The blog and the Community

Hi all !!
Welcome to the Cinema-Club blog. We have decided to open this as our own web space and to invite all of you to participate actively in the organisation of the Welcoming Cinema Club.
You can enter and add all your opinions about the viewed movies and also make suggestions for the forthcoming. We hope that you will take the best out of it !!
See you at the screenings!

Sunday, 19 December 2010

December 23rd "Rashomon" (Japan, 1950)

"Rashomon" is a master piece in the history of cinema, directed by the legendary Japanese director Akira Kurosawa and awarded many prizes.  
The film depicts the rape of a woman and the murder of her samurai husband, through the widely differing accounts of four witnesses, including the bandit/rapist, the wife, the dead man speaking through a medium (Fumiko Honma), and lastly the narrator, the one witness that seems the most objective and least biased. While the stories are mutually contradictory only the final version is unmotivated by other factors. Accepting the final version as the truth (the now common technique of film and TV of only explaining the truth last was not a universal approach at that time) explains why in each other version "the truth" was worse than admitting to the killing, and it is precisely this assessment which gives the film its power, and this theme which is echoed in other works.

The story unfolds in flashback as the four characters—the bandit Tajōmaru (Toshirō Mifune), the samurai's wife (Machiko Kyō), the murdered samurai (Masayuki Mori), and the nameless woodcutter (Takashi Shimura)—recount the events of one afternoon in a grove. The first three versions are told by the priest (Minoru Chiaki), who was present at the trial as a witness, having bumped into the couple on the road just prior to the events. Each of these versions has a response of "lies" from the woodcutter. The final version comes direct from the woodcutter, as the only witness (but he did not admit this to the court). All versions are told to a ribald commoner (Kichijiro Ueda) as they wait out a rainstorm in a ruined gatehouse identified by a sign as Rashōmon.


Akira Kurosawa


Ryûnosuke Akutagawa (stories), Akira Kurosawa


 Toshirô Mifune, Machiko Kyô and Masayuki Mori

December 16th "Monster's Ball" (US, 2001)

Unfortunately we were not able to screen "A Prophet", instead we screened "Monster's Ball" from United States.

After a family tragedy, a racist prison guard reexamines his attitudes while falling in love with the African American wife of the last prisoner he executed.


Marc Forster


Milo Addica, Will Rokos


 Billy Bob Thornton, Halle Berry and Taylor Simpson
for more see imdb.

We had a very fruitful discussion after the movie. The topics we have discussed are as follow:
  • examples of humanity and brutality in the movie
  • story of a man with a long life struggle and ignorance who finally achieved success
  • three different generations in a single family and their attitudes towards black people
  • death penalty and its impact on the society through the characters of the film
further question you can ask and discuss
  • What significance does the line from the film 'it truly takes a human being to really see a human being' hold for the film in general?
  •  Discuss the central themes (racial segregation, family relationships, self reflection and deep loss)
Thanks to Jen for suggesting this movie and providing us with these good questions.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

December 9th 2010 "The Return" (Russia, 2003)

"The Return" happens in the remote Russian wilderness where two brothers face a range of new, conflicting emotions when their father--a man they only know through a single photograph--resurfaces.

Director: Andrei Zvyagintsev
Writers: Vladimir Moiseyenko, Aleksandr Novototsky
Stars:Vladimir Garin, Ivan Dobronravov and Konstantin Lavronenko
For more information click here.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

December 2nd “Thirst” (2009, South Korea)

Thirst is the story of Sang-hyun, a priest working for a hospital, selflessly volunteers for a secret vaccine development project intended to eradicate a deadly virus. However, the virus eventually takes over the priest. He nearly dies, but makes a miraculous recovery by an accidental transfusion of vampire blood. He realizes his sole reason for living: the pleasures of the flesh.

Director: Chan-wook Park

Writers: Seo-Gyeong Jeong (screenplay), Chan-wook Park (screenplay)
Stars:Kang-ho Song, Ok-bin Kim and Hae-sook Kim
For more information click here.

Suggested and hosted by Roman

Monday, 22 November 2010

November 25th “LAS ESTRELLAS DE LA LÍNEA” (RAILROAD ALL-STARS) (2006, Spain/ Guatemala)

November 25th “LAS ESTRELLAS DE LA LÍNEA” (RAILROAD ALL-STARS) (2006, Spain/ Guatemala)
A documentary on Guatemalan sex workers who formed a soccer team in 2004 and joined their local five-a-side league. The league's organizer expelled them when their profession was revealed, bringing about a media frenzy.

Director: Chema Rodríguez
Writer: Chema Rodríguez
Stars:José Ramón de la Morena

Monday, 15 November 2010

November 18th “Milk” (2009, US)

Milk is the story of Harvey Milk, and his struggles as an American gay activist who fought for gay rights and became California's first openly gay elected official.

Using flashbacks from a statement recorded late in life and archival footage for atmosphere, this film traces Harvey Milk's career from his 40th birthday to his death. He leaves the closet and New York, opens a camera shop that becomes the salon for San Francisco's growing gay community, and organizes gays' purchasing power to build political alliances. He runs for office with lover Scott Smith as his campaign manager. Victory finally comes on the same day Dan White wins in the city's conservative district. The rest of the film sketches Milk's relationship with White and the 1978 fight against a statewide initiative to bar gays and their supporters from public school jobs. This film is a beautiful and stylish portrait of a leading light in the gay equality rights movement, both inspirational and moving it charts the real sacrifices that a few have made for many.

Milk received widespread acclaim from film critics. Rotten Tomatoes reported that 94% of critics gave the film a positive review, based on a sample of 209, with an average score of 8.0/10. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film has received an average score of 84, based on 39 reviews.
Suggested and hosted by Jen

Friday, 5 November 2010

November 11th “Head-on” (Gegen die Wand) (2004, Germany)

German-born Turkish filmmaker Fatih Akin writes and directs the drama "Gegen die Wand" (Head-On). Set in a working-class Hamburg.

neighborhood, the story follows two Turkish immigrants who get together in a marriage of convenience. Cahit Tomruk is a heavy drinker and a fighter who crashes his car into a wall. While visiting his psychiatrist, he meets fellow patient Sibel Guner. She's desperate to get away from her restrictive family, so she asks Cahit to marry her. Wanting to change his life anyway, Cahit agrees to the arrangement. After their wedding, Sibel celebrates her freedom by drinking, dancing, and having one-night stands. Meanwhile, Cahit carries on an intimate relationship with hair stylist Maren. Eventually, Cahit and Sibel learn to care for one another after a climactic trip to Istanbul.

Suggested and hosted by Benny.

Monday, 1 November 2010

4th of Novemeber "Castle in the Sky" (Japan, 1989)

Tenku no shiro Laputa (Castle in the Sky) was made in 1986 and directed by Mr Hayao Miyazaki.

This is the first animation made by the Studio Ghibli in 1986. This story is supposed to have been set in late nineteenth century Britain. This film has been repeatedly shown in a popular TV film road show for more than 20 years in Japan.
The main character is a boy and he meets a girl who fell from the sky. This brings him an adventure and gives him a chance to become a hero in his own life. This film night will be jointly hosted by both the International Cinema Club and the Film Group which is organised by Atsuko Betchaku  (see

the Japanese Singing Group will sing the theme song of the film 'Castle in the Sky' before watching the film. It would take for 5 minutes or so including the explanation of the lyrics.

Monday, 25 October 2010

28th of October "This film is not yet rated" (UK, 2006)

This Film is Not Yet Rated is a 2006 independent documentary film about the Motion Picture Association of America's rating system and its effect on American culture, directed by Kirby Dick and produced by Eddie Schmidt. It premiered at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival and was released limited on September 1, 2006. The Independent Film Channel, the film's producer, aired the film later that year. The independent documentary film on TV was rated TV-14 in the United States.

The MPAA gave the original cut of the film an NC-17 rating for "some graphic sexual content" – scenes that illustrated the content a film could include to garner an NC-17 rating. Kirby Dick appealed, and descriptions of the ratings deliberations and appeal were included in the documentary. The new version of the film is not rated.
The film discusses disparities the filmmaker sees in ratings and feedback: between Hollywood and independent films, between homosexual and heterosexual sexual situations, between male and female sexual depictions, and between violence and sexual content. For more click here.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

20th of October "Sweet Sixteen" (UK, 2002)

"Sweet Sixteen" directed by Ken Louch in 2002.

In a few weeks, Liam is going to be sixteen. He and his friends do not attend school anymore. Instead, they prefer to sell cigarettes and defy the police all day long. They are completely left behind in a society which does little to alleviate the bad situation in which they live. Liam's mother is currently in prison, for a crime she did not commit. She will be released in a few weeks, in time for her son's sixteenth birthday. Liam loves his mother very much and his only goal is to save her from her brutal boyfriend, Stan, who deals drugs with Liam’s grandfather. For more click here.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

14th of October "La Yuma (2009, Nicaragua)

"La Yuma (Nicaragua)

Directed by Florence Jaugey, this film is the story of Yuma a strong-willed and
rebellious girl from the poor neighborhoods of Managua who dreams of being a

Yuma wants to be a boxer. In her poor neighborhood, gangs fight for control of the
street. In her home, lovelessness is the name of the game. She dreams of the ring,
energy and agile feet and hands. They are also her only options.

A street, a theft, a chance encounter: Yuma meets Ernesto, a journalism student from
the other side of the city. Despite their differences, they fall in love, attracted to each
other by their shared desire to find their own space in the world.

Yuma's story is a slice of life deeply rooted in Nicaragua, today. A daily Nicaragua
and unknown, which contrasts with the image of the country that is channeled abroad,
essentially related to natural disasters, revolutions and wars.

The strength, determination and cunning of the main character reflects the attitude of
a population facing adversity and inequality. La Yuma is a movie which mixes the
genres, because life is so made; beating and hunches, laughter and drama. We are in
the action rather than reflection. Imagination grows with the need and every day is a
challenge to those who have nothing upfront.

This film is also a challenge. This is the first feature film produced in Nicaragua for
20 years. It was filmed on the urgency and precariousness and carried out thanks to
the enthusiasm of a team motivated by the idea of creating a precedent in a nascent
film industry, and giving a face to a reality not widely known in Nicaragua and the

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

7th of October "Torremolinos 73" (Spain, 2003)

"Torremolinos 73" is a Spanish movie directed by Pablo Berger in 2003.

Alfredo Lopez is a tired encyclopedia salesman, and Carmen is his faithful wife. The lives of this married couple change forever when the Montoya publishing house, in which Alfredo works, makes a proposal to them to make erotic films that will sold in the Scandinavian countries, under the guise of being a false encyclopedia about reproduction. Unknown to them both, Carmen has become an adult film star in the Northern countries, and a Danish crew flies in to help Alfredo make an Ingmar Bergman inspired feature film called "Torremolinos 73." Instead of a career in show business, Carmen is eager to have a baby, and the tension between the artist and his muse grows'. For more please click here.

Friday, 24 September 2010

30th of September "Heavy metal in Baghdad" (2007, Iraq)

Heavy Metal in Baghdad is a critically-acclaimed 2007 rockumentary film following filmmakers Moretti and Alvi as they track down the heavy metal Iraqi band Acrassicauda amidst the Iraq War.

In the late summer of 2006, in the middle of the insurgency, filmmakers Eddy Moretti and Suroosh Alvi traveled to Baghdad to meet and interview the only heavy metal band in Iraq, Acrassicauda. "Heavy Metal in Baghdad" is the story of the band and its members, young Iraqis whose lives have been distorted and displaced by years of continual warfare in their homeland. The filmmakers have collected glimpses into the struggles of Acrassicauda as they try to stay together and stay alive. Their struggle is the untold story of the hopes and dreams of an entire generation of young Iraqis. For more info click here. Will be hosted by Esra.

Friday, 17 September 2010

23rd of September "Tehran has no more pomegranates" (2007, Iran)

"Tehran Has No More Pomegranates!" (Persian: تهران انار ندارد) is a 2006 musical - Comedy Iranian Crystal Simorgh award winning film produced, directed and written by Massoud Bakhshi.

This is the story of Tehran from the Qajar time (middle of 19th century) to today. Tehran has become a metropolis from a small village, now a developed city with many social problems. For more information click here.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

16th of September "Broken Embraces" (2009, Spain)

"Broken Embraces" by the Spain director Pedro Almodóvar.
The film centers on a four-way tale of dangerous love, and was shot in the style of a hard-boiled 1950s American film noir[2], or its descendant, the neo-noir genre. Many themes include noir references such as film posters in sets, angular, high contrast lighting and the characters' struggle with their illicit passions. However, like most Almodovar films, it is filmed in bright color rather than the black-and-white emblematic of noire. The cast includes many Almodóvar regulars such as Ángela Molina, Lola Dueñas and Penélope Cruz (her fourth film with the director). The film's soundtrack includes Cat Power, Uffie, and Can.

Passion, obsession, wealth, jealousy, family, guilt, and creativity. In Madrid, Harry Caine is a blind screenwriter, assisted by Judit and her son Diego. The past comes rushing in when Harry learns of the death of Ernesto Martel, a wealthy businessman, and Ernesto's son pays Harry a visit. In a series of flashbacks to the 1990s, we see Harry, who was then Mateo Blanco, a director; he falls in love with Ernesto's mistress, Lena, and casts her in a film, which Ernesto finances. Ernesto is jealous and obsessive, sending his son to film the making of the movie, to follow Lena and Mateo, and to give him the daily footage. Judit doesn't like Lena. It's a collision course. For more info click here.

2nd of September "A time for drunken hourses"

 "A time for drunken hourses" by Bahman Ghobadi, from Iran

After their father dies, a family of five are forced to survive on their own in a Kurdish village on the border of Iran and Iraq. Matters are made worse when 12 year old Ayoub, the new head of the family, is told that his handicapped brother, Madi, needs an immediate operation in order to remain alive. This heartbreaking tale shows the lengths to which a family will go in order to survive in the harshest of conditions, where even the horses are fed liquor in order to work. For more information click here. Hosted by Bahareh

Friday, 20 August 2010

26th Aug "Mediterraneo" (1991, Italy)

In 1941, one year after Italy joined Germany against the Allies in World War II, a small group of misfit Italian soldiers is sent to a small Greek island in the Aegean Sea for four months of lookout duty. The soldiers include a lieutenant who likes art, a macho sergeant, a farmer accompanied by his beloved donkey Silvana, and other quirky people. They are not very good soldiers, but a cross section of average, independent men.

The soldiers anticipate attack from outside and on the island and take all sorts of inept precautions. They find a small town with no people. They see bombing on the horizon and realize that the ship that would pick them up has been destroyed. Then mysteriously, people reappear in the village: the villagers say they hid because the Germans had taken all the men. They have decided to accommodate the Italians. It isn't long before everyone's sunny nature appears. The Italian soldiers are absorbed into the life, heat and landscape of the idyllic island.

The local priest asks the lieutenant, a Sunday painter, to restore the murals in his church. Two soldiers, who are brothers, befriend a lovely young woman, a shepherdess, who believes that three is the perfect number for an affair of pure sexual fun. The sergeant takes up folk dancing and the shyest of the soldiers falls profoundly in love with the island's single, very overworked, prostitute. Click here for more info.

Friday, 13 August 2010

19th of August: "The Divine Bell and the Butterfly " (2007, French/ American)

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (French: Le scaphandre et le papillon) is a French/American biopic/drama film based on the memoir of the same name by Jean-Dominique Bauby. The film depicts Bauby's life after suffering a massive stroke, on 8th December 1995, at the age of 42, which left him with a condition known as locked-in syndrome. The condition paralyzed him from the neck down. Although both eyes work, doctors decide to sew up his right eye as it is not irrigating correctly and they fear it will become infected. He is left with only his left eye, and thereafter communicates only by blinking his left eyelid. The film was directed by Julian Schnabel, written by Ronald Harwood, and stars Mathieu Amalric as Bauby. It won awards at theCannes Film Festival, the Golden Globes and the BAFTA Awards, as well as four Academy Award nominations.

Will be hosted by Kathleen

Monday, 9 August 2010

12th of August: "Goodbye Lenin" (2003, Germany)

Plot: Two traumatic events affect the life of East Berliner, Christiane Kerner. First, in 1978, her husband, Robert, runs off to freedom and another woman in the west, leaving her to take care of their two adolescent children, Ariane and Alex, by herself. Always a good Socialist, Christiane devotes her life to the cause as a symbol of anger toward her husband. And second, in 1989, she sees a now grown Alex marching in an anti-Berlin Wall demonstration and being hauled off by police. As a result, she suffers a heart attack and goes into a coma. While Christiane is in her coma, Germany drastically changes with the Wall coming down and the imminent official reunification of East and West into one. The Kerner's personal life also changes with all aspects of the new found capitalist world infiltrating their home. When Christiane emerges from her coma eight months later, her health situation is still tenuous. Any shock she experiences could possibly lead to another heart attack and certain death. To protect his mother, Alex decides not to tell her of the new Germany in which they live. He feels he can better protect her at home, where he can control to what she is exposed. Although most around him don't support the idea - including Ariane and Lara (Alex's Russian immigrant girlfriend who is also Christiane's nurse) - they go along with the extreme measures Alex goes to to recreate East Germany in their home. How long can they keep up the ruse?

Friday, 30 July 2010

5th of August: "Divine Intervention" (2002, Palestine)

"Divine Intervention" (2002, Palestine) is directed by Elia Suleiman
Language  Arabic and Hebrew with subtitles.
The film is made up of a series of interlinked sketches of everyday life which portray the devestating effects of the Israeli occupation on the lives of West Bank Palestinains.
The central character, a Jerusalemite played by Suleiman himself, is involved in a love affair with a woman from a neighbouring city Ramallah - made difficult by Israeli movement restrictions.

A surreal, black comedy - we are shown the absudity, anger, rage, and despair of Palestinains but also their stength of spirit.  The film ends with a wonderful, suprising specticale of resistance.
There isnt a great deal of dialogue - feelings and emotions are expressed in gesture, facial  expression, ideas and the state of affairs using symbol, metaphor and magical realism. For more information press here.
Will be hosted by Nicola 

Friday, 23 July 2010

29th of July "Das Experiment" (2001, Germany)

"The Experiment" is directed by the German film-maker Oliver Hirschbiegel.
The movie is based on the infamous "Stanford Prison Experiment" conducted in 1971. A makeshift prison is set up in a research lab, complete with cells, bars and surveillance cameras. For two weeks 20 male participants are hired to play prisoners and guards. The 'prisoners' are locked up and have to follow seemingly mild rules, and the 'guards' are told simply to retain order without using physical violence. Everybody is free to quit at any time, thereby forfeiting payment. In the beginning the mood between both groups is insecure and rather emphatic. But soon quarrels arise and the wardens employ ever more drastic sanctions to confirm their authority.

Will be hosted  by Christopher

Thursday, 22 July 2010

22nd of July: Control [Kontroll] (2001, Hungery)

"Kontroll" is written and directored by the most famous Hungurian director Nimród Antal. It won the Gold Hugo Award at the Chicago International Film Festival and was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival

Plot: Ghost trains and ghostly characters, figuratively speaking of course, are what run through the perpetual night of this fictitious underground (metro) system. Bulcsú's (Sándor Csányi) life that once was, on the surface, where the real people go home after work, who go to the movies or a fine restaurant is now replaced by the dark, cold and solitude arena of his new dwellings. Him, and his motley crew of ragtag metro ticket Kontrollers must patrol the trains that run these City dwellers back and forth and with daily ritual, check that no one dare come down into their world for a free ride. With indifferent passengers, a possible love interest, a regime set on competition and to top it all a mysterious serial killer at large, Kontroll is a dark and bleak comedy of the world of the ticket inspector, who, in the end must keep this Metro system running. If not, what would be the worst that could happen, if they ever lost control? Dare you ride here for free, too?

Will be hosted by Aliz

Thursday, 15 July 2010

15th of July: "Spirited away" (2001, Japan)

Spirited Away (Sento Chihirono Kamikakushi) Japanese film in 2001. This film was made by the Japanese animation director Hayao Miyazaki in 2001 and won in 2002 the Academy Award for the Best Animated Feature and one of the two Golden Bear awards in the Berlin International Film Festival.

The film is about a ten years old girl’s experience in a wonderland. It depicts relationships between human beings and nature, cultural decay in excessive economy and to be grown up. This has been the best sold film in Japan so far.
This session is jointly hosted by the Welcoming International Cinema Club and the Film Group which Atsuko Betchaku has organised (see ‘Film Group’ in

Friday, 2 July 2010

8th of July: "Amores Perros" [Love’s a bithch] (2000, Mexico)

Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu

Three interconnected stories about the different strata of life in Mexico City all resolve with a fatal car accident. Octavio is trying to raise enough money to run away with his sister-in-law, and decides to enter his dog Cofi into the world of dogfighting. After a dogfight goes bad, Octavio flees in his car, running a red light and causing the accident. Daniel and Valeria's new-found bliss is prematurely ended when she loses her leg in the accident. El Chivo is a homeless man who cares for stray dogs and is there to witness the collision.

Will be Hosted by Kathleen

Friday, 25 June 2010

1st of July "Blame it on Fidel" (original French title: La Faute à Fidel) 2006, France &Italy

Blame it on Fidel (original French title: La Faute à Fidel) is a 2006 French drama film directed by Julie Gavras
This movie will be introduced and hosted by Regis on 1st of July in the Welcoming Cinema Club.

Hello, my name is Anna and I am nine years old. I wish you had known me before - I mean before my aunt Marga and my cousin Pilar came to my parents'house -, I was such a happy little girl. Before their coming life was a bed of roses. Of course my little brother could be a pain in the neck - little brothers always are, aren't they? - but there was that wonderful big house, there was my Cuban-born nanny who cooked so well, there was the bath before dinner, not to mention this wonderful catechism class at the catholic school. But they did come, those Spanish intruders. And now never heard before names like "Franco", "Allende", "Women's Lib", "abortion", the lot, have got into my life. Daddy and Mummy have suddenly become "communists", although this a term that Bon Papa and Bonne Maman (my grandparents from Bordeaux, in fact) just hate. Because of the intruders not only did we move to a tiny apartment but the place is invaded day and night by "barbudos" (bearded men). No more bath before dinner and no more catechism class. How long will I be able to tolerate such a scandal? for more click here.

24th of June, international short movies

We had a short meeting on planning next season programme. we have watched some short movies from Spain, New Zealand, France, etc.
and shared food and drink followed by informal chats.

Friday, 11 June 2010

17th of June "In This World" (2003) UK

Jamal and Enayatullah are Afghan refugees in a camp in Peshawar, Pakistan. They travel to Quetta, and thence to Taftan on the Iranian border. They pay people smugglers to assist them over the border; on their first attempt they are stopped by Iranian police and returned to Pakistan, but their second attempt is successful. They travel to Tehran and then to Maku, in the Kurdish part of Iran, from where they cross a mountain range on foot to Turkey. In Istanbul they meet a group of other migrants, and they are taken to Italy inside a shipping container. The container is not ventilated, and most of the refugees, including Enayatullah, are suffocated to death. Jamal survives and lives in Italy for a time. He then steals a woman's purse and buys a rail ticket to Paris. From there, he goes to the Sangatte asylum seekers camp and with a new friend, Yusef, he crosses the channel by stowing away on a lorry. Finally, he arrives in London, where he calls his uncle to say he has arrived but that Enyatullah is "not in this world". The film ends with images of the Peshawar refugees.
For more information click here.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Thursday 10th of June: Brazil [UK, 1985]

Directed by Terry Gilliam. The film centers on Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce), a young man trying to find a woman who appears in his dreams while he is working in a mind-numbing job and living a life in a small apartment, set in a dystopian world in which there is an over-reliance on poorly maintained (and rather whimsical) machines. Brazil's bureaucratic, totalitarian government is reminiscent of the government depicted in George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, except that it has a buffoonish, slap-stick quality and lacks a 'Big Brother' figure.

Monday, 31 May 2010

Thursday 3th of June:‘Beynelmilel’ in English“The International” [Turkey, 2006]

"The International" Directed by Muharrem Gulmez and Sirri Sureyya Onder, Written by Sirri Sureyaa Onder (Screenplay)

The movie is one of the example of a genre recently began to be seen more and more in Turkish cinema telling the traumatic events of 12 september 1980 military coup, in a tragi-comic way.
The story takes place in a small town in Turkey in 1982, under the influence of the oppressive regime of the coup, where the local military head made a local musical band, a gevende, to play for the arrival of their chief.
The band supposed to prepare a repertoire of military, nationalist marches for the performance at the event day which will give them the permission to open a pavilion (a low key pub-club thing). The events begin to unfold along this axis.

The genre that Beynelmilel fits into is, another BKM (a film production company) production, that isssues the coup d'etat that has not been shown, talked, represented till recently. The genre has been criticisized heavily by some, of being too reductionist and caricaturising the traumatic events of the time and appreciated by others as an attempt to make those times accessible to younger generations.
This session is hosted by Esra Oslay.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

27th of May: "Dekalog" (1989)

This is a series of ten shorts created for Polish Television, with plots loosely based upon the Ten Commandments, directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski. Two of these, Dekalog 5 and 6, are shorter cuts from the feature-length films--Krotki film o zabijaniu (A Short Film About Killing) and Krotki film o milosci (A Short Film About Love), respectively. They deal with the emotional turmoil suffered by humanity, when instinctual acts and societal morality conflict. Written by Tad Dibbern
This week we are going to watch two episodes of these series.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

20th of May: "Son of the Bride" (Spanish: El hijo de la novia) (2001)

The film tells of Rafael Belvedere (Ricardo Darín), a 42-year-old divorced restaurateur, with a young daughter named Vicki (Gimena Nóbile) he has joint custody of. Rafael lives a very hectic lifestyle.

His mother Norma (Norma Aleandro) suffers from Alzheimer's disease and he has not seen her in a year. Rafael sees his father Nino (Héctor Alterio) frequently but his friends rarely. He's fielding offers to sell the restaurant he runs in Buenos Aires, but changes his mind because it was started by his mother and father and has been in the family for years.
His childhood friend Juan Carlos (Eduardo Blanco), who he has not seen for twenty years, drops by the restaurant and renews their old friendship, demonstrating the fact that he has become an actor.
One day, Rafael suddenly suffers a heart attack and, as he recovers in the intensive care unit, he is forced to reevaluate his life and decide his priorities. He now wants to sell the restaurant and move to southern Mexico and raise horses. At the same time his father wants to remarry his wife because they were never married in the Catholic Church. Rafael is opposed to the renewal of vows because his ailing mother will not be much of a participant.
As part of his new life, he tells his much-younger girlfriend Nati that he wants some space and some freedom. At first she is hurt and tells him that he is no Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, or even Dick Watson. (Rafael is puzzled about the identity of Dick Watson and we find out at the middle of the end credits that it refers to a character in a porno film.) Although Rafael tries to get her to understand his perspective, she ultimately breaks off their relationship. Rafael tries to deal with his struggles with this relationships and the fact that the Church is unsupportive, and ends up selling the restaurant and having Juan Carlos act the role of a priest at his parents' second wedding.

The film ends after the wedding, with Rafael opening a new restaurant and apologizing to Nati; she joyously forgives him and there are strong hints that their relationship will revive.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

13th of May: Delta [Hungary, 2008]

A quiet young man returns to the wild, isolated landscape of the Delta. It is a labyrinth of waterways, small islands and over-grown vegetation, where the villagers are cut off from the outside world. The young man, who has been away since early childhood, is introduced to a sister he never knew he had. She is frail and timid, but resolute when she decides to join him in his run-down hut on the shore. They eventually become lovers, with rejection by the family and ridicule from the coarse villagers leading to tragedy.

Together they build a house on stilts in the middle of the river, far away from everyone else. One day, they invite the villagers over to share a meal together, but it becomes apparent that the coarse locals do not accept their “unnatural” relationship.

Friday, 23 April 2010

29th of April "Water" (2005 India)

"Water" is a very different movie from India, based on real and historical events by Deepa Mehta. It is nominated for Best Foreign Language Film of the Year at Oscar 2007 and won many other prizes.
Plot: The year is 1938, India is ruled by the British, and it is around this time that Mohandas K. Gandhi has arrived from Africa to begin his tryst with the British, as well as battle the traditions that bind the Hindus. Not yet in her teens, Chuyia is married to a much older and sickly male, who shortly after the marriage, passes away. Chuyia is returned unceremoniously to her parents' house, and from there she is taken to the holy city of Banaras and left in the care of a wide assortment of widows who live at "the widows' house," shunned by the rest of the community. Chuyia believes that her mother will come to take her home. Here she meets several elderly women, including the head of the house, Madhumati; a quiet, confident woman named Shakuntala; and a gorgeous young woman named Kalyani -- all widows. Chuyia does not know that according to Holy Hindu Scriptures she has been destined to live here for the rest of her life, for when a woman's husband dies', she has three options: One, to marry her husband's younger brother, if his family permits; two, to kill herself on his funeral pyre; three, to live a life of celibacy, discipline, and solitude amongst her own kind. A new law in India which permits a widow to re-marry is not popular, and it is these customs and openly welcoming the lower castes that will pit Gandhiji against his very own people, apart from struggling with the British to leave India. Kalyani meets and falls in love with young Narayan, a follower of Mahatma Gandhi, who wants to marry her, despite his mother's protests. For more click here.

Monday, 19 April 2010

22nd of April "Land and Freedom" (Britain, 1995)

The film's narrative unfolds in a long flashback. David Carr has died at an old age and his granddaughter discovers old letters, newspapers and other documents in his room: what we see in the film is what he had lived.

Plot: Spring 1936, a young unemployed communist, David, leaves his hometown Liverpool to join the fight against fascism in Spain. He joins an international group of Militia-men and women, the POUM (Partido Obrero de Unificación Marxista). After being wounded he goes to Barcelona, where he decides to join another group of fighters. They remain in Barcelona and end up fighting other anti-fascist groups. David is disappointed and decides to go back to his old band. For more click here.

The movie won the FIPRESCI International Critics Prize and the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Thursday 15th of April: Tokyo Sonata [Japan, 2008]

This film was directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa in 2008 and won un certain regard jury award in Cannes International Film Festival and also grand jury prize at Chicago International Film Festival. Mr Kurosawa seems to have become popular internationally by his 1997 film 'Cure', a psychological thriller and had been well known as a director in the horror genre.

In this film, however, he moved away from the horror genre and described an ordinally family trapped by difficulties. Yet, this film has been considered as the best film directed by him. The story starts with the father of a family losing a senior post of a prestigious firm. The film is in some way comical even though depicting dipressing situations the family went through. For more about the plot press here.

This night will be jointly hosted by the International
Cinema Club and the Film Group which was organised
by Atsuko Betchaku who is hoping to set up the
Japanese Institute of Scotland (see the website:

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

8th of April: "The Edukators" Germany 2004

Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei or The Edukators (2004)
Advertisement Berlin student Jule is hoplessly indebted due to an accident she caused, uninsuredly hitting a rich businessman's limousine. Evicted from her flat she moves in with her boyfriend Peter and soon learns that Peter and his flatmate, Jan, are breaking into luxurious mansions at night. Instead of stealing or vandalizing, though, they carefully and ornately rearrange furniture and valulables and leave obscure messages. Jule convinces Jan, who has a crush on her, to pay a visit to the villa of her creditor. Written by Armin Ortmann

Monday, 29 March 2010

1st of April: Under the Moonlight [Iran, 2001]

“Under the Moonlight” is an Iranian film directed and written by Reza Mir-Karimi.

Plot: Seyyed Hassan, a young seminary student, is preparing to don the clerical attire. While the other students are also busy with similar preparations, Seyyed Hassan's supplies are stolen by a small boy. To identify the culprit, Seyyed Hassan sets out for the suburban area where he meets people who have never met a cleric and know nothing about the clerical profession. Under such unfamiliar circumstances, Seyyed Hassan acquires a new understanding of society and human beings.

25th of March "Memories of Underdevelopment"

Memorias del subdesarrollo (1968) [Memories of Underdevelopment]
Plot: Sergio, a wealthy bourgeois aspiring writer, decides to stay in Cuba even though his wife and friends flee to Miami. Sergio looks back over the changes in Cuba from the Castro revolution to the Cuban missile crisis, the effect of living in an underdeveloped country, and his relations with his girlfriends Elena and Hanna.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

March 18. Forklitf Driver Klaus, Attack on the Bakery and Lift

Last Thursday, March 18, we had a session dedicated to preparing the program for the next season, watching some short films and having some food.
Thanks to all the people that brought food and thanks to all the people that stayed after the films and enjoyed it with us.
The program of films for the next few weeks is nearly ready. Beatriz will shortly be emailing it to everybody in the newsgroup. We are very impressed with the interest of our regulars in the suggestion of films and their willingness in hosting future sessions for them.  It's all good!!

The short films watched last Thursday were:

Forklift Driver Klaus by Jorg Wagner and Stefan Prehn. Germany 2000.
A mix between a gore/horror movie and a health & safety training video (in German!) that delivered both laughter and perplexity between our audience, who, no wonder, is not quite used to this kind of cinematic genre.

Attack on a Bakery by Naoto Yamakawa. Japan 1982
Two hungry and pennyless flatmates intoxicated by existentialist and post-modernist thoughts decide to take their angst and craving on the local bakery, only to find that they can eat all the pies if they are prepared to listen to a whole opera of Wagner. A pretty bizarre, quixotesque, satirical piece of japanese 80s cinema, or whatever that means (?!).
By the way do not try this at Greggs unless you can cope with musicals.

Lift by Mark Isaacs. UK 2001
A wannabe film maker gets himself in the lift of a highflat somewhere in the 78th ring of London and records the ups and downs of its neighbors. Not surprisingly he encounters a myriad of interesting characters who are more than willing to tell him all sorts of staff, from the most mundane to the most private and from the most lucid to the most...
All in all a good depiction of the recipient's of life in the cosmopolitan and glamorous suburbs of the Republic of London. It must be said that the film is clearly embedded with reminiscences of Victorian anthropology, isn't it?

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

18th of March "Lift"

This week we have an exclusive programme. We are going to watch a short film from Britain. "Lift" for 25 minutes.

Marc Isaacs / UK / 2001 Filmmaker Marc Isaacs sets himself up in a London tower block lift. The residents come to trust him and reveal the things that matter to them ...

Earlier on I mean from 5'30 we will make the new programme for next months, so bring your ideas and suggestions!

6'30: We will be showing the short film and having a chat at the end

8'00: snack! so please bring some food and drinks to share!

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

11th of March "Whiskey"

Whiskey is an Argentine-German-Spanish-Uruguayan tragicomedy film directed by Juan Pablo Rebella and Pablo Stoll and released in 2004. The film stars Andrés Pazos, Mirella Pascual, Jorge Bolani, Ana Katz, and Daniel Hendler. It has very sparse dialogue and the three principal actors play very straight roles showing little emotion. It was premiered at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival where it won a Regard Original Award.

Plot: On the first anniversary of his mother's death, Jacobo (Andres Pazos), the owner of a small and struggling sock factory, asks one of his attentive employees, Marta (Mirella Pascual), to spend a few days at his home pretending to be his wife because his brother, Herman (Jorge Bolani), is arriving for a visit.

Jacobo and Marta's lives are very dull and repetitious. It takes some time to realize that Jacobo asks Marta because he has no one else to ask. Why Marta agrees is another matter.
Jacobo is aware that his brother has become more successful since moving away and possibly resents the time that he had to devote to nursing their dying mother, rather than working on his own business.
Herman's visit is initially an uneasy time for the two brothers who clearly have little in common, however, shortly before he is due to return home, Herman asks Jacobo and Marta to accompany him on a visit to a resort where they spent time as children with their parents. Marta is keen to go and Jacobo reluctantly agrees.
During the holiday Marta and Herman become closer and the suggestion develops that they may actually have feelings for each other. Jacobo remains cold and unemotional towards both the other characters and seems keen for the experience to end.
Just before he is due to go home Herman gives Jacobo a sum of money as compensation for the time that he lost by having to care for their mother. Jacobo is initially unwilling to accept it, but takes the money after witnessing Herman sing a love song towards Marta in a Karaoke restaurant that the three visit.
Later that night Jacobo goes alone to a casino, placing all the money on Black 24 in a game of roulette and wins. He keeps some of the money, but wraps the larger part up as a present.
As they say goodbye to Herman, Marta presses a note into his hand telling him to read it on the plane. When they get back home, Jacobo calls a taxi for Marta and gives her the cash present which she is last seen holding in the back of the cab. The following morning she does not turn up for work, although Jacobo goes through the same routine as always.

Friday, 26 February 2010

4th of March "Tony Takitani" from Japan

Tony Takitani (2004) Japanese movie directed by Jun Ichikawa.
Summery: Due to his Western name, Tony was shunned by other kids and spent a solitary childhood. Though gifted as an artist, his drawings lacked feeling, so as an adult, he carved a career as a technical illustrator. Then in middle age, Tony suddenly falls for a pretty young woman, Eiko Konuma, who visits him one day on business. Eiko is like an angel in Tony's daily existence, and for the first time in his life, he feels connected to the outside world. However, Eiko does have one fault: she's a clothing shopaholic. Confusion also begins to develop when it appears that Eiko has a double. Written by Sujit R. Varma


Thursday, 18 February 2010

25th of Febuary "Man of Aran"

Man of Aran by Robert J. Felaherty (1934) Black and White

For the last 200 years the Aran Islands have exercised a powerfully romantic fascination on the outside world which is without equal anywhere else in the country. They were believed to contain the essence of the ancient Irish life, represented by a pure uncorrupted peasant existence centred around the struggle between man and his hostile but magnificent surroundings. This myth, strengthened by the writings of Yeats and especially Synge was hugely expanded by the release in 1934 of Man of Aran, a documentary on the life of the Island people. This film won international acclaim and explained in no small way why so many different nationalities walk the surface of Aran in their thousands between May and October each year.

The film was made by renowned American director Robert Flaherty who was already established at the time as having virtually founded the documentary film form. In 1923 he screened his Nanook of the North which was a portrait of the lives of the Eskimo peoples of the Belcher Islands off Canada. This film celebrated the primeval duel between man and Nature which was the central motif in all his later work. Find more ...

Monday, 15 February 2010

18th of Febuary 2010 "When Father was Away on Business"

When Father was Away on Business (1985) Tito's break-up with Stalin in 1948 marked the beginning of not only confusing, but also very dangerous years for many hard-core Yugoslav communists. A careless remark about the newspaper cartoon is enough for Mesha to join many arrested unfortunates. His family is now forced to cope with the situation and wait for his release from prison. The story is told from the perspective of Malik, his young son who believes the mother's story about father being "away on business". Written by Dragan Antulov

11th of Febuary 2010 "Central Station" from Brazil

Central Station (1998)
Dora, a dour old woman, works at a Rio de Janeiro central station, writing letters for customers and mailing them. She hates customers and calls them 'trash'. Josue is a 9-year-old boy who never met his father. His mother is sending letters to his father through Dora. When she dies in a car accident, Dora takes Josue and takes a trip with him to find his father.
We had a very interesting discussion after the film, especially by attendance of a Brazilian guy who was familiar with the socio-cultural background of the story. The main topics of debates were as followed:

  • Caring for others

  • Being positive and see the half full of the glass rather than to be negative and cynical

  • The relationship of being poor and religion

  • Comparing Brazil Central Station to Mumbei Rail Road

Thursday, 4 February 2010

04 Febuary 2010 "Jean de Florette"

"Jean de Florette" is a 1986 French historical drama film directed by Claude Berri, based on a novel by Marcel Pagnol. It is part of a duology, and is followed by Manon des Sources. The film takes place in rural Provence, where two local farmers scheme to trick a newcomer out of his newly inherited property. The movie starred three of France's most prominent actors – Gérard Depardieu, Daniel Auteuil, who won a BAFTA award for his performance, and Yves Montand in one of the last roles before his death.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

28th January 2010 "La pelota vasca: la piel contra la piedra"

English: The Basque Ball: Skin Against Stone; Basque: Euskal pilota: larrua harriaren kontra
La pelota vasca: la piel contra la piedrais a 2003 documentary film written and directed by Spanish filmmaker Julio Médem. The film's purported intention is to create a bridge between the different political positions that coexist, sometimes violently, in the Basque Country. In order to do so, Medem edits the interviews giving a sense of dialogue between parties that refused to sit down and talk.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

21st January "Still Life"

"Still Life" (Chinese: 三峡好人; pinyin: Sānxiá hǎorén; literally "Good people of the Three Gorges") is a 2006 Chinese film directed by Jia Zhangke. Shot in the old village of Fengjie, a small town on the Yangtze River which is slowly being destroyed by the building of the Three Gorges Dam, Still Life tells the story of two people in search of their spouses. Still Life is a co-production between the Shanghai Film Studio and Hong Kong-based Pictures. The film premiered at the 2006 Venice Film Festival and was a surprise winner of the Golden Lion Award for Best Film.[2] The film premiered at a handful of other film festivals, and received a limited commercial release in the United States on January 18, 2008 in New York City. Like The World, Jia Zhangke's previous film, Still Life was accepted by Chinese authorities and was shown uncensored in both mainland China and abroad.