Category Archives: Film/TV

I watch, love, and hate

A bajnok, Il campione

Egy tisztességes(en megcsinált) film: A bajnok (Il campione, Olaszország, 2019)

Igencsak tudom értékelni amikor egy film mestermunka. Márpedig Leonardo D’Agostini rendező első filmje A Bajnok (Il Campione) az. Sok filmnyelvi ujdoságot nem kínál, viszont a történetet nemcsak, hogy tisztességesen és hatásosan elmeséli, hanem be is bizonyitja, hogy érti a szakmáját. Tujda irányítani a színészeket, jó érzeke van a dinamikához és a mise en scène-hez is. Ennél többet nem is igen vár(hat)ok el.

A történet kisé kiszámítható, de ez nem baj és nem ezért szerettem a filmet. Ahogy a vetítés előtti bevezetőben elhangzott: akit érdekel a fozi azért (is) nézze meg a filmet, akit pedig nem érdekel annak is bőven van miről szólnia. Volt is. A sztori tipikus “hero’s journey”, azaz a hős útját mutatja be Joseph Campbelli értelemben. Elindul egy egyszerünek tűnő, de érzelmileg nyilvánvalóan sérült, tehetséges focistával, akit mindenki ki akar és tud is használni az ő szeretet hiánya miatt. A film végére, viszont helyrebillen a lelki egyensúly és megtalálja az “igazi“ értékeket. Avagy a pénz helyére (vagy legalábbis mellé) beül a tudás.

Volt szerencsém megnézni ezt a filmet a 17. Olasz Filmfesztivál keretében telt ház első sorában a Puskin Moziban. Így alkalmam volt a film utáni beszélgetést is meghallgatni és fel is venni videóra. Leonardo D’Agostini rendező és Antonella Lattanzi forgatókönyvíró válaszolt a kérdésekre. Például arra,

  • hogy mi adta az inspirációt a filmre
  • hogyan választották ki a főszereplőt játszó színészt, Andrea Carpenzano-t
  • mi történik, ha egy 18 éves gyerek belecsöppen a foci zárt világába amiről mindneki azt hiszi, hogy ismeri
  • hogyan születik meg a kapcsolat egy tanár és egy önfejű fiatal között
  • hogyan lehet visszatérni egy elveszett útra
  • hogyan vettek fel a stadionbeli jeleneteket…

Ha tudsz olaszul akkor az alábbi videót élvezni fogod. Ha magyarul tudsz, akkor várd ki azokat a részt amikor a tolmács fordít. :- )

 

Iratkozz fel a YouTube csatornámra

My top dozen movies watched in 2018

My top dozen movies watched in 2018

Earlier this month I posted a list of all movies I saw last year. In the distant past I used to attempt to write sort reflections about each movie I watch. I more or less gave up this dream due to lack of time. I still dream to do it one day though. Meanwhile here are the movies I liked the most from last year and why. FYI: I am not including summaries, you can read short synopsis for each of these at the IMDB links. I only share personal reflections here.

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Films viewed in 2018

Films viewed in 2018

It’s the tenth time that I share the list of  movies I watched in a  year:

  • 2018: 119 movies, see below
  • 2017: 127 movies
  • 2016: 86 movies
  • 2014: 105 movies
  • 2013: 204 movies
  • 2012: 210 movies
  • 2011: 243 movies
  • 2010: 142 movies
  • 2009: 140 movies
  • 2008: 153 movies

Here are some stats about the films I watched in 2018

  • 38 of them was from 2018, 29 from 2017, and 9 from before 2000
  • 73 from the USA, 13 from UK , 7 from France and the rest from 14 other countries.

(The montage of covers in large version)
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The 64 movies added to JewishFilmFestivals.org in September 2018

Covers of the 64 movies added to jewishfilmfestivals.org in September 2018In September 2018 I added 64 movies to JewishFilmFestivals.org, see the whole list below and the covers of some of them.

  1. America (2018)
  2. Amnesia (2018)
  3. Amor (2016)
  4. Better Together: Names, Not Numbers (2018)
  5. Bobbi Jene (2017) DVD
  6. Call Me Alvy (2017)
  7. The Caregiver (2018)
  8. The Catcher Was a Spy (2018) DVD
  9. Check Please (2015)
  10. The Chosen People? A Film about Jewish Identity (2017)
  11. The Departure (2018)
  12. Egg Cream (2018)
  13. Etgar Keret: Based on a True Story (2017)
  14. Eyeless in Gaza (2016)
  15. Fractures (2017)
  16. Genesis (2018)
  17. Glengarry Glen Ross (1992) DVD
  18. The Gravedigger’s Daughter (2017)
  19. Home Made (2017)
  20. I Heart NY (2017)
  21. In the Land of Pomegranates (2018)
  22. The In-Laws (1979) DVD
  23. The Interpreter (2018)
  24. Israel, Why (1973) DVD
  25. Keep Quiet (2016) DVD
  26. Kirk Douglas, The Untameable (2017)
  27. Kosher Love (2017)
  28. Laces (2018)
  29. Land of the Little People (2016)
  30. A Land Without Borders (2017)
  31. Layam (2018)
  32. Leftovers (2017)
  33. Little Miss Sunshine (2006) DVD
  34. Little Murders (1971) DVD
  35. Love, Gilda (2018)
  36. The Mossad: Imperfect Spies (2018)
  37. On the Spectrum (2018)
  38. One of Us (2017)
  39. The Outer Circle (2017)
  40. Paperock (2017)
  41. Present/Absent (2018)
  42. Red Cow (2018)
  43. Red Trees (2017) DVD
  44. Sante (2016)
  45. The Seven Men of Hanukkah (2016)
  46. Shattered: Journey into a Silent Past (2018)
  47. Signer (2018)
  48. Significant Other (2018)
  49. The Smuggler and Her Charges (2017)
  50. Strangers at Home (2016)
  51. Summer (2018)
  52. The Syrian Patient (2017)
  53. Tel Aviv Live (2016)
  54. Ten Bell Tolls (2017)
  55. A Thousand Kisses (2017)
  56. Three Identical Strangers (2018)
  57. Travelogue Tel Aviv (2017)
  58. Uncle Gloria: One Helluva Ride! (2016) DVD
  59. Violin (2017)
  60. Virgins (2018)
  61. Wait Until Dark (1967) DVD
  62. Who Will Write Our History (2018)
  63. You Only Live Once (2017)
  64. Your Honor (2017)

Movie Musing: Twice Born / Venuto al mondo (2012, Italy, 127 min)

Poster for Twice Born / Venuto al mondoBridges are multi-edged metaphors. In peace time they symbolize connections; we like to “build bridges” between people, cultures, seemingly disparate or even opposite fragments of the world, to emphasize the common ground. In wartime though it shows that there is no common ground under the bridge. Instead their symbolical meaning gets reversed. What once was a fragile road towards the and each other now becomes the place where nobody is protected. When you are on a bridge there is nowhere to run from a sniper. Nowhere to hide. By committing the brave or foolish act of stepping onto it you expose yourself to possible enemy fire.

Twice Born, with Penélope Cruz, painfully drives the point home, by showing both the way to the famous Mostar bridge, which was a symbol of multicultural understanding to the slaughtering of innocent people on various bridges. The symbolism gets even worse and stronger. As we learn towards the end of the movie the main surviving characters of the war live on an island. No bridges leading there, only ferries. They didn’t want to burn the bridges up behind themselves, but their country did it for them. The only more or less safe refuge they found was strictly off-coast.

Religion, Society, Technology

From now on, in my musings about movies and books I will pay extra attention to religion, technology and society. I believe every piece of artwork has something to say about them. Let me test this theory by pointing a few connections out.

Religion barely plays any role in the movie. At one point we learn about a couple, both of them university professors, where he is Jewish and she is Muslim. This fact is unceremoniously mentioned in passing and the point is to show that for being a loving couple they doesn’t have to be co-religionists. Much later when the bohemian photographer lost his joie de vivre and helps distributing food and supplies to people in a vest that bears a cross on its back, his scared wife compares him to a desperate Jesus figure. Yes, just like Jesus, he abandoned his self-preservation instinct in favor of helping others. For those who love him as a person it was hard to take.

What kind of pictures does the movie paint of human society? It is a war-story with its specific horrible atrocities. Hence it is best summarized by the words of a doctor, who after examining one of the victims in the movie says: “Her… orifices will heal slowly. It will take some time. I am ashamed to belong to the human race. God will not forgive us. Not even the children.” The things humans are capable of are seemingly unimaginable. The trouble is that some humans not just imagined but executed those atrocious crimes.

Everything is technology. The word’s meaning move on a large scale. Let’s narrow it down to man-made objects. For simplicity’s stake–and because that is one of my man interest–let’s further narrow it to computer technology. It only comes up in the very last scene, which is yet again a nice bridge between past and future. It is suggested to the 17 year old innocent boy, who was born twice, that the war should be explained to him by a comedian like Buster Keaton. So, on his way out of the island and the movie he snaps his cell-phone out and starts watching a Keaton film. New technology used by a new generation suggests progress and maybe, just maybe that he will grow up with more connecting bridges than killing fields. Also, him connecting to a classic oldie also gives hope that by studying history he and his generation will not repeat it.

Links:

  • Watch online (Amazon Prime) , buy DVD
  • Facebook page
  • IMDB summary: The fervent affair of the Italian Gemma and the American photographer Diego will be put to the test by the insurmountable problem of infertility, as the couple’s desperate desire to conceive will prompt them to make difficult choices. Now, sixteen years after the 1992 siege of Sarajevo, Gemma–after accepting her old friend Gojko’s invitation–will return to the once war-torn city accompanied by her 16-year-old son, Pietro, only to unearth powerful memories and bottled-up emotions. But, there, decades after her perilous escape, Gemma is also in for a terrible and tragic revelation–one that will uncover the true horrors of war and the full extent of her loss.
  • Trailer:

The 113 movies added to JewishFilmFestivals.org in April 2018

In April 2018 I added 113 movies to JewishFilmFestivals.org, see the whole list below and the covers of some of them.

The 113 movies added to JewishFilmFestivals.org in April 2018

 

  1. 116 Cameras
  2. Adieu my Beloved
  3. The Ancestral Sin / Sallah, Po Ze Eretz Yisrael
  4. Another Planet / Another Planet / Planeta Aheret
  5. At eye level / Auf Augenhöhe
  6. Back to Berlin
  7. Back to the Fatherland
  8. Barbra Streisand, Becoming an Icon / Barbra Streisand: Geburt einer Diva 1942-1984
  9. Be/Longing / Amal
  10. Bella! Did Ya Eat?: The Story of Judy Perly and Free Times Cafe
  11. Blazing Saddles
  12. Block 13
  13. The Body Collector / De Zaak Menten
  14. Bride of Finklestein
  15. Budapest Noir
  16. A Call to Remember
  17. Comics: Steve Shuster
  18. Commandments / Kipat Barzel
  19. Compartments
  20. The Cousin
  21. Cuba’s Forgotten Jewels: A Haven in Havana
  22. The Dead Nation
  23. Dieu Merci: The Story of Michele Rodri
  24. Don’t Forget Me
  25. Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas
  26. Driver / Before Memory / Lifney HaZikaron
  27. The Entertainer
  28. Eruv
  29. Five Years After the War / Cinq ans après la guerre
  30. Four by Four / Arba Al Arba
  31. Futures Past
  32. GI Jews: Jewish Americans in World War II
  33. The Good postman / Hyvä postimies
  34. Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405
  35. The Hero / De Held
  36. Holy Air
  37. How to Ride an Elevator on Shabat
  38. I’m from the Jews
  39. If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast
  40. The Impure
  41. In Between / Bar Bahar
  42. In Her Footsteps
  43. Indecent
  44. The Invisibles / Die Unsichtbaren
  45. Israel: Stories of Modern Days
  46. An Israeli Love Story / Sipur Ahava Eretz-Israeli
  47. Journey Birds / Ulai Rak Tsiporei Masa Yodot
  48. Kishon His Name Precedes Him / Kishon
  49. Land of Milk and Funny
  50. Large Soldier / Chayal Large
  51. The Last laugh
  52. The Last suit / El último traje
  53. The Last Supper / Das letzte Mahl
  54. Let Me Hear Thy Voice
  55. Libya: The Last Exodus / Libia: l’ultimo esodo
  56. Life is rich
  57. Lon
  58. Longing / Ga’agua
  59. Look About You
  60. The Maestro: In Search of the Last Music
  61. A Memoir of War / La douleur
  62. A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  63. Moe Berg
  64. Mr & Mrs Adelman / Mr & Mme Adelman
  65. Mr. Predictable / Yeled Tov Yerushalyim
  66. The Museum
  67. My Dear Children
  68. My Hero Brother
  69. Nana
  70. The New Black (Shababniks) / Shababnikim
  71. Niggun
  72. No Ordinary Hero: The SuperDeafy Movie
  73. Nothing Happens
  74. One for the Road
  75. One More Experiment
  76. Open Your Eyes
  77. The Oslo Diaries
  78. Outdoors / Bayit Bagalil
  79. People like you
  80. The Promised Band
  81. RBG
  82. Rebel
  83. Reinventing Rosalee
  84. Remember Baghdad
  85. Rising Sons
  86. The Samuel Project
  87. Saving Neta
  88. Saving Nur
  89. Say What!: A Geriatric Proposal
  90. Scaffolding
  91. Seeing Allred
  92. Shalom Bollywood: The Untold Story of Indian Cinema
  93. Shalom Italia
  94. Spiral
  95. Spring Chicken
  96. Standing Up
  97. Starry Sky Above Me, The / Le ciel étoilé au-dessus de ma tête
  98. Stitchers: Tapestry of Spirit
  99. The Strangest Stranger
  100. Summer
  101. Sunset
  102. Tevye’s daughters / Myr vashomy domy!
  103. The Third place / El tercer espacio
  104. Tijuana Jews
  105. To Be A Child Again – Israel
  106. Touching the Sky / Ha Tayasot
  107. Tracking Edith / Auf Ediths spuren
  108. Tzeva Adom: The Color Red
  109. Under the Bar
  110. The Wedding Plan / Laavor et hakir
  111. Wendy’s Shabbat / Wendy’s Shabbat
  112. Woman with an Editing Bench
  113. A Woman’s Story

Films viewed in 2017

Poster for 1945 filmIt’s the ninth time that I share the list of  movies I watched in a  year:

  • 2017: 127 movies, see below
  • 2016: 86 movies
  • 2014: 105 movies
  • 2013: 204 movies
  • 2012: 210 movies
  • 2011: 243 movies
  • 2010: 142 movies
  • 2009: 140 movies
  • 2008: 153 movies

As you can see I skipped 2015, when I didn’t track at all movies watched.  I may have forgotten to track every watched movie in 2017 as well.

Here are some stats about the films I watched in 2017

  • 40 of them was from 2017, 53 from 2016, and 6 from before 2000
  • 55 from the USA, 15 from France, 11 from UK, 10 from Israel, 9 from Germany and the rest from 13 other countries.

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Films viewed in 2016

Barney's VersionIt’s the eighth time that I share the list of  movies I watched in a  year:

  • 2008: 153 movies
  • 2009: 140 movies
  • 2010: 142 movies
  • 2011: 243 movies
  • 2012: 210 movies
  • 2013: 204 movies
  • 2014: 105 movies
  • And 2016: 86 movies, see below

As you can see I skipped 2015, when I didn’t track at all movies watched.  I may have forgotten to track every watched movie in 2016 as well.

Here are some stats about the films I watched in 2016

  • 17 of them was from 2016, 19 from 2015, and 9 from before 2000
  • 36 from the USA, 10 from France, 9 from Israel,  and the rest from 17 other countries.

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Books added to FilmandReligion.com in May 2016

Cover for Sacred Space: The Quest for Transcendence in Science Fiction Film and TelevisionIn the month of May 2016 I added these 22 books to FilmandReligion.com that discusses aspects of film/TV and religion. About half of them are from the last 12 months, and the rest is from earlier

  1. The Bible in Motion: A Handbook of the Bible and Its Reception in Film (2016) by Rhonda Burnette-BletschBuy
  2. Coen: Framing Religion in Amoral Order (2016) by Elijah Siegler Buy
  3. Esoteric Hollywood: Sex, Cults and Symbols in Film (2016) by Jay DyerBuy
  4. Faith, Family, Film: A Teacher’s Trek (2016) by Fred EichelmanBuy
  5. Hollywood Holyland: The Filming and Scoring of The Greatest Story Ever Told (1992) by Ken DarbyBuy
  6. I Just Saw Jesus: The JESUS Film – From Vision, to Reality, to the Unimaginable (2016) by Paul Eshleman Buy
  7. Jean-Luc Godard’s Hail Mary: Women and the Sacred in Film (1993) by Maryel Buy
  8. Jero Tapakan: Balinese Healer: An Ethnographic Film Monograph (1996) by Linda Connor, Patsy Asch, Timothy AschBuy
  9. Light Shining in a Dark Place: Discovering Theology through Film (2012) by Jeff SellarsBuy
  10. Love in the Afterlife: Underground Religion at the Movies (2016) by Richard StrinerBuy
  11. Of Elephants and Toothaches: Ethics, Politics, and Religion in Krzysztof Kieslowski’s ‘Decalogue’ (2016) by Eva Badowska, Francesca ParmeggianiBuy
  12. Profane Parables: Film and the American Dream (2016) by Matthew S. RindgeBuy
  13. Redeeming Television: How TV Changes Christians–how Christians Can Change TV (1992) by Quentin J. SchultzeBuy
  14. Religion and Prime Time Television (1997) by Michael SumanBuy
  15. Religion Vs. Television: Competitors in Cultural Context (1996) by Jay NewmanBuy
  16. Religious Television: Controversies and Conclusions (1990) by Robert Abelman, Stewart M. HooverBuy
  17. Sacred Space: The Quest for Transcendence in Science Fiction Film and Television (2010) by Douglas E. CowanBuy
  18. The Silents of Jesus in the Cinema (1897-1927) (2016) by David ShepherdBuy
  19. Through a Lens Darkly: Tracing Redemption in Film (2015) by Marjorie Hewitt SuchockiBuy
  20. Watching TV Religiously: Television and Theology in Dialogue (2016) by Kutter Callaway, Dean BataliBuy
  21. The Way: A Cinematic Retreat Guide (2016) by Rose PacatteBuy
  22. Westernized Visual Representation of Jesus and the Construction of Religious Meanings (2015) by Dong Hwan KwonBuy

Articles added to FilmandReligion.com in May 2016

In the month of May 2016 I added this 44 articles to FilmandReligion.com that discusses aspects of film/TV and religion. About half of them are from the last 12 months, but the rest is from the 1990’s

  1. Acts of God: Film, Religion, and FX by Judith Wilt (1997-01)
  2. “Aftertones of Infinity”: Biblical and Darwinian Evocations in Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life and To the Wonder by Gregory Allen Robbins (2016-01)
  3. Agonizing Transitions and Turning Away from God in Two Tunisian Movies by Imen Yacoubi (2016-01)
  4. “As We See, So We Learn”: Doctor Who as Religious Education by Owen D. Edwards (2015-12)
  5. Babette’s Feast: A Religious Film by Wendy M. Wright (1997-10)
  6. The Books of the films: Trends in religious film-analysis by Steve Nolan (1998-03)
  7. Buddha found and lost in the Chinese nation of ‘Diversity in Unity’: Pema Tseden’s films as a Buddhist mode of reflexivity
    by Kwai-Cheung Loa (2016-04)
  8. Contending for Faith: Analyzing The Assault On Faith In The Truman Show And The Ladykillers by Timothy J. Etherington (2004-12)
  9. Different Images of God: Theological-aesthetical Evaluation of Films by Andrey Zvyagintsev and Pavel Lungin by Denys Kondyuk (2016-01)
  10. Doctor Who and the Iconographic Search for an Ecstatic Human Religious Experience by Stacy Embry (2015-12)
  11. Dr. King and the Image of God: A Theology of Voting Rights in Ava DuVernay’s Selma by Marcos Norris (2016-04)
  12. Enlightenments: The Interpretation of Tibetan Buddhism on Screen by Andronika M. Martonova (2016-01)
  13. The Eyes Have it: Film, Editing, and Postmodern Theological Hermeneutics by James M. Hansen (2016-04)
  14. Fetish, Sacrifice and Tragic Freedom in the Dardenne Brothers’ La Promesse by Andrew Small (2016-04)
  15. From Marseille to Mecca: Reconciling the Secular and the Religious in Le grand voyage (The Big Trip) (2004) by Yahya Laayouni (2016-04)
  16. “He who kills the body, kills the soul that inhabits it”: Feminist Filmmaking, Religion, and Spiritual Identification in Vision by Carl Laamanen (2016-04)
  17. Into the Arms of Dr Who: Implicit Religion and a Cowboy’s Redemption by William Keenan (2015-12)
  18. Islam, animation, and money: The reception of Disney’s Aladdin in Southeast Asia. by Timothy R. White, J. Emmett Winn (1999-12)
  19. Jesus in Film: Hollywood Perspectives on the Jewishness of Jesus by Adele Reinhartz (1998-10)
  20. Madness, Otherness and Transformation: Exploring Religion in Nordic Crime Films by Sofia Sjö (2016-01)
  21. Madonnas in Our Midst: Representations of Women Religious in Hollywood Film by MaryAnn Janosik (1997-07)
  22. The Medium and the Spirit: On Teaching Religion and Film by Torey L. Lightcap (1997-03)
  23. The Messianic Figure in Film: Christology Beyond the Biblical Epic by Matthew McEver (1998-10)
  24. MOVIES: Is God Really Dead in Beverly Hills? Religion and the Movies by Stanley Rothman (1996-04)
  25. “Noah’s Beasts Were the Stars”: Arthur Melbourne Cooper’s Noah’s Ark (1909) by David Shepherd (2016-01)
  26. Pasolini on Terra Sancta : Towards a Theology of Film by Noa Steimatsky (1998-04)
  27. Redeemed in Blood: The Sacramental Universe of Martin Scorsese by Richard A. Blake S.J. (1996-01)
  28. Redescribing “Religion and …” Film: Teaching the Insider/Outsider Problem by Russell T. McCutcheon (1998-06)
  29. Rejecting the Ethnic Community in Little Caesar, The Public Enemy, and Scarface by Bryan Mead (2016-04)
  30. Religious conflict, popular culture and the troubled spectators of recent Indian film by Anthony R. Guneratne (1997-04)
  31. Religious Faith and Science in Contact by Bryan P. Stone (1998-10)
  32. The Roles Of Violence in Recent Biblical Cinema: The Passion, Noah, And Exodus: Gods And Kings by Kevin M. McGeough (2016-04)
  33. Screenwriters as Theologians: Doctor Who’s Scope for Theological Exploration
    by Caroline Symcox (2015-12)
  34. Seeing the Light, Hearing the Call: Women Religious as Spectators and Subjects of Popular Nun Films by Maureen A. Sabine (2016-04)
  35. Spirits and Ceremonies: How to Construct Religious Experience in Documentary Film by Jouko Aaltonen (2016-01)
  36. Star Trek and theology by Jolyon Mitchell (1998-05)
  37. Suffering and Soul-Making in Disney/Pixar’s Inside Out by Bertha A. Manninen Ph.D. (2016-04)
  38. Tarkovsky’s Sacrifice: Between Nietzsche and Christ by Frank Bosman (2014-11)
  39. Teaching Religion and Film by Paul V. M. Flesher, Robert Torry (1998-12)
  40. That unbearable recurring apocalytic nightmare : crisis and apocalyptic visions in British film, 1987-1994 by Anthony John Kinik, (1997-10)
  41. The Truth About Inherit the Wind by Carol Iannone (1997-02)
  42. Various Representations of Jews in Turkish Cinema by Melih Çoban (2016-01)
  43. Word and Image: Burgess, Zeffirelli, and Jesus the Man of Nazareth by Graham Holderness (2008-11)
  44. The Word Made Cinematic: The Representation of Jesus in Cinema by Gregory Kahlil Kareem Alleen (2008-06)