52 Films By Women – May 2016


#52FilmsByWomen

After April the counter was at 21/52. One month later I’m at 25/52, almost halfway. May wasn’t a month for quantity but quality, although I’m not sure the last one really deserves the label quality – I just liked it more than I probably should. With scores of 8.0, 7.7, 7.0 and 6.6 I can’t complain. I was hoping to catch that African film I mentioned last time but I completely forgot about it for a while and when I finally checked it had already disappeared from MUBI. Too bad, but what can you do. No B&W this time either. There are two I have lying around so I’m not sure what excuse I have for not watching them. Maybe some other time.

Prior posts

Watched

I bought American Psycho the other month together with Brothers (2004), so I’ll have to watch that at some point. Maybe June’s the time. I do hope to watch Leni Riefenstahl’s Olympia with the Rio Olympics coming up and all. It seems like a good moment to watch that one, if there’s ever a good moment to watch Nazi propaganda that is..

 

Born in Flames CoverOriginal title: Born in Flames
Rating: 7.0/10
Year: 1983
Directors: Lizzie Borden
Duration: 80 min.
Genre: Drama, Fantasy

I started the month with this super low budget documentary style sci-fi-esque film. It tells of a future where some political party of democratic socialists have taken power during some sort of revolution as they keep calling it. Equality for all seems to be their motto. Blacks and lesbians (I didn’t come up with this..) and other minorities are doing all sorts of work. But there are still a lot of problems with these groups, the government giving them privileges (like women quota’s?) and giving them jobs over white men. The problems with sexual violence and treating minorities as minorities didn’t magically go away, and the film mostly follows a group of ‘radical’ women fighting for equality. Acting was surprisingly decent to good, and the over-the-top 80’s soundtrack was catchy. The story is told in small bits and pieces, so it’s all quite confusing. It’s also kind of a documentary of a fictional dystopian future, meaning it doesn’t really go anywhere in terms of plot. The issues addressed here, in 1983 (!), are still very actual topics that need discussion. Still I would not quickly recommend this film to anyone because of its inaccessibility. If these subjects interest you and watching weird films doesn’t bug you, try it, otherwise do not bother.

 

American Psycho CoverOriginal title: American Psycho
Rating: 7.7/10
Year: 2000
Directors: Mary Harron
Duration: 102 min.
Genre: Thriller, Comedy

Two things make this film. Christian Bale is phenomenal as a narcissistic banker by day, psychopathic killer by night. The other part, less noticeable, is the direction. The heavy use of close up shots works so well here. It puts the void expressions or the pure madness right in your.. well.. face. And it’s not just Bale this works for. Willem Dafoe’s weird detective character delivers some of the best close-ups of the film. The film itself is a black comedy about the emptiness of the world we live in, or so I interpreted it. It is packaged in the story of this madman who at one point says he is human in that he has skin and hair and some other limbs. On the outside he is this well trained good looking guy, but underneath the outermost layer of his humanity lies an ugly monster interested only in reservations at fancy restaurants, the fonts used on business cards and other forms of nothing. And the world he lives in? It doesn’t give a shit.

 

 

Mustang CoverOriginal title: Mustang
Rating: 8.0/10
Year: 2015
Directors: Deniz Gamze Ergüven
Duration: 97 min.
Genres: Drama

In this Turkish film the director shows us a place, supposedly somewhere in rural Turkey, in the mid-2000’s I’d guess, where the old way of living collides with the ways of youth. It doesn’t strike me as a film in which Turks, Turkey or the way these people live is directly criticised. It seemed more like a film about people somewhere sometime living their lives the way they do, and the trouble it gets them in. In Mustang we follow the lives of five young sisters through the eyes of Lale, the youngest. After a day of fun at the beach grandma decides it was too much fun and she punishes the girls. Every time the girls show signs of life, the result is that their old and traditional family installs more fences or builds even taller walls, effectively making the house they live in a prison. Mustang shows this difference between the traditional ways of living and a progressive freer way of living. It reminded me a lot of the Georgian film In Bloom from 2013 (female co-directed) so be sure to check that one out too if you like Mustang. After Wings this is now my second most favourite film in this series.

 

Terminal Island CoverOriginal title: Terminal Island
Rating: 6.6/10
Year: 1973
Directors: Stephanie Rothman
Duration: 88 min.
Genre: Action, Drama, Thriller

After you’ve been convicted for killing someone or multiple someones, instead of going to prison you are sent to a remote island 15 miles off the coast. There are no guards, there’s no way off, there are no rules and you stay there forever. Sound familiar? Yeah I guess, but this was 1973 so Escape From New York was nearly a decade away and stuff like The Purge, No Escape and The Condemned were even further down the line. But before you get your hopes up let me first say that this is not a very good film. I just happened to like it quite a bit – I’m not sure why. It’s full of stereotypes, cheesy music, dialog and exploitation. The story in essence is fairly simple. There is one crazy dude running most of the island, and a small group wandering around feeling differently about things. Of course they get to face off a few times. People die in cheesy ways all the time, there’s blood so fake it’ll make you chuckle, silly death screams a-plenty, things with bees.. I could go on but what’s the point. If you’re into this sort of thing – or like me feel like giving it a try because why not – watch it. It might be bad, but there will probably be something in it for you.

 

Ze list!

May the list be with you.

short: At Land:7.7 Stars (7.7 / 10)
short: Du côté de la côte:6.2 Stars (6.2 / 10)
short: Le lion volatil (Together with Documenteur):6.2 Stars (6.2 / 10)
shorts: Lotte Reiniger Fairy Tales 1-5:5.9 Stars (5.9 / 10)
shorts: Lotte Reiniger Fairy Tales 6-10:6.1 Stars (6.1 / 10)
American Psycho:7.7 Stars (7.7 / 10)
Born in Flames:7.0 Stars (7.0 / 10)
Documenteur:6.8 Stars (6.8 / 10)
Indie Game: The Movie:7.2 Stars (7.2 / 10)
Longing for the Rain:6.0 Stars (6.0 / 10)
Manuela Jankovic's War:6.0 Stars (6.0 / 10)
Merrily We Go to Hell:5.8 Stars (5.8 / 10)
Outrage:6.9 Stars (6.9 / 10)
Summertime:7.4 Stars (7.4 / 10)
Terminal Island:6.6 Stars (6.6 / 10)
Testament:7.3 Stars (7.3 / 10)
The Bigamist:6.4 Stars (6.4 / 10)
The Dressmaker:7.4 Stars (7.4 / 10)
The Hurt Locker:7.8 Stars (7.8 / 10)
The Woman Condemned:5.1 Stars (5.1 / 10)
Three Cases of Murder (1st segment):7.2 Stars (7.2 / 10)
Thursday Till Sunday:5.9 Stars (5.9 / 10)
Triumph of the Will:5.6 Stars (5.6 / 10)
Wings:8.2 Stars (8.2 / 10)
Winter's Bone:6.8 Stars (6.8 / 10)

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