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Moscow, Belgium-Movie Review 07/22/2012

Posted by Films to consider in Cannes Film Festival, Denver International Film Festival, European Film Awards, Flemish language film, Light Drama, Movies, Romantic comedy, Zurich Film Festival.
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Moscow, Belgium (Belgian) 2008

Directed by Christopher Van Rompaey
Starring Barbara Sarafian, Jurgen Delnaet, and Johan Heldenbergh

Among other awards and nominations:
WINNER, ACID Award (Van Rompaey); Grand Golden Rail (Van Rompaey); SACD Screenwriting Award (Van Rijckeghem and Van Beirs), Cannes Film Festival
WINNER, Krzysztof Kieslowski Award: Best Feature Film and Best Film (Van Rompaey), Denver International Film Festival
NOMINATED, Best Composer (Tuur Florizoone), European Film Awards
WINNER, Jury Award-Best Actress (Sarafian); Youth Grand Prize-Best Film (Van Rompaey), Mediawave Hungary
WINNER, New Talent Award (Van Rompaey), Zurich Film Festival

An enjoyable romantic comedy, with the emphasis on comedy as the romance itself is funny (and unpredictable). Matty (Sarafian) is a harried mother of three whose husband Werner (Heldenbergh) has moved out as part of a midlife crisis. When Matty’s car backs into a truck owned by Johnny (Delnaet), the younger man becomes smitten with her. Although Johnny has a volatile temper and seems to be no big prize, Matty experiences something of a midlife crisis of her own.

As the awards indicate, many aspects of this film are worth noting, chief among them the fast-paced dialogue and Barbara Sarafian’s performance. Her facial expressions portray the complex range of emotions that Matty undergoes, making the decisions she makes more plausible.

106 min. Not rated. Suitable for older teens and adults.

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The Wind Journeys-Movie Review *** 02/17/2012

Posted by Films to consider in Bogota Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival, Cartagena Film Festival, Emotional Drama, Film Movement, Movies, Santa Barbara International Film Festival, South American/Spanish language film.
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The Wind Journeys (South American/Spanish) 2009 ***
Los viajes del viento

WINNER, Golden Precolombian Circle, Best Colombian Film; Best Director (Guerra), Bogota Film Festival
WINNER, Award of the City of Rome (Guerra), Cannes Film Festival
WINNER, Colombian Cinema Award, Best Director (Guerra); Best Film; WINNER, Golden India Catalina, Best Colombian Film, Cartagena Film Festival
WINNER, Best Spanish Language Film, Santa Barbara International Film Festival

From Film Movement
Written and directed by Ciro Guerra
Starring Marciano Martinez

Ignacio (Martinez) feels cursed to spend his life as a wandering troubadour because he thinks that the accordion he plays is controlled by the devil. When he makes a last journey to return the instrument to his elderly teacher, he is followed by Fermin, a young man who envies the life Ignacio leads. The pair must travel a great distance, through beautifully sweeping and varying landscapes. Their stops at villages along the way provide opportunities for music and glimpses into other traditions of the region.

Ignacio is played by Marciano Martinez, composer of hit songs in the vallenato tradition. Vallenato is “born of the valley” folk music from the Caribbean region of Colombia. The spirited and emotional music originated as a means for farmers to deliver the news of the valley in song form.

Highly recommended.

Here’s a taste of Martinez’s music.

117 min. Not rated.