Tag: France

MOVIE REVIEW | ***FOREIGN LANGUAGE WEEKEND*** Bird People (2014)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “As nauseatingly whimsical as the French tend to be.”

Bird 1.jpg
The main reason I started this blog was to make me watch more movies, and to vary the kinds of movies I watched. The first part of that has been well and truly accomplished with me watching hundreds of movies for the first time, instead of falling back on old favourites over and over again.   But l’m not sure if I’ve varied my selections enough. I still watch mainly American movies, with directors, writers and actors that make them a pretty safe bet. So this year, I’m forcing myself to seek out more international movies. With Foreign Language Weekends, every weekend(ish) during 2016, I’ll review two(ish) non-English language movies.

“Everything OK, sir???

Dissatisfied rich people, sad sacking it around while they’re depressed about their many possessions and loved ones not bringing them any fulfilment is a movie trope that never needs to be used again.  I guess because anyone with any real success in the movie business is going to have a certain amount of material wealth, it’s just writers and directors making movies with entitled rich people problems they can relate to, even if it’s foreign to the average viewer.

The only way to make a trope like this even more unbearable, would be to add a precious French twist on top.  Had I known that either of these personal pet peeves were a possibility with Bird People, I would have steered way clear.  But like so many of these foreign movie experiments this year, I went in blind.  And, for what I think might be the first time, that blindness led me into a big ol’ pile of pretentious, naval gazing shit. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***FOREIGN LANGUAGE WEEKEND*** White Material (2009)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “It’s a dark, cold movie, that has an impact that I appreciated, while being in no hurry to experience anything else like it again any time soon.”

White 1.jpg
The main reason I started this blog was to make me watch more movies, and to vary the kinds of movies I watched. The first part of that has been well and truly accomplished with me watching hundreds of movies for the first time, instead of falling back on old favourites over and over again.   But l’m not sure if I’ve varied my selections enough. I still watch mainly American movies, with directors, writers and actors that make them a pretty safe bet. So this year, I’m forcing myself to seek out more international movies. With Foreign Language Weekends, every weekend(ish) during 2016, I’ll review two(ish) non-English language movies.

“Whiteness brings unhappiness.”

Making a good movie with likeable characters that the audience cares for is hard enough.  Making a good movie when none of your main characters have any real redeeming qualities is almost impossible.  Or maybe I should replace the word “good” with “satisfying”.  It’s a lot easier to make your audience care about the story you’re telling if you give them a protagonist they can get behind.  But building a movie around someone who it’s hard to cheer for, but still making it seem like their story matters, can lead to an un expected and rarely experienced pay off.  Which is what I got with White Material.

In a non specific African nation, French plantation owner Maria (Isabelle Huppert) has a coffee crop ready to harvest.  But with rebel soldiers decimating their way across the region, the local army is encouraging everyone to evacuate.  Determined not to let the lucrative crop go to waste, Maria decides to stay, and heads into the local village recruiting men to help with the harvest. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***FOREIGN LANGUAGE WEEKEND*** Band of Outsiders (1964)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “Highlights the natural world of these people, while making it so cinematically stylish all at once.”

Band 1
The main reason I started this blog was to make me watch more movies, and to vary the kinds of movies I watched. The first part of that has been well and truly accomplished with me watching hundreds of movies for the first time, instead of falling back on old favourites over and over again.   But l’m not sure if I’ve varied my selections enough. I still watch mainly American movies, with directors, writers and actors that make them a pretty safe bet. So this year, I’m forcing myself to seek out more international movies. With Foreign Language Weekends, every weekend(ish) during 2016, I’ll review two(ish) non-English language movies.

“Now is the time for a digression in which to describe our heroes’ feelings.”

He’s one of the founding fathers of the French New Wave, one of the most important and influential watersheds in movie making history.  So it’s kind of disgraceful that this is the first Jean-Luc Godard movie I’ve written about here on Bored and Dangerous.  The fact that I have dedicated weekends to foreign language movies in 2106, have already written about 50 odd of them, and  this is the first Jean-Luc Godard movie, is just embarrassing.  But better late than never, Godard is finally making an appearance here as writer and director, with Band of Outsiders.

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MOVIE REVIEW | ***FOREIGN LANGUAGER WEEKEND*** Betty Blue (1986)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “It’s not the kind of movie that relies on shocking the audience, but a little shock would definitely add to the experience.”

 The main reason I started this blog was to make me watch more movies, and to vary the kinds of movies I watched.  The first part of that has been well and truly accomplished with me watching hundreds of movies for the first time, instead of falling back on old favourites over and over again.   But l’m not sure if I’ve varied my selections enough.  I still watch mainly American movies, with directors, writers and actors that make them a pretty safe bet. So this year, I’m forcing myself to seek out more international movies.  With Foreign Language Weekends, every weekend(ish) during 2016, I’ll review two(ish) non-English language movies.

 Betty 1
“I’m warming my ass.

Oscar and BAFTA nominations for Best Foreign Language film…  There are worse ways to choose a movie to watch when you don’t know anything else about it.  It also helps when you randomly stumble across it streaming and are trying to watch more Foreign Language movies.  I might not have the most high tech system for choosing movies here at Bored and Dangerous, but dammit, it works.  Because it leads to movies like Betty Blue.

Zorg (Jean-Hugues Anglade) is a handy man for a small beach resort.  He gets a place to live and a few dollars for maintaining its dozens of run down shacks.  A week before the story begins, he met Betty (Beatrice Dalle) and a steamy affair ensued.  After a fight with her boss leads to Betty losing her job, Zorg takes her in.  But his boss does not approve, and soon he is using Betty’s residence as a way to exploit Zorg, making him do more and more work for no extra pay. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***FOREIGN LANGUAGE WEEKEND*** Rififi (1955)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “Gritty crime action as not what I was expecting.  But gritty crime action is what I got.

 The main reason I started this blog was to make me watch more movies, and to vary the kinds of movies I watched.  The first part of that has been well and truly accomplished with me watching hundreds of movies for the first time, instead of falling back on old favourites over and over again.   But l’m not sure if I’ve varied my selections enough.  I still watch mainly American movies, with directors, writers and actors that make them a pretty safe bet. So this year, I’m forcing myself to seek out more international movies.  With Foreign Language Weekends, every weekend(ish) during 2016, I’ll review two(ish) non-English language movies.

Rififi 1
There’s not a safe that can resist Cesar and not a woman that Cesar can resist.

The French may have invented a new kind of raw reality with the New Wave of the late 50s and early 60s, but I still don’t think of France when I want to see something gritty.  As real as those movies were, they were more about finding tragedy, or beauty, or whatever it was they were looking for, in mundanity, the everyday Paris they lived in.  Not the fabled City of Lights romanticised beyond anything people like Jean-Luc Goddard or Francois Truffaut recognised as their reality.  So, when I decided to watch a movie that was not only French, but one that also pre dated the French New Wave by a few years, gritty crime action as not what I was expecting.  But gritty crime action is what I got with Rififi.

In a smokey backroom, Tony (Jean Servais) has lost every cent he has in a card game.  Determined to play on, no one will take his bet unless he has cold, hard cash to back it up.  With one phone call, his friend Jo (Carl Mohner) arrives with more money.  We learn that Jo is so quick to help, because years ago, Tony took the fall for both of them on a robbery they committed.  While serving his time in prison, Tony’s girlfriend (Marie Sabouret as Mado) took up with local gangster, Grutter (Marcel Lupovici).  As well as the cash, Jo delivers two pieces of news.  One, that Mado is back in town.  And two, that he has a jewellery smash and grab job coming up that he wants to cut Tony in on. (more…)

MUSIC REVIEW | Oromocto Diamond & Zoobombs – Oromo Kumakus (2014)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “It did an amazing job of making me feel like I was back in ‘99ish, or whenever it was, covered in sweat and spilled beer, and loving every second of it.”

Zoo 1
I’d say a solid 99% of the music I listen to comes out of Australia, America and the UK.  Maybe throw some Canadian stuff in there as well, but that’s about it.  Millencolin might be the only band not from one of those countries that I listen to a lot, and have for many years.  But there’s another one that I know I need to listen to more.  Sometime around the turn of the century, I saw The Zoobombs live.  It was that long ago and I was pretty drunk, but it might be one of the most vivid live music memories I have all these years later.  The chaotic energy of these Japanese punkers, and the way it infected the crowd, was like noting I’d seen before, or have seen since.  Which was why I was stoked to discover a kind of recent live Zoobombs album on Spotify with Oromo Kamakus.

But this isn’t just the Zoombombs. This is a combo live album between The Zoobombs and Oromocto Diamond.  I’d never heard of Oromocto Diamond, but if they’d toured with The Zoobombs, I was pretty sure they’d be worth taking a chance on.  And from the loose and messy chant of No Pressure, No Diamonds, to the rat-a-tat-tat instrumental of machine gun drums and percussive guitar of Osoyoos, that gamble pays off.  Channelling Jack White’s warble and love of dirty guitar grooves, Maps get the crowds involved with some crucial “yeah, yeah, yeahs” as the rhythm section keeps a beat more regular than a Nazi train. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***FOREGIEN LANGUAGE WEEKEND*** La Grand Illusion (1937)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “So much more than the good guys verses bad guys that so many war movies reduce things to.”

The main reason I started this blog was to make me watch more movies, and to vary the kinds of movies I watched. The first part of that has been well and truly accomplished with me watching hundreds of movies for the first time, instead of falling back on old favourites over and over again.   But l’m not sure if I’ve varied my selections enough. I still watch mainly American movies, with directors, writers and actors that make them a pretty safe bet. So this year, I’m forcing myself to seek out more international movies. With Foreign Language Weekends, every weekend(ish) during 2016, I’ll review two(ish) non-English language movies.

Grand 1
“For me it’s simple. A golf course is for golf. A tennis court is for tennis. A prison camp is for escaping.”

When it comes to movies about real life, historical wars, World War II would have to easily be the most represented.  Close behind would be the Vietnam War.  I get it, Adolf Hitler is such a perfect villain, it’s almost unbelievable to think that he really existed.  And the Vietnam War was so polarising and politically charged at the time, the effects on that level are still being felt by a lot of film makers working today.  But what about World War I, the Great War, the war that gave its combatants the moniker of “the Greatest Generation”?  Why aren’t there more movies about that?  Well, I figure one way to find war pictures that aren’t about WWII or Vietnam is to watch war pictures made before those conflicts even happened.  War pictures like La Grande Illusion.


French pilots Captain de Boeldieu (Pierre Fresnay) and Lieutenant Maréchal (Jean Gabin) are shot down by German ace, Rittmeister von Rauffenstein (Erich von Stroheim).  Taken prisoner, they meet a group of other French POWs who are working on an escape tunnel   Meanwhile, they might be enemies, but the aristocratic, upper class upbringings of Boeldieu and von Rauffenstein mean they have general life experiences and specific acquaintances in common from life before the war. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***FOREIGN LANGUAGE WEEKEND*** High Tension (2003)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “The immediate, visceral thrill of High Tension did grab my attention and hold it in a way that few movies do.”

The main reason I started this blog was to make me watch more movies, and to vary the kinds of movies I watched. The first part of that has been well and truly accomplished with me watching hundreds of movies for the first time, instead of falling back on old favourites over and over again.   But l’m not sure if I’ve varied my selections enough. I still watch mainly American movies, with directors, writers and actors that make them a pretty safe bet. So this year, I’m forcing myself to seek out more international movies. With Foreign Language Weekends, every weekend(ish) during 2016, I’ll review two(ish) non-English language movies.
 Tension 1
“You drive a woman crazy. You little slut.”

In general, I’m not fan of horror and slasher movies.  I don’t get a thrill from thrillers, I just feel anxious in the worst way.  Despite that, it have dedicated annual weeks to the genre around Halloween.  Even when I find movies I really enjoy, I still don’t find myself seeking out more.  But today, ladies and gentlemen. I was tricked into watching one.  I have a lot of movies that I don’t remember why I bought them, but for some reason I did.  Recommendations from critics I like, or overall rave reviews, plus $5 price tags, make me buy a lot of random shit.  One of those random purchases I finally watched today, tricking me into indulging in a bit of the ol’ horror, slasher deal, with High Tension.


Alexia (Maiwenn) and Marie (Cecile De France) are two young women, heading to the country house of Alexia’s family for a break from the big city.  Waking from a slasher nightmare mid journey, Marie arrives at the idealic country location ready for some fresh air and relaxation.  Even though it’s the middle of the night, Alexia’s father and young brother have waited up for them, setting the perfect country life scene. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***FOREIGN LANGUAGE WEEKEND*** Diabolique (1955)

The main reason I started this blog was to make me watch more movies, and to vary the kinds of movies I watched. The first part of that has been well and truly accomplished with me watching hundreds of movies for the first time, instead of falling back on old favourites over and over again.   But l’m not sure if I’ve varied my selections enough. I still watch mainly American movies, with directors, writers and actors that make them a pretty safe bet. So this year, I’m forcing myself to seek out more international movies. With Foreign Language Weekends, every weekend(ish) during 2016, I’ll review two(ish) non-English language movies.

Diabolique 1 
“Watch out, ma’am. That’s the deep part where you are.”

Here’s a movie that is the perfect example of why I decided to do Foreign Movie Weekends this year. It’s one I’ve owned in DVD for a long, long time, yet never got around to watching. It’s one that I knew pretty much nothing about before pressing play, but just knew it was important and that I needed to see it eventually. It’s also one that totally paid off because of that. I guess I’m saying that if you haven’t seen Diabolique before, you should probably stop reading this review now. Because the less you know about it in any way, the better the payoff is.


Christina (Vera Clouzot) owns a boys’ boarding school. But being the owner doesn’t give her any power or control. Instead, her husband (Paul Meurisse as Michel), who is also the school’s headmaster, tyrannically runs the school and his marriage. He’s even openly conducting an affair with another teacher, Nicole (Simone Signoret), which he makes no attempts to hide from his wife and the rest of the faculty. But Christina and Nicole don’t hate each other, in fact, the kind of bond over their shared abuse at the hands of Michel. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***FOREIGN LANGUAGE WEEKEND*** French Cancan (1954)

The main reason I started this blog was to make me watch more movies, and to vary the kinds of movies I watched. The first part of that has been well and truly accomplished with me watching hundreds of movies for the first time, instead of falling back on old favourites over and over again.   But l’m not sure if I’ve varied my selections enough. I still watch mainly American movies, with directors, writers and actors that make them a pretty safe bet. So this year, I’m forcing myself to seek out more international movies. With Foreign Language Weekends, every weekend(ish) during 2016, I’ll review two(ish) non-English language movies.

 Cancan1
“I was down in the dumps. But seeing her skip along the street was a revelation.”

When I was in Paris a decade ago, seeing the Moulin Rouge from the outside was more than enough. Its mystique has long since passed and its tourist attraction nature has made it more like a theme park version of Paris than the real thing. There really was no need to go in. I’ve never bothered to watch Baz Luhrmann’s movie of the same name for similar reasons. Everything he makes is a cheap, theme park version of the real thing. But for some reason, the artifice that turned me off those is the exact thing that I assumed would be charming when filtered through a French movie from the 50s. It’s hypocritical I know, but everything that makes me think the new millennium version of the Moulin Rouge is a dodgy knock off, is exactly what made me want to watch 1954’s French Cancan.


Henri Danglard (Jean Gabin) is an ideas man. He has a knack for putting on shows that the early 20th century Parisian taste makers and trend setters love. But there isn’t much money in it. And while he rubs shoulders with the Bourgeoisie, his hit shows make money for his backers, not Henri. When his large living catches up with him and there are bills to pay, Henri dreams up another future hit. (more…)

***2013 RECAP*** MUSIC REVIEW | Franz Ferdinand – Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action

Franz

It’s been almost a decade and three albums since France Ferdinand announced their arrival with hit single Take Me Out and their self-titled debut long player.  They emerged confident in their sound then and haven’t messed with it too much since.  The new Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action sees the next small, but not disposable, step in their evolution.

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