A month with French Cinema

This month had been hard for all of us- travelling was banned and we are encouraged to stay at home. Somehow movie gives a great solution. Movie gets me into a different city and time, it’s like traveling without leaving your couch. I am into French cinema right now and it felt like a whole new world for me. I remember I felt into another country-related cinema and culture few years ago, but after spent sometime turns out I did not like it. It’s very human – if you get bored and no curiosity left, you left. I did study the language though. So it’s have benefit for me. I want to try neutral with French. I want to enjoy it, but not j’adore with it, because eventually you get bored. or maybe less interested. But I’ve been to France, visit Paris, Marseille, and Nice, and yes it was such a beautiful, magical, and once in a lifetime journey. Traveling by yourself to Europe at twenty something age is a rare chance, and I’m grateful for it. Throughout my enjoyment towards the movie I watched for the last month, I noticed some of the place in Paris that was very familiar. It’s like a rendezvous, maybe that’s why I like to watch it. And listening to their language is very pleasantly mysterious for unspoken french person like me. Here are some of the movies and series that I had the chance to watch this month.

Un Prophète (2009)

A thoughtful movie -Un Prophète

I’ve said it and I’m gonna say it again. This is my favourite movie period. Maybe it’s not the best movie ever made, but for me, it has a personal related topic which I consider very well describe: the freedom, the struggle, the hardship. It is a wake-up call movie for me. And you must be wondering how do I found this movie? It’s very simple. I was just scrolling around a blog that I’ve been followed lately and found a post regarding a celebration of ten-year post production of this movie by dvd release. I got interested then I watch it, just out of curiosity. I usually very selective in handpicked a movie to make a sure I watched a good one that I could possibly add to best movie list, but this time I was just messing around and thought this maybe a nice movie. I was wrong, it was a fantastic movie. Ever since watching it, I am looking for another movie with the actor in it (typical me) and another good French movie. So maybe it was just like me, you coincidentally read this post and decide to watch the movie. Go for it and tell me about it later.

Le Grand Voyage (2005)

Journey to Hajj – Le Grand Voyage (2005)

This is a very good movie. It’s heartbreaking in a very subtle way. I really like the ending scene- very rich, and sad, and hopeful – the scene where he puts away his head out of the window from the taxi was I think one of the most memorable movie scene ever. Go watch it.

Grand Central (2013)

Everyone needs solitude- Grand Central (2013)

I am curious about Tahar Rahim which is an excellent actor and Lea Seydoux , so I decided to watch this movie. But sadly it’s not on my best movie list. Well it is quite rare and different, and it is very French which had some bold scenes, but at the end I just don’t like it. But I do like the fact that the sound of the alarm of the factory rang five times it signals for a great danger. In the last scene into closing credits, the alarm five times and it pictures much the story of the movie – dangerous and desperate.

Happy Few (2010)

The unexplainable flour romance – Happy Few

This movie is typical French. It was very French in a way creating a non-boundaries of relationship. It is very strange in a French way, it’s very endearing. The story was quite pretty flat and I would recommend you to watch other movie than this one, unless you are very..very horny.

Les Hommes Libres (2004)

The Beauty of Islam – Les Hommes Libres (2004)

The movie Les Hommes Libres aka Free Men told about a non-France man who helped Musli community saved a Jew during the Nazi era. It is very beautifully told. I really like how it use The Great Mosque of Paris as a shooting place. I went there last summer before I watched the movie and it was very beautiful. The place was mysterious yet very calm, I went to the underground to take ablation before I pray and I felt a connection during my visit while having a Jama’ah Pray, because no matter where you are or where you’re come from, when we pray together, we are the same. It is very rare that a movie has this lots of length portraying Islam in a very good way. The actor was excellent as well. I really recommend this movie.

Synonymes (2019)

“You’re going to marry my girlfriend” – Stills from Synonymes

I like this movie. I like the modern vibe from this movie, it is a satire to a non-French person that wanted to be French. In the end the actor said ” You don’t know how lucky you are to be in French”.Still, in some ways, there were some awkward scenes that was meant deliberately to be artistic and meaningful – but somehow for me it’s just art deco. However I like the background from this movie, their dress, their conversations. It lives up when you really want to watch Paris in a modern vibe in an artistic movie.

Plan Coeur (2018/2019)

Close to Me -Stills from Plan Coeur

Go watch this series ( Netflix title : Hook-up Plan). I usually not into series, but this one is really good. It’s like French version of Friends. I like this type of series, it’s light, it’s lovable characters and gang of friends, and it’s modern, hype, without being too high – they give a standard working class character. I could make a whole new post about this series, but the point is go watch it. I used to wonder what all those beautiful man and woman talked about during in my Paris trip and this series pretty much solve the questions. It’s like me living another life while watching it – my imaginary Parisian life.

So that’s all so far, there are LOTS of great French movie out there, I know it and I could mention some titles. But somehow I managed to watch some of the less commercial and popular yet interesting from the above and you’re maybe want to watch it as well.

Far from the maddening crowd : a thought

I could say that the movie Inside Out is for me one of the good movies talking about mental health. It is animation but it conveys the message so deep about how our mind works. I was just having a bad moment today, being not comfortable with my parents, mad at myself but reflecting it to my parents. I happened to watch this rerun of this movie Inside Out on telly and it hits me right away. I forgot about how wonderful my parents were treating me since I was a child and no matter how grown I have been, I’m still their child so they’re gonna treat me like am a kid. The part when the girl in the movie runaway then the inside-mind part, which is Sadness take the lead, it finally give the girl to express their emotions and received a warm welcome form their parents. This is what happened to me and most of people nowadays. We don’t want to talk about the thing that bugs us then expect the involved person to understand by itself. I think it’s okay to cry at some points to receive a support from others. We can’t be so tight and act like a hard rock everyday.

Synonyms (2019)

I just didn’t get where all this madness coming from. Far from the maddening crowd, I might bullet the points that I am really into French movies lately, and watching it made me realised what the hell I am doing here while being in French was way more freeing and living. C’est la vie. I just watched the movie Synonyms which was about a guy who want to change his identity by moving to France but it took hard work. And at some points there were some cultural things that you can’t leave behind no matter how bad you’re trying to be French or any other nationalities. It’s in your blood. At the middle of the night sometimes I was just staring at my window, looking outside thinking what was I supposed to do in the future, and the answer was just coming honest from my subconscious mind : nothing. Not even studying or working abroad gives the solution, at some point you will miss home and at some point you might be asking what the hell am I doing there as well. So what I’m going to do is release my distracting ambition into somewhere else, well this journal, I suppose. It clears up my mind so I don’t have the burden to carry it on for the whole day. Whenever those islands of ambition or wanting come across my primetime thought, I was just thinking ” now that I have written it down, so I have put those utterless ambition away and focus into the other thing”. And it worked somehow. Synonyms is THE movie that perfectly put my wandering thought away about identity crisis and a cynical view of French- the person, the culture, the city. Put those away your glorious ambition by realising everything has its positive and negative side. It is true that in order to get a better output of your mind, get a better input as well. Filter your environment, your pop culture entertainment, your surroundings.

So , now that I’m not mad anymore, shall we take a clearer side and enjoying life moment by moment? Take a breathe. And..Yes, please.

My Favourite Movies of All Time

I have been a fan of watching movie since a very young age. Coming into older age, I realize that I should filter my list of movies between I don’t need to watch and something that is good enough. Watching bad movies pretty much wasting your time, especially when you have other things that need to be done. So in order to clear things up I just want to make a same perception that what I called a good movie is something that made me think and influenced by the idea of the movie after I’m watching it. I mean, there were LOTS of great movies out there, but only some that succeed capture my attention to think and dig the movie a little more- engraved it into my life. And no, this time I’m not gonna make a pretentious list to put me into a movie critics. I’m just happened to be growing up watching lots of movies and pick some that I really like-If the movie were put in a telly I would watch it again and again. Here’s the list – could be updated as soon I found a new one.

15. Spirited Away (2011)

I love all Hayao Miyazaki’s movie- The Ghibli Studio was phenomenal. Once I was in Japan I went to a store that was specially made for all the characters created by the Studio and I know almost all of them. I grow up watching their animations, and Spirited Away is the best way to represents my liking.

Spirited Away (2011)

14. Midnight in Paris (2011)

I love how the imagination works here perfectly without struggling to define the reality that was, a sentimental state being in love and in Paris. The cinematography was exceptional. Woody Allen was phenomenal.

Midnight in Paris (2011)

13. Copenhagen (2014)

I think this is one of the underrated movie out there. It was one of the best Indie-hopeful romantic movie I ever seen. the interesting adventure taken in Europe – the background was easily gives me a crave for European countries.

Copenhagen (2014)

12.The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)

I love the movie since it represents a lot of travel time and showed Ben stiller in on of his best performance. This is one of my wildest dream- to let everything go and just do what you want to do- traveing, wandering, go into a journey, and looking for a self explanation. This movie is underrated in awards show, but it gives meaning to the audiences. Ground control to major Tom.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)

11. The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)

It was a movie with extra adventure, a fond knowledge of Che Guevara before he started the damn revolution. It was a movie that leaves you inspire in the middle of the night.

The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)

10. Dead Poets Society (1989)

This is the first movie that I could recall as a very first good movie that I ever watched. It has meaning and give a new perception of life. Probably this is the roots of the reason why I want to be a teacher- a good one, not only teaching about subjects, but about life in general. Don’t you forget this.

Dead Poets Society (1989)

9. Pride and Prejudice (2005)

There were lots of movies about love out there, but nothing beat the classic from Jane Austen. Who would forget the much anticipated hate and love from Mr Darcy and Mrs Bennett? The best scene : rainy scene in the garden when finally they approve their actually-not-so-forbidden love. This is probably the roots of all unrequited love that I was longing for the whole time that resulting me in a chronic state of stress about acknowledging other’s love ( if only I could guess it sooner in my younger age). I’m not on that state anymore, gratefully.

Pride and Prejudice (2005)

8. The Devil Wears Prada ( 2006 )

This easily comes up in the list because well, duh, it’s my list. The movie is the epitome of being a free hardworking new yorker with a fashionable attire, horrible boss, wrecked relationship, and bunch of cool gang of friends. It’s a light movie that you could watch on a saturday morning.

The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

7. Rear Window (1954)

Not only because it is one of the most classic cinematic thriller ever made – Hitchcock’s- but I also have a fond memory of watching this movie back in London in the rooftop of a building in Hoxton (Rooftop Cinemas). It was raining, but somehow I manage to enjoy the movie with getting all wet. A classic movie that deserved to be watching in an epic moment.

Rear Window (1954)

6. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri (2017)

At first I don’t really like this movie. But somehow it grows into my liking. I researched about the inspiration of the movie and the political state that brings from the movie really catch the wind that heats up that year. It represents injustice reality and unfairness in this chaotic world. The impact of this movie was also quite huge where some activists protests using the billboards as well. The cast and the acting was superb.The scene where Sam Rockwell breaks the office was amazing and deserves an oscar- and yes he did.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri (2017)

5. Moonlight (2016)

This is work of art in every form. Most of the scenes in the movie were cinematic. The story was captivating. And after saw the whole movie you would understand how the title of the movie fits perfectly.

Moonlight (2016)

4. Call Me By Your Name (2017)

The movie adds the list perfectly. It was one of the best artistic-fiction of love out there. A pure love- or a lust? A relationship. Or something in between? This movie leaves you hanging, sad, hopeless, but gives you a clarity that everything shall pass, but while you’re at it, enjoy it while you can. The best scene will probably be the dialogue between Elio and his father.

Call Me by Your Name (2017)

3. Boyhood (2014)

If my life were put into a movie, then this will be the type of movie that I’m gonna be picturing. Growing up as a teen is a struggle, and a mother role is very important. The best scene will be when the finally his mother sending his son off to college. It’s a totally relatable movie with me- and probably with everyone else. One of Linklater’s best.

Boyhood (2014)

2. Manchester by The Sea (2016)

I could not say how much I love this movie. It shows about grief and regret, in the most real form as possible. The tragedy beneath it was unbelievable. The best scenes were Casey confessing at the police officer and the moment where the couple meets again and disembark their chaotic feeling toward each other. My heart is broken, and always be broken..

Manchester by The Sea (2016)
  1. Un Prophet (2009)

I would most definitely fall in this French movie since the first time I’m watching it. It was delicate, thrilling, and real, in the most way possible. The reason why I’m putting this number one list because it gives me strength to my daily life somehow- it gives me the ability to add to my confidence and my gratefulness to a whole new level. I never thought that a movie will move me as a person, in personality. This is a masterpiece that deserves a top on my list.

Un Prophet (2009)