…and the quest to see everything

Archive for July, 2010

Old Brad Pitt is Hot


ph. Warner

In next month’s Vanity Fair, Angelia Jolie reveals that “[Acting]’s a luxury…. But I don’t think I’ll do it much longer.” That’s great. I don’t know if I have to take the literacy test again, but there’s either an insinuation or a truncation from other websites that makes me think that because of her influence, Brad will stop acting too.

ph. Paramount

See this face? This is a face that ages like wine. I’ve always liked him above everyone else in his generation, him and Russell Crowe. Let’s look at his generation. Johnny Depp is permanently in costume while Tom Cruise, Nicholas Cage and Russell Crowe are all in different wavelengths of crazy to be stars again. Brad Pitt’s also lucky to have pissed off half of the female populace and live to tell the tale. And he’s just gonna go out like that? Hell no.

Also, it’s surprising how the Pitt-Blanchett movie coupling works out. Would you ever set up a Southern goofball and a regal Aussie together? It’s like a ‘she gives him class and he gives her sex’ kind of dynamic. And $161 million in revenue and four Oscars later (one acting nom for Pitt in Button). Someone put these two in movies forever.


#FilmConfessions


I have really proletarian tastes when it comes to what amuses me, but something wonderful happened at Twitter yesterday afternoon. I’m writing this for posterity, or to tell twitterless Lars about it.

To me it started with Sasha Stone, the woman behind AwardsDaily. She tweeted that ‘I watch Adrian Lyne movies whenever they’re on TV. #filmconfessions.’ Before I had the chance to ask ‘Who the fuck is Adrian Lyne,’ he of Unfaithlful fame, other confessions started pouring in.

ph. Universal/Focus

Web Producer John Gilpatrick also reminded us that boys DO cry – ‘True story: the first time I saw Atonement, two old ladies, who were strangers, consoled me through the credits.’

Guy Lodge from InContention.com looks back at the past – ‘I think FUNNY FACE is superior to SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN in every respect. ‘

Blogger Marya admits to a guilty pleasure – ‘I saw Ask The Dusk in theaters because I love Colin Farrell. It is not so good. I own it on DVD.’

But as you know, the purpose of any film confession weighs less on supposedly ‘shitty’ movies and/or performances one likes. Everyone has guilty pleasures in film. But the fact that someone either likes Post-Big Fish Burton or post-SNL Eddie Murphy or anything by Pauly Shore, makes it a little boring. Then there’s confessions about movie watching ethics which are just boring. Film confessions, thus, lean more towards the classics you dislike because they’re more fun and contentious and garners more discussion. But despite the petty anger I might get from reading those kinds of confessions, those are what confessions are for, and I begrudgingly accept what I read and the emotions thereafter.

It started when Ms. Stone retweeted John Wilson in writing ‘The Deer Hunter made absolutely no sense to me. I don’t care how many Oscars it won, it was a dreadful film.’

My friend Shane Zeagman confessed to disliking musicals, specifically, ‘I ABHORLY HATE the Sound of Music.’ What a troubled childhood you must have had. Boys are so stupid.

ph. RKO

Anna Long shocked and awed a lot of her followers when she unleashed a list of the people, films and performances she thought were overrated or imperfect, like Stanley Kubrick, Julianne Moore in Magnolia, Citizen Kane – to be honest I’ve never met anyone in person who said they LOVED it – and Jaws. But when wrote said that ‘I have no interest in seeing Gone With The Wind.’ I wanna be as nice as I can, but Article 1 of Film Hate states that four out of five of the things listed above. And disliking Gone With the Wind means that the gloves are off, and I start slapping my sisters-in-law and shooting Yankees. But as Chomsky said, I defend your right to say it.

Number 6 on the Film Hate list is Hitchcock, and I finally found someone who has a strange Hitch opinion. ‘@empiremagazine I prefer Psycho 2 to the original Psycho & was saddened that it wasn’t covered in your Hitchcock sections.’

Ryan Helms wrote ‘I’ve fallen asleep 2 out of the 3 times I’ve tried to watch Gosford Park.’ Loved it thought it was hilarious, but British period film, it happens to the best of us.

Fellow Torontonian Jesse Hawken confessed that ‘Everyone liked American Beauty except for me – I hated it.’ Chile, me too.

I also contributed to this hashtag, possibly too many times. Wayne admitted that he ‘has never seen all of Sunset Boulevard or Chinatown.’ I told him that ‘Faye Dunaway’s performance aside, you’re not missing much in either.’ I kinda retract what I said about Sunset Boulevard, since it’s kind of like Network in a way that Billy Holden is telling a crazy woman that…she’s crazy. He’s always one slap away from Kirk Douglas. In that sense, Mr. Holden’s an auteur, and I’d like to think that that’s all he does in movies, which would be awesome.

Andrew Kim booed me when I confessed about my anti-Audrey stance. And I turned one head when I admitted that I thought ‘I’m sorry, but Blade Runner was two-thirds boring.’

ph. MGM

The best part of this hashtag is reading the conversation between prolific film writer Matt Mazur and Kate Winslet’s first kiss, Melanie Lynskey. Mr. Mazur confessed to his indifference towards Godard and Bresson, flip flopping on American Beauty, his love for Cassavetes, crying during Thelma and Louise and a handful of other 1990’s and early 2000’s classics – that was a good time for women, by the way.

Ms. Lynskey opened up about her indifference towards the Star Wars franchise and her satirical look on Gone with the Wind – ‘I can watch poor little rich girls whine on VH1.’ A love for the works of Hugh Grant and Jennifer Aniston – which got a huge discussion. The actual reason why I’m writing this post is to tell you guys that she replied to the tweet I replied to her. And Heavenly Creatures turned me from an child to an adolescent. I’m not a stalker, I swear! Mr. Mazur wrote that ‘I once broke up with someone I was dating because they hated Altman’s Nashville.’ She replied with ‘if someone hates Nashville they don’t deserve to be loved.’ Classic.

Now go away, Friends is on!


Seminal Television – Public Relations


Sorry this was late. Peggy: yay or double yay? ph. zxfactor/ Burgundy Shoes


In the Mood for Love


Wong Kar-Wai’s In The Mood For Love is on at the Harbrourfront at 9 tonight as part of Longo’s Free Flicks about food. Chow Mo-wan (Tony Leung) is a writer and asks Mrs. Chan (Maggie Cheung) to act out roles about fictional love affairs. If you’re able to scroll down and see a review, that’s because I wasn’t able to see the movie for a second time. I still can’t resist telling you how Maggie Cheung’s performance is what makes it a classic. Nonetheless, see you there!


Hausu


ph. Toho/Criterion/Eureka

Other critics have written about the curiously interesting film making techniques that Nobuhiko Obayashi has used in his feature debut, Hausu, which makes me question my sobriety until this moment as I’m writing this post. But I’ll talk about how marriage-obsessed this movie is. A female gym teacher’s having an arranged marriage, and audience members can deduce that the marriage had to be arranged because she didn’t have the volition to look for a man herself. A high school student, Gorgeous – seriously that’s the character’s name – is angry because Daddy’s getting remarried. Gorgeous and her friends are staying with her aunt for the summer. On the way, a poster tells then “Stay at the countryside. Get married.” The aunt’s lover died in the war but stubbornly waits for him forever, and eats young women so that she CAN wait forever.

Hausu is a part of the Japanese horror/Noh/kabuki tradition like its more coherent predecessor, Ugetsu Monogatari, since both have haunted houses with ghostly female hosts trapping new guests, national metaphor, yadda. Hausu is also a part of horror tradition in general because it kills of the useless ones. Who will survive? How many? Will it be Gorgeous, the young woman who might inherit her aunt’s house? Fantasy, the observant one, doting and waiting for her male teacher? Prof, the one who reads while cats with laser eyes – Andy Samberg oughta be sued – is attacking her and her friends? Kung Fu, her name being self-explanatory, although she presents herself as another obvious enemy against the house?  Melody, who shares the aunt’s interest in the piano? Sweet, the one who cleans the house? Or Mac, the one who gives the aunt a watermelon? You have two more days, today till Thursday. Go see it!

I do like these girls, walking through the countryside like that. Girls today would be too conscious that they might be watching their pedicures while treading on their impractical Louboutin heels. Or maybe that’s just me being sexist.

I wasn’t scared in a way that I wasn’t jolted by the movie, but it’s creepy and that’s good enough for horror. Enjoy this movie.


I can has TIFF vouchers, please?


Cameron Bailey announced the TIFF lineup highlights. I saw 11 last year, I would like to see 11 this year. But I only have at the most 80 bucks on my checking now. I get paid on Thursday, but most of that is going to OSAP.

Here’s a long list. I listed 22 because I believe in a .500 batting average. Foreign films jump to the front of the line. I love Americans, but I can wait to watch them by Christmas. Indicated in bold are stuff I really wanna see.

ph. TIFF/ TWC

Galas
Barney’s Version, Richard J. Lewis, Canada/Italy
Black Swan, Darren Aronofsky, USA
Casino Jack, George Hickenlooper, Canada
The Conspirator, Robert Redford, USA

The Housemaid, Im Sang-Soo, South Korea

The King’s Speech, Tom Hooper, United Kingdom/Australia
Little White Lies Guillaume Canet, France

Potiche, François Ozon, France


Special Presentations
Another ,Year Mike Leigh, United Kingdom
Biutiful, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Spain/Mexico

Blue Valentine, Derek Cianfrance, USA
Brighton Rock ,Rowan Joffe, United Kingdom
Cirkus Columbia,   Danis Tanovic, Bosnia and Herzegovina
It’s Kind of a Funny Story, Ryan Fleck, Anna Boden, USA
L’Amour Fou, Pierre Thoretton, France
The Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen Andrew Lau, Hong Kong
Love Crime, Alain Corneau, France

Miral Julian Schnabel, United Kingdom/Israel/France

Norwegian Wood, Tran Anh Hung, Japan
Rabbit Hole, John Cameron Mitchell, USA
Tamara Drewe, Stephen Frears, United Kingdom
You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, Woody Allen, United Kingdom/USA/Spain


Fat Girl


ph. Criterion

I’m trying to be nicer to this movie because what Roger Ebert and Liza Schwarzbaum and one other critic I can’t find have said about this movie are valid. Girls like sisters Elena, 15 and the titular fat girl Anais, 12, or at least adolescents, can be cruel to each other and then hug and comfort each other the next morning as if nothing happened. And yes, what happened in the ending can happen. You can’t blame the mother (Arsinee Khanjian) for making her choice because motels are just as creepy.

But there’s three things that bugged me during the movie. First is the mother’s thin characterization Her blase response to her husband’s question that “young people meet” makes her a passive accomplice to Elena and Anais’ sexual misadventures. Elena flirts with law student Fernando while Anais is the same room, while the parents are in the same house. Fernando and Elena opens doors, they converse, the smoke cigarettes, Elena has anal sex with Fernando for the first time. The first thing on that list should have woken the parents up. Then when Fernando’s mother reveals the relationship, both mothers are shocked as if nobody knew what was  going on.

Second, that Elena is  stupid enough to fall for Fernando’s lies. Anais is Elena’s foil in that she’s smarter and more jaded about sex despite being a virgin. She represents the contemporary adolescent, in theory smarter than their predecessors. Elena’s smitten by Fernando, and she really wants the experience. But she doesn’t even listen to reason, even from Fernando. When I was watching this movie, the future parent in me came out in full fury.

Lastly, there were parts when I felt there wasn’t enough of Anais. She is the fat girl in the title, why can’t she have her own misadventures? And the ending doesn’t count as one.