Richard Broom Photography

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Archive for ‘April, 2018’

THE FILM REVIEW (FR 7) – Marguerite (not to be missed!)

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If there is one type of music I really can’t stand to listen to, it is opera. Sorry opera lovers. And so, I resisted watching the French language film Marguerite for quite some time. This was a mistake!

Marguerite is a film inspired by Florence Foster Jenkins who was a true opera afficiando but who could not sing. In the film Marguerite, Marguerite Dumont is played by the wonderful Catherine Frot. Marguerite is a wealthy woman whose deepest wish is to become a famous opera singer. There is but one problem – Marguerite Dumont cannot sing for toffee. Indeed, when she does sing, she belts out one discordant and ear-splitting note after another. Marguerite’s sycophantic friends, her husband and her staff pretend to adore her singing and she waltzes along in a fantasy world believing she has the voice of an operatic angel. She hasn’t (and not by a long shot).

Marguerite is a beautiful made film with magnificent performances from Catherine Frot, the man who plays her husband, André Marcon and especially Marguerite’s highly supportive butler, Madelbos – played excellently by Denis Mpunga. I am sure that we will see much more of Denis Mpunga in international films in the future.

I now need to watch the film Florence Foster Jenkins starring Hugh Grant and Meryl Streep to see how it compares to Marguerite.

Marguerite, set in the decadent 1920s, is wonderfully constructed and photographed film and I recommend it highly.

I give Marguerite the PhotoNomad 10/10 rating plus two ticks, three stars and four cherries on top!

The Soundscape Library (Soundscape 10) – King’s Day, Amsterdam, Street and Canal Parties

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Please click on the Soundcloud link below, close your eyes and join me on the streets of Amsterdam for the King’s Day (27 April) celbrations. Amsterdam turns into one big street party on King’s Day and boats with very loud sound systems and celebrating crew members tour the city’s canals having what can only be described as a very good time!

See all other soundscapes here.

See my King’s Day video here.

See my King’s Day Spark here.

The King's Day, Amsterdam

The King’s Day, Amsterdam

THE FILM REVIEW (FR 6) – Queen

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If you’re a big softy like me, you’ll really enjoy the Indian language (Hindi) film Queen.

The film starts in Delhi, moves to Paris, then heads of for Amsterdam and ends up back in Delhi.  The film follows the travels and mixed fortunes of Rani (Queen), wonderfully played by Kangana Ranaut. The film starts at the point where Rani is jilted by her fiancé the day before their wedding.  Rani decides that, despite being jilted, she will go on her honeymoon anyway and heads off to Paris and Amsterdam – on her own.  After a rocky start, Rani finds her feet and some surprising new friends.

This is a most delightful film and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys romantic comedies.

I also enjoyed the music that came with this wonderful film.

I give this film the Photonomad 10/10 rating.

The Soundscape Library (Soundscape 9) – Hemmeland Woods + Dog!

Moral: never take a dog with you when you are recording soundscapes!

Please click on the Soundcloud link below, close your eyes and join me for a walk in the woods at Hemmeland – a wooded area close to Monnickendam, Noord Holland, Netherlands.

Hemmeland is a great place to see nature, picnics, sunbathing and for dog walks. At Hemmeland you’ll find a mixture of wildlife, flowers, plants, trees, beaches and much more.  There was a northeasterly wind today blowing at between 10-15 Knots. You’ll hear quite a lot of noise generated as the wind blew through the treetops.  You’ll also hear the dog sniffing around.

There’s not too much about Hemmeland on the Internet but you can look at my photographs of Hemmeland by clicking on this link to visit my Adobe Spark Hemmeland page (scroll down when you get there)

See all other soundscapes here.

The Woods, Hemmeland

The Woods, Hemmeland

 

The Soundscape Library (Soundscape 8) – Amsterdam Central Station, main lobby

Please click on the link below, close your eyes and join me in the main lobby in Central Station Amsterdam (a natural echo chamber). Towards the end you’ll here a station announcement but the natural echo in the main lobby makes it hard to hear what is being announced.

See all other soundscapes here.

Amsterdam Central Station

Amsterdam Central Station

THE FILM REVIEW (FR 5) – The Spanish Affair & The Spanish Affair 2

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The last film I reviewed left me with a real need to find and watch a more uplifting and humorous film. I found two of them. The Spanish language Spanish Affair (AKA Ocho Apellidos Vascos) and its sequel, The Spanish Affair 2 (AKA Ocho Apellidos Catalanes).

Anyone who remembers the old British Ealing Comedies will, I’m sure, enjoy these two films and recognise the comedy format – farce, double meanings, misunderstandings, confusion, physical comedy and so on. The linked plots of both films deal with the North/South divide in Spain and the meandering and erratic love affairs between the central and supporting characters. I’m sure there are in-jokes in both films that you would have to be a Spanish speaker to understand. I enjoyed watching both films.

The leading lady of both these films, Clara Lago, can be seen in a new English language film starring Liam Neeson called The Commuter (2018).

I give the Spanish Affair and the Spanish Affair 2 a Photo Nomad 9/10 rating.

See other film reviews – click here

The Spanish Affair

The Spanish Affair 2

The Soundscape Library (Soundscape 6) – Artis Zoo Amsterdam – Weaver Birds

Please click on the link below, close your eyes and join me at the Artis Zoo in Amsterdam.  Listen to the delightful weaver birds making quite a lot of noise in their enclosure as they build (weave) their nests.  Also hear passers by talking about these highly active birds

See all other soundscapes here.

The Weaver Bird

The Weaver Bird

THE FILM REVIEW (FR4) – Rust and Bone

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I’m afraid this French language film just didn’t do it for me.  If you enjoy gritty drama, then you would probably enjoy this film.  This film portrays the lives of people who are struggling to get by in the most difficult circumstances.  There are some brutal fight scenes – bare knuckle fighting – and also some distressing scenes involving a child. Overall, this film left me feeling uneasy and unsettled.  This film has a very hard and unpleasant edge to it.

I give this film a Photo Nomad 4/10 rating.  Simply put, I did not enjoy this film and, at times, was tempted to stop watching it.  Not a story well told.

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THE FILM REVIEW (FR3) – The African Doctor

Some of the best stories are those based on true stories.  The African Doctor is one of those stories.

This is the story of an African doctor who takes up a post in a rural backwater in France where many of the people in the village have never seen an African before.  The doctor eventual overcomes a high degree of prejudice, fear and ignorance and becomes a widely respected member of his community.

This French language film is peppered with some truly colourful characters including the doctor, his family, African friends of the doctor’s family and the villagers who the doctor treats.

I give this film a Photo Nomad 10/10 rating.  An excellent film.

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THE FILM REVIEW (FR2) – Arctic Heart

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It isn’t every day that you hear the words penguin and eroticism mentioned in the same sentence but the French language film Arctic Heart (AKA Le Secret des Banquises) has both penguins and some tasteful, if not slightly whacky, sex scenes.  Some mouse sex even!  Apart from all that, the film is interestingly different and certainly out of the ordinary.  Excellent cinemaphotography.  This film, staring Charlotte Le Bon and Guillaume Canet hovers, easily, somewhere between drama and comedy.

I give this film a Photo Nomad 9/10 rating.

I especially enjoyed the performance of the two lead characters.  And, oddly, the off-beat and almost irregular comedy in this film works really well – science goes mad but not in a terrible way.  Charlotte Le Bon gives a fine performance as a fragile and sensitive young lady.  To say any more would give away the plot of this delightful film.  This is a film for those with a romantic heart.

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The Film Review (FR1) – The Art of Loving. The Story of Michalina Wislocka – Photo Nomad rating 10/10

The Film Review (FR1) – The Art of Loving. The Story of Michalina Wislocka

See all my film reviews here.

My grandson recently introduced me to Netflix and I’ve discovered a vast treasure-trove of films from around the world including this film about a Polish gynaecologist and sexologist, Michalina Wislocka.  This is a Polish language film.

This film gets the Photo Nomad 10/10 rating!

This is a film which clearly demonstrates what happens when State and/or Religion has a viciously tight grip on what little freedoms we have. The message is clear; censorship breeds ignorance.

We hear much about gender equality these days and this beautifully shot film shows us all too clearly what happens in unenlightened times when countries around the world are dominated by unsighted male dictators and politicians.

The film also shows how difficult it is for creative pioneers and people of genius to flourish in those hopelessly claustrophobic societies where hopes, dreams and aspirations can never be realised. Although the Art of Loving is a story which begins during the communist era in Poland, there are still countries where the ruling elites crush anything and everything they’re not happy with – usually citing the ‘greater good’ as their motive for repression.

We need more people like Michalina Wislocka in today’s turbulent world.

And, finally, quoting Michalina Wislocka from the film – “use your tongue!’

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