Author: rockportfilm

Fish Tank – New Criterion DVD

Fish Tank is a raw and unflinching look at a teen girls coming of age while living in the cold, dank housing projects in Essex, England. The girl is Mia and she is played by first time actress Katie Jarvis. A fifteen year old who spends her time dancing in an abandon apartment. This isn’t your Black Swan type dancing but hip hop. This film was directed by Andrea Arnold who won and Academy Award in 2005 for her short film Wasp, which takes place in the same world as Fish Tank. Mia is you average angst ridden teen. She is constantly fighting with her mom and younger sister. She doesn’t get along with other girls her age and her future is a fog. Her mother (Joanne) wants to send her to a boarding school to straighten her out. Joanne has a new boyfriend (Connor) played by the brilliant Irish actor Michael Fassbender, who forms an immediate connection with Mia. He is simultaneously a father figure and a teen crush for her. He is the only person that supports and encourages her dancing. He lends her a camcorder so she can make a tape to enter a competition. All of this seems too good to be true and it is. Mia’s trust is betrayed by Connor and she goes to extreme lengths to get back at him and teach...

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The Life Before Her Eyes – Uma & Evan

This film is a beautiful and lyrical meditation of what could have been.  What if things would have happened differently?  The Life before her Eyes is the second film from director Vadim Perelman, whose first film The House of Sand and Fog brought wide critical praise.  It was nominated for three Academy Awards, including best lead actor for Ben Kingsley.    The Life Before her Eyes stars Uma Thurman and Evan Rachel Wood playing the same character of Diana.  As a teenager (Wood) she is a free spirited girl who is caught in an unthinkable situation.  When a boy at school goes on a shooting rampage she and her best friend become trapped in the bathroom with him.  The story then flashes forward and we see Diana all grown up with a husband and a young daughter.  She is continually haunted by the events of that day and the kind of person she was back then.  She tries to protect and nurture her daughter onto a better path but she looks to be failing.  Her husband is a professor at a local college and could be having and affair.    The plot swaps back a fourth between the young Diana and her best friend Maureen, played by Ava Amurri and the older Diana and her family.  It chronicles the building of young girls’ friendship and how they have arrived...

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“Water Lilies” – A Controversial French Teen Drama

This is an amazingly fearless movie that tackles issues no Hollywood studio would touch. “Water Lilies” is a French film that deals with the lives of three distinct teen female characters and their very real struggles. Set in the world of synchronized swimming, director Celine Sciamma takes you on a disturbingly honest depiction of the lives of modern teenage girls. The sport of synchronized swimming is very similar to the internal struggles of each of the girls, with all of the furious action and kicking occurring just under the surface. Marie is a fifteen year old tom boyish girl that tends to keep to herself. She is short and is envious of the older more developed girls. She is best friends with the second main girl Anna. She is overweight and often resorts to childish behavior. She fears growing up and being alone. Then there is Floriane the hottest girl in school and captain of the swim team. All of these characters share many of the same problems and deal with them in very different ways. When Marie sees Floriane perform at a school swim meet she quickly becomes enamored with her. Her grace, beauty and popularity make most all the girls in school envious. Marie makes a deal with her so she can watch the team practice. In return Marie has to be the reason for Floriane to...

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The Virgin Spring – The 1960 Bergman Classic!

Swedish director Ingmar Bergman is regarded as one the great film directors of all time. He was nominated for 9 Academy Awards, while also fathering 9 children. He died in 2007 at the ripe old age of 89, but has left quite a legacy. The Virgin Spring was released in 1960 and has since been remade a number of times. Most notably by Wes Craven in his first film “The Last House on the Left” which was also remade in 2009 by Dennis Llidis. The story is pretty simplistic but brutally tragic. It deals with such issues as loss of innocence, revenge, religion, crime and punishment.   The film is set in 14th century Sweden and centers on a wealthy family in a small rural village. The father, Tore, is played by Swedish actor Max Von Sydow who has had quite a prolific career that started back in the 1940’s and is still working today at the age of 80. Maretta is played by Brigitta Valberg, another well known (in her country) Swedish actor. Karin is their fifteen year old daughter. She seems to mirror the rich, pampered, free spirited teenagers of today. She is spoiled and very naive which comes into play later in the film. Maretta is quite the opposite, very reserved and prudish. Her father is a strong man, who loves his family very much. Karin...

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