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Added by johanlefourbe on 25 Aug 2013 05:50
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Ronny's Dutch Film Club

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People who added this item 0 Average listal rating (0 ratings) 0 IMDB Rating 7.6
Skunk (2023)

chosen by Marieke

Notes: I had no idea what to expect from this movie but, to be honest, it did hit me like a truck though. With the film club, we do watch some really heavy movies from time to time (I guess we like to torture ourselves like that…) but this movie was definitely one of the most hardcore we have seen so far. It’s interesting that some other film club members were rooting for the main character to successfully come out of this endless vicious circle of violence and despair but, as far as I was concerned, even if I did care for the poor boy, I pretty much knew from the start that he was doomed (it is so weird that he was actually played by an actor called Thibaud Dooms). I mean, how could you expect any really improvement if you take a traumatized boy out of a highly dysfunctional environment and put him in just another dysfunctional environment? I’m not blaming the educators working there, they were doing the best they could with some f*cked up situations and I really did appreciate the hyper-realistic approach they chose to depict this environment but, at the end of the day, it didn’t seem like a very efficient system. Coming back on Thibaud Dooms, wow, this guy was just incredible, so raw and so spellbinding to behold, I almost wish his career would end here just to make sure that he doesn’t have to go through something like this ever again. Eventually, the only thing that really didn’t work in this movie for me was the fact that the ‘bad’ guy, the real psycho in these group of messed up kids turned out to be Moroccan. Seriously, since it was a work of fiction, there was absolutely no need to give this character such a specific ethnicity, especially since there is already such a vile rhetoric about this matter in France, in the Netherlands and also in Belgium.

(June 2024)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 6.9
The Hypnosis (2023)

chosen by Ria

Notes: It turned out to be a decent watch but, to be honest, not much more than that. Before the movie started, someone mentioned that it was said to be similar with 'Toni Erdmann' and there were definitely some similarities. An interesting thing with this movie was how it displayed that we are all supposed to behave in the public life, constantly fulfilling what the people around us might be expecting. As a result, we do engage very often in some rather vapid and/or tedious conversations because, well, it is expected from us. Well, this movie did display what might happen if we would do whatever we want, whenever we want but, if the end-result was maybe inspiring for 10 mins, it did become rather cringe-inducing fairly quickly though. Eventually, I thought it was also rather difficult to feel a connection with the two main characters. On one hand, the guy was a rather pathetic loser who constantly lied to get the attention of other people (and usually failed at it pretty badly). On the other hand, how should you act if your girlfriend suddenly acted completely different than usual? Concerning the girl, it was rather hard to judge her or what she was going through since we barely saw her before the hypnosis. By the way, concerning the whole hypnosis thing, I have some serious doubts that it would work this way in real life. Someone in our group had an interesting theory though, that everything never happened at all and that Vera experienced the whole thing while she was under the hypnosis (which would explain the countdown at the end meaning that she was finally coming out). I didn't experience the movie this way but this theory did make the whole thing much more coherent.

(May 2024)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 6 Average listal rating (5 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 6.4
Green Border (2023)

chosen by Henk


(We have a new member in the club. Welcome to Marieke!)


Notes: As usual, I didn’t know anything about this movie before watching it but my other film club members made it pretty clear that it would heavy. Well, within 5 mins, I understood that it will be pretty rough and, indeed, at the end, we were all fairly traumatized about what we just saw. As far as I was concerned, it felt like a horror feature, the big difference was that it was based on something real which made all these images even more hard to swallow. Eventually, it was a strong reminder how we seem to live in some kind of parallel world where we worry about the costs of our groceries and about where we are going to spend our next fancy holidays when, not so far away, some really desperate immigrants are going through hell dreaming of a better life for themselves and very often for their very young kids. Something which was not handled in this movie was the fact that, if they ever managed to reach their destination (many won’t), they will be despised and very poorly treated by the local population which made me feel such a great shame. They did spend some time however to show how awful the job was for the military working at the border and it was a great way to show that, even if someone gets in direct contact with these refuges, they pretty much feel instantly different about them which shows, that deep down, we are all human. But they didn’t stop here, they also spent some time with some activists, just a handful of them, who tried to make a difference but I think the way this group was depicted was less effective. Indeed, it seemed that none of them had a daily job or some family to take care of and that they all could simply drop off everything to help these poor souls which seemed less realistic than the rest of this movie. Anyway, I’m still shaken up by the damned thing.

(Apr. 2024)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 7.1

chosen by Bea

Notes: Even though Jos Stelling is one of the most highly regarded directors from the Netherlands, I have to admit that I’m not really familiar with his work. Indeed, I have seen only his previous directorial effort, ‘Het Meisje en de Dood’ which did win the Golden Calf for the best Dutch film of the year but, to be honest, I didn’t care much for it. Well, even though the rest of the film club was really enthusiast, I have to admit that I had a hard time to really connect with this (probably) last movie from the Dutch master. I mean, I have to admit that it was visually really neat and definitely from another level than your average Dutch production, that’s for sure. Unfortunately, the movie itself was just too cryptic for my taste and I would have a really hard time to tell what Stelling was trying to tell or to achieve here. Another thing that bothered me was the gimmick of the mute main character. In my opinion, it is a rather cheap trick to make your character deep and mysterious by having him saying nothing but he felt more like an empty shell than an actual human-being. Above all, I don’t think he was really interesting and this Russian woman who he met half way through was actually much more intriguing. The other tricky thing with this movie was that it was so random and it’s as if Stelling created his own logic as he went along and, like the rest of the movie, I guess it is really a matter of taste if you’re going to appreciate this approach. Anyway, even if it didn’t really work for me, I gave it a few extra points for being so artistic and challenging.

(Mar. 2024)

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 106 Average listal rating (75 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.4

chosen by Peter

Notes: When I heard that the filmclub would see this movie, I was quite disappointed because I was on holiday in France. Well, somehow, I managed to convince my mother in France to see it together so I still managed to watch the damned thing after all. Fortunately, it was definitely worth it out though. Indeed, I have watched all the previous movies from Jonathan Glazer but it was easily the best one he has made so far. Basically, it gave such a fascinating and chilling glimpse of the normalization of extreme discrimination. At the end of the day, if you keep hearing such ideas and seeing such behaviour, it will seem normal to most people and I think that's what was perfectly displayed in this movie. On top of that, Glazer and the cast did an incredible job to make sure that this is typical Nazi family was displayed as the most average family you could imagine. Indeed, they were kind to each other, they just wanted to enjoy life like any normal human-being, the fact that they lived next to the closest place to look like Hell on Earth was just an afterthought for them. The fact that, 80 years later, there is such a frightening rise of extreme-right politics all over Europe made the damned thing even more topical. On one hand, we are condemning such past events but, on the other hand, we are obsessed by our own comfort closing our eyes regarding how we treat foreigners, immigrants and refugees. Seriously, many people might argue that both situations are not the same but I think that they are actually extremely similar.

(Feb. 2024)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 64 Average listal rating (46 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.9
Perfect Days (2023)

chosen by Ietje

Notes: Ever since I saw ‘Paris Texas’ almost 30 years ago, I became instantly a huge fan of Wim Wenders but, to be honest, it had been a while since I saw one of his movies so it was really cool to see his last directorial effort with the film club. Well, it turned out to be at the same time such a simple but also such a complex movie after all. Indeed, at the end of the day, most of the running time is about some average guy cleaning some toilets in Tokyo (by the way, the public toilets there are actually quite impressive), listening to some vintage cassettes and reading some cheap books and that’s pretty much it. You don’t get to know him that much. How did he end up living like this? Who was he actually? Above all, the question I kept repeating myself was, was he actually happy? Indeed, he had created his own bubble and I have to admit that he seems to be quite content but setting such strict constraints to yourself and cutting all bridges with any people who knew you, is it really the answer? But then, and that’s probably the genius of this movie, are we much happier in our more conventional way of life, full of consumerism, meaningless chats and technological noise? I probably had a hard time to accept his choice because a part of myself is really inclined to follow a similar path but I wouldn’t last for long because another part of myself forces me to stay in touch with other people. Eventually, I strongly believed that the main character was the happiest not when he managed to strictly follow his Zen lifestyle but when some outsider did manage to actually disrupt it. Anyway, the damned thing was definitely intriguing, that's for sure.

(Jan. 2024)

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 0 Average listal rating (0 ratings) 0 IMDB Rating 0


Unfortunately, Eric, one of our founding members, tragically passed away in December. As a result, we cancelled the Film Club for this month.
People who added this item 122 Average listal rating (81 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.9
Past Lives (2023)

chosen by Wilma

Notes: Since I’m myself an immigrant myself, son of an immigrant, I’m always fascinated by such stories, especially when it is so perfectly handled as it was definitely the case here. Indeed, with this movie, you didn’t have 1 but 3 fascinating intricate characters and, as a result, it was probably the best love triangle I have ever seen. Indeed, there was no good guy, no bad guy, only some really realistic and convincing human-beings dealing with some complex feelings. As pointed out by Arthur himself, in a weaker movie, he would have probably been the evil jealous White husband doing everything he can to prevent his wife to see her childhood crush. But, even if he was a nice guy who really loved his wife, it doesn’t mean that his situation was easy though. Concerning his wife, Nora, she was probably the character who got the most screen time and it was just so fascinating to see her wrestling with her past, her present, her culture baggage, and, eventually, you don’t get some clean clear-cut answers but that’s how it goes in real life and that’s how it’s supposed to be. Concerning Jung Hae Sung, you get the feeling that he will never really manage to let go of this childhood romance but you spend enough time with him to see that, even if he cherished every minute he spent with Nora, he was so compassionate towards her, even towards her husband, it was quite inspiring to behold. Another interesting thing is that they argued that Nora made her choice to be where she ended up but, in fact, she never really made this choice in the first place. Indeed, it was her parents who took the decision to immigrate to Canada, she would have never made this choice at 12 years old, and you can only wonder what would have been her relationship with Jung Hae Sung if her parents who have decided to stay in South Korea. Anyway, the damned thing was just so fascinating and it is easily one of the best movies I have seen this year.

(Nov. 2023)

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 202 Average listal rating (148 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.6

chosen by Johan

Notes: Even if some people might be worried about the extensive running time, Martin Scorsese, one of the greatest masters, delivered here an impressive tale of greed and love. To be honest, I have to admit that it didn't know much about the Osage and the terrible tragedy that happened on them and you get the opportunity here to learn more about them. However, their tragic fate was not really the main focus here or, at least, in my opinion, it wasn't the biggest asset in this movie. After all, I was above all fascinated by DiCaprio who delivered here one of his very best performances. Indeed, his character was so complex, he was probably one of the most confused men I have ever seen on the silver screen. Basically, he was an average White male who was promised some easy money and, like every White American man at the time, he didn't care one bit about the Indians. And, yet, somehow, he actually fell in love with this beautiful sharp Indian woman who also loved him back. But, then, how could he possibly try to kill this woman, possibly the only person on Earth who actually cared for him, and wipe out also all her family if he loved her so much? On paper, it wouldn't make any sense at all and, yet, DiCaprio was always convincing. It was just so fascinating to see him going through a seemingly endless roller coaster of completely contradicting emotions. Of course, it was also a blast to see him facing Robert De Niro, another film icon, and some of their scenes together were amazing but De Niro's character was so much more one-note and therefore not quite so fascinating. Anyway, it was a great epic, that's for sure.

(Oct. 2023)

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 4 Average listal rating (3 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 8.7

chosen by Bea

Notes: To be honest, when I heard we were going to see this movie, I can't say I was really excited. I mean, I did like the title and the poster but I had never heard of it and it seemed to be another obscure and rather forgettable picture. Well, I was completely wrong, that's for sure. Since I'm half-French and half-Dutch myself, I'm always drawn towards such movies dealing with characters facing culture clashes and identity crisis and, in this movie, they really nailed it. What I enjoyed the most was how nuanced and complex the situation of this boy was displayed. Of course, as an outsider, his environment was certainly not welcoming but it went beyond that. Indeed, what defines you as an individual is not necessarily your genes, where you come from or where you grew up, it's actually a combination of all these elements but, as a kid, that's not something you want to be dealing with. As displayed in this movie, you just want to play with the other kids, you just want to be like everyone else, and the idea of being 'special' or 'different' is definitely the last thing you actually want to be. To be honest, I'm not sure if it was really needed to have the mother facing terminal cancer on top of everything. Indeed, there was so much going on already and it seemed to be added there only to make sure that her son could carry her on the top of this mountain, just like the Korean tale she told earlier during this movie. Fortunately, it wasn't a deal breaker and the whole thing was beautiful and quite emotional.

(Sept. 2023)

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 6.9

chosen by Peter

Notes: Eventually, the fact that I knew nothing about it before watching this movie allowed me to appreciate more this really harmonious family during the first scenes, without dreading the tragedy heading towards them. To be honest, this set up was rather slow but, in fact, the whole movie had a rather slow pace and I can imagine that it can be bothering for some impatient viewers. Anyway, it probably will be a surprise for the other members of the filmclub but, the more I think about it, the less I think it really impressed me after all. It's not that there was something really wrong about it though. Indeed, there was something genuine about the characters, all the cast gave some solid performances and the director went for a really realistic approach which worked pretty well. Eventually, I'm afraid I didn't feel much connection with the material after all. Maybe it had to do with some personal aversion I have with the mourning process in general. In fact, I have to admit that the way they developed and displayed some different grieving processes and how these processes could clash with one another was interesting but, as far as I was concerned, it just never became really fascinating to behold. The fact that this family was so nice and neat from the start might have been part of the issue and it was fairly predictable that they would manage their issues after all and continue again their lives in a fairly harmonious way. Anyway, I was clearly in the minority as everybody apparently loved this movie and I have to admit that it is definitely worth a look.

(Aug. 2023)

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 177 Average listal rating (120 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 6.6
Asteroid City (2023)

chosen by Johan

Notes: To be honest, even though I was eager to see this movie, I wasn’t even planning to watch it right now. In fact, I had planned to watch 'Oppenheimer' instead at least 6 months ago but, unfortunately, it didn't work out with the filmclub so I had to pick up this movie at the last minute. On the other hand, it was already the 4th movie directed by Wes Anderson watched by our filmclub, more than any other director, which was pretty cool. Anyway, how was the damned thing after all? Well, it was definitely a decent effort from the American director, no doubt about it, but it was definitely not one of his best. Visually, as usual with Anderson, it looked amazing though as each scene was turned into some kind of gorgeous painting. Concerning the cast, well, I won't name all the famous and insanely talented actors involved but it's obvious that they had a blast with this material, especially with the dialogues which were often quite hilarious. Eventually, the only issue I had was with the story. Indeed, even though it seems that there was a lot going on during each individual scene, as a whole, I had the feeling that it was in fact about nothing much after all. It was like focusing on the guy who wrote the play this story was supposedly based on, sure, I have to admit that it was fun but, as far as I was concerned, it didn't have much added value. Basically, this movie displayed an endless succession of nice ideas but it might have been more satisfying to keep only a few of these ideas and actually develop them. It was still pretty good though.

(Jul. 2023)

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 17 Average listal rating (12 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 6.6
Plan 75 (2022)

chosen by Henk

Notes: I think it was pretty bold from Henk to choose this movie when most of the members of our Filmclub are near or even above the 75 year old threshold displayed in this movie. It's interesting that, even though the concept developed here felt like it came from some science-fiction flick, it was however handled in a really sober way, in fact, it was even hyper-realistic and this approach to handle such a SF concept was maybe not really original but it still worked really well though. Even more intriguing was the fact that, even though this Japanese law was obviously ridiculous and inhuman, the way the elderly were treated in this movie didn't really differ from the way we are already treating then nowadays which was rather sad and confronting. Eventually, the main issue, as far as I was concerned, was the fact that it all felt rather disjointed. Sure, I didn't mind that there was no real plot. However, there was also no main character and, instead, they kept jumping from one character to another (seriously, some characters showed up for maybe only 5 mins and then never came back afterwards). I won't blame the actors involved as they all did a fine job but, as a result, you never get the opportunity to really know any of their respective characters. Eventually, it did create such a distance between them and the viewers and it was then hard to really care about what they were going through. Anyway, even if this interesting concept could have been probably better developed, it was still a decent watch.

(Jun. 2023)

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 44 Average listal rating (30 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.7

chosen by Wilma

Notes: To be honest, due to some personal issues, I have to admit that had some trouble to really focus on this movie. Eventually, it was probably a good thing that we didn’t see ‘Beau is Afraid’ (a movie I was more eager to watch), because it was lasting a whopping 3 hrs and I was already struggling to not fall asleep with this movie which did last around only 90 mins. Anyway, even if everyone else in the film club seemed to have really enjoyed it, as far as I was concerned, the story was just too simplistic and predictable. In the same fashion, all the characters involved were all rather one-note with not much depth whatsoever. It's interesting that, from a personal experience, I actually know that, if a child went through some tough situations during their childhood, to put them within the nicest environment possible might not result in a such a seemingly perfect outcome. Still, I have to admit that this movie was well made and very often quite beautiful to look at. On top of that, Catherine Clinch who played the lead character was just so charismatic and was quite pitch-perfect for her very first performance. Eventually, the whole thing only grabbed me when this poor little girl had to leave this very nice couple to go back to her dreadful family. As I mentioned earlier, I didn’t focus at all through the whole duration, as a result, I didn’t get that her moving to live with this couple was something only temporary and it really broke my heart when this seemingly perfect family unit had to be broken down.

(May 2023)

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 29 Average listal rating (19 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 7

chosen by Ietje

Notes: Right away, it reminded me of her girl I used to know back in France who was also born in South-Corea and was adopted as a baby. We always got along very well and I wonder if her journey to self-discovery was similar to what happened in this movie (it was probably not so messy though). On top of that, because I'm half-French and half-Dutch, I could easily identify with the main character, even if her struggle was so much heavier for her than it was for me. As a result, this whole tale of conflicted cultural identities deeply appealed to me and it was handled in such a subtle way. The fact that it was dealing with a complex and flawed character made the whole thing even more fascinating to behold. Park Ji-Min, who was not even an actress before this movie, should also be praised for her performance which was pretty much pitch-perfect. Eventually, the only aspect that slightly dragged down the whole thing was possibly the fact that the structure was quite chaotic. Indeed, the main character kept making some drastic decisions and it was sometimes a little bit difficult to keep track of what was actually going on in her life. On the other hand, this approach actually made sense as it actually displayed how confused she was most of the time. Eventually, you might wonder if she eventually managed to find some peace of mind at some point but there is a fair chance that she will always have to deal with her inner struggle some way or another.

(Avr. 2023)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 132 Average listal rating (83 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.4
Tár (2022)

chosen by Ria

Notes: Well, I didn't expect to be blown away like this. To be honest, it's not an easy movie, in fact, it turned out to be a very complex character study and I'm not sure if it really required almost 3 hours of running time. Indeed, it takes forever before the world of Lydia Tár starts to finally unravel and, while I was watching the damned thing, I thought it was rather frustrating that we didn't get more information about her past, her lies and her alleged abuses. The fact that so many elements were kept in the dark probably didn’t help. It's only afterwards that I understood that we saw this whole story only through her own perspective and, eventually, this approach was quite brilliant. Basically, to reach this position, she did many great things and a lot more that was probably not so great but, above all, she created her own bubble from which she (thought she) could control her own narrative. As a result, she constantly filtered everything that didn't fit in the character and story she had created. She did it so much at this point that it was not a wonder that she started to loose her grip on what was real or not but I guess that's something rather common with pathological liars. In a similar way, you don't see or hear what other people really thinks of her. Basically, it's a tale about how power corrupts people and the fact that it centers on a woman (a fact which has been criticized by some viewers) was really intriguing. Eventually, it was a fascinating character and, of course, Cate Blanchett delivered here a career-best performance.

(Mar. 2023)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 8 Average listal rating (6 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.8

chosen by Eric

Notes: I had been complaining that, instead of the usual super heavy dramas, we should see something funny for once so, at least, I finally got what I asked. Well, even though I have to admit that it did turn out to be fun and entertaining, to be honest, it didn’t really convince me though. I mean, Louis Garel who directed the movie and played the main character, managed to gather a really strong cast and they all delivered some solid performances. I above all enjoyed Roschdy Zem who made his character so complex and charismatic. After the movie, some members of my film club described it as a feelgood movie but I don't really agree. In my opinion, it was more complex with many layers but, at some point, Garrel should have stopped piling up his ideas and develop instead what he had so far. There was also some pacing issues. I mean, for maybe half of the movie, the main character was trying to figure out what was his new step-father up to and, then, pretty much out of nowhere, he decided to help him out with his next heist which was maybe fun but it didn't really add up with everything that happened before. To make it even more convoluted, during this heist, he basically confessed that he was actually in love with his (deceased) wife's best friend which was another massive U turn. Eventually, its messy aspect made this movie fairly unpredictable but it definitely had its downside. Indeed, as a result, even though you laugh because the situations were funny, you also stop caring about the characters because what they were going through was more about entertaining the audience than actually telling something about them. Still, we definitely had a good time though.

(Feb. 2023)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 159 Average listal rating (114 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.3

chosen by Eric

Notes: Well, even if this movie won’t be for everyone, I really enjoyed the damned thing though. Indeed, it is dark, nihilistic and, above all, really funny. In fact, I was actually expecting something really over-the-top and absurdist but I was amazed by how realistic it turned out to be after all. Basically, the bottom line with this movie is that even though, after millions of years, the human-being has become the most advanced specie on Earth, we still make incredibly idiotic decisions on a daily basis. I think they focused on the rich and super-rich above all because it is even more frustrating and pathetic with them because they have access to endless resources but, most of the time, they don’t do anything worthwhile or interesting with these resources. However, as displayed in the 3rd act, the rest of the population is probably not much better after all. Indeed, as soon as Abigail took command of the operation on this (supposedly) deserted island, you could feel a general cheer in the movie theater. At that point, we all believed that she would do better than the rest but, unfortunately, as soon as she was on top of the hierarchy and had a powerful position, she started to take some questionable and even moronic decisions. In my opinion, it displayed that, well, humanity will probably always be doomed to make the same mistakes over and over again, no matter the circumstances. Eventually, I guess the only way to handle this rather ghastly conclusion is to keep your sense of humor.

(Jan. 2023)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 107 Average listal rating (76 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.3

chosen by Wilma

Notes: Since I’m a huge fan of ‘Oldboy’, I was just so eager to see this movie. First of all, I have to admit that it was rather tricky to watch a South-Korean movie with Dutch subtitles and, as a result, it took me a while to get a good grip on this rather complex story. Unfortunately, even though I did enjoy most of it, even though it turned out to be really intriguing, I never thought it was really fascinating though. Still, the damned thing was pretty good though. Indeed, I didn’t expect that, on top of being an entertaining detective story, it would be also such a romantic tale as well. It displayed that, solving the case and finding who’s guilty is not everything. As displayed in this movie, it can be so much more complex than what you usually get with the genre, especially when feelings might have a major impact on the proceedings. Concerning the two main characters, the Chinese woman was really complex and I really appreciated the depth they gave to this character. It was also thanks to Tang Wei who gave a really strong performance. On the other hand, I had more trouble to care about the South Korean investigator. I won’t blame Park Hae-il who did a fine job, it’s just that the guy was so clean and straight and, eventually, I never thought that his character was really interesting. The whole gimmick of the insomniac detective was also rather derivative but I have to admit that it did create a interesting surreal dreamy mood. Anyway, all in all, it was definitely another fine directing effort from Chan-Wook Park.

(Oct. 2022)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 65 Average listal rating (43 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.6

chosen by Peter

Notes: After watching 2 really heavy heartbreaking drama’s with the filmclub, I hoped we would see something slightly lighter this time but I’m afraid Peter apparently didn’t get the memo. Well, even though this movie did seem to receive some decent reviews, to be honest, I really had a hard time to care for it. The first thing that bothered me was the soundtrack. Indeed, they went for some typical ominous horror tunes during some completely quaint and innocent scenes and it felt really heavy-handed. Then, the other thing that bothered me was that these two couples were just so tedious to behold. At least, the Dutch couple with their anti-social behaviour was slightly more intriguing but the Danish couple was just so damned polite, spineless, and really boring. It didn’t help that none of these characters was really developed. At least, Fedja van Huêt, probably one of the best Dutch actors at work nowadays, did deliver a really solid performance and did manage to make the most of this material. Indeed, van Huêt managed to be threatening and disarmingly friendly and charismatic sometimes during the very same scene and this balancing act was actually quite impressive. To be honest, I have to admit there might have been some underlining meaning that I missed. Otherwise, what was the point of antagonising and scaring their victims prematurely? Another example would be the stoning scene. Sure, it was an original way to kill someone but it is also incredibly ineffective, especially from such a distance. So, there might have been a deeper meaning for all this but, to be honest, I simply wouldn’t care much about it.

(Sept. 2022)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 18 Average listal rating (14 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.6

chosen by Ietje

Notes: Following our previous movie with the filmclub which was seriously heartbreaking, we watched another movie which wasn’t really easier to swallow. It doesn’t mean that it was bad, though, in the contrary. Basically, it was a hyper minimalist drama with only one room and four characters. So, there was no action scenes or flashbacks showing what happened at the time but this minimalist approach allowed a great focus on the dialogues and the 4 actors who all delivered some top-notch performances. As a result, there was a lot of room to develop all the characters who were all so complex, not only in the way they were grieving and coping with this tragedy but also in general. In spite of the grim setup, I thought it was actually a really humanist movie showing that, at the end of the day, with such tragedies, they are only victims. Strangely, I thought this outcome was actually fairly optimistic, maybe too much for me and I believe that, in many cases, maybe even in most cases, people would choose rather to hate instead of choosing to forgive and to heal. However, it’s easy to judge when you have not been through the worst nightmare that could happen to any parent, no matter if your kid turns out to be a victim or a perpetrator, and the wide range of thoughts and feelings displayed by the actors in this movie was just downright impressive.

(Aug. 2022)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 22 Average listal rating (16 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.5

chosen by Ria

Notes: Well, it probably turned out to be the saddest movie I have seen so far with the filmclub. Indeed, it was just so intense and it really touched me emotionally. Eventually, it was just heartbreaking to see this man who obviously had a rough life, who obviously deeply loved his child, who was probably one of the best parents I have seen in a movie, to face such an irredeemable and final death sentence. The little kid was also amazing and gave here a phenomenal child performance. Eventually, for 90 minutes, you have to watch these two human beings who were meant to be together, who worked so perfectly together, coming into terms with the fact that they will be separated, each in their own way, and this process was just so excruciating to behold. So, it was some strong stuff but it wasn’t completely flawless though. The first issue was that the whole thing was really predictable. For example, the way the single woman said and did exactly the right things was not exactly subtle. It was also rather odd that it never seemed to be an option to reach out to the biological mother to, at least, give her the option to take over this child. Finally, there was the fact that this man was completely isolated socially speaking which, of course, as a result, seriously amplified even more the connection between this father and his child but, to be honest, it felt also slightly manipulative. Anyway, even if it was maybe missing something to be really great, it was still an intense and heartbreaking drama.

(Jul. 2022)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 5 Average listal rating (4 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 6.3

chosen by Henk


(as special guest, Abena, Bea’s granddaughter, was also present. Apparently, she wasn’t so pleased that we took her picture)

Notes: Well, to be honest, I’d a rather hard time to get into this movie. Indeed, even if it was maybe not the heaviest movie we have seen so far with the film club, it was still probably the most depressing one. On top of that, I’m not sure if the spy operation taking place in Huda’s salon really did make sense. I mean, basically, there could be 2 main reasons why some secret services would want to force someone to work for them. The first one would be because of what they know and who they know. The second one would be because they have a set of skills that could be useful for them. In this case, why on earth would they go through so much trouble to recruit an average housewife? Of course, you could argue that everybody in the occupied territories know someone with some links with the resistance but it doesn’t mean that any man or woman could be suitable for this really hazardous job. And indeed, as displayed in this movie, Reem understandably completely freaked out to such a point that she couldn’t even normally function so I don’t see how she could have been a valuable asset. I guess you could argue that this whole setup was some kind of metaphor about this war as both of them are just cruel, senseless and seriously ineffective. But, in fact, you never get the opportunity to see Reem doing any spying because the goal was actually to show what would happen if such organization would be discovered. However, even if their approach to show this process was commendable, I’m not sure if I really cared for it though. Indeed, they really tried to humanize all these characters, to show that none of them was really good or bad but, in the process, they actually all became really hopeless instead of being really interesting to behold. Anyway, even if it didn’t really work for me, it was still a decent watch though.

(Jun. 2022)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 271 Average listal rating (209 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7
The Northman (2022)

chosen by Johan

Notes: It was my turn to pick up a film and, as usual, I tried to go for a big gamble and went for a huge Viking epic saga, easily the most violent movie we have seen so far. Well, as far as I was concerned, I thought it was visually impressive and I really enjoyed the tense dark ominous mood. I have to admit that I was little concerned after I saw the trailer which, to be honest, didn’t really impress me as it made the whole thing look like a rather basic vengeance tale. Indeed, the biggest challenge for Robert Eggers was to turn this classic Scandinavian legend which had inspired countless other stories such as ‘Hamlet’ or even ‘The Lion King’ into something new and, if I have to be honest with myself, he didn’t really succeed. Sure, I loved the visuals and how was I completely immersed in this vintage Viking world but the whole thing was still too predictable. I have to admit that I didn’t see coming the scene when Amleth’s mother pretty much shattered his already fairly demented psychological state by revealing her true feelings about his father and even himself. However, it was the only surprising thing that occurred during more than 2 hours of mayhem. Still, the general madness and the bleakness of the whole endeavor was very much appreciated. Eventually, if you see the current state of our world, 1000 years later, our inclination for violence didn’t really change, the only thing which has evolved is that we don’t use such seemingly innocent axes anymore but missiles capable of wiping out a whole building. In the meantime, we still manage to fight for the most dubious reasons and we will keep doing it because that’s our tragic nature.

(May 2022)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 93 Average listal rating (64 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.1

chosen by Bea

Notes: After an impressive and prolific career going over 4 decades, Pedro Almodovar was finally tackling one of the darkest pages of Spain history. However, he seemed that he chickened out as he decided to squeeze it into one of his typical convoluted family drama. Of course, you could argue that both stories were dealing with genetic identity and heritage but, in my opinion, this link was just too thin. I mean, looking for some long deceased and seemingly lost relatives through DNA test and figuring out who’s the mother of a misplaced young baby also with some DNA test was hardly the same thing. It’s too bad because these two tales were actually interesting but mixing them turned out to be rather awkward. On top of that, he kept adding layers upon layers of dramatic turns and I’m glad I’m familiar with his work, otherwise, I can imagine how alienating his chaotic approach can be. As an example, it was probably not the greatest idea to have these two mothers starting a romantic relationship, especially since it was completely dropped 10 minutes later. Still, Almodovar always delivers such fascinating and complex women and he certainly didn’t disappoint in this area. Furthermore, the female cast was top-notch and I’m not surprised that Penelope Cruze was nominated for an Academy Award for her work. Anyway, I guess we would have to wait a little bit longer to have Almodovar making a movie really focusing on the Spanish civil war but, in the meantime, this movie will do.

(Apr. 2022)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 110 Average listal rating (79 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7.2
Belfast (2021)

chosen by Wilma

Notes: Since I kept hearing some really good things, I had some rather high expectations but, to be honest, I didn’t expect to be blown away like this. Indeed, it turned out to be quite a rollercoaster of emotion. The recent war in Ukraine also added an extra emotional layer as, in any war, the biggest victims are always the children as, any war, civil or not, is something completely incomprehensible for them. Above all, it completely shatters their world as it was clearly displayed in this movie. So, after reading this, you might expect a heartbreaking drama but it went so much further than that. It was also so sweet and displayed that Belfast, before it was destroyed by decades of conflict, was actually a bright community where kids and people lived in peace and harmony in spite of the economic hardship. As a result, as a viewer, you want them to leave as soon as possible because we all know what will eventually happen but it was easier said than done for this family who loved their lives in this city and would have to leave everything behind for a (probably hostile) new country. And, yet, in spite all this, it was often actually quite hilarious because you see everything through the eyes of this funny little boy whose innocence had not been completely tarnished by this dreadful conflict. Of course, you might praise his parents for doing the ‘right thing’ by not taking sides but it is anyone guess how they long they could have remained neutral without facing the consequences. Eventually, the result was Kenneth Branagh, himself, a heralded British director and actor who, after all these years, finally decided to look back at this pivotal moment in his life.

(Mar. 2022)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 124 Average listal rating (91 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.7

chosen by Eric

Notes: To be honest, it really took me a while to get into it. Indeed, at first, I was wondering why I should care about the supposedly difficult life of a girl who was young, healthy, bright and attractive. The fact that she did cheat with her boyfriend in every possible way, except for having sex, with a random stranger definitely didn’t help. It’s only afterwards that I understood that it was actually done on purpose, to show that she wasn’t just another cute perfect girl in your typical romantic-comedy, that she was an actually really flawed and messed-up human being like everyone else. I just loved this slow built-up and I’m just amazed how they made me slowly invest myself in this character for who I felt very little at first. Eventually, from the moment that she dumped her first boyfriend, I finally started to care more about what she was going through and, by the time she did eat these mushrooms, I was completely sold. It was actually such a deep humanist portrait of a young woman struggling to find herself and making sense of her life. However, to be honest, I did think that the ending was rather weak though. Indeed, I wish that she didn’t end up with a really cool fancy job, like most of us do. Furthermore, to make her witness her 2nd ex-boyfriend ending with another woman with a baby (when they probably did break up because she got pregnant) was just a really awkward choice that the makers made because they explicitly wanted to go for the completely opposite that you usually get in the romantic-comedy genre. Still, except for that, the whole thing was pretty much flawless and seriously spellbinding to behold.

(Feb. 2022)
johanlefourbe's rating:

chosen by Ria

Notes: Unfortunately, the day I was supposed to watch this movie, I tested positive to Covid so I had to stay at home and skip this one but, according to the other members of our film club, it was actually really good.

(Jan. 2022)
People who added this item 71 Average listal rating (58 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.5

chosen by Henk

Notes: Well, Henk did it again, he managed to make us watch something so completely different than anything that we have seen before (which is even more exceptional since we have seen by now more than 70 movies together). Anyway, this time around, this movie seemed to be based on the vigilante genre, a typical US genre which is, 90% of the time, just completely predictable and, as far as I’m concerned, so tedious. However, in this case, they did add a massive dose of Scandinavian black humor and this mix was just so entertaining and simply irresistible. Indeed, the end-result was a fascinating combination of tones and genres such as action, thriller, comedy and drama, sometimes happening all together in one single scene. For me, the best example and the highest point in this movie was the moment when Lennart put his pants down after being chased by Mark on some field in the countryside which was at the same time hilarious but also one of the saddest things I have ever seen. Still, even if this freewheeling approach was very often fascinating, it also had its downside. Indeed, the end-result was so absurd that it did feel really random and randomness is not the same thing as actual depth. Furthermore, even though I really enjoyed this group of misfits, f*ckups and losers who were all so complex, by focusing instead on only 2 or 3 characters, it would have been more focused and probably even more effective. Anyway, I still really enjoyed this absurd black comedy which completely reinvented one of the most boring genres.

(Dec. 2021)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 2 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 6.7

chosen by Bea

Notes: Eventually, even though everybody in the film club seemed to be really enthusiastic about the damned thing, I have to admit that I had a hard time to share their enthusiasm. I mean, I did appreciate the concept and the minimalist approach but, in my opinion, the lack of context was really a big issue. Indeed, what was going on with these soldiers? Was it their first mission? Was it their last mission? How long were they on the road? As a result, it was rather difficult for me to understand how such trained well-equipped soldiers could feel threatened by such a seemingly harmless young boy. Eventually, I think the director was aiming to display that, due to their lack of field experience and proper psychological training and, in this specific case, the lack of true leadership and because, for this job, they are required to be constantly on edge, such young soldiers are basically some ticking time-bomb who are likely to experience EVERY stressful situation as a potential threat. In this case, I believe it would have been more efficient to not translate what the Arabian boy was saying as it would have increased the sense of stress and alienation experienced by these soldiers. By the way, if the behavior and the decisions of the soldiers was hardly understandable, it was even more so for the Arabian boy. Indeed, the kid basically grew up in a war zone, he probably had more experience than the 3 soldiers combined so he should have been fully aware that hanging around some hostile isolated stressed-out soldiers who obviously didn’t want to have him around was probably not a great idea. Seriously, what was his deal? Eventually, I’m afraid his whole behavior was basically some plot device and I wish it was more properly developed. Anyway, even if this movie didn’t really work for me, it was still a decent watch.

(Nov. 2021)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 70 Average listal rating (49 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 6.7

chosen by Johan

Notes: To be honest, I have to admit that I was slightly worried that Paul Verhoeven would come up with something rather sleazy. Well, eventually, the Dutch master didn’t disappoint, at least, not me as it turned out to be a massive Verhoeven festival. Indeed, he went pretty much all the way with some over-the-top hallucinations, violence, blood, full frontal nudity and some good old sex. Seriously, even if probably not everything did work, the whole thing was still seriously intense. Eventually, he gave us all the various ways anyone at the time might approach religion (as a real vocation, as a capitalist enterprise, as a powerful political weapon, as a simple way to get fed or a way to escape a toxic household). What I enjoyed the most was how ambiguous Benedetta was until the very end. Indeed, was she some kind of con artist? A complete lunatic? Another sexually frustrated nun? An actual prophet who could communicate with God, somehow? Or maybe it was a combination of all this all together. Well, you won’t get any easy answer which was the movie’s biggest strength but also its weakness. Indeed, at the end, all the other characters’s thoughts, feelings and motivations were pretty clear but Benedetta remained an impenetrable wall which was slightly frustrating and, yet, it made her rather fascinating. I also think that the whole lesbian relationship was not very well linked with her religious ‘awakening’. The best thing that I can think of was that, by being touched by Bartolomea’s love, she was then more able to get in touch with God? Or maybe, after all these years of sexual abstinence, it pretty much blew up her fragile mind? Still, the damned thing was quite a roller coaster.

(Oct. 2021)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 49 Average listal rating (34 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 7.4

chosen by Ietje

Notes: I have to admit that I had no idea what it was about before it started and it took me a while before I discovered that Céline Sciamma went for some magic-realism. Unfortunately, I’m not a great fan of the genre. To me, it felt like some kind of French Indie version of ‘Back to the Future’ and I have never really been fascinated by this idea of spending some time with one of your parents while being the same age. Fortunately, Ietje had some very interesting insights who helped me to better grasp this concept. Indeed, according to her, this movie was not really about time traveling but more about showing how a young child might try to cope with such a dramatic event. From this perspective, the movie became much more interesting. However, I wish they tried to cut down the dialogues and focused more on the young girls spending some time together, like any other kids. Indeed, at least half of their conversations were so obviously written by adults and would never come out from such young children. For example, at some point, towards the end, one of the girls asks if she was ever wanted by her parents. Sure, I can imagine that kids might be wondering about such matters but there is no way a 8 year old would us these exact words. Anyway, even if I didn’t feel much connection with this material, it was still a really intriguing movie.

(Sep. 2021)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 224 Average listal rating (169 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.7

chosen by Peter

Notes: This movie turned out to be really important to us because it was the first one we saw with the film club after around 18 months because of the current corona pandemic. Well, to be honest, it took me a while to get the damned thing. Indeed, not only I was expecting a very light comedy but I’m not a huge fan of alcohol in general. However, if it might seem to be only about a group of four rather pathetic guys who decides to get drunk because they are all stuck in some kind of middle-crisis, it went actually way beyond that. Indeed, many might make the mistake of thinking that this movie was about drinking but, in fact, it was a movie about living. Basically, life can be incredibly dull and monotonous and, if you’re unlucky, it can be terribly tough and full of hardships. Eventually, the only way to live a full life is through experiences and experiments. Basically, from time to time, we should all try to get outside this tiny little box that society has given us, to go against the rules, to push our boundaries, or simply do something rather foolish because otherwise what’s the point? Of course, as displayed in this movie, it can be hazardous or even dangerous (eventually, one of them died and two nearly broke down their family in the process) but, at least, they tried something instead of going through the motions until the very end. When the movie started, the main character didn’t drink because it was the reasonable thing to do, he didn’t want to dance and was incredibly sad. At the end, at least, he was having fun with his students (something unthinkable a while back) and he was dancing again, even if he still looked sad. Eventually, even though it might seem to a rather silly movie promoting excessive drinking, it turned out to be a really life affirming picture, something we desperately need in this time of worldwide crisis and I can’t imagine a better way to start up again the film club.

(Aug. 2021)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 3 Average listal rating (4 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 0

Unfortunately, because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Film Club was cancelled from March 2020 until July 2021

chosen by Eric

Notes: To be honest, when I heard that we would watch the latest movie directed by Johan Nijhenhuis, I can't say I shared the enthusiasm displayed by the rest of the film club. Well, at least, Nijenhuis probably did deliver the best movie of his career but it doesn't mean I really liked it though. Basically, this Dutch director has made a career delivering some really successful but also really fluffy romantic-comedies and, while this movie definitely had more substance than his usual work, I'm afraid it was still too shallow for my taste. First of all, even though I have to admit that some of the jokes were really funny, most of the characters were actually more annoying than actually entertaining. Then, I really liked the idea of making a comedy about Alzheimer's disease but the whole concept was rather poorly handled, especially since the tone was so light, and it would have worked so much better with some pitch-black humor. Eventually, during the last 30 minutes, they finally dealt more seriously with the main issue within this relationship but it came just too late in my opinion. Still, Herman Finkers is definitely a really charismatic man and I have to admit that it was really entertaining to see a movie in Twents dialect.

(Feb. 2020)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 19 Average listal rating (15 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 7.4

chosen by Wilma

Notes: Well, I went to see this movie expecting a feelgood movie easy to swallow but, eventually, I was on the verge of tears through the whole thing. Indeed, I was really overwhelmed as it touched several things closed to me personally. Eventually, it was a strong tribute to these amazing people in France and elsewhere in the world doing this incredible work that apparently nobody else wants to handle. So, as a tribute, it was indeed completely spellbinding to watch but, as an actual movie, it wasn't really so successful, I'm afraid. The first issue was the complete lack of narrative curve and/or tension. Basically, instead of an actual plot, there were a succession of little conflicts during which, each time around, the educator, regardless of the difficulty of the situation and their lack of experience or expertise, would act not adequately but pretty much perfectly. Of course, there was this rather unbelievable scene during which they leave their educator with the least amout of experience to spend the night with their most difficult client. Obviously, it goes bad but, even in this case, the way everyone shows up in the middle of the night to fix this displayed again how 'amazing' they are. Above all, Bruno, very well played by Vincent Cassel, was displayed as such an amazing man who sacrificed pretty much everything for his work and, in the process, he almost became some kind of Saint. In my opinion, it would have been more interesting if they would have been displayed as fully fledged human being making some small and huge mistakes during their otherwise amazing and inspiring job. Still, I was completely shaken up by this movie which says something about the damned thing.

(Jan. 2020)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 735 Average listal rating (548 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8.5

chosen by Bea

Notes: I can imagine that, if you are not familiar with Bong Joon Ho's work, the constant changes of tone can be rather overwhelming. However, as far as I'm concerned, I always thought it was so bold and I don't know many directors who can so easily blend a drama, with a comedy, a thriller and a social satire. This mix was pretty much irresistible and I loved the way the Korean director kept setting the audience on the wrong foot. On top of that, it was also a great critic on our current way of life in which the gap between rich and poor is getting only bigger. Basically, even if they are geographically close by, the two extreme sides of our society seem to live in two completely different worlds with barely no connection or communication between them whatsoever. Eventually, the only thing that didn't really work for me were the massive switch the 'poor' family kept doing during the whole duration. Indeed, when they would be together, they would always all act like some pathetic and hopeless drunks but, from the moment there would be with the 'rich' family, they would suddenly completely change their behaviour, manners and speech in such a drastic way that it would make any professional spy like James Bond really jealous. I mean, if they were all such mighty con artists, how come they lived in such terrible conditions? Anyway, even if it wasn't a complete home-run, I really loved this really wild and bold directing effort from Bong Joon Ho.

(Dec. 2019)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 257 Average listal rating (188 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 8.1

chosen by Johan

Notes: To be honest, I have to admit that I'm not a car race fan but when I heard that they were making a movie about the 24 hours of Le Mans, I thought it would be really cool to watch it with the film club. Well, even if it didn't turn out to be anything really groundbreaking, the damned thing still turned out to be so fun and entertaining. First of all, it is pretty clear that Matt Damon and Christian Bale had a blast here as they both delivered some strong performances, especially Bale who was often quite hilarious. It was also nice that they didn't rush this tale, that they took their time to show that car racing goes beyond than only building up the fastest car. As a result, it is probably the best film I have seen dealing with this genre and the racing scenes felt really realistic and were quite thrilling to behold. To be honest, I thought it was rather odd that the Ford company, in particular Leo Beebe and even Henry Ford II, were turned into some villains when the whole point was to show how Ford managed to win this legendary race but it wasn't a big deal and I really enjoyed this movie.

(Nov. 2019)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 887 Average listal rating (692 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 8.4
Joker (2019)

chosen by Henk

Notes: First of all, I thought this movie was such a brave choice from Henk. Indeed, it is such a dark tale dealing with a genre that nobody in the film club was interested in. However, his gamble apparently paid off since everybody enjoyed the damned thing. In my case, it was already the 2nd time I saw it and, to be honest, I still ended up with some mixed feelings. Indeed, in spite of all the hype and controversy around this movie, in my opinion, the story was actually rather basic and predictable. I mean, it was a decent story but this tale of a rather sad mentally ill man slowly becoming homicidal was not really original. Eventually, the genius move from Todd Philips was not to deliver a great story but to have this popular character played by one of the best actors around. And, indeed, there is no denying that, once again, Joaquin Phoenix gave us here another intense and spellbinding performance. Basically, the whole thing was some kind of amazing dark one-man-show and Phoenix definitely made the most of it.

(Oct. 2019)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 158 Average listal rating (112 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.5

chosen by Ietje

Notes: I have been following Pedro Almodovar's career for more than 20 years so it was really neat to see his last directing effort with the film club. Well, it turned out to be his most autobiographical movie so far and you might wonder what really happened and what was made up. Still, even if it was not as over-the-top as some of his previous movies, it was still slightly too messy for my taste. Indeed, there was a mix of various storylines dealing with drug addiction, his career, his youth, his health issues, his relationship with his mother and with an actor with whom he had a feud for 3 decades. Some of them were really interesting and some of them, well, not so much. Eventually, there was enough material to make at least 3 different movies and I think it would have better worked for me if the whole thing would have been slightly more focused. Still, the Spanish master has a unique directing style, his very own narrative approach, and it made the whole thing quite spellbinding to behold. Finally, it is such a treat to see Antonio Banderas working again with Amodovar, after all these years in Hollywood, and he probably gave here his best performance so far.

(Sep. 2019)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 45 Average listal rating (36 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.7

chosen by Peter

Notes: After watching 'Amy', this was the 2nd documentary we saw directed by Asif Kapadia with our film club. First of all, even though the movie was about 2 hours long, I was surprised that they mostly focused on less than 10 years which shows that there were so many dramatic events in Maradona's life that you could easily release a whole TV-show about him. Anyway, as a kid growing up in the 80's, I was quite fascinated by Diego Maradona, I always believed that he had been one of the greatest footballers ever and, with this movie, you get to see pretty much all the highlights of the most productive part of his career which was pretty neat. However, if the promotional material might have been giving the impression that this movie would provide a complex portrayal of this notorious figure, I'm afraid that it was a slight failure in this area. Basically, the whole thing was just too one-sided as their approach was to constantly show Maradona as a victim. Indeed, if you would believe this movie, even when he was at the top of his game, he was still a victim of his success as the fans were giving him too much attention (massive stalking might be a better word though). But he was also a victim of the mafia, of the defense players, of the media, of the Napoli football club, of a pregnant woman, of a good chunk of the Italian population... Of course, it was one way to see his life but some nuances would have been maybe more interesting. Still, there is no doubt that the guy was an amazing football player.

(Aug. 2019)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 33 Average listal rating (22 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7.2
El reino (2018)

chosen by Eric

Notes: Since I have always been fascinated by politics, this movie sounded really interesting to me. Well, the first thing that impressed with this movie was how little politics these guys were involved in and how much time they spent instead running their little schemes. Eventually, in spite of a few far-fetched scenes (for example, would you open the door in the middle of the night to a perfect stranger only because he claims he is supposedly working with your father?), it was much more realistic than your average American thriller which made the whole thing so much more spellbinding to behold. Concerning the main character, I never saw this actor before but he did deliver a really solid performance. I also liked the way this character was displayed as someone smart, charismatic who always gets what he wants and who has apparently no conscience whatsoever. Still, there was some major flaws in this plan though. I mean, it is pretty obvious that the guy was in full survival mode through most of the duration but his whole victim act, as pointed out in the final scene, became slowly slightly annoying and even rather pathetic. Finally, I thought it was actually rather depressing to find out that everybody at the top was apparently as corrupt as he was. Anyway, even if it was maybe not a masterpiece, it was still terribly entertaining.

(Jul. 2019)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 7 Average listal rating (5 ratings) 5.8 IMDB Rating 7.6

chosen by Wilma

Notes: To be honest, I have to admit that I had never heard of Carlos Acosta before watching this movie. Well, only to discover this incredible dancer, apparently one of the best in the world, it was already worth watching this flick but the whole thing went so much beyond your usual biopic. Indeed, what maybe even more fascinating than to discover his undeniable talent was to witness his intern struggle, something he apparently still has to deal with even nowadays. Basically, even if Acosta did enjoy doing some breakdancing in the streets with his buddies, he never actually had the ambition of becoming a ballet dancer. However, his father had some different plans for him and, eventually, Acosta loved but also despised the man. Basically, his father gave him a future, a life as a renown artist and, without him, Acosta would have struggled against poverty his whole life but, on the other hand, he had a life of solitude far from the people he loved. As a result, it is never clear if he actually really loved being a dancer which was surprising consider his status as one of the greatest dancers that ever lived. However, it made the whole thing so much more interesting than your average biopic because it makes you wonder about Art and the actual impact it might have on the artist's life.

(Jun. 2019)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 25 Average listal rating (17 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 6.9
Sink or Swim (2018)

chosen by Henk

Notes: For once, we went to see something rather light with the film club and, apparently, everybody really loved it. However, the question remains if I was also completely sold by this movie. Well, to be honestly, not really. I mean, sure, I have to admit that it was a decent feel-good flick but not much more than that. Basically, they followed the same formula used by 'The Full Monty' (which had, at the time, had been a huge box-office success) but it is a formula easy to swallow, pretty much taylor-made to please the mainstream audience. It's too bad because the beginning was just so promising. Indeed, it seemed to be a pitch-black comedy (is there anything funnier than someone going through a huge depression?) and Mathieu Amalric has always been one of my favorite French actors. Unfortunately, as soon as he meets his team, the whole thing became much too scattered, constantly jumping from one character to another. As a result, you never get to really know any of the characters (in fact, 2 guys in the team didn't have much to say at all). Of course, you might also wonder how they end up winning and there is the possibility that the movie might have been better if they would have lost. Still, there was something endearing about this group of lost souls supporting each other and, of course, it is always hilarious to see French people barking at each other.

(May 2019)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 48 Average listal rating (38 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7

chosen by Ria

Notes: I really had no idea what to expect from this flick but that's the great thing about our film club, is that you end up watching some movies that you otherwise would never see. Anyway, it turned out to be a really pitch-black comedy and, to be honest, I usually have a hard time to care about such comedies constantly making fun of a rather pathetic main character. However, you have to give some credit to Jim Cummings who not only wrote and directed the damned thing but, above all, gave a very intense performance. So, it was a hell of a one-man-show and, basically, how much you will like this movie all depends on how much you will care or connect with Jim Arnaud. On the other hand, even if his 'speech' at the funeral didn't really have the intended result, at least, he did show up which is more than you can say about his siblings. However, this movie did feature one of the most random overdose I have ever seen. As a result, after a long succession of painful or even tragic moments for Arnaud, it seemed that things were finally looking up for him but you might wonder if it only happened just because Jim Cummings the director needed to conclude his tale on a rather unlikely positive note. Anyway, even if it was nothing really groundbreaking, it was still a decent watch.

(Apr. 2019)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 22 Average listal rating (13 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 8

chosen by Bea

Notes: What I liked the most about this movie was that there were just so many interesting layers. First of all, even though you might feel nothing about skateboarding, you'll have to admit that there was something quite spellbinding about watching these guys dashing through such a ugly urban landscape doing some incredible tricks. Indeed, in such a socially and economically deprived environment, they still found a way to push themselves creatively, honing their skills through hours of training, delivering something artistic while their relatives completely ignored them. But, of course, the whole thing went just way beyond skating. It was also an intimate look on these skaters and the fact that the director was one of them was something that you rarely get to see since, most of the time, a documentary maker is basically an outsider. As a result, the whole thing was just as much about Bing Liu himself than about his two friends. Concerning his buddies, it did help that they were both really charismatic. Eventually, as far as I was concerned, I was mostly intrigued by the way he handled Zack. Basically, the guy was/is one of his best friends but also a destructive loose cannon who happened to be also abusive with his girlfriend, something Bing Liu clearly struggled to deal with, especially with his own past as a victim of domestic violence. Anyway, I could go on forever, basically, it was a really strong documentary and the best one we have seen so far with the film club.

(Mar. 2019)
johanlefourbe's rating:

chosen by Ietje

Notes: For once, we went to see a documentary with the film club which is always a bold choice in my opinion. First of all, I thought it was terribly
refreshing to see the Afghani people as some regular folks instead as the usual blood-thirsty religious fanatics. Of course, it might seem common sense but, on the other hand, we have been pretty much brainwashed for decades by the news outlet and, as a result, we automatically associates this country with warfare and extremism. And yet, it does feel like a wasted land and, if we also fear for a terrorist act that might actually never happen, it is something they have to face at least on a weekly basis and everyone in this country has lost someone during such attacks. To be honest, I'm not sure if it was a great idea to split the movie into 2 and I think they should have focused either on this bus driver or on these two young boys (personally, I would have put my money on the bus driver who was complexer). Futhermore, the gimmick to have the characters telling their dreams was used too often and it felt like a failed attempt to add some lyricism. Anyway, even if it was maybe nothing really groundbreaking, it was still a really interesting documentary.

(Feb. 2019)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 421 Average listal rating (303 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.5
The Favourite (2018)

chosen by Johan

Notes: This movie turned out to be a great start of this new year for our film club. Indeed, usually, I'm not a huge fan of costume-dramas but since this movie had received some great reviews, I thought it would be a rather safe choice. Well, it didn't disappoint and I would go as far as saying that it is one of the best movies I have seen in this genre. First of all, Yorgos Lanthimos delivered here a gorgeous movie shot on location with natural lights. Then, the cast was really strong, especially the 3 main actresses (Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone). Finally, it turned out to be such a fascinating tale, sometimes quite hilarious, with many layers and some complex characters. Indeed, each time you think you have figured out one of these women, they would come up with something rather unexpected making them even more interesting than they already were. Of course, you might argue that it was much more straightforward than Lanthimos's previous work such as 'Kynodontas' or 'The Lobster' but it was more accessible and, above all, much more entertaining, at least for me.

(Jan. 2019)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 169 Average listal rating (122 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.5

chosen by Wilma

Notes: Even though I didn't really like 'Ida', I was quite eager to give this director a 2nd chance, especially since this movie had been widely heralded and was even considered as one of the best movies released in 2018. Well, unfortunately, pretty much like with 'Ida', I really struggled to connect with this movie. I mean, once again, Pawel Pawlikowski delivered some fine directing with a gorgeous black-and-white cinematography and the music was really neat as well but this story just didn't really work for me. First of all, even though I completely understood why Wiktor would fall in love with Zula, after all, she was a beautiful and fascinating woman, I didn't really get why Zula was so infatuated with him. I mean, seriously, what was so amazing about this guy? Then, another problem I had was that I was never able to figure out the motivations of these two characters. I mean, except from the fact they were clearly mad in love, from the beginning until the very end, I still didn't much have a clue about what was going in their head so I had a rather hard time to really care about what they were going through. Maybe I'm not just smart enough but it was all too subtile and subjective for me, I guess. On the other hand, I did like the way Pawlikowski tried to argue that not all the people living in Poland during the Cold War felt miserable and that the West was not always a so-called 'beacon' of hope and freedom for all of them.

(Dec. 2018)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 84 Average listal rating (56 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 6.9

chosen by Peter

Notes: First of all, it was pretty impressive to see Iranian director Asghar Farhadi directing a movie in Spain with such a convincing result as if the guy had spent all his life there. He already achieved the same thing with ‘Le passé’ which felt like such a genuine French movie. Furthermore, the cast was composed of famous Spanish actors (Penélope Cruz, Javier Bardem) and some other actors unknown to me but they all delivered some solid performances. Unfortunately, I had a hard time with the story though. First of all, I thought it was rather unlikely that someone would manage to snatch a teenager in a house full of people during a wedding without anyone noticing. Maybe it would have been more convincing if they had displayed the actual kidnapping. Then, another thing that bothered me was how this family handled this situation. I mean, if you have the money, paying would seem to be indeed a safer option but, if you don’t, for me, it would be a no-brainer to go directly to the police. Finally, there was this big discussion about why on Earth should Paco pay the ransom? Well, again, it seemed to be a no-brainer to me because it was actually the only decent thing to do since the only other alternative was to let this poor girl getting killed. Finally, most of the duration was basically about some gossiping they had about each other while it was so obvious that most of them had nothing to do with the kidnapping. On the other hand, it could be true that, during such crisis, people might turn against each other like they did in this movie.

(Nov. 2018)
johanlefourbe's rating:
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In 2013, one of my aunts, Ronny, passed away.

During the ceremony preceeding her cremation, I discovered that she had founded a Film Club involving many other family members. When I heard that, I thought it sounded amazing. Spending some quality time with my family which I have been neglecting for so many years and at the same time sharing my passion for movies with them sounded like the greatest combination ever.

This list will work as a diary dealing with the movies we will watch together.


The club members (since I took this picture, you won't spot me)

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