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Christian Bale and Sibi Blazic arrive for his nomination for Best supporting actor in the Big Short as Michael Burry at the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, California (February 28, 2016)
Re: Christina Bale as Michael Burry in The Big Short (2015) dir. Adam McKay
A/N: Hello everyone! Since Druk (Another Round) won an oscar, the first danish movie in like 7 years by the way, and I am very proud of that. I thought, maybe riding off that movies success, people might want to explore the culture and movies of my country, Denmark. So, as a proud danish person, and lover of cinema in general, I thought I would give you all some tips and tricks I have learned along the way. Which movies to just avoid, which are musts! And which are just, like, why don't we leave this genre alone. (Full disclosure tho, I have not seen every danish movie ever made, and some I haven't watched since I was a kid, so I might remember them better than they are. So, this is by no means a complete list at all).
So, going off of Druk (Another Round, I will refer to all movies by their danish names and then put their english title or what I would translate it to, in a parenthasis, cool? Cool.). Druk, is a very good example of what danish cinema has to offer.
First off. Denmark is a small scandinavian country;
Yeah, that little small red blob there, is where I live. (You see me? ;) ), we are a bit of a weird culture; we have more pigs than people, love to eat said pigs with sovs or what you would call gravy, only browner and thicker (its amazing). We were vikings, has the worlds oldest flag and one of the oldest monarki's. We haven't historically done too much since being vikings (Our french revolution was pretty peaceful, and we basically rolled over when the germans invaded us in the second world war, after doing nothing in the first one (we were actually called the cream front, because so little happened). We speak danish. And even though we have raged a lot of wars against them, if you confuse us with Sweden or Norway, we will fuck you up. Also, only we get to be mean to them. Not you. Also, as evidenced by Druk, we get drunk a lot. Its a thing.
So, that was a brief (not so brief soz) summery of my culture and country. Onto the movies.
So, I haven't really done too much research into film history, but here is what you need to know. from the 1950's to 70's, our movies were a lot of fun. So, in this era there are basically three kinds of movies, one is called Morten Korch, the other: Dirch Passer, and the last: Olsen Banden. These three dominated the danish film industry. So, from this era, here are some tips.
If you love old movies that are oddly serious and light hearted at the same time, always taking place on a farm, and usually with a love triangle based on a book from the 30's, the Morten Korch movies are for you. Now. I am personally not too big of a fan, tonally they're a bit wonky, but to ease into it at least I would recommend watching Sønnen Fra Vingaarden (The son from the vineyard) or De røde heste (the red horses). But, if you are just getting into danish cinema, this is probs a bit hardcore.
Which brings us to the two others.
So, if you like zany antics, stupid plots, also a lot of farming, sailors and or soldiers, then, Dirch Passer movies are the way to go. He made a whole bunch. They are always sweet as hell, charming as hell, and feature some cute antics. They are light-hearted and fun. Their view of females, a little weird. But on a sick day they are everything I need. Some of my favourites are: Sømand i knibe (sailor in trouble), Soldater kammerater (Soldier buddies), Majorens Oppasser (the majors keeper), Hurrah for de blå Hussarer (Hurray for the blue hussars) and Dig, mig, Dirch og Dario (you, me, Dirch and Dario). A few years ago they also made a beautiful biopic about him which I would recommend watching. He is a bit of a folk hero here. Just warning.
The last, the Olsen Banden, is actually not a genre or anything, it is a series of movies, but I am expanding it to the great movies with these actors. So, these actors Ove Sprogø, Morten Grünewald and Poul Bundgaard, star in a lot of danish movies as well (basically all the actors in all these movies are more or less the same, we have like 30 working actors at all times at most. Small country). But these three are really special. Besides the Olsen Gang, they starred in some other good movies I would recommend like; Far klarer sovsen (daddy handles the sauce (Surprisingly feminist for its time)), and a fave which is soo problematic in the end but I love it anyways: Een pige og 39 sømænd (One girl, and 39 sailors). These three starred in this series called the Olsen gang. Which, if you like, zany antics, lovely characters who yell a lot, formulas that is unique to this movie, things going oh so wrong, then the Olsen gang is for you. Beloved folk classic movies, and all just great. These movies about this gang of bumbling thieves and Yvonne, are amazing, has an amazing soundtrack you can never get out of your head, and some real iconic scenes! Now, watch the old ones, if you see something called the Olsen gang, and it is animated or features young people, DO NOT WATCH. They are bad.
Basically from there, all danish movies can be split into a few categories:
Fantasy (we are generally not good at those, except when its made for kids (Otherwise they usually get too dark and weird), so, here I would watch; De Fortabte Sjæles ø (the island of lost souls), Tempelridderens skat (The treasure of the templar) and Falkien fra Bilbao (The Falkie from Bilbao), and for horror the temp (vikaren) is amazing, but in general, we should not be touching fantasy as a genre, cuz we are not good at it...).
Historical movies (usually about being Vikings, our monarki, or world war two.), these movies just get very stale after a while, but a few are pretty good, Hvidstensgruppen (I dont think this has an english name), but that one is pretty good for your world war two cravings along with Flammen og Citronen. Other than that, A royal affair is amazing, and Summer of '92 is pretty good. Otherwise, eh. I dont know. I haven't seen too many outside of school, so good ones are hard to come by.
Social realism. (We, make a lot of these!!), so, this is a bit of a weird genre, it is like realism, and drama and this weird, I wouldn't call it noir, but there is like this special danish sauce, sprinkled over most movies in this genre, its a little hard to discribe, Druk, falls into this category. Other movies that are definitely worth a watch are: Gud taler ud (Word of god), which is this amazing family movie just amazing. En frygtelig kvinde (a terrible woman), Festen (the celebration), Pusher and Nordvest, are all definitely worth a watch, and maybe you can explain what that special sauce is.
Speaking off: Dark (ass) comedies. We make a TON of these. And we're real good at it. It is such, realistic but funny movies that are just fucked up in different ways, and I love them! You have the sillier more violent ones like: Terkel i Knibe (Terkel in trouble), Sorte Kugler (What goes around), Klovn (all the movies, Clown, they are like the inbetweeners on steroids when it comes to cringe), Blå mænd (take the trash), Alle for en (all for one, this franchise is real good) and Selvhenter (heavy load).
( And then, we have the DARK shit, here I'm talking: De grønne slagtere (The green butchers), Blinkende lygter (Flickering lights), Retfærdighedens ryttere (Riders of justice), Ved verdens ende (at worlds end) and De Frivillige (Out of tune). These are all amazing and funny, and especially a few of these are cultural phenomena here. Dark humor is our specialty. (I would personally start with Terkel in trouble, Sorte kugler and De grønne slagtere).
Now and honourable mention to the first Anja and Victor movie, it can stay and Askepop is weirdly adorable as well. And Guldhornene (the gold of Valhalla), is everything norse mythology could have been. (yeah I just didn't know where to put them.)
Then we have our last category: Crime. We are good at making some murder mysteries great! And yeah, I know Nordic Noir is a cliche or whatever, but what can I say? We're just good at it. From the department Q franchise (which I haven't watched the last, but all the others are amazing!) To the hunt, Jagten, to Den Skyldige (The guilty), we are just good at crime movies man. But avoid Kød og Blod (Flesh and blood), that was disappointing in the end.
I know I am missing a lot of kids movies, but that is mostly cuz I watched a lot of those movies, as a kid, and I haven't since, so I dont really know if I can trust my judgement.
But generally, these are my recommendations to danish cinema! I would love for you all to watch all these movies, I hope would be to your liking, I have specially picked them out from each genre. And if I haven't mentioned a genre, it's cuz we aren't very good at them. We are a small country, so our success rate for movies are a little low, but I hope you all feel inspired to watch some fun danish movies. I know I am. Feel free to tell me if you saw any, if you liked or hated them? if you have any of my picks you disagree with, or something you think is missing from my list. let's talk!
(Side note, because I haven't really watched any, I did purposefully leave out Lars Von Trier movies. Not cuz they are bad or not a part of danish cinematic culture. I just figured, that if you are a film nerd or student, you are probably exposed to him anyway.).
#Paulina Porizkova #Paulina Porizkova Says Aaron Sorkin Invited Her #Paulina Porizkova Says Aaron Sorkin Invited Her To The Oscars For Their Second Date #Aaron Sorkin#Paulina #Paulina Porizkova Aaron Sorkin Second Date
Note: This is a modified version of a review originally written for ZekeFilm in December 2019.
You might have heard it’s best to know as little as possible about Parasite before seeing it. While it can’t be spoiled in the same way as something like murder mystery Knives Out, I’m glad I only knew a few details of this unusual story. If that sounds like you’re style, too, feel free to skip the next paragraph with plot details.
Parasite follows Kim Ki-Taek (Song Kang Ho), his wife Chung-sook (Chang Hyae Jin), and their children Ki-woo (Choi Woo Shik) and Ki-jung (Park So Dam). They live in a semi-basement apartment in Seoul, finding odd jobs and pooling money to get food on the table. When a friend recommends Ki-woo as an English tutor for the wealthy Park family, they find their first steady income in some time. Soon Ki-woo recommends Ki-jung as an art tutor, who recommends Ki-Taek as a chauffer, who recommends Chung-sook as a housekeeper. The only problem? They’ve faked the degrees and experience needed for these jobs. Only time will tell how long they can keep up the charade, especially as they become more involved with the Parks’ parents, two children, and housekeeper.
CROWD // Like fellow 2019 movies Knives Out and Ready or Not, Parasite focuses on what happens when the working class enters the world of the rich and when family, money, and violence intersect. Don’t worry that you’ve seen this story already, though. Knives Out lived for its laughs, and Ready or Not based its narrative in horror, but Parasite finds its heart in character drama. While that means it’s the least “fun” of the three, it handles its story with the most finesse.
And this Best Picture winner is still plenty tense even if it’s not as blood-soaked as Ready or Not. For most of the movie it’s because we don’t know what the heck is going on; then a macabre twist jolts us out of the elegant façade of the Parks’ manicured appearance. Part of the fun of this movie is trying to identify its genre: Drama? Thriller? Horror? Social satire? Dark comedy? All I know for sure is I was intrigued from the get-go, I inched to the edge of my seat as the Kims raced against the clock, and the ending gut punched me in a way I can only compare to a few other moviegoing experiences.
POPCORN POTENTIAL: 8.5/10
CRITIC // Because the camera is a neutral observer, Parasite feels more like literature than a film. To American audiences, it’s almost like a Southern Gothic. Like William Faulkner or Flannery O’Connor, Joon Ho sets his characters in a community dependent on socioeconomic inequality. They abide by their class roles in a historic, majestic home with a delicate, classical score to match. But if you’ve read “A Rose for Emily” or “A Good Man Is Hard to Find,” you know that’s only true until it isn’t. The wealthy’s tragic flaw comes in their pride, while the poor find theirs in their want; the inevitable conflict comes when they collide.
Bong Joon Ho’s last two films, Okja and Snowpiercer, dealt with similar themes but wore their opinions on their sleeves. (For all its merits, Okja felt preachy at times.) Parasite is not a fable or an adventure, which makes any message secondary to understanding the two families. It never asks for sympathy for the Kim family when you see their financial hardships or for the Park family when they fall into another trap. It never asks you to judge the Kims when their plot escalates beyond white lies or for the Parks when they make snide comments about the lower classes.
What we thought was an exposé on income inequality becomes an investigation into how far people will go to have just a little bit more. The score takes a modern turn, and the greenish tint coloring every frame of the film—is that the color of money? Of jealousy? Perhaps a skewed tint of the screens our characters are so dependent on? The only thing this film requires of you is empathy. Like Faulkner’s Emily or O’Connor’s Grandmother, neither family stops being human no matter how selfish they grow or how tense the plot becomes. With the help of a strong ensemble cast, this makes Parasite Joon Ho’s greatest accomplishment yet.
Note: These Crowd and Critic reviews are modified versions of review originally written for ZekeFilm in February 2019.
Green Book tells the based-on-true-events story of Tony Vallelonga (Viggo Mortensen), a working class Italian-American out of a job. To pay the rent, he takes a gig driving for the black pianist Dr. Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) on his two-month concert tour of the South and Midwest. In 1962, that’s not an invitation for conflict as much as a guarantee, and not just because of the laws and customs dictating racial segregation and hierarchy in the Deep South. Dr. Shirley’s prodigious talent and cultured tastes also clash with Tony’s cacophonous Bronx accent and uncouth table manners, not to mention his subtler brand of racism.
The plot of Green Book functions like an inverse Driving Miss Daisy, and in some ways, it’s an improvement. The 1989 Best Picture winner stayed firmly in Miss Daisy’s world, which didn’t leave room to develop Morgan Freeman’s Hoke. While Miss Daisy’s character growth may have been moving, the film suffered from Hoke’s lack of interiority and individuality.
As it’s not too much to ask for two characters to arc in two hours, Green Book makes for a refreshing update. Race and class impact every part of our leads’ relationships, but their differences stem from everything as major as how they handle conflict to as small as their eating habits. The pair plays up their Odd Couple chemistry, finding both the humor and the pathos. Because the script is more clearly structured than Miss Daisy, Tony and Dr. Shirley are well-defined enough to each drive the story. We can thank Mortensen and Ali for that as well, as both of their performances feel fresh and different from their best-known screen credits.
Otherwise the film’s setting and plot are familiar to anyone who’s seen a movie related to the American Civil Rights Movement, and it’s not difficult to predict where their character arcs are going as soon as the film begins. Green Book even bears a faint resemblance to fellow Best Picture nominee BlacKkKlansman, which follows a developing friendship between a black man and a Jewish man in the 1970s. But where Spike Lee’s based-on-a-true-story film favors the bold and brash, this story stays feel-good. No, it doesn’t let Tony off the hook for his racist assumptions and what we would today call micro-aggressions (another improvement from Driving Miss Daisy, which focused more on explicit Southern ordinances and traditions). But with a resolution wrapped in a bow ready to be placed under the Christmas tree, it doesn’t feel out of step with the idea I’d been given in grade school that we’d pretty much conquered racism by the 1980s. If anything, it’s too neat and tidy, with a gloss coating a story that feels very past tense.
Bottom line: Green Book is a feel-good film, but it’s a valid criticism that it might be too feel-good.
During awards season—I’m sorry, Awards Season—it’s difficult to watch any contender with objectivity. Even if you skip reviews, it’s impossible to miss the headlines, tweets, and hot takes surrounding the movies frequenting the academy, guild, critical, et al. ceremonies for the best screen work of the year. Such is my conundrum with Green Book, whose three Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild Award, and more than 120 additional wins and nominations from outlets of varying prestige have made sure to keep it at the top of my newsfeed. Plus, its $50 million gross and PR panic attacks have kept it top of mind in Facebook groups, at family Christmases, and around other proverbial water coolers.
And this is where my Death of the Author take on this film weakens. If there’s anything I feel under-qualified to write about in 2019, it’s race relations, especially because plenty of people have done a better job than I writing about how the film handles it. (More on that in a bit.) That said, I did notice this film addresses the issues differently from how BlacKkKlansman and should-have-been-Best-Picture-nominee If Beale Street Could Talk did. When Tony and Dr. Shirley’s story comes to an end, we feel like we’ve found an answer to a question and see a changed future for both characters. The other two films end their stories in more complicated contexts with work still to be done. I’m sure you know which feels more honest.
Then there’s the drama outside of the script plaguing the film. Tacky, boneheaded, and worse moments have been making headlines along the press tour for months, which means Green Book’s publicity team has had more headaches than they probably anticipated for a film marketed as ideal for a family Thanksgiving outing. Another Best Picture nominee, Bohemian Rhapsody, has faced questions about its historical accuracy, but to my knowledge, Rami Malek hasn’t apologized to Freddie Mercury’s family as Ali did for Shirley’s family after they called Green Book “a symphony of lies.” Nick Vallelonga, Tony’s son and one of the writers of the film, calls their take a “misunderstanding.”
Knowing all this, it’s difficult to judge Green Book tabula rasa. How much can you vary from fact before your changes leave the realm of good faith? How closely can you compare films of different genres before it becomes unfair to the different storytelling styles? How much can you separate the art from the artist before you’re turning a blind eye?
I don’t have definitive answers to those questions in general, much less for Green Book. Yes, the movie stands out in an odd Awards Season for its bad press, but also for performances that stand out from the pack of a bleak year. (No matter your opinion on the film as a whole, it’s difficult to argue with Mortensen and Ali’s nominations.) Yes, we need room for family-friendlier films that tackle tough topics and moments in history, but it’s fair if this isn’t the one you want.
Bottom line: My hope is that Green Book, an enjoyable film on its own, will find a way to become a net-positive in this conversation even with its controversy, especially since several of the kerfuffles have had little to do with the content of the movie.
ARTISTIC TASTE: 8/10
One way to help create a net-positive conversation is to join with an informed take. Since the repeating of hearsay opinions with little research doesn’t help anyone, the reviews, features, and news below about the topics surrounding Green Book are a great place to start.
“Mahershala Ali Apologized to His Green Book Character’s Family After Controversy,” Vulture (Dec. 17, 2018)
“Green Book Builds a Feel-Good Comedy Atop an Artifact of Shameful Segregation,” Vox (Jan. 6, 2019)
“Green Book Writer Defends Film After Family Backlash: Don Shirley ‘Approved What I Put In,’” Variety (Jan. 9, 2019)
A rundown of many of the controversies following Green Book along its Awards Season campaign, The Daily Beast (Jan. 10, 2019)
“Inside an Oscar Season of Anger,” Variety (Jan. 15, 2019)
“Why do the Oscars Keep Falling for Racial Reconciliation Fantasies?” The New York Times (Jan. 23, 2019)
“The Black History of the Green Book,” The New York Times (Jan. 25, 2019)
“Personal Stories Behind the ‘Green Book,’” letters to the editor of The New York Times (Jan. 31, 2019)
“Is Green Book a Rescue Fantasy? Mark Twain Might Disagree,” The Daily Beast (Feb. 2, 2019)
“Green Book Doesn’t Do Justice to Don Shirley’s Brilliant Musicianship,” Los Angeles Times (Feb. 3, 2019)
i watched hard candy and im still thinking on how i feel about it but i will say the fact that this movie is 16 years old yet their entire conversation abt jeff being exposed as a pedo could have been ripped straight from conversations we still have today was like... hhh. i am upset.
#like the line abt predators winning oscars or when hayley was talking abt how he wouldnt be hated hed be pitied and seen as sick #like ah. everyone does still focus on 'ruined careers' while most abusers get 0 consequence. #yes there is still a problem with people feeling bad for 'MAPs' and defending them as being mentally ill instead of hating them. #eugh. like the fact that the stuff they were saying was word for word w stuff i see online regularly made my skin crawl. #toy talk#csa tw