Watched: January 30 2021 …and then again on January 3 2022 since we’d forgotten the experience.
Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Starring: Mireille Darc, Jean Yanne, and a whole bunch of other people
Runtime: 1h 45min
How can we describe Weekend? It’s definitely a film you should experience for yourself, but we’ll take a shot at describing the plot.
Roland (Yanne) and Corinne (Darc) are planning to kill her parents for the inheritance, as one does. Then, he plots to off her for the same reason, since he has another girl waiting in the wings. Lovely couple, very nice.
After describing a sexual encounter in detail (though without any emotion), as we all always do with your partners, Corinne gets in the car with Roland and off they go a-killing. They soon run into major traffic, as well as an impressive and very long shot of them passing said traffic in the wrong lane. With honking. Lots of honking. And some dead bodies casually strewn around.
Eventually the two crash their car (it was inevitable, really) and go on foot instead, running into historical and fictional characters, cannibals, and rapists. You know, the sort of people who tend to hang out in your local woods.
Somehow it all works, thanks to Godard’s genius. In a way, we feel as though it’s designed to stress you out. It’s a commentary on consumerism, classicism, racism, egotism and general shittyness. You kind of have to see it to believe it, and while Weekend doesn’t seem to be streaming anywhere, a good library will probably have a copy. This is why we love physical media and public libraries.
Weekend is funny and silly and brutal and disturbing, but most of all it’s fascinating. Sure, it’s not a movie everyone will love, but we enjoyed this roadtrip from Hell quite a lot, even though we didn’t quite understand the world we were thrown into. To be fair, we feel that way just waking up in the morning, so it might be us…
What we learned: We’re going to need diagrams of the sex scene Corinne describes. How did that work physically?? If anyone can do a powerpoint presentation, an illustration, a demonstration or something of the mechanicals of it, please let us know.
Joanna and Mark Wallace (Hepburn and Finney, respectively), a disillusioned and sniping couple, are going on a road trip to St. Tropez. The story of their 12 year relationship is told through flashbacks juxtaposed with more current events as we examine how they ended up in their current, seemingly loveless, marriage.
Travel permeates their relationship – at least most critical events appear to have happened while they’re on the road. They met in Europe and fell in love while hitchhiking together, and from there on out most developments occur on other trips they take, alone or together.
Our favourite might be their ridiculous road trip with Mark’s ex Cathy (Bron), her overbearing husband Howard (Daniels) and their obnoxious and unruly daughter Ruthie (not her fault – her parents are useless). The fact that Joanna and Mark have kids after this is mindblowing.
We’re in two minds about this movie. We love the non-linear storytelling and the wardrobe, but the relationship doesn’t quite work for us. Audrey Hepburn is lovely as Joanna, but frankly we’re not sold on Albert Finney in this, and we don’t quite see their chemistry.
At times it seems as though they’re going for the loving bickering of Nick and Nora, but while she is charming enough, he often comes across as a douche. Why on earth would they get married? They’re a perfect example of how squabbling and negging does NOT a cute couple make.
Sure, they have some good times – their express tourism is fun, and the continuous gag about his passport is cute, but overall our impression is that they should have been a holiday fling. Not building a life together. Especially as they fall into the classic trap of “sure, my partner and I have agreed on a life goal together, but I’m sure they’ll change their mind now that I have!” Then again, maybe that is the point of the story..? In which case: well done to all involved!
We have a fondness for Cathy though – just the way she talks is enough to make us want to hang out with her. And we’d pay good money to see a crossover show with Cathy and Howie befriending Mortitia and Gomez Addams! Or Nick and Nora Charles. If anyone wants to develop that show we’ll take 10% of all proceeds, including merchandising, please and thank you.
What we learned: Who travels in a vinyl outfit? Have fun with the thrush…
Delphine and Solange (real life sisters Deneuve and Dorléac) are two very accomplished sisters desperately seeking men. Their mother, Yvonne (Darrieux), runs a café and regrets leaving her fiancé ten years prior due to his unfortunate last name (Dame). In their small seaside town, they sing, dance, frolick, endanger their children, and avoid meeting both their soulmates and axe murderers.
The small town of Rochefort is an eventful one, and there are plenty of things going on. For instance, artist Maxence (Perrin) needs to lower his fucking expectations and perhaps focus more on what sort of personality his dream girl will have and less on what she will look like; Yvonne keeps letting COMPLETE STRANGERS PICK UP HER SON FROM SCHOOL, the complete madwoman; and one of the regular guests at her café is running around brutally murdering women.
Oh, didn’t we mention that? 103 minutes into this romantic and sweet musical, a woman (Lola, actually) is brutally murdered. With an axe. And all the characters proceed to make jokes about it.
Les demoiselles de Rochefort is sort of the opposite of Weekend (which we’re coming to soon) – everyone is sweet and simple (except for the whole axe murderer subplot). It’s beautiful in its pastel ice cream colours, and the singing and dancing is everything.
Delphine and Maxence’s hopeless romantics are contrasted by the more sensible yet still artistic Solange and Andy Miller (Kelly). Then there are the fun and shallow carnies (Chakiris and Dale) and all the fantastic dance numbers. Sure, it’s mildly annoying that no one in this small town has ever met each other before, and Yvonne really is the world’s most irresponsible parent, but this is an incredibly sweet and charming movie which we’re going to watch annually. Do yourself a favour and join us!
What we learned: We need to step up our hat game if we’re ever to meet a man…
We’ve just got back from Oppdal, and Ramaskrik Film Festival. For the uninitiated, Ramaskrik is an annual horror film festival and Sister the Oldest has had the privilege of helping pick out movies for it for the past 2 years. Since Thursday, we’ve basically been in a vegetative state in front of a big cinema screen (as opposed to our usual vegetative state in front of a much smaller TV screen) absorbing horror movies and eating too much pizza. Here’s a recap of some high- (and low-)lights.
The Boy Behind the Door, dir: David Charbonier, Justin Powell. Intense and tense movie about two boys who are kidnapped, in large parts carried by an amazing performance from Lonnie Chavis. Recommended!
Brain Freeze, dir: Julien Knafo French-Canadian plant zombies on a private island for rich people. This one didn’t quite work for us. It’s not funny enough for a comedy, not scary enough for a horror, not political enough for a satire, and not dramatic enough for a drama. It sort of touched on several genres but didn’t quite fulfill any of them. It has some redeeming qualities though – the cast is very good, and they have found the most amazing baby who has ever existed. Seriously, that baby alone is worth the ticket money.
Benny Loves You, dir: Karl Holt Jack works for a toy company, lives at home, and is hopelessly stuck in a state of arrested development. In an attempt to get his life together, he throws away his childhood toy Benny. Big mistake… Benny is not ready to let go. Benny Loves You is adorable. Is it a perfect movie? No. But it is funny, gory, and extremely charming. So yes – if you get a chance, you should definitely check this out. We’ve watched it twice already…
The Deep House, dir: Alexandre Bustillo, Julien Maury A couple goes diving to explore a flooded house. But they find more than they bargained for. This one divided us a bit. It’s a slow burner, and some found it a bit boring while the pace worked for others. We’re all in agreement about hating the boyfriend with a fiery vengeance though – he is such an asshole. We also agree that the ending was a bit meh. But all in all the movie is quite good – especially if you don’t mind a slow pace and an idiot boyfriend.
Kandisha, dir: Alexandre Bustillo, Julien Maury: A girl summons the Moroccan demon Kandisha for revenge after her ex assaults her. And Kandisha answers the call. This was a nice little demon movie with a cool monster and a good cast of characters. The French multi-cultural setting worked really well as well. Not overly memorable, but not bad either. Also directed by the same guys who made The Deep House.
Coming Home in the Dark, dir: James Ashcroft A family is assaulted and then kidnapped by two drifters in New Zealand. Oooo, this was good! Very tense, very engaging, very well cast, and undeniably brutal and dark. Definitely recommended if you like long lasting psychological torture. And who doesn’t?
Antlers, dir: Scott Cooper This is a long-awaited Wendigo movie and it almost lived up to the hype. The monster is awesome (del Toro was involved), the characters work, they balance the backstory really well (just enough information without dwelling on it), and the concept is great. We just wish there had been some more Native Americans in this movie about Native American myths… It’s a veeeery white movie.
In the Earth, dir: Ben Wheatley. Mythical wood spirits and madness, probably exacerbated by mushrooms. Also British politeness leading to horrible consequences. The first half is great, the second half seems disconnected from the first. But amazing performances, especially by 1000 films blog favourite Reece Shearsmith. Not for everyone, but worth watching, even though it falls apart a bit towards the end. We enjoyed it.
The Night House, dir: David Bruckner After her husband’s suicide, Beth starts to uncover his dark secrets in the lake house he built them. Fairly standard horror, but taken to the next level by an amazing Rebecca Hall! Also contains the most accurate picture of teachers out drinking ever captured on film. Recommended!
Titane, dir: Julia Ducournau Winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes this year, Julia Ducournau’s Titane probably doesn’t need much of an introduction. We were warned it would be shocking and weird before we went to see it, but we didn’t really find it all that shocking. Or that weird, really. We did however enjoy the hell out of it. Catch this one in the cinema!
The Sadness, dir: Rob Jabbaz In Taiwan, a virus has been largely ignored by authorities until a mutation turns all the infected into sex-crazed, sadistic killers. Whoops! There had to be a zombie-virus film this year (we’re surprised there weren’t more, actually), and The Sadness offers up all the over-the-top gore you could possibly ask for. There’s also a Me Too-message in there, so ticks a lot of Zeitgeist boxes. Two very enthusiastic thumbs up!
Alone With You, dir: Emily Bennett, Justin Brooks Charlie is waiting for her (possibly psychologically abusive) girlfriend to come home, but finds herself trapped in her apartment as weird things begin to happen. We watched this on our last day, and that may have been a mistake. Compared to the rest of the program, this wasn’t quite up to scratch. It might have worked as a 30 minute short, but there definitely wasn’t enough there for a full length feature. Meh.
The Night Shift (a.k.a. Ghost Mansion), dir: Jo Ba-Reun: A Korean anthology about a cursed apartment building and some of the inhabitants who have lived (and usually died) there over the years. This was cool, and became a bit of an audience favourite. The backstory of the building might have been a tad convoluted and not necessarily related to all the stories, but each short story worked really well. Check it out!
No Man of God, dir: Amber Sealey: Not necessarily a horror, No Man of God tells the story of the relationship between Ted Bundy and the FBI analysist who worked with him after his arrest. It’s quiet and slow, but it packs a punch and is thoroughly engaging. Additionally, Elijah Wood manages to look 40 and 14 at the same time, and we love him all the more for it. Highly recommended!
The Advent Calendar, dir: Patrick Ridremont Wheelchair bound Eva gets an old wooden advent calendar from a friend. A demonic calendar. With demons. Which was obvious from the look of it, but it’s surprising how many characters in horror movies have never actually seen a horror movie. Still, it was entertaining with a great concept and a cool monster. Perhaps a new Christmas tradition?
Slapface, dir: Jeremiah Kipp Brothers Tom and Lucas live alone since the death of their mother. Tom tries to look after his little brother, but is not quite capable. And then Lucas befriends a monster in the woods… This is an excellent monster movie with compelling characters and sibling dynamics. The monster is also really good, and the movie is darker than you’d expect. Very good stuff!
Last Night in Soho, dir: Edgar Wright: Ho. Ly. Fuck. Yes. Yes please. Everyone must watch this. Stylish, intriguing and surprising, with a perfect cast and all the attention to detail we’ve come to expect from Edgar. We’re watching it again once it’s released in Norway.
Starring: Stanley Tucci, Tony Shalhoub, Minnie Driver, Marc Anthony, Isabella Rossellini, Ian Holm, Allison Janney, Liev Schreiber
Runtime: 1h 49min
Like Pulp Fiction, Big Night also gets to skip ahead in line because of Kosmorama Film Festival’s fantastic Culinary Cinema program. On September 15th we enjoyed a lovely meal inspired by the even lovelier movie we were watching during the meal. What else can two gals ask for?
Brothers Primo (Shalhoub) and Secondo (Tucci) run an Italian restaurant in New Jersey. And when we say Italian restaurant we mean Italian restaurant. Primo will not compromise on his food – it will be just the way he learned to make it, thankyouverymuch, despite the New Jersey palate not appreciating his traditional cuisine.
Secondo, who’s dating Phyllis (Driver) while secretly sleeping with Gabriella (Rossellini), goes to rival restauranteur Pascal (Holm) to ask for a loan to keep their business afloat. Pascal refuses the loan, but offers to get a famous singer to come eat at the brothers’ place to draw in customers and publicity. Oh, by the way Pascal is married to Gabriella. Just to further complicate things. Primo and Secondo pour their last savings into the menu for their Big Night – everything must be perfect for their famous guest! But will the investment pay off?
Big Night is charming, funny and a bit sad, with wonderful performances from its entire cast. At the heart of it is the relationship between the two brothers, which is loving yet volatile – just like ours. Food culture and authenticity are also major themes, and the chef is portrayed as an artist – not “just” a craftsman. Apparently, there was a whole movement in the ’90s where food stopped being food and started being art. We’re not mad at it.
Watching Big Night makes you crave Italian food in a major way, so the only way to watch it is really at an Italian restaurant while being served food inspired by the movie- including a delicious timpano. So next time you go out to eat, why not bring a TV?
What we learned: Authentic cuisine is some serious shit!
Starring: John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis, Uma Thurman, Tim Roth, Amanda Plummer, Ving Rhames, Rosanna Arquette, Harvey Keitel, Eric Stoltz, Phil LaMarr, Christopher Walken, Maria de Medeiros, Quentin Tarantino
Runtime: 2h 34min
On Wednesday, we went out (yay vaccines! Thank you scientist people!) for an amazing evening of “kulinarisk kino” (culinary cinema), courtesy of Kosmorama film festival. First, there was a screening of Pulp Fiction at Prinsen cinema, then we went to Bula Neobistro for a fabulous three course meal inspired by the movie. More on that to follow, but first our review of the film.
Ok, Pulp Fiction probably doesn’t need an introduction. From its release in 1994, it has been one of the most watched, discussed and acclaimed movies of our time, and for good reason. The non-linear structure, various intertwined storylines and fantastic cast all come together to create one hell of a ride!
Among the stories we have Pumpkin and Honey-Bunny (Roth and Plummer) – a couple of bank robbers planning on switching to robbing restaurants; Vincent Vega and Jules Winnfield (Travolta and Jackson) – two gangsters running errands for Marcellus Wallace (Rhames); Wallace’s wife Mia (Thurman) looking for a good time and a dance trophy; boxer Butch (Willis), who’s ready to get out of the business with his girlfriend Fabienne (de Medeiros) – a girl with the mind of a child, and oh… Oh no, that’s not good…
Throw in some racist hillbilly rapists with a gimp, a drug dealer and his wife, an unfortunate shooting victim, a dapper cleaner, and a killer soundtrack, and you’ve got yourself an instant classic. The two and a half hours fly by, every minute entertaining.
The cast are pretty much perfect, and while there are some questionable moments (are we all ok with a grown man dating a woman whose mental age is about 6..? And is the character of Jimmie just there as an excuse for QT to say the n-word 45 times in 3 minutes?), Pulp Fiction is, 27 years on, still a stylish, exciting and entertaining piece of cinema.
Now for the meal we had. There were fried squash rings with a Hawaiian inspired habanero-pineapple dip, a Big Kahuna burger with fries (served with both mayo and ketchup, of course), and finally a $5 milkshake (with a shot of bourbon). Yum! If you ever find yourself in Trondheim looking for a delicious meal and wonderful service, look no further than Bula (and no, we’re not paid to say this)! Together, the movie and the meal made this night a phenomenal success and we can’t wait for our next culinary cinema. Which is coming up this Wednesday with #767 Big Night shown with a three course Italian meal. Buon appetito!
What we learned: How to handle an O.D. Which, we’re sure we can all agree, is useful knowledge. Also, the safety is there for a reason, Vincent!
Now, our more faithful readers may have noticed that it has taken us much longer to get from #251 to #300 than usual. There are many reasons for this, among them work, other obligations, and the pandemic actually leading to more work for us rather than less. So in order to keep it a bit fresh and interesting we’ve decided to mix things up a little bit. Locally where we live, there are several events coming up featuring films from the list. When these events happen, we’re going to “skip in line” a bit and cover those films early. And we’re starting tomorrow with #755 Pulp Fiction, which we recently had the great pleasure of revisiting on the big screen, followed by a themed meal at the amazing Bula Neobistro in Trondheim. Review and report from that wonderful night to follow shortly!
Starring: Gene Wilder, Zero Mostel, Dick Shawn, Kenneth Mars, Estelle Winwood, Christopher Hewett, Andréas Voutsinas, Lee Meredith, Renée Taylor
Runtime: 1h 28min
Max Bialystock (Mostel), The King of Broadway, has fallen on hard times. He is now dependent on doling out sexual favours to rich, elderly widows to finance his plays, most of which don’t do particularly well.
Leo Bloom (Wilder) is an insecure, young accountant tasked with auditing his accounts. However, he is pulled into the fraudulent world of Bialystock and comes up with a way to make more money from a theatrical flop than a hit.
Teaming up, the two men go searching for the most offensive play they can find – something that could never ever be a hit. And they score big with Springtime for Hitler: A Gay Romp with Adolf and Eva at Berchtesgaden – a love letter to Hitler written by an actual Nazi, Franz Liebkind (Mars).
While the play itself should ensure their (un)success, they seal the deal by engaging a horrible director and casting an off-beat hippie who just happened to wander into the audition to play the lead. Everything is coming up Bialystock!
We love EVERYTHING about this movie, and we go around humming “Springtime for Hitler” a LOT more than any human being should. From the cabinet filled with framed pictures of Bialystock’s old, rich women to “We’re Prisoners of Love,” The Producers is a hilarious romp fueled by fantastic performances and Mel Brooks’ particular sense of humour. The plot, the music, the characters, the dialogue – it all works, and we can watch it again and again. And so should you.
Dr Sidney Schaefer (Coburn) is recruited to be, as the title suggests, the President’s psychoanalyst. And boy does the President need it! Schaefer is conveniently moved to a new home with a secret tunnel connecting it to the White House, meaning that his new patient can call on him at all hours of the day and night. And he does.
Cushy or not, the job is top secret and totes private, so Schaefer cannot vent to anyone about the stress and pressure of his new position, and this soon starts to tear on his own psyche. He begins to see conspiracies everywhere – even suspecting his new girlfriend of spying on him.
Turns out he’s right all along! There are a whole bunch of agencies out to get him, such as the CEA, the FBR, the KGB and, worst of all, the TPC! How is a poor psychiatrist supposed to get out of this mess?
This movie is hilarious. Ok, it’s very, very silly, but if you’re in the right mood it’s great. The sixties are truly swinging in this comedy/thriller/sci-fi, and Coburn is swinging along. Despite his strife, he seems very jolly and happy all the time – he handles everything thrown at him with ease. He appears to be especially delighted during his stint as a gong player in a hippie band while on the run.
The quintessential American Family™ the Quandrills are also among our favourites, but what we enjoyed the most about this movie were all the different agencies and their relationships with each other. The agents and spies from the FBR, KGB, TPC, CSS, CEA, etc. tend to bump into each other so often that they’re all old friends – especially Masters (Cambridge) and Kropotkin (Darden), CEA and KGB, respectively. Their scenes together are easily the best parts of the movie. We also enjoyed the piles of dead assassins and spies. Mass murder is hilarious (in the right context)!
What we learned: Are you paranoid if they’re actually out to get you?
Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft, Katharine Ross, William Daniels, Murray Hamilton, Elizabeth Wilson
Runtime: 1h 46min
Surprise motherfuckers! We’re not dead. We just got to summer and realised we were completely exhausted by work and pandemics and generally being alive, so we needed a proper break. No work, no writing, no responsibilities! Sorry ’bout it. But we are now rested and rejuvenated and ready to dive back in with a fun, lighthearted romp through depression, existential crises, borderline abuse, doomed relationships and rape allegations… Oh. Oh damn.
Well, the plot of The Graduate is pretty well known. Ben (Hoffman) comes home from college, all disillusioned and emo. His parents’ generation is totes old fashioned and lame, and all Ben knows is he certainly doesn’t want to become like them (spoiler alert: he probably will). Then the ultimate cougar seduces him.
Ben’s domestic claustrophobia and feeling of alienation on his return home are probably familiar to most people – we know we’ve been there. Being a young adult is hard, man! Luckily, he deals with his emotions in a mature manner – by floating around in the pool and fucking his parents’ friend.
Things get more complicated once Ben falls in love with Mrs Robinson’s daughter Elaine (Ross). Whether out of jealousy or because she thinks her daughter could do better than her boy toy, Mrs Robinson does everything she can to break the two up – including falsely accusing Ben of rape.
As is tradition, let’s go through what we liked and didn’t like about The Graduate. We loved the stress, depression and claustrophobia experienced by Ben, the clown painting, the portrayal of ennui and alienation, Simon and Garfunkel, and the last shot when the two crazy kids realize they may have just made a huge mistake.
What we didn’t like… Well… Let’s face it: Elaine is a non-person. The only semi-intelligent thing she does is leave him on that first, disasterous date. Then after that, she sort of just exists to be an object of obsession for her new stalker who’s secretly banging her mom. And also to show him if you just stalk and bother her enough, she’ll eventually fall in love with you. #lifehack
That being said, Ben’s malaise is relatable for people of several generations. The ’60s was not the last decade where the youth had trouble relating to their parents, and while we came around a long time later (we’re still young dammit!), we’ve been in the same boat. Luckily, we avoided being seduced by the neighbourhood cougar. Phew!
What we learned: A relationship is the solution to all your problems! Also, stalking is super romantic.