Archives For Films

A couple of months back, a trailer for a movie called Garegin Nzhdeh (Гарегин Нжде, it sounds like “neshdeh” when I hear it) was released, about the life of the — thinker and revolutionary — Armenian hero general Garegin Nzhdeh and his military path, including his less famous personal life.

I’m unsure as to what Chulpan Khamatova’s character is supposed to be, the second trailer makes it seem like she’s his wife. I guess I’m gonna have to wait a long time for it, since I have no idea how long it takes for Russian movies to generally come out on DVD. Let alone English subtitles.

But it looks pretty decent.

I also found a Making Of available without subs.

I really can’t remember exactly when I started out the Top Flicks About Chicks list on MUBI, but it must have been around the same time I wrote how Chick Flicks was a doomed genre in regards of critics. So it might be almost 4 years… and I’ve finally reached 300 titles in the list!!!

A Chick Flick should center on little girls, girls, young women and women… as students, as neighbors, as friends, as daughters, as granddaughters, as sisters, as mothers, as lovers. They are simply women. With that alone, we can tell all sort of other stories that have little to do with romantic comedies.

The purpose of the list, of course, was to encompass an array of female character — not only in the binary sense, since the list also includes men/boys who identify as women/girls… and viceversa — of various cultural, ethnic, social backgrounds. Not favoring one genre over the other, not valuing dramas over comedies… just simple stories about different women.

Though I’m sure the list could be longer, that’s 300 feature length films out of the 2896 (counting shorts) currently rated on the site- that’s roughly 10% so I suppose the list could expand to up to 500 or maybe 1000 once I reach 5000 or 10000 rated films on the site.

top-flicks-about-chicks

1. Treeless Mountain 2. Welcome to the Dollhouse 3. Juliana 4. Labyrinth 5. Fuckin’ Amal 6. Mirrormask 7. Gun Hill Road 8. Pariah 9. Bend it like Beckham 10. Swing Girls 11. The Land of the Deaf 12. Sunny 13. Whip It 14. Stoker 15. Maria Full of Grace 16. Breaking the Waves 17. My Marlon and Brando 18. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days 19. Dil Bole Hadippa! 20. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 21. Kotoko 22. Violeta Went to Heaven 23. Skin 24. Raise the Red Lantern 25. Incendies

I picked 25 of the 300 films to illustrate some of the variety (I hope it’s AS varied as I intend the list to be), though I ran out of picks and couldn’t include any of the ‘older’ female characters. If I could pick 5 more, they’d be: Lemon Tree, Frozen River, Late Bloomers, Mother, For 80 Days.

When women play tomboy girls or girls who have to pretend to be boys on screen is hardly believable, mainly because mainstream actresses are normally TOO pretty and productions wouldn’t bump the masculinity to make them look less like girls — at least that USED to happen in a film like Queen Christina (and Morocco, though I don’t think Marlene Dietrich intends to play tomboy as much as play Dietrich on that) [1].

Actresses like Bynes in She’s the Man [1] didn’t exactly hit the mark, though it could come close to Ella Chen’s level in Hana Kimi [1]. However, the other adaptations of the same manga series- the Japanese version of Hana Kimi with Horikita Maki [1] or the most recent Korean version To the Beautiful You with f(x)’s Sulli [1] suffer from similar problems. Same could be said for Zhao Wei- maybe I could overlook her role in Red Cliff [1][2], but I definitely CAN’T overlook her prettyfied self in Mulan [1].

In general, though, Taiwan and China leave me very surprised with the gender-bending… intended or unintended. It’s countless the times that I’ve asked myself whether I was seeing or listening to a boy or a girl. It doesn’t help that most names (without characters) look very gender-neutral.

ANYWAY, I’ve gone way off topic here. The main thing in this post is supposed to be Rani Mukerji, whom I saw for the very first time in Dil Bole Hadippa. Though it’s a pretty decent film, I’ve come to appreciate it more now for Rani- especially for her mannerisms in the Bhangra Bistar number. Though the number is before she gets to pretend to be a guy, her character works as a performer at a moving acting troop, with the lack of a leading man… she’s made to play the part.

And she does it perfectly.

I usually very hard to please on these issues, but Mukerji sells me the role of ‘the dude’ in this one. She pulls it off better than Ella or Bynes, though all of them get to be funny while doing so.

You can even see a bit of the shooting of this part of the film [1].

There’s also an official upload, but quality is not as good and they only include the musical numbers without context.

I was looking for Chulpan Khamatova news (she’s gonna be acting and co-producing a film on the life of writer Vladimir Mayakovsky, if you must know), and ran into news about this short documentary for the Sheredar Foundation [Facebook][Twitter][VK.com] titled The Man from Sheredar (Человек из Шередаря), and it’s got to do with charity work.

I haven’t watched the whole thing (just ran into the subtitled version), but it seems to deal with children with severe illnesses and the rehabilitation they get through this charity fund, which allows over 100 children to get the help they need.

The Vimeo version available is HD but lacks subtitles.

The documentary is also competing at this year’s Kazan International Festival of Muslim Cinema in the category of Documentary, so I don’t know if there’s a longer cut of the film available since it’s not considered Short-length.

This is one of the last movies I saw with Chulpan Khamatova in — titled The Event or Sobytie (Событие), it’s supposed to be a stage play or something by Vladmir Nabokov, but somehow it’s dramatically shot by Andrey Eshpay, who has directed Khamatova in Deti Arbata (Дети Арбата, aka. Children of the Arbat… or The Children of Arbat Street) as well as Mnogotochie (Многоточие, Ellipsis).

I haven’t been able to watch all of Deti Arbata because it’s got no subtitles AT ALL, but the first episode seemed kinda good. Mnogotochie is supposed to be good, but it’s also sans-subtitles and I fell asleep. Also, Khamatova doesn’t play such a big role in that film, so maybe my bias made it possible for me to sit through Sobytie and enjoy it A LOT with or without subtitles.

It’s a really quite gorgeous piece of cinematic theatricality.

On the split YouTube uploads, it’s not as evident… but you could try to see for yourself. It’s dramatic as Russian theater can only seem to be, and Khamatova sports some very drastic style that actually… suits her really great!

I have a thing for Khamatova’s hair style changes for roles. It’s crazy, she’s nuts. I’ve never seen anyone sport the hair she’s sport in the history of the worldwide arts EVER. She really REALLY must love her characters. xD

If any Russian-knowing kind person stumbles upon this post, would anyone care to help me work out subtitles for it? You guys, where do you hang out for subtitles? So many films left without subtitles!

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