3 Grrrls VS the World: WE ARE THE BEST! (2013)

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Reviewed by Rob Munday
Lukas Moodysson won deserved plaudits for his first two features Fucking Åmål (aka Show Me Love) and Together. Since then he has explored darker stories and anyone who saw Container (screened at LFF in 2006) witnessed the implosion of one of Europe’s best directors. Thankfully, We Are The Best! is a fresh blast of youthful fun.

This is early 1980s Stockholm and 13-year-old Bobo isn’t happy. Her mum’s having a house party but Bobo just wants to hide in her room and listen to punk rock. At school Bobo gets flak from the boys because of her cropped hair but at least her mohawked friend Klara will back her up. They present a united front against the uber-80s girls (all blonde hair make-up and spandex) who say punk is dead.

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While at the community centre, Bobo and Klara get frustrated at the noise coming from the rehearsal room. But Klara spots a loophole – the band haven’t put themselves down on the rota, so she signs in – if someone’s gonna make a noise it might as well be them. The weak-willed manager has no choice. So Klara and Bobo have the space and the equipment – now they just need the music. Driven by school frustrations they pen their first punk song and recruit the quiet but talented Hedvig to complete their three-piece.
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Based on Coco Moodysson’s comic, We Are The Best! has a natural spirit and perfectly captures the childhood need to stamp your personality on the world. Punk music provides a chance for these three to rail against the status quo (and Status Quo) to create something that is really theirs. The performances never hit a false note with a truth and emotional honesty that sucks you in. So while these girls are finding their feet you can’t help but get wrapped up in their world.
This is real childhood and like Klara’s bass guitar it resonates: the intense focus on music and magazines, the grand plans, the friendships, the utter bafflement at your parents’ behaviour. As with the kids, these parents are real characters: fallible, silly, unpredictable, but loving.

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As these girls go through squabbles, mixed allegiances, and the spectre of boys so their musical chops develop and they become a proper punk band with a suitably fuck-off attitude to their audience.
Growing up is hard to do but with We Are The Best! Moodysson has rediscovered his light side and created a story of adolescent outsiders full of vitality and heart.

New Releases: 28th July

NOAH:

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This looks so so so so so ridiculous. And yet moth-flame; I wanna see. What a funny film to make. Mark Kermode calls it “a preposterous but endearingly unhinged epic”. Noah is the apple, you are Eve. Go on, naughty.

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WE ARE THE BEST!:

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THIS IS, THE BEST!!!

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A LONG WAY DOWN:

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A suicide comedy, crayoned by Nick Hornby. One-way ticket to Beachy Head methinks.

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VENUS IN FUR:

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Roman Polanski’s adaptation of a David Ides’ play inspired by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s Venus in FursShiny shiny, shiny boots of leather.

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NORTHWEST:

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A stylish and thuggy crime thriller from Danish hotshot Michael Noer.

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ALSO OUT THIS WEEK:

IRONCLAD 2 – BATTLE FOR BLOOD:

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ABOUT LAST NIGHT:

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MASTERS OF SEX (SEASON ONE):

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Screen Shot 2014-05-20 at 21.47.34tumblr-logoposted by William Goodey

New Releases: 21st July

THE LEGO MOVIE:

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I really enjoyed this. Film of the week, easy. Check out Ben Walters’ Guardian review, where a nail is hit succinctly on its head.

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20 FEET FROM STARDOM:

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20 Feet from Stardom won best documentary at this year’s Oscars. Starring “the unsung heroes behind the greatest music of our time”, plus the Boss, Sting (an illegal alien and an ex-copper; no one’s cup of tea), a dried apricot that looks a bit like Mick Jagger, Stevie Wonder and – lucky you – Bathhouse Betty!

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THE ZERO THEOREM:

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In an email to this film’s production designer, Dave Warren, Terry Gilliam said “Neo Rauch + Ukelele Ike = The Zero Theorem“…

Director’s statement:

When I made Brazil in 1984, I was trying to paint a picture of the world I thought we were living in then. The Zero Theorem is a glimpse of the world I think we are living in now.

Pat Rushin’s script intrigued me with the many pertinent questions raised in his funny, philosophic and touching tale. For example: What gives meaning to our lives, brings us happiness? Can we ever find solitude in an increasingly connected, constricted world? Is that world under control or simply chaotic?

We’ve tried to make a film that is honest, funny, beautiful, smart and surprising; a simple film about a complex modern man waiting for a call to give meaning to his life; about inescapable relationships and the longing for love, peopled with captivating characters, mouthfuls of wise and witty dialogue; raising questions without offering easy answers. Hopefully, it’s unlike any film you have seen recently; no zombies, no caped crusaders, no aliens or gigantic explosions. Actually, I might have lied about that last item.

Having not worked with a budget this small for several decades, I was forced to work fast and instinctively, pressured only by the lack of time and money. We relied on the freedom to spin on a dime, to make outrageous creative leaps. The results surprised even me. I’m proud to have been part of The Zero Theorem.

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NEED FOR SPEED:

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gwocr_23_563115profile_picture_by_u_wot_m8-d534u82When Roberto Rosselini died, his children received a telegram from Jean-Luc Godard:

Now we are alone in the woods.

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Screen Shot 2014-05-20 at 21.47.34tumblr-logoposted by William Goodey

New Releases: 14th July

UNDER THE SKIN:

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THE LUNCHBOX:

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YVES ST. LAURENT:

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IN BLOOM:

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ACROSS THE RIVER:

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GIMME SHELTER:

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BEAUTIFUL DARLING:

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MISTAKEN FOR STRANGERS:

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THE SQUARE:

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AN EPISODE IN THE LIFE OF AN IRON PICKER:

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THE YEAR AND THE VINEYARD:

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BRAQUO SERIES 3:

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Posted by William Goodey

New Releases: 7th July

GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL:

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The new Wes Anderson! If you like Wes Anderson, you’re bound to enjoy this. I like Wes Anderson, so I enjoyed it. It was, however, not my favourite Wes Anderson. I thought it a little too meticulous, a little too sharp, sometimes cold and kind of overbearing. His style is just so intensified here that there’s not enough time to savour littler pleasures. It’s sort of like Wes Anderson². I prefer when he eases back a little, maybe gets a bit soppy, like in The Darjeeling Limited and certain moments of Moonrise Kingdom. But, then again, maybe such unadulterated Wesbian action is exactly what’s required to get The Grand Budapest Hotel caper careening at the breakneck pace it confidently hits. It’s probably better on a second (third, fourth, fifth) viewing, and I’d happily give it that no question.

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THE BOOK THIEF:

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“From the studio that brought you Life of Pi”??? The banality of evil right here.

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MISS VIOLENCE:

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Little Angeliki commits suicide at her eleventh birthday party. Miss Violence would purport to be a stone cold deadpan reflection of today’s Greece in a thoroughly uncomfortable tale of familial abuse. Critics aren’t sure if this works – it’s been called “sub-Hanekean” and accused of shock tactics (usually an absolute lazy yawn of an accusation) – but they agree that it’s not at all funny (should it be?) hard to watch (it should be), and relentless (thumbs up).

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MAN OF TAI CHI:

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Keanu Reeves directs and stars alongside his mate Tiger Chen in a film Manohla Dargis described as “looking in two directions at once: toward the old-school kung fu movies of once upon a matinee time and the modern China emblemized by the high rises that slice through smog-swathed Beijing, where most of the story unwinds.” Humm, could be into that… “NO RULES. NO MERCY. PURE FIGHTING.” says the tagline. Aahh, definitely into pure fighting, so yeah – why not? Here are 7 YouTube comments about Man of Tai Chi from people that know their onions…

This actually looks really good. Whoever says that Keanu Reeves can’t act needs to look at this.

Keanu has embraced the Asian side of himself…

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haha looks like shit

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I watched it yesterday , it was really good

Dang, y’all. This was solid. Seriously.

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ALSO OUT THIS WEEK:

RESTLESS:

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NASHVILLE SEASON 2:

nashville-season-2-posterPosted by William Goodey