We rented Saw II last week. I found the first one genuinely creepy and disturbing, so I had high hopes for the sequel. Maybe I'm too jaded from all the crap I watch, but I didn't find it very scary at all. A bit of a disappointment.
On that note: Has anyone seen a contemporary horror movie that really freaked you out? The last one I can recall is, funnily enough, What Lies Beneath starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Harrison Ford. I loved the Hitchcock feel, and it had me jumping out of me seat at least a dozen times. Why don't they make more classy, well-written and genuinely scary horror movies like that? I'm a bit over the whole serial killer thing - although I do enjoy the distinct 1970's retro feel of many of the more recent horror flicks - and would like to see a different type of monster emerge. Overall, I tend to prefer horror movies with a supernatural theme these days. Why can't M. Night Shyamalan make a proper horror movie in the supernatural vein? That would be awesome.
Geek, I don't know if you saw Frailty, but I loved it so much that I bought it - though it probably doesn't help that I have a two decades long fan-girl thing going for Bill Paxton (and really, who doesn't love Fishheads). Anyway, I found it quite atmospheric and it did engender discussion afterward, so well worth seeing. Honestly, not too many films give me the heebies anymore. I think the last one that had any follicular effect on me was 28 Days Later.
I just finished Dario Argento's Phenomena. It was great!!! I found it by accident and I was intrigued and bit scared! Great soundtrack...some Iron Maiden, Motorhead and Bill Wyman!!!!
A young young Jennifer Connelly was the lead. She was a girl who could communicate with bugs who help her solve some murders. I recommend this movie!!!
Ah yes, Frailty is the one with Bill Paxton, right? I really liked that one. Very creepy atmosphere. I should watch it again.
Tallulah! :cheek Yes, I love Phenomena (I always sing the title like that Muppet Show song--do you know the one I'm talking about?). As I think you know, Dario Argento's my favorite Italian horror directors, and that's one of my favorites by him! It's probably also the first time I ever saw Jennifer Connelly, whom I love--either this or Labyrinth, not sure which.
Tonight we watched a Swedish film called Ondskan, or Evil, which I really liked. I was fascinated by its unflinching examination of the cycle of violence, in families, in institutions, in society as a whole. And the fact that the lead actor, Andreas Wilson (who plays a rebel who eventually finds a cause with great control and restraint) is broodingly handsome doesn't hurt either. I'd recommend this one as well.
Andreas Wilson is dreamy, isn't he? :lovestruc Unfortunately, the parts he's chosen post-Ondskan haven't given him justice, performance-wise - he looked mighty fine in all of them, though, I should add. I still think he has potential, though, and I'm not the only one - David Lynch himself actually shot a perfume ad starring Andreas Wilson last year! Too cool. I'd like to see him partake in an American production one of these days.
Originally Posted by SnowflakeGirl
I saw Ondskan when it was first released, and liked it very much. It was Sweden's Academy Award contribution for Best Foreign Picture that year, but unfortunately we didn't go all the way. I'm glad to hear that people are renting it in the U.S., though. :up The director, Mikael Håfström, later directed Derailed, which I rented two nights ago. The reviews were lukewarm at best when it came out, so I didn't expect much, but I ended up enjoying it. If you're looking for a clever(ish) thriller with plenty of twists and turns, by all means try this one. Also, it was nice to see Jennifer Aniston break the girl next door mold. Håfström's next Hollywood project will be a movie adaption of Stephen King's short story "1408". The story is one of the best from Everything's Eventual, so I'll definitely keep my eyes open for that one.
In the category of bizarre Japanese horror films, we also saw Suicide Club. I don't even know what to say about this one, other than that I enjoyed it despite not having a friggin' clue what the heckity-heck was going on. Reminded me a bit of Takashi Miike-helmed movies, and yet somehow even more inscrutable. Very gory, so do be warned.
Me too! I would pass out with joy if I found out he was going to participate in a feature with Lynch. It would just be too incredible a convergence of good things in the cosmos. :lol (Where is this perfume ad, I must see it!)
Originally Posted by geek the girl
Actually, I just hope to see Andreas again in anything. Unfortunately, I can't find anything else with him available here in the States.
Ah, I love that story! Easily my favorite from that collection (or maybe the divorce one...been a while since I read that book). Nevertheless, I'll definitely be looking forward to this one. Until then, I could try Derailed--though I'm not overly fond of Aniston (she didn't hamper my enjoyment of one of my all-time faves, Office Space), I do like Clive Owen.
Håfström's next Hollywood project will be a movie adaption of Stephen King's short story "1408". The story is one of the best from Everything's Eventual, so I'll definitely keep my eyes open for that one.
BTW, Geek the Glamour Girl, can you recommend other Swedish films? Other than Ingmar Bergman's work, I'm not very familiar with cinema from there. Maybe some more current productions?
just a few movies i've rented recently from netflix:
"one flew over the cuckoo's nest" - i know this movie is 30+ years old but i've never seen it. never been a big fan of jack nicholson. but i saw it recommended on the "american film institute 100 most inspirational movies", so i thought i'd give it a chance. i really can't say how i felt about it ... i didn't hate it, but i didn't really LIKE it either. i guess i just feel kinda BLAH about it. it was nice to see some big name stars in such an early roll (christopher lloyd, danny devito, etc).
"date movie" - i rented this one because it was done by the same guys that did the "scary movie" series. i was expecting similar hilarity. i was HIGHLY disappointed. i think tally only lasted about 15 minutes before she gave up on it, but i watched the whole thing, hoping that it would redeem itself before it was over. it didn't. i don't offend very easily, but this movie offended me. big time. laughing at a fat person's expense is one thing, but going to the lengths that they did to make her appear to have grossly disgusting personal habits is another. it disgusted me. and i'm disappointed that alyson hannigan allowed herself to be a part of it.
"the truth about jane" - i had this one on my queue and when i saw it was being aired on the lifetime channel last week, i thought i took it off my queue. i guess i didn't, because i got it in the mail a couple of days later. well, that was a waste. but anyway ... as for the movie, i really liked this one. stockard channing did an awesome job, but i usually like stuff i've seen her in.
right now, i'm in the middle of "the skeleton key". so far i'm not too impressed, but we'll see how it ends later.
I just got Brokeback and The New World.
But of course, Snowy! :biglove Here are a few of my favourite Swedish movies, classics as well as more contemporary stuff. I have no idea how easy these movies are to get hold of in the U.S., but given that you were able to rent Ondskan, I'd imagine that most of them are available for rent if you're looking in the right video stores.
Originally Posted by SnowflakeGirl
En kärlekshistoria (Love Story - it's sometimes listed as A Swedish Love Story) by Roy Anderson (1970). This is one of my all-time favourite movies. It is the deceptively simple, beautiful story of two teenagers falling in love one stiflingly hot Swedish summer, but it is also a moving coming-of-age-story. Gorgeous cinematography and a fabulous musical score, too. Roy Anderson is one of Sweden's finest directors in my opinion - very original, very visionary. His later works are much more surreal and experimental with a slight David Lynch feel and a very dark, twisted sense of humour. Prime example: Sånger från andra våningen (Songs From the Secons Floor) from 2000.
Elvira Madigan by Bo Widerberg. You've probably already noticed how Swedish cinema is very focused on directors, as opposed to actors. Perhaps this is a European thing, but we do tend to think very highly of our directors. Widerberg, who passed away in the mid-90's, was one of Sweden's most well-renowned directors. Elvira Madigan (1967) is probably his most well-known work and a very beautiful, cinematographically stunning piece of cinema. The female lead, Pia Degermark, won the award for Best Actress at the Cannes Festival that year and was also nominated for a Golden Globe. Sadly, though, she's had a hard life since, struggling with drug addiction and anorexia. She lives not far from me, and I've seen her wandering around the dodgier parts of town, strung out on heaven knows what, several times. So sad. I think she's recovered now, though, because the last couple of "Elvira Madigan" sightings I've had have been at the local health club.
You may also be interested in Bo Widerberg's last film, Lust och fägring stor (All Things Fair). The subject matter is quite controversial, dealing with an intense (and rather graphic) teacher/student love affair. The young student is played by Widerberg's then 21-year-old son, Johan, who was the Andreas Wilson of the 1990's... if you catch my drift. ;)
F-ing Åmål (Show Me Love) and Tillsammans (Together) by Lukas Moodyson (1998 and 2000). Make sure to get these. They're heartwarming, funny, and poignant - easily the two best Swedish movies in decades. Figures, though, since Moodyson is a huge Morrissey fan. :lol Both movies were filmed in the small town where my fiancé grew up, so we got a kick out of recognising all the locations. I'd say that 90% of all current Swedish movies are shot in Trollhättan (aka Trollywood :lol) these days. It's quite surreal, really: many of my sweetie's old friends now make their living working on various movie sets - one of them served as Nicole Kidman's body double during the filming of Dogville! But I digress.
Le voilà! Brief summaries of both movies, courtesy of allmovie.com:
"Show Me Love is a coming-of-age comedy set in a sleepy little Swedish town called Åmål — the most boring place on earth according to adolescent Agnes, who moved there a year and a half ago. Agnes is not able to make friends at school; the fact she has to sit next to a girl in a wheelchair doesn't help, either. She's in love with Elin, but no one knows about it except her computer. The original title comes from Elin's frequent comment about her new home town. In his first feature film, Lukas Moodysson shows the pains of growing up, particularly for a lesbian. Show Me Love was screened as part of the "Panorama" section of the 49th Berlin International Film Festival in 1999 and received the Teddy Award for Best Gay/Lesbian Film."
"The second feature from Lukas Moodysson, who directed the internationally acclaimed Show Me Love, Together is the tale of life on a Stockholm commune in the mid-'70s. After suffering more than her share of abuse from her husband, Rolf (Michael Nyqvist), Elisabeth (Lisa Lindgren) takes her two children, Stefan (Sam Kessel) and Eva (Emma Samuelsson), to a commune run by her brother Göran (Gustav Hammarsten). Life at the commune is crowded with people with laid-back attitudes towards sex, nudity, and recreational drug use, prompting plenty of political debate."
Jalla! Jalla! (The Best Man's Wedding) by Lebanese-Swedish writer and director Josef Fares is another terrific contemporary Swedish film you should make an effort to find. It's a lighthearted comedy about cultural clashes, forbidden love, and the difficulties of trying to fit into two very different cultures.
These are the movies that immediately spring to mind. I might add a few more later, when I've had more time to think about it. In the meantime: Enjoy, m'dear!
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