My Filmviews

- What are yours?

12 O’Clock Boys (2013)

Review 12 O'Clock Boys (2013)

If you have been following My Filmviews for a while you know I am a big fan of documentaries. I have had the feeling that during the last couple of months there weren’t as many documentaries released as normally. It might be that I have missed a lot of news about them, but I felt there was a bit of a drought. So I was happy to see this one being released. The pictures I saw about it looked exciting, with people on motorcycles popping wheelies. So was watching it as exciting?
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9.79* (2012)

Review documentary 9.79

1988, Seoul, the 100 meter race at the Olympics. The 8 fastest men in the world will be competing against each other to get their hands on a gold medal. The clear favorite is Carl Lewis, but nothing is certain in this sport. It’s a race which is watched by millions of people around the world and within 10 seconds the winner is known. It is Ben Johnson with a new world record: 9.79. Only two days later Johnson is stripped from his gold medal after failing a post race drug test. This documentary takes a look at this race and those involved. Continue reading

The Crash Reel (2013)

Review of The Crash Reel

If you were to ask me about snowboarding as a sport I would not be able to tell you much about it. I know that involves a lot of tricks and if I had to name a famous snowboarder the only one I could tell you would be Shaun White (and that’s because he had a game that was named after him). He might be the most famous now, but a few years ago he often became second after Kevin Pearce.

They were initially close but their friendship started falling apart and a rivalry started to form. In order to stay on top the tricks they were doing had to get more complex. Red Bull built a half-pipe just for White to practise with a special pit filled with soft foam to try out new moves. Seeing this Kevin Pearce needed to follow suit. He had a half-pipe built and learned new tricks with the help of a safety cushion. When he got the confidence he started doing the things he just learned and during one of his runs everything went horribly wrong. This documentary opens with that moment and the consequences it has on the rest of his life. Continue reading

Time Zero: The Last Year of Polaroid Film (2012)

Review of Time Zero: The Last Year of Polaroid Film (2012)

Thanks to photography our beloved hobby of movies was born. As time progresses the cameras used to take photos have evolved a lot and we have come at a point that almost everyone is constantly carrying a camera with them in the form of their phone. That evolution of course means that formats become less popular and disappear or become a niche market. It happened with tape and LPs with the introduction of CDs and MP3s and the evolution in photography has meant that the Polaroid format also has lost the appeal it once had. The Polaroid cameras were unique as they made instant pictures through a very complex chemical process. The pictures would develop in front of your eyes and you could immediately give it to someone. When the Polaroid company published that they would stop making instant film it meant the death of the format as no other companies were making the film needed to take pictures. Continue reading

My Best Fiend – Klaus Kinski (1999)

Review of the documentary about Klaus Kinski by Werner Herzog

If you look up Klaus Kinski on IMDB you see that he has acted in an impressive 135 movies and TV shows. Yet I have only seen him in one movie, the brilliant Fitzcarraldo. With a constant ferocious look in his eyes I always got the feeling from watching that movie that he was someone who was hard to predict and who had a flicker of madness in his eyes, just like the character he played. Werner Herzog (whose work I almost always enjoy watching) has worked with him on five films and had a special relationship with him. He already knew him from a time when he was a lot younger, living in the same house. With this documentary, made after Klauski’s passing Herzog looks back at the life of this man he had worked with but with whom he had also fought several times, which almost resulted in Herzog firebombing his house at one time. Continue reading

100 Yen: The Japanese Arcade Experience (2012)

100 Yen the Japanese Arcade experience review

The arcade once was part of growing up. I remember a time when the shops were not open on Sundays and as a teenager I would head to the couple of arcades that were around regularly. I always enjoyed pinball games and I can’t even imagine how much money I spent on playing Sega Rally. It was a time when home consoles were popular, but as they became more powerful and the differences with the experience you could get in the arcade became smaller, the need to go to them decreased. It was inevitable for the arcade cabinets to disappear, only to be replaced by slotmachines. Although I might not have visited them anymore I always enjoyed the bombardment of sound and color, a place where you would forget about the outside world (just like in a cinema). Currently I only know of one arcade in The Netherlands so they have gone the way of the rental store.

There is a place where the arcade still is part of the culture and that is Japan. I remember visiting the country some years ago and with a huge jetlag visiting some. They overwhelmed me and it was almost too much to process, but I enjoyed experiencing such a place again. This documentary takes a look at the Japanese arcade culture from its humble beginnings where whole arcades would be filled with only one game up to the current arcade landscape. Continue reading