Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Still on "Forbidden Planet"

It has to be one of the worst posters ever - it has really nothing to do with the film... And yes, I do get why they chose it. Sex sells...

From Sci-fi to Lubitsch...

I watched “Forbidden Planet” last night, and in one scene where a very "helpful" lieutenant tries to explain to Dr Morbius’s daughter what kissing is, I couldn’t help earing in my head “again…” said in a heavy voice. It took me ages to realise what it was - it was Garbo demanding more kisses from Melvyn Douglas in “Ninotchka”…

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Estelle Getty (1923-2008)

The world is slightly less funny place tonight...

Friday, 18 July 2008

Les Égarés (2003)

André Téchiné has a very special place in my heart. One of his movies had a deep influence at a particular moment of my life, and just perhaps, things might have been different (worst even) if the timing hadn’t been so perfect. Ever since that first experience I have stumbled across some of his films, which aren’t exactly easy to find in the home video market outside France(*) (or in some cases have had atrocious DVD reviews). All this to say that last night I watched his 2003 film Les Égarés.

The film tells the story of a young widow and her two children who are fleeing Paris to escape German occupation. During an air raid they lose their car and meet a strange young man who helps them. They find safe harbour in the country house of a Jewish composer who has closed it and possibly left to somewhere else. They develop into a strange family until the arrival of two soldiers (I would venture deserters but I couldn’t exactly figure it, as they seem to have been told to go home) precipitates a sequence of events.

The film is beautifully shot and the performances of all main four characters are incredibly good. And this is where the film could have failed as most of the time there are only these characters around. Emmanuelle Béart’s woman just about managing to keep herself together is touching, and was the one I most engaged with. The pace, although slow, seems to mount the tension and suit the film.

However, what impelled me to write about the film were two main reactions to the film that I found on IMDb. The first is the fact that the ending does not provide a complete closure of the characters. Well, it did to me. Téchiné has never provided full closure in the films of his I have seen. In Les Roseaux Sauvages the ending is rather frustrating, but here, like in J’embrasse pas I felt the story was done with, and anything else would be a different chapter.

The second comment, or rather series of comments (there two topics at least on the subject), concerned the dialogue in the film’s sex scene. I really wanted to shout to people to grow up and grow a brain, because honestly, it is perfectly clear what Gaspard Ulliel says to Emmanuelle Béart, and the why is explained shortly after.

(*) - Shortly after I posted this, found out of a new R1 boxset which contains among others "Les Roseaux Sauvages" and "J'embrasse pas". As the French DVDs have no subtitles in ANY language, if there is no R2 release with subtitles in a language I can follow, it's nice to know there is an option.

Monday, 14 July 2008

One year and four days

Yesterday I realised that I have missed the blog's first anniversary.

I am impressed with the fact I have been more or less commited to this... Usually these projects don't last this long.

Without a watch...

My watch's strap died a death a few days ago, and after a week of trying to cope without the evil object (and miserably failing) and relying on my mobile I finally got a chance to take it to a shop and ask for a replacement strap... which will take at least another two weeks... aaarrrrggghhhh!

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Mr Right (2008)

While checking the Prince Charles Cinema's website two weeks ago I stumbled across the notice for a premiere of a independent romantic comedy. The difference? It was a gay romantic comedy or as David Morris and Jacqui Morris, the writers/directors called it, a hom-com. As I had nothing better to do, I went there on thursday. It was great. Funny, clever, set in London, the kind of thing Richard Curtis would have done if he was gay (which I intend as a compliment, by the way). I laughed so much and was so involved that I completely forgot the film was shot on digital, which is one of the biggest turn offs in modern cinema for me...

It's the story of three gay couples and a straight one (although we know the ending of that relationship from the beginning) but for a change all characters have their sexuality sorted, so they can take the story elsewhere. Plus as the director points out in the official site, they avoided the easy shots of naked men, which I am sure would have help to sell the film.

I really hope the film does well. I have recommended it to a few friends, and I hope it gets a wider release than the Prince Charles...

PS - IMDb says the film is 2006 for some reason...

Here's a link to the film's official website.

A quote and a song

Two things going back and forth in my mind since mid-June...

It is always painful to part from people whom one has known for a very brief space of time. The absence of old friends one can endure with equanimity. But even a momentary separation from anyone to whom one has just been introduced is almost unbearable.
Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest

Judy Garland's version of "Stormy Weather" (cause it cheers me up).

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Advert for Tate Britain on the tube

Saw this and loved it... one of the best and funniest ads I've seen in a long while... (click to enlarge)