NI2 FILM REWIEWS
Under the Hawthorn Tree
Shan zha shu zhi lian is a love story from China in the seventies, translated into
English as Under the Hawthorn Tree, which fortunately could be seen in Europe.
It´s based on a novel the same title by Ai M and was shot by the director Zhang
Yimou in China.
Jin, is a young woman who had studied Education. Immediately after finishing her
studies, the Chinese State sent her to a small village where she started to work.
The future of Jin and her family depended on it because her father was in jail for his
political militancy so they had to very prudent. Sun is a good-looking young man. Jin
meets Sun and they both immediately fall in love, but Sun belongs to the
Communist Party so their love is not possible in this age. However, their love was
really passionate. So a story of hidden love begins, nobody can´t know anything
about them. Then Jin has to come back to the city and Sun runs after her. One day,
Sun disappears and Jin doesn´t know why, but her love is so intense that she
decides to look for him. After an intense search, Lin finds a dying Sun in a hospital
where they say goodbye to each other.
From my point of view, this film is a masterpiece which permits you to see the
greatness of cinema. Every scene is a treasure for me with a perfect performance
and unbeatable photography. It’s a slow film but very able to play with your feelings
and emotions. The main characters are very good. This film isn´t commercial but I
absolutely recommend it to everybody and finally some advice, see the film in
original version and take a kleenex.
By Alfredo Álvarez
FILM REVIEW: “PRIMOS”
This is a Spanish film directed by Daniel Sánchez Arévalo in 2010 in Comillas,
Cantabria (Spain). This is the third film of Arévalo, but his first comedy. It was
released in Spain in 2011 and it was nominated to
the Goya Awards in 2012. The film is starred by
Quim Gutiérrez, Raúl Arévalo, and Adrián Lastra.
It is a story about three cousins: Diego, Julián and
José Miguel. One of them, Diego, is abandoned by
his girlfriend one day before their wedding, and so
he decides to go with his cousins to the village where
they used to spend the summer when they were
children, to find his first love: Martina. There they
will see again people who they have forgotten. Besides Diego will get to know
himself and what he really wants in his life.
The great strength of this film is created by the three cousins, and how they can
inspire love to the public with their crazy personalities. There are three stories
in one, because we know each character during the film. My only criticism
would be that we can know the end of the film without seeing it, just like any
This is one of my favourite films because it shows a funny way to see love, with
comedy, and I think that humor is necessary to live. I recommend this film to
everybody because it is very funny and we can watch it with all the family
anytime anywhere. For all lovers of comedy and love, it is a must.
Sandra Álvarez Picón
Intermediate 2 (Mondays & Wednesdays)
Django unchained is a 2012 American western film written
and directed by Quentin Tarantino. It stars Jamie Foxx
(Django), Christoph Waltz (Dr. King Schultz), Leonardo
DiCaprio (Calvin Candie), Kerry Washington (Broomhilda),
Samuel L. Jackson (Stephen). The film was released on
December 25, 2012 (Christmas Day), in North America.
Set in Texas short time before the Civil War, the movie
opens with the unorthodox purchase of a slave, Django
(Jamie Foxx), by a dentist turned in a bounty hunter, Dr.
King Schultz (Christoph Waltz). Not believing in slavery,
he soon frees Django and the two become partners in Schultz's business. After a
profitable winter, they head to Mississippi to locate Django's wife, Broomhilda (Kerry
Washington). They make up an excuse to be invited by Calvin Candie (Leonardo
DiCaprio), the proprietor of “Candyland,” the infamous plantation where she is being
held. Although, Django and Schultz arouse the suspicion of Stephen (Samuel L.
Jackson), Candie’s trusted house slave who marked their moves …
With this movie Quentin Tarantino gives us a bloody, vicious, controversial, and
hilarious homage to Spaghetti Western genre. It's everything you'd expect from a
Tarantino film, high-octane action scenes, which tend to be short and brutal,
violence so amplified and exaggerated so transformed into moments of hilarity.
Tarantino delivers also a film about slavery, with an unsparing look at its horrors,
showing it as a despicable evil and enjoying its destruction. The acting of Samuel L.
Jackson as the house slave - the smiling old servant who says, "Yes, boss," and
loves his master above all things - was absolutely fantastic.
I found the movie excellent from many perspectives, not the least of which were the
representations of multiple perspectives of slavery. Django Unchained is an absolute mustsee for Tarantino fans, but also film buff, action fans, comedy lovers, and anyone who
doesn't mind their movies with in-your-face violence or who doesn't need their films to be
told through a politically correct filter.
“The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover”
“The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover” was the sixth movie by Peter
Greenaway. It is a dramatic love story which mixes black comedy and a thriller plot.
The film was successful at the independent film world in its moment. It was released
in October of 1989 in the UK.
The main character was played by Helen Mirren who was the wife of a cruel,
ruthless and extremely fat man, the owner of a huge and sophisticated restaurant.
The lady had an affair with a customer of the restaurant, an intellectual and sensible
man, the opposite character of her rude husband. They could develop their affair
inside the pantry of the kitchen, surrounded by chickens, pheasants and geese, with
the complicity of the cook, a kind man.
The great strength of this film was the amazing technical and artistic team who
participated in it. Besides the incredible selection of actors and actresses, the film
had the participation of Jean-Paul Gaultier as the fashion designer, Michael Nyman
as the musician composer of the unforgettable soundtrack and the director, who is
famous for renovating the cinema’s art, for investigating new codes of telling stories
and for working with the most contemporary artists around the world.
Greenaway is more than cinema; Peter Greenaway is a creator who uses the movies
for creating, an artist, a complete artist, who is as a conductor working with
designers, architects, musicians, composers, photographers, decorators and visual
artists to create not the best films in the world, but the most original ones in my
ÁNGEL MARTÍN HUMADA
THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND
(Directed by Kevin Macdonald)
The Last King of Scotland is an adaptation of a
novel by Giles Foden, which is loosely based on
historical facts. It is a drama, set in Uganda during
The movie tells us of Idi Amin’s life, who was one of
the most bloody African dictators, through the eyes
of Doctor Nicholas Garrigan, a non-historical
character. Garrigan was firstly fascinated by Idi Amin
Dada, because at the beginning he represented a
blow of fresh air in Uganda’s political life. After that
he became the personal doctor of Idi Amin and his
Adviser. But real life is cruel and he soon realized
the fascinating Idi Amin had an awful dark side.
The interest of this film, and his distinctive characteristic, is that it represents Idi
Amin Dada’s both faces and how a dream about freedom and change of a country
can became a fatal nightmare. Forest Whitaker, who won an Oscar for this role,
built a powerful character, because he performed a real dictator who is sometimes
like a small child, sometimes terrible, but always fascinating. My only objection to
this movie would be the character of Doctor Garrigan who was a bit naïve.
This is a gripping film, and also depicts a real historic fact which represented a hope
that changed into a dreadful curse. And if you want to know why Idi Amin Dada was
the Last King of Scotland, you have to watch the film. It’ll be on tonight 18th of
November on the second channel. ;-)
“The untouchables” is a French comedy-drama film
directed by Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano. Set
in modern-day France and based on a true story.
It is a story about friendship and social classes:
Philippe is a really rich man, who becomes
disabled because of a paragliding accident. Driss,
on the other hand, is an immigrant from a marginal district who just came out
of jail. Philippe hired Driss to be his live-in caregiver, so they started to know
each other and become friends, despite the warnings of Philippe’s family, who
didn’t trust Driss because of his past.
This film is one of the best films I’ve ever seen. It makes you laugh and cry,
and teach you the value of equality and respect. Also, I love the soundtrack,
made by Ludovico Einaudi, a pianist and composer well-known in the film
Original and unexpected, I recommend this film to everyone.