Posts Tagged ‘melodrama’

Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down (¡Átame!, Spain, 1990)

June 23, 2009

Antonio Banderas-ASG-006168

This picture isn’t from the film…

I quite liked this film although quite strange in parts, i thought the way brights colours are used throughout was great. And the contrast between antonio banderas’s characters love for the woman who’s name i can’t remember at the moment, compared to the directors obvious love and obsession, the audience feels slightly sorry for the director as we know he has no chance of getting the girl; although slightly offput aswell when we see him watching the pornographic film while his wife is asking him if he needs anything. I think banderas’s acts very well in this film and makes you feel the passion he feels for the woman aswell as the sympathy when we see him get beaten up.

Who wrote this above?

Almodovar is one of the best directors of his generation, however this film does not do him justice. It’s plot, as rapid changing as it may be, is very predictable, meaning that some pace is lost in the story towards the end. It’s dark, comical aspects give the film a light-hearted feel in parts, but it is hard to stray from the quite shocking world of pornographic production. – James.

James is wrong.
Although very different from Almodovar’s other films, Tie Me Up Tie Me Down does him justice perfectly. I think the film is possibly more controversial than his other films (after being smacked, tied to a bed and practically abused for a few days, she voluntarily has sex with her kidnapper and falls in love with him, feminists can’t be happy), it only focusses on two characters which develops them more and makes it more accesible to the audience. I quite liked the film and thought the use of colours although garish drew attention to the scene.  The film wasn’t as well recieved by Spanish critics as Almodovar’s other films.    Alex Turner

I agree with Alexander James Turner, the way she succumbs to Stockholm syndrome after being abused for days is very odd. It is almost surreal the way she is kidnapped, abused, then falls in love with her kidnapper and drive off happily into the sunset because this is one thing that would most likely never happen. I was a bit disappointed with the ending as I was left with the thought of “is that it”. The very ‘Hollywood’ ending did add to the surrealism because this is very unlikely to happen.                   Michael Macfadyen


— The Film in genral is not my taste at all. i dislike the narritive side to it as to me, it is something that would never happen and it was a constant repetition throughtout of him tieing her up. there isnt much else in the film the grips me at all. having said that, i think the way that Almodavar has shot the film and the layout of it is, “amaazingg” and everything fits together. i wouldnt watch this film again by choice. And the ending didnt leave me thinking “oh what happens now” it left me thinking “thank god that over” Tyrone Michael 🙂


The film didn’t seem real to me. Although the way that Marina suffers from Stockholm syndrome at the end, which I thought was realistic, the way that it happens to her isn’t. Having sex with someone wouldn’t force them to love you, so, all in all, a very unrealistic film      Sean Fenton

I couldn’t agree more with Tyrone .
This film isn’t really a taste of mine, in fact I found it rather tasteless all in all.
The camera work is quite witty and the abstract use of colours is rather challenging,
but like Ty I can’t really comment on anything more that I like, as I too was left thinking “Thank God it’s over …”
I do think however Alex has made a very sound point (sorry James), Almodovar’s cotroversy is certainly at large in this picture.
Unfortunatly however too at large for me.
– Luke Haley


Couscous (Le graine et le mulet, France, 2007)

June 23, 2009


‘Couscous’ is a good choice of film for urban stories. The narrative of the film is good for urban stories because the use of an ‘underdog’ story gives a good sense of urban living. The setting of ‘Couscous’ also shows the theme of urban living. This is because the very working class setting gives the sense of urban living. Michael Macfadyen

CousCous is a good film when studying realism, the way it is shot and the performances are very realistic, but the plot is (mostly) satisfactory to audiences.  The handheld cameras and (very) long scenes in which many conversations overlap both add to the realistic feel of the film.
The plot is realistic and mundane enough to sustain the realism, but it also has enough typical underdog aspects to keep a more mainstream audience interested.
The film was successful and critics praised it lots. It ended up on several top 10 lists.   Alex Turner


‘Couscous’ is the ideal film for a realism film. Whilst watching the film you find the conversations very close to what you have with your own family and friends in “real life”. It also works away from the typical females being stick thin and beautiful to what i would describe as a real woman. ultimately curvacious and sexy, i think, even just showing her mid-drift while in t-shirts and jeans adds more for me as in a Hollywood film she would be dressed modestly.
The plot is slow paced, but in the last 20/25 mins (or there abouts) the drama really starts. You feel yourself wanting to slap majid for being so spineless. And once he’s driven off you track back to the youngest son not collecting the couscous and in that instant you know nothing will go right. Slimane’s “girlfriend” making the couscous, that we know tastes terrible from a previous scene in the film, you know that will not help the restaraunts success and you are left with Slimane laid in the street.
The ending is bleak, you are left thinking about 2 possible options as to what could happen after. That everything does go tits up, or that maybe it will pull through. Whilst wishing it was the latter, in the back of your mind you can’t help but feel that it won’t pull through. Alex Rattigan

Couscous is deffinately the most realsitic film we have watched out of the three so far. I would say that right from the beginning when the family (which originate from Algeria) is introduced, that the audience get a big insight into the familys life and the every day problems that they face which is a common accurance in peoples life outside of film. For example the scenewhere the mother is potty training her youngest daughter this just highlights the domesticity that is shown. The realism is shown in a way that the whole film seems to be one big struggle for the family apart from  the opening of the restaurant where everything seems to be going on track. Wwhile this might not nessecarily be realism to a British audience it is more so likely to be realistic to a french audience as the family are not originated from France therefore as shown in the film they are treated more disrespectfully than they were if they were French.          Iain Fenton

I have to say, when I sat down to watch Couscous I had already anticipated what the film was going to be like.
In my head I imagined your typical and Slightly obscure, French subtitled film, that’s not very easy to understand and just leaves you expressing such noises as; “Hmm” “Yhuhummm” and occasionally “Well … that was interesting!”
I had not sat down with a very open mind and thus was my folly.
As my classmates above me have already explained; Couscous has got to be one of the most realistic films you can possibly encounter.
Just the simplicity and rawness of it totally dashes whatever expectations you hold when taking your seat.
The most impacting scene for myself which portrayed this, is possibly during the last 15 minutes or so, as the main character Slimane chases three young boys who have stolen his bike, his only transportation back to his restaurant (where the main event of the film is taking place). The poor guy is so old and he’s just constantly running and running out of nothing more than sheer desperation. As a viewer, it’s so real and you relate so well to the strife and agony that this man is going through, comparing it to your own personal experiences, which in turn breaks the language and subtitle barrier that so many people have trouble with. This then brings you and the film closer together in a plain of understanding that doesn’t rely on language to express. The experience of suffering.
Certainly, if a film can make you want to pulverise three small French children, then it must be doing something right as a realistic production?
That all being said, I didn’t really enjoy or like the film.
Where as it’s very interesting to ponder and pick apart, I found the picture itself quite tedious and mostly boring at times due to the already mentioned very long handheld scenes. The manic, crying, mucus covered Frenchwoman, possibly at the mid-point of the film, blaring in my eardrums for what felt like over 10 minutes didn’t really help me become a fan either. The scenes where very realistic and achieved what they set out to do in producing a very believable household scenario, kudos given. But I felt like some of the scenes were just very unnecessary and where just a waste of the viewers time, which they had given up to watch the film.
I understand that Couscous has been highly praised for the work that has obviously been put into it and I couldn’t agree more with that statement. However this is not a film I would say, recommend to my friends to watch. In short, a little too depressing for my taste.
– Luke Haley