Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Movie: Flesh

Flesh is, not surprisingly, exceedingly boring. It tells the story of Joe, a hustler who has a wife and a kid and tries to make enough money for their needs. We follow him as he makes his money.

I do notice, quite to my surprise, that I liked Trash a lot more, and I must note the possibility that it might come down to my mood at the time of watching. When watching "Flesh", I was tired after a day's work, and was maybe not as interested in Joe's chatter with his wife and others.

Of course, the good thing about the movie is to see legendary Joe Dallesandro...


Flesh (1968)

(See a register of all movies I've seen at

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Movie: Mr. Right

The British are good at making romantic comedies. This is an absolutely viewable romantic comedy about a bunch of people who are trying to figure out how they want to live their (love) lives. The characters are sympathetic and I laughed a bit once in a while - but I will only remember it as one of many similar movies.

Mr. Right (2006) (see also imbd).

(See a register of all movies I've seen at

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Movie: XXY

The theme of this movie is, as signalled by the title, "intersex" people, or rather the one 15 year old intersex person Alex. (S)he is living in a small community and is confronting all the prejudices against anything that is different. (S)he gets to know Alvaro, but his emotions are complicated by double surprise - both by finding out who Alex is and by finding out that someone maybe fancies him...

I find the theme incredibly important and the movie very moving at times. At other times, I find it unnecessarily indirect, for instance it takes quite a while in the beginning of the movie to figure out the relations between the different characters. And even Alex's gender identities are only gradually revealed, even though they are clearly described in the title of the movie.

Many people have told me that I ought to see this movie, and I'm glad that I did.

XXY (2007)

(See a register of all movies I've seen at

Funny Quotes of the Week 43

"Armor (noun): The kind of clothing worn by a man whose tailor is a blacksmith." (Ambrose Bierce (Devil's Dictionary))

"I’m out of my mind, but feel free to leave a message."

"My idea of an agreeable person is a person who agrees with me." (Benjamin Disraeli)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Movie: Viridiana

This is another one of the movies that has, for some reason, been touted as one of the best movies of all time. It got the Golden Palm in Cannes and is on the list "1001 movies you should see before you die" and so on.

Of course Luis Buñuel is a legendary director, but this movie is not all that interesting. Viridiana is to become a nun, but makes her first and last visit to an uncle, her only living relative, before making the wow. This visit will change her life.

I see from commentaries around the internet that the value of the movie is mostly in the way it offended (for instance, Derek Malcolm writes that "Viridiana is my choice, since it caused the maximum annoyance to people one is quite glad to see offended." The movie's ability to offend is probably a bit less today, which may explain why it's power has also decayed.

Viridiana (1961)

(See a register of all movies I've seen at

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Movie: Paris, je t'aime

This movie collects eighteen stories, all taking place in Paris, directed by world-class directors, including the Coen brothers, Gus van Sant and Wes Craven.

After maybe three or four stories, I started thinking that I'm not really too happy about big parties where I don't know anyone, and in which I'm supposed to spend four or five minutes with each person. I was unhappy that the stories were so brief and that I would never learn more about each character. But a bit later, I realized that the "character" portrayed in this movie is the city. Moreover, even though every story concerns love in one way or another, the main theme is also a love of Paris.

The stories are very different from each other. I particularly like the gentle story Quais de Seine (Gurinder Chadha), the story of the speech in the art store (Gus Van Sant) and the tragic love story in Place des fêtes (Oliver Schmitz).

Paris, je t'aime (2006)

(See a register of all movies I've seen at

Monday, September 21, 2009

Movie: Wall-E

Wall-E is a robot alone on planet Earth, centuries after everybody else left. Nothing much happens. Sadly, making movies about nothing much happening is dangerous business - it may easily become boring. It does.

After a bit more than 35 minutes, some action is getting going, but by that time whatever goodwill the movie had at the beginning, is lost.

What could have been fun is the movie connections, but as I happen not to have seen most of the movies referenced, I missed most of them.

Wall-E (2008)

(See a register of all movies I've seen at

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Funny Quotes of the Week 42

"Admiration (noun): Our polite recognition of another's resemblance to ourselves." (Ambrose Bierce (Devil's Dictionary))

"I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when you looked at it in the right way, did not become still more complicated." (Poul Anderson)

"My one regret in life is that I am not someone else." (Woody Allen)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Inspirational: A story about a big squirrel and a baby squirrel

Movie: Il Gattopardo

Surprisingly uneventful three hours. Good costumes and sets, but that have never been enough for me to like a movie.

It is surprising to see all the praise that has been given this movie. For instance, it received the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Its score at the IMDB is 8/10. It’s in Cahiers du cinema’s list of the 100 best movies, Empire Magazine’s 500 best movies and in the list of 1001 movies you should see before you die. Why?

Apparently, it is a “gorgeous evocation of an era”. The word “beautiful” is used a lot. And then, most importantly, it is said to catch “society in transition”. Well, maybe. But to me, the slowness of the movie kept me impatient.

Il Gattopardo (1963)

(See a register of all movies I've seen at

Monday, September 14, 2009

Movie: Upperdog

Upperdog handles very serious issues, such as the aftermath of an incident as a soldier in Afghanistan, quests for identity and the question of forgetting or remembering the past. But the issues are handled in such a deliciously playful manner that the seriousness never make the movie too heavy.

The movie is both written and directed by Sara Johnsen, and is just her second full-length movie, “Vinterkyss” (“Kissed by winter”) being the first. This amazes me. The directing is so secure that I feel that I’m watching the tenth movie of an internationally acclaimed director. Many times during the movie, I also were struck by the photography, getting the impression that it was “just right”.

The main actors, Hermann Sabado as Axel, Mads Sjøgård Pettersen as Per, Agnieszka Grochowska as Maria and Bang Chau as Yanne, are doing an impressive job, even though three of them are fairly unknown before this movie. (Agnieszka is well-known in Poland.)

My advice is simple: see this movie. And watch out for new films by Sara Johnsen in the years to come.

Upperdog (2009)

(See a register of all movies I've seen at

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Funny Quotes of the Week 41

"I’ll try being nicer if you’ll try being smarter."

"The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair." (Douglas Adams)

"I am not young enough to know everything." (Oscar Wilde)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Movie: To Kill a Mockingbird

An uneasy mix of childhood reminiscence and courtroom drama, this. To me, it doesn’t work entirely well. Gregory Peck did a good supporting role, earning him an Oscar for best leading role. (Actually, it’s the children who have the lead roles, but adults always get the awards…)

There have been so many great movies and TV series about the bad, old days of slavery and racism in the US, but this one tries to show it from the point of view of the children. Which is interesting, but perhaps also gets a bit simplistic.

To kill a Mockingbird (1962)

(See a register of all movies I've seen at

Thursday, September 10, 2009

New Sondre Lerche video

I'm not blogging much in this blog currently - partly because there is a Norwegian election coming up (on Sunday and Monday), which has kept me busy updating my blog in Norwegian. But here's the latest video from Sondre Lerche: Heartbeat Radio.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Movie: Whatever Works

If I’m forced to name one favourite filmmaker, it would have to be Woody Allen. I’ve seen most of his rich production, and the movies I haven’t loved, I’ve liked. He is one of the most talented comedy writers the world has ever seen, and he mixes that with serious issues in a way that noone can match.

Whatever works is his funniest movie in years. The main character has a way of putting down everyone around him, the world and life in general in such brutal language that laughter is the only refuge. The meta-humour is also working well.

The love stories are crazy, but still strangely believable. And I whole-heartedly supports the basic idea of the movie, which is an answer to the question of what kind of love you should go for: “Whatever works”.

I believe this is one of Woody Allen’s best films ever.

Whatever Works (2009)

(See a register of all movies I've seen at

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Funny Quotes of the Week 40

"I take the view, and always have, that if you cannot say what you are going to say in twenty minutes you ought to go away and write a book about it." (Lord Brabazon)

"My education was dismal. I went to a series of schools for mentally disturbed teachers." (Woody Allen)

"Abstainer (noun): A weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure." (Ambrose Bierce (Devil's Dictionary))

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Movie: From here to eternity

A classic movie with great actors and an epic story – taking place in a military base on Hawaii in the weeks before the Pearl Harbour attack. It is the old story of incompetent military officers, and it is a story about love.

It got 8 Oscars back in 1953, including best movie and best director. Today, however, it seems a bit dated. I also feel that I’ve seen similar movies before – which is probably unfair, as most of those movies might easily be inspired by this one. But that’s the way things is.

Frank Sinatra does a good supporting role.

From Here to Eternity (1953)

(See a register of all movies I've seen at

Friday, September 04, 2009

Hollywood's hottest hunks

I'm reading in Aftenbladet, that has had a poll to find Hollywood's hottest torsos. I can't say I agree about much of it, but still - here's the list:

1. Daniel Craig, «Casino Royale»

2. Gerard Butler, «300»

3. Brad Pitt, «Troy»

4. Sacha Baron Cohen, «Borat»

5. Sean Connery, «Thunderball»

6. Leonardo DiCaprio, «The Beach»

7. Hank Azaris, «Along Came Polly»

8. Elvis Presley, «Blue Hawaii»

9. Russel Brand, «Forgetting Sarah Marshall»

10. Jan-Michael Vincent, «Big Wednesday»

Sondre Lerche in The New Yorker

Have a look at the interview with Sondre Lerche in The New Yorker:

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Movie: North by northwest

This is another one of the classic movies that I've never got round to see before. Considered one of Hitchcock's best, it has a very good Cary Grant in the lead role as an advertisement executive who is suddenly being hunted for murder. And for being a spy. And for drunken driving. And for stealing a car. And for...

The whole thing is very engaging and with great action sequences, as well as a little romance. And a strangely silly ending - but you'll have to watch that for yourselves...

North by Northwest (1959)

(See a register of all movies I've seen at