Re-Watch: Easy A (2010)

Easy A
Director: Will Gluck
Writer: Bert V. Royal
Cast: Emma Stone, Penn Badgley, Amanda Bynes, Patricia Clarkson, Stanley Tucci, Malcolm McDowell, Thomas Haden Church, Lisa Kudrow, Dan Byrd, Cam Gigandet, Fred Armisen
Seen on: 29.11.2019
[Here’s my first review.]

Content Note: sexual assault, abuse

Olive (Emma Stone) is a good student, though not a particularly popular one. But when a rumor is started that she sleeps around, it puts a quick end to her going unnoticed. Not content with just accepting the sexist double standard, Olive gets into a catfight with the religious do-gooder Marianne (Amanda Bynes), poses as a sex partner for various guys (who are gay or unpopular) and causes general mayhem at her school.

For whatever reason, I had it in my head that I had kinda not liked Easy A all that much when I first watched it (reading my review from back then, that seems not to be true) and that I wanted to give it another try because everybody else seemed to love it so much. Having done so now, I can confidently say that it is a fun film with even some feminist attempts, but it does have problems and I am still not sure why Easy A is the cult classic it seems to have become.

The film poster showing Olive (Emma Stone) in front of a blackboard. There are misogynist curses on the blackboard with arrows pointing at her. She holds a sign that reads: The rumour-filled totally FALSE account of HOW I RUINED my flawless reputation.
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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

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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Who Killed Captain Alex? (2010)

Who Killed Captain Alex?
Director: Nabwana I.G.G.
Writer: Nabwana I.G.G.
Cast: Kakule WilsonSserunya ErnestG. PuffsKavubu MuhammedKasumba IsmaFaizat MuhammedBisaso Dauda
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 24.9.2017

Captain Alex (Kakule Wilson) is supposed to get rid of the Tiger Mafia. But after the army succesfully captures the Mafia leader’s (Sserunya Ernest) brother, they get attacked in return and Alex is killed in the raid on the army camp. His brother takes up the mantle to revenge Alex’ death.

Who Killed Captain Alex? is the second Wakaliwood film they showed at the /slash (the first being Bad Black), but it is the first Wakaliwood film ever (you can watch it here in its entirety) and it shows, particularly in the veejaying that doesn’t quite flow as well as in the later film.

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Die unabsichtliche Entführung der Frau Elfriede Ott [The Unintentional Kidnapping of Mrs. Elfriede Ott] (2010)

Die unabsichtliche Entführung der Frau Elfriede Ott
Director: Andreas Prochaska
Writer: Uwe LubrichMichael Ostrowski, Andreas Prochaska, Alfred Schwarzenberger
Cast: Michael Ostrowski, Andreas KiendlElfriede OttGerhard LiebmannAngelika NiedetzkySimon HatzlThomas Mraz
Seen on: 19.8.2017

Toni (Michael Ostrowski) and Horst (Andreas Kiendl) don’t really have much going for themselves. But at least Horst an live cheaply in his grandmother’s apartment. The only trouble is: his grandmother has been dead for a while and if anybody were to find out, his comfortable life would be over. So when he gets a letter from the mayor who wants to congratulate the grandmother on her 100th birthday, Horst and Toni decide to quickly borrow an old woman from the hospital. It just so happens that they manage to take famous actress Elfriede Ott (Elfriede Ott), leading to more trouble than they bargained for.

I’ve heard a lot of good things about this movie, but it’s definitely one of those comedies that really don’t work for me. It had its moments here and there, but altogether it falls in the category of “it’s a thing I’ve seen now.”

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Vénus noire [Black Venus] (2010)

Vénus noire
Director: Abdellatif Kechiche
Writer: Abdellatif Kechiche, Ghalia Lacroix
Cast: Yahima TorresOlivier GourmetAndre JacobsElina LöwensohnFrançois MarthouretMichel Gionti
Seen on: 13.6.2017

CN: all kinds of abuse and racist shit

At the beginning of the 19th century, Sarah Baartman (Yahima Torres) follows her employer Hendrick Cesar (Andre Jacobs) from South Africa to the UK. She hopes for a better life there, instead Cesar exhibits her as a carnival attraction: a “savage” black woman with a big butt. When they meet bear tamer Réaux (Olivier Gourmet), he poshes them to go to the next level of the show, despite the troubles they already encountered in the UK.

The story of Sarah Baartman is a horrifying example of colonialism and racism and everything that is wrong with white people. Unfortunately, the film is an exercise in sensationalism and does neither Baartman nor her story justice.

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Meine Tochter nicht [Not My Daughter] (2010)

Meine Tochter nicht
Director: Wolfgang Murnberger
Writer: Konstanze Breitebner
Cast: Lisa Martinek, Bernhard Schir, Nikola Rudle, Christopher Schärf, Mercedes Echerer, Karl Fischer, Raimund Wallisch, Max SchmiedlHary Prinz, Gerhard Liebmann, Sissy Höfferer
Seen on: 20.8.2016

Maria (Lisa Martinek) and Paul Hofer (Bernhard Schir) have a great life – and a wonderful daughter in Nadja (Nikola Rudle). But shortly after Nadja’s sixteenth birthday, trouble arrives in the form of Nadja’s boyfriend Robi (Christopher Schärf). He is older and obviously from a social background that is nowhere near the Hofer’s lifestyle. But worst of all: Robi takes drugs – and he starts to drag Nadja into his addiction, despite her parents’ desperate attempts to keep her safe.

Meine Tochter nicht comes with a strong cast and hits some notes very accurately, but unfortunately loses almost all points in its resolution of the story and its moralizing tone.


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The Tempest (2010)

The Tempest
Director: Julie Taymor
Writer: Julie Taymor
Based on: William Shakespeare‘s play
Cast: Helen MirrenFelicity JonesDavid StrathairnAlan CummingChris CooperBen WhishawDjimon HounsouRussell BrandAlfred MolinaReeve CarneyTom Conti
Seen on: 16.3.2016

Many years ago Prospera (Helen Mirren) was betrayed by her brother Antonio (Chris Cooper). He sent her and her daughter Miranda (Felicity Jones) off on a ship so that they may die, but they managed to survive and have been stranded on an island ever since. They are almost the only inhabitants of the island, apart from Caliban (Djimon Hounsou), the spiteful son of the former island ruler, and the sprite Ariel (Ben Whishaw) who both have been enslaved by Prospera’s magic. Their existence is severely disrupted though when a ship sinks just off the island – a ship carrying not only Alonso the King of Naples (David Strathairn), his brother Sebastian (Alan Cumming) and his son Ferdinand (Reeve Carney), but also Antonio. Prospera knows that her time has come at last.

The Tempest is a visually impressive film with a great cast, but it never quite takes off – there are simply too many things that don’t work.

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Tag und Nacht [Day and Night] (2010)

Tag und Nacht
Director: Sabine Derflinger
Writer: Sabine Derflinger, Eva Testor
Cast: Anna Rot, Magdalena Kronschläger, Philipp Hochmair, Martina Spitzer, Adrian Topol, Manuel Rubey, Angelika NiedetzkyGerhard Liebmann, Karl Fischer
Part of: FrauenFilmTage
Seen on: 28.2.2016

Lea (Anna Rot) and Hanna (Magdalena Kronschläger) have been best friends for a long time. So when Lea comes up with the plan that they could both work as escorts to get some easy money while they study, it’s clear that they can only do it together and that nobody around them will know. Hanna is more reluctant but the two of them start working anyway. It turns out to be quite an adventure, at least initially.

Tag und Nacht is one of many films where young women decide to try sex work and then discover that it might not be all that great, at least in a society that has such an ambivalent relationship with sex work as ours. While the film is well-executed, it felt too familiar for its own good.

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Re-Watch: 3 (2010)

Director: Tom Tykwer
Writer: Tom Tykwer
Cast: Sophie Rois, Sebastian SchipperDevid Striesow
Seen on: 8.1.2016
[Here’s my first review.]

Hanna (Sophie Rois) and Simon (Sebastian Schipper) have been a couple for quite a while now and things are stagnating. It works but more because there’s no reason why it shouldn’t than because there’s a reason it should. When first Hanna, then Simon meet Adam (Devid Striesow) – separately from each other, they both sleep with him – also separately from each other. As both Hanna and Simon get more attached to Adam, their relationship with each other is more than being called into question.

I had actually forgotten that I had watched 3 before. It was only about 20 or 30 minutes into the film that I realized it and then I was pretty sure that I had at least never written about it, which was also wrong. I guess that’s already a pretty telling comment on the film itself. It’s far from bad, but somehow it just doesn’t really stick around.

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Behind Jim Jarmusch (2010) + Travelling at Night with Jim Jarmusch (2014)

Behind Jim Jarmusch + Travelling at Night with Jim Jarmusch
Director: Léa Rinaldi
Writer: Léa Rinaldi
“Cast”: Jim JarmuschIsaach De BankoléJohn Hurt, Bill MurrayTilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 31.10.2015

Both Behind Jim Jarmusch and Travelling at Night with Jim Jarmusch are documentaries about the creative process of director Jim Jarmusch. Rinaldi followed Jarmusch during the shot of The Limits of Control and then again a couple of years later during the work on Only Lovers Left Alive, trying to grasp how Jarmusch gets to work.

Behind Jim Jarmusch was Rinaldi’s first documentary and you can see how much she learned, so that Travelling at Night with Jim Jarmusch becomes the much better film. But both are interesting to see, especially if you like Jim Jarmusch’s films as they give you a look into the creation of something special.

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