Thursday, May 12, 2016

A to Z Reflections and Thursday Movie Picks



I survived! I have to say I felt bad because I fell behind and tried to comment on some people's blogs and couldn't. When someone left me a comment, I tried to return the favour but in some instances, I fell behind or I couldn't locate them. I was getting twisted into knots because I didn't want to be perceived as a jerkess but there is only so much time in a day. In the end I came to the conclusion...this is supposed to be fun! Enjoy reading all the comments, reading what other people chose for a theme(or non theme) and don't sweat it. I decided to take that approach and I felt better. I still will go back and visit others because I couldn't get it all done but I hope you do not think ill of me. We all know the pros and cons so we just have to think more about the pros and how enjoyable this challenge is. If anyone wants to check out the A to Z just click here. Here's to next year! Now on to Thursday movie picks...


This week is a toughie for me....Spanish films. I have not seen a lot of foreign films so I have 2 that I have seen and one that I want to see (plus more...there is always more:)) If you wish to see what the others have picked, head on over to the host, Wandering Through The Shelves.  Here are my 2 picks plus one I want to see...

1. ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER-1999


I saw this way back then and enjoyed it quite a bit because it is about mothers and since, we just celebrated Mother's day, why not pick this film. It is not your normal everyday drama-comedy. There are a few comedic bits but also some very sad and moving scenes as well. A woman has a teenage son who ends up being killed in a traffic accident. After his heart is donated, she continues to travel to Barcelona to tell the father about the son he never knew he had. The father is a transvestite and she meets up with him eventually along with a pregnant nun and another transvestite. This film has so much love and showcases different types of a mother's love. It is well worth seeing.

2. PAN'S LABYRINTH-2006


This is a film I love..it has fantasy, horror ( not the typical horror which I don't care for), war, imagination..it is brilliant. A young girl, travels with her pregnant mom to her new home-her cruel and nasty step father's home during World War 2. She enters a maze and finds a magical being who tells her she must do 3 tasks that are dangerous but the reward would be to be the Princess she was born to be. I was so taken with this film, with the amazing art direction and special effects and make-up. It is one of the most beautiful films even when it is scary and worth to see at least once.

3. VOLVER-2006


Cheating!! I have not seen this film but would love to. I know it is about a young woman who sees her dead mother and it goes from there but I don't know much more so I will see it one day.

Have you seen any of these films? Are there any others? Hope you enjoyed my A to Z theme. Have a great day:)

64 comments:

  1. I've seen all of these and especially enjoyed Pan's Labyrinth. I have a fondness for foreign films even if I have to read subtitles. As for the A to Z, I was chastised by someone for not visiting a lot of blogs because I was told that it what makes it work. BS. Since when do blog challenges tell me what to do???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I should be chastised as well because I didn't have the ability to respond to all the comments, read all the people I follow plus visit new ones. I will continue to think of it as fun and not get all caught up in the drama if I didn't do all I could. I did the best I could

      Delete
  2. You are definitely not a jerkess.
    Pan's Labyrinth was an incredible movie but soul crushingly depressing. Have you ever seen del Toro's The Devil's Backbone? Another great Spanish film.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Alex...It is depressing unless one chooses to believe the legend and not the reality which is how i decide to look at it otherwise it is very very sad. I have not seen The Devil's backbone but Wandering chose that as one of his three.

      Delete
  3. Congratulations on completing the A to Z, Birgit. I think you did brilliantly and am so grateful that you managed to find time to visit me :) Thank you! I didn't like Pan's Labyrinth at all.
    Have a geat week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. Oh...bummer but Labyrinth is a very sad fable

      Delete
  4. All of these are great movies. Not sure I can pick a fave among them, though I'm leaning with Pan's Labyrinth. Great picks!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I saw All About My Mother ages ago and remember liking it but not any of the specifics really. Penelope Cruz is wonderful in Volver, the best thing about the movie. I appreciated the artistry in Pan's Labyrinth more than I liked the film but it is very inventive.

    Like you this was a tougher week for me. I haven't seen that many Spanish language films and watched my third pick especially for this week. I wish I could say it was worth it but I didn't care much for the picture by its conclusion.

    Before Night Falls (2000)-Based on the writings of Cuban author Reinaldo Arenas this film spans his lifetime through his country youth, embracing of the Revolution and his later persecution as a writer and openly gay man in Castro's Cuba, his escape in the Mariel Harbor exodus of 1980, exile and death in the United States. Not a pleasant film but worthwhile. Javier Bardem is staggering in the lead, earning a well-deserved Oscar nomination.

    Burnt Money (2000)-Argentine action thriller about two violent bank robbers who are also lovers, a bank job they pull that goes wrong and the pursuit and standoff that follows. Very erotic for this type of action film, based on actual events.

    Tristana (1970)-Luis Buñuel directed this murky tale of emotional battery and vicious score settling. Tristana (Catherine Deneuve) is orphaned and taken under the protection of respected elder Don Lope (Fernando Rey). He takes advantage of the situation and makes her a virtual prisoner while demoralizing her to break her spirit, eventually the tables are turned in an unexpected fashion. Good acting by Deneuve, Rey and Franco Nero but the characters are ultimately all a pretty loathsome bunch to care too deeply about.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have not seen any of the ones you picked although Before Night Falls Intrigues me because I have heard quite a bit about this film

      Delete
  6. Sad to say I never watch any film with subtitles....I just find it so difficult to read and watch at the same time....I am adding these to my ever growing list though as they sound like I would enjoy.Out in the garden today in the sun...yes really sun!...xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yippee for Sun! We have it here also but I am inside working. The one thing I dislike about subtitles is when they have the letters white and it is placed over a white background-how the heck am I supposed to read that..I'm not Superwoman.

      Delete
  7. Hi Birgit!

    I haven't seen any of these films but Pan's Labyrinth sounds like the most enjoyable of the three. Why did David Bowie suddenly cross my mind?

    I am always interested in discussing movies, the movie making process and movie trivia and I very much enjoyed your April posts from A to Z.

    Happy Thursday, dear friend Birgit!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you enjoyed my A to Z. I think you will like Pan's labyrinth and, yes, David Bowie would fit in with the fairy tale aspect of it since he was in one of my favourite movies

      Delete
  8. Pan's Labyrinth was a good one indeed, one of the only foreign films I've seen haha you a jerkess? Bah, the cat is more one then you lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahahaa-Thank you for that and glad you saw this one film. It is very sad but so beautiful

      Delete
  9. Haven't seen any of these, but that didn't catch you by surprise :) I did like your A/Z theme; I thought you put a lot of effort into it. I do agree with trying to leave comments on other people's blogs; sometimes so challenging and then when I left a comment, I didn't see it so I never knew if it took or not. You are right, it is supposed to be fun and not too overwhelming so I think you handled it just fine.

    betty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much. I was feeling stressed and then thought..."It's supposed to be fun" so I just let go of all the should do feelings and just did what i could.

      Delete
  10. I love Pan's Labyrinth, it's easily one of my favorite films. Volver was good too. I haven't seen your forst pick.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't seen a lover and you haven't seen Mother so we need to see the one we haven't seen...if that makes sense

      Delete
  11. Congratulations for picking three film, one better than the other. I loved them all, not sure which one more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh..thanks, still have to see Volver

      Delete
  12. Pan's Labyrinth was a masterpiece, but probably not for everyone. Beautiful visually, but disturbing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, you are right and it is so sad unless you believe the fairy tale part

      Delete
  13. "I saw this way back then and enjoyed it quite a bit because it is about mothers and since, we just celebrated Mother's day"

    Ahhh! I forgot!! No wait. This was in America. Phew! Don't scare me like that! Haha.

    I guess this is a perfect week for you as you'll be recommended tons of great Spanish films. Pan's Labyrinth is amazing, like you said the art direction is wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes I guess people celebrate Mother's Day at different times of the year. Pan's Labyrinth is so beautiful even if disturbing.

      Delete
  14. Double Pedro, I love it! Great picks all round here. Pan is a brilliant fairytale and Volver was just so delicious, but my favourite here is All About My Mother.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I still have to see Volver but I love both films for different reasons

      Delete
  15. Wow, I've never seen any of those!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can see you loving Pan's Labyrinth

      Delete
  16. I have not seen any of these films. I would be hard pressed to even think of a Spanish film, let alone one that I have or have seen. Not speaking the language has a few draw-backs in that regard.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do love foreign film but see so few but you should see Pan's Labyrinth if you wish to see any of these.

      Delete
  17. Great picks, Birgit! Almodóvar is a genius (though not all the time, haha), and these two are among my favorites of his. And Pan's Labyrinth truly is a work of art—Mexican director, of course ;) Although I think this is the only film of his that I actually like... I mean, Hellboy? Really? He did write the screenplay for one of my all-time favorites, Cronos (Mexico, 1993), so I suppose he's redeemable :D

    Great post, Birgit! Yeah, the Challenge really is tough... And you had a *lot* of comments! I didn't have even half as many, I think, and I'm still working on replying, haha... So I can only imagine how it must be for you. You're right, though—it needs to be fun, and when it becomes a source of stress (or, for bloggers visiting you, of recrimination... I've actually seen that happen O.o ), then we need to take a step back.

    LOVED your A2Z theme... Still in awe of the knowledge, and the research, that went into it. You're my hero!
    Guilie @ Life In Dogs

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you like my picks and you would have seen many I am assuming. You're right, pan's Labyrinth is a work of art. Thank you so much for your kind words and so glad you liked my A to Z. I enjoyed doing it

      Delete
  18. I'd like to see the first and second films you wrote about. They sound happily bizarre, my kind of films. I think you got the right attitude about the A to Z, Birgit. Fun is what blogging is all about. Hugs to you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the first film you would love because it is about mothers and love and the unique way it is discussed. The second film is just an artistic masterpiece in my book. I could see you loving this film. Glad you liked my A to Z.

      Delete
  19. It's probably not cheating when you're so open about it but I love your honesty!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well thank you:) I can't really lie if I haven't seen it...that would be wrong. I know I sound very naive I guess:)

      Delete
  20. Pan's Labyrinth is an All-Time Favorite of mine - I absolutely adore everything about it. I still have not seen Volver, either, and that's a shame as I hear it is quite excellent.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh wow..we are in sync! Maybe we need to both see this last film some time this year

      Delete
  21. I think I saw Volver quite a while ago. I know I've seen other Spanish films, but I can't think of them.

    Love,
    Janie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You probably have seen more than me.

      Delete
  22. Abre los Ojos - Penelope Cruz, Eduardo Noriega.


    ReplyDelete
  23. I have not seen any of those films.

    As for trying to comment on blogs--if you couldn't find the blog, how could you be expected to return the comment? Don't feel bad about it. You're doing pretty well, considering how many regular readers you have.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much. I didn't think I had a ton of comments but I guess I did:)

      Delete
  24. Vollver was an odd one; but all of Pedro Alomar's are.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I still will see it as I often like odd

      Delete
  25. As usual I haven't seen any of these although I remember hearing of Volver.

    I do agree on being unable to find some blogs to return the comments but I was not prepared to spend forever trying to find them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I wasn't going to spend a ton of time either. One can only do the best one can right?

      Delete
  26. I haven't seen these, thanks for the introduction!

    ReplyDelete
  27. I've never heard of these films. It's not surprising though because here in Alabama we don't get Wednesday's sunshine until Friday:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are funny...we now have rain:)

      Delete
  28. I felt the same way when I did the A-Z when I couldn't return a comment - terribly guilty. I had so many problems if they didn't leave me a link in the comment sections and I couldn't find their blog through their Blogger profile or on Wordpress. It got frustrating sometimes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It did feel frustrating but hopefully they understand.

      Delete
  29. Congratulations on doing the A-Z, Birgit! I do not think of you as a 'jerkess' at all - you are my blogfriend, and I felt the same as you. I replied to all the comments people left on my blogs, but after the first few days I just could not get around to visiting others as much as I wished. So I just figured that for me, success was posting every day. Maybe next year...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, that is right no it was tough to try to respond never mind visiting new blogs. I had a tough time this year but I still had fun.

      Delete
  30. Commenting during the A to Z is one of the most difficult challenges! I passed on it this year, first time since it started that I wasn't participating.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is tough but I realized I needed to chill. That's what I did.

      Delete
  31. I thought you did brilliantly on the challenge!
    The Glasgow Gallivanter

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much..this weekend I promise to send you pictures!

      Delete
  32. BIRGIT ~
    Hokey-Smoke, I'm 4 days late!

    I've not seen any of these, but then I don't watch many foreign films. It's pretty rare when I really dig one. Have they figured out yet that a story for a movie needs to be told in a different manner than in a novel?

    There really are no rules for novels, but a screenplay MUST follow a certain pattern or the movie will greatly suffer. The last time I was on a foreign film spree (many years ago) it was evident to me that they still hadn't grasped the way a screenplay is constructed.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

    ReplyDelete
  33. Pan's Labyrinth. Yes you're right it's both beautiful and scary. And oh that lullaby, just haunting.

    ReplyDelete