Till det som är vackert [Pure] (2010)

Till det som är vackert
Director: Lisa Langseth
Writer: Lisa Langseth
Cast: Alicia Vikander, Samuel Fröler, Josephine Bauer, Martin Wallström, Helén Söderqvist Henriksson
Seen on: 16.4.2021

Plot:
Katarina (Alicia Vikander) lives with her boyfriend Mattias (Martin Wallström) and fights with her mother (Josephine Bauer). Her life seems to stretch out before her: working a dead-end job, always this close to poverty, and having many children with Matthias. When she discovers classical music, a new world opens up to Katarina. After actually attending a concert together with Mattias, Katarina is even more intrigued. After losing her job, she returns to the concert hall and just stumbles into a job interview. Much to her surprise, the HR manager (Helén Söderqvist Henriksson) hires her. Her position is more than she hoped for, and puts her in the sight of conductor Adam (Samuel Fröler) who takes a liking to her.

Pure was a fantastic film debut for both Langseth and Vikander. It’s an intense portrayal of a young woman and a sharp look at the intersection of gender and class.

The film poster showing Katarina (Alicia Vikander) looking fiercely at the camera, while Adam (Samuel Fröler) holds her and smells her neck.
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Bastard (2010)

Bastard
Director: Kirsten Dunst
Writer: Kirsten Dunst, Sasha Sagan
Cast: Juno Temple, Brian Geraghty, Lukas Haas, Lee Thompson Young, Joel David Moore, L.M. Kit Carson, Callie Hardy
Seen on: 2.4.2021

Plot:
A girl (Juno Temple) and a man (Brian Geraghty) are making their way through the desert. They are looking for shelter, while some men in a car (Lukas Haas, Lee Thompson Young, Joel David Moore) are looking for them.

I saw that Juno Temple was in Bastard and decided to watch it, so I was a little surprised by the Christianity of it. Your mileage will probably vary regarding that. I felt that the film was a bit sensationalistic. But Juno Temple is still wonderful.

The film poster showing the girl (Juno Temple), her face hidden behind her hair, her shoulders drawn high, underneath a red haze.

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

Plot:
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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The Experiment (2010)

The Experiment
Director: Paul T. Scheuring
Writer: Paul T. Scheuring
Remake of: Das Experiment
Based on: Stanford prison experiment
Cast: Adrien Brody, Forest Whitaker, Cam Gigandet, Clifton Collins Jr., Ethan Cohn, Fisher Stevens, Travis Fimmel, David Banner, Jason Lew
Seen on: 26.6.2019

Content Note: homomisia, orientalism

Plot:
Travis (Adrien Brody) is a pacifist in need of money. That’s why he agrees to participate in a study that simulates a prison to find out about the violent tendencies of people. He and 19 others get put into two groups of prisoners, while 6 men, among them Helweg (Travis Fimmel) get appointed as guards. They all get a set of rules to follow and things are on their way. But pretty soon, the “guards” turn vicious and the “prisoners” have to fight for basically their lives.

The Stanford prison experiment is a famous sociopsychological study that has seen its fair share of criticism, but has nevertheless persisted in its claim to fame. The Experiment takes that real-life science project, dials the bad things about it up to eleven and believes it has something meaningful to say about the human condition in that way. In short, it is a very bad film.

The film poster showing Travis (Adrien Brody) holding on to iron bars.
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You Again (2010)

You Again
Director: Andy Fickman
Writer: Moe Jelline
Cast: Kristen Bell, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver, Odette Annable, Victor Garber, Betty White, James Wolk, Kristin Chenoweth, Sean Wing, Kyle Bornheimer, William Brent, Christine Lakin, Meagan Holder, Patrick Duffy
Seen on: 10.6.2019

Plot:
Marni (Kristen Bell) was not particularly popular in high school, and that’s putting it mildly. Her main tormentor was Joanna (Odette Annable). Marni thought that she left all of this behind her – until she finds out that her brother (James Wolk) just got engaged to Joanna. The Joanna now seems all kindness and charity, but Marni doesn’t believe this new Joanna one bit and is dead-set on exposing who she really is. Things get even more heated when Joanna’s aunt Ramona (Sigourney Weaver) shows up – and turns out to be the former best friend turned enemy of Marni’s mother Gail (Jamie Lee Curtis).

You Again was okay to watch, but – despite the really awesome cast – nothing more than that.

The film poster showing Gail (Jamie Lee Curtis), Marni (Kristen Bell), Ramona (Sigourney Weaver) and Joanna (Odette Annable), each holding a phote of one of the other women that is ripped apart. In the middle is Grandma Bunny (Betty White) trying to hold it all together.
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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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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
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Plot:
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
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Plot:
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
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CN: all kinds of abuse and racist shit

Plot:
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

Plot:
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.

meinetochternicht

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