Monday, 27 April 2015


The time when people rediscover nature, ice-cream and late-night walks.

Well, I have to re-discover an over-the-top comedy series that has 9 (!) seasons, one more gruesome than the other.

If you have not yet watched Peep Show, don't start now. Or do so at your own responsibility.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Thinking about...

...the two things I like focusing on the most:

1. how to effectively sabotage every attempt at getting any work done.

2. how to over-interpret a film way out of proportions, and thus make it seem as if its intention was really to say something about things I care about, although probably its author cared about a whole different set of issues, really. (Yes, I need to develop some kind of strong accent of authority to make that last line sound convincing; pidgin English just doesn't cut it.)

I have recently seen a film that was really an unlikely contender for any kind of weekly highlight for me, because it a) is sci-fi, sadly a genre I have too little patience for, and b) it was written and directed by no other than Alex Garland, a man who was perhaps once very dear to me, but the problem is that this mysterious 'once' was literally half-of-my-life-ago, when I was an easy-to-woo highschooler and he was the author of a then-acclaimed novel The Beach (time flies!). Now, to be fair, he did in the meantime manage to play my soft spot once again with the script to Never Let Me Go, a film that kind of made everyone feel they were back in highschool again, emotionally at least (or was it just me?), but his following novels were just completely out of tune with my own interests, and so down he went into the trash bin of history. However, he is back with a film he both scripted and directed - which goes under the pretentious title Ex Machina - that I perhaps did not love, but that really doesn't seem to let me get out of its tight grip, which is admittedly something of a success.

Ex Machina is far from a great film: it is predictable for the most part, and framed with an eye of someone who has a lot of style lessons to learn. But it does - and I say this without intending to spoil anything to anyone - tackle the second-favourite topic on my list (right there behind awkward father-son relationships I have previously written about): human emotions. And it does so in a way that, at least to my biased self, seems to be saying: forget intelligence; no matter how intellectually advanced the human race gets, our own worst enemy will always be the thing most inherent to us - our need to feel for others, our capacity to love and be loved. Now, a part of that capacity must in some form be a social construct: we fall head over heels for that 'certain someone' because most of us are trained in the art of monogamy for as long as we know of ourselves, and our notions of 'right' and 'wrong' are also very much dependent on societal moral compasses. But that all does not make the basic point any less true. No matter how physically strong, technologically advanced or intellectually superior, we are all constant victims to our capacity to feel that certain something for others, and we like to fool ourselves into thinking that actions driven by that something are also the ones logic would embrace, if only it had all the pieces of the puzzle.

Of course, that idea is far from new - but what makes it fascinating is that it never seems to get old or worn out. And there was something about the way writer-turned-director Garland tackles it that really made it interesting, even if it is perhaps just the sheer bluntness with which he spells it out. No complications, no metaphors, just straightforward simplicity. Kinda like falling in love, really - it just hits you, no warning, no apology, no regrets.  

Sunday, 9 February 2014

How not to think

The best thing to do is always to look for distractions. Sometimes you can find interesting things...other times, you find Ewen Bremner. On a film poster. For "Snowpiercer", which plays as part of the Berlinale.

Why did I not know about this?
Ah well...good things come to those who are clueless, apparently.

Friday, 7 February 2014


I never really expected to write here again, but there is a first time for everything. In the times when I am not really in the mood to work, I read pretty much everything. In the last few days, everything was pretty much marked by one thing - the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman. By now, I have read more articles about Hoffman than I could count, yet it was, surprisingly, a blog entry on a fashion blog that struck me as the one I wanted to reply to. So this post started out as a comment, but ultimately seemed way too long to post, as a rude monologue imposed onto someone without them asking for it. It should have probably gone to the trash - monologues are almost always chokingly heavy, and somehow egoistic. But this space has always been egoistic in a way, so I let it live here...

Almost a week since the news came out, and I still cannot quite grasp it. It still feels both unreal and unfair.

I didn't know him, obviously. And we live at the opposite ends of the world, kind of, so I never accidentally came across him either. Yet he made his mark. He was, without any doubt, the best actor I have ever seen. I loved every one of his roles, as he could portray anyone so fearlessly and honestly; only now that I am forced to use these words to describe his works do I see how much we overuse them - sure, acting is a profession that requires courage, but only rarely does one really see a fearless performance. With Hoffman, while he always spoke of fear, you could never feel any of it watching him on the screen. But my favorite role of his is probably still that of Jacob Elinsky in Spike Lee's 25th Hour, where he plays a man at the same time uncomfortably self-absorbed and awkward, yet also gentle, innocent, and somehow broken, almost as if he himself is uncomfortable by his own presence, shy about his gestures, hiding his desires. I admired Hoffman deeply for being able to give so much soul to such complex, non-polished characters, and while it is unfair (to say the least) to make judgements of the actor based on his characters, I always thought it tells something of him as well - that he must have been a very open, sensitive person, to be able to feel all those characters and give them so much life on screen. 

His incredible work was one of the reasons I started writing about cinema, which I still occasionally do, and I was always hoping one day I'll get the opportunity to meet him at a festival somewhere for an interview, which I now know will never happen. To watch him play in a different setting, on the theatre stage, has been a wish of mine for a long time, and I used to plan imaginary trips to New York from Budapest with the schedule of plays in sight. Crazy, but true.

He was an incredible actor; and while there have been great losses for the art of cinema always, as time inevitably takes its toll, and some from the last few years still can be felt (James Gandolfini and Heath Ledger immediately come to mind), the emptiness that remains after Hoffman is of entirely different kind. He wasn't just great, outstanding, amazing, award-winning - he was also so incomparably different than anyone else, that the gap he leaves behind is too big to even grasp. I cannot imagine anyone else doing any one of his characters, and it saddens me immensely that for years to come, there will be so many roles played by others which would be played to perfection only by him.  How profoundly unfair.

How unfair. 

Thursday, 30 June 2011

On being forgetful

I have been taking a break from this blog for a while now, but I never thought I will forget to post on it the one thing I've done - what WE have done, as it was a real team effort, no doubt! - related to film that I am actually proud of.

A magazine.
A film magazine.
A Croatian film magazine, at the moment only the second of that kind - as movie magazines seem to have become extinct here...

More info here and here.

If you happen to come across it, lemme know what you think - it will make me a very happy person :)

Friday, 15 April 2011

Fascinated by...

...the list of names in this year's official Cannes competition.

Seriously: the Dardenne brothers (I know, I know, it doesn't sound very promising, the film - but they will always have extra credits in my book...), Lars von Trier (who is feeling very melancholic, apparently), Aki Kaurismaki (!), Terrence Malick ( long has it been again?), Nanni Moretti, Nuri Bilge Ceylan...andsoonandsoon...

But quite frankly, only one movie and one name comes as a complete surprise to me.

Well, who would have thought?
Good luck to you, Nicolas.


Thursday, 14 April 2011

Thinking about...

in all its forms.

1) Patrick Tierney as the ignored Peter Foster/Bedros Deryan in Atom Egoyan's wonderful 'Next of Kin' (1984) (M, thank you for reminding me of it...)
2) Cristi Puiu as the lost Viorel in his own 'Aurora' (2010)
3) Andrew Garfield as the fragile Anton and Lilly Cole as his object of gentle desire in Terry Gilliam's 'The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus' (2009)
4) Vincent Cassel as the sad Kirill in David Cronenberg's 'Eastern Promises' (2007)
5) Mads Mikkelsen as the subtle Lenny in Nicolas Winding Refn's wonderful 'Bleeder' (1997)

*and about how I always seem to go to the same films and same directors for comfort.
*and about how I hope the Spiderman role will not ruin the career for the wonderful Andrew Garfield, as it did for Maguire...
*and about...