Tag Archives: 2000s

Vier Minuten / Four Minutes (2006) Chris Kraus, Hannah Herzsprung, Monica Bleibtreu, Vadim Glowna, Drama, Music

Vier Minuten AKA Four Minutes (2006)
In Germany, the elder Frau Traude Krueger gives piano classes in a prison for a few prisoners and the security guard Mütze. When she sees the rebel and aggressive Jenny Von Loeben playing piano, she immediately identifies her potential and offers to teach her for a competition. Frau Krueger finds that Jenny was a prodigy when she was a child; abused when she was a teenager and has been imprisoned for murdering and decapitating a man. Along the period they work together preparing for the exhibition, Frau Krueger discloses secrets about her love in World War II while the self-destructive Jenny has four minutes of glory and recognition of her talent.

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Spanien / Spain (2012) Anja Salomonowitz, Tatjana Alexander, Cornelius Obonya, Grégoire Colin, Drama

Spanien (2012)
A stranded stranger ends up in the wrong place and embarks upon a search for his rights, his money and human beings who still believe in God. Things that aren’t easy to find in this world. Instead he will find Magdalena, a mysterious woman who takes men to her home for something special. Her ex-husband, a police officer, is searching for the words that might bring Magdalena back to him, while a crane operator is a fallen angel tempting fate.

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Chichi to kuraseba / The Face of Jizo (2004) Kazuo Kuroki, Rie Miyazawa, Yoshio Harada, Tadanobu Asano, Drama

Chichi to kuraseba (Kazuo Kuroki, 2004)
Based on a play by Hisashi Inoue, it focuses on the sufferings of the survivors of Hiroshima. The film takes place during 4 days in the summer of 1948, as the ghost of her father visits Mitsué (Rié Miyama). He had somehow learned that she has fallen in love, and tries to convince her to start her new life. But Mitsué obstinately refuses his warm and humorous encouragements : « People were killed in my place. I do not have the right to find happiness », she says.

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Adaptation (2002) Spike Jonze, Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep, Chris Cooper, Comedy, Drama

Adaptation (Spike Jonze, 2002)
Despite the success of his first produced script, for which he received an Academy Award® nomination for best original screenplay, Charlie Kaufman (Cage) is plagued by insecurities, both in his career and his personal life. When he is hired to adapt The Orchid Thief, a non-fiction book about a fanatical orchid breeder, John Laroche (Cooper), he is completely stumped. Though, on the surface, the book is about Laroche’s flower poaching adventures in the Florida Everglades, on another level it’s also about the desire in all of us to experience passion. This longing plagues the book’s author, Susan Orlean (Streep) and, Charlie realizes, himself as well.
Charlie’s twin brother, Donald (Cage), only makes things worse when he moves in with Charlie and announces he’s going to be a screenwriter too. As Charlie battles his severe case of writer’s block, Donald cheerily types away on a script about a serial killer with multiple-personality disorder. Donald’s script immediately sells, making him the “hot” new writer in town. Then, one day, Charlie has a last ditch inspiration. He’ll use his own dilemma as a framework for the script about Laroche and Orlean. But as the words start to flow and the story takes shape, Charlie inadvertently sets in motion a chain of events impacting on the lives of all the characters.

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Code 46 (2003) Michael Winterbottom, Tim Robbins, Samantha Morton, Om Puri, Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi

Code 46 (Michael Winterbottom, 2003)
Code 46 is a love story set in a Brave New World-type near-future where cities are heavily controlled and only accessible through checkpoints. People cannot travel unless they have “papeles” (papers in Spanish; words and sentences in many languages, especially Spanish, French and Chinese are mixed with English in this new world), a special travel permit issued by the totalitarian government, the “Sphinx”. Outside these cities, the desert has taken over and shanty towns are jammed with non-citizens – people without IDs forced to live primitive lives. William is a family man who works as a government investigator. When he is sent to Shanghai to solve a case of fake IDs, he meets a woman named Maria. Although he realizes she is behind the forgeries, he cannot help but fall completely in love with her. He hides her crime and they have a wild, passionate affair that can only last as long as his visa: 24 hours. Back home, William is obsessed with the memory of Maria.

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Travellers and Magicians (2003) Khyentse Norbu, Tshewang Dendup, Sonam Lhamo, Lhakpa Dorji, Drama, Adventure

Travellers and Magicians (Khyentse Norbu, 2003)
The two men embark on parallel, if separate, journeys. Their yearning is a common one–for a better and different life. Dondup, delayed by the timeless pace of his village, is forced to hitchhike through the beautiful wild countryside of Bhutan to reach his goal. He shares the road with a monk, an apple seller, a papermaker and his beautiful young daughter, Sonam. Throughout the journey, the perceptive yet mischievous monk relates the story of Tashi. It is a mystical fable of lust, jealousy and murder, that holds up a mirror to the restless Dondup, and his blossoming attraction to the innocent Sonam. The cataclysmic conclusion of the monk’s tale leaves Dondup with a dilemma–is the grass truly greener on the other side?

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The Good Heart (2009) Dagur Kári, Paul Dano, Brian Cox, Bill Buell, Drama

The Good Heart (Dagur Kari, 2009)
After a suicide attempt, Lucas, a young homeless man in New York City, is taken in by Jacques, the gruff owner of a small bar. Jacques is on his fifth or sixth heart attack, and he wants Lucas to run the bar after he dies. Jacques has many rules: don’t be friendly, don’t serve walk-ins, no food or flowers or candles, put the cash in the freezer every night. Lucas, on the other hand, has a good heart: he gives his money away, he talks to customers, and, when April, a young French woman who has washed out of flight-attendant school, enters the bar chilled to the bone, Lucas takes her in. If Jacques won’t tolerate April, what will Lucas do?

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