Thursday, August 30, 2012

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Confessions of a KST-aholic


Yesterday evening the Riverside Studio hosted something straight out of my dreams, a Kristin Scott Thomas double bill. My dream would have included a preview of Only God Forgives and would have ended with a Q&A with the actor herself but I shouldn't be too greedy, any Thomas is better than none. This is a sentiment that is too true for many of her roles and films throughout her career, from Blue Moon to Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. It also sums up my feelings on the first of the two screened films, The Woman in the Fifth.

It isn't a great film, it probably isn't even a very good film but I found it endearing despite its faults. I imagine that Pawel Pawlikowski aimed to create a wonderfully poetic story of one man's struggle, and he has collected all of the necessary stylistic and narrative elements, but it just doesn't work. Thankfully Ethan Hawke is a charismatic leading man and Thomas is given a ghostlike role as the enigmatic femma fatale. Who would have thought that Thomas, as beautiful as she is, would have been given such a role at this stage in her career? Hopefully this will raise the right eyebrows so similar (and hopefully more developed) roles will be heading her way in the future.

This was followed by In Your Hands, a film with a familiar scenario (a woman held captive by a man) yet explores it in a fresh way as Thomas' Anna almost yearns for captivity when freed. The film seems to depend heavily on this performance and it is a role that utilises her spectacular skill to express repressed emotion within a life-changing scenario. Sadly the film isn't as rich in detail as I've Loved You So Long or Leaving, two of her greatest leading performances, but it will definitely linger in the memory.

I hope I will have nothing but praise for Only God Forgives.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Smile.

 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Smile.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

A thumbs up.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Noisy neighbours x4

Friday, August 24, 2012

Pause.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Spot the difference.

Maudie in Brave...

And Imelda Staunton in Much Ado About Nothing.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

My favourite shot...Marnie

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Top of the class. Dinner scenes.

Dinner scenes are a constant presence in cinema, they are a predominantly used to connect/introduce characters or convey the normal in a household or they're a gesture. Here are a collection of ten great dinner scenes. I'm sure, as always, that there was many I've forgotten. 

10. Meet the Parents

9. Annie Hall

8. Bringing Up Baby

7. Rachel Getting Married

6. Lady and the Tramp

5. Some Like It Hot

4. American Beauty

3. As Good As It Gets

2. Gosford Park

1. Little Miss Sunshine

Monday, August 20, 2012

Sunday, August 19, 2012

An image to treasure.

Perhaps the idea of a remake/reboot of the Super Mario Brothers wouldn't be so bad with the Cruz sisters?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

My favourite shot...The Lady from Shanghai

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Advice on revenge from...Christopher Walken

"An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind."

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The definition of an angry child.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

One reaction. Brave


Disney and Pixar have become one. The very distinct styles of both studios has created a surprisingly (for me at least) impressive film, one that celebrates their respective traditions whilst delivering something fresh and, dare I say it, ambitious.

Combine the maturity, wit and 'buddy' narrative of Pixar with the optimism, magic and princesses of Disney and you have Brave. Last year I listed my favourite Disney feature-length animations and noted that Pinocchio was an ambitious second-feature for the studio that hinted at what could have been achieved if it wasn't for the film's lack of financial success (as well as the equally ambitious Bambi which followed) and the subsequent success of Cinderella, cementing the studio's preference for the princess narrative that had proven a success before with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. I also noted that Pinocchio was a character whose youthful mistakes create the obstacles the he must overcome and that is an unusual trait for a Disney protagonist, whose naivety is usually abused by the villain. It is interesting that Brave combines the princess narrative with a protagonist who, like Pinocchio, creates her own obstacles and is the antagonist of the film. It is thrilling to think that this may be a sign of Pixar picking up the gauntlet from Disney, and that they would fulfill this role with such dedication (and success).

For this, Pixar remain a groundbreaking studio in my eyes and I hope that they remain to do so. Who else would have made a big-budget film focused on the relationship between a mother and her daughter? A film with a female protagonist but without a romantic plot?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A response to...Who Is Your Cinematic Avatar?

A very interesting question was asked on The Film Experience a few days ago and, after some pondering, I have identified my answer: Amy Adam's Julie in Julie & Julia.


It may seem like an unexciting choice but it rings much truer than some of the other characters that went through my head (I desperately wish I could have said Gene Kelly's Don Lockwood). I kept coming back to characters performed by Amy Adams and it probably has something to do with my huge amount of optimism, something which is embedded in her screen presence. It was this performance that stuck out though as it is one whose optimism is confronted with a self criticism that motivates her actions, something that resonates with me very much. There are other things... She gets complete pleasure from food as I do from cinema. She has a wonderful man, as do I. She writes a blog and doubt anyone reads it, as I have done for many years. She is someone who finds strength in idols, as do I... but ultimately I went with Julie because she is a character who aims high but is content with her lot. That's me.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Pause.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Advice from...Nicole Kidman

"You cannot find peace by avoiding life."

Saturday, August 11, 2012