The Kite Runner

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Director: Marc Forster / Genre: Drama / Actor: Khalid Abdalla / Actor: Atossa Leoni / Actor: Shaun Toub / Actor: Sayed Jafar Masihullah Gharibzada / Year: 2007
Child Rape Pakistan Taliban Afghanistan Adaption Coming of Age DVD

The Film…
Though most of the film is set in Afghanistan, these parts were mostly shot in Kashgar, China, due to the dangers of filming in Afghanistan at the time.

The plot of the movie follows that of the novel. It tells the story of Amir, a well-to-do boy from the Wazir Akbar Khan district of Kabul, who is haunted by the guilt of betraying his childhood friend Hassan, the son of his father’s Hazara servant. (cc) Wikipedia

My Thoughts…
Been interested in seeing this film since hearing some time ago about some rather intriguing business surrounding a child actor having to be relocated to another country due to stigma over being involved in this film. All very strange.

Any poop, this film is impressively multifaceted with several parts (separated by many years) and poignant imagery throughout. I cannot knock the film-making, pacing is spot-on and the recreated afghanistan pre-the russians mucking it all up is wonderful to see.

Only problem is I can’t help getting a general air of superiority on the american film makers part, it all becomes rather “oh thank god they escaped that nasty afganistan place to the paradise that is america where they can live in peace and freedom!” ‘Cos like no other country in the world, including ones rather closer to afganistan are free. I’ll give the film makers the benefit of the doubt (and the original author i guess) that this sentiment is un-intended, but I believes its rather naive for them not to see how it could come across that way.

My Rating:90

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Les Amitiés Particulières

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aka “This Special Friendship”
Director: Jean Delannoy / Genre: Drama / Year: 1964
Coming of Age Based On Novel Child Gay Boarding School YouTube

The Film…
a 1964 film adaptation of the Roger Peyrefitte novel Les amitiés particulières directed by Jean Delannoy. The plot revolves around Georges de Sarre, a fourteen-year-old boy who is sent to a Catholic boarding school in 1920s France. Georges starts a “special friendship”, i.e. a friendship with homosexual overtones, with a twelve-year-old student, the beautiful Alexandre (Alexander) Motier.

My Thoughts…
My word was this film difficult to track down, it doesn’t seem to have ever been released with english subs, at least not on DVD. Believe it or not I ended up watching it on YouTube split into 18 parts. Crazy!

This film has some parallels with Romeo & Juilet. Only where the forbidden factor of their love being entirely different and it is incredibly touching (I say that too often). What probably makes this tragic love story even more affecting is the incredible and joyous charisma of the kid who plays the younger boy. I also feel respect for the older of them for not showing any sign of shame, and for freely talking about his love with a friend of his own age.

The ending kicked the air out of me, twice infact, but I’ll try not to spoil it. Ugh, it all seems so unfair.

My Rating:93

This films page

Listrbl new features

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I’ve been in one of those coding moods these past few days.

listrbltitle.pngIt’s funny really, when the mood bites wanting to work on some code is all I can think about. Unfortunately it never lasts, and most likely next week I will run a mile from anything that involves endless debugging and depressing stares at code that refuses to function correctly.

Took advantage of all this to work on one of my little pet projects. A php bases web service for cataloging and taging films, music, books etc.

Implemented a couple of things I’ve been meaning to do for a while now. Got rid of the whole movable-type style publishing paradigm, it just isn’t intuitive interface wise.

Instead I’ve made some simplified functions that can be embedded into any php app, such as wordpress. It was a bit of an effort because with these functions I kinda have to avoid using session variables, especially class objects in sessions. Annoyingly php classes need to be declared before the session is started if you’re going to use them this way, and if you’re embedding it you have no control of the whole session start affair. Anyway, you can see all this down the right on the sidebar, lists the recent films I’ve seen and all that. And now you can click on them and be taken to a page, which is also embedded into wordpress.

I want to take the embedded functions a stage further and implement XML-RPC so that the service can be on another server.

Speaking of XML-RPC, I’ve also added posting to blogs. It uses the metaweblog api plus a few extra fields derived from movable-type strangely, for doing tags. When viewing a title you just click a link and it does the rest, plus I ajaxed it up so it doesn’t even have to reload the page. Plus it adds the post-id to the DB so that it knows when to do a post update instead.

Also ajaxed up the tagging of titles, so that it doesn’t take so long. And seperated out user oriented tags such as “watched” or “own” from everyone based tags such as “Spanish” and “Gay”.

Oh yeah, that’ll be why you’ve started seeing stupid film reviews in the main blog. Ah well. That’s progress for yerz.

Oh yeah and image support is new too, and quite funky.  I’ve used PHP’s GD library to automatically create a unified sized thumbnail of the image you upload for a title.  And you don’t even have to upload it, you can simply stick in the url for an image on another website and listrbl will grab it and make a copy for itself.

Juno

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Director: Jason Reitman / Genre: Comedy / Year: 2007
Pregnancy Teen Divorce Adoption Drama Romance Independent Film

The Film…
Ellen Page stars as the title character, a sharp-tongued teenager confronting an unplanned pregnancy. (cc) Wikipedia

My Thoughts…
The great cast really make this film sparkle, or was it the script. Could be both? Wizard. So anyway, I guess Lovely would be the word for this one. Awww, Ellen Page is so…. Well I can’t wait to see what she does next career wise.

But my overwhelming feeling after watching this is, I reeeeallly want to watch some episodes of Arrested Development right now… For the 200 millionth time.

Oh and the adorable asian girl protesting abortion so totally reminded me of Monica Wolf.

My Rating:92

This films page

Cachorro

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aka “Bear Cub”
Director: Paul Andrew Williams / Genre: Comedy / Year: 2004
dvd Gay Sex Spanish Parenthood Boy

The Film…
Cachorro (known as Bear Cub in English-speaking markets) is a 2004 Spanish gay-themed (in particular, the gay Bear community) drama film written and directed by Miguel Albaladejo. It is about a bearish gay man who ends up looking after his nephew while his sister goes away to India and in turn makes him develop a fatherly bond with the boy as well as forcing him to alter his lifestyle. The Spanish word cachorro describes any young, furry animal such as a cub or puppy. (cc) Wikipedia

My Thoughts…
This film explores quite a bit, including a fair few sides of gay culture without getting muddled at all. It attempts to put right some mis-conceptions about gay men bringing up children. I especially liked how the boy simply didn’t care about what his uncle got up to and as is typical is a lot wiser than a lot of the adults. Which makes me wonder, what age is it that people start seeing things that are different as being wrong? Ah well.

The film doesn’t flinch at all from what the “bears” can get up to, ding-a-lings et all, which is really strange considering the general tone of the film. But I guess, the whole message then should be… why should any of it matter?

My Rating:92

This films page

No Country For Old Men

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Director: Ethan Coen / Genre: Drama / Year: 2007
h.264 720p Psychopath Serial Killer Assassin Adaptation Crime Thriller

The Film…
No Country for Old Men tells the story of a drug deal gone wrong and the ensuing cat-and-mouse drama as three men crisscross each other’s paths in the desert landscape of 1980 West Texas. (cc) Wikipedia

My Thoughts…
Ooh, this film wasn’t as complex as I had imagined which is always a bonus in my book, feared I’d have to be joining dots all over the place. Nah, it felt a bit like a western actually, albeit in modern times. Javier Bardem is awesome, and scary as heck, even if he does look freakily like that guy with the un-pronounceable name from “Look around you” and “hardware”.

Jolly good then is the summary.

My Rating: 94

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