TIFF 2016 Movie Review: L’AVENIR (THINGS TO COME) (France/Germany 2016) ****

Movie Reviews of films that will be playing at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) in 2016. Go to TIFF 2016 Movie Reviews and read reviews of films showing at the festival.

things_to_come_poster.jpgL’AVENIR (THINGS TO COME) (France/Germany 2016) ****
Directed by Mia Hansen-Løve

Starring: Isabelle Huppert, André Marcon, Roman Kolinka

Review by Gilbert Seah

Director Hansen-Løve’s (LA PERE DE MES ENFANTS, UN AMOUR DE JEUNESSE, EDEN) latest feature is again a film about life and living. Like in the other 3 films mentioned, her protagonist undergoes a major change in life in the midst of the movie.

Nathalie (another excellent performance by Isabelle Huppert) is a dedicated and demanding teacher, wife, and mother whose life is jolted when her husband of many years leaves her for another woman. As her life slowly crumbles (she loses her publications as well), Nathalie slowly adapts using her background in philosophy.

Nathalie is not as assured and confident as she is in the past. Her black, obsess cat, Pandora stands also as a metaphor for her life. But Nathalie, at least finds an unlikely friend in a former student, the radical young communist Fabien (Roman Kolinka).

The film is also beautifully shot in Normandy in a beautiful vacation house where the tides waters of the sea come into the backyard (my personal dream home). The musical score ranging from classical (Schubert) to folk (Woody Guthrie) is marvellous.

There are lots more to relate, reference and to enjoy in Hansen-Løve’s film such as a short clip seen of her husband Olivier Assaya’s film in one scene. As in all of Hansen-Løve’s films, L’AVENIR is an intelligent, handsomely mounted production that is an entertaining and insightful look on life and living.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhErAqJ8HGE

Free logline submissions. The Writing Festival network averages over 95,000 unique visitors a day.

Great way to get your story out: http://www.wildsound.ca/logline.html

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival:http://www.wildsound.ca

Watch recent Writing Festival Videos. At least 15 winning videos a month: http://www.wildsoundfestival.com

TIFF 2016 Movie Review: FIRE AT SEA (Fuocoammare) (France/Italy 2016) ***

Movie Reviews of films that will be playing at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) in 2016. Go to TIFF 2016 Movie Reviews and read reviews of films showing at the festival.

fire_at_sea_poster.jpg
FIRE AT SEA (Fuocoammare) (France/Italy 2016) ***
Directed by Gianfranco Rosi

Starring: Samuele Pucillo, Maria Costa, Giuseppe Fragapane

Review by Gilbert Seah

This winner of the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, takes a look at the shocking the European migrant crisis. The film is set in the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa, south of Sicily, which has become a destination for tens of thousands of refugees fleeing wars, violence, and drought in Africa.

Director Rosi iwas obviously given almost unlimited access to film there. Hi documentary makes no judgement and has been described as observational filmmaking. His camera looks and records while the audience observes and make their own judgement.

Rosi selects a couple of characters including a 12-year-old boy with a slingshot, a radio host and the only doctor on Lampedusa. (who gives the boy an eye patch) among others. A moving and occasionally powerful film.

Trailer: https://www.youtube. com/watch?v=f8Kc5wy0Rxg

 

Also, Free logline submissions. The Writing Festival network averages over 95,000 unique visitors a day.
Great way to get your story out: http://www.wildsound.ca/logline.html

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival:http://www.wildsound.ca

Watch recent Writing Festival Videos. At least 15 winning videos a month: http://www.wildsoundfestival.com

Movie Review: WHERE TO INVADE NEXT. (USA 2015) ***

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival: http://www.wildsound.ca

where_to_invade_nextWHERE TO INVADE NEXT. (USA 2015) ***
Directed by Michael Moore

Review by Gilbert Seah

When the title of Michael Moore’s new movie WHERE TO INVADE NEXT. was announced at the Toronto International Film Festival, it was followed by an auditorium of laughter. What would s***-disturber Michael Moore come up next to enrage his new film subject(s)? His then new film was totally hush-hush till it premeired at TIFF. Surprisingly, WHERE TO INVADE NEXT. offends no one. It is a crowd-pleaser with Moore even praising the United States, though only at the film’s very end. Moore must be getting soft in his old age.

The premise is a neat one. Moore travels to different countries, steals the ideas that work and returns with them to the United States. Moore plants the American flag wherever he travels in victory after stealing the ideas, though many countries would gladly have the U.S. adopt them. Italy is first visited first. Th idea of paid vacations, extended holidays and happy workers is the norm of the Italians. In France, it is the wonders of a different public school cafeteria food that makes the difference in healthy kids. Other countries visited include Germany, Portugal, Norway, Iceland and the highly surprising Slovenia and finally Tunisia. It is a fun trip. But the film runs long at close to 2 hours and like any vacation, no matter how entertaining, can grow a bit tiresome.

But what Moore clearly misses out on are the reasons the United States can never follow the ‘stolen’ policies of Moore’s invaded countries. One cannot just take one working concept from one country and implement it into another. Culture, upbringing of the people all come into play. Americans are known to be taught to be individualistic, and one against all, quite unlike for example the asians where, respect for oneself comes last.

Unlike Moore’s other films like ROGER AND ME and BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE in which the subjects were very focussed like GM’s auto factory and gun availablity, this film is scattered and is all over the place like the countries he hops to, one after another. Why did Moore pick most of the countries in Europe, one from Africa and none from Asia? There is also no reason for the order of his countries in terms of the importance of policies.

But Moore captures the film’s idea in one brilliant segment in which he asks a Tunisian woman to give a two-minute advice to the American people. “If you have to minutes of advice to give to the American people, what would it be?” And what she says hits the nail right on the head. This is the common theme tying in all of the film’s ideas of what makes a country work. The film contains many other moving moments like the one in which a Norwegian father of a dead son (the 2011 Norway summer camp massacre) confesses that getting revenge on his son’s killer solves nothing.

Moore’s film is nicely concluded, like a textbook with an ending to please the U.S. Moore says all the success stories from the countries have all originated from ideas in the United States. All the Americans need to do is to follow. But easier said than done. In this way, Moore tries the other way, (compared to using anger as, in his other films) i.e using niceness to get his point across.

The result is a crowd-pleasing, very entertaining film that somehow will have the same difficulty of getting Moore’s point or points implemented. The question is whether audiences like the nastier old Moore or the nicer new Moore.

Also, Free logline submissions. The Writing Festival network averages over 95,000 unique visitors a day.
Great way to get your story out: http://www.wildsound.ca/logline.html

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival:http://www.wildsound.ca

Watch recent Writing Festival Videos. At least 15 winning videos a month:http://www.wildsoundfestival.com