Monday, September 29, 2014

Neuf Mois Ferme - A. Dupontel 2013

Although I definitely don't see enough French films to be any sort of properly informed judge (... and the main character IS a judge! A pregnant judge!), I found this light and - yes, indeed! - playful comedy profoundly un-French.

A good, laid-back laugh!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Att Leda Med Glädje - Pia Sundhage & Elisabeth Solin

Internationally successful footballcoach Pia Sundhage is most assuredly a charismatic personality, that much comes across pretty well in interviews. Regrettably, magnetism is in no way tantamount to writing-skills. 
As I really don't care for football either (and that would be the understatement of the year) that leaves the parts on leadership as the potential attraction of this book.

After a hundred pages, I realized that is not enough to keep me going, so I quit. 
Life is too short for boring books. 

Sorry, Pia.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Blood Diamond - E. Zwick 2006

Di Caprio plays an unscrupulous diamond smuggler during the recent Sierra Leone civil war in this adrenalin-pumping opus, bringing up a large number of the calamities touching the African continent; child soldiers, guerrillas, violence, corruption, displaced persons...

It was disturbing, thought-provoking and awareness-raising, just as it was probably meant to be.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Go On, season 1 (or the first few episodes, really)

So, after Monica's his wife's recent demise, Chandler, now a sports journalist, has joined a support group while struggling to come to terms with life as a widower.

As can be inferred from the poster above, this was full to the brim with heartfelt love and good intentions. Problem is, in my opinion, there is no way you can talk about grief and at the same time display nothing but heartfelt love and good intentions. There has to be some depth and darkness in there, too, or it all comes out like this show; inconsequential and shallow. 

Can't help wondering : If I had discovered 'Friends' today, would I have enjoyed it at all?..

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Moth Smoke - Mohsin Hamid

Hamid's persistent playing with narrative voices in his subsequent books (How To Get Filthy Rich... and 'The Reluctant Fundamentalist') is already present here in his début novel.

So is the endearing main character (author's alter ego?) and the basic plotline; competent young man sets out for material success in Pakistan. Interestingly, the story moves somewhat in reverse here, however. The main character's destiny can indeed be said to parallel that of his country.

Major subjects are broached, such as nuclear bombs, air conditioning, moral, corruption and parenthood; the writing is fluid and elegant - Good one!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

King Arthur - A. Fuqua, 2004

History is slightly at odds with La Morte d'Arthur here; for instance, Arthur is a Roman knight, albeit a somewhat reluctant one, while Merlin is the leader of a group of rebels.

Clive Owen is as handsome as ever, though, which was something of a relief.
My ten-year-old was delighted with the protracted battle scenes and coarse language.
Apart from those slightly shallow observations, I suppose the imagery made this pretty much OK.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Internship - S. Levy 2013

No matter how predictable, I very seldom walk out on a film before it's over. (Mostly because my couch is so comfy, perhaps.) 
The finale of 'the Internship' had me squirming with embarrassment, though. 
Couldn't take it any more. Went to bed.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

I can't help liking Iggy Pop

... And this is at least partly why.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

MacGruber - J. Taccone 2010

As a rule, I enjoy almost anything containing Maya Rudolph, Kristen Wiig and any other Saturday Night Live-people (such as writer/director Taccone and main character Forte), so this really should have done it for me.

The problem might be I have yet to watch a single episode of 'MacGyver'. 
What I have seen of it seemed almost a parody in itself, which might be why this caricature left me stone-cold.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Brev Från Nollpunkten - Peter Englund

Englund is more of a historian than a writer, and yet enough of a writer to preside the Swedish Literary Academy, which should give you an inkling of his prowess. This is a book of historical essays on major disasters of the 20th century; World war I, the Gulags, the Holocaust, Hiroshima & Nagasaki...

The style is razor-sharp, thought-provoking questions are asked (such as what on earth induced Stalin to mass-murder his own devotees?) and the history treated is of the new social realism kind, in so far that it deals more with individuals than with the actions of heads of state.   

My one dissatisfaction with this would be fact that I don't really share Englund's fascination for Nazi Germany, which sort of pervades the book.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Brave - Andrews, Chapman 2012

Praise the lord, I no longer have to sit through all the animated films for children, but can be a bit more select about what I watch. Not impossibly, my free will having picked this film - rather than my kids - was one of the reasons I actually enjoyed it.

Other likely reasons might include the lovely imagery, the notable absence of a prince Charming, and the brilliant success with which this film passes the Bechdel-test
Or perhaps it was just the deliciously Scottish accents.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Leftovers, season 1

The outset : Two per cent of the world's population suddenly and instantaneously vanishes into thin air. The show revolves not around this disappearance - and that, indeed, is its main strength! - but around its influence on the inhabitants of suburban Mapleton, NY.

The characters overall feel a bit stereotypical (for instance, Theroux's smalltown cop is pure parody until he is slowly subverted into something a lot more complicated) but the plot was engaging enough to swiftly render this highly addictive.

Moreover, it was strangely restful, I must say, to watch a TV-series steer clear of the explicit sex scenes SATC seem to have rendered more or less compulsory in high-brow TV! Refreshing!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Lazaretto - Jack White

At a total loss how to describe White's music - except to say that it is particular, and utterly impossible to run to (not necessarily bad things) - I cannot but note his talent and bravery.
Indeed, releasing this after having been dubbed Prince of Indie Rock shows a taste for transmutation I can't help admiring.

An even briefer comment on his last album here.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

La Mode des Années 50, Musée Galliera

This exhibit of haute couture clothes covers the period that started with Christian Dior's revolutionary New Look collection in 1947, and ended with the demise of said Dior a decade later. (He was replaced by a very young, very talented Yves Saint Laurent, who led high couture fashion into the 1960s.)

It was beautiful, of course! Not, perhaps, a very inspired display but then the dresses, photos and sketches in themselves largely compensate for that.

The visitors, interestingly, were 99% female. Should you feel inclined to spend some time around well-dressed, upper middle-class ladies, this is indeed the place to be for you.


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Lone Ranger - G. Verbinski, 2013

For all intents and purposes, this was pretty much 'Pirates of the Caribbean' part 5.

Hm. I remember the days back when Johnny Depp actually was an actor, making bold career choices. What on earth happened???

Monday, September 1, 2014

Liberation of Paris, Paris City Hall

Photos, newspaper clippings and films depicting the Americans - and De Gaulle - arriving in Paris, 70 years ago. The exhibit is modest in size, yet I found it strangely moving!