Sapore Del Grano – The Flavor Of Corn (1986)

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10471449My guess is that this movie is going to evoke different feelings in different people. I felt disappointed- not of the movie – I like it a lot, but of the way the leading character (a first year teachers) choose to follow – I almost screamed “ how dare you “ – even trough I know that some people would say that he did the right thing.

The scenes were filmed very professionally – the river, the barn, the fields – you just have to see it for yourself. There is one thing that I find strange – the open minded people that live in the rural Italy in the 80s – this is almost unbelievable – for its time I am sure that this movie was considered very controversial – I won`t be surprised if it is considered controversial even today . Feeling such as friendship and love are portrayed very good and there is a lot of romance – even trough sometimes it gets between all that clusters of the routine live.

Trough I enjoyed the movie – it made me sad – it did not surprised me much , as I know that there is rarely a thing which one could consider perfect – even if thing is called love – and probably especially if that thing is love. I can only hope that someday people will realize that the important thing is the love itself…

 

Goodnight Mister Tom (1998)

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“The sores will heal. They healed before. It’s the wounds inside that will take the longest to….”

Good Night Mister Tom CoverSometimes I watch a movie and am really impressed by it – and still, it is not easy to explain why I liked it that much. This is mostly true for the uncommon movies – the ones one can hardly compare with the rest out there. Goodnight, Mister Tom is one of these special movies.

There is a lot of emotion in that movie – and the acting was so good that while watching the movie, I was crying and laughing as the story went on. The young Nick Robinson – is a young boy (William) evacuated from London because of the airstrikes there during the Second World War. Mr. Tom, played by John Thaw, is an older man living in the village the evacuated children were sent to.

At first, Tom refuses to take any responsibilities – such as taking care of a troubled young lad – but accepts since he is left without a choice. During the stay, Mr. Tom discovers how horrible life has been for William – alongside his luggage; his mom sent a belt and written instructions to the host of her son – not to hesitate to use it. This belt is berried in the field – never to be used in such a brutal manner.

Mr. Tom provides a real home for William, and the boy is happy with his new life. He goes to school, makes new friends and discovers hidden talents. Suddenly, a letter William is called home in London with a letter mentioning that she is not feeling well…and it starts all over again – only this time it gets much worse…

You can sense many feelings in this movie – love, fear, sadness, happiness, pain, hope – and much more. Goodnight, Mr. Tom is another masterpiece of the British cinema comparable only with Dear Frankie and Billy Elliot – if one is to compare. I have truly enjoyed watching it and highly recommend it. Before finishing this review, I would also like to mention the great performance of Thomas Orange in the role of Zac – reminded me of a friend of mine from my own childhood ( :

Second best (1994)

Second, best is a touching and moving masterpiece directed by Chris Menges. The plot reminded me of another great British movie – “Dear Frankie. “I guess it is that father–son relationship that makes movies like these two so special. The loyalty of the son, both in the characters of Jimmy, played by Nathan Yapp and Graham Holt (William Hurt), is touching, and I am not ashamed to admit that there were moments of this movie that truly brought tears to my eyes.

One other reviewer wrote:

“Chris Cleary Miles’ apparently initial screen performance as the troubled youth is nearly amazing.”

And I couldn’t agree more with that – the acting of Chris Cleary Miles, William Hurt and for that matter, all the other actors in this movie is first class – their gestures, the words they say, the way they say them – you have to watch it to experience the movie – because that is what you are going to get an unforgettable experience.

The flashbacks moments (the memories of the little Jimmy) were very carefully chosen, and I felt really weird watching them, knowing that there is something more hidden there. This feeling stayed with me until the final scenes in which these flashbacks became more revealing …

They’re also a lot of symbolism in Second Best –the scene in which the boy looks at the man who wants to adopt him through a broken window is just one example, and if you watch it more than once, you will surely notice many other symbols – the letter, the scars … etc.

You couldn’t watch the movie without noticing how much the music contributes to it – piano or guitars. It fits the scenes really well – making the emotional impact on the viewer’s powerful and overwhelming.

Thank You – The new album from Declan – Review

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declanI just got the new album of Declan ” Thank you ” and decided to write a short review of my first impressions of it. Starting from the covers – the artwork looks quite cool, and the pictures are chosen very carefully. But then again, the music is far more important than them. Let me say a few words about each song from the album :

“An angel” – video clip-originally performed by Kelly Family. Excellent performance of Declan – while listening to his angelic voice, you most likely will feel the song, especially if there is a person in your life who is like an angel to you. I enjoy singing along while listening to that song and am hoping to see a Karaoke version of it shortly. An Angel – lyrics

Love of my life “ – originally performed by Freddie Mercury. Very calm and romantic song. Since Queen is one of my favourite bands and Freddie Mercury is someone I admire with all my heart – I was wondering if Declan will be able to sing that song good enough as not to make me angry with someone attempting to sing Freddie`s songs like on these stupid remixes so popular these days. Declan did good! Love of life – Lyrics Video clip

Nights in White Satin– video clip- originally performed by The Moody Blues. In my favourite song of ” Thank you, ” Declan clearly demonstrated his voice’s capability to perform this song. I agree with an opinion I saw at SongFacts that the song’s ending is the coolest part of it. Nights in White Satin Lyrics

Tears in Heaven originally performed by Eric Clapton. The track is a very touching new arrangement of this wonderful song. The guitars and especially the back vocals sound amazing. Tears in Heaven Lyrics

BrightEyes composed by Mike Batt. Personally, I wouldn’t say I liked this song much – but you may think otherwise. In any case: Bright eyes – Lyrics

House Of The Rising Sun – originally performed by Bob Dylan I can write just one word for this song: classy! The lyrics are outstanding too. House Of The Rising Sun – Lyrics

Saved By The Bell

A nice ballad – originally performed by Bee Gees. Thanks to Blue, you can now find its lyrics in the comments below this post.

David’s Song (Who’ll Come With Me) – video clip

Yet another song originally performed by the Kelly Family. I am glad that Declan brings back such wonderful vibes -the spoken words in this song sound very nice, and overall this song is one of my favourite ones from the new album of Declan. The lyrics can be seen here.

All Out Of Love

Originally performed by Air Supplylyricsvery calm song, I did not know about Air Supply before hearing this song but now will find some more song of this group. Declan performs the song quite well as well.

How Could An Angel Break My Heart

Originally performed by Toni Braxton. Trough I like the music of Toni Braxton, I feel that song much more personal once I heard it performed by Declan. It may just be because of my taste for treble music ( and yes, I think that the Declan`s voice is still treble ). This song is just perfect for dancing with the girl you love. And the lyrics – see them here.

Related posts: Declan Galbraith is back Declan Galbraith

I am curious to know what do you think about the new album of Declan – if you happen to write your own review – send me the link, and I will put it here.

An update: I found one new blog post about Declan – read what Daniel from China has to say – here

I just noticed that as of today ( 20.12.2006), this post had been seen by more than 700 people – and that may mean only one thing -Declan really has many fans.

Declan has some really great fans in China – see this page.

A German review with video clips ( link)

Lyrics of Declan Galbraith`s songs

Vienna Boys Choir Goes Pop

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Vienna Boys Choir Goes PopRight now, my multimedia player is busy entertaining me with the ” Vienna Boys Choir Goes Pop album. ” Trough I am into tremble music, I guess my taste is still not refined enough, or on the opposite, it is just very personal as I prefer to listen to more pop and rock sound than classy choir music – which is probably one of the reasons for me to like this specific album of the Vienna Boys Choir more than the other their releases and performances I have heard until now. My opinion is that the choir music would have been much more popular if there were more modern sound projects – not like disco and techno ( actually why not ), but combined with some other style – as Libera did. It is hard to choose a favourite song – favourites will be easier: Supreme, All you need is love, Nothing else matters and Get down!


Update 16.11.2009 I had a chance to attend a concert of WSK

Click here for details

Trevor (1994)

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Trevor (1994)Trevor is the first short movie I watched – I mean the first one. That type of movie – which lasted for only about twenty minutes- was unfamiliar to me. The initial announcement was excellent at the movie’s beginning – actually as good as the movie itself. I think that many people do need such positive encouragement more often. Here is the place to mention that  Ellen DeGeneres introduces the film by saying that understanding what this film is about will help the viewer understand what it feels like not to be a part of everything. She explains that the film is for everyone who felt awkward or embarrassed at being excluded.

The movie itself was well made as well – especially its soundtrack – mainly Diana Ross – but there is so much more to the film than just that. The storyline follows a young 14-year-old boy called Trevor (Brett Barsky) who tries to make sense of his life and surroundings. He feels different than the rest of his life – not really fitting into the picture – living with his inattentive folks in suburbia. The story is told in Trevor’s first-person – as he narrates the words he writes in his personal journal. Trevor has a charming personality – he is artistic, smart – like his life and wonders why anyone would think he is strange. After all, what’s so strange about being himself?

The viewer can quickly associate with the young Trevor and get a glimpse of the world through his eyes due to how the story is told. Trevor is a film for each of us – a film for youthful confusion, for acceptance and individualism. If you have 20 minutes to spare – they will be best spent watching this excellent short film.

The short film Trevor, directed by Peggy Rajski, won several awards. Among them: an Oscar in 1994 for Best Short Film, Live Action, and received first place at the Berlin International Film Festival, San Francisco International Film Festival, and the Sundance Film Festival.

 

Trevor Trailer

 

If you liked the Trevor review —  or have seen the film and would like to see a similarly themed short film, but with a different twist —  theskykid.com highly recommends the short feature  James, starring Connor Clements. You can find a review of that film and a short interview with its director on theskykid.com by following the link below:

James-a coming of age film by Connor Clements

Pixote: A Lei do Mais Fraco (1981)

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pixoteI liked the movie. It started as a documentary as some guy was talking about the harsh conditions in Brazil. What impressed me was that, as the guy mentioned, all the kid actors, including the main character Pixote played by Fernando Ramos Da Silva, were coming from the real world – from the poorest neighborhoods, with one mission in life – to survive.

Drugs, murder – Pixote has seen them all, and after reading the actor’s biography, I am inclined to think that he has seen this thing much before the idea of creating that movie came up. You could sense that in his acting.

Not only the horrors of street life are shown, the cruelty of the police and people who are in theory, responsible for people for problems who have found themselves arrested for some stupid crime – do they deserve to die for it ?!? And why does no one cares – but instead, the police and the director of the brothel in which Pixote is taken are trying to cover everything up – to avoid any responsibility, blaming everything upon the people they are supposed to help. In the movie, when a boy asked his mother to take him out of the place where he was locked up – she said, ” what could happen to you here ” – only she didn’t know, and he did not want to tell her – to describe the dimensions of the hell surrounding him – invisible to the outside world but existing. And I have to tell you that this is just as things are in real life – but no one cares…

Mandragora (1997)

mandragoraThis movie seemed harsh to me. One of the reasons for that is that Marek’s main character looks like a person I used to know, someone I have lost actually. I won’t get into any details. There were quite a few moments in this movie which were astonishing how they portrayed reality out there. The reality exists, but many are not ready to accept it as fact. To me, Marek is an ordinary teenage boy who needs his own space. He is tired of hearing from people who think they know what is best for him. Unfortunately, he should have listened to his dad, a person who indeed loved him, though somehow the link between them was lost.

There is emptiness in the boy’s heart, caused by the absence of his mother. I did not get if she died or just left them, but somehow the fact she was not there was affecting Marek in a way that made me think that he was much closer to her than to his father.

I can not blame him for running away. I have considered this possibility several times. Even after seeing movies like this, it could be hard to survive couldn’t quell my thoughts that someday, I may do it. The difference between Marek and me is that he is braver than I am. He made a decision and acted on it. It is another matter of whether his decision was silly or not.

The first sex scene is alarming. I felt sorry for the boy. I was watching the screen thinking, “Now you have to go back.” But at the same time, I realized that for him, this was not an option. When he announced for the first time his new profession, the scene at the bar is where you see the way he deals with it. I could hardly forget how he spoke as he approached the American tourist, the way he looked at him. It seemed oddly professional. I don’t really know what term to use to describe it.

At the same time, we see the other types of characters. The pimps, boys, and clients are portrayed in greater detail. Somehow even their facial expressions talked about their personalities, or at least it did to me.

I passed by a very similar place to this bar where the pimp approached Marek for the first time. And you know, as I thought about it, the similarities between the movie and reality were unbelievable. The only difference the prostitutes were girls, but nothing more. When school is over, I have to pass that area again. 8 pm doesn’t seem like the right time to do it, but I have no choice. After seeing this movie, it freaks me out a bit.

But on to the movie, it is the masterpiece of Wiktor Grodecki. Of this, there is no doubt. I highly recommend that you watch it at least once. And maybe someday, you will be able to make a difference for a boy who may be living like the boys shown in this movie. You may be his only way out of this hell he is living through. Even though it is hard, the boys seemed destined to be doomed.

Pianese Nunzio, Fourteen in May (1996)

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sacred silence

Sacred Silence is shot uniquely as many characters talk directly to the viewer. It almost seems that as if nothing else is happening around them – and only you want to share their troughs with. This method adds a documentary atmosphere to the movie, which I believe will be appreciated by everyone who likes serious European cinema.

Sacred Silence is a movie about society and how it can be blinded by its own perceptions or by people who want others to see the world through their eyes and refuse to accept that there are other ways to think about an issue than their own… That is why the priest is fighting with Camorra (the mafia ) – it is just that sometimes in life, there is more to lose than to win.

Traditional Italian songs are used for Sacred Silence’s soundtrack; most of them are performed by the 13-year-old Nunzio. I appreciate this music as it is evident that he feels the music – look at his facial expression while singing.

The movie focuses on a whole range of moral issues. The relationship between the priest and Nunzio is only one of them – at first, I thought that I could understand the priest – his love for Nunzio, but at the same time, his past is flashing through the eyes of the other boy who comes to visit him – and this past seems to be disturbing. Another issue is to decide for yourself who is committing the biggest crime in this movie – it is the priest or the mafia, or maybe as often happens these days, the crime committed is the policy itself?

Dear Frankie

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dear-frankie-1I just watched the UK movie, Dear Frankie – gosh, a sure thing – this movie is full of emotions. I think that everyone who sees it – would feel them. The movie’s main character is Frankie – 9 and half years old boy who is deaf – but that isn’t that much important as he does have a great personality.

You should see him writing the A in Deaf when one of his classmates tries to bring him down. Frankie misses his father terribly and writes to him often – only his dad who writes back, but his mom – I don’t want to include any spoilers – so I would highly recommend this movie to you.

At first, I was heaving a bit of trouble picking up the English accent, but in a few minutes getting used to it – the movie did not have subtitles, which was fine by me as, generally, I’m not too fond of movies with subtitles anyway (except for anime movies – most of which are in Japanese as you know ). The moments which Frankie shared with his “dad “( you will see for yourself why I am using the quotes here ) reminded me of my dad – who is away now – and I am pretty much in the situation of Frankie – writing to him, only am using yahoo messenger – rather than mails. There were quite some moments in the movie I could relate to myself.

Dear Frankie

Scene from Dear Frankie (2004)

The music is well-chosen and adds to the overall atmosphere – I do not know why, but UK movies seem to be much better made than any else – on a psychological base, if you want to call it that way. Like Billy Elliot, Dear Frankie would make you feel.