Author Archives: MaLadeVr

I Kill Giants

In first perspective, this film seems odd at the very least. A young girl, struggling with finding her identity and, as it seems, on the verge of puberty, tries to deal with that aswell. She is depicted as an outcast in school.
During the film it reminds you somewhat of the antipole of Bridge to Terabithia. After all, that film is with a very light, cozy tone, with a girl that seems to find friends wherever she goes.

The drama is also sort of likewise, in the sense that it’s death. In I Kill Giants it becomes clear that Barbara (interestingly played by Madison Wolfe) is most certainly fighting something, as a result of not wanting to deal with her home situation. Because it keeps being mystified what’s going on exactly, the film appears quite slow for at least the first half hour to 45 minutes. Barbara gives big mouths, doesn’t even wánt to connect to anyone, doesn’t want to cooperate and so on.

In the end you get it’s a sort of OCD, something we all pick up at some time, even for buying such a thing as lotterly tickets, to have a ritual. To make sure everything will be alright.

You have to be in the mood for a bit of drama and you’re gonna have to deal being inside the mind of a young girl and her peers, but it is, in the end, a proper good watch.


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Posted by on August 14, 2018 in Films, Opinion, Uncategorized


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Het verhaal van het verloren kind, Elena Ferrante #FerranteFever /The story of the lost child

Dit laatste deel uit de reeks van de Napolitaanse romans beviel me eigenlijk het best. Natuurlijk, je hebt op z’n minst het eerste deel nodig om te begrijpen waar het over gaat, en het tweede en derde deel voor een groot deel ook, maar in dit laatste werk gebéurd eigenlijk het meest.

Hoewel ik nog steeds niet helemaal snap waar de #FerranteFever om te doen is -ik vind het vele politieke geneuzel en het ein-de-loze geratel van Lila over waar zij zich precies mee bezighoudt, niet boeiend genoeg om daar hele pagina’s over te kunnen lezen. Het zijn, net als de beslommeringen over hoe Elena meent het op zichzelf te kunnen betrekken- of juist niet- afleidingen van interessantere stukken verhaal. Hoe de dames onderling zich met elkaar gedragen, wat de liefde met hen doet -het verscheurd de ene vriendschap, lijmt de andere- en hoe Elena meent te weten wat het met haar vriendin Lila doet.
Sommige zaken vielen op hun plaats, andere niet. Uiteindelijk is het toch ook maar een verhaal.
Ik begreep dat men al 25 jaar niet weet wie de schrijfster is, dat er mensen zijn die zich niet kunnen voorstellen dat het door een man geschreven is. Dat vind ik beledigend. Alsof een man niet in staat zou zijn zo over vrouwen te schrijven? We kennen hier in Nederland Martin Bril, die toch ook de reeks Evelien heeft geschreven. Ik vind het helemaal niet zo ondenkbaar. Vooral ook juist omdat het over politiek gaat, en geleuter of schoenen, leer en computers met ponsplaatjes en rekenmachines. Het is tamelijk oppervlakkig. Er wordt gesproken over ‘ze vertelde me over die en die’, maar het gesprek zelf wordt niet weergegeven. En alles is, a la Tolstoj, als een soort brok op geschreven. Als er al conversatie is, is die niet noodzakelijkerwijs onder elkaar neergezet. Dus het argument dat het geen man kan zijn geweest die het schreef, houdt voor mij geen stand.

Maar dat ben ik.

Zeker het lezen waard. Dit laatste deel heeft een stuk meer actie dan ik in voorgaande delen ben tegengekomen. De vriendschap tussen Elena en Lila is me tot het einde een raadsel gebleven. Ik heb geen idee wat ze met elkaar deden. En dat hoeft ook niet. Dat is waar zowel een vriendschap als een relatie óók om draaien. De chemie tussen schepsels, die je niet kunt zien, en die zij zelf wél voelen.

This last part of the Neapolitan novels by Elena Ferrante is by far the best one for me. Of course, you need the first part as an introduction and the second and the third part are good for background, but in this last part, most things actually occur. 

Even though I still do not fully understand the full strength of the #FerranteFever -I don’t care much about the many politically filled backgrounds, the thoughts that some have. It’s reflecting without reflecting. It’s not actually profound, it’s picking a ground and going with it, as none of these friends actually choose a lifestyle to go with that political stream they say they like. And the many rants of Lila who tells endlessly about leather, shoes, the many designs she plans, and later about computers, punch cards and so on: I couldn’t read any of that for pages. It goes on and on?! Just like the parts where Elena reflects all of it on herself, it quite slows down the story for me. How the ladies interact, how their actions have consequences for friendships and other relationships. One breach glues another together and so on. Elena keeps telling how she thinks things affect her friend Lila. 

Some things fell into place, others didn’t. It’s still just a story, after all. 

I’ve understood it’s not been completely clear who Elena Ferrante is, for 25 years. That people have also suggested it is written by a man, that others claim this is impossible. I think this to be an insult. Since when are men not able to write about women? They have done so for ages. I don’t think it unthinkable, because much of the written items are quite shallow, in my opinion. Especially because it’s talks about politics, shoes and endless rants about computers. It’s being written ‘she told me this and that’, but the conversation isn’t always fully written out. And like Tolstoy: it’s many ‘bricks’ of text, nearly no paragraphs, and not all of the conversations are neatly put down. So the argument that it can’t have been a man, for me it is simply not convincing. 

But that’s me. 

This book is worth reading. This book depicts a lot more action than the former parts. The friendship between Elena and Lila doesn’t make much sense to me, until the very end. I have no idea what ties the two together. It doesn’t matter. This is between the people in a friendship. There’s chemic to consider aswell, and this isn’t to be explained by words, usually. It’s just there, you have to accept it, and that’s all there is to it. 

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Posted by on August 8, 2018 in Books, Opinion, Uncategorized


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Case 39

With Renee Zellweger, Bradley Cooper, Ian McShane, Jodelle Ferland and many others.

A film that reminds strongly of The Omen, and an episode of Black Mirror. They just left out the religious part.
It is a good effort to see Renee Zellweger break free from her famous Bridget Jones character. Indeed, I see someone who is well able to act well, but is deprived of true deeper intentions due to a script that won’t allow her to do that.
I’m not sure why they cast Bradley Cooper, but it could have been anybody. He is not bad, he is OK, but I haven’t seen him in anything profoundly serious, so his presence does predict to me that this film won’t go all that deep.
Which is true. The child actors in this film, I feel, could have been so much better if the story had been as such. The scene where Lily is saved is heavy and heartbreaking, it has to be said.

The following of the film, however, gives the film more and more twists that don’t develop well and in the end you’re like ‘what?’

In itself it’s not a bad watch though, even if only to see Renee Zellweger acting in a thrilling genre instead of comedy.


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Posted by on August 6, 2018 in Films, Opinion, Uncategorized


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Good Girls

For someone who lives in The Netherlands, where health care is actually part of a healthy part of ‘caring for each other’ through taxes and paid jobs, part of this storyline is quite ridiculous. A child in need of certain drugs would normally qualify for such a treatment. Aside that, that motivation is the one that grabs me the most at my nonexistent balls. The woman catching her husband cheating and then that he spend most of their money on her is quite devastating, but no reason to rob anyone. The young mother in a custody battle: again, I can sympathise with that.

Anyhow: that’s how all this starts. Given that there’s a health care thing involved, I was reminded of Breaking Bad immediately. After all, that series also bases its existence upon the nonexistence (in the USA) of a healthcare system where just everybody can rely on.

I was also reminded of the latest Ghostbusters, because of the all female cast. But these are better cast. They are all equally important, part of the deal. They come from different backgrounds, yes (one divorced or at least broke up, two married) but they all have their own types of trouble. And their own ways of dealing with those. And it just baffled me.

The gangmembers I was less impressed by. No gangmember would ever respond in any of those ways.

Other than that, the first few episodes sure look promising.

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Posted by on July 22, 2018 in Opinion, series, Uncategorized


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Every Thing Will Be Fine

With James Franco, Rachel McAdams, Charlotte Gainsboury.

This film basically depicts how people deal with loss, and actually everybody, or nearly everybody involved.
A torn writer (double, I know) is on his way home by car, when he accidentally drives over a kid. He doesn’t notice this at first, as there is another one, still alive.

When he gets back to his girlfriend, he initially doesn’t want to talk about it. Later on, it appears that his girlfriend found out by local gossip, as the place they live in, is not that big. Of course she doesn’t like this, she tells him he should have told her everything. This moment, he breaks up with her.

The moments are really fragments. There’s a lot of them. Where there’s small talk about nothing and everything, then a new scene appears. The conversations had are not the kinds that I would expect. The women are usually more convincing than any of the men appearing, but overal: emotions are hard to be depicted, it seems.
Another weird thing is that all these actors, whom you know to be American, do try very hard to add a French accent to their speech. I did wonder why. Only in the end I noticed the traffic plate that made me sure it was supposed to be a French story. Then why don’t you cast French people and don’t touch it, Hollywood?!

It is a very slow film. But given that people who loose someone, really prefer the world not to go on, for time to stand still, this kind of makes sense. The short particles actually show what moments they were bugged with old memories, and how it made them feel. For instance the new girlfriend, who is herself so stressed and shaken, that she, for a moment, does not accept the fact that her boyfriend is not shaky at all. She wants him to be crying like a baby, to give her some feeling of ‘yes, you are alright to feel sad and depressed and so on’. Which is in itself understandable if you feel like that yourself, but not everybody processes things in the same way.

It’s an interesting watch for sure, but don’t expect any velocity or any real emotions, or normal conversations. They do talk weird, and I do not believe anybody would talk like that. Even if they’re French.

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Posted by on July 20, 2018 in Films, Opinion, Uncategorized


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De kellner en de levenden. Simon Vestdijk

Nadat ik De Vrije Vogel En Zijn Kooien had gelezen, werd me dit boek in de schoot geworpen.

In tegenstelling tot het boek over Anton Wachter, duurde het een aanzienlijke poos voordat ik doorhad waar het verhaal over ging. Je valt als het ware midden in een scène, en tot, zeg, het derde hoofdstuk zo’n beetje, wordt het niet écht heel duidelijk waar je nu precies deel van uitmaakt.

Het is een magisch realistische setting, met omschrijvingen die doen denken aan Peter Vos en Jeroen Bosch tekeningen, gecombineerd met Caravaggio en Dante-schilderijen. Prachtig, maar ook zeer gruwelijk. De beelden die Vestdijk weet op te roepen zijn bijzonder sprekend, maar omdat ze gecombineerd worden met een troepje willekeurig bijeen geschraapte mensen, die toch ook hun uiterste best doen om uit te maken, waar ze in vredesnaam in belandt zijn, is het ook zeer verwarrend. Je doet, net als deze mensen, je uiterste best om ergens een nooduitgang te vinden, om van het éne onwaarschijnlijke tafereel, in het andere te vallen. En dat blijft maar doorgaan.

Er zitten zeer veel heil en verdommenis momenten bij, gezever over God en de duivel. Ik moet zeggen: die stukjes heb ik wat gskipt, omdat ik niet op manier denk. Ik ging meer voor de beelden, zoals ik dat ook bij een schilderij zou doen: de schoonheid van de kunst zelf bewonderen, niet zozeer zien wat er nu gebeurd tussen die mensen.
Op twitter, facebook en instagram zie je het wel gebeuren, dat men een schilderij ziet, en daar een onderschrift bij gaat verzinnen. Zo van: ‘wat zouden ze éigenlijk zeggen?’
Vestdijk heeft er een heel boek aan gewijd.

Het is niet voor iedereen weggelegd om hier soepel doorheen te lezen, vermoed ik. Het is geen science fiction, maar je hebt hier wel een stevig pak fantasie voor nodig.

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Posted by on July 17, 2018 in Books, Opinion, Uncategorized


Luther (season 3+4)

The 3rd episode has a less sucky end. For the rest of it: you keep hoping something amazingly smart happens so that anyone actually listens to John Luther, instead of trying to work behind his back to proof that he is not a decent coppa. The two who try are the kind of people you expect to work at gossip magazines: none of it is even near well founded. I have no idea how they even get Ripley to work for them. The girl is just an annoying little bitch without any work ethics. You can’t find any reason for them to be that nasty, nor why Luther or Ripley should even care one bollock that they even do. The way the new girlfriend is being harassed is vile, and you do wonder why Luther doesn’t slap Stark’s lights out.

Alice Morgan in this season actually makes sense. You do get why she is there and this time, she does make her chemics work with the others.

Season 4….I did notice the first seasons that Luther’s team is a different one each time. That is all fine and dandy, but the bloke has no spirit, the woman’s only job description seems to be ‘look stunned and horrid’. Well, she does do that job pretty good.

Other than that: just don’t do it. Look for any of these actors in different plays. I’d like to slap the writers and tell them to return when they have a proper background on every single one of them.

The entire series feels, especially when it’s supposed to be thrilling, like you’re watching the bloopers instead of the actual work. And I do know it’s not meant like that. Luther warns people, they don’t listen, and it never ends well. You think ‘oh no, that’s not a good idea’, and indeed, it turns out not to be. It’s breathtakingly stupid.

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Posted by on July 16, 2018 in Opinion, series, Uncategorized


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