The Work Of Shaun Jacques

Films that have caught my eyes lately

Filantropica (2002)

This is a Romanian film that a friend shown me recently that I had never heard of before, I had no idea who any of the actors were in the film or indeed what the film would be about so I had no expectations when sitting down to watch this.

What I did get was a genuinely funny romantic comedy about one man’s desperation to get out of his current way of life, Ovidiu is a teacher in his mid 40’s that has just published a series of short stories that is not selling very well, one day he asks to speak to a disruptive students parents, but the boy instead sends in his highly attractive sister ‘Diana’ He convinces her to go out on a date with him but finds her tastes to be very expensive, he then takes on a second ‘job’ to gain money for his love life and this is where the film gets intresting.

Ovidiu joins the Filantropica foundation which expertises in organised begging, The beggars leader Paval works essentially as Ovidiu’s marketing agent giving him a story to sell…

Without going much further into detail and spoiling the story, I highly recommend this movie if you don’t mind reading subtitles (or can speak fluent Romanian) there are plenty of twists and turns, the only real negative I can give speaking as a foreign viewer is that some of the humour didn’t make sense to me but I suppose it wasn’t made for a 19 year old British student, but it certainly doesn’t spoil the rest of the film and this is speaking as somebody who highly dislikes 95% of romantic comedies


Love Exposure (2008)

Now this was a film I had high expectations for; I had heard from a number of people that this was the best film Japan had made in decades.

Now be fore-warned this is a film you need to set aside for a completely free evening because it’s running time stands at a long 237 minutes however the original version of the film was 6 hours long (which I now really want to see) but I’m going to set the scene for the rest of this review: The time flies by.

The story follows Yu, A young teenage catholic who is trying to live life in a decent manner, His father Tetsu has become a devoted catholic priest following the death of Yu’s mother. Tetsu sets up confessional with Yu very often and as time progresses Tetsu aims to find out every sin his son is commiting, Yu believing he is not doing much wrong begins to lie to his father about commiting sins, but he sees right through it, Yu feels his only alternative is to commit sins so he can have something to talk about in confessional.

the above is only setting the scene for the first half hour or so and for the first 2 hours it is a very funny film with a lot of wacky OTT moments (including: A karate film inspired montage of Yu learning how to take stealth photos of woman’s panties and a hilarious secret love story between Tetsu and a converted catholic woman among others) but once you get beyond that, I’m pleased to say that things get even wackier.

there is littererly something for everyone here, I haven’t even begun to talk about the main love interest Yoko yet or cult ‘church zero’ member Aya yet, who form a huge part of the rest of the story, the story becomes a love story between Yu and Yoko, Yu loves Yoko but Yoko hates every man on the planet apart from ‘Kurt Cobain’ Yoko develops a crush for ‘Sasori’ who is really…in fact, I’m giving away too much plot…just go see this film, the strength and depths of the characters is really quite something and while a lot of the time it seems not of this earth and some scenes look less like a film and more like a student piece, it has a certain charm that will just leave you wanting more at the end, even with the 4 hour running time.


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