Posts tagged “Guilt

The Silence / Learning the Guitar


The Silence  -  Front DVD Cover  -  UK ReleaseOn a hot summer day, a bicycle is found in a wheat field, and, nearby, the body of a young girl.  The killer is never found. 23 years later.  Same date.  Same place.  Another bicycle.  Another girl.  This time round, an ageing detective convinced that history is repeating itself, comes out of retirement determined to track down the perpetrator with the help of his young colleague.  Spanning a week in the investigation, both of them will begin a journey that will see intact worlds shatter apart.  A striking debut, The Silence is based on an award-winning novel and follows European crime thrillers such as “The Killing” and “Wallander” as it delves into the psyche of detectives and criminals to deliver a chilling story of murder and betrayal.

2010  –  Certificate 15  –  German Film
Strong language and sexual violence
8.5 out of 10

I’ve got sore fingers.  Fed up with my existing career options, I’ve decided to take advantage of the Christmas week and learn how to play the guitar.  Once I’ve done this I’ll become a rock star.  I’ve got plenty of social grievances and failed love affairs to write about, so it ought to be pretty easy to do once I’ve managed to learn a chord.  Posters of me in seductive, semi-naked poses will soon be starring down from the walls of countless, teenage girls’ bedrooms up and down the country.  Justin Bieber will just have to piss off down the dole office where he belongs.   My guitar is a rather nice, left-handed Westbury Standard, a model that was made for a few years around 1980 and bought for me by one of those aforementioned failed lover affairs.  Despite my cack-handed abuse of it, it rarely goes out of tune and I’ve yet to break a string, even though my playing has all the subtlety of Freddy Kruger in a maternity ward.  But how hard can it be?  Look at all the stupid people who seem to have managed.  Sadly, I apparently have hands like a horse’s hooves when it comes to playing.  Why does it need so many strings and why are they so close together?  Stupid design.  I thought it would only take a few hours, but apparently it takes longer than that….  I’m not a happy bunny.

This is a film with no happy characters in it; at all.  No one comes out of it well.  Everyone ends up more fucked up than they were to start with.  No, it’s not a documentary about real life, but a German movie about two paedophiles and the police investigation to apprehend them.  I’m personally not a big fan of crime films.  All that Sherlock Homes, Poirot, Scooby Doo stuff, where at the end everyone’s in a room and all the details get blurted out.  Yawn…  Fortunately this is a lot better.  What actually makes it so good is the way it gets inside everyone’s head and exposes all the guilt within; the police, the victims’ families, the perpetrators, the perpetrators’ families.  It’s a real lose-lose story.  I found it hard at times not to feel sorry for everyone, even the ‘baddies’ in their own, screwed up way.  I was also struck by just how scruffy, undisciplined and a bit mad all the German police seemed to be.  At times the feel of the film reminded me of the French horror “7 Days”, although that’s even darker.  Overall this is very close to being a genuinely great film.  Only it’s slightly frustrating habit of introducing ideas that it then doesn’t really do anything with, let’s it down.

The music used in this film is fine and works well.

Considering this is a trailer with no words it actually not bad.  I’m not sure it tells a great deal about the film’s plot, although it does a decent job of getting the atmosphere across.

Recommended for the police, caretakers and architects.

No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.

Top badass moment?  Everyone is so miserable and wracked with guilt that it’s difficult to find anything worthy of being considered badass.  I guess the weather was nice most of the time; lovely warm, sunny days.  Summer is badass.  Winter is just crap; short days, cold, damp and wet.  Yuk.

The Silence at IMDB (6.8 / 10)
The Silence at Wikipedia
The Silence at Roger Ebert (3.5  / 5)
The Silence at YouTube

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Love Liza: 3.0 Stars


Love Liza  -  Front DVD CoverWhen you drive from Reading towards Oxford, as you leave the town you pass a number of road signs proudly proclaiming you’re entering Oxfordshire,  the Chiltern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and, most importantly of all, that the speed limit is now 50mph.  After the slow 30mph climb out of Reading, with its 100s of speed cameras ready to catch the weary, the inattentive and the downright stupid, the sudden vista of trees and open fields, a straight road and all that ‘roadside furniture’ is enough to turn even the most mind-mannered driver into a Mad Max style petrol-head.  So imagine my pleasure recently, as when leaving the town along this very road, at the very moment of transition from high-tech military oppression to the anarchy of the countryside beyond, onto my car stereo came Andrew W.K.’s “Party Hard”.  This is a great bit of ‘speeding up’ music.  However, the intro goes on for 27 seconds.  Even in a Ford Focus that’s a lot of acceleration time.  I was quite surprised when I looked down to see I was doing over 200mph.  That’s pretty impressive for a diesel.  This film also has a main character that talks a lot of bollocks but thinks he’s making sense.

2002  –  Certificate 15:  –  USA
Rating Details:  Language: Frequent, Strong.  Sex/Nudity: Infrequent Moderate References.  Violence: None.  Other: Substance Abuse.

I feel a bit guilty for not liking this drama / black comedy more.  I did try, but I just couldn’t get behind the ‘hero’ Wilson.  I know he was having a bad time, what with his wife’s suicide and all that, but he had plenty of friends, family and work colleagues who wanted to help him.  But what does he do?  Not open the letter his wife left for him and develop a somewhat unhealthy interest in sniffing petrol and (in his own words) “radio-control”.  For a successful winner like me, who’s never failed at anything in his entire life, it’s hard to see someone behaving quite so pathetically over such a small thing.  What a wimp.  Loser.  Anyway, don’t let me put you off watching this film, because it is pretty entertaining and the acting’s great too.  It’s just that I got a little too much pleasure out of seeing Wilson make a bit of a tool of himself once too often and then that made me feel guilty.  I didn’t really get to feel his pain, you know what I mean?

Recommended for radio-controlled boat and plane enthusiasts.

No cats, decapitations or chainsaws.

Top badass moment?  In a film filled with flawed, somewhat sad individuals, where no one really ‘rises to the challenge’, this is not an easy thing to do.  So rather than bother I’ve decided that anyone who flies radio-controlled aeroplanes is badass.  For a hobby that’s easy for everyone else to ridicule, (it’s only one step above train-spotting in my mind), who hasn’t secretly wanted to have a go at it anyway?  Pursuing your interests when the rest of the world thinks you’re just a stupid kid who won’t grow up, is badass.  It’s just jealousy you know. 

Love Liza at IMDB (6.8)