Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House (2017)

Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House
Director: Peter Landesman
Writer: Peter Landesman
Based on: Mark Felt‘s autobiography (written with John O’Connor)
Cast: Liam Neeson, Diane Lane, Marton Csokas, Tony Goldwyn, Ike Barinholtz, Josh Lucas, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Kate Walsh, Brian d’Arcy James, Maika Monroe, Michael C. Hall, Tom Sizemore, Julian Morris, Bruce Greenwood, Noah Wyle, Eddie Marsan
Seen on: 15.11.2017
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Plot:
Mark Felt (Liam Neeson) expected to be promoted to the head of the FBI when J. Edgar Hoover stepped down. Instead FBI outsider L. Patrick Gray (Marton Csokas) is. But even though he feels resentful about being passed over, it’s Gray’s handling of one of his first cases – a surveillance operation based, apparently, on unofficial orders from the White House – that really sours things for Felt. He decides to bring the information about the Watergate case anonymously. to the public.

Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House shows that spying and whistle-blowing can be absolutely boring affairs. So boring, it’s astounding. I am honestly still in a state of disbelief how that happened.

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Eine Flexible Frau [The Drifters] (2010)

Eine Flexible Frau
Director: Tatjana Turanskyj
Writer: Tatjana Turanskyj
Cast: Mira Partecke, Laura Tonke, Franziska Dick, Angelika Sauter, Katharina Bellena, Sven Seeger, Torsten Haase, Fabio Pink
Seen on: 12.11.2017
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Plot:
Greta (Mira Partecke) is an architect and has a son she’s estranged from. When she unexpectedly loses her job, she desperately tries to get back on her feet. Or drink enough that she forgets that she has lost her footing. She doesn’t seem built to participate in the neoliberal gig culture in the city around her, but is there a place that isn’t within that culture?

Eine flexible Frau is somewhere between art film, narration and sociological cinema – and it’s a really good mix at that. It’s challenging cinema, but if you’re willing to let yourself be challenged, you can get a lot out of it.

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God’s Own Country (2017)

God’s Own Country
Director: Francis Lee
Writer: Francis Lee
Cast: Josh O’ConnorAlec Secareanu, Ian Hart, Gemma Jones, Harry Lister Smith
Seen on: 8.11.2017
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Plot:
Johnny (Josh O’Connor) lives with his parents Deirdre (Gemma Jones) and Martin (Ian Hart) on their farm. They spend their days working hard and at night, Johnny takes off to the local bar where he drinks way too much and hooks up with random strangers. But when Romanian farm hand Gheorghe (Alex Secareanu) makes his way to the farm, it pushes Johnny on a new, unexpected path.

God’s Own Country is a beautiful, touching film with great characters and a gay love story that actually gets to have a happy ending which is way too rare. I really loved it.

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Geostorm (2017)

Geostorm
Director: Dean Devlin
Writer: Dean Devlin, Paul Guyot
Cast: Gerard Butler, Jim Sturgess, Abbie CornishAlexandra Maria LaraDaniel WuEugenio DerbezAmr WakedAdepero OduyeAndy GarciaEd HarrisRobert SheehanRichard SchiffMare WinninghamZazie Beetz
Seen on: 7.11.2017
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Plot:
To control climate change, the world has teamed up and created a network of satellites that can control the weather itself. But when the satellites are weaponized, Max (Jim Sturgess), who is in charge of the satellite program for the US government, knows that he has to get his brother Jake (Gerard Butler) on board to help: Jake developed the program and knows it like no other, but he was discharged and replaced by Max, so he may not be entirely inclined to go up into space to fix stuff. And of course, the question remains who is weaponizing the weather in the first place.

Geostorm is really the perfect movie to get drunk to: if you, like me, don’t spend a minute really thinking about it, in fact, if you don’t take it seriously at all, you’re going to have a blast with it. I sure did.

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Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

Thor: Ragnarok
Director: Taika Waititi
Writer: Eric Pearson, Craig Kyle, Christopher L. Yost
Based on: Stan Lee‘s, Larry Lieber‘s and Jack Kirby‘s comic character
Sequel to: Thor, Thor: The Dark World
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Tom HiddlestonMark Ruffalo, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson, Karl Urban, Anthony Hopkins, Benedict Cumberbatch, Taika Waititi, Rachel House, Clancy Brown, Tadanobu Asano, Ray Stevenson, Zachary Levi, Luke Hemsworth, Sam Neill, Matt Damon, Ken Watanabe
Part of: Marvel movies
Seen on: 4.11.2017
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Plot:
Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is fighting to prevent Ragnarok – the end of the world. Having successfully defeated the demon Surtur, he returns to Asgard, only to find Loki (Tom Hiddleston) posing as their father Odin (Anthony Hopkins). After having located the real Odin, he tells Thor and Loki that Ragnarok is still coming: the real threat is their sister Hela (Cate Blanchett). It doesn’t take long for Hela to appear and show how much of a threat she really is.

Thor: Ragnarok is probably the best Marvel film to date. It’s entertaining, full of queer (and also straight) aesthetics and had me in literal tears it’s so funny. It’s absolutely lovely.

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How to Talk to Girls at Parties (2017)

How to Talk to Girls at Parties
Director: John Cameron Mitchell
Writer: Philippa Goslett, John Cameron Mitchell
Based on: Neil Gaiman’s short story
Cast: Alex Sharp, Elle Fanning, Nicole Kidman, Ruth Wilson, Stephen Campbell Moore, Matt Lucas
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 2.11.2017
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Plot:
Enn (Alex Sharp) loves nothing more than punk music. Having heard about a special concert, he stumbles into a party that seems a little stranger than the usual stuff. But there’s also the cute Zan (Elle Fanning) there and Alex hits it off with her. But as the two spend more time together, Enn realizes that Zan isn’t just a little strange: she’s actually an alien.

How to Talk to Girls at Parties was sweet and funny and colorful and loud and a whole lot of fun. It’s a film designed to make you smile and leave it with a bounce in your step.

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Au hasard Balthazar (1966)

Au hasard Balthazar
Director: Robert Bresson
Writer: Robert Bresson
Cast: Anne Wiazemsky, Walter Green, François Lafarge, Jean-Claude Guilbert, Philippe Asselin, Pierre Klossowski, Nathalie Joyaut, Marie-Claire Fremont, Jean-Joël Barbier
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 2.11.2017
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Plot:
When the donkey Balthazar is born, his life seems pretty good. He is loved by the kids in his family and by Marie, the neighbor’s girl. But when hard times fallon the family and the have to leave, things also take a turn for the worse for Balthazar. Even when he is reunited with the teenage Marie (Anne Wiazemsky), who is struggling herself, she can’t make things easier for him.

I watched Au hasard Balthazar mostly because it’s a classic and I had never seen it. But it just proved to me again that Nouvelle Vague really isn’t my thing. I found it mostly exhausting.

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Tesnota [Closeness] (2017)

Tesnota
Director: Kantemir Balagov
Writer: Kantemir Balagov, Anton Yarush
Cast: Atrem Cipin, Olga Dragunova, Veniamin Kac, Darya Zhovnar, Nazir Zhukov
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 2.11.2017
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Plot:
1998 in Nalchik. David (Veniamin Kac) and Lea, both Jewish, just got engaged. What should be a joyous time for them and their families turns into a nightmare as the both of them are kidnapped. The demanded ransom is set so high that David’s family can’t possibly afford to pay it. His sister Ila (Darya Zhovnar), always the rebellious one, is the only one who might be able to help.

With the unusual setting and the obvious attempt to include social criticism in the film, Tesnota could have been an interesting film, but unfortunately it didn’t work out that way for me.

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Estiu 1993 [Summer 1993] (2017)

Estiu 1993
Director: Carla Simón
Writer: Carla Simón
Cast: Laia Artigas, Paula Robles, Bruna Cusí, David Verdaguer, Fermí Reixach, Montse Sanz, Isabel Rocatti, Berta Pipó
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 1.11.2017
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Plot:
Frida (Laia Artigas) just lost her mother and has to movie in with her uncle (David Verdaguer) and his wife (Bruna Cusí). They also have a daughter who is a littler younger than Frida and are filled with the best of intentions to give Frida the stability and home she needs. Nevertheless Frida has trouble settling into the new place and life she has to face now.

Estiu 1993 takes a little time to get going, but once it finds its groove, it’s a sweet, sensitive film that tackles a very difficult topic with a lot of empathy and beautiful images.

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Sweet Country (2017)

Sweet Country
Director: Warwick Thornton
Writer: Steven McGregor, David Tranter
Cast: Hamilton Morris, Tremayne Doolan, Natassia Gorey Furber, Sam Neill, Bryan Brown, Ewen Leslie, Thomas M. Wright
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 1.11.2017
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Plot:
Aboriginee Sam Kelly (Hamilton Morris) has been working as a farmhand for Fred Smith (Sam Neill) for a long time and Fred is kind to him, his wife and niece – or at least he’s a better master than the other white people around them. But when Fred travels and their new neighbor (Ewen Leslie), a drunk and cruel man, takes advantage of the situation and attacks them, Sam ends up shooting him. Even though it was self-defense, Sam knows that the white men will come for him – and he takes off into the desert.

Sweet Country chose an interesting topic and setting for its story, but it nevertheless didn’t really work for me. It felt too long and clichéd for that.

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