Tag: Foreign

The Monk and the Gun

The Monk and the Gun was watched early as a screener. It was shortlisted for Best International Film at the Oscars as Bhutan’s submission. And it is released theatrically on February 9th, 2024.

This is pretty obvious from the title, but of course this movie is about…holding free and fair elections!

In 2006, the King of Bhutan was like, hey, you all deserve to have more freedoms. And decided to switch their country to a democracy, so that the citizens could vote. And sure, they would still have their king. You know, like Great Britain. But the citizens had no concept of democracy, or voting, or voicing their opinions on a prime minister. So, what are they to do? Just let democracy fail as everyone ignores it?

No! The local government is going to hold Mock elections, to teach the citizens how to vote, to share opinions, to pick different things to care more about for their government to work on. In a big face of apathy from the local population, who seem to just really like their king and not want the change. Yep, that is the backdrop to the story.

Now, the other main plot is that Tashi (Tandin Wangchuk), a monk, is told by his Lama, in a religious exile for years, to go into the main country and bring him back two guns. For a ceremony, for a mystery. At the same time, Benji (Tandin Sonam) is escorting an American (Harry Einhorn) around the country, looking for a very specific gun as well, for a collection. Guns!

Also starring Pema Zangmo Sherpa, Deki Lhamo, Tandin Phubz, and Choeying Jatsho.

Oh look, a (presumably) monk with a (presumably) gun! The movie delivered its title!

Finally, another Bhutanese film. I know most of you reading this might have seen zero Bhutanese films in your life. At this point, this is only my second one. And that is probably true of a lot of people who have seen any. Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom, is a film that was nominated for Best International Film a few years ago, and was a surprise. Similarly, this movie was on the shortlist of nominations for Best International Film, but not nominated. Is this a grand awakening of Bhutan as a film producing country, or, have they been producing movies for awhile and I just have only noticed if it relates to the Oscars? Honestly, I hope its the latter.

Either way, I do like that both of these movies have really simple, yet descriptive titles.

But on to the movie at hand. Did I expect it to be about mock elections for a countries first elections? Obviously not. And I am not a historical scholar of Bhutan, and have no idea how much of this story is actually what happened in the country. I clearly have to take the film’s word on the subject. Of which, I do think it is a very interesting backdrop, and I love that I learned a little bit of recent history from just that knowledge alone.

And, it still maintains the other plot as well, the gun and the monk, of which I assume is the more creatively liberal aspect of this story. And that plotline on its own is fine as well. It meshes well eventually with the societal backdrop of the historical events. It is amusing and worthy of light giggles at points. But at the same time, I still wish there was some more to the story. It being a relatively simple story is fine. I just wish it was more satisfying in its conclusion. It felt like a short story, expended into a larger movie without enough content at points.

Still a great film on its own rights. In a year with so much great international work, it had a tough hill, and it was likely an honor just to be shortlisted. Here is hoping I see another Bhutanese film before a 2-3 year gap.



3 out of 4.

The Wait (La Espera)

The Wait (La Espera) was watched as part of Fantastic Fest 2023!

Sometimes being a simple man isn’t always so simple. For Eladio (Victor Clavijo), he doesn’t even know how to read, but he has a wife (Ruth Díaz) and a son. He works at a ranch, which comes with a free house to live in. What does he do at this estate? Barely anything to be honest. He maintains the grounds for the rich owner, who never comes out to visit.

But the main crux of the job is that sets up various stands to rent out to hunters to hunt deer and wild boar from. He makes sure the (normally ten) stands are safe and don’t overlap, so that they don’t have any crossfire. Other people find hunters to pay for the stand usage for the day, while they get really easy places to hunt! However, this time, his coworker says he actually already sold 13 stands worth of people. And if he doesn’t tell the owner, and sets it up for 13, he can get a nice under the table bonus. And his family needs the money…

Eladio takes the deal after his wife convinces him to. Sure enough, something bad happens. Which leads to another bad thing happening. And then hey, even more bad stuff happening. Oh fiddlesticks.

Also starring Pedro Casablanc, Luis Callejo, and Manuel Morón.

OH NO HE HAS A GUN! Oh yeah, there is hunting. Everyone has a gun.

Now real early on in the film, you can get a sense of what is likely going to go down. You could figure it out from my description. It is called foreshadowing. And sure enough, it does happen! But honestly, earlier and faster than I imagined. That is because a great deal of this film deals with the snowball effects of the events. Things get worse, because it makes sense for things to get worse.

But certainly, I can say the ending I did not expect at all. Things got weird, things got creepy, things got downright extra-evil. This became a sort of mystery film, instead of a sad spiraling drama. And for one, I can say, the ending feels like it lands on its feet.

Clavijo as our main character deals with his issues in very believable ways, and honestly, at no point do I not feel bad for him. There is not real gotcha moment where its like, surprise, he is a bad guy! This shit is at some point just how bad life can be and pile up on those in the lower working classes.

The Wait is a film that honestly really draws the viewer in, and is not something you should be waiting awhile to see before seeking it on your own.

3 out of 4.


#Manhole! was watched as part of Fantastic Fest 2023!

What would you do, in a world, where holes in the ground exist? And they want to swallow you whole? Even if you are a full grown man? That’s right, killer Manholes! This time, the holes are coming for men.

Well, that is not what this film is about. It is actually about Shunsuke Kawamura (Yûto Nakajima), a rich business man, who after drinking at a pre-wedding engagement, finds himself stumbling the streets, and sure enough, falling into a manhole. The cover was removed! Now he is at the bottom of a hole, with some pipes, a very broken ladder, and great cell service. Oh and his leg is cut. His attempts to get out go badly, and no one will answer the phone except for one of his exes. But when he attempts to get the police involved, and her, they all cannot find him, despite his GPS saying where he is!

So, Shunsuke does what any sane person would do. He creates a new “twitter” account (well, in this movie its called Pecker) called Manhole Girl, to try to get help from the internet. He picks girl, because people want to save women more than men. It goes viral, people start help finding his location through the stars, through rain maps, and start trying to figure out how they got there in the first place. Was he drugged and kidnapped? Or was it something worse?

But sometimes, manholes are like closets, and they can have skeletons inside of them. And maybe there is a lot more going on with this situation that we are just not prepared to handle right now.

Also starring Nao, Kento Nagayama, and Haru Kuroki.

Maybe he can eat the flowers. That will save him.
You see, the “hashtag” in the title is actually important, not just a silly little modern fad. Because of the reliance on (Twitter) Pecker, and a little bit more social media to move the story forward, this guy gets stuff trending for his own survival. And his strategy is a pretty smart one, most people will agree. It’s just went the investigators get a bit too aggressive is when things start to get more than he bargained for. Internet sleuths can dig up a lot of things. Some social media users can be willing to do a whole lot of stuff, for quick internet fame.

That all feels like appropriate teases for what may or may not actually happen in this movie.

Now, our main character acts so incredibly weird down there early on, both in terms of who he contacts, why, and his reluctance on the police. But by the end, a picture is painted, and everything checks out, even if it is a bit silly. Thankfully the big reveals are all things that lead UP to the final act, and not as sort of end pieces to the movie, so the narrative can change in interesting ways for the viewer. There was no Keyser Soze big reveal at the end. Our big reveals got to fester and leave a very fun and satisfying ending to the story.

It can be hard to narratively tell a good single location film, especially about someone being stuck. Its fun to think outside of the box, when someone is often stuck inside of one. Sort of like we had with The Pool a few years ago. Whether or not #Manhole has rewatchability, it is hard to say. It does however provide a very interesting first time experience at least.

3 out of 4.


River was watched as part of Fantastic Fest 2023!

Mikoto (Riko Fujitani) works at an Inn in Kibune, Kyoto during the winter. It seems to be some sort of travel destination, a peaceful oasis for people to get away and get to know themselves. Of the guests we have business men, writers, and more.

But for Mikoto, after she goes and looks out over the river, she finds herself cleaning a room with her superior. And it seems really familiar. Some deja vu. He realizes it too. And as they clean…huh. Back at the river again?

Turns out the people in this Inn seem to be trapped in a time loop. Nothing they do physically stays put after just two minutes. They can break something, break each other, eat food, but in two minutes, they go back to where they were. The weather seems to change, and they remember everything before that, but the world resets them.

Getting out of this loop, with such a short time, is going to take everyone working together, and trying everything, without giving in to panic and sheer terror.

With a big cast of people, starring: Manami Honjô, Gôta Ishida, Yoshimasa Kondô, Shiori Kubo, Masahiro Kuroki, Kohei Morooka, Munenori Nagano, Haruki Nakagawa, Yoshifumi Sakai, Saori, Masashi Suwa, Yûki Torigoe, and Kazunari Tosa.

Infinite time, but you are stuck with these bozos.
Now in case any of this sounds familiar, specifically around time and two minutes. Yes, you have to compare this to Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes. Especially because it was done by the same group and the same actors. However, with Beyond, it was a sci-fi and science tech and mathy, and it all made sense! It was them getting to speak from themselves in the future, through screens, and how they manipulated that through shenanigans. In this film, no future selves or past selves exist, just their current self. In Beyond, it was a one shot take movie with a lot of guts. In this movie, it is a lot more personal, and has a lot of heart.

Speaking of one shot take, this one clearly isn’t done in one shot. But each time iteration is done in one shot. The camera rolls, they get as far as they can, it fades, and the next singular shot takes place in our next time jump. I love it. It adds to the realism of their situation. Everyone also comes to the conclusion about the time looping thing on the third try, thinking rightfully the 2nd one was strange. But fool me three times? That is when plans start going and it gets real exciting.

How many iterations happen in this film? A good 36 if I kept my count correct. And that is a lot of times to start over an event, talk to new people, solve new problems, and try to keep people chill. I was not shocked at how violent it got at times, but I was shocked at how peaceful it also got. It made me personally think what I would try to accomplish with that time. What i would try.

And what’s more exciting about this movie is it has a very satisfactory conclusion. It ends on an expected enough note, and it tells a complete and powerful story. But in a unique and interesting way.

4 out of 4.


This film was watched as a part of the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF). Year of the Fox has its World Premier on Wednesday, May 17 2023.

One of my goals this festival was definitely to watch as many films with subtitles as possible. I just don’t get enough foreign films throughout the year, unless its a really special occasion big event film, or if it is rushing for awards at the end. Still though, most of the films at least have a title I can pronounce confidently. So that made me excited to see L’immensita, which I have no clue if I am saying it right, and no one will ever be able to correct me. I will have to live with potentially pronouncing it wrong for the rest of my life.

And sure, it does help that it was starring a world famous actress in the lead role too. Sure yeah, of course.

Wow, look how excited she is to be at this dinner. 

In the 1970’s, Italy was the place to be. Well, to be fair, Italy has been the place to be for many different decades. Heck, some of them thousands of years ago. I am sure right now today, 2020’s, Italy is the place to be. (I really want to go to Italy, goddamn it).

Anyways, Clara (Penelope Cruz), a Spaniard who moved to Italy, is married to Felice (Vincenzo Amato), and they have three kids! Clara is a bit of a free spirited individual, who loves her kids more than anything. Including her husband, because he is a rich dick. Speaking of kids, their oldest kid, Adriana (Luana Giuliani), doesn’t actually feel like a girl. She is getting that gender dysphoria real bad, but it is the 1970’s and that isn’t something commonly talked about. So she decides to go by Andrea (a masculine name in Italy), and start using he/him pronouns with his friends, siblings, and mother. And guess what, his mom is totally down with it all.

Because you know, free spirited! But obviously at any point in human history, being trans has not been an easy experience, and it is only small percentage points easier now than it was 50 years ago. Having a small support isn’t a lot, especially when your dad would freak out over the concept, and if your dad is already abusive towards you mom, well. Not a lot to protect you, unfortunately.

This is what it looks like when I take my kids to good movies as well.

There aren’t a lot of “trans” stories set outside of the last twenty years, which is a real big untapped market. I am not an expert on the genre of course, but I do think I only know of one other one off the top of my head, and that is a bit disappointing. So great on them for tackling this subject. And the film itself being beautifully shot, in rich Italian countryside and seas and streets. It is gorgeous to look at in what remains a relatively simple story.

It was a very interesting decision to really tell two stories here.  The obvious one, of the kid here. But also of the mom, in an unhappy place in life, just trying to give spark and joy to those whom she thinks need it most. And how she gets villainized for it. For being accepting and free. It is hard to see. But it is a great character.

And one very other important note here. There are several music/dance numbers in this movie. Sort of out of nowhere. Andrea fancies himself a star in these videos he has seen, so we get to see them reenacting these scenes from the television. Now, when the song Prisencolinensinainciusol came on the television halfway through, I was so excited to see it in such a weird place in the movie, just so casually. Probably my favorite song from Italy in the 1970’s (also the only one I know in this period). So I was so giddy beside myself when our two leads took the two roles of the sings as well, Giulani and Cruz, and it was recreated for our eyes. It was a treat I didn’t know to expect or that I wanted, but certainly one I needed.

Anyways, yes. Representation matters! This story is beautiful and simple and of course, sad. Cruz is always a delight. And I will never know how to say this title.

3 out of 4.

Dancing Queen

This film was watched as a part of the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF). Dancing Queen has its Seattle Premier on Tuesday, May 16 2023.

Dancing Queen, young and sweet, only seventeen. Surprising that they haven’t just made a movie based off of that song yet.

Oh what is this? A movie called Dancing Queen from Scandinavia? Is this the time? Well, no unfortunately not. Because this movie is from Norway, and I cannot imagine them wanting to make a nearby countries most famous song from their most famous band? Now sure, they might make a reference to the song. But it can’t be a film based on the song. Because damn it, this main character is not seventeen.

Hmm. She is also not 7. Or 27. Or 57. Just listening more incorrect ages. 

In fact, our main character, Mina (Liv Elvira Kippersund Larsson) is uhhh, 7th grade age. Which eludes me at this moment. She likes school, and getting good grades, and hanging out with her friend Markus (Sturla Harbitz). Besties. But then at the start of the year, a new kid arrives, E.D. Win (Viljar Knutsen Bjaadal), from Olso! Why has he moved to a small town? Not actually sure, but he is internet famous for being a young hip hop dancer with tons of followers. So all of the girlies say heyyy, including Mina.

So once Mina finds out, that same day, that he is going to do auditions for a youth hip hop dance crew, she decides she has to audition. You know, with no experience whatsover. But E.D. Win smiled at her and made her dance in a circle and didn’t mock her, so it is true love. And she will go and audition with no experience. And sure, she might not have a stereotypical dancers body. Or like, thin. Or like, full of endurance.

But she has gumption. And she has love.

Also starring Cengiz Al, Anders Baasmo, Andrea Bræin Hovig, Anne Marit Jacobsen, and Ylva Røsten-Haga.

Whenever I look at myself in the mirror, I am always stuck looking at myself.

From the trailer, and the storyline, it looked like this movie wanted to be Norway’s answer to Little Miss Sunshine. I love Little Miss Sunshine! It is perfection in film. And unfortunately, this story is a lot more basic than Little Miss Sunshine. A bit by the numbers, with okay performances, but nothing as great as I had expected and hoped.

The story is where the main problems lie. It is easier to explain with direct spoilers which I will avoid here but, there is a lot of stuff that just doesn’t make sense based on how it was described. Like, the final competition was no where similar to what it was advertised early on. It makes me confused at why E.D. Win even wanted a dance crew for, since it didn’t seem to even use dance crews? It was all like, middle school duo groups only? They described it as a big national competition, with dance crews, and not even specifically kid based. So the final result is very strange.

I will also say that some characters leave the narrative at, frankly, random parts for motivation, with no great reason or foreshadowing behind them. It feels hollow. The whole ending feels hollow and forced, given the events that lead up to it.

I am all fine for body positivity films, sure. And I am glad it talked about them, and had one character be an absolute dick about it, in order to drive the narrative towards that and the extremes that one’s body can not endure. But Dancing Queen still ends up being a very basic film, with a plot you can predict, and no real shocks along the way.

1 out of 4.

And the King Said, What a Fantastic Machine

This film was watched as a part of the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF). And the King Said, What a Fantastic Machine has its Seattle Premier on Sunday, May 14 2023.

Because trailers nowadays for the most part have no chill, and decide to give away the entire story, I always try to avoid them to the best of my ability. But when you go to movies, they throw them at you before hand, quite rude. It is rare to find a trailer that is exciting without telling you a whole lot about the movie, and that is true about And The King Said, What a Fantastic Machine. So go ahead, give it a look, its fun. I am technically going to give away more of the film in here just by describing it than the official trailer.

What kind of documentary is this about? Well, clearly it is about the camera, and movies in some level.

And sure, in one way, it is telling the history from the first time an image was taken from light particles onto paper, onto moving pictures, and more. It tells of significant events in history, not just when and where they occurred. But why they occurred. What was the output.

What was the whole point of a camera? Well, a scientific tool to record what was in front of it.

But, what about what is around it? What about other angles of reality? What is the purpose of this image, or moving image, and what are they hoping to invoke into the viewer? Are you being deceived?

Yes, I know what I was doing with this screen grab. So did she.

Honestly, the tone of the trailer matches the movie perfectly. It isn’t just a long history, then silly videos. It is specific moments in time, spread throughout the film, to bring up important changes in the camera and what people did with it. Including deception. And knowing what the image taker looks like in weight of tragedy. Because someone has to be there, to click the button, or at least, some device.

Now, this documentary isn’t here to judge you. Or to declare TikTok the enemy of modern society. Or anything like that. It is just noting the events, and noting things recorded, and what people have done with the cameras, and why. The goal of the documentary is to make you aware of these things and really, to implore you to think of these things.

A little thinking about your viewing habits before just zoning out never hurt anyone.

And yes, in fact, it was very weird to watch this in a film festival, my 6th movie in 2 days in theater, with a lot more planned. A movie that is…anti consuming video content? Is it anti-consuming content? Honestly, the questions asked from the film I don’t think try to force you to go to a specific outlook. In fact, your current life situations with these objects might affect the way you take the message from the film. Are you being attacked, are you being enlightened, or are you being informed?

And I love a documentary that convey these feelings, with mostly footage already made, and pieced together in a specific way. Now, why did the directors piece it together in this way? Great, great, question.

4 out of 4.


You can watch my interview with director Jalmari Helander, here

What is Sisu? Well, look it up, I am not your goddamn parent.

Most reviews of this film are likely going to give the definition of it, and I am being a trend setter by ignoring that, even though by sort of knowing the definition, and the fact that it is a Finnish concept, is kind of important for the plot of this film.

Instead, I will point out that this is director, Jalmari Helander‘s, third feature film. The first two were Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale and Big Game. The former of which I saw personally over a decade ago on a random rent from Blockbuster, and was blown away by how original the story was, with one of my favorite film endings of that year. Big Game was an interesting film as well, not as great, but had some cool action scenes and was certainly unexpected. Like, you know, having Samuel L. Jackson as the President of the United States.

Looks like a few people brought asses to an ass kicking contest. Rookie mistakes. 
World War II in Finland was a bit weird. I don’t really care to get into all of the specifics on it, because I am certainly not expert, but Finland and Germany were fighting together! Yeah! Does that mean that the Finns liked Nazis? Oh, nope. But, They were being invaded by the Soviet Union during World War II, and didn’t like that, and since the Nazi’s were also fighting the Soviet Union, they had troops up there too. That is it, they were defending their homeland.

Then, near the end of WWII, Finland signing all of the treaties, had to agree to get the Nazi’s out of their country. Which they were going to let them take their time, and run to Norway. But then it still led to a few months of fighting, called the Lapland War. Good times. So yeah, this movie is set in that time.

See, our hero, Aatami (Jorma Tommila), was just existing in the fields with his dog, panning for gold, making a big discovery. Things are looking good for him, but then a gang of Nazi’s start to give him shit, so he does what has to be done. Getting revenge on every last Nazi and driving them from his land, so he can take his newly found riches and live that life of luxury he deserves.

Yep, a simple kill the Nazis revenge flick. One man, some women, and a bunch of Krauts.

Also starring Mimosa Willamo, Jack Doolan, and Aksel Hennie.

For those who can see this image, yes, this is exactly what it looks like. 

Now for those of you who were awesome and saw the interview I posted at the top, you would already know this. But it is clear while watching it as well, that this film is inspired by First Blood. Not the plot itself, but in terms of the action, of one man, in the wilderness, against greater odd forces, after being a special tactical soldier earlier in a war. It shows its influences, and goes to extreme levels.

The director has always been a fan of doing action and big stunts in his films in the past, but this takes it to a new and much higher level. Our one man army is just…on another level of action packed strong. It is so easy to get hyped during the film, broken down into its various chapters and areas. Kill after kill going for more unique and brutal ways. Our hero being a silent but deadly type is certainly a trope, and a welcome one in this movie. It is done mostly in English, outside of a few lines that I assume are in Finnish, which is also a new decision from the director.

For video game reasons, I am biased, but my favorite scene is of course what takes place in the minefield, but the ending is also high up there.

Seeing war movies about different countries is such an interesting experience, as an American. Because sometimes it can be hard to figure out who to really root for, given how history is likely taught in various countries. But this one has the Nazis, the universal bad guys, so it is pretty easy to cheer on our hero displaying Finnish pride and determination, even if we have no ties to the Land of Fin.

Sisu is allegedly hard to define into English, but the film Sisu is easy to define. Amazing and fun.

4 out of 4.

Mister Organ

Mister Organ is part of Make Believe Seattle, and it is playing on Sunday, March 26, 2023. 

Did you see Tickled?

I said, did you see Tickled? You know, the documentary, from several years ago? It was pretty good, and dived into a deep world that none of us really knew about until it was exposed in the documentary. It really asked some questions that I didn’t know I wanted answered.

So of course I am excited to see Mister Organ, a new documentary by the same director. And shit, what a title. What is this about? A guy who sells body parts? Is it about health care? Is it about someone who kills and murders?

I don’t know, but I am ready to unravel some very dark and decrepit things going on in New Zealand.

From a quick glance, everyone seems to have a normal number of organs here. 

So it turns out that Mister Organ is just about a person, named Mr. Organ. Nothing illicit with body parts. The director first came across him as he worked a “clamping business”. If a private business had a special area for parking, and people parked there for not the appropriate reason, he would drive up in his car and block them in, preventing them from leaving. And he would do that until they paid a large sum, and it was technically legal, because appropriate signs were posted at that business. It obviously left a lot of people upset, having to be slightly threatened and stuck into paying hundreds of dollars.

A viral video went on about this, which led the director to investigating this issue, and trying to report on it as a journalist. But he sued back, and the case went to court. The court was not in our directors favor, and Organ was apparently a very talkative, and enigmatic fellow. Despite the lawsuit, he wanted to still talk to our director, and it just…kept, going on from there.

This is a documentary where the director is actively investigating the subject, and the subject is aware of it, and aware of their conversations being recorded and filmed, and just things get weirder and weirder for our director.

Lies upon lies, a strange backstory, and a man who doesn’t shut up.

It is honestly, very hard to talk about this documentary, as it had a sort of meta feel to it the entire time. Was this whole thing a strange ruse? Did this situation lead to some exciting conclusions, or was it a total time sink the whole time? Why is he like that? These are various questions I have about it, and honestly, I won’t say all of them get answered.

If anything, Mister Organ is certainly an experience, and a wild trip if it is a trip you want to take.

3 out of 4.

Little Nicholas: Happy as Can Be

Little N-Name movies are all the rage! After all, we had Little Nemo, Little Nicky, and now Little Nicholas. Two of those three are based on comic strips in the past, Little Nemo came out first as a movie but…also was the first of the comic strips, okay. But like, a few decades later, Little Nicholas comic strip was made in France and a lot of people had a good time with it. Most of them were French, to be honest. And a lot more of them were people alive during that time period.

Hell during the 1950’s I was just busy not existing. So I didn’t know about it at the time. However, the two creators of the comic also did a lot of other things in their lives.

Like one of them was also the inventor of Asterix comics, a pretty famous European dude. And the other, did a lot of famous artwork covers for The New Yorker magazine for decades.

But with their powers combined, they made Little Nicholas, and this is their story.


If you actually had to write that tiny, you’d have to jump on each letter.


That’s right, this isn’t just a cute story about Little Nicholas going to school, playing, and having fun. No, this is actually about the creators! Fooled you? Maybe?

René Goscinny (Alain Chabat), famous comic inventor of Asterix and other works, who had already lived a nice life. He meets up with Jean-Jacques Sempé (), another artist, who has been given a job based off of his drawings, but isn’t known for making stories well. So he wants to use René to get the stories for his work, and they can be a tag team duo, and make something great together.

And that is it. They do that. They make Little Nicholas (Simon Faliu) and people like it. They expand his universe and people like it. They even make some shorts I guess? People like that too.

But in the movie we also have Nicholas popping from the page, to talk to his creators, to find out about their lives. So we get to have a biographical film in that regard, in between Little Nicholas segments I guess that were big in the comments, like playing with friends and family members and school.


“Let’s make a child together,” said the straight man to another.


I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this animated work. Even when I read the description, about one making the plot, the other illustrating. Based on the image, I just sort of assumed it was a guy drawing a tiny kid, and the kid coming alive, to make his plot for him to draw. A weird surreal sort of thing. Like a genie in a bottle.

So of course I didn’t know that this was a reference to a European comic, and honestly, I still barely know that it is based on a European comic. Just because it has had, as far as I can tell, no impact on my life. I don’t think I’ve seen a short, or a comic, about Little Nicholas. I am sure where it was famous, it got really famous as just one of those post World War II quaint slice of life stories. Nothing that would excite me now, but maybe something used for very young kids still today. 

The people this movie feels aimed for honestly are likely those nostalgic about the story. I think a regular kid wouldn’t love this story at all, because they won’t give a fuck about the authors and their lives. But at the same time, the art style was very nice (and going for a Little Nicholas feel), and the idea behind this movie was pretty unique. Tell the story of two animators, in the style of one of their animations, while also giving parts of the animations story as well? Nice. Can’t wait to see someone else do a documentary about Werner Herzog’s life in the style of Werner Herzog

This family film, biographical film hybrid told me a unique story in a unique way. It isn’t something I know my own kids will care about, but it is still an interesting concept overall. I hope animators always continue to try new things like this. And yes, I know I am saying that despite this being a 1950’s art style. 


3 out of 4.