Friday, October 17, 2008

Silent Movie

A Mel Brooks film.

I had fun watching this simple silent movie (color, though) parodying the real silent movies and the Hollywood industry.

While predictable and not challenging for the viewer's gray matter, I enjoyed it a lot. It was exactly what I needed.

Slapstick humor isn't dead. :)

Out of Africa

The story of writer Karen Blixen's life in Kenya. A Danish baroness from the beginning of the 20th century, she wrote under the pen-name Isak Dinesen and that's how the book this film is based on was first published.

I had seen it before, only this time Baron Blixen looked handsome to my eye :))
I quite liked it (again), especially the bits with the natives and the smart chief of the Kikuyu.
Also, I couldn't tell where Robert Redford's character was coming from, I assumed the US, based on the accent :p lol, of course he was supposed to be British... and an aristocrat, too. Trivia says the accent was intentional. Whatever.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The 39 Steps

(Alfred Hitchcock)

I laughed and I laughed. And I wasn't alone in that.

Don't get me wrong - although a spy, run & hide movie, it had many moments which were meant to be funny. One of them would be the hilarious election speech scene - classical mistaken identity gag: the protagonist, on the run, chased by the police and not only and with a handcuff on his right wrist (which he has to constantly remember to keep in his pocket), is mistaken for an invited military hero by the nice old ladies taking care of the unfolding of a political meeting before the elections, and pushed on the stage to express his support for the candidate. The following scene and the speech are delightful, fast-paced and full of double meaning that perfectly fit both the protagonist's situation and the expectations of the public, who are positively impressed and hotly acclaim him.

But the film was also "cinematographically childish", in an endearing sort of way, for today's sophisticated (spoiled) viewer. A bit clumsy at times, too - gags that looked just a tiny bit forced, as well as what I would call "too much acting" by some actors (and a complete lack of acting skills of others - such as the female agent at the beginning of the movie, "Annabella Smith"). However, others were very good - take, for example, the stern, jealous Scottish farmer, with his dark eyes and manners (John Laurie was the actor). No doubt in its time (1935), the "special effect" of a "helicopter" flying (if a bit shakily) above the mountains looked good, but today it had the effect of a whole theatre full of laughter.

NB - None of the laughs carried that "omg, this is lame" undertone :)
Bref, a very enjoyable movie.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Devil Wears Prada


I wasn't feeling too well, so I needed some light comedy, and this one was perfect - classic Cinderella story, nothing challenging, nothing hard or heavy (sic), good actors.... in other words, a simple, nice comedy to relax my overworked mind.

Sometimes they are really useful.

And it did leave me with an urge to rummage through my closet for those interesting/stylish/plain weird clothes I stopped wearing some time ago out of boredom or laziness, I don't know...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Alexander

It was ok. Some of the cinematography was really good and some actors were good-looking :p

I disliked Colin Farrell in the role of Alexander... but thank God it wasn't Tom Cruise!

And OMG... Val Kilmer. I didn't recognise him at all.

Oh, and the music score was great :)

La Môme (La vie en rose)

I never knew she had such a hard life in the beginning... and such an unhappy one in the end.

It is a beautiful movie about a very fragile person, both physically and emotionally. It would be unfair to say she wasn't lucky in life, because she was - she met many people who helped her, without which she would've remained a street singer and God knows what else... But it would also be unfair to say she was happy in life.I wonder, is it that artists are doomed not to be entirely happy or is it that movies will never be made of those who were, because it would be too... boring?

The non-linear style of the movie was a bit upsetting at first, but then I got used to it - it was like episodes from her life were scrambled and then extracted in a random manner. It worked out in the end and, although omitting some (for example, that beautiful representative song "Je ne regrette rien" was not the last she sung/recorded), it made for a movie to be enjoyed, and an emotional one at that. Of course, much praise has been sung (sic) to the main actress, Marion Cotillard, and I am not going to disagree, not one bit. She was absolutely great in her role, playing Edith Piaf both very young and very old and all ages in between, with feeling and sensitivity in portraying that great little woman (well, kudos to the make-up team, as well). She looked so frail at times that I wondered how she still managed to carry on.

But she did.
Until she could no more.
And that was that.

But the songs lived, and pictures did, and memories too.
When I visited Pere Lachaise, I could barely push through the people around her grave to take a look... they were so many.

It was small, black and simple, like her "trademark" dress, up there on the stage... and surrounded by many, many flowers...

Edith Piaf in Pere Lachaise

Friday, August 15, 2008

Sagan

French-made movie about the life and world of Françoise Sagan, French writer of the 20th century. In the small cinema room, there were only two young people among the 40-50-somethings - my friend and I. We didn't know who she was before seeing the movie (they probably did), but it promised to be really good and the "voyeuristic" temptation of a biographical movie is something I, personally, cannot resist. Mostly biographical, actually, they say there are some episodes of her life which were a bit... modified? Whatever. I really liked it. She was really a character (wonderfully portrayed by Sylvie Testud), small and agitated, with a total disregard for money and a group of good friends that stayed close for most of her life.

The movie was powerful and the actors really good.
It made me laugh; it made me cry; it made me ponder.
I left me melancholic.

Yes, I would go to see it again.