A Good Yarn

Monday, May 05, 2008

More Foreign Films

Just so I don't lost all my knitting readers, I'll start with the knitting. I have been knitting a little bit in between films. Here's most of what I've been working on:

I'm in Knitters for Obama on Ravelry and we've been knitting up preemie hats and baby bibs to send out to the states before their primary/caucuses to generate some good publicity and good feelings. Here's one story about it.

I also finished up the Lucy Neatby bracelet I started in class at Yarnover:

I haven't sewn on a button because it's way too small for my wrist. She has instructions for how to lengthen the bracelet at the end of the pattern but since I didn't read through the whole thing before I started knitting that was just a little too late for me. When I realized I was getting ready to finish it up and it was going to be too small, I decided I didn't want to rip back and try to make it longer, so I'm contemplating either giving it to my niece or just making it into a keychain instead.

OK, that's about it for knitting. Back to the movies. In the foreign film category but not nominated for an Academy Award I saw an Irish movie called "Kings":

Kings is the first major bilingual (it's mostly in Irish Gaelic, but there are some scenes in English) Irish film. It's about six men who emigrated from Derry to London in the late 70s as young men, full of dreams of success. It's 30 years later now and one of them has died, so they rest come together for the funeral and wake. Most of the men haven't found the success they dreamed of - only Joe, played by Colm Meaney, who runs a successful real estate business. All of the men are alcoholics (although Joe also indulges in cocaine) and struggling with their own guilt over their friend's death and facing the thoughts that come when you think about your own mortality. The film is based on a play and the bulk of the film takes place in a bar room and feels very stagey. They are able to show flashbacks to the young men and the days leading up to their friend's death, though. I really connected with the characters and the feelings of isolation, loneliness and disappointment. I recognize those men. I thought this was a really good companion piece to "Tiger's Tail" also. The economy is going great guns in Ireland, but these guys left before that happened and now are absolutely destitute, living in ramshackle homes. The acting was really great, but I wish I spoke Irish so I could have fully understood it without having to read the subtitles.

The next film I saw was Boarding Gate and I think your reaction to this film depends on your feelings about its star, Asia Argento. I saw her once described as an indie film version of Angelina Jolie and I think that's a perfect description. She absolutely exudes sensuality. I though it was ok. It's a sort of thriller. Argento plays an ex-prostitute who had a very destructive relationship with a successful businessman played by Michael Madsen. The plot is pretty convoluted and not very realistic. But it's gorgeously shot and beautiful to look at. If you're an Argento fan, it's a must see.

Myrin (Jar City to American audiences) is another thriller, this one from Iceland. Jar City is a more straight forward, traditional thriller and I really enjoyed it. I've only been to Iceland once, but I thought the film captured the dark and depressed nature of Reykjavik really well. The people I met there were beautiful and very kind, but everyone seemed very down and depressed - I think that has something to do with how short the days are during the winter. But I came away from the film the same way I came away from my trip - wanting to spend more time there and sort of drawn to it. The film is about a police detective investigating the murder of a man in his apartment. The investigation leads to more crimes, some that happened years ago. It also explores the detective's relationship with his daughter, a drug addict living on the streets. I was really caught up in the story and enjoyed following it through its twists and curves. This is a film for those who enjoy smart, dark thrillers.

OK, enough for now. Next time, documentaries.

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