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Tag: children

Discover This: The Strange Little Cat

Some films are just too strange and beautiful to explain them. The Strange Little Cat is one of them. I just read a friend’s advice: “Don’t read anything about it beforehand, just go see it!” That’s what I did. So I decided not to write anything about it, for you to just go and see it. And just write down some simple phrases in simple English and try to seduce you to watch a film I have by now watched three times and could watch over and over again. A film like no other film you have seen before. Surely. A strange little film. A magical little film. The Strange Little Cat.

Discover This: The Singing Ringing Tree

It’s all smoke and mirrors – cinema, that is- and magic. Sometimes, when you watch too many films – like myself- you tend to forget that magic exists. Luckily, every so often, and regularly around Christmas time, there are re-runs of classic films whose magic is made for the holidays and will be best seen on a majestic screen like the one hidden behind two glitter curtains at the Kino International this Christmas day. The Singing Ringing Tree is one of my all-time favourite films and once you see the haughty princess being high-jacked by a bear in a fabulously camp studio setting, you will know what I am talking about…

A Still from From Up on Poppy Hill: Umi and Shun in front of Umi's house

Discover This: From Up on Poppy Hill

Do you still remember the first time you rewatched an old animated cartoon film as an adult? I still do, and I was amazed that this film- I believe it was a Disney classic- worked for a grown-up audience as well. I realized that it was filled with innuendos, puns, and cultural references and simultaneously worked for its main target audience, the child viewers. Despite the impressive empire of Walt Disney Company, great animated films have always had a second home in Japan, often with a slightly more poetic and less conventional feel to them. Now, more than two years after its release in Japan, From Up on Poppy Hill, a fascinating coming-of-age story from the famous Japanese Ghibli Studios, finally finds its way into German cinemas and reveals its beautifully drawn magic on big screens around the country.

Discover This: I Feel Like Disco

A postcard hangs over Florian’s bed and it reads: Fat kids are harder to kidnap. Florian is a fat kid. I use the word fat because, to quote Beth Ditto, “overweight” would imply that there is such a thing as normal weight. Both the funny postcard and Ditto’s quote are empowering messages that fat kids like Florian need since they are constantly reminded by others that what they are is not normal. The fact that Florian is about to come out as gay doesn’t make things easier and when his fat dad tells him that he wasn’t as fat as a kid, Ditto comes to mind again: “It’s a cruel, cruel world to face on your own.” Luckily, Florian has a best friend and ally who shares the soundtrack of his life…

Discover This: Wadjda

At the end of the film I sat in the darkness of the theatre and cried a little, simply because I was happy. The only reason for this unforeseen outburst of emotion is the image of a young girl in Saudi Arabia who is riding a bike – nothing more. There are no violins playing, no dramatic camera crane shots or sentimental close ups, just the girl riding a bike. Of course, there is a special political and social meaning connected to this image, and naturally it is the conclusion of a complex and yet simple story, but it’s surprising nevertheless that one single moment in cinema can be so powerful. And that’s not the only surprising thing about Wadjda, a beautiful and touching film that opened in Berlin last Thursday.