29 December 2014

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams, 1979)

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Title: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Writer: Douglas Adams
Year: 1979
Country: United Kingdom
Language: English

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a science-fiction book written by Douglas Adams, who got the idea during a trip around Europe. It was one of the most successful books of its year and it was awarded as the 24th greatest book of the century by Waterstone.

18 December 2014

Stations of the Cross (Dietrich Brüggemann, 2014)

Title: Stations of the Cross
Original title: Kreuzweg
Directors: Dietrich Brüggemann
Year: 2014
Country: Germany
Language: German
★ ★ ★

Stations of the Cross is about a 14-year-old girl and her very religious family. They are part of a very special parish: they are catholic, but they think the actual Church is very permissive because of the changes after the Second Vatican Council, so, according to them, everybody should live in a more restrictive way. They think life is full of sins and temptations and they must keep pure to get straight up to heaven. They compund the Society of Saint Paul.

17 December 2014

The shadow of the wind (Carlos Ruiz Zafón, 2001)

The shadow of the wind

Title: The shadow of the wind
Original title: La sombra del viento
Writer: Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Year: 2001
Country: Spain
Language: Spanish
★ ★ ★ ★

The shadow of the wind is one of the most-successful Spanish books of this century. It has been translated into 36 languages and it has won several awards all around the world.

It is the first one of a series of books that takes place in Barcelona during the first half of the 20th Century, followed by The angel’s game, The prisoner of the sky and a forth one non-written yet.  They are a special mixture of genres: mystery, adventure, love, supernatural…, and the result is an amazing combination of all of them. Every book of the series has its own story, but they are all beautifuly connected through characters, subplotes and, of course, the mystical Cemetery of Forgotten Books.

15 December 2014

Ida (Pawel Pawlikowski, 2013)

Title: Ida
Original title: Ida
Directors: Pawel Pawlikowski
Year: 2013
Country: Poland
Language: Polish
★ ★ ★ ★ ✬

Ida has been one of the most awarded films of 2014, including the BFI London Film Festival and the European Film Award as best picture.

The film takes place in Poland during the 60’s; the injuries of the World War II are closing and the communist party controls the country. Anna is a young novice who wants to become a nun, but her prioress asks her to visit her family before taking the vows. The only living relative is her aunt Wanda, who works for the government as a judge. 

5 December 2014

Biophilia (Björk, 2011)

Title: Biophilia
Singer: Björk
Year: 2011
Country: Iceland
Language: English
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Björk always means originality and creativity. Once more, she has not let anybody down with her eighth studio album, full of new and wonderful sounds.

Actually, this is not just an album: this is a much more complex concept, which involves not only music, but images, videos and interaction with the public. Björk got associated with Apple; the result of this synergy are special iPad-applications for each song, so we can enjoy an amazing spectacle  and interact with it. For example, the Virus app contains a videogame where we can control a cellular viral infection, but, if we succed and we get to keep the cell healthy, the music will stop because Björk wants to explain the weird love relationship between a virus and the host cells.

4 November 2014

Two days, one night (Luc & Jean-Pierre Dardenne, 2014)

Title: Two days, one night
Original title: Deux jours, une nuit
Directors: Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne 
  Year: 2014
Country: Belgium
Language: French
★ ★ ★ ★ ✬

After a nervous breakdown, Sandra, played by Marion Cotillard, wants to get back to work, but then she discovers that her boss has talked to her workmates so they choose among her reincorporation or a 1000-Euros bonus.

Each workmate has a different situation: some of them have bills and a mortgage to pay, other ones think they have earned the bonuses and they don’t have to give them up. But Sandra also needs that work: that money is necessary in her family and they cannot afford to lose it; so she is determined to talk to every one of them to make them change their minds.

The film covers a very present topic: nowadays, after and eternal economic crisis, many enterprises are shutting down and some others are firing people to save money. This movie presents a delicate situation, the only truth is that everyone needs the money, but there is not right or wrong, just crossed interests. The film gets to show the different parts involved without judging any of them: while you are watching the film you want Sandra to get back her job, but you also understand the story of each character she talks to: even when she gets them to change their minds, it is not easy to quit that amount of money.