Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Private Property (2006)

The sale of a family home causes some ugly truths to be uncovered in this drama from writer and director Joachim Lafosse. Pascale (Isabelle Huppert) is a middle-aged divorcée living in a restored farmhouse in the countryside with her twin sons, twentysomethings Francois and Thierry. After years of bickering with her ex-husband about the estate, Pascale has decided to sell the farmhouse with an eye toward opening a guest house in a resort community, but the twins are vehemently opposed to the idea. Pascale persuades her boyfriend to talk with Francois and Thierry in hopes of changing their mind, but the meeting does not go well and the twins inadvertently discover a long-held family secret that causes them to turn against Pascale, as well as one another. Also starring Jérémie Rénier and Yannick Renier as the twins, Nue-Propriété received its world premier at the 2006 Venice Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Theatrical Feature Running Time: 89 mins
Private Property (2006)
To me it was more like the older brother being a brat and wanted things his way and only his way. No job to speak of and just smooched off his mother while supposedly attending classes. Although both were lazy at times, Theirry thought he could just take his other brothers bike to go to town without even asking. Ultimately his rage caused his brother harm. The third party certainly did not help the situation also and partly due that the mother was not completely open and truthful about the whole situation to her boyfriend.

The one most weird moments is when "family affairs" become too natural. In the first 10 minutes of the film, does she not only pose with sexy clothes but pees with the bath room door open and then even takes a shower in the same room as the older brother while it looks like he is ogling her.

Overall not nearly as well done as the dust jacket would have us believe.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Stratosphere Girl (2003)

In this imaginative independent drama, Angela (Chloé Winkel) is a French art student living in Germany who loves to draw comics and creates elaborate tales drawn in a soft and romantic style. One night, Angela meets Yamamoto (Jon Yang), a club DJ from Japan, who invites her to come to Tokyo with him. Infatuated with Yamamoto, Angela impulsively agrees, and is soon sharing an apartment with a handful of Western expatriates who work at a nightclub where Japanese businessmen drink, sing karaoke, and date the "hostesses" for a fee. When money runs low, Angela signs on to work at the club, but when a customer is murdered in an ongoing mob war, she realizes she's entered a far more dangerous world than she imagined. The frantic pace of the city and the violence of her new environment has a strong impact on her artwork, which loses its serene qualities and becomes increasingly aggressive and mechanical. The Stratosphere Girl was written and directed by German filmmaker M.X. Oberg, who shot the film on location in Cologne and Tokyo. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Theatrical Feature Running Time: 85 mins
The Stratosphere Girl (2003)
Even thought this was a relatively short film, it still had a lot of shots of the main actress just reflecting on things and sketching. The intrigue was well done with each character seemingly in turn backstabbing her.

Ultimately, the film was just a reset button technique and the real story was just her writing about her boyfriend and friends into the story. Not really needed on a thriller such as this one.