Saturday, August 3, 2013


What I've been watching, re-watching, reading and listening to in July 2013.

Last time I wrote one of these posts, summer holidays had just begun - now they're almost over. What sucks even more is that I had thought the first day of school was going to be next Thursday not next Monday, which I then found out was wrong. I've also been working way to hard these holidays, but whatever - money honey - and since we moved to a not yet renovated house things are sort of... a complete mess to be honest. 

I can't complain though. Many good things happened last month, things like one of the best German summers I can remember, two gorgeous dresses arriving from the US and oh, I forgot to tell you I attended my first film festival ever (the Indian Film Festival in Stuttgart) which was one of the best experiences of my life. I got to meet some awesome people from the ISHQ family (the Indian magazine I write for) and one of my favorite actors, Nawazuddin Siddiqui (who was awesome and bought us beers) and last but not least watched some amazing movies. In fact, writing this makes me forget I ever had any complaints in the back of my head. Let's keep it that way and take a closer look at what I've been enjoying last month...


Sex Drive (2008) 
Could've been a typically stupid American Pie rip-off, but there was something about this one. It felt honest and almost dignified... which is a weird way to describe it but whatever. Oh, and the extended cut was a lot of fun.

Spring Breakers (2012/13) 
I already called it my favorite movie of 2013 so far, although I had forgotten about The Rajini Effect which is another strong contender. I actually gave them the same rating but I think I've grown to love Spring Breakers just a tiny, tiny bit more. It's just the perfect escape to me and that alone makes it so relatable and accessible.

Djúpið [The Deep] (2012) 
Icelandic movie based on real events, namely a fisherman surviving an hour-long swim through icecold water after his ship sinks. This was a real nerve-wrecker.

Bully (2001)  LAMB MOTM
A very divisive movie that many people ended up disliking. I appreciated many parts of it though and didn't mind its degree of uncomfortableness.

Gambit (2012) 
So my theater finally decided to set up a weekly Original Version screening of random movies and this one was the first my sister and I went to see. It's fun - but sort of ridiculous for a movie written by the Coen brothers.

Verdens Undergang [The End of the World] (1916) 
Watched for the podcast. It was okay for a silent movie although it had its lengths and that irritating piano music. Yep, also during the apocalyptic sequences.

Jab Tak Hai Jaan (2012) 
I need to write up on this movie so badly! But then again, I also need to write up on the festival both for the blog and the mag. So who knows when you'll be hearing about Shahrukh Khan's first cinematic "kisses" (more smooches in my opinion). But yeah, I loved this one. It moved me to tears at the end which I didn't see coming at all. And I must say, as much as I hated Katrina Kaif back in the day, I've grown to really like her.

Bombay Talkies (2013)
This year marks the "official" 100th birthday of Indian cinema and 4 high-profile directors put together 4 shorts in order to celebrate. Karan Johar's segment was the weakest in my opinion, but the male kiss and Lag Jaa Gale saved it. My favorite was Bannerjee's segment... Can I just say, for the 100th time, how awesome Nawazuddin Siddiqui is?!

The Human Factor (2013) 
A documentary on the instrumentalists in old Hindi film music. Interesting but poorly executed in my opinion.

Being With Apu (2013) (not on IMDB)
Another doc, this time on the Apu trilogy. Which I haven't seen yet. - I know.

500 & 5 (2012) 
Experimental Tamil film that deals with our perception of money and how different people have different views on it. Didn't like it too much at first but the Q and A with the team actually made me rethink and revalue this one.

Ustad Hotel (2012) 
My first Malayalam film, which started out perfectly - it was modern, unconventional and genuinely funny! But then it went downhill about halfway in, starting out with a stereotypical white girlfriend being all promiscuous and stupid and slutty, while the Indian girl is just perfect. You can imagine. Cliché after cliché.

Shahid (2012) 
A powerful, powerful movie with Raj Kumar Yadav in the lead, who was also at the festival. After his tiny role in Talaash, which I saw just before this one, I was surprised by his ability to carry a whole movie. Anyway, I need to completely make my mind up about this one for my review but I really liked it a lot.

Color of Sky (2012) 
Definitely my favorite of the movies seen at the festival. It's quiet, gorgeous and absolutely perfect. That's all I have to say.

I.D. (2012) 
Deals with the identity of the individual - and especially the many individuals living in Mumbai, or rather the slums of Mumbai. It's not preachy though and far from poverty porn, just highlighting some interesting contrasts and the many different people that can live side by side and not really know anything about each other. Really dug this one.

Prapancha Pash (A Throw of Dice) (1929) 
Wow, my second silent movie this month! And I really loved it! That's something I've only said about Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans before. Which I love a bit more than this one, but if you're a silent skeptic like me, try watching this. It's on youtube I believe.

The Rajini Effect (2013) 
Another movie I'll write up on and close to being my favorite of the year, like I said. It's a comedy made by some London NRIs, revolving around a Japanese guy who's the biggest Rajnikanth fan in the world and wants to become the next Rajini. If this is not enough to convince you to see it you shouldn't. No, actually you should. Just see it. If you can - I think it premiered at the festival. But since it earned the Audience Award, it should be released in some way soon.

Bowling for Columbine (2002) 
Being very much of a pacifist, I'd been wanting to see this for a long time. Really enjoy Michael Moore every time, and this was no exception.

Iron Man 3 (2013) 
I'm sort of in a weird situation because I haven't seen 2 yet, but my Danish guest family wanted to watch this so... we did. It's a lot of fun and the Mandarin isn't that bad. But the first one's still cooler.

Eastern Promises (2007) 
Do you dream of watching Viggo Mortensen sport a Russian accent and fight nakedly? Then you should watch this movie. Also, if only you like drama.

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004) 
FINALLY caught up on this one and loved it just as much as expected. Oh dear, that fighting sequence (another good one).

Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011) 
Absolutely haunting and Elizabeth Olsen is already one of my favorite up-and-coming actresses after the two movies of hers that I've seen.

Pacific Rim (2013) 
Stands for the awesomest movie of 2013. Reminded me of an anime at many points, but even as a mere action movie it's outstanding.


Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) 
My favorite of the 3, but really they're one massive movie. I loved the Shire sequences as always.

Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) 
Still awesome.

Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003) 

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2013) 
Humm... I liked it but sort of fell asleep because I was tired from work.

Melancholia (2011) 
The one movie I had thought I'd never rewatched because of how depressing it is - actually proved to be a very good one to rewatch! I loved it more than the first time! Actually, I think it's pretty damn perfect.

War of the Worlds (2005) 
Another one I fell asleep while watching, but just for 10 minutes or so. It's good but didn't blow my mind.

Chokher Bali (2003) 
Even though I understood it better this time I didn't like it more - because I already loved it on first watch! Have to remember to get my hands on the soundtrack.

Talaash (2012) 
Such a genius script, I wish i had seen it before and included it in my 2012 top 3.

Hanna (2011) 8.5
Hanna still kicks ass to a kick-ass soundtrack.




Martel, Yann: Life of Pi
I wish I'd read Life of Pi before watching the movie, which is very close to its original source material. In fact, I didn't notice any part that was left out of Ang Lee's stunning 2012 flick, except for the obviously un-filmable rambling parts that reflect Pi's thoughts and notes on survival, zoology etc. As for the book, it's very well-written and the story flows along as nicely as a lifeboat on the Pacific Ocean. Some parts are more calm, others upsetting and even others a mixture of these extremes. What bothered me, at least at the beginning, was the fact that I knew every tiny thing that was going to happen, so the reading was more like revisiting the movie in my head. However, the rambling parts I mentioned made this book worth the experience. The philosophical insight you gain into many topics like religion, "animals" vs. humans and so on is very interesting and adsd a fresh note to the otherwise known story.
**** out of 5

The Superman Chronicles, Vol. 2
Another entertaining stack of adventures from the Man of Tomorrow (which is what I want part 2 of Man of Steel to be called).

Kagawa, Julie: The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden, #1)
I read this book for an online book group on goodreads, so that in itself made it a great experience. Loved answering all the questions and exchanging opinions with other people, even though I didn't always manage to follow the reading schedule.The book itself was great too. Dystopian future is one of my favorite subgenres and of course I still love reading YA. As for vampires, I did have the feeling I was fed up with the topic after Twilight and True Blood, but this was a really good and rather fresh take. I loved the fact that there was a (Asian) female protagonist, although I'm a bit thrown off by the fact that there's a Caucasian female on the cover. Whatever. The story is suspensive and the persons are interesting, I liked the love story as well as the journey aspect of it all.
Despite a few foreseeable sequences, I really liked this book and can't wait to read the prequel and sequel(s).



Girls, S. 2 (2013)
The show becomes better and better as it digs deeper and deeper. I feel that the dialogue became more natural although the story (/stories) sort of became wilder this time. Anyway, I liked everything about it, so keep it up Dunham.
I'm an individual and I feel that I feel good about this show.

No interesting music news - but maybe you've got any? Or maybe you've seen or read something mentionable last month?


  1. Oh no, you liked Jab Tak Hain Jaan? It was so awful :P

    Yaay for Anchorman!!

    1. Nah, I liked it :D

      The scene where he goes into the bathroom and comes out as perfect as before ^^

  2. Maybe I'll give GIRLS a try, though it really didn't capture my attention for the few episodes I watched from season one... Anyway, I don't understand how you have so little vacation time, I mean... perhaps you guys stop during the winter for a longer period? Or your summer vac starts much earlier? Because I have nearly 3 months of summer break! (it's a little too much yeah, but it does get really hot around here and that makes it almost impossible to focus...)

    1. Maybe... it's fun. Not perfect or as good as say Sherlock (at all), but I like it.
      Yeah, we have 6 weeks but then we have 2 weeks in Autumn, 2 in Winter and 2 in Spring... So maybe you don't have that, idk?
      I really don't want to go to school again tomorrow :(

    2. Hum... college is a bit different, but in high school... yeah, we had 2 weeks for christmas, probably 1 week for easter, and that's it. It's basically the same, yours are just more scattered throughout the year, which can be better.

      Oh btw, I was going to watch Life of Pi but now that you said it's better to read the novel first I'll do that. I'm DYING to watch it though!

    3. OK... You can watch the movie first but yes, I'd recommend reading the novel first.


Let the discussion begin!