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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Ready Player One (2018)

Ready Player One
Director: Steven Spielberg
Writer: Zak Penn, Ernest Cline
Based on: Ernest Cline’s novel
Cast: Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, Lena Waithe, T.J. Miller, Simon Pegg, Mark Rylance, Philip Zhao, Win Morisaki, Hannah John-Kamen, Ralph Ineson, Susan Lynch
Seen on: 14.4.2018

Plot:
Wade (Tye Sheridan) spends every possible second in OASIS, virtual reality world where he can be Parzival and kick ass. When one of the creators of OASIS, James Halliday (Mark Rylance) dies, it is revealed that he left OASIS to whoever is able to find three hidden elements in it that could be anywhere. Obsessed with OASIS and Halliday as Wade is, he figures, he will give it a shot. But he’s not the only one trying to get it.

Ready Player One is really, really bad. It’s insufferable, illogical and generally induces eye-rolling until you’re sore. At least there’s Lena Waithe to make things a little better.

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A Quiet Place (2018)

A Quiet Place
Director: John Krasinski
Writer: Bryan Woods, Scott Beck, John Krasinski
Cast: Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe, Cade Woodward
Seen on: 14.4.2018

Plot:
Earth has been overrun by monsters who can hear the slightest sound and use it to hunt humans down. The Abbotts are desperately trying to survive in the apocalypse, with father Lee (John Krasinski) and mother Evelyn (Emily Blunt) trying to keep their children Regan (Millicent Simmonds) and Marcus (Noah Jupe) safe. The family has an advantage because Regan is deaf and they therefore know sign language. But it’s unlikely that they can go on much longer as they have been.

A Quiet Place pulled me in and didn’t let me go. And it isn’t just a strong, emotional film, it’s also a great example of how to represent disability in films, which makes it even better. I’m happy to say that it is a film that deserves its hype.

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Tabu: A Story of the South Seas (1931)

Tabu: A Story of the South Seas
Director: F.W. Murnau
Writer: F.W. Murnau, Robert J. Flaherty, Edgar G. Ulmer
Cast: Matahi, Anne Chevalier, Bill Bambridge, Hitu, Ah Fong, Jules, Mehao
Seen on: 14.4.2018

Plot:
On Bora Bora, a young boy (Matahi) and a young girl (Anne Chevalier) fall in love. But when the girl is declared the Chosen Maid, the sacred virgin of the island by their leader, an old warrior (Hito), not even the thought of love is allowed anymore. But the boy and the girl are not willing to accept that and decide to flee.

Tabu is on the one hand an interesting look at Bora Bora’s society at the time and a glimpse at a world mostly unfamiliar to Western audiences. On the other hand it’s a white, exoticizing, racist mess that needs to be looked at with a tablespoon of salt.

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Ghost Stories (2017)

Ghost Stories
Director: Jeremy Dyson, Andy Nyman
Writer: Jeremy Dyson, Andy Nyman
Based on: their own play
Cast: Andy Nyman, Martin Freeman, Paul Whitehouse, Alex Lawther, Paul Warren, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Nicholas Burns, Daniel Hill, Derren Brown
Part of: /slash Filmfestival special screening
Seen on: 13.4.2018

Plot:
Phillip Goodman doesn’t believe in ghosts and he has made it his life’s mission to disprove cases of hauntings. But he gets handed three cases by his great idol Charles Cameron (Leonard Byrne). Cases that Cameron was unable to explain, turning him from a sceptic into a believer. Goodman delves deeper into the stories to figure out what’s going on.

Ghost Stories is an entertaining film, although the episodes differ in strength and the solution was a little overdone. But overall I enjoyed the film.

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Sois belle et tais-toi [Be Pretty and Shut Up] (1981)

Sois belle et tais-toi
Director: Delphine Seyrig
“Cast”: Jenny Agutter, Juliet Berto, Ellen Burstyn, Candy Clark, Patti D’Arbanville, Marie Dubois, Louise Fletcher, Jane Fonda, Luce Guilbeault, Shirley MacLaine, Millie Perkins, Maria Schneider, Barbara Steele, Susan Tyrrell, Viva, Anne Wiazemsky, Cindy Williams
Seen on: 12.4.2018

“Plot”:
Delphine Seyrig interviews actresses about their work and the movie industry, touching on casual bias as well as outright sexism all of them encounter pretty much every day, shedding light on the struggles women face when they just want to act.

Be Pretty and Shut Up is a fascinating documentary with very interesting women and interviews, but it’s also incredibly frustrating to see that we still have the same discussions even 40 years later.

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