The Square (Sweden – 2017)

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for Cinetalk.net

Our series on Oscar contenders continues…

When the nominees for the 90th Academy Awards will be announced, next January, Cannes’ Palm d’Or, Ruben Östlund’s The Square, will probably be one of the lucky five in the ‘Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film’ category.

After humble beginnings with intriguing contemporary low budget character (and behavior) studies, Gitarrmongot (2004), Involuntary (De Ofrivilliga, 2008) and Play (2011), Östlund hit it big on the festival circuit in 2014 with the celebrated Force Majeure (Turist). A career build up that led to this more sophisticated new opus.

In the acerbic comedy-drama, The Square, Christian, a big time modern art museum curator in Stockholm, faces crisis on multiple fronts, both professionally and personally. By trying to create controversy, the young public relation team of the museum get plenty of what they asked for. Too much of it. And while trying to handle the situation, getting out of control, Christian must also Continue reading

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RIDM 2017: Nowhere to hide (Iraq – 2016)

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for Cinetalk.net

Zaradasht Ahmed’s tragic film, Nowhere to hide, follows the tribulations of Nori Sharif, a medic, and his family through five years of war ravaged Central Iraq.

In 2011, the U.S soldiers are pulling out. Various groups, militias and ISIS, want to take over. A new war is on the verge. Ahmed gave Sharif a camera.  A perilous journey begins.  At first, we follow him tracking survivors and victims in a gripping insight into one of the most dangerous part of the world. He is a medic he sees them coming in everyday. And he films. In the middle of herds of sheep, they tell of a peaceful place that became a human hunting ground. And of the absence of real conflicts between tribes in these parts prior to the invasion. At times it sounds like the way natives of the Americas and Africa were treated. Their suffering, the war that is still going on, is now of no interests to the big medias.

Nowhere to hide is filled with fragmented disturbing stories. Corruption, violence, shootings, bombs, sudden disappearances, condemned children becoming Continue reading

Classics : The Emigrants (Utvandrarna) – Sweden – 1971 – 191Mins

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for Cinetalk.net

A Family saga of 19th century European settlers trying to make it to America, Jan Troell’s The Emigrants (1971) begins in rural Sweden. Life in poverty becomes so unbearable for a group of farmers they decide to go on the perilous trip at sea, by which way many won’t even reach the new world, in pursuing the American dream. Various obstacles, hostile environment are the theatre displaying their vulnerability, often leading to disillusion, with sudden death as the everlasting fear of God is lurking in every corner even in the new land.

Released in America, in a truncated version, missing almost an hour (only the 191 minutes version should be considered for viewing or reviewing), the film earned five Oscars nominations including a rare foray, for a film shot in another language then English, into the Best picture category, loosing to F. F. Coppola’s The Godfather.

Uninhibited, the director confronts the shadow of country fellow filmmaker Ingmar Bergman. The director hired three star veterans of the master’s filmography, Continue reading

FANTASIA 2016: A CONSPIRACY OF FAITH (DEN/GER/SWE/NOR- Hans Peter Molland)

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for Cinetalk.net

A note in a bottle is found  in Scotland which has traveled across the ocean for a long time. The note is hard to decipher, but when the Danish inspectors from Section Q get it, the investigation is brought to life…

Hans Peter Molland’s adaptation of this third installment in crime writer’s  Jussi Adler-Olsen  Department Q series  (following The Keeper of Lost Causes and The Absent One )  is the most appealing of the trilogy. Detectives Carl Morck and Assad (played by Nikolaj Lie Kaas and Fares Fares) are once again leading the investigation about Continue reading

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared (Oscar Nominee)

By Sandro Forte (for Cinetalk.net)

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With one Oscar nomination (in the Best make-up category, 2016), director Felix Herngren’s swedish comedy The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared seems to literally come out of Nowhere. Out in 2013 in its country of origin it slowly made its way to American screens in 2015… the nomination puts some light on a little Gem since there is more to it than just the make-up.

On his 100th birthday, a man leaps out the window of his nursing home and goes on an unexpected journey with a lot of people chasing after him when he stumbles on a suitcase loaded with drug money. Through his latest adventure, is tumultuous life-of- the-century is told through flashbacks. And this apolitical character with a strange passion to blow up things meets historical political figures (in a manner that echoes Forrest Gump but with darker twists) that shaped the 20th century with Wars. Where ever he goes, he gets mixed with foreign politics, because when there is politic there’s always occasions to blow up things…

Paced with rhythm, funny cartoon-like characters and a good dose of black humour, The The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but its cleverly done and entertaining with good production value.

(Note: You can access other Cinetalk articles about 2016 Oscars (Feb. 28) by Clicking among the tags (below this article) on Academy Awards 2016 or  Oscars 2016). More to come…