Purple Search


Me, Myself & I

My Photo

I am an Italian localization expert, writer, blogger and translator/proof-reader living in Berlin (Germany), passionate about intercultural communication and good movies. 

Would you like to learn Italian or do you need a localization expert / translator? 
Are you interested in intercultural communication or diversity management? 
Are you looking for a Tandem-partner or for someone that can learn Scandinavian languages with you?

Just drop me a line for a coffee. I am always willing to get to know interesting and fascinating people.
Copyright Azzurra Camoglio. Powered by Blogger.

Monday, February 16, 2015

150 movies in one year, a funny and pleasant work in progress - Part #1.

The more you leave out, the more you highlight what you leave in. 
Henry Green [1905-1973]

When I was a girl, and then a young woman, and then an A-student in cinema history at university, I was used to watch a lot of movies. Like, really a lot. Like, at least one movie every day, sometimes even more than one. 
Afterwards, while working as a film critic over ten years long, I was even forced to watch movies. Like, for work.

Comedies, dramas, thrillers, gangster movies, western, musicals, animation movies, biopics, sci-fi, romantic movies, indy titles, documentaries, director's cuts of famous movies, Hollywood classics, remakes, experimental movies, silent masterpieces... and so on. Even horror movies. 
And every person that knows me... knows very well that I don't watch horror movies any longer.

Movies were my world. My paradise. My ticket for a special oasis where relax, joy and the eternal sunshine of a spotless mind could become reality, every time, no matter what. After moving to Berlin I somehow got used to see way less movies, even if watching movies in another language is a great way to learn foreign languages or improving one's language skills.

So this year I decided to... leave other things out and to make place for movies again, in my life. For watching at least 150 movies by the end of 2015. 
To improve my language skills, to learn something new, to try new perspectives, to change, to have fun, to relax, to think about things.

Why don't you keep me company during my journey?
Here we go!

1. A Throw of Dice / Prapancha Pash by Franz Osten, with Seeta Devi, Himansu Rai, Charu Roy (UK/India/Germany 1929) Love-and-revenge silent movie co-produced in India with a German director, telling a story from the Mahabharata about the love of two kings for the same woman. Beautiful dresses, a cool photography and very epic and pathetic moments. Unusual and still interesting aver so many years.

2. Barry Lyndon by Stanley Kubrick, with Ryan O'Neal, Marisa Berenson, Patrick Magee (UK/USA 1975) Unfortunately, one of the less appreciated masterpieces by Stanley Kubrick, from the novel The Luck of Barry Lyndon by William Makepeace Thackeray. Youth, loves, military successes and defeats and further exploits of the Irish adventurer Redmond Barry. Amazing soundtrack, photography and costumes for Ryan O'Neal's role of a lifetime.

3. Birdman, or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance by Alejandro González Iñárritu, with  Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Emma Stone (USA/Canada 2014) The self-ironic comeback of Michael 'Batman' Keaton, now ex-Birdman. Sad and funny at the same time, a very enjoyable movie with wonderful long-takes, poetic lights and awesome photography. Stellar cast overall, Michael Keaton and Edward Norton are just perfect together.

4. The Black Pirate by Albert Parker, with Douglas Fairbanks, Billie Dove, Donald Crisp (USA 1926) Masterpiece in Technicolor, the pirate movie that inspired all the further ones. Before Errol Flynn, Burt Lancaster, Peter Ustinov, Walter Matthau, Geena Davis and Johnny Depp... there was Doug. Douglas Fairbanks' acting style, stunts and look 'all in black' are still astonishingly modern and charming. But the best part is still his unbeatable naughty smile.

5. Il capitale umano (Human Capital) by Paolo Virzì, with Fabrizio Bentivoglio, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Fabrizio Gifuni, Valeria Golino (Italy/France 2013) A bitter tale of greed, hypocrisy and absence of values, with some of the best Italian actors ot the last ten years, set in the rich Italian region Lombardy.

6. Design for Living by Ernst Lubitsch, with Fredric March, Gary Cooper, Miriam Hopkins (USA 1933) Wonderful comedy about a special kind of menage à trois set in Paris in the Thirties... and the magic of the Lubitsch's touch. Funny, sexy and ironic. A piece of cake.

7. Der Golem, wie er in die Welt kam (The Golem: How He Came Into the World) by Paul Wegener, with Albert Steinrück, Lyda Salmonova, Paul Wegener (Germany 1920) Horror-fantasy masterpiece from the Twenties, set in a 16th-century Prague re-created in the UFA studios. A tale about magic, prejudices, acceptance and desire... visually beautiful and wonderfully colourized at the Cineteca di Bologna, and yet somehow naïf in a pleasant way.

8. Gunday (The Outlaws) by Ali Abbas Zafar, with Ranveer Singh, Arjun Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Irrfan Khan (India 2014) Bigger than life Bollywood-thriller about brotherhood, love and revenge with tons of dance numbers and references to the conditions of Bangladesh refugees in India. Surprising, sometimes weird but for sure entertaining as hell. Bigger than life.

9. Happy-Go-Lucky by Mike Leigh, with Sally Hawkins, Alexis Zegerman, Samuel Roukin (UK 2008) Can someone be too nice, too happy, too colourful? Maybe sometimes... a little bit. Not that interesting, after all, but Sally Hawkins is wonderful and the flamenco lessons are pure genius.

10. The Homesman by Tommy Lee Jones, with Tommy Lee Jones, Hilary Swank, Miranda Otto, Meryl Streep (USA/France 2014) From a novel by Glendon Swarthout, an atypical western directed by Tommy Lee Jones, touching and more effective than too many feminist manifestos, if one wants to talk about how women were treated not so long ago, even in "democratic" countries... Hilary Swank is incredible, as usual. With interesting small roles for Meryl Streep and James Spader.

11. Honig im Kopf (t.l. Honey in Mind) by Til Schweiger, with Til Schweiger, Dieter Hallervorden, Jeanette Hain, Emma Schweiger (Germany 2014) German blockbuster directed by the local movie star Til Schweiger about Alzheimer disease, a weekend in Venice and  how to keep one's identity when memories fade away. Not so interesting, but with a great actorial performance by Dieter Hallervorden.

11. Inherent Vice (by Paum Thomas Anderson), with Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Katherine Waterston (USA 2014) Since 2008, Joaquin Phoenix starred in only four movies and in a mockumentary by his good friend and colleague Casey Affleck. He can afford to work in only very good projects, and this is for sure the case of his second collaboration with Paul Thomas Anderson after The Master.  Crazy, funny, sad and surreal transposition for the screen of Thomas Pynchon's novel, set in Los Angeles in 1970, where drugs, death and afro-hairstyle are just as normal as having breakfast and you can visit a club called Chick Planet Massage... at your own risk.

13. Lady Windermere's Fan by Ernst Lubitsch, with May McAvoy, Bert Lytell, Irene Rich, Ronald Colman (USA 1925) One of the first screen adaptations of the play by Oscar Wilde and one of the first movies Ernst Lubitsch did at Hollywood. Not a masterpiece, but still enjoyable. Acting style and some directing solutions can look a little bit passé now, but Irene Rich as the good smart maitresse is gorgeous and her dresses wonderful.

14. Miss Julie by Liv Ullmann, with Jessica Chastain, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton (Norway/UK/Canada/USA/France/Ireland, 2014) From August Strindberg's play, adapted by Liv Ullmann and set in Ireland, in 1890. Just three actors on the screen for over two hours, and each of them is just perfect. Strong colours, a virtuous photography and the essential soundtrack including pieces by Bach and Händel do the rest.

15. Safety Last! by Fred Neymeyer and Sam Taylor, with Harold Lloyd, Mildred Davis, Bill Strother (USA 1923) One of the most famous silent movies with Harold Lloyd, the third comedy genius of the Twenties (next to Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton), in charge of free climbing... a very tall building. And of course to conquer for good the heart of her sweet girlfriend.

16. Saving Mr. Banks by John Lee Hancock, with Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Paul Giamatti, Colin Farrell (USA/UK/Australia 2013) When P.L. Travers met Walt Disney, willing to adapt her Mary Poppins novels for the big screen at any cost. From a true story, with some poetic licences and a incredibly well written screenplay. Emma Thompson is awesome and just unbearable, as an unpleasant and self-centered control-freak dealing with the Optimism itself, Mr. Disney, for the first time portrayed on screen by Tom Hanks, with style.

17. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty by Ben Stiller, with Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Shirley MacLaine, Sean Penn (USA/Canada 2013) What is life all about, after all? New version of the short story by James Thurber directed by Ben Stiller, after the one with Danny Kaye and Virginia Mayo. When day-dreaming and regrets are not enough any longer... one has to do what one has to do. And maybe go to Greenland as well. Thanks to HRN for this one!

18. The Theory of Everything by James Marsh with Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, David Thewlis (UK 2014) From the book Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen by Jane Hawking, a touching biopic about the special relationship during over thirty years between the  physicist Stephen Hawking and his first love, Jane Hawking born Jane Wilde. Amazing actorial performance of the main actors and a small cameo for Emily Watson.

19. This Must Be the Place by Paolo Sorrentino, with Sean Penn, Judd Hirsch, Frances McDormand, Eve Hewson (Italy/France/Ireland 2011) Sean Penn is simply amazing, while portraying a retired rock star that looks like Robert Smith and has to deal with his own boredom, the death of the father and... the Holocaust. Penn's duets with the incurably sunny firefighter Frances McDormand are one of the best part of the movie.  Thanks to Máté for this one!

20. What Maisie Knew by Scott McGehee, David Siegel, with Julianne Moore, Alexander Skarsgård, Steve Coogan, Onata Aprile (USA 2012) From the novel by Henry James. About one year in Maisie's life, six-years-old used to deal with the break-ups of her parents and their neurosis. Bittersweet, with a great Julianne Moore and a brand-new contemporary New York setting. Everybody would love to have Alexander Skarsgård as a babysitter, I guess. Me? For sure.

How about you?
Which movies did you enjoy this year, so far?

Tags: Cinema, Movie watcher, Learning a foreign language, Self-improvement, Movie adaptations

Previous posts:

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Five business books and a DVD about happiness, communication, courage, habits and... change

[I am always the one who gets to decide what "good enough" means.] 
It’s one of my father’s favorite expressions and has saved me from being an unnecessary perfectionist. If you don’t take care of yourself, set your own standards, decide when enough is enough, learn to balance and rest, you’ll have limited success. 
I learned that life was not about striving for perfection.
Anita Krohn Traaseth

I don't know about you, but I am always looking for something interesting and inspiring to read. 
Sometimes one has very little time or he/she is already busy with something else and it is not possible to start a new book immediately, though.

And yet having a wish list to go back to once in a while, while having more time or getting a chance for it, is pure gold, in my humble opinion.
So here we go, with five books I would love to read this year:

Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom (Paperback)
by Rick Hanson, Richard Mendius
New Harbinger Publications, 2009
251 pp., ISBN 978-1572246959

Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most (Paperback)
by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, Sheila Heen
Foreword by Roger Fisher
Revised Edition
Penguin Books, 2010
352 pp., ISBN 978-0143118442

Good Enough for the 'Bastards': Courage - Vulnerability - Credibility. Confessions of a Female Leader (Paperback)
by Anita Krohn Traaseth
Cappelen Damm, 2014
142 pp. no ISBN available for the English version

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business (Hardcover)
by Charles Duhigg
Random House, 2012
400 pp., ISBN 978-1400069286

Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard (Hardcover)
by Chip Heath, Dan Heath
Crown Business, 2010
320 pp., ISBN 978-0385528757

A fascinating documentary, available in DVD, about striving for perfection, dedication and humility.
Thanks to HRN for this one!

Jiro Dreams of Sushi
by David Gelb
(USA 2011, 81')

How about you?
What do you want to read and to discover this year?
Or which book changed your way of thinking, so far?

Previous posts:

Tags: Books, Buddha, Neuroscience, Happiness, Communication, Anita Krohn Traaseth, Leadership, Gender, Habits, Change, Sushi