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I didn't know James McEvoy was in Becoming Jane!!!

*runs off to blockbuster*
ambersienna maria
ok, so i just tried watching Three Times and just could not do it! it was so freakin slow i wanted to cry.
and i don't normally need some high action crazy paced flick, but it just seemed a tad ridiculous.

Also, 3:10 to yuma, which everyone at my work raved about, was crap!

La vie en rose and trade next on my netflix.

oooh i also want to see persepolis at the theaters. anyone see it yet??
Okay, I don't know why this is happening, but the CBC has up and taken itself over to London for the next week or two, so they broadcast the British Academy of Film and Theatre Arts awards last night (the BAFTAs) and I was home and doing nothing, and therefore able to watch.

Many of the films nominated for Oscars were also nominated for BAFTAs, and many of the presenters and attendees included the luminaries we'll all see next week (if we watch the Oscars...and I probably will, as they're always pricier and much more about gowns than they are about anything else).

I watched Tilda Swinton accept the award for best supporting? actress for her role in that film she's in with George Clooney, and she was wearing this borderline absurd but actually kind of interesting canary taffeta and black poufys decorated gown with a fishtail skirt. Watching her walk up the stairs to accept the award, she seemed conscious of the skirt's restriction (it was fairly evident). Then she said: "Proof that I wasn't expecting this...I'd never have worn this dress if I'd planned on being up here".
I always forget how much I like her, and last night I remembered how much I've always wanted to be just like her. I so wish more Hollywood actresses were--uncomplicated, matter of fact, and yet always brilliant in her work and also stunning.

Atonement took an awful lot of awards, including Best Picture.

Javier Bardem was awfully active in presenting, accepting awards, and just basically doing a lot of talking to the audience. I've decided I'm watching the Oscars because he's likely to do the same thing there.

Ophelia, My Blueberry Nights (I think) is the title of an upcoming Wong Kar Wei film, and it will feature Norah Jones as its star.

Speaking of awards and all that, Cha-Cha,

Did you see & like "Away from Her"? I found it very nicely done, and that Julie C. was perfect. "Darling" grows up!

Her hubby, can't recall his name and I gather he is a perennial up there in the Great White North, was a bit too stunned too often. It didn't' seem right that he was so out of it, as opposed to figuring out how things were unfolding.

And then last night I saw "Blame it on Fidel," about a young girl growing up in 70's France, with parents that are all caught up in politics. Comparable to "Katarina in the Big City," a (better) Italian movie about a young girl struggling with the politics of her crazy father, and the larger intense political swirl, so unlike this country south of you. Both have excellent child acting, and can be recommended... if you enjoy movies about a young lass, growing up into this problematic world, with adult issues being dumped upon her, precipitously.

ta ta,
yr Dolor

PS Amber: Just saw Vie en Rose. Acting and sets are great but you have to put up with much confusing jumping around in her chronology. This diminished it for me.
I really like La Vie en Rose. I thought Marion Cotillard's performance was great. The chronological jumping around was a bit trying, but overall, it didn't bother me too much.
Saw "Away from Her" last night, on DVD: Thought Julie Christie was fearless. Great flick and I thought Gordon Pinsent was very good, too. Always kinda wondered why he didn't make it "down south" in Hollywood...

Also saw "Superbad" on DVD and laughed my ass off!!! "McLovin", the organ donor from Hawaii, killed me.

"Charlie Wilson's War" was great, loved the closing quote.

"Juno" was brilliant. I thought Jennifer Garner was fantastic. A very "unlike-able" character who, at the last moment, showed her courage, maturity and commitment. Jennifer Garner played her note perfect.

"No Country for Old Men" was stunning!! Where to start... Javier Bardem was great but Tommy Lee Jones was magnificent! Best line of of the movie" "What I'm saying is that, in life, nothing is certain. Not even between men and steer." Huge movie, very true to Cormac McCarthy's vision of the world.
i saw the new romero film "diary of the dead" yesterday with the boy. both being from pittsburgh and GIANT zombie nerds, we had to go. honestly, i was expecting it to be pretty terrible. IT WAS. i guess romero's just gettin' old!

...anyway, for those of you unfamiliar, the movie is a movie-within-a-movie and starts out with college students filming a horror movie, but turns into them filming the zombie-madness unfolding around them.

here are my main problems with the film (disregarding the terrible acting, of course-since it is a zombie flick):

- the characters are not in the least likeable. well, most of them aren't. the guy filming the movie is a dick to all of his friends and keeps shoving a camera in their faces, all while being WAY more concerned with making a documentary than surviving, or helping his bros and woman survive. unfortunately, he lasts too long. the movie is narrated by his girlfriend-a survivor of the zombie attacks who finished his movie for him. she sounds like a coked-out teenager reading a terrible script through the whole movie. the characters that are likeable are destroyed quickly by zombies-not fair!

- the characters are students at the university of pittsburgh, though the movie mostly takes place with them on the road, trying to find loved ones in the midst of the attack. regardless, the movie starts in pittsburgh, but there are NO shots of pitt (an architectural delight) or pittsburgh-LAME.

- and lastly, the word "zombie" is never uttered in the film! people are totally fucking oblivious to what's going on. sorry, but if cnn broadcasts "the dead are coming back to life!" my first thought is: ZOMBIES. duh.

i mostly went to see the zombies, anyway. and even that wasn't so great.
surely a disappointment. sorry, romero.
hey reel lifers-- esp. my own favorite movie startlets, dolor and cha cha (i'm going to reply to your email, i swear!!!)

i saw jumpers and the eye over the weekend. i was gonna sneak into some more heavy movies, but well, a personal thingy interrupted.

jumpers was light. fluffy popcorn fun.

the eye, however, was poop. the american version was everything i hate in an american remake, and of all the asian horror movies, the eye is the worst. it never gives the audience any credit that they'll be able to figure anything out, the result is a movie where even the horror is telegraphed well in advance and any emotional depth in the original is traded in for the most ham-handed dialog. which is a shame. the original movie by the pang brothers was a complex look at families, with the main charecter's mother and sister plotting to keep her dependent after an operation gives her sight, and a family's reconciliation after death, and it is that last part, the emotional climax of the movie that i find so sorry in the remake. gone is the dynamic about a mother/daughter trying to find forgiveness after life, and what is left is shown before the opening credits, which effectively removes all of the suspense. what's worse, after a horrible, horrible opening voice over, we get scenes that are shot as if they were designed to fall asleep to, but the most moronic, unnatural expository dialog i have ever heard this side of a superhero movie. i suppose i should have known when the opening credits listed two directors instead of one.
I like Marion Cotillard (sp?). She was very convincing as Edith Giovanna. But La Vie en Rose was unwatchable.

Gorden Pinsent, Donald Pleasance, Donald Sutherland, Christopher Plummer...some examples of Canadian character actors who've made an effort to "stay put" in Canada, for some good reasons.

These Canadian actors have spent a lot of time making loads of movies (Sutherland has made hundreds of films, the others not quite so many, but almost) and most have preferred to work all over the world and not just in Hollywood. Pinsent is a Maritimer, as are the others (my mother in law went to school with Donald Sutherland because they're both from the same Nova Scotia town) and many preferred to stay in the Maritimes despite their work. Pinsent's spent a lot of time directing and writing and producing up here. I think, for a long time, the decision to stay in Canada and try to create a film industry here was a political one with a lot of force behind it; film certainly seems to thrive up here, but for the most part Canadian cities with active film industries serve as a place to make cheap American B movies or A movies set in cities Toronto or Vancouver can vaguely evoke. This wasn't the intention behind staying put here, just one of the unplanned outcomes. For the most part, however, I don't think Polley would have been able to make her film if she weren't someone who could benefit from the groundwork these actors put down over the past 30 or 40 years.

Sarah Polley herself is a Toronto native who's intent on staying in Canada. When I was a kid, her mother was a character actress who worked with actors like Pinsent and Sutherland; she was successful for looking like a nice, middle class Canadian housewife. So I think Sarah Polley made lifelong connections with these actors and other people in the business just by being alive, and being familiar of the way they could work along with her. That's rare, I think: she was able to draw from an artistic community that might never have become real if its core players moved away and into the American industry.

Among the other offspring who've been able to benefit: Amanda Plummer, Leah Pinsent, Kiefer Sutherland (whose first feature film was Bay Boy, set in rural Nova Scotia. He acted opposite Liv Ullman, and the film featured Leah Pinsent in her own first role).
Chingus, I loved Away From Her. I really hope Julie Christie wins the Oscar.

Chacha, I agree with you on La Vie en Rose. I found that movie very trying to watch. Though I do think the actress was wonderful.

I finally saw There Will Be Blood. WOW.
The thing I like about Oscars:

1. An excuse for all the things I love: snarky gown judgment, brightly coloured, slightly loaded cocktails, popcorn (usually mixed with pecans, butter candy, cashews, a bit of maple syrup as a flavouring, smooshed around and then eaten in restrained quantities....or just hot popcorn with smarties or chocolate covered caramels thrown into it, also good).

2. All the movies become available on DVD shortly after the show, so I can finally see them. I miss good movies in good movie theatres...but I love watching them at home, too.

One movie that was nominated last year (and nominated this year for the BAFTAs) was The Lives of Others. Such a great film. Did I say that somewhere already? If I did, sorry for repeating myself.
I finally saw Margot at the Wedding on dvd. I have a feeling it's either a love it or hate it film for most people. The dark humor worked for Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Jack Black. Needless to say I love dark humor, so I loved it. Also didn't realize Cirian Hinds was in the film, it seems like he is everywhere lately.

Also saw Red Without Blue on dvd, a doc about identical twins and one is transgender. As a twin I really found it interesting. Quiet City on dvd, very talky and just okay.

My Oscar picks (who I want to win, not who I think will win):

Film: There Will Be Blood
Male actor: Daniel Day Lewis-There Will Be Blood
Female actor: Laura Linney-The Savages, second choice would be Julie Christie-Away From Her
Supporting male actor: Javier Bardem-No Country for Old Men
Supporting female actor: Saoirse Ronan-Atonement
I have to come in to give some love for La Vie En Rose. I thought it was fantastic. Emotionally gruelling, sure, but stunning. Marion Cotillard won a Bafta for it and I'd love to see her win the Oscar. Her performance as Piaf was seriously the best thing I've seen in years.

If she doesn't get it, I'd like to see it go to Julie Christie. Blanchett is always good but I've seen her on better form than in The Golden Age, which she's nominated for. I like Laura Linney too: it's a great group. Ellen Page is fantastic in everything I've seen her in, but she's young: it'll come around for her again. Ditto Saoirse Ronan.

I think Daniel Day Lewis will win, but I'd like to see it go to Tommy Lee Jones. He was amazing in The Valley of Elah (otherwise a fairly unremarkable film), all granite landscape of a face and incredibly expressive black eyes. And even though he's my boyfriend, I honestly think George Clooney is better in a supporting role (excepting maybe Syriana, but that was an ensemble film.)
Also, speaking of Donald Sutherland, I saw the 1978 remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers last weekend. That movie is great. Sutherland is fab in it, but the cast also includes a young Jeff Goldblum, and Leonard Nimoy. Fantastic.
i can't wait for the oscars tonite. my friend and i have a tradition of sitting on the couch in our rattiest pj's and picking apart the designer dresses on the red carpet. we're also going to order and eat a ginormous amount of chinese food.

and i hope no country for old men wins best pic !
my roommate moved, but i'm continuing our annual oscar tradition of pigging out on indian food with my printed oscar ballot. we're still watching "together" while chatting online. lol

i'm going for there will be blood to win best pic, but i hagve a feeling it'll be atonement. ugh.
did they skip brad renfro during the memoriam?!! i think they did!
we noticed that too! it's already a page six story.
> Also, speaking of Donald Sutherland, I saw the 1978 remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers last weekend. That movie is great. Sutherland is fab in it, but the cast also includes a young Jeff Goldblum, and Leonard Nimoy. Fantastic.

Yes, this is one of the surprisingly few remakes that stands up to the original. Moving it to San Francisco is inspired!

Excellent Chinese laundry scene, when he's whispering: "....My wife.... she not my wife..."

Later, when they're both pods: "My wife fine now!"

And there have been two more remakes since that one.

Sorry if someone already posted this, but I just saw Descent (Rosario Dawson) last night and.....I liked it, although i felt sick and a bit depressed after I saw it. If you're looking for a light and happy movie this is not it, but i think it's worth watching. I had to watch Anthony Bourdain right after so i could dig myself out of the dumps (it's my favorite.) I think the portrayal of the rape and it's effects on the protagonist were realistic.....seeing the preview i was afraid it was going to be like a Lifetime Movie portrayal of rape, but i was surprised. I should have know, because Rosario never disappoints. What did you think, if anyone else saw it?
Hey GirlTrouble,

So, I attached myself to the Host last night... so thanks for that quirky import! Now I need to stroll back to find your rave review.. here in the lounge... there was one, right?

Did you also see /like his prior "Memories of Murder...?"

Now I've seen this and BOTH "Seances"... and ...?
and have you seen Holy Girl??

If not then you are irredeemably naughty and deserve some sustained spankage.

yr D-Gal

PS Fresh snow here, and super beautiful outside....
Cara Trouble-Gal,

So I did some retrospective poking and here's what you said about the Host, the day after Xmas:

"i've seen the host before--of course! it's directed by my favorite director, who, to my mind is the korean hitchcock. unlike some super directors, he can keep audiences in the palm of his hand without being saccarine. joon bong-ho balances drama with comedy effortlessly. and the host? well, it's the korean "godzilla" movie. but here is the thing: no guys in monster suits, no kitsch. this is not your father's monster movie. this could just as easily be classified as a suspense film. directed with a deadly sense of sly humor, but not willing to ease the tension for a second, this is a brainy thrill ride with a heart. it's got a dysfunctional family that you fall in love with, and really relate to. it's the family movie for the aduts to watch after the kids have gone to bed. i forgot how absolutely draining it is. no question, this is my favorite movie of the year."

Yes, it was full of surprises.

Also, it had a nice warm ending, with a quasi-reconstituted tiny family. Not with the daughter, but with the boy she was trying to save... They turn off the TV with the Americans droning on and on (always a good move...) and there you have the little metal hut in the snow...

I'm looking for to the next one, joon's that is, Memories of Murder, the one about serial murders which again, like the Host, is ready to re-think the genre.

Also, in trolling back I came upon your reference to the other "MA vie en rose"-- what a sweet charmer that was!

As you are, I'm sure....
I saw Ang Lee's Lust, Caution this past weekend on DVD and I loved it. It's gorgeous, really erotic, and the acting is incredible. It's in Chinese and it's set during WWII, and the sets and costumes are beautiful.

Assassination of Jesse James..., not so much. It had way too much narration, and I don't think Casey Affleck deserved that Oscar nom. He was good, but Steve Zahn (Rescue Dawn) or Chiwetel Ejiofor (Talk to Me) were more deserving of noms, imo.

I actually liked Elizabeth: The Golden Age more than the original. It's total bullshit as far as history is concerned, but I've seen worse. heh
Our new movie, "Girls Rock!", which was reviewed very nicely in this last issue of Bust Magazine is opening on March 7 in NY, LA, Portland, Seattle, Chicago, San Francisco and Berkeley...Here's our trailer, waddya think?

Oh dearest madam dolor!

upon my word, I did not expect so long an interval before i sent some sort of missive to you, my filmic muse! do know, that my heart remains quite heavy for it's length. indeed, at this very moment i feel the very soul of loathesomeness for still owing cha cha a letter. I am astonished you -- and chacha have not given me several heaves, not to mention the hos because of the delays in my letters-- (here to fore to be known as "the schemes") while i am sure the delivery of heave-hos would keep me in Mind of what I have almost entirely forgot (ie. the schemes). I do not recommend this to you because, if some plan of this kind is adopted, I shall be called, or rather branded with the name of a dunce, which you know I could never bear. I beg you will never consider this plan seriously and I will lend it all the assistance in my power in the urgent act of a reply to two of my favorite film fans, and busties. rest assured, i will forever be much obliged to you for your continued kindnesses in your brilliant dissection of films, and being so generous as to watch a movie because i liked it. you are the best, ever! and ofcourse i saw the holy girl and naturally loved it. i felt awful cos it took me so long to get around to it, only to discover a movie that i loved.

i am pleased you liked the host. strange as it may strike your ear, that you would think highly of one of my favorite films is terribly validating. as for memories of murder i love it too. in recent times, i have grown not just to eshew but to also display nothing but complete and utter nausea at the mention of serial killer films. honestly, the genre is not only bancrupt, but has been 'done to death.' the exception is MOM, which takes the point of view of two beat cops so out of their depth as they try to hunt down korea's first serial killer. the actor who plays the dopey father in the host is deadly serious as one of the lead cops, and is phenomenal. again, joon bong-ho's ablility to shift from violence and shock to subtle, gallows humor, to my mind makes him one of the best living directors. MOM is a great open and closed, cross genre films, charecters are constantly confined by stereotypes, yet unable to live up to their roles, the rules that they are supposed to live by breakdown fall apart and fail, even to the unraveling of detective/mystery/serial killer genre. i recommend all of bong-ho's films to anyone who is serious about movies. each one is a brilliant gem on it's own merits, so different from the last. if, and i know it is not available in the us (unless you count bootlegs, or untranslated korean versions) but, if you are able to find barking dogs never bite-- bong-ho's first film-- see it. i think you will understand how, even back then, on the strength of that film alone, bong ho became my favorite director, and has remained so even though he makes movies at a glacial pace.

if i am to offer an excuse for my lack of replies, or delay in such, it's because i've gotten a new job! i am lead welder fabricator at a sign shop! what a suprize since i have been welding less than a year, and this is only my second welding job!

anyways, i do so miss hearing you rhapsodize about film. you do it so dreamily. but ofcourse that is our dolor!

that girl's trouble
did anyone else think michael clayton was full of itself? and tilda couldn't even have been in it for more than 15 minutes! how the hell did she get that oscar?
oops, sorry.
Oh You Dear Tea Gal of the August Moon,

First, that's great about your job. I'll bet you look super-cute with your welding gear at hand! This true-tranny knows how to bind different parts together, right? Congratulations on getting there so quickly, you Star Pupil.

So glad to see that you did connect with La Nina Santa, the movie and the holy girl herself. To say more about her: She is so transformed and *empowered* by this amalgamation of the religious, the moral, the erotic. She becomes a major hunk of GirlTrouble, getting herself and others into big trouble with her intense burgeoning gal-itude. Which is set off so arbitrarily... by some furtive cocky creep.

The director knew this empowerment and transformation, when she was growing up, during her own Catholic girlhood. In the "making of" documentary, she points to this autobiographical aspect, the fact that she experienced such powerful holiness herself, back then.

But while the movie values the holy girl, and is very much from a female point of view, women in general are not indulged. Her friend and her mother... they are not holy! Hardly.

Also, I love the way the movie stops..... before its climax. With the girls swimming together, together ironically, with La Nina Santa not knowing that her friend has betrayed her...

Also, technically, the use of framing and sound and music is masterful.
As is the unfolding of the oblique plot.

The rave review at the NYTimes is spot on:

As I said, there's also Martel's earlier, La Ceniaga, i.e. the Swamp. Also at Netflix. Not as complex, but great atmosphere and more obliqueness. A bit too misanthropic? I'm sure it's also autobiographical, that she was lost in such dismal swamps herself. If you've grooved with the Holy Girl first, then you'll have a better idea of how it works. It will seem less confusing, plotless? not so swampy.

ta ta fer na,
your Dolor
Picked this movie called Mr. Barrington ( 2003) kind random from Netflix. It's a little indie movie ( not a lot of money) but I kind of enjoyed it. Also I finale saw No country for old men I have heard people complain about the ending but personal I felt it fit the tone of the movie well.
how could i do else than agree with my most darling dolor? really? ah to swim in the filmic sea of dolor, or would i just as happily drown? either would be wonderful. but if asked to sum up my feelings for you dolor i am reduced to webspeak:


i saw persepolis, it was good with all the talk about iran and iraq, it's a good on-the-ground look at recent history between those two countries. it's comments on feminism and freedom are wonderful without being preachy. i had read the sequel and another one of her graphic novels, embroderies, which i liked quite a bit. it starred the author's grandma who, you can't help but fall in love with, who is a major character in the movie too.
Has anyone seen Tideland? I've added it to my dvd rental list but I'd prefer to read the book first. I thought it looked a little like Pan's Labyrinth.

I tried watching Half Nelson but gave up due to boredom.

We watched Everything is Illuminated on Friday night and liked it but it's not a patch on the book (one of my favourites); it is nowhere near as powerful and doesn't hold the same emotional intensity. Liev Schreiber also made a significant plot alteration, which in my opinion didn't work or make sense and the same illumination wasn't provided at the end.

I want to see Persepolis.
I've seen Tideland. It is a little like Pans Labyrinth in that it involves surreal circumstances and the endangerment of children. It has some shocking imagery and events, so much so that Terry Gilliam issues a warning at the beginning of the film. The entire time I watched, I wanted to alert the authorities, lol. I have not read the book, but perhaps reading it beforehand would soften the blow. (I loved Pans Labyrinth, I'm still not sure how I feel about Tideland)

I loved Everything is Illuminated I need to get the book! Is it the same title?

I saw Shortbus with my reluctant boy. I liked it, but he was just weirded out. I loved Sook-Yin Lee.

Has anyone seen The Business of Fancydancing ? It's based on a book of poetry by Sherman Alexie, who wrote Smoke Signals . I loved it, it features some beautiful improv acting. The movie touches on themes of death, friendship, acceptance, culture, homosexuality. I just found it to be an interesting, heartfelt film.

ETA: Ooh, I almost forgot about The Doe Boy. The only real similarity with Alexie films is that it deals with Native American (for lack of a better term) culture and family issues. This is one of the most honest and beautiful films I've seen. It's a coming of age story about a young man with a Cherokee mother and Caucasian father. He has hemophilia, which sets him apart from the other kids on the reservation. It's hard to describe/summarize. My favorite line is in the love scene, when he's kissing the girl and she asks "Why are you shaking?" he asks her what day it is, and when she says "Tuesday", he says "I always shake on Tuesdays.".
QUOTE(girltrouble @ Mar 6 2008, 08:19 PM) *

i saw persepolis, it was good with all the talk about iran and iraq, it's a good on-the-ground look at recent history between those two countries. it's comments on feminism and freedom are wonderful without being preachy. i had read the sequel and another one of her graphic novels, embroderies, which i liked quite a bit. it starred the author's grandma who, you can't help but fall in love with, who is a major character in the movie too.

yep, i've got Embrodories on hold at the lib, because the grandma was so great. i loved Persepolis also for the reasons you said, gt, as well as the visuals. graphic and very clever.
snow white
i saw Pan's Labyrinth and i appreciated the film but i doubt i will ever watch it again. it was like hostle meets Nick jr. and that just feels wrong to me.

and speaking of michael clayton i try to keep a 50 foot radius between me and any george cloony film at all times, so, yeah, it probably was full of it's self. and Tilda freaked me out with her Oscar outfit.
I finally saw No Country for Old Men, and that ending just infuriated me. I cannot believe that won Best Picture/Director over There Will Be Blood. Watching it just brought up all my hatred toward this years Oscars all over again...

I saw Happiness the other day and absolutely loved it. The humor is just sooooo wrong and it's downright creepy at times, but I loved it. I'm sick that way, though. smile.gif

i just adore happiness. i love how the director makes you squirm-- it's like 2 hours of comedic torment. he has the most fucked up sense of humor. but i couldn't help laughing as i cringed.

has anyone seen funny games? i know it's going to be brutal, but i can't help but love michael hanake's technique. i've written several posts about his early films, benny's video and 71 fragments... most people know his film the piano teacher his movies are often studies in violence, filmed with a coldness that only hitchcock or kubrick could match, and while i lose patience with kubrick pretty quickly, there always seems to be some larger purpose in hanake's films-- audience complicity. something i just love in a director, it's what makes rear window, psycho, and yes, kubrick's clockwork orange such powerful movies. the audience never gets to just rubberneck the violence, unlike like so many of the new horror films. they are as much to blame as the "bad guys." or, in the case of 71 fragments, random violence is just that-- random violence. not pretty, not vengeful, just tragic. just sad. and afterwards we are left with the loose ends and aftermath. meaningless and empty. in the time of the wolf, we see violence is a means of order in a post apocolyptic world, or in the case of cache(hidden) one of those marvelous mysteries that the director gives you the solution in the last scene, easily missed-- depending on your interpetation. like greenaway's the falls or kurosawa's cure, or my favorite korean horror movie, tale of two sisters.
from the scenes i have seen, it looks like he takes up that brutal scene in clockwork. and in all honesty, there are two movies i've seen that i swore i'd never see again-- they were too brutal for me. clockwork orange and takashi miike's ichi the killer. and it's not that i'm squeamish. i love horror movies. it's just something in the way those films are made... i guess as much as i admire hanake, i'm kind of afraid to see funny games too. hmmm:/

Oh have GOTS to check out "Jesus Is Magic", Sarah Silverman's movie/musical/stand-up/DVD/riot. Watched it last night. All day I've been remembering jokes from it at inappropriate times and laughing solo, by myself, like standing in line at the grocery like a crazy person. Going to watch it again tonight. and again and again, I'm certain of it. HIGH-larity!!!!! Also Bob Odenkirk and Brian Posehn are in it. ONLY for youse kids who like laughin' ~ beware!!!
Dear Girl Trouble and all,

Well I did see Cache, just to see that all the fuss was about. Intriguing, yes. But....

In the "special features" Haneke was misanthropic in a thoroughly straightforward manner... Surprising to me, how frank he was. And from my standpoint, that level of pessimism is... an existential error. We only have one life and it's wiser to seek out the subtle flowers than gag on the obvious poisons. Misanthropy is self-loathing, writ large. So, I'll bet he's not my cup of tea.


your Dolor

PS Did you see Greenaway's "Prospero's Books"? Simply dazzling. Not sure what else to say, but those tableux were just jaw-dropping. Wow. And wow. Not on DVD, yet.

PPS Meanwhile I've just watched Tarkovsky's 3hr Solaris (+ 3 hrs of Criterion commentary...), and then the remake by Soderburg, with Geo Clooney. The remake is OK, but it's narrowed down to a love story, complete with happy ending. So it comes as another American simplification... of Russian gnomic complexities.
i'd have to agree with you, dolor about the misanthropy, i was curious as to what haneke had to say, but i couldn't watch the interview all the way. being an ignorant american i didn't know so much about the french and the algerians. horrible. every country has it's sins....

i love prospero's books, but i have been disappointed by greenaway's more recent things. i think the baby of macon was the last of his films that i found visually interesting. the pillow book had great ideas, but was so.... conventional.... i was just sad. his films before the pillow book were all so distinctive. nobody ever made films like him, how say he ended up making firlms like everybody else.

i've wanted to see the solaris' films. but i lack the patience of late. but speaking of soderberg (and gradually disappointing film directors), have you seen his schizopolis? so freaking cool. i was hoping he was going to keep making these brilliant off the wall films... and then he decided to concentrate on the oceans 11, 12, 13...45, 46 films. yawn. then again, i've still not seen bubble, so who knows. it might be really good... (yeah, right.)

the whole piss poor american remake conversation always makes me gnash my teeth due to my nemisis: cameron crowe and his big stinky steamer, vanilla sky. soooo d-u-m-b-e-d d-o-w-n. don't get me started.

dolor darling, don't be such a stranger! you know i wait for you to grace us with your filmic brilliance with baited breath, don't you? i would love for you to regale us with tales of russian gnomic complexities...

Dear T-Gal,

Why do you "lack patience as of late"?

For me the epitome of the lamentable American version is Sluizer's own (?!) US remake of "the Vanishing" where it is turned into some kind of... nail-biting action climax, followed by the necessary happy ending. (So what else is new?) Instead of the existential (apologies for over-using this term?) terror of the original. I'm sure that S thought that this could make his breakthrough into the big budget world of "Hollywood," and rationalized it on that basis... (But it didn't work out, did it?)

Hard to talk about Solaris if you haven't seen either version. And I don't want to set up a spoiler, in case you do. I'll just say that with Takovsky's the surprise sudden ending is a massive opening up and complexification, while the US version is wrapped up neatly & happily.

If you're interested in the Gnomic, you could watch Tarkovsky's "Mirror," which is the most personal, the most dream-like. Entrancing, and hard to make sense of. I need to watch it again. Wish we could do so together.

- yr dolor

PS I haven't seen Schizopolis, and have been wondering whether I should. I'd like to see his Kafka, for the mise en scene if nothing else. Whatever else is to be said about Soderburg, you have to respect him for being committed to his small and "difficult" movies, instead of just moving into the world of big stars & big budgets.

PPS Beautiful snow storm outside...
Yeah, the original The Vanishing has stayed with me through the years. Like A Clockwork Orange, it left a deep impression on my psyche. Can't say I want to see it again though! (& I can't even remember the remake. What puffed-up crap.)

Recently finished The Lives of Others. Wow.
oh, dolor, you haven't lived until you've seen schizopolis-- it's structure is so unique, i think you'll really enjoy it. if nothing else for it's audacity.

as for kafka, i liked it for the mise, visually soderberg can be pretty amazing-- i can't help but think of the colors he used in his other neo-noir, the underneath which had those lovely lighting gels (which really aren't used enough). in many ways it reminded me of michael mann's tv work, like the fantastic, dennis farina vehicle, crime story, or of course, miami vice, or his first film-- manhunter.

just please don't remind me of soderberg's king of the hill. i LOATHE coming of age pix.

i am, however, i have to say, darling dolor, in mourning for my patience. i haven't read any fiction in years. usually the film festival is the place i could do long-playing films, but it's been years since i was film reviewing and could take the month off and do that sooooo.....

hey, what does it mean that a movie based on a true story has to change the lead in 21 from a real life asian to a general white guy? what up?

ok, bubble bath time!

ta-for na, dolor!;)

Oh you Gal of Troubles,

-- back from your bubbles?

In regard to violence, hyper-violence, preposterous violence (I'm going back to your message about Funny Games) it is a problem for me, and not so funny. I don't like being assaulted. Not too mention the current popular sessions protracted grisly torture, which I have not witnessed, only heard about. Ooof, I don't know what else I wanna say about such this fair morning.

Tangent (violence) from this: Have you seen Cyclo?

Tangent (Asia) from that: Just saw the documentary "Great Happiness Space" about dolled up male "host-boys" who "heal" (at great cost!) dolled up female prostitutes. Definitely worth watching if you're intrigued by Japanese culture. What is so baffling about this (for naive me) is that despite the case that these women are themselves exchanging sex for money, they do not "see through" (or not at all clearly) the case that the host-boys are exchanging "fun" & "frienship" & "love" (and sometimes sex) for money. That they are now the "johns."
This reminds me of learning from a friend who worked in a casino that during their time off her co-workers would go off... gambling! Despite the case that they could see through the whole racket, everyday, they would themselves then fall into it.

-- ciao-abunga,
Finale got to see The Mist and I must say I really liked it . I think it's the best Stephen King ap i have seen since The Shinning. The ending is kind of brutal but it's the only part that does not say true to the short story . I also saw I am Legend am a big fan of the book and both the movies but I have to say I was really disappointed that the vampires/zombie all seemed to be CGI.
I have seen the original Funny Games and am not a big fan.
My BF has got me hooked on the Zatoichi blind swordsman movies and I got him to watch Seven Samurai,Rain,and Throne of Blood which he loves now.
lunia, haneke is certainly NOT for everybody, and certainly not for most people. honestly i was taken by suprize by the success of the piano teacher, like cache, it is not exactly the sort of film he usually makes. in many of his movies it's very easy to overlook the fierce intellegence of the filmaker because his films can be EXTREMELY shocking. that said, i can see how people don't like his films. i don't care for kubrick, who i think is kind of an american precursor.

nice work with the samurai films tho. that's one genre that i have yet to explore. which i ought to be ashamed of considering my love of asian cinema.

speaking of which, i have not seen cyclo, dolor, my love, and i hate myself for it. i was absolutely DAZZLED by scent of a green papaya, and a Q&A session with the director when i was working for the film festival up here, and i thought he was a director to watch, but i've never gotten around to see cyclo or vertical ray of the sun, his two subsequent movies....

the film you talk about sounds strange, but understandable, atleast by my understanding of the escort world (which is first hand), right now i have a friend who is a pro domme, and she dreads meeting new people for fear of the question, "so what do you do for work?' your life ends up being quite insular, because of other's views of your work. friends end up being quite a scarce resource.

probably going to go see the bank job tomorrow. i love caper/heist flicks... they are so fun. last i saw was stander, which was like a 70's wet dream. bank heists(dog day afternoon), cop rebels (like serpico), and prison breaks (like papillion, the birdman of alcatraz, etc) all wrapped in one, and it was a true story. light but serious too, i loved job should be fun, next is flawless. i love michael can since his awesome 60's caper/spy films...get carter, the italian job, and of course, the ipcress file, and it's two secrets (not to mention the parodys (the our man flint films)

Cara T-Gal,

So I was wondering,
Why do you loathe coming-of-age flix? Is it because such flix are too sentimental, complacent, or?
Or is it because (in regard to life, and not merely flix) the notion of "coming of age" is annoying for you? Or what?

As to your wiser "first hand" response to my naive puzzlement with why these gals in the Great Happiness Space turn to very expensive host-boys (for their space of happiness), at one point some say that these boys don't look down upon them, because they are also in the game. It's at Netflix, if you'd like to check it out.

ta ta ta, my sweet,

PS Just put Cyclo into my Queue.

PPS As for Samurai, Lunia I've also seen many of the classic B&W ones: Yojimbo, 7 Samurai, Throne of Blood, Sword of Doom... The latter perhaps has my favorite fight scene: Mifune laying waste to a horde of swordsmen.. IN THE SNOW... while Nakadai (the doomed one) looks on in trepidation... Look for it.
QUOTE(lunia666 @ Mar 30 2008, 01:08 PM) *
Finale got to see The Mist and I must say I really liked it . I think it's the best Stephen King ap i have seen since The Shinning. The ending is kind of brutal but it's the only part that does not say true to the short story . I also saw I am Legend am a big fan of the book and both the movies but I have to say I was really disappointed that the vampires/zombie all seemed to be CGI.
I have seen the original Funny Games and am not a big fan.
My BF has got me hooked on the Zatoichi blind swordsman movies and I got him to watch Seven Samurai,Rain,and Throne of Blood which he loves now.

Lunia - Mr. Pugs and I saw The Mist and I am Legend this weekend. The ending of The Mist is intense but I still liked it. Mr. Pug hasn't gotten his head around it yet. Perhaps he'll post later. I too was disappointed that the vampires/zombies in I Am Legend were all CGI. I also saw Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium and loved it.
that is exactly it, dolor, if there is one kind of movie that slavishly follows cliches, if there is any kind of movie that insists on being cloying and saccarine, overly sentimental, it's the coming of age flick. rare is the one i like, but the worst is the kind that takes place in the 50's. you know, kid gets a crush on his bombshell neighbor, and gets in various hi-jinx round the hood with other kids.

there are a couple of exceptions, from the fabulous 70's, bless the beasts and the children, birdy, the bad news bears, paper moon, harrold and maude, killer of sheep etc, etc.... the thing that sets these apart from the run of the mill ones is that they don't think of children as these innocents, they look at kids warts and all. the most obscure would be bless the beasts, which i just adore. such a heart breaking film.... ok, sheep is more obscure, but probably the most cinematic, beautiful and heartfelt of the bunch. i've written about the director before in this thread, as well as this movie and his other films, but if you can find killer of sheep, see it. it was directed as a Los angeles film thesis, that takes place in the heart of south central long before boys in the hood (which is good), and with the help of the citizens in almost a co-operative manner. it was rarely seen for 10+ years because of music clearance issues, which were resolved when some black stars who had seen the movie did some fundraising.... one of the most memorable films you will see.
Last night I watched Revolver with BF. Needless to say it's a departure for Guy Ritchie it's nothing like Snatch or LS. I was happily surprised my this and really enjoyed the film. My bf on the other hand hated it .There isn't much dark humor as there usually is in Richie's films. it's alot like Usual Suspects or maybe Fight Club. Although there is a lot of gun violence in this film, it's not meant to be concentrated on. The real action takes place in the characters minds. It's really all about the psychological action that takes place between the characters.
Hi GirlTrouble,

... a dear friend saw Killer of Sheep when it came out, & raved about it So when it was shown in the area, at a local public library, about 20 years ago, I went for it. And Charles Burnett was there, talking about it! So wonderful that it should be rescued now, from oblivion. [But I don't recall it as a Coming of Age movie...] It's in my N-Q.

I've also seen his "To Sleep with Anger" and "Glass Shield" and the one his did for the blues series, shown on PBS.

But I don't recall you discussing Burnett here. Was that before yr Dolor sailed in? I'm sure that he was listed when Anna K was making her list of Black-Am movies. If you have these words at hand, please re-zap them.

I must off,

PS "Bless the Beasts & Children" is not on DVD. Taking your advice, I looked for it.
PPS But there's a big new wave of "late Ozu," about five more movies, that have turned up at Netflix since I went through all their Ozu, chronologically, about a year ago.
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