Ben’s Stiller sits behind the camera, and it’s better than you think.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is Ben Stiller’s directorial debut. He also stars in the film, playing the main
character, Walter Mitty. It’s a film that sits a part from the film’s we’re used to seeing Stiller play in. It combines
drama and light comedy. Nothing compared to Zoolander (2001) or Along came Polly (2004) which sit at the
other extreme.

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It’s a film about an average man that dreams big. He has moments throughout his daily routine where he phases
out and re-imagines his own reality, and how that moment would be. It’s purely fictional and it works great. It’s a
pity some of his re-imagined scenes don’t work as well. What I liked less about the film were all the clichés of a
typical story. Boy likes girl. Boy is shy. Boy girl start getting to know each other..etc..etc. I found the woman that
played Walter Mitty’s flame reminded me of Jenifer Aniston, coincidence? After some research I found that back
in 1974 a film under the same name existed.

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From what I’ve read it’s a project that took at least 10 years to make, as the  initial producer’s had hired new
screenwriters, and a different cast and director were planned. Over the years the cast kept on changing,
at some point  it was even speculate that Sacha Baron Cohen was envisaged for the role.
The initial director also dropped out due to his commitment on another film. I still haven’t figured out how
Stiller landed in there regarding the direction but I am happy to have been able to seem in another light.

My conclusion to this is Ben Stiller’s film is a remake of the old, with a different approach and a few tweaks
in the story. You can like it or hate it, but he has an eye for nice shots. Probably what’s missing is a good
rhythm. Sometimes I feel like the film drags on or some shots could be shorter.

The film has received decent ratings, I believe mainly because the imagery of the film is top notch.
Is it a film worth a watch? I would say yes. Is it a film to watch in a movie theater? It’s a pass for me,
but there are nice landscape and bird’s eye shots that do like great on the big screen.

THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY

Geneva International Film Festival / Festival TOUS ECRANS 29th oct – 6th nov

Cinema tous ecrans

The International Film Festival, “Festival Tous Ecrans” held on the 29th of October and finishing the 7th of November is a film festival taking place in Geneva not to be missed. This is the the 19th edition held, and I hope to see many more.

Why do I recommend the event?

1. Well if your like me, that complains that prices in movie theaters in Geneva are out of a range, well your in luck, because screenings at this festival

are free. (There is a limit in tickets though, I believe it’s only two per person).

2. It’s filled with the latest features, short films, television series, web series, documentaries as well as interactive films. Therefore provided choice for everyone’s taste.

3. Sometimes the director is at the screening to present his film and answer any questions you may have regarding it.

4. It’s social! They organize events after the projection, and this year they are doing from the 1st to 6th of Nov blind test every evening, so sign-up before it’s too late.

5. Conferences are held such as “Digital Creation: A return to Reality?”

6. Midnight screenings are held aka as “Nuit Blanches”. (This a new concept that they are trying out this year)

7. Inside Llewyn Davis written and directed by Ethan & Joel Coen will be the opening film!

…. and there many other reasons

The ANV team will be at most of the screenings, hope to see some familiar faces at the Festival!

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Do we have a little of Michael Kohlhaas in us?

A friend of mine recommended Michael Kohlhaas directed by Arnaud des Pallières, and at first thought although this isn’t the type movie I would typically watch I thought there’s a good actor in the cast, why not. I’m referring to Mads Mikelsen who also played in blockbusters such as Casino Royale (the bad guy), Clash of the Titans and King Arthur. Currently featuring in American’s popular series – Hannibal.

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A quick summary of the movies main theme and narrative (This does not however give away the end). The plot revolves around a horse dealer who will come across an unfortunate event which will lead him to go through great lengths to get what he wants. Acting out of instinct rather than through his conscious. The movie’s main theme is vengeance and justice.

The film starts of with a deception. A long panoramic shot of horses walking up a hill. This shot however is shot against the light, how strange. The shot could have been done with better shadows and contrast with light rays hitting on them. Now looking back I understand it better as I believe that the first shot is taken from the middle of the movie and was purposely shot that way. I’m not sure that first shot is in chronological order. Mads Mikelesen’s presence, starring as Kohlhaas in the film is stunning, he is great on screen, and is able to make a long shot of himself interesting, just through the stare he pulls on screen. This is felt as from the very first shot to his last one. The tension really build’s up throughout the movie and reaches it’s peak at the end.

So where am i getting at? I would give this film credit for the well chosen actors. The difficulty in making an independent movie credible considering the time period it was set in. Keeping the audiences attention, even after these really old school long sequences and shots. The movie moves quite slowly, but then again taken into context this reflects the pace at which they lived back then.

Above all I thought that the struggle and injustice Kohlhaas faces is one that we can all relate to. You can sympathize with his character. I understood why he did what he did. It didn’t make it right, but I understood it. The fact that there was so little dialogue yet so much was said through his actions and his behaviour. It was clear to me that what’s important in this film is what we see, and in there lie the answers, not in what is said.

What I liked less was the contradiction in the movie’s message, maybe this was also purposely done. I wouldn’t like to ruin it, so won’t I discuss it in this post.

To conclude it’s a good film, better than the films coming from the box-office.

So for those of you who like dark films with mild violence and like the slow paced narrative this may be the the movie for you.

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