Control (2007) Film. Director : Anton Corbijn

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Ian Curtis is a quiet and rather sad lad who works for an employment agency and sings in a band called Warsaw. He meets a girl named Debbie whom he promptly marries and his band, of which the name in the meantime has been changed to Joy Division, gets more and more successful. Even though Debbie and he become parents, their relationship is going downhill rapidly and Ian starts an affair with Belgium Annik whom he met after one of the gigs and he’s almost never at home. Ian also suffers from epilepsy and has no-good medication for it. He doesn’t know how to handle the feelings he has for Debbie and Annik and the pressure the popularity of Joy Division and the energy performing costs him.(Imdb)

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Yeralti (Inside) (2012) Film.Director : Zeki Demirkubuz

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A man’s life, thoughts, feelings and his very own darkness… Adapted from Dostoevsky’s novel “Notes from Undergroud”, Demirkubuz follows Muharrem as he gets himself invited to a party where he is not welcome, just to find himself disgusted.(Imdb)

Muharrem pressgangs his old friends into inviting him to dinner, no matter that he hates and is hated by them.

The dinner starts off with a few harmless gibes and trivial shows of bravado; but as time wears on and heads become fuddled, the conversation progresses steadily into the inglorious past. Old grievances come tumbling out into an ugly showdown.

As the night becomes charged with tears, anger and regret, the outrage spills onto the dark streets, into sleazy hotel rooms.

Although they’re in league and he’s on his own, Muharrem has made up his mind. Either the filth is cleaned up that night or he dies. Otherwise he’ll never be rid of this sense of shame.(Mubi)

Mother Of Mine (Äideistä parhain) (2005) Film. Director : Klaus Härö

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“Remember the war, Mother? Remember how it all started?”

The war breaks out and nine-year-old Eero’s father is killed at the front. Widowed and broken by grief, Eero’s mother is unable to look after her son. She sends him in refuge to Sweden, a neutral country whose welfare is untouched by the war.

Life in a foreign country doesn’t however get off on a good start. Eero doesn’t seem to match the expectations of the Swedish family and austere Mother Signe has him working as farmhand. Everyone around Eero speaks Swedish and he ends up living in a disconnected world of his own.

Worst of all, the letters from Eero’s mother are always addressed to Signe. One day Eero gets hold of a letter from his mother in which she writes that Eero should perhaps stay in Sweden for good. Eero is shocked, but abandoned by his real mother, he becomes more and more attached to Signe. Little by little Eero becomes part of the new family and Signe becomes his mother.

But the war ends and the children must return to Finland. Once again Eero has to leave his home and start all over again. The scars of war have to be buried in the past.

On the death bed of his aged mother, Eero looks his past in the eye. After decades of silence, Eero is finally ready to talk about the war, his mother’s choices and his own pain. —Matila Röhr Productions. (Mubi)

During World War II, more than 70,000 Finnish children were evacuated to neutral Sweden to avoid the conflict. “Mother of Mine”, the latest from the award-winning Klaus Härö (Elina – Som om jag inte fanns (2002)), tackles that painful patch of history in a tale of 9-year-old Eero, a child who increasingly feels abandoned by his biological Finnish mother and yet not attached to his Swedish surrogate mom. When he is returned to Finland, his confusion intensifies.

1943: Nine-year-old Eero whose father is killed during the war is brought to Sweden to foster parents to his protection like thousands of other Finnish children. Eero feels lost, particularly as his foster mother Signe behaves very unfriendly. She was expecting a little girl and still mourns for her daughter who drowned in the sea. The situation changes when Eero’s mother tells with a letter that she wants to go with her lover to Germany and Eero should remain with his foster mother. Thus Eero becomes Signe’s son. Now she cares lovingly for him. Eero makes friends with the little girl Siv and enjoys childhood for a while. However, after the end of the war the boy has to go back to Finland against his will where his mother waits for him. Never again he will be able to trust her, since she has disappointed him too often. 60 years later, invited to Signe’s burial, he will understand while reading all letters that both women only wanted the best for him.. (Imdb)

Welcome (2009) Film. Director : Philippe Lioret

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Bilal is 17 years old, a Kurdish boy from Iraq. He sets off on an adventure-filled journey across Europe. He wants to get to England to see his love who lives there. Bilal finally reaches Calais, but how do you cover 32 kilometers of the English Channel when you can’t swim? The boy soon discovers that his trip won’t be as easy as he imagined… The community of struggling illegal aliens in Calais is captured with authenticity, from the point of view of people who arrived there knowing nothing about France. This immigrant drama, with wonderful performances by the actors, is a strong story which uses documentary austerity and minimalist style to create a great emotional impact..(Imdb)

Notes on a Scandal (2006) Film. Director : Richard Eyre

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The bitter, cynical and lonely Barbara Covett is a tough and conservative teacher near to retirement that is loathed by her colleagues and students. In the loneliness of her apartment, she spends her spare time writing her journal, taking care of her old cat Portia and missing her special friend Jennifer Dodd. When Sheba Hart joins the high-school as the new art teacher, Barbara dedicates her attention to the newcomer, writing sharp and unpleasant comments about her behavior and clothes. When Barbara helps Sheba in a difficult situation with two students, the grateful Sheba invites her to have lunch with her family. Sheba introduces her husband and former professor Richard Hart, who is about twenty years older than she; her rebellious teenager daughter Polly; and her son Ben that has Down’s Syndrome. Barbara becomes close to Sheba, but when she accidentally discovers that Sheba is having an affair with the fifteen year-old student Steven Connolly, Barbara sees the chance to manipulate and get closer to Sheba, hiding the secret from the school headmaster. When Portia dies and Sheba does not stay with Barbara in the veterinary office to see Ben in a theater play, Barbara plots a Machiavellian revenge against Sheba, creating a scandal and consequent turmoil in their lives…(Imdb)

Marion Bridge (2002) Film. Director : Wiebke von Carolsfeld

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Agnes returns to her hometown in Nova Scotia to reunite with her estranged sisters and care for her dying mother. As they tend to their mother, family secrets emerge and disrupt the sisters’ fragile dynamic.(Imdb)

When Agnes (Molly Parker) returns home to help care for her ailing mother (Marguerite McNeil), she discovers she’s far from welcome. Her older sister, Theresa (Rebecca Jenkins), despises her for leaving them and is battling her own demons. What’s more, Agnes’s unambitious sibling Louise (Stacy Smith) doesn’t know how to relate to her. Agnes must also learn how to bid her dying mother goodbye.(Mubi)

Never Cry Wolf (1983) Film.Director : Carroll Ballard

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This film dramatizes the true story of Farley Mowat, when he was sent to the Canadian tundra area to collect evidence of the grievous harm the wolf population was allegedly doing to the caribou herds. In his struggle to survive in that difficult environment he studies the wolves, and realizes that the old beliefs about wolves and their supposed threat are almost totally false. Furthermore, he learns that humans represent a far greater threat to the land, and also to the wolves, a species which plays an important role in the ecosystem of the north.(Imdb)

THE 1980s were a decade that gave us such hits as An American Werewolf in London and Teen Wolf, plus the indelible image of Tom Cruise howling along to “Werewolves of London” while hustling pool halls in The Color of Money. It was with this irrelevant knowledge that I was looking forward to Disney’s 1983 film Never Cry Wolf.

Of course, it should be noted that Never Cry Wolf isn’t at all about werewolves. It is about arctic wolves, as written and lived by Farley Mowat. Mowat accepted a position from the Canadian government to investigate if the arctic region’s drastic decline in caribou could be attributed to wolves eating them. It’s a strange job to volunteer for – agreeing to spend six months all alone in the extreme Arctic environment attempting to observe wild animals, but that is where our protagonist finds himself.

Playing the Mowat character is Charles Martin Smith, who’s probably still best known for playing Terry “the Toad” in American Graffiti thirty years ago, but in the decades since has had various other roles, including the director of Disney’s Air Bud. Smith has a sincerity to him, that makes his character seem credible, and allows this individual to carry the events of the film. He doesn’t have the starpower or acting talent of Tom Hanks, and yet with only the mystical Arctic scenery, he does an excellent job at carrying a compelling story mostly by himself.

Once a native turned up, I feared the mystical, wise old man stereotype coming into play – and fortunately, it didn’t settle for that. The character of Ootek mostly just flashes a big grin (which illustrates the lack of dentistry in the wild) and an all-knowing headshake, in spite of the fact that he doesn’t speak English.

In its second half, the film weakenes as it resorts to formulaic devices and plots its protagonist against the civilized world. Brian Dennehy plays a crazed pilot who attempts to cure boredom with mid-air oil changes. When his character resurfaces near the end of the film, he is excessively obnoxious. True, this may just be the distortion of a researcher who’s been alone in the arctic encountering just two other humans and a variety of wild animals.

Or it could just be the mice speaking – as Farley eats cooked mice to see if the wolves can live just on that. These gross scenes are countered with the second half of the film, which has far more nudity than it should. It doesn’t particularly further the plot at all and I don’t think anyone takes pleasure in seeing Charles Martin Smith’s rear and genitalia.

Never Cry Wolf is an odd movie – and I really found the atmospheric first half magnetically engaging. Though I can see where some would classify these parts as ‘slow’ or ‘boring’, the film works best when the lead is dropped in the Canadian wilderness and it keeps it basic. The plot elements that come to frutition in the last half-hour do weaken the film, and seem out of place. I couldn’t connect with the change in tone and that is why I don’t feel as strongly about it overall. Sometimes, atmosphere can be more effective than plot, and this film is the perfect example.