; Films & Pies

Monday, 6 April 2015

Wild Tales (Relatos Salvajes, 2014)

Small or open space, crowded places, Friday 13th, spiders, lizards, ghosts, blood...That fear, those monsters aren't real, they live exactly in our heads (just like Steven King ones said). What do we hate and afraid the most in life for real? Injustice, betrayal, horrible coincidences, to lost memory in the middle of the city, to get robbed, to lost arm or leg, to get murdered or become a murderer. Right?!
But if we would live in that fear 24/7 it would swallow us totally and make us paranoid, that's why there's one great cure from all the stress and the best way to fight with fear and resist hate -  humour.

'Wild Tales' consists from 6 unrelated stories, in which people are standing on the edge of their safety, life, patience, pride etc. Six stories imbued with high quality black humour, hot like red chilly scenes, and for sure sometimes - strong tension.

Spanish always were very and very special and unique, but 'Wild Tales' are made in Spain and also in Argentina, and this brought only more specific flavors in the film, more hot blood, more unexpected plot curves. 

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

'Finding Vivian Maier' (2013)

I really like documentaries. The only problem (and the biggest one) is to find something really valuable in tons of quasi-scientific films, in that huge 'basket' with boring and pretentious films about celebrities and their lives, in the infinite line of movies about boring experiments, live-shows etc. The film I'm going to write about today is one of the most impressive documentary I've even seen. 
To write this post I hadn't used even one single frame from the film like I usually do. Here below you may see only the brilliant pictures of the great artist. 
But ok, I'll start from the very beginning...

'Finding Vivian Maier' is an exciting story about one of the most mysterious, etraordinary and eccentric woman. Vivian Meier - incredible talented street photographer, was discovered only because all her things, her stuff, her life, her art got exactly into the right hands of John Maloof, a young collector.

Vivian Maier was unknown, unpublished artist, no one could said anything about her. For all the people she was just a...nanny, a mysterious and strange nanny for many kids. She was always taking pictures, but she had never even shown even one of them. In 2009 everything had changed...Her powerful art was finally discovered.

And here I'm gonna stop telling you more about Vivian. It would be not possible to say even one more word about her, because I have no rights to ruin the whole mystery.

'Finding Vivian Maier' impressed me so much, that I can't stop thinking about the film. It's haunting me. It's so good, so perfect, so fascinating...Stunning. I know exactly: it was my first, but not the last review of the film.

It's incredibly hard to write about the film. It's the first time, when I literally can't say anything, except those facts, which are written above. Why? Because all magic will disappear.Vivian Maier's story is the most incredible and intriguing. It's drama, it has detective line and it's very disturbing and thought-provoking. And sad. Yes, I believe it's a little bit sad and touching.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Strudel for Shoshanna

Few weeks ago I spent another wonderful time with Inglourious Basterds. There's a scene, when brave Shoshanna meets her biggest SD Standartenf√ľhrer Hans Landa face to face. This scene is one of my favourite in the entire film, because of it's huge tension. Hans Landa orders strudel, 'not so terrible one'. So I got really inspired to bake my first 'not so terrible strudel'. 
And again I'm opening my Tim Mälzer's cookbook with the best German recipes.

So, join me and let's bake a delicious apple strudel:)

We need: 

200 g flour +  a little bit more flour for rolling strudel
100 ml water (room temperature)
4 tbsp vegetable oil
1 kg apples 
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
80 g sugar
50 g butter (room temperature)
1 tbsp sugar powder

For a beginner it's a bit challenging

Preparation time:
40 minutes

Baking time: 
45-50 minutes

All in all: 
1 hour 30 minutes  

In a large bowl mix flour, 3 tbsp oil, a dash of salt, water. Do it really carefully, and about 10 minutes. Don't be afraid to over mix it. You can use food processor or do it by hands. Dough has to be soft. Put the dough in a plate, you can cover it with another plate, it should be warm or put the dough in a cling film. Leave it for 30 minutes. 

Monday, 2 March 2015

Magic in the Moonlight (2014)

My relationships with Woody Allen have never been perfect. I was always sure, that he's overrated, not that funny as all think, I hated his glasses and that to see him in one of the main roles in his own films was pretty typical.  And who on Earth could produce 1 (or more) film per year during the last few decades, except Allen, and this fact was making me even more sceptical.
His old works were like a one long story for me, like a one big ode to himself. Sometimes funny, sometimes really clever, but mostly I was simply bored. 
Then was 'Vicky Cristina Barcelona', which I liked a lot, then - 'Midnight in Paris', and that film is actually like one of my dreams, so I was charmed.'To Rome with Love'...ehm..please remind me what was that film about, 'Blue Jasmine' totally killed me. I was even ready to write a really cynical post, but I decided, that it's just a wasting of time.
So, is was a big surprise for me when my bbf told me:'Hey, let's watch Allen's new film, strange, but it has to be nice'.
Yes, she was right, 'Magic in the Moonlight' is nice. 

Short about the plot: Stanley Crawford (played by Colin Firth, a true gentleman and living elegance) is a well-known magician. He's amazing, he's mysterious and, it's possible for him to make an elephant disappear. One day, Stanley's friend tells him about one soothsayer Sophie Baker (Emma Stone is gorgeous and, truly, I have no idea why), who's actually going to stay for a while nearby, because suddenly one young man had totally fall in love with her. She's charming and has a real gift.
Stanley might be illusionist, nut it only highlights, that scepticism is running is his veins. He gets really interested in proofing, that Sophie's gift is nothing then a fake...

'Magic in the Moonlight' is charming, warm, interesting, a little bit naive film. I've read a lot of critics, and this time I don't get why people were so unkind to this movie. 

Friday, 13 February 2015

American Horror Story: Cupcakes for Bette and Dot

I've waited for quite long time to finally bake my first cupcakes. And because I'm not a big fan of that kind of desert, the only thing I was doing is putting paper forms from one place to another. But when I saw pink (but very and very dangerous in the show!) cupcakes in "American Horror Story: Freak Show", I thought that this is it. This is the moment when I finally should try to bake them.

I decided to make lemon cupcakes instead of simple vanilla and to use natural food colouring about which I'm gonna tell later. 
I think these cupcakes could be a great idea for some AHS fan party, no?!:)
And today's Friday, the 13th, which I find a little bit symbolic:)

So, lets start:)

For the cupcakes you need:

2 cups Flour
1 tsp of Baking Powder
2 Eggs
250-300 g Unsalted Butter
60 g sugar 
~50 ml Milk
~50 ml Sour Cream
2 tsp Lemon Zest1-2 Tbsp of Fresh Lemon JuiceVanilla Extract 
Walnuts (optionally)


200 g Butter  (room temperature)
1,5 cups of Sugar Powder

1-2 tbsp Raspberry or Cranberry jam (but better to take juice) or pink food colouring, which you can buy in a shop
As a natural pink colouring I took raspberry jam. Actually it's much more harder to use natural colouring, rather typical one, but it totally worth it. See later why.


Preparation time:
30 min

Baking time:
20 min 

All in all:
1,5 hour with chilling and serving

Friday, 6 February 2015

American Horror Story: Freak Show. Season Review

Honestly, primarily I became American Horror Story fan only because the constant cast. If to be more honest, because of Jessica Lange and Sarah Paulson. These two are not only really talented actresses, they're also a great example of a strong, feminine beauty and hypnotic charisma, which they both have. 
First season was nice, second was scary and then ridiculous and hilarious. And after 'American Horror Story: Coven', about which I wrote just when second or third episode was premiered, I lost hope. I wanted to write a small e-mail to the AHS scriptwriters with the only one sentence: what is wrong with you people?! 
AHS: Coven was really shitty one. It started good, but it ended in the middle of nowhere, drowning in senseless scenario and making viewers feel like they spoil 12 or something hours of they lives. 
But, dear patient readers, the last season is a pure beauty. From the first till the last episode. 

I have no idea what happened with the scriptwriters. First time, after 3 so-so seasons this TV series appeared on completely different level.
Actually everything was the same: actors, great director's and operator's work, style and music etc. But the storytelling is different.

(two Sarahs are better than one, ha?!:)

'AHS: Freak Show' takes us in 1952, Florida. Freak show owner, miss Elsa Mars, a star and a woman who could dance a tango with devil, finds new members of her troupe. Bette and Dot, the conjoined sisters. From now one they're in 'Elsa's Cabinet of Curiosuties'.

Monday, 2 February 2015

'The Return' (2003) by Andrey Zvyagintsev

It was the very beginning of 2008, when I heard his name for the first time. Cold, winter morning, January the first, lots of people in one place, after party mood. I clearly remember that morning, like it was yesterday, because then I've met one of my most favourite film directors ever. A real master of a frame, of a story, of everything. 
That morning nothing could make the air in the room so thick, and nothing could make all of us so sober and quiet. We were watching film by Andrey Zvyagintsev, filmmaker about whom everyone are talking only now (and for sure here I mean him and his last remarkable work 'Leviathan', but I'll wait before saying  something about the film). 
And I'm going to write about 'The Return'. His first first movie, his first masterpiece, his first arrow in my heart.

'The Return' is a story about two brothers, living with their mom somewhere in a small town. They've seen their father only in deep childhood and the only thread they have connected with him is some old pictures. But one day he returns and almost without explaining something, the father takes boys on a journey, that will change they lives..

'The Retuarn' is really disturbing film. From the very beginning till the very end. It's pure, perfect piece of art from the first till the last second. It's heartbreaking, it's deep, it's from that kind of films, which get exactly under your skin. Full of symbolism, coloured in cold, and there's nothing excessive, not even in one frame. 
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