Los decentes [A Decent Woman] (2016)

Los decentes
Director: Lukas Valenta Rinner
Writer: Ana GodoyAriel GurevichMartín Shanly, Lukas Valenta Rinner
Cast: Iride MockertIvanna Colona OlsenMariano SayavedraPablo Seijo, Martín Shanly, Andrea Strenitz
Seen on: 19.9.2017
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Plot:
Belen (Iride Mockert) finds a new job as a maid in a gated community just outside Buenos Aires. It’s a rich, proper and maybe a little boring place. But adjacent to it is another kind of gated community: a nudist swinger club. The quiet Belen finds herself intrigued and starts to visit that club more and more.

Maybe Los Decentes simply caught me at the wrong time, but for whatever reason I couldn’t get into the film and found it mostly exhausting to sit through.

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Logan Lucky (2017)

Logan Lucky
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Writer: Rebecca Blunt
Cast: Channing TatumAdam DriverDaniel CraigRiley KeoughKatie HolmesKatherine WaterstonSeth MacFarlaneJim O’HeirBrian GleesonJack QuaidHilary Swank
Seen on: 18.9.2017
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Plot:
Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum) just got fired. So instead of a regular income, he needs a different way to get some money. Fortunately he has a plan. Together with his brother Clyde (Adam Driver) and his sister Mellie (Riley Keough) they’re going to rob the NASCAR bets during a race. But first, they need somebody who knows explosives and there’s nobody more knowledgeable than Joe Bang (Daniel Craig). Fortunately, Joe is currently in prison. So they all have their work cut out for them.

Logan Lucky is very entertaining, albeit not particularly deep. It may think that it’s a little funnier than it is, but it is funny enough to make it absolutely enjoyable.

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My Cousin Rachel (2017)

My Cousin Rachel
Director: Roger Michell
Writer: Roger Michell
Based on: Daphne du Maurier‘s novel
Cast: Rachel WeiszSam ClaflinHolliday GraingerIain GlenPierfrancesco FavinoSimon Russell Beale
Seen on: 18.9.2017
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Plot:
Philip (Sam Claflin) was brought up by his cousin Ambrose who recently died after going to Italy. There he got married to a distant cousin but things seem to have taken a wrong turn and Philip received a letter from Ambrose claiming that he was being slowly killed by his wife. Philip determines to avenge Ambrose, a plan that get substantially easier when Ambrose’ widow Rachel (Rachel Weisz) announces coming to visit Philip. That Rachel is entirely different from what Philip imagined and he finds himself enchanted.

The film is a mixed bag of beans. Despite many strengths, it loses itself in the last third. But it did keep me watching attentively for most of the film.

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Espèces menacées [Endangered Species] (2017)

Espèces menacées
Director: Gilles Bourdos
Writer: Michel Spinosa, Gilles Bourdos
Based on: Richard Bausch‘s short stories
Cast: Alice IsaazVincent RottiersGrégory GadeboisSuzanne ClémentEric ElmosninoAlice de LencquesaingDamien ChapelleBrigitte CatillonFrédéric Pierrot
Seen on: 17.9.2017
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Plot:
Joséphine (Alice Isaaz) and Tomasz (Vincent Rottiers) just got married and things should be all rosy happiness, but Tomasz has a mean streak and Joséphine has to take a lot of care not to set him off.
Meanwhile Melanie (Alice de Lencquesaing) has some big news to tell her father Vincent (Eric Elmosnino) but their relationship is difficult and their talk uncovers more and more gaps in their knowledge of each other.
Anthony (Damien Chapelle) looks for love in all the wrong places, but is more preoccupied with his mentally ill mother Nicole (Brigitte Catillon) to really focus on that.

Endangered Species pulled me in and kept me glued to the screen throughout, although I wasn’t quite as happy with the endings to the segment as with the rest of the film.

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Portugal. The Man (Support: Steaming Satellites)

Portugal. The Man gave a concert in the Gasometer in Vienna. Their supporting band was Steaming Satellites.
Seen on: 17.9.2017

I was hesitant about going to this concert, mostly because I thought it would be incredibly decadent to go to two concerts on one weekend. But finally I caved because not only had I been obsessively listening to Portugal. The Man’s new album, Steaming Satellites are also among my favorite Austrian bands – and to get them in one package was too much to pass up. And it was a good decision indeed – I really wouldn’t have wanted to meet either concert as they were both great.

Portugal. The Man

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Free Fire (2016)

Free Fire
Director: Ben Wheatley
Writer: Amy Jump, Ben Wheatley
Cast: Enzo CilentiSam RileyMichael SmileyBrie LarsonCillian MurphyArmie HammerSharlto CopleyBabou CeesayNoah TaylorJack Reynor
Seen on: 17.9.2017
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Plot:
Bernie (Enzo Cilento) and his brother Stevo (Sam Riley) are meeting with IRA guys Chris (Cillian Murphy) and Frank (Michael Smiley) and their American contact Justine (Brie Larson). They are preparing for a weapons deal mediated by Ord (Armie Hammer) who got them in touch with South African arms dealer Vernon (Sharlto Copley) and his group – Martin (Babou Ceesay), Harry (Jack Reynor) and Gordon (Noah Taylor). But things quickly go sideways and turn very bloody.

Free Fire starts off strong enough, but after a while it becomes so repetitive, it loses all tempo and becomes nothing but dreary.

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Napadid shodan [Disappearance] (2017)

Napadid shodan
Director: Ali Asgari
Writer: Ali Asgari, Farnoosh Samadi
Cast: Sadaf AsgariAmirreza Ranjbaran
Seen on: 16.9.2017
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Plot:
Sara (Sadaf Asgari) and Hamed (Amirreza Ranjbaran) move from hospital to hospital in Tehran. They have had sex and have to face the consequences. But they aren’t married and hospital after hospital refuses them the care they so desperately need and search, also putting a strain on their relationship.

Disappearance is a very effective comment on what happens when (bodily) autonomy is severely undercut and it’s a very effective film in general.

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GLOBAL 2000 Birthday Party 2017

Global 2000 is an Austrian environmental NGO. For their 35th birthday as an organization, they organized a little festival with various bands that I attended on September 16, 2017.

I learned about this concert because I heard from my sister that Jeremy Loops was great and that he would be playing in Austria. I listened to his music and liked it, then I started listening to Grossstadtgeflüster and liked them, too, and since I already knew that I liked Attwenger that decided it for me: I’d definitely go there. And it was an excellent decision as it was a great show.

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Les bienheureux [The Blessed] (2017)

Les bienheureux
Director: Sofia Djama
Writer: Sofia Djama
Cast: Salima AbadaFaouzi BensaïdiAdam BessaSami BouajilaNadia KaciLyna KhoudriAmine Lansari
Seen on: 6.9.2017
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Plot:
It’s 2008 and Samir (Sami Bouajila) and Amal (Nadia Kaci) are celebrating their 20th anniversary in Algiers, remembering not only their relationship, but also the time of the civil war. Meanwhile their son Fahim (Amine Lansari) and his friends Feriel (Lyna Khoudri) and Reda (Adam Bessa) are having a different kind of night out: Reda wants to get a surah tattooed, an act of faith for him that may very well be perceived as blasphemous. Fahim, who is mostly preoccupied with pissing of his parents, and Feriel – a progressive young woman outspoken in her politics – don’t really understand Reda, but as they have nothing better to do, they join him on his quest to find somebody willing to do it.

The Blessed takes a while to get where its going, but once it’s underway, it carries quite a punch, sketching a layered picture of a struggling, post-war society.

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Undir trénu [Under the Tree] (2017)

Undir trénu
Director: Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson
Writer: Huldar Breiðfjörð, Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson
Cast: Steinþór Hróar SteinþórssonEdda BjörgvinsdóttirSigurður SigurjónssonÞorsteinn BachmannSelma BjörnsdóttirLára Jóhanna JónsdóttirDóra JóhannsdóttirSigrídur Sigurpálsdóttir Scheving
Seen on: 15.9.2017
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Plot:
Agnes (Lára Jóhanna Jónsdóttir) has had enough of Atli (Steinþór Hróar Steinþórsson) and throws him out, even keeping him from seeing their daughter Asa (Sigrídur Sigurpálsdóttir Scheving). So he moves in with his parents Baldvin (Sigurður Sigurjónsson) and Inga (Edda Björgvinsdóttir). They are involved in a bitter dispute with their neighbors Konrad (Þorsteinn Bachmann)  and Eybjorg (Selma Björnsdóttir) over a tree in their garden that is casting the neighbor’s house in shadows. As everybody fights their battle, things start to get out of hand.

From the description of the film, I expected it to be a (dark) comedy, but I was mistaken about that. But this misunderstanding was quite indicative for the film for me, as it appeared that we kept communicating on two different levels and never reaching each other properly.

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