, Sichuanese
Duration: 126 min.
In the late Qing Dynasty, Liu Jinxi is a papermaker and father of two sons who lives a seemingly normal life with his family in a remote village. However, the arrival of a detective soon threatens to tear them apart...
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Leading the way with 3 wins including Best European Film was the controversial Danish director Lars von Triers apocalyptic Melancholia. Also with 3 wins was The Kings Speech which took home the People's Choice Award, and Best Actor for Colin Firth's performance. The other major award winners were Tilda Swinton for Best Actress in We Need To Talk About Kevin, and Susanne Bier for Best Director in In A Better World / Haevnen.
Read on for the full list of winners.
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Friday, December 2, 2011
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Director: Danilo Serbedzija
Starring: Rade Serbedzija, Kresimir Mikic, Bogdan Diklic, Zivko Anocic, Mira Banjac
Duration: 93 min.
The American war pension of Grandpa Durad is paid to his widow Nedja and is the only source of income for the Paripovic family. When Nedja suddenly dies, their very existence is threatened and Mane, the head of the family devises a cunning plan.
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Director: Ami Canaan Mann
Starring: Sam Worthington, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Chloë Grace Moretz, Jessica Chastain
Duration: 105 min.
Follows Detective Souder, a homicide detective in a small Texan town, and his partner, transplanted NYPD detective Heigh as they track a sadistic serial killer dumping his victims' mutilated bodies in a nearby marsh locals call The Killing Fields.