And now they just released the international poster which just strikingly brilliant!
Just look at it…LOOK AT IT
FLOW tells a story of Mikael, a young rapper who lives in a council flat and spends his time between working at the building site and recording songs with his friends. We don’t see him at work and we don’t hear him talking about it much. Mikael’s life is rap.
Recording some tracks on youtube brings the attention of Mikael’s talent to Apollo, an established and successful rapper whose career is dying out. Apollo sees in Mikael an opportunity to reboost his status and offers him a contract which, although doesn’t acknowledge Mikael’s work, does guarantee very good money. Mikael starts right away and does it in secret. He now writes songs for Apollo and spends less time with his crew, who is slowly developing a status of their own. Mikael meets important people, attends important parties and soon stands on the stage with Apollo, rapping the lyrics of choruses to his songs. The lack of acknowledgement doesn’t seem to bother him until his confesses his new work to his friends who, unlike Mikael, don’t see it as an opportunity but instead, as a sell out. Now it’s up to Mikael to risk it all.
Flow is a neat and interesting debut film from Fenar Ahmen reminescent of 8 Mile. The rags-to-ritches story is portrayed in a subtle and involving way. The performances are great and so is the music and often the director chooses to show scenes of gigs and parties in a music video style. Although I did like the soundtrack and it allowed me to get a better insight into Mikael’s mind (who is a generally quiet and closed character), I often felt that it filled some spaces which would work better if filled with the stories of his friends or his relationships with Apollo and people around him. Mikael is a great character. Although not all of his decisions I could understand, I liked and cheered for him. Flow isn’t the most memorable film, but it’s definitely entertaining and interesting to watch. I would give it a ‘why not’ recommendation.
Another day in during LFF and I’m going through the screeners available online (oh yes, be very jealous- maybe the selection of films isn’t the most wanted one, but it’s still a lot to catch up on). Since they are all so cryptic in their titles and have a mere description if lucky on IMDb, picking a film is a random process. So randomly I picked Jamie Marks is Dead. It had Liv Tyler in it.
Once again they lie about the genre. Jamie Marks is qualified as drama, but it’s closer to good old-fashioned gothic horror than a drama. It tells a story of Adam, a high school boy who went to school with titled dead Jamie. Jamie was killed, but generally hated in school (a nerdy boy with a six pack, an obvious bully target) so nobody really cared. But Adam begins to care when one day he encounters Jamie and befriends him in a sort of Let the Right One In way. Jamie has access to the world Adam doesn’t know (yet) and if this is heaven then screw that. Adam wants to help Jamie find his murderes whereas Jamie seems to slowly fall in love with Adam and hopes to run away with him to the land of neverland.
First of all, it’s a big rip-off. Watching it was exactly like watching Let the Right One In, even the weather is similar in both films. It’s grim and snowy and grey and blood looks extremely picturesque on the soil. Jamie looks uncannily like Harry Potter which doesn’t help get into the mood and his acting remains very theatrical throughout the whole film, but maybe dead people are just over-the-top. Cinematography and soundtrack are the strongest elements of this story. There is an atmosphere of quiet stillness which is hypnotising and definitely keeps us inrigued by the story we can easily predict. There’s nothing innovative in a take on the alternative world of the dead here. Jamie, like every dead guy in a film needs clothes to stay warm which is a little silly, but typical.
Jamie Marks is Dead isn’t bad. It’s a coming of age gothic horror with slight homoerotic feel, but it doesn’t share the depth of Let the Right One In. To be honest, if you’ve seen Let the Right One In, seeing Jamie Marks is Dead is completely pointless and if you haven’t seen Let the Right One In, watching Jamie Marks is Dead is still pointless. One way or another, see Let the Right One In instead. Swedish version. Jamie Marks is Dead can remain dead.