Chrieg [War] (2014)

Chrieg
Director: Simon Jaquemet
Writer: Simon Jaquemet
Cast: Benjamin Lutzke, Ella Rumpf, Sascha Gisler, Ste
Part of: FrauenFilmTage
Seen on: 3.3.2018
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Plot:
Matteo (Benjamin Lutzke) is not a bad kid, but he’s been getting into trouble and the relationship with his parents is not good. After another incident, Matteo finds himself practically kidnapped and carried off to a remote farm in the mountains where he is supposed to figure things and himself out by working hard and being removed from the troubles of the big city. But things don’t really turn out as expected.

Chrieg tells an extreme story in a realistic way. It’s engaging and very well made and especially for somebody like me who works with kids.

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Laggies (2014)

Laggies
Director: Lynn Shelton
Writer: Andrea Seigel
Cast: Keira KnightleyChloë Grace Moretz, Sam Rockwell, Mark Webber, Ellie Kemper
Seen on: 28.12.2017
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Plot:
Megan (Keira Knightley) and her boyfriend Andrew (Mark Webber) have been together since high school. In fact, nothing much has changed for Megan since high school even though she’s approaching 30. Then Andrew proposes and Megan is shocked by something so adult encroaching in her life. Chance lets her meet teenaged Annika (Chloë Grace Moretz) who is intrigued by the older woman who behaves so little like an adult. Megan, too, is drawn by Annika’s teenager life and it doesn’t take long for her to move in with her and Annika’s dad Craig (Sam Rockwell) while she mulls over Andrew’s proposal.

Laggies may not be my favorite of Shelton’s film but it is sensitive, fun and sweet – just the right fare for a cozy Sunday.

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Free the Nipple (2014)

Free the Nipple
Director: Lina Esco
Writer: Hunter Richards
Cast: Lina Esco, Lola Kirke, Casey LaBow, Monique Coleman, Griffin Newman, Zach Grenier, Janeane Garofalo
Seen on: 15.12.2017
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Plot:
A group of women in New York are starting a campaign to make it possible to walk around shirtless for women as much as men. Young journalist With (Lina Esco) hears about them and gets in touch. At first, she just wants to write a story, but intrigued by the charismatic Liv (Lola Kirke), the leader of the group, she becomes more engaged with the cause itself.

Free the Nipple builds on an actual campaign that Lina Esco started in New York, but the film gives it the fiction treatment in an attempt to condense it. Unfortunately that condensation just makes it very clear that the film is built on cis feminism which severely weakens the activism that is at its core.

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Top Girl oder La déformation professionnelle [Top Girl or La déformation professionnelle] (2014)

Top Girl oder La déformation professionnelle
Director: Tatjana Turanskyj
Writer: Tatjana Turanskyj
Cast: Julia Hummer, Rolf Peter Kahl, Susanne Bredehöft, Karim Cherif, Samia Dauenhauer, Sarah Grether, Stefan Mehren, Mario Pokatzky, Janina Rudenska, Anna Schmidt, Susanne Strach
Seen on: 18.11.2017
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Plot:
Helena (Julia Hummer) is an actress and a sex worker. She has a daughter, a strained relationship with her mother (Susanne Bredehöft) and is always looking for new possibilities. When she is approached to organize a special event with some of her colleagues, Helena takes the chance. But the event is not your usual escort gig.

Top Girl is a complex approach to sex work that I don’t necessarily agree with, but it gives the topic more thought than a lot of other films and it knows how to work emotions.

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Dohee-ya [A Girl at My Door] (2014)

Dohee-ya
Director: July Jung
Writer: July Jung
Cast: Doona BaeSae-ron KimSae-byeok SongHie-jin JangMin-jae KimSeong-kun Mun
Part of: identities Festival
Seen on: 12.6.2017
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Plot:
Young-Nam (Doona Bae) is a police officer who was just transferred to a small seaside town. It was a punitive measure, but what her misconduct actually entailed is unclear to her new colleagues. And since Young-Nam is stand-offish, they’re not bound to find out anytime soon. One night Young-Nam finds Do-Hee (Sae-ron Kim) at her door, a young girl from the village who seems taken with Young-Nam. Do-Hee’s family is difficult and Young-Nam gives her more and more space in her own life.

Dohee-ya may have bitten off a little more than it can chew, making the film feel a little crammed and too long. That being said, it still has many strengths and is definitely worth seeing.

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She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry (2014)

She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry
Director: Mary Dore
Part of: identities Festival
Seen on: 9.6.2017
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“Plot”:
Tracing the feminist movement in the USA in the late 60s, the documentary looks at the history of the modern feminist movement through interviews with some of the major players from that time.

She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry has interesting insights into the history of the feminist movement and tries very hard to not just include white feminism, but reproduces the lack of trans feminism in Second Wave Feminism and only touches on lesbian activism, which I found a pity. Nevertheless, it was a good watch.

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Margarita with a Straw (2014)

Margarita with a Straw
Director: Shonali BoseNilesh Maniyar
Writer: Shonali Bose, Nilesh Maniyar, Atika Chohan
Cast: Kalki KoechlinRevathySayani GuptaHussain DalalTenzing DalhaKuljeet SinghMalhar KhushuWilliam Moseley
Part of: FrauenFilmTage
Seen on: 3.3.2017

Plot:
Laila (Kalki Koechlin) has cerebral palsy but the much bigger issue is that she has to share her room with her brother (Malhar Khushu). Despite difficulties and worried parents (Revathy, Kuljeet Singh), she gets the opportunity to move from India to New York for her studies and that’s just what she does. Being on her own in a foreign country prompts a journey of self-discovery that leads Laila to co-student Jared (William Moseley) and Khanum (Sayani Gupta), a young blind activist from Pakistan who lives in New York.

There should be more films in the world like Margarita with a Straw: films that feature a queer, disabled women of color as their protagonists and tell a touching, funny story about them.

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Re-Watch: John Wick (2014)

John Wick
Director: Chad Stahelski, David Leitch
Writer: Derek Kolstad
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen, Willem Dafoe, Dean Winters, Adrianne Palicki, John Leguizamo, Ian McShane, Lance Reddick, Bridget Moynahan
Seen on: 21.2.2017
[Here’s my first review.]

Plot:
John Wick (Keanu Reeves) used to be a hitman. The best hitman. But he gave it all up for is wife (Bridget Moynahan) and went straight. But now he lost her after a long illness and he’s lost without her. When a little puppy arrives on his doorstep, courtesy of his wife who didn’t want him to lose his ability to love, he is immediately taken by it. But then he is robbed by Iosef Tasarov (Alfie Allen), a young thug who happens to be the son of mafia boss Viggo Tasarov (Michael Nyqvist). Iosef wants to steal John’s car, but can’t leave it at that: he kills John’s dog. That is the last straw for John who decides to get back into business and take his revenge on Iosef and anybody who stands in his way.

Before seeing the sequel, I knew I had to re-watch John Wick. And also on re-watching it’s a beautiful, amazing, wonderful action movie that I simply adore.

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XConfessions (2014)

XConfessions
Director: Erika Lust
Writer: Erika Lust
Seen on: 10.10.2016

XConfessions collects 9 porn short films (I’ll write about each below) that are based on stories people sent to Lust.She has several of these collections, I think I saw Number 6.

I wasn’t quite as taken with this collection as I was with (S)he Comes for two reasons: one, I found the editing weird in some parts, and two I didn’t think that Erika Lust managed to capture the female gaze/get away from the male gaze as much as Petra Joy. But it’s not my intention to pit Lust against Joy (pun intended) – and both collections have their great moments.

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(S)he Comes (2014)

(S)he Comes
Director: Petra Joy
Writer: Petra Joy
Seen on: 8.10.2016

“Plot”:
(S)he Comes is an anthology of six short porn films, no plot to be found. The pairings are different, but all heterosexual and sometimes it’s “just” masturbation scenes.

(S)he Comes it’s a successful example of feminist porn in various ways. Personally I wouldn’t have minded if it had been a bit queerer, but it’s rare enough that we get hetero porn aimed at female spectators, so I won’t complain at all. In fact, I very much enjoyed the collection.

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