Movies and TV-series I cannot live without. Or I can.

America, please stop re-making foreign movies!

I know: there are plenty of great flicks made in the USA. I am a binge watcher and American movies have filled lots of my empty evenings. They made me laugh, cry, think.. the full package.

What I have a problem with, are the remakes of foreign movies and TV series. I had promised to myself, after watching the American version of (in random order): The killing, The Bridge and The girl with the dragon tattoo to always stick to the original version. What was wrong with them? Technically, very little. Emotionally, a lot. All of them lacked this feeling of claustrophobia in the middle of endless lands, this dichotomy of oppression and vast spaces the original Nordic versions had. The silences, the underlying loneliness, the dry dialogue, the long pauses: all gone.

Let’s be clear: Americans are not the only ones who did it. I am still in the process of forgiving Kenneth Branagh for how he played Wallander: I mean, Kenneth, he is a  diabetic, cynical policeman, dealing with an ill father and an estranged daughter, entangled in a not so promising relationship with a woman who lives thousands of kilometers away, I cannot look at him and expect every 5 minutes that he pulls a skull and start wondering whether to be or not to be. NO.


N is for No means NO.

N is for No means NO. I accidentally found “The hunting ground” documentary today on Netflix and it gave me shivers.

As I think almost everyone who was not raised in the USA, I never got the full magnitude and importance of fraternities: there is no such a thing in Italy where I was born and grew up, nor here in Finland, where I am living at the moment,  and the general picture we have In Europe of fraternities is basically a cool dormitory where people go and party.

The economic and political impact they have on the universities which host them was completely unknown to me, and I could not imagine the length colleges would go to protect their students, accused and/or guilt of sexual assaults, to preserve their affiliations with fraternities. (more…)

Thank you, Aaron

The first time I watched “The internet own boy” I was at one of my lowest points. It was a lazy early September afternoon, and I was killing time eating junk food, drinking soda, and browsing Netflix in a vain attempt to get some sad thoughts out of my mind, unsuccessfully.

Eventually, I found this flick and gave it a try; I knew about Aaron Swartz already, since the time of his battle against SOPA, and I had recollections of his role in creating Reddit, on top of, obviously, the absurd circumstances of his death. The movie did not add as such much more (but for those who do not know the history behind is a very well documented summary of Aaron’s life) but showed some sides of Aaron’s personality that did not transpire by just reading his statements back in the day of SOPA.

He was a kind soul, but most importantly, someone who genuinely believed that he could change the world; and not in a naive way, his speeches are very pragmatic and logic, and his understanding of the power of information crystal clear. However, he was moved by a contagious passion, which eventually made me snap out from my self-pity party in the blink of an eye. Few shots of the movie and I was fascinated and all ears. (more…)

Must watch: The spotlight

The Spotlight is a superb flick about the work of the investigative team of the Boston Globe and its quest to unveil the sexual abuses perpetrated by more than 70 priests against children.

The casting is perfect, each and every actor delivering the part in a credible, human, and convincing way. But what strikes the most is the comparison with what happened, a decade later, in the aftermath of the bombing at the Boston Marathon.

While The Spotlight depicts a professional team, committed to finding the truth and then, and only then, revealing it to the public, with utter respect for the victims as well as the alleged perpetrators, after the bombing everyone thought to have the culprit in his/her pocket and that it was a great idea to share this information everywhere.

In an amateurish investigative spree, Reddit indicated in Sunil Tripathi the responsible for the bombing; when his name was made public, without any official confirmation whatsoever, his family received death threats, anonymous phone calls, the full package of intimidation/revenge from people who thought he was the one who planted the bomb. (more…)