Les garçons sauvages [The Wild Boys] (2017)

Les garçons sauvages
Director: Bertrand Mandico
Writer: Bertrand Mandico
Cast: Pauline Lorillard, Vimala Pons, Diane Rouxel, Anaël Snoek, Mathilde Warnier, Sam Louwyck, Elina Löwensohn, Nathalie Richard
Part of: /slash 1/2 Filmfestival
Seen on: 3.5.2018

Content Note: Rape, transmisia

Plot:
Romuald (Pauline Lorillard), Jean-Louis (Vimala Pons), Hubert (Diane Rouxel), Tanguy (Anaël Snoek) and Sloane (Mathilde Warnier) are friends, all interested in arts and aestheticism in general. But after raping and killing their literature teacher (Nathalie Richard), they are put in the care of the Captain (Sam Louwyck) in the hope that his rough methods will set them on the right path again. They embark on a journey on the Captain’s ship to an island where transformation is supposedto happen.

The Wild Boys was interesting, but didn’t work in all respects for me. Still, it’s a film that looks at gender and has an interesting visual style, so I would say that it’s worth checking out regardless.

SPOILERS after the jump.

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Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Avengers: Infinity War
Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Writer: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Based on: the comics by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
Sequel to: The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Elizabeth OlsenPaul Bettany, Don Cheadle, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Tom Hiddleston, Sebastian Stan, Danai Gurira, Peter Dinklage, Benedict Wong, Pom Klementieff, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Gwyneth Paltrow, Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, Chris Pratt, Sean Gunn, William Hurt, Letitia Wright, Carrie Coon, Winston Duke, Florence Kasumba, Anthony Mackie, Idris Elba, Samuel L. Jackson, Stan Lee
Part of: Marvel movies
Seen on: 2.5.2018

Plot:
Thanos (Josh Brolin) has reached the final stages of his plan: he will collect all of the Infinity Stones and with their power reshape the universe after his own ideas. The hunt for the stones makes him cross paths with the Avengers on Earth, as well as the Guardians and the Asgardian refugees in space, leading to them coming together in a desperate effort to stop him and his plans.

Avengers: Infinity War is the culmination of more than a decade of films. That alone makes it a momentous, if not to say monumental film. And it’s not bad per se, but it does feel like a step down from the recent absolute highlights that were Black Panther and Thor: Ragnarok.

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Ein Volksfeind [An Enemy of the People]

Ein Volksfeind
Director: Jette Steckel
Writer: Henrik Ibsen, translated and adapted by Frank-Patrick Steckel
Cast: Joachim Meyerhoff, Dorothee Hartinger, Irina Sulaver, Mirco Kreibich, Martin Schwab, Ole Lagerpusch, Peter Knaack, Matthias Mosbach, Friederike Bernhardt, Martin Mader
Seen on: 26.4.2018

Plot:
The town is doing well ever since it managed to get tourists due to a mineral spring. After a string of sicknesses, town doctor Thomas Stockmann (Joachim Meyerhoff) believes that the spring is actually polluted. He informs the authorities, in particular his brother Peter (Mirco Kreibich), the town’s mayor. But it’s election year and Peter really doesn’t want to risk his position by threatening the town’s biggest source of income – and his biggest success.

Ein Volksfeind is a really fantastic production of a highly political and frustratingly current play. I absolutely enjoyed it.

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3 Tage in Quiberon [3 Days in Quiberon] (2018)

3 Tage in Quiberon
Director: Emily Atef
Writer: Emily Atef
Cast: Marie Bäumer, Birgit Minichmayr, Charly Hübner, Robert Gwisdek, Denis Lavant, Vicky Krieps
Seen on: 25.4.2018

Plot:
Romy Schneider (Marie Bäumer) has withdrawn to a spa hotel slash rehab center to attempt to get her life under control again. Her friend Hilde (Birgit Minichmayr) comes to visit and support her, as she always does. Joining them are two journalists from the STERN magazine, Robert (Charly Hübner) and Michael (Robert Gwisdek) who want to interview Romy. Over the course of three days, they try to get past the surface while Hilde tries to shield Romy from their invasive questions.

3 Tage in Quiberon has an amazing cast and a good story, but I nevertheless had trouble staying with the film sometimes. Still, I did get the sense that those three days were a very special event.

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Lady Bird (2017)

Lady Bird
Director: Greta Gerwig
Writer: Greta Gerwig
Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts, Lucas Hedges, Timothée Chalamet, Beanie Feldstein,
Seen on: 25.4.2018

Plot:
Christine calls herself Lady Bird (Saoirse Ronan). She is a teenager, not particularly well-off, and doesn’t really fit in at her expensive Catholic high school, where her only and best friend is Julie (Beanie Feldstein) who is an outsider as well. She dreams of adventure and culture which both seem pretty unattainable where she is right now. But Lady Bird is in her senior year and that might be her chance to escape. Before that, though, she has stuff to figure out: which college she can go to, whether her mother (Laurie Metcalf) actually likes her, and also that entire thing with boys: what’s the deal?

Lady Bird is a really cute film with a great Saoirse Ronan. It might be a little too married to the conventions of a coming of age film, but I really did enjoy it.

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Children of Blood and Bone (Tomi Adeyemi)

Children of Blood and Bone is the first novel in the Legacy of Orisha trilogy by Tomi Adeyemi.
Finished on: 25.4.2018

Plot:
In Orisha, there are two kinds of people: the maji and the kosidán. The latter rule over the former, keeping them firmly under thumb even as they fear their magical abilities. But ever since King Saran killed almost all maji, magic hasn’t really been an issue anymore. The remaining maji like Zélie are maji in name only, recognizable by their white hair, but without magic powers. As fate will have it, Zélie, her brother Tzain and none other but the princess Amari find themselves on their way to restore magic to Orisha, in possession of a magical scroll and pursued by Amari’s brother Inan.

I enjoyed reading Children of Blood and Bone but I’m a little torn about it. I wanted it to be a little more revolutionary than it was.

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The Writer

The Writer
Director: Blanche McIntyre
Writer: Ella Hickson
Cast: Romola Garai, Michael Gould, Lara Rossi, Samuel West
Seen on: 23.4.2018

Plot:
A young woman (Lara Rossi), an aspiring playwright, meets the director (Samuel West) of a play she just saw and tells him just what she though of it. He barely takes her comments seriously, believing her naive, but inspired by her fire offers her a job anyway. They both are the characters of the Writer’s (Romola Garai) new play. The Director (Michael Gould) tries to bring it to life, but doesn’t seem to get what it’s about, making the Writer uncomfortable. Her boyfriend (Samuel West) urges her to stay with it regardless since it’s a well-paying job. Somehow the Writer has to find the balance between her vision and patriarchal and capitalist demands.

The Writer is a great piece of theater. It’s insightful, demanding, weird, self-aware, femininst and gripping. Beautifully done.

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Goldenhand (Garth Nix)

Goldenhand is the fifth novel of the Old Kingdom series by Garth Nix.
Finished on: 20.4.2018
[Here are my reviews of the other books in the series.]

Plot:
Lirael is the Abhorsen-in-Waiting, having found her place in life and no longer hiding as a shy librarian. But then things go haywire when she finds Nicholas Sayre, unconscious and tainted by Free Magic. She saves his life, but that is only just the beginning. Lirael needs to return to the Clayr to figure out what’s going on. Meanwhile, Ferin desperately tries to get to Lirael to deliver a message of utmost importance.

Goldenhand is a long waited for sequel to a book series I love a lot, so as you can imagine, my expectations were high – and that can easily go wrong. But fortunately, it didn’t go wrong, not even the tiniest bit. I loved it.

[Mild Spoilers follow.]

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Eines langen Tages Reise in die Nacht [Long Day’s Journey Into Night]

Eines langen Tages Reise in die Nacht
Director: Andrea Breth
Writer: Eugene O’Neill
Cast: Sven-Eric Bechtolf, Corinna Kirchhoff, Alexander Fehling, August Diehl, Andrea Wenzl
Seen on: 15.4.2018

Plot:
James Tyrone (Sven-Eric Bechtolf) used to be a great actor, now he is mostly remembered for a singe role. His wife Mary (Corinna Kirchhoff) just returned from rehab for her morphine addiction. Their older son James (Alexander Fehling) drinks too much and their younger son Edmund (August Diehl) has tuberculosis. And on this day, the four of them come together and things just start to spill.

Eines langen Tages Reise in die Nacht works off a strong basis but the production doesn’t work – the mise-en-scène just didn’t tie everything together, rather the opposite.

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