Film Review: Haute Cuisine(2012)

I consider myself lucky for being able to live where people have super easy access to the cinema. It’s a mere 10 minute walk from home, resulting in impromptu visits at early hours of the day. Tuesday was such a day, and I watched <Haute Cuisine> at 9 o’clock in the morning.

It is pretty uncommon that foreign films other than those from the US, Canada and the UK make it to the screens here. That is one of the reasons I wanted to give it a shot, and another is that it’s related to food. Food is good! Haute Cuisine is even better! And yet another reason is that it’s running in the cinemas here long after its original release date, which was in 2012. It must have been particularly asked, or it wouldn’t be around in March 2015, now would it?

<Haute Cuisine> was anything but blockbuster, hardcore, overly emotional or full of unexpected twists and turns. Quite the contrary, in fact. The film was as if Hortense Laborie was calmly reciting her time back in the Palais de l’Élysée – providing a sense of sitting at a comfortable story time around the fireplace at night. And a tad bit like a story that grandpas and grandmas would tell their grandchildren, a tale of which they are not so secretly proud.

The cinemas are not exactly flowing with films that revolve around the kitchen, so it was impossible for me not to think of <Chef>. Whereas <Chef> was invigorating, a little clamorous and overall elated, <Haute Cuisine> was calm and filled with murmurs and quiet dialogues instead of shouts. Albeit this, it didn’t become boring and I was glad about it.

I’m trying to be more conscious about what I eat every day. And I regard food sovereignty a very serious theme that should be discussed more often and more openly. So I couldn’t but wholeheartedly agree with the idea that there has to be a philosophy to our diet, to the way we cook. I personally would give 4 out of 5 to <Haute Cuisine>. ★★★★

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Film Review: La Luna (2011)

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I started rating movies that I’ve watched thanks to an app. It suggests an endless list of movies so people could make their own lists out of films they’ve seen with their own ratings and brief comments.

There were some that recurrently showed up in the suggested list, and La Luna was one of them. So, out of pure curiosity, I tapped on the poster and found out that it is a short animation movie by the Disney Pixar Studio. It would never hurt to give it a go; I was right!

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The idea was really, really brilliant.
There have been many myths and telltales about the moon since the beginning of, well, languages I assume. Most famous among them from where I’m from are that of an orphaned girl and his brother who became the moon and the sun respectively and another is about the rabbits residing on the moon. If the idea La Luna was based on were one of those usual stories parents tell kids at bedtime, it wouldn’t have been as impressive as it was when I watched the film. It was so new and so young, naïve and pure! I wonder if this was a genuine idea or if they picked it up from somewhere else.

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Not to mention that it was one beautifully made animation film! You’ll see what I mean right away when you see the screen caps, but there’s more than that; it’s an audiovisually pleasing one. The sound the star-shaped things, whatever they are, make when they’re touched or clash with one another? It’s lovely. I also loved that they spoke no specific language – this way it makes the film universal. Everyone gets it.
Well, although, I believed it was very much likely to be the Italian language if they spoke at all, judging by the extent to which their hands were involved in their communication.

I guess sometime imagination seems to make more sense than explanation.

Film Review: Any Day Now (2014)

During a course called Introduction to German Literature, a few of the students including myself were given a topic to debate on. My partner and I had to argue that literature, too, has to be socially and politically aware and that it shall participate in the pending issues of the given period of time. I found it easier to come up with supporting arguments than to think of possible critical remarks from the opposition team – which means I basically was to play on the side I was already on. For those who do not agree with the statement above, the movie Any Day Now(2014) may be less attractive. But I would like to give it a 4. Out of 5, of course.

I. Music

The songs made this a very pleasing film, thanks to Mr. Cumming, one of the leading actors. The film was released by a different title than the original one around where I live(which is an un-rare occasion – the adaptation is quite acceptable most of the time for the audience’s better understanding of the film) and I did not know 0f the original one before the film started, which left me with only a little time to think about how it relates to the movie itself. So it struck me hard when Rudy sang the same-titled song at the very end, realising all of a sudden why it was called Any Day Now after all. I can’t seem to recall very accurately but it was probably the only song that conveyed a truly tragic message. Under the circumstances it was extremely appealing and resonated for a long time, lasting even until after I came out of the cinema.

II. Hand-held video camera

Like many of families with kids would, Rudy and Paul uses a hand-held video camera to record pieces of their lives with Marco. Those scenes contrast with the others and made me feel sort of nostalgic, reminding me of the video tapes of my own family from longer than a decade ago. It was a very effective equipment to create a warm and fuzzy feeling, a sense of belonging and of a loving family.

III. Marco’s death

This is the part that I liked best about this film. The death of Marco is the climax of the entire film and has all the right reasons to have been portrayed as an emotional and tragic event. But this film did not. It does not directly show the viewers that Marco has died while endlessly walking, thinking solely of returning home. The decision not to show how Marco died was a very important call because it tells the viewers that Rudy and Paul were completely helpless and had absolutely nothing they could do about it. The only emotional reaction that people would normally expect from movie personae who find themselves in such situations was the scene where Rudy sang the song ‘Any Day Now.’ It was as if Rudy and Paul already knew how it all would end from the beginning and had been expecting such tragedy.

There are a lot of films out there that try to tell us something similar, but this restriction of empathy makes Any Day Now stand out among them.

There was something about this film that pokes you and tells you repeatedly “Hey, this is a movie, after all. It wants you to receive this message that it is trying to give you.” But, like already mentioned at the beginning, I believe that some films as well as literary works can and shall act in a way that it leads people to think about certain issues. And I also believe it would be quite meaningless to materialise my thoughts on the matter here in this post. More important is that it was a good film, not a waste of time and money at all.

Recently Watched

Ever since the beginning of the semester, I wasn’t able to squeeze in movie nights into my schedule as often. Today I added another movie to the watched list – it was Any Day Now(2012).

This movie came out 2 years after the original release in 2012 and is now running around here. I think I’d write some more about this one soon, but simply put, it is about the minorities. A couple of men fighting to defend the rights of a boy. I would give 4 stars out of 5 to this one.

The second last movie I watched at the cinema is Frank(2014). There is an increasing number of films the plot of which mainly revolves around music, and this was one of them. The first difference I personally noticed was that the songs in the movie were not as pleasant to the ears, but that precisely is the point. Another thing is; I thank Michael Fassbender for wearing those sleeveless tops in the movie. I’d give 3.5 out of 5.

Hopefully I’ll manage to draft something on these two movies sooner or later!