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Dark

With Louis Hofmann, Jördis Triebel, Oliver Masucci, Karoline Eichhorn and lots, lots of others.

This German series on Netflix is a very interesting one. It strongly reminded me of Stranger Things, though it was mostly its atmosphere. There’s resemblences in storyline, yes, such as fantasy and science fiction more or less mixed together. It has no references to other films (that I’ve noticed) though. There’s certain elements of Back to the Future in there too, but actually not strong enough to make it truly mention worthy. I still do, because there is a reference to it after all.

The story is about a small city, Winden, in Germany, which is situated around a powerplant. A teenager has gone missing, so parents are trying to keep their own children more safe, and, because that’s mostly what such children do, they start looking for trouble.
First, another kid goes missing. It seems at random, but as the series more or less has the catchphrase: ‘nothing that happens is by accident’, this is really just the beginning.

The acting in this series is very strong, it’s nearly impossible to put the story aside once you’ve entered it. Everything is connected and the writer(s?) really put in a good base, I feel. The only thing that is sort of a pity, is that although the powerplant is the spot where it all seems to be happening, it really isn’t involved itself. They just needed a place that’s not allowed to be accessable to, say, police, without a warrant. It might aswell could have been a millitary facility, which in a way it is.

Once the storylines truly begin to unveil themselves, at times you’re a bit flabbergasted, but in a good way. There’s only one or two elements that don’t add up, even in the end. It truly is worth watching.

I must admit I turned off the sound in most cases, as the ‘I can play an eggslicer with a fiddlestick’ really isn’t my kind of thing.

 

 

 

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Posted by on December 6, 2017 in Opinion, series, Uncategorized

 

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#MeToo

Like the church a few years ago, Harvey Weinstein and lots of other big Hollywood bozo’s suddenly collapse under the force that’s the united complaints of loads of people who finally go and tell who exactly harassed them when they were young.

I hear many men complain ‘oi, it’s not ALL MEN?! I was actually raised pretty properly!’ and I can imagine it feels like being trapped in the ‘guilty’ box even though you’re pretty sure you’ve never done anything.
First of all: hello and welcome aboard the Shittrain Of Accusations that women endure when they even so much as try to report what happened to them.
First questions asked aren’t ‘what did he wear? What does he look like? Shall I punch him in the face for you?’ most likely it’s:
‘What were you wearing? Did you say something that might have given him the idea you wanted it?’ or ‘how did he get to be alone with you?’
It’s mostly trying to see if it could be blamed on you. You. The one who just reported the harassment.
As a society we’re clear: it’s NEVER your fault.
Then again, as a society, our first approach is still that is COULD BE your fault after all. Maybe it’s not how you intend it, but it is how you approach it, quite likely.

Ages ago, when I was quite heavily underage (or at least very heavily underdeveloped as I recall), an aquantaince found a way to spend time with me. I hadn’t realised I had never been alone with this man, nor what the look in his eyes had meant when I had been wearing a bathing suit around him some time before that. I do recall -afterwards- that I had never seen anyone look at me like that. Not knowing what it meant, I didn’t act upon it in any way.
One afternoon his wife went out. It then happened. I am not a person to actually verbally say ‘stop that, please’. Even without the please. I just freeze. I’m quite introvert. I have learned from a young age that telling ‘stop, I don’t like it’ doesn’t help. Being the daily target of bullies at school, I had, in fact, learned that usually had the opposite effect.
I did try to at least turn my legs away, but being in a rather small space, that wasn’t a real option. It was caressing, touching, without actual looking at me. I got up, in hopes of escaping, but my leg was caught in his arms and he pulled me closer to him. As I couldn’t use my leg to keep my balance, my automatic response was to look for a way to keep my balance. That was sort of a ‘wrap my arm around his head’ kind of situation. So he got to touch my breast aswell in his next move. Given that my leg was now free, I got to walk away from that scene after that.

It took me quite some time to get over that. I had no idea what just happened, why it happened and especially not why it had happened to ME. I have never found myself attractive in any way whatsoever, people have always told me I look far too skinny to be that in case I might think different: so WHY me, really? And for the record: I had been wearing short skirts and dresses around this man for quite some time (it was summer and I was a daily visitor to the pool that was less than 10 feet away) but I was actually wearing trousers and an oversized T-shirt that particular day. Just so you know.

I decided to tell someone that same day, as I couldn’t stop crying for a full hour when I got back to where I was staying. I told the right one, thankfully, as the aquaintance who did it got an angry visit after that right away. I was told, before that visit ‘you have done NOTHING wrong, it wasn’t your fault and I’m glad that you have told me’. To be fair I have no idea what would have happened if the first one I told it to hadn’t responded like that.
I do recall telling some of my family members, and at least one of them responded with:
‘Are you sure it was that bad what happened? Uncle Blahblah has sometimes touched me weirdly too, it doesn’t necessarily mean anything’. I was a bit shocked by that. Not just Uncle Blahblah apparently not being able to keep their hands away -something I never have endured, thankfully- but also the idea that my interpretation of the experience could be questioned.

I’ve noticed something else too, with the #MeToo hashtag: women are being far braver than ever before. They still hardly mention any names though. Only when it’s one of them big bastards, like Harvey Weinstein, they do. He is already proven guilty after admitting he has done wrong things. So women do feel they no longer have to keep silent on his part. Good for them. But these other men, why still protect them?
I get it and I don’t get it, is all. And yes, I’m aware I’m doing exactly the same, but I think everyone’s story as to why they protect their harasser is different. I’m just curious to why others do it.
In my case, I find the fact that this man was already confronted with what he had done and afterwards apologised to me with the demands of the one who confronted him, he’s had his punishment. He thought he could get away with it, he couldn’t. I told, it was solved.

Another thing to be noticed with the hashtag: mostly it’s women coming forward about men harassing them. Unfortunately, men are sufferers too. There’s a book out about a boy growing up in an unsafe environment too. It’s called The Cock On The Beach That Didn’t Crow (and wasn’t missed) and will be available soon on amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B076VM4ZWG

 
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Posted by on October 20, 2017 in Opinion, Uncategorized

 

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The Lovely Bones

This incredibly long film stuns mostly by not being boring even one moment. And it even stuns more by not being boring without actual ‘quick’ parts. It even has quite some bits that are a bit more slow, and still: it works.

The story is quite dreadful and you need to be in the mood for drama. On her way from school to home, Susan Salmon (very well played by Saoirse Ronan) is tricked and as such killed by her neighbour, played by Stanley Tucci. The film is mostly about how both parties -the living and the dead- deal with the situation.

Susan Salmon is the voiceover and tells everything in an at times warning voice, but mostly nearly excited. Her voice does its work really quite well, and all the things that keep happening after her disappearance and the things that happened before, make this film a sort of perfect mix of loss and not loss altogether.

I’ve read on InternetMovieDataBase that Stanley Tucci was actually quite uncomfortable with the kind of personality he was supposed to be playing, so he did everything he could to make the role physically as far away from himself as possible (wearing a fat suit, dye every hair he got in a different tone, wear colored contact lenses, even dying his skin in a different shade), but still you immediately recognise him. At least I did.

There’s also the early years of Rose McIver to enjoy (who we now know as the iZombie leading part) and as a whole, the parents and grandmother of Susie.

All in all I’d say it’s a film well worth watching, expect quite some mixed emotions here and there, as it’s the killed one versus the killer who doesn’t want to be discovered. Logically.

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2017 in Films, Opinion, Uncategorized

 

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The Drowning

With Julia Stiles, Avan Jogia and Josh Charles amongst the actors.

A psychiatrist is confronted with his past influence in court, when he saves a drowning young man who turns out to have been his patient, years ago.

This film is actually quite boring and it feels, at times, a lot is left out, without being explained. That doesn’t make it better. In itself Josh Charles’ play is good, but it seems out of character for any loving husband to not tell his wife so much. Julia Stiles is a properly annoyed wife, not understanding what’s bothering her husband about certain contacts she has.
Avan Jogia is brilliant as annoying bastard. Too pretty, too young, too luring. In that sense it’s a bit too obvious that he is the dangerous factor in here. His actions seem weird and aren’t too well explained either, not until the end.

The people in court aren’t of much help either. The colleague of the psychiatrist asks him for favors, but in return doesn’t give any information either.

It’s not a bad film, and the tension is properly build up at times, but the only moment where you think ‘ah, finally something is explained’, it’s only one thing and you agree with the character there: ‘why didn’t you tell me before?’

If you’re a Julia Stiles fan like myself, you will probably enjoy yourself. Josh Charles is doing a far better job in The Good Wife.

 
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Posted by on October 4, 2017 in Films, Opinion, Uncategorized

 

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Our Souls At Night

With Jane Fonda, Robert Redford and Iain Armitage.
A curiously dull film, to be fair. One night, Addie Moore (played by Jane Fonda) knocks on Louis Waters’ (Robert Redford) door. She has a proposal of sorts.
She would like to sleep together on a regular base.

‘Not for sex, I’ve long lost interest for that’, she explains, making the proposal a little less awkward and in a way funny, but still: Louis Waters doesn’t know what to say to that??

The storyline itself is very unsignificant. It’s basically what happens when two elderly people who are alone get together to spend the night -just to talk and not be alone. They are the talk of the town amongst their peers, but it’s not really that shocking. It still is two people who have the age and the maturity to choose for themselves. Louis Waters does get angry with his peers for a bit, but that’s about it.

For people looking for an exciting film: this isn’t it. It’s a very demure, peaceful story about two elderly people who spend time together, with minor incidents like a grandchild coming over, some friends who become curious and so on. The biggest event is one of their children protesting against the parent being happy.

Given that Jane Fonda currently also stars in the series Grace & Frankie, this film will disappoint. Jane Fonda actually tries to look attractive in that series and is a lot more progressive. Besides, the film Barefoot in the Park, that has both Jane Fonda and Robert Redford in it, has a lot more to offer when it comes to weird and sillyness entering the building.
Robert Redford actually has feelings in that film too. He is far more of an introvert here. He barely talks about himself. He asks her why she picked him. In the end you still don’t really know.

In short: if you love the actors, go for it, but don’t expect much of it. It’s really quite dull.

 
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Posted by on October 3, 2017 in Films, Opinion, Uncategorized

 

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Knock, Ireland

To say I ended up here by accident is weird. You don’t end up in a city or small town such as Knock by accident, right? People don’t end up at a pilgrimage that way. You were supposed to go there. Or the sweet Lord himself has guided you there.
To be fair I would have thought the same if it had happened to anyone else. Not just because I’m an atheist, though that has a strong correlation to the why I don’t believe that, but still. The ‘ended up there by accident’ in this scenario is simply because I was guided through the loveliness that Ireland has to offer by my two aunties.
Both lovely, but severe nutcases. Each in their own right and each with their own set of charming characteristics. I’m named after one of them, so how bad can they be, eh?

So how did we end up there, then??
I’ll tell you. First one thing you have to know: both my aunties are incredibly sweet and funny, and incredibly stubborn. The one who was doing most of the driving, hates maps. Even satnav. She refuses to use any of those. It’s not that she can’t read a map, but during driving, she likes the whole experience, thank you very much! She literally drives the car the way vikings and skippers sail(ed) their boats: by looking into the sky. She looks at where the sun is and she keeps in mind where she wants to see it at the end of the day, that’s the direction she will drive in. This could be by highway, but she takes D-tours just as easily. She is the kind of person to like the tour just as much as a the destination. Yes, really.

My other aunt will give away how we ended up in Knock: she collects holy water trays. You know the ones you keep on your wall, for instance, to make a quick pray? Yes, we are an atheist family in general. Don’t give me that funny look, I’m not the one collecting them.
They are a hard find. This is one of the things collectors of anything get a kick out, yes I know. To find a trinket of your collection when abroad is the big thing there too. But her collection is really quite specific, so as soon as we saw signs for a carboot sale, she would go: ‘oh, let’s check it out, they might have some!’ and most of the time, she was right about that, too. She had collected a few during our roadtrip. Given that we were travelling with a camping van, there was quite enough room for her collection to grow. Then, one morning, without any specific plans -except for ending up in a place I do no longer recall the name of, we drove there.

We were driving through, what we didn’t know was the main road in Knock. Whilst the aunt driving was watching for directions to go (she doesn’t use maps, she does use roadsigns), the other, collecting aunt, goes:
‘Hey, this place has holy water trays!’ and after that (as the car/van was riding at the time):
‘This place too!’ and so on. And so on. And so on.
So, we parked the van, auntie tried to remember exactly where she saw the trays, then noticed:
‘Oh wow, every store here has those trays?!’ it was like hitting the Holy Water Tray Jackpot for her. She went nuts in one store after another (from having to search for any, she now suddenly had to pick, as buying all of them would’ve left her penniless) and then there was the chapel and the whole story of Knock.
Because of course, as true idiots, we had entered the city backwards (typical), so the explanation came last.
While being in awe of all that we had just discovered, the square where one can actually fill up anything that might contain fluids with Holy Water showed itself to us. I was reminded of the many holidays I’d had as a small child on campingsides in France instantly. Because yeah, basically that’s what they looked like. With far smaller taps, as the stores all sold bottles in a massive range of varieties of shapes. Mother Theresa, Mary, Jesus, Joseph, anyone who looked holy enough. With a small blue cap. All to fill up these beauties of Holy Water Trays that my auntie collects. We saw cars stopping by, opening their trunks and getting coffeecans and teapots out to put under those taps, causing a traffic jam. It was truly bizarre. Well, for me.

It was a magnificent find.

Later, I visited the place with my (then) fiancé. We then actually went to the museum to see what had happened, to learn about the story of Knock. It’s a lot more convincing than anything I could put here. So knock yourselves out and go visit Knock. Even if you’re not religious, it is a friendly and not so crowded pilgrimage to take.

 

 

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Ricki and the Flash

A remarkable filmchoice for Meryl Streep. AGAIN. Though I genuinely enjoyed watching her in Mamma Mia, it didn’t make sense to me at all. Why would a class actress do such a film? But then it hit me: because it was simply just a FUN project. Even actors and actresses need fun projects, the in between snacks, right?

This film is probably a bit like that. Meryl Streep can sing. Not like a songstress (she would’ve become one of those if she were that good), but still: she can sing. I think this is why she ends up in films that contain music and involve her singing. She can do it and she likes it. She won’t pull it off like Kate Winslet did for that Christmas Carol film) but still: she can carry a tune.

This film is about Ricki, part of a very dated and mediocre band, called The Flash, who receives a phonecall from her ex-husband. Their daughter is going through a rough period, he would like her help to pick up the pieces for their daughter Julie (so very fine portrayed by Meryl Streep’s real life daughter Mamie Gummer).

Basically, it’s a trip down memory lane for the family. Because, as it turns out, all of her children will be there, and the new Mrs of her ex is out, as her father is having an episode and therefor needs care and isn’t present.

To be fair I’m not sure if Meryl Streep had a say in how her hair was done, but it’s distracting quite a bit. Especially as anyone could tell you that that’s not especially any type of ‘rock’ hairdo. They either should have gone with an actual rock look (her face worked out far better) or she should’ve just not washed her hairs for weeks or months or something like that. It’s really weird. I can’t think of any rocker, male or female, who would go for such braids/plaits. They’re the type your little sister would make, not a grown woman.

Other than that, the film is fine. It’s not the best acting you’ll ever see, but it’s certainly not the worst. Can you skip it and live your life with a clear conscious? This is also very possible….

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2017 in Films, Opinion, Uncategorized

 

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