Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Photo of the week: Rovinj

I had a wonderful holiday in Rovinj (Croatia) some years ago. This photo was taken on one of many walks by the sea. It's probably all wrong when it comes to composition and such things, but I actually like it.

Rovinj view edited

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Movie: Ui-hyeong-je

The fragile relationship between South Korea and North Korea should be perfect for movies about agents trying to infiltrate the other country. This is such a movie. It tells the story of a young North Korean agent who is stranded in South Korea when his boss is arrested. He then comes across the policeman in charge of that arrest, both thinking that the other guy does not understand who the other one is. So they start to befriend each other, while keeping on their toes.

The plot is not very complex, and although the movie could be said to be about loyalty, international politics and love, it will be the small scenes that I remember, scenes in which a nascent respect is visible while the two guys are trying to do smalltalk.

Ui-hyeong-je (2010)

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

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Funny Quotes of the Week 119

"Wallowing in corruption like a rhinoceros in an African pool." (E. L. Godkin (1831-1902) on James G. Elaine, American politician)

"The enviably attractive nephew who sings an Irish ballad for the company and then winsomely disappears before the table clearing and dishwashing begin." (Lyndon B. Johnson on JFK)

"Thirty-five is a very attractive age. London society is full of women of the very highest birth who have, of their own free choice, remained thirty-five for years." (Oscar Wilde)

Movie: Made in Dagenham

There are many reasons to like this movie. For me, one of the main reasons is that it gives an opportunity to see Rupert Graves again. He is my favorite actor, based solely on his effort in my favorite movie, A room with a view. (And supported by his work in "Maurice".)

But "Made in Dagenham" also has its pleasures for people not that into Rupert. It is a good, oldfashioned "the working people against the powers" kind of movie. This time, it is the girls in the Ford factory - those who sew the car seats that are rather important when driving the car - who demands to be paid as semi-skilled workers. Things turn into a strike, and things are not easy...

In addition, the movie is often funny, the actors are good, its an important part of history being told, and so on.

There are also reasons not to like it. For instance, it feels as if I've seen it all before. I also don't particularly like the naivity of the strike leader - although it may be historically accurate. And I don't even want to talk about the end.

But if you are in a good mood, you can really enjoy this movie...

Made in Dagenham (2010)

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

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Movie: Buried Land

This is a documentary about some new (imagined) pyramids in a village in Bosnia. Or rather; it is a documentary about making a documentary about some new (imagined) pyramids in a village in Bosnia. I usually find that there are few things as pathetic as journalists writing news stories about journalists, but at times, filmmakers making films about filmmaking comes close.

The basic history - about the bosnians who walked up a hill and came down a pyramid - is a bit interesting. The background of the "filmmaker" - returning from exile now that Bosnia is once again peaceful - is also moderately interesting. However, those two bits together, added to a few personalities that are depicted, does not add up to a great movie. Not even close.

Buried Land (2009)

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

Photo of the week: Sculptures in the National Gallery

In the good old days, the National Gallery in Oslo exhibited a collection of copies of some of the most important sculptures of the world. Today, they feel too important to exhibit copies, it seems, and these copies are gathering dust in some storage room. Here are two Davids, Donatello's and Veroccio's, photographed before they went to the basement.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Movie: Abel

Abel is a little boy who does not speak much and who is generally unhappy. He lives with his mother and sister - his father has left long ago. But one day, he starts to behave as if he is the father of the household. Actually, he does it in a very good way. The rest of the family goes along with this, afraid to say something that will put him back in his former condition.

I don't know if there is much more to say about this movie - the somewhat strange premise that I have described gives lots of opportunities for funny situations, which the director takes advantage of. Moreover, the actors are quite convincing, at least until the movie draws to an end.

The fact that the movie made me think of Pedro Almodovar, certainly says something of its qualities.

Abel (2010)

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

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Funny Quotes of the Week 118

"I believe that Ronald Reagan can make this country what it once was - an Arctic region covered with ice." (Steve Martin)

"A modest little person, with much to be modest about." (Winston Churchill)

"In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily." (Charles, Count Talleyrand)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Movie: R U There

I have seen that someone has compared R U There to Lost in translation. I see that similarity, but sadly, I didn't really like Lost in translation much either. Of course, as both these films try to portray lives that are boring and pointless, the movies have a way of becoming boring and pointless too.

But I must admit that I was a bit tired when I saw it after seeing four movies already that day...

R U There (2010)

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

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Photo of the week: Mr. Gay Norway

The pride parade is always an important event. Here's a photo from the 2007 parade, with Oslo's political leader at the time, gay conservative politician Erling Lae, headed the parade together with the Mr. Gay Norway winner that year.

Mr Gay Norway 2007 and Erling Lae

Monday, March 07, 2011

Movie: The King's Speech

Nominated to 12 Oscars, this movie needs no presentation. I, however, had the pleasure of watching it without knowing too much about it before - and even with the added benefit of not knowing too much about the British royal family in the early 1900s.

The movie is simple, but very enjoyable. The actors are great and there is a lot of humor. And the English are very, very good at "costume dramas"...

The King's Speech (2010)

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

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Funny Quotes of the Week 117

"If he became convinced tomorrow that coming out for cannibalism would get him the votes he surely needs, he would begin fattening a missionary in the White House backyard come Wednesday." (H. L. Mencken talking about Franklin D. Roosevelt)

"He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts… for support rather than illumination." (Andrew Lang (1844-1912))

"There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written or badly written." (Oscar Wilde)

Friday, March 04, 2011

Movie: The Parking Lot Movie

I've mentioned that I saw eight movies at the film festival in Gøteborg, Sweden. Whenever people ask me what I saw, I return to The Parking Lot Movie. "The Parking Lot Movie?", people ask. Yes, I explain, it is a movie about a parking lot. And about the people who work at the parking lot.

Of course, documentaries could be made about anything at all. Even good documentaries could probably be made about anything. But for some reason, making a documentary about a parking lot is actually quite a good idea. It is not so far-fetched to say that the daily rhythm of the parking lot mirrors the rhythm of the society around it, and that the small conflicts in a parking lot also have a lot to do with the world at large.

Conflicts? you may say. Isn't this just a space to park your car? Well, yes. But the guys working there, who has hours of spare time to think about the world, draws quite far-reaching conclusions based on the fact that people in big, expensive cars spend time arguing whether they should pay 1 dollar or 75 cents for their parking. For instance.

If you will see only one movie about a parking lot this year, choose this... :-)

The Parking Lot Movie (2010)

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

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Photo of the week: Vigeland sculpture

If you like photographing sculptures, you need to go to the Vigeland park in Oslo. It is wonderful. Here is another of the photos I've taken in this park, with the Monolite in the background.

Vigeland sculptures

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Movie: Fjellet

"Fjellet" ("The Mountain") is a low-budget movie which has had a surprising success so far - for instance by being included in the Panorama programme of the Berlin Film Festival. I have known about the project for some time, as the director's mother in law (and one of the actresses' mother) is a close colleague of mine. So its fun to finally see the movie on the big screen.

The film features only two people: a lesbian couple who is on a trip in the mountains. They are not on just any trip, though, they are retracing the steps of a trip they did several years ago, trying to find back to the basis of their relationship in the process.

In my view, the actors are very good. Several people in the audience were crying during the screening. This may also be because the problems this couple has, in communicating about the most difficult subjects, are very recognizable.

I do admit, though, that I did not like the ending. Suddenly, the photos didn't seem real to me anymore, and I lost touch with the story - just as the reviewer in Variety seems to have experienced.

Anyway, this will be one of the best Norwegian films this year - not bad for a movie with a cast of 2 and a budget of nearly nothing...

Fjellet (2011)

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