Monday, July 19, 2010

6 months in...

...and I thought I would divulge some of my favourites of the year. I love lists, so why the hell not?

Film
Whip It

Others: A Single Man, Inception, I Love You Phillip Morris, The White Ribbon

Director
Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (I Love You Phillip Morris)

Others: Drew Barrymore (Whip It), Tom Ford (A Single Man), Michael Haneke (The White Ribbon), Sam Taylor-Wood (Nowhere Boy)

Actor
Colin Firth (A Single Man)

Others: Jim Carey (I Love You Phillip Morris), Aaron Johnson (Kick Ass / Nowhere Boy), Ewan McGregor (I Love You Phillip Morris), Thibault Serie (The White Ribbon)

Actress
Kristin Scott Thomas (Leaving / Nowhere Boy)

Others: Marion Cotillard (Inception), Anne-Marie Duff (Nowhere Boy), Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air), Ellen Page (Whip It)

Screenplay
I Love You Phillip Morris

Others: The Secret of Kells, A Single Man, Up in the Air, Whip It

Sunday, July 18, 2010

10 thoughts on...Inception.

1. Marion Cotillard. Magnificent. This is a role that basically demands the actress to celebrate their inner psycho-bitch (see: Glenn Close) yet Cotillard wisely perpetuates a vulnerable sensitivity to the character which connects the audience to the otherwise emotionless narrative. She is the heart of the film. And she looks incredible; Jeffrey Kurland deserves an Oscar nomination for her outfits.
2. I am in love with Tom Hardy.
3. Why were none of the characters given a back story? If the film believes a dream can be defined by our inability to recognise the events that have led to our existence, then are these characters merely fragments of a dream that encompasses the whole film? Or is it simply the case that Christopher Nolan focused more on themes than character? Regardless the impressive ensemble cast infuse enough soul into their underdeveloped roles to make this a rather small quibble.
4. Leonardo DiCaprio is rather bland. And that intense staring thing? STOP.
5. It is refreshing to see a big-budget Hollywood production with brains. This brains have been dumbed down for the masses (see 7) but they remain intact, especially when compared to Clash of the Titans or Prince of Persia. While no masterpiece, this is one of the most thrilling cinematic experiences that 2010 will offer. Hoorah!!
6. I believe that Hans Zimmer wrote this score whilst thinking only of the EPIC sequences. Intimate scenes are invaded by his dramatic score that seems to inappropriately act as a constant reminder that there will be action! Frustrating.
7. I adore Ellen Page...but her character is nothing more than a thinly disguised 'Inception-for-dummies' guide who either confirms narrative developments that have been previously highlighted or discovers them in through lazily constructed sequences (e.g. asking inappropriate questions without any prompts/motivation). Still she is as adorable as ever.
8. I think The Prestige is my favourite Nolan film. Odd.
9. Are we supposed to support Leo and his crew in the destruction of an innocent man's future? The protagonists are the villains. The innocent man is the victim (beautifully played by Cillian Murphy who ensures the character is not the one-note wimp he so easily could have been). Still, in a world lacking emotion this is a secondary concern where actions speaks louder than their actual context.
10. Cotillard would make a fabulous Catwoman. I'm just saying!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Friday, July 16, 2010

Love.

I am a film buff. I am a film student. I am a filmmaker. I am immersed in a reality that reeks of film. And I love it. As I walked away from the screening of Inception this evening, my friend turned and commented on my reactionary participation as an audience member. I knew exactly what she meant; I jump/squeal/cry/panic/smile/swoon and embrace an active relationship with the film on the screen. Yet she doesn't know the half of it.

Revisiting the feature films of Disney animation (for my dissertation) demanded a reflection on my initial fling with the film. Yes the stories were thrilling and fun experiences but that was not why I have adored the medium for so long. Film is a utopian escape. Just as Inception presents the state of a 'dream' to be and just as Disney hints the 'happy ever after' to be, film presents an array of worlds where anything is possible. It is an infectious notion that I have willingly allowed to spill into my own perception of reality. Does this make me an optimist or complete (and utter) fool? Or, perhaps, both? It is difficult for me to side with the latter when I have been so genuinely lucky these past 22 years and life is currently throwing me some pretty wonderful opportunities. And I feel that it is my relationship with film that has ensured this world I find myself in; no matter what the cause, the affect will always evolve into one of positivity and growth. That is how I react to reality. And I will continue to adore film for this very reason, for providing this escape where I feel that my aspirations for life are not only justified but realistic. And where I can watch my idols fall, rise and conquer.

And there is nothing wrong with that.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

In the Mood for _____.

It seems that my life is currently racing towards the future. As I sit at one of the number of desks I am currently frequenting, time rushes past and days blend into weeks. It is in one moment exhilarating and the other tiresome.

"He remembers those vanished years. As though looking through a dusty window pane, the past is something he could see, but not touch. And everything he sees is blurred and indistinct."

The past of Chow Mo-wan (Tony Leung Chiu Wai) is my present. And yet I find it all rather smile inducing. I may be crazy.