Sunday, May 26, 2013

Flick Backtrack

Time out from bookwormism! This weekend, while cleaning up my bedroom aka The Barrow Jane (I know, I know, I also think I’ve lost my bloody marbles a long time ago), I found a 4GB flash drive in a forgotten paper bag. It contained movies that I’ve watched in the past and I decided to reacquaint with them. So here, I'm sharing some of my nuggets of thoughts:

SUBMARINE
submarinef
Directed by: Richard Ayoade
Written by:  Richard Ayoade
Starring: Craig Roberts, Yasmin Page

Based on a coming-of-age novel of the same name by Joe Dunthorne, Submarine follows a teenage oddball named Oliver Tate as he tries to prevent his parents from splitting up while bravely testing the waters of love with the self-possessed pyromaniac Jordana Bevan.

Poignant, funny, and refreshingly different, Submarine is the kind of flick that will submerge you in a pool of messy youthful truths. If you want a good page-to-screen translation, read the source material and then watch this. You won’t regret it, especially if you’re exploring the indie world of movies.

I admit, I discovered this movie because I make it a point to always be updated with Arctic Monkeys’ music. It turned out that the band's frontman, Alex Turner, wrote and performed songs for its soundtrack. Combine a quality story with good music and you’ll be sure to have a fun time! ;)

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GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES
HotaruDirected by: Toya Sato
Written by: Yumiko Inoue
Starring: Hoshi Ishida, Mao Sasaki

Hotaru no Haka or Grave of the Fireflies is originally a 1988 Studio Ghibli animated movie about two Japanese siblings trying to survive in the final days of World War II. I didn’t know it at first, but I learned that it was actually based on a semi-autobiographical book of WW2 survivor  Akiyuki Nosaka.

This live action version is produced in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II. Instead of focusing on the siblings Seita and Setsuko, the movie deviated from the original story by setting the narration from the point of view of their cousin.

I still prefer the anime as it effortlessly elicited tears from my eyes, but this version is as moving. If it were up to me, though, I’d love to see a live action translation that is more faithful to the original anti-war film.


YOSSI & JAGGER
Yossi and Jagger
Directed by: Eytan Fox
Written by: Avner Bernheimer
Starring: Ohad Knoller, Yehuda Levi

Yossi & Jagger is a romantic drama film about two young Israeli soldiers in love. Yossi commands a group of bunker-based soldiers on the Lebanon border prior to Israel’s pullout in 2000. He keeps a secret love affair with his second-in-command, Lior, who was nicknamed “Jagger” for his rock star charm.

Banking on the economy of expression—it lasted for mere 65 minutes!—this film managed to relay an unforgettable story. It’s not an extraordinary gay-themed military anecdote; if anything, it is just an ordinary love story. There's nothing here that can surprise you. However, it will easily etched itself in your memory because the characters are so naturally human that you can grow to love them in the movie’s succinct time frame.

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