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Here, watch an award-winning foreign film on YouTube

Jul. 29th, 2011 | 01:07 am

"Nowhere in Africa" isn't a perfect movie. I was, in fact, kind of disappointed after watching it initially (it WAS a pirated copy with bad subtitles, though). The more I thought about it though, the more things I decided I did like about it. So I'm probably due for a re-watch about now.

Here's three of the things that I instantly love about the film:
-it's set and shot in Kenya. I don't think I need to explain why I love this...
-Juliane Köhler. This actress is great in this movie, and she also gets a lifetime pass for being fantastic alongside Maria Schrader in "Aimee & Jaguar" (which is also on YouTube in its entirety. I highly recommend the movie, but it's one that's worth watching in better quality than YouTube uploads can offer).
-it's based on an autobiographical novel. Because my most favourite stories are ones based on (or in) reality.
-it won an Oscar for Best Foreign Film in 2003, and was also nominated for Best Foreign Film at the 2003 Golden Globes. This isn't actually a specific thing I love about the movie, but I figured I'd add it as proof that I don't only watch obscure movies that no one has heard of.

My main disappointment with this movie is how little characterization the Kenyan characters get. Kenyans in this movie sometimes seem more like backdrop than actual figures in the movie. In that respect, the movie comes off as somewhat patronizing and uncomfortable, and I won't try to make any excuses or pretend it's not a problem. I just hope that doesn't turn people completely off of the movie.

I'll try not to sound trite here, but what this movie does offer is some incredible character arcs. But it's engrossing and fascinating to watch the central characters react, adapt, and grow throughout the movie.

I should probably provide an actual summary of the movie, but I'm starting to fall asleep & type badly, but it's also really easy to find a summary of the movie online. Anyway, I'm giving you a guys to watch the whole movie online for free, so that's better, right?

Part 1 of the movie is on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAtqtE0QkMI
Parts 2 to 14 are uploaded by the same user. The subtitles seem reliable, though I only watch a few minutes to check.

So... check this movie out, maybe!

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Documentary: War Dance

Jun. 14th, 2011 | 12:55 pm


"War Dance" is a documentary that is, at many points, incredibly painful to watch. A film that involves kids recounting horrific violence done to their families, their villages, their people, is not easy to watch. A film where a boy tells of a time when, kidnapped by rebels, he was forced to kill unarmed farmers or be killed himself, is not easy to watch.

However.

While it would be inappropriate, in a doc like this, to leave out the background, experiences, and situation of these kids and the Acholi people of Uganda, this documentary isn't purely about the violence and atrocities committed against them.

This documentary is about the kids from a school in the Patongo refugee camp winning a position to compete in a big Kampala music competition. It's about the way in which the kids are able to find some joy and solace in music, and how they're able to recover some of their pride and dignity by performing a traditional Acholi dance at the competition.

It's definitely not a feel-good film. It's also not a hopeless one.

I highly recommend.Trailer under the cutCollapse )

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Watch this film

May. 30th, 2011 | 12:53 pm

I'm posting this at work, and even watching the trailer without audio, I teared up for a moment. This documentary is, no lies, my absolute favourite film ever.


I'm possibly a bit positively biased, because so much in this film reflects or evokes what I saw when I was in Kenya. I saw this film last year at Toronto's HotDocs festival, and I had tears in my eyes throughout the entire damn thing. It is amazing.

And finally, it's been released on DVD. I recommend this film SO highly; rent it, buy it (you can get it from amazon.com, or the film's website: http://asmallact.com/order.php, etc), find someone to borrow it from, whatever.

As soon as I get my copies of the DVD in the mail, I'll try to do a more in-depth write-up. I want to make everyone as excited about this film as I am!

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This, THIS is the kind of movie I get excited about

Feb. 21st, 2011 | 07:44 pm


I haven't gotten a chance to see this film, being that I don't think it's seen a Canadian release yet, but I would love, love, love to.

Bonus: The director of this movie is a woman. That's kind of great to see.

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To the nostalgia mobile!

Feb. 18th, 2011 | 05:39 pm


I forget the general context of this scene. Not that it helps thaaaaaaaat much.

Yep.

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And then, Canadian entertainment!

Jan. 24th, 2011 | 06:48 am


So, in addition to being kind of obsessed with foreign films, I also get totally excited about Canadian film and TV.Is anyone familiar with Peter Outerbridge? I'm really only familiar with him from ReGenesis, a Canadian sci-fi show (though, in the early seasons it's probably more acurate to call it a "fictional science" show) where he plays a character of the "brilliant asshole" archetype. Here's a sample clip of him being an asshole (Warning: use of the f-word): www.youtube.com/watch (embedding IS enabled on this clip, but hell if I can make it work properly right now).

I started and finished marathon watching ReGenesis last summer, I guess it was.

And then I watched the Canadian film "Better than Chocolate" (HEY MOM I WATCHED A ROM COM) a few weeks back, thinking through the whole damn thing that whoever was playing the character of Judy looked familiar, but I couldn't figure from where. I basically did a double-take and then laughed giddily when I watched the movie's credits; it's Peter Outerbridge! And here's a clip (Warning: use of the f-word and a song with naughty lyrics)www.youtube.com/watch (sorry, YouTube won't let me embed the clip here, so the link will have to do).

So... yep. This entire post is less exciting if you do not like/watch/follow Canadian film or TV.

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WTF is Kate watching now?!

Oct. 19th, 2010 | 02:45 pm

"The Plague Dogs". This animated movie, for those who've not seen it, is nightmare fuel. It's based on the novel by Richard Adams (author of "Watership Down"), and directed & produced by Martin Rosen (who also did the film adaptation of "Watership Down"). That may give an ined of what to expect from this movie, though, while I've not seen OR read Watership Down (I know of it by reputation only), I find it hard to imagine it could be as disturbing as Plague Dogs.

This film has a lot of shocking, distressing, and nightmarish imagery (re. animal experimentation and violence, gore), and is relentlessly downbeat. It features very expressive, beautiful older animation though, and fascinating characters (Snitter, in particular). I'd probably call the film a hypothetical study in animal psychology.

This is probably one of those movies that people only ever want to watch once, but it's worthwhile to do so. Just take care to watch it when it won't trigger or compound an already depressed mood.

Trailer embedded under the cut.Collapse )
(Trying to catch up on watching movies I've got filling up my harddrive, so I'm thinking about trying to make this thing an on-going series. I eventrually want to do more full movie write-ups on my other blog, but the last movie I tried to do that for totally stalled my progress.

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Update on kateinkenya!

Aug. 25th, 2010 | 02:59 pm


My other journal, kateinkenya  has been updated. Not only does it FINALLY have an LJ icon (of myself and Wayua, who is one of the girls my father sponsors), it has a BRAND NEW entry (with a number of photos!).

I still owe the world all the photos and video that I took when I was in Kenya, so you had better all expect to be pestered to check them out when I FINALLY post them.

Go over there and check for the new entry now, though!

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5 question meme

Aug. 13th, 2010 | 01:47 pm

5 question meme from belgatherial . If anyone else wants to participate, leave me a comment about something wonderful in your world, and I'll get back to you with a personalized set of questions :)

1. What's your favourite sort of natural water (river, sea, lake, etc) and why?

I am not so much of a water person. I think if I had to pick a favourite sort of natural water though, I'd say creeks/streams. I like to roll up my pants and just kind of wade around, but I haven't done this in a while. Closest public creek area has crayfish; just small ones, but I still do not trust them!

2. If money and time were no object, what would you do with the next year of your life?
 
I would travel. I'd find someone to travel with, for safety, and then travel everywhere I could, everywhere where I was welcome. South America, Eastern Europe, Australia & New Zealand, Africa. I would hope to meet people, the locals of everywhere I went.

3. If you could fill a garden with either trees or flowers, which, and why?


Fruit-producing trees and bushes! I like berries... but I am not sure where they fall between "trees" and "flowers". I hope this hypothetical garden I am filling would magically maintain itself though, because I have NEVER had to/tried to nurture and grow plants before.

4. What's one thing you have always wanted to do and haven't? Why haven't you?

Join a pencil & paper roleplaying group. Never done so because... I don't think I have enough confidence to think I could roleplay competently or interestingly. Far too self-conscious to do anything that bears any resemblance to acting.

5. What is your opinion on vuvuzelas?

Personally? Didn't watch or listen to any World Cup stuff, so I was barely exposed to them. But for the sake of people, for the sake of South Africa, using vuvuzelas to make the celebrations and excitement their <i>own</i>, I say they're awesome!
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I think Iceland is a pretty cool guy...

Jun. 29th, 2010 | 01:31 pm


"REYKJAVIK, Iceland — Iceland's prime minister has married her partner under a new law legalizing same-sex marriage in the country." (link)

That is twelve kinds of awesome. Congrats and best wishes to them!

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