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Film festival is over February 15, 2010

Posted by Elfi in Movies.
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Göteborg Film Festival is over now and I want to make a note for myself that next to Agora, Goran Paskaljević‘s Honeymoons was also excellent. For a couple of days, the only thing I could think of was ‘we have to be nice to each other, otherwise something bad will happen’.

Sometimes, I can be quite unobservant while traveling e.g. by tram, you known, this selfishly tired feeling, but during those days I kept my eyes open as much as possible, looking if could free my seat for someone, share a smile or whatever. I felt very happy.


Question Everything January 31, 2010

Posted by Elfi in Books, Movies.
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This weekend I have finished reading Snow, a novel by Orhan Pamuk, and I have seen Agora, a historical drama film by Alejandro Amenábar. Both deserve 5 stars. I liked it a lot.

With good intentions, I would recommend Snow to anyone who thinks he/she has something to say about the integration of Turkey to the European Union.

Source: http://www.orhanpapuk.net.

As for myself, the novel taught me this: While searching for an understanding, even if you think you are open minded, with little or no prejudices at all, question your own cultural heritage now and then. This applies quite generally and you might get often surprised.

No wonder I enjoy this quote from the Agora film:

“You cannot question your beliefs,” Hypatia tells Synesius, “I must.”

Source: Wikimedia.

For historical accounts of Hypatia’s life, a book “Hypatia of Alexandria: Mathematician and Martyr” by Michael Deakin seems to be a good source of known fragments. Here are reviews by J. L. Berggren and Fernando Q. Gouvêa.

The World is Big November 16, 2009

Posted by Elfi in Movies.
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and Salvation Lurks Around the Corner, 2008, Bulgaria. A very warmhearted movie climbing across the life behind the iron curtain in Bulgaria, West Germany and back in “New” Bulgaria. I have seen this movie at the Göteborg International Film Festival and it seemed many people liked it. It is relaxing and full of a very spectacular charm.

A very strong passage is a ‘temporary’ stay of the main characters in an Exile Camp in Italy. For some a place they never left.


Miki Manojlović stars and makes you know what kind of person you want to be. Eventually, you might want to blow dust off your bike. Don’t fight it 🙂

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2009 October 9, 2009

Posted by Elfi in Books, Movies.
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I usually don’t follow the hype around the Nobel prices. Unless media remind me I can quite easily even miss it, .. let us say like Easter holiday 🙂

However, during past years I appreciated the Nobel prize in literature as a good hint for new reading. In 2006, Orhan Pamuk and his book “Istanbul: Memories of a City” was such a pleasant experience. This year the prize was awarded to a Romanian-born German novelist, poet and essayist Herta Müller.

Quoting Wikipedia:

… noted for her works depicting the harsh conditions of life in Communist Romania under the repressive Nicolae Ceauşescu regime, the history of the Germans in Transylvania, and the persecution of Romanian ethnic Germans by Stalinist Soviet occupying forces in Romania.

I am looking forward to read one of her books.

While thinking about it a quote “a devastating microcosm of life” just popped up in my mind. That quote is the very best characterization of a movie Bure baruta (The Powder Keg) by Goran Paskaljevic, 1998, and I am curious how Müller’s work will compare, in whatever sense, with it.

Btw, The Powder Keg is one of the only two movies which left me shocked, doubtful, didn’t know what to do for more than a couple of days. The other was Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma (Salò or the 120 Days of Sodom) by Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1975. Spinal cord is shivering again.