So this isn't really going to be a review, simply because I'm biased and I've chosen to talk about movies that I personally thought where awesome! I can't think of any negatives to say about them.
So the movies:
This is a Christopher Nolan movie. Now I've only been familiar with Nolan's recent films (Inception, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight), and absolutely loved all the movies he directed, and he was kinda just outside of my favourite directors list, simply because I hadn't seen many of his movies, but after watching Memento, he has firmly found himself a spot in my list of favourite directors! (alongside: Scorsese, the Cohen brothers, and Tarantino (Guy Richie's almost there too!))
So Nolan adapted the story to film from his brother Jonathan's short story Memento Mori.
The film is an offbeat thriller about a man called Leonard, played by Guy Pearce, who suffers from short-term memory loss Despite him not being able to fully remember the crime, he is determined to track down the people who brutally raped and murdered his wife. Because of his short-term memory loss and incapability to retain new memories, he uses notes, photos and tattoos on his body to keep track of what happens to him each day.
He is obsessed with getting revenge for his wife's rape and murder, and is convinced that her murderers are still walking the street. He gets help from Natalie (played by Carrie-Anne Moss) and Teddy (Joe Pantoliano) to find the man who ruined his life.
Now I'm not gunna do a whole spoiler thing and talk you through the conclusion of the film, because I really think it's a film worth watching.
Seriously though, this film...can only be described...as a MIND F**K.
Anyone who's seen this movie, or Inception or other Nolan films will now how much of a genius this man is.
Like...I was speechless at the end, and oh so confused. It left my head hurting, which was a good sign, 'cuz it means that I have been thinking!
Seriously though, throughout the whole film I thought I was following it and understood what was happening...but then the ending just comes and smacks you in the face as if to say
'MWAHAHAHA ! YOU WERE'NT EXPECTING THAT WHERE YA?!'
The way the film is set out is so original. It switches between black and white sequences and colour sequences. The film works backwards, so the start of the film shows Leonard killing the attacker of his wife, and the film then works back from that point to show how he came to his conclusions.
The black and white sequences of the film take place chronologically before any of the coloured sequences. The colour sequences take place after the black and white sequences, and are shown in reverse chronological order. It sounds super confusing but you begin to follow it when you watch it.
The film was made in 2000, and I just watched it in Jan 2012....and I honestly think it's one of the most original stories/films I've ever seen.
Son of Babylon
This is an Iraqi drama directed by Mohamed Al-Daradji in 2010.
The story revolves around a little boy Ahmed and his grand mother Umme Ibrahim (literally means the mother of Ibrahim). It is set in 2003, 2 weeks after the fall of Saddam Hussein.
The 12 year old Ahmed begrudgingly follows his grandma across Iraq after she hears news that some prisoners of war have been found alive in the South. So they set off from north Iraq to the south in quest of finding Umme Ibrahims son, Ahmeds father.
Ahmeds father never returned from the Gulf war in 1991, so they hope he is one of the prisoners of war found alive in the south, but along the way, visit mass graves to see if they can find his name on the list of identified bodies.
Now Yasser Talib, who plays Ahmed, is one of the best young actors I have ever seen in a film.
The film is spoken in Arabic/Kurdish with English subtitles
(if you don't like subtitled movies, this 'aint for you!)
Now this film highlights how luck we are to live in democracies and countries that aren't run by psycho dictators with a lust for blood.
Honestly, if you're having a shit day, watch this movie, and you will feel so much better about your life compared to the millions of Iraqis who suffered in the hands of Saddam.
WARNING: If you're a cryer like me, then you'll need a box of tissues for this film (but then again I cry in a lot of movies...I cried in Ong Bak 2 for God's sake!)
Heads up, this is a looooonnnngggg film! I think it's like two and a half hours long. But is worth the watch.
Again, it's an international film. It's a French film about a 19 year old Arab man sent to a French prison, where he gets involved with the Corsican mafia who basically run the prison.
It was made in 2009 and directed by Jacques Audiard, who claimed that the he aimed for the film to "create icons, images for people who don't have images in movies, like the Arabs in France", but stresses the film is purely fictional and doesn't represent his vision of society.
So Malik El Djebena (played by Tahar Rahim) is French but of Algerian descent, and is sent to prison for 6 years for attacking police officers. Naive, alone and illiterate, he unwillingly falls under the sway of the Corsican mobsters lead by Cesar (played by Niels Arestrup), who is pretty brutal and derogatory to Malik.
The prison is split between two main groups: the Muslims and the Corsicans. Malik tries to keep to himself, but after being forced to kill a Muslim snitch in the prison for Cesar, he gains the protection of the Corsicans despite him being Arab. The Corsicans basically treat Malik like dirt, treating him as their slave.
Malik makes a Muslim friend, Ryad, who teaches him to read and write, and slowly introduces him to more Muslims in the prison, increasing his influence and connections in prison.
He eventually becomes torn between his loyalty to the Corsicans and his newly found Muslim friends.
It is a French/Arabic/Corsican language film with English subtitles, and despite being so long, is a one of the best prison movies since Shawshank I think!
Apologies if this post was too blah blah, but I really liked these movies and thought it was worth while sharing!
Let me know if you have seen any of these or are planning to watch any, they are all worth while!