Saturday, October 30, 2010

What do you think?

It's a lie. It's a bunch of sad strangers photographed beautifully, and... all the glittering assholes who appreciate art say it's beautiful 'cause that's what they wanna see. But the people in the photos are sad, and alone... But the pictures make the world seem beautiful, so... the exhibition is reassuring which makes it a lie, and everyone loves a big fat lie.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Subtitled wisdom. Paris, Je T'aime.

This is new romance. And it is glorious.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Off my chest via 2001: A Space Odyssey.

"I know I've made some very poor decisions recently, but I can give you my complete assurance that my work will be back to normal. I've still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission. And I want to help you."

Today I faced a war with technology. First a virus decided to infiltrate my computer. I have since discovered it was a particularly nasty one that could have done serious damage...thankfully I nipped that in the bud. Then I was faced with an external hard drive without the ability to connect to its power cable. And no, the (important) files on that drive were not backed up. I most definitely lost that battle.

If my computer could talk I hope it would be offering a weak apology similar to that of HAL's in the hope I will not retreat to another computer. The external hard drive is probably celebrating its successful suicide.

I hate technology.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Working Boy.

One thing that Katharine Parker (Sigourney Weaver) and Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep) share is my adoration. This pair are undoubtedly my favourite cinematic bosses. They both are also identified as ruthless, nasty, and are the antagonists of their respective films. What they do not share is passion.

Parker feels the need to steal the idea of her new secretary Tess (Melanie Griffith). This is something that the dedicated Priestly would never do. Priestly knows her business inside and out, she is defends and upholds it with a devotion that makes her appear evil. When Priestly tells her young protege that she is the only one who could do her job, the audiences knows she isn't lying. When Parker is ultimately removed from her position the audience knows she will not be missed. This is the difference between the good and the bad within the world of employment. I am learning this quickly these past few months of my 'real' job.

I shall not say which type I am surrounded by.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Dress up with Tilda Swinton.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Off my chest via Breakfast On Pluto.

Serious. Serious. Serious... Everyone's oh so serious.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Essential cinema. Black Swan.

It is rare that a film leaves me speechless. Black Swan is such a rarity. Simply a terrific film that has to be seen. I adored it.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Saturday, October 23, 2010

10 thoughts on...The King's Speech.

  1. I had no idea that Jennifer Ehle, Elizabeth Bennett in the BBC's worshipped Pride & Prejudice, would make an appearance. She is the wife of Geoffrey Rush's speech therapist, a limited but effective role in her able hands. She also shares a standout scene with her Mark Darcy...unfortunately it all seems a bit tragic that she did not flourish as her co-star did.
  2. Welcome back Helen Schegal. Helena Bontham Carter has - thankfully - stepped away from the work of her husband and returned to the very British world that made audiences adore her initially. It reminds me of a matured Miss Schegal who conformed to protocol of the monarchy due to her passionate adoration for her 'Bertie'. Oscar nomination.
  3. Colin Firth proves his work on A Single Man was not a fluke. Oscar win.
  4. Geoffrey Rush has finally won me over. With his heart on his sleeves, I could not help but root for his success and feel pain at the series of verbal assaults he receives from Firth's George VI. Oscar nomination.
  5. Thankfully the film dodges the period that Britain faced actual war. Films such as Mrs. Henderson Presents have proved that this is often too much for filmmakers to balance in a narrative whose focus is not the World War itself. Phew!
  6. Why does the score of a film have to function as a tool for audience manipulation? Especially in a film where the performances speak so clearly to the audience that the score unnecessarily invades the moment.
  7. I'm not sure that there will be a race between this and The Social Network. If there is then The King's Speech should win by comparison. Not because it is a better film (it isn't) but because it is a much nicer dose of cinema (it is). Right now The King's Speech has to be considered the front runner. Right?
  8. It manages to pull off the difficult task of balancing modernity with tradition through costume, cinematography, editing and script.
  9. Timothy Spall may be a good actor but his portrayal of Winston Churchill is almost comical. As is the insistence of Firth to name his daughters despite being quite unnatural about it. Sure it is fun to see Margaret and Elizabeth as kids but it would be better if we weren't force fed the novelty.
  10. I hate when people applaud films without a guest speaker. It is rather self indulgent.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Revisiting. Juno.

The films I have discussed in this emerging series have been ones that divided my opinion. This is most definitely true of Juno. I find it almost impossible to dislike the film yet I find it equally impossible to like it. There is much to enjoy but there is also a lot to endure. The attitude of the titular character is too often brattish and everything feels a bit to hip yet the dialogue is superb and each character fascinates (a rarity). Instead of focusing on the negative I would like to celebrate one aspect of the film which I wholeheartedly celebrate, the portrayal of Juno's step mother as performed by the wonderful Allison Janney.

Hollywood seems content with two depictions of step parenthood: the malicious oppressor, and the loving replacement. Boo! Coming from a home with a step parent, neither of these representations rang particularly true. It seems odd when you consider that adoptive parents have had a far easier time - in fact they have been often celebrated (although not to the extent of biological parents). The step parent seem as nostalgically misjudged as Hollywood representations of foreign locales, like Leap Year's traumatic portrayal of Ireland as a country that has yet to be modernised. And there are some fascinating dynamics within the relationship between step parent and step child. It is unfortunate that Juno was the first film to show such an engaging scenario.
The above moment, where Juno arrives home late to find Brenda cutting out images of some cute dogs, is where the film really excels in presenting the dynamic of their relationship. Their argument positions Brenda with both a strong and weak voice of authority; she freely offers advise without the ability of enforcing it. Juno claims that Brenda knows "nothing" about her, that her actions are justified due to her pregnant state and seems to shed all possibilities of value in the content of Brenda's speech. The scene ends with them failing to reach any form of agreement, Juno walks away and Brenda is left unvictorious.

If you compare this scene with any between Juno and her father, Mac, then you would have a very different dynamic where their evident intimacy creates a relationship of equal respect. The lack of intimacy between Brenda and Juno is the result of their uneasy combination, most notably the fact that Brenda cannot have the dog she longs for as Juno is allergic to their saliva. Yet they have both entered the lives of one another and invigorated them. Throughout the whole film it is obvious that their home is one of happiness, despite moments of natural disagreements.

This may not be the way step parents and step children should always be portrayed but it is certainly refreshing to see one so human given life on screen.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Top of the class. iPod Playlist.*

1. 'Take It All' from Nine.
The film remains a disappointment but it did give Marion Cotillard the opportunity to belt out one of the best songs from a film musical in recent years. She deserves a better film.

The haunting soundtrack to the seduction of Jenny (Carey Mulligan) into the world of easy success...which also forces you to swoon.

I adore this film. And I adore this piece of music. Their combination in the final moments of the film is cinematic bliss. Enough said.

4. 'Married Life' from Up.
I have lost so many tears because of this song. I want this to be the soundtrack to my own life. Michael Giacchino is a genius.

5. 'Xanadu' from Xanadu.
I've never seen the film but how could anyone resist the combination of Olivia Newton-John, cheesy pop and a celebration of some distant utopia?

6. 'The Windmills Of Your Mind' from Breakfast On Pluto.
A song as melodramatic, engrossing and metaphorically destructive as the film's protagonist...

7. 'The Boy Next Door' from Meet Me In St. Louis.
As a die-hard romantic I cannot help but long for the romantic practices within this film. This is impossible but fortunately I can escape with Judy.

8. 'Wicked Little Town (Hedwig Version)' from Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
Words cannot explain how this song makes me feel. But I can say I dislike the Tommy Gnosis version. A lot.

9. 'Stuff We Did' from Up.
Like #4 but I want this to be the soundtrack to my final act.

10. 'You Make My Dreams' from (500) Days of Summer.
Though I wasn't overly charmed by the film, I could not help but find the celebration of Tom (Joseph Gorden-Levitt) completely endearing. I know I've felt such an urge to express myself, and now I have the perfect song.

*in relation to film.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Keira Knightley as a songstress x4

I still think she'd make a wonderful Eliza Doolittle.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Emotions via Amy Adams.

Frustration (with work).

I have a hectic week of work ahead of me. Help!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

6 ways to celebrate...the 85th year of Angela Lansbury.

  1. Attract the attention of an English gentleman whose beauty is too good to be true.
  2. Order the assassination of an American presidential nominee.
  3. Use your magical singing voice to enliven items of clothing. And then use this to defeat the Nazis.
  4. Pretend to be a kind old woman who has been turned into a tea pot.
  5. Be dissed by Ethan Hawke. But be graceful and ignore the git.
  6. Innocently arrive at the scene of a murder...and solve the mystery surrounding it.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Gratuitous Actress Lusting. Valentine's Day.

"This girl is like sunshine. Everything is better when she's there. I can't stand the idea of some jerk hurting her, I just can't. I can't."

Valentine's Day may not be a masterpiece but it is very aware of how glorious its women are. Especially when they smile.