Friday, March 31, 2017

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Thursday, March 23, 2017

An irresistible statement.

 
'I don't want to age. That's, like, the most terrible thing in the world.'

Monday, March 20, 2017

Sunday, March 19, 2017

10 thoughts on...Beauty and the Beast

 
1. Rebooted Disney

It works. The films remain joyously entertaining, the stories are adapted to address the concerns of audiences today (Cinderella's refocus to 'have courage and be kind' is a particularly strong example of this) and audiences flock to them. Should we complain? Well of course those who have a deep connection with the original animated films will be anxious about this trend, but so far I think we can rest assured - the animated and live action versions both have a place in the Disney canon. But the animated versions are infinitely better.


2. Emma Watson

There's something about Emma Watson's persona that makes me want to celebrate her, and thankfully she gives a charismatic performance to make her feisty actions believable. She is determined. Sadly her voice is weak, and I wish they had dubbed her (and she would be in good film musical  with Audrey Hepburn and Deborah Kerr).


3. The music we know

Is glorious. The inclusion of an instrumental 'Home' (from the stage version) was also a lovely surprise. 


4. The new music

There's the good (the new one reflecting Belle's past) and the bad (the Beast's new solo number). Bad because it adds little to the story and slows down the pace. Thankfully the energy of the song to follow, 'The Mob Song', makes you instantly forget.


5. The design 

The design of the original animated film is iconic - the costumes, the exterior castle, the west wing, the ornaments...and it's impossible to watch this version without remembering them. However, Jacqueline Durran does a good job of being inspired by the past but doing something new. I particularly liked the rejig of the town. 


6. Belle's backstory

I won't go into too much detail but I thought this added layer was well orchestrated, and gave the story another great moment to highlight the theme of displacement and family in a different way to the rest of the film. 


7. Luke Evans

Is perfect as Gaston. Best Supporting Actor nomination please.


8. The transformation

Why do we see so little of this? It feels like a strange decision to focus on the supporting characters in the castle equally when what the story is focused on is the relationship with Belle and the Beast.


9. The supporting characters in the castle

It will always be a joy to see a group of celebrated actors performing in a fun, brash musical. Especially when they're giving 110% like Audra MacDonald (my personal favourite). There may issues with accents (Audra, Ewan McGregor and Emma Thompson) but you can tell they're enjoying it, so just give in.


10. Movie musicals

With La La Land (hopefully) paving the way for original film musicals and Beauty and the Beast proving further audiences aren't averse to them, hopefully we won't be waiting too long for producers committing to a handful more soon. 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Monday, March 13, 2017

My favourite shot...Stage Door.

 
A film that is surprisingly feminist from 1937. Yes!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

How do you describe a feeling?

 
I've found a new home. It's got quirks but I've got optimism.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Top of the class. Underrated films.

 
Some films seems to disappear without any type of fanfare. Below are ten such films that I love and wish more people would seek out.

  1. Away We Go
  2. Young Adult
  3. Me and You and Everyone We Know
  4. The Fountain
  5. The Skeleton Twins
  6. Enemy
  7. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
  8. Bachelorette
  9. The Fall
  10. About Time

Monday, March 06, 2017

Essential cinema.

 
Almost 8 hours of incredible filmmaking. Watch it.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Kiss.

 

Sunday, March 05, 2017

How do you describe a feeling?

 
When a visit to Ikea is much more than just a shop. 

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Kiss.

 

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Top of the class. Potentially homosexual characters in Disney animated films.

 
Whilst it's always good to push forward with equality, I think the recent press around Disney's first gay character is rather descructive. For too long filmmakers have struggled to represent homosexuality and LGBT stories but they have in their own way. Perhaps the best example for Disney is the animated Beauty and the Beast, heavily inspired by Howard Ashman's experience with AIDS. To suggest that there were no homosexual characters before in a canon where many characters don't express sexuality at all (and therefore can have unconfirmed orientation) is sad, and makes me fear that we're seen as much more 'other' than I did when watching these films from childhood. Thankfully I do see us in Disney since their first animated feature film, and here's 10 to celebrate this.

  1. Elsa from Frozem
  2. Cogsworth from Beauty and the Beast 
  3. Zazu from The Lion King
  4. Scar from The Lion King
  5. The gargoyles from The Hunchback of Norte Dame 
  6. Bashful from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  7. Rex from Toy Story
  8. Dumbo
  9. Friend Owl from Bambi
  10. Kronk from The Emperor's New Groove

Friday, March 03, 2017

Thursday, March 02, 2017