Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Before Sunrise


I've got a confession to make (yes besides the 7 month lull in posts, thank you): a few days ago I'd never seen any of the Before Sunrise/Before Sunset/Before Midnight extravaganzas. A crime for a supposed film fan I know, especially one that's actually already a fan of Julie Delpy. If I can admit it to myself, I think it's because I know exactly how susceptible I am to getting overly emotionally involved in emotionally-demanding stories. I'm no stranger to crying on a packed-out 9am tube over a chapter in a book. Long story short, I watched Before Sunrise (1995) a couple of nights ago and my predicted reaction was spot on.

The plot of Before Sunrise is simple: it follows a night in the life of a French girl (Julie Delpy) and an American guy (Ethan Hawke) who meet on a long haul train across Europe and feel that initial spark of attraction that we all recognise. They end up jumping off the train at Vienna and spend the night learning about the city and about each other. Both know that the sunrise brings reality (and a 9am flight back to America), their lives taking them in different directions never to see each other again. It's a film about the right here and the right now, about missed opportunities and a chance in time that will never happen again.

Things like that really get me. Safe to say I haven't been able to bring myself to watch the follow up, Before Sunset, yet.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Baz Does Gatsby

Baz, Baz, Baz, whatever are we going to do with you? It's safe to say that the latest big screen incarnation of The Great Gatsby has been truly trampled, suffocated and overrun by the Luhrmann touch. Don't get me wrong, I love Baz Luhrmann - I once even wrote an essay practically worshipping his auteur touch - but Baz went and did what Baz does best and turned the subtle and intimate Gatsby novel into a brash, garishly colourful and comical soap opera. It does exactly what I feared most: mesmerises with over-the-top carnivalesque party scenes, forgoing the fragile tragedy that ties it all together. All so wrong, so very wrong. I can't even.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Spring Breakers


I went to see Spring Breakers a few days ago. It was mostly filled with confused teenagers thinking they'd bought a ticket to some kind of Wild Things/American Pie amalgamation and some people left, but I thought it was pretty great. Granted, I don't know much (anything) about the work of Korine but I gather that his preferred style of film-making is uncomfortable to the point of unenjoyable. It certainly worked here, as a sort of frenetically jarring social commentary. Generally I'm a fan of anything that makes a feature of its cinematography - besides Terrence Malick - mainly because I like to look at pretty things and also because for a medium that's as visual as film is, it's ridiculous not to. It's the kind of film you find yourself thinking about for the next few days, still not sure if you loved it or hated it, struggling to articulate a coherent paragraph of your opinion.

Monday, 25 February 2013

To The Wonder


I'm never quite sure what to make of Terrence Malick. Terrence Snorelick? Definitely. But still, I want to like him and I flit backwards and forwards between opinions of him as self-indulgent bore and cinematographic genius. To The Wonder is eerily beautiful, fascinating and consuming but - and I'm going to be honest here - I can't help but get a little bored. I think my problem with Malick is that I feel like I shouldn't be bored, that my boredom means that I'm uneducated, unwilling and uninterested. And I'm not. Hell, I've sat through repeated viewings of Birth of a Nation. From what I can gather, I like to look at a Terrance Malick film, but I don't, really, like to watch.

Also, give me more Rachel McAdams. I love Rachel McAdams in the same vein that I inexplicably love Sienna Miller and Keira Knightley: are they underrated geniuses squirming to get away from the mainstream or are they just terrible actresses? Will we ever know?

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Iconic Fashion Films

Every so often, a film comes along with a sartorial style that blows us out of the water. We all recognise Marilyn Monroe’s billowing white dress and Audrey Hepburn’s infamous Breakfast at Tiffany’s look, but what about the films where every costume has made its mark on real life fashion? Here we bring you our top five films that have had an overwhelming influence on our clothing choices.

Annie Hall

Diane Keaton will always be inseparable from her role as the title character in Woody Allen’s Annie Hall, with oversized shirts, men’s waistcoats and quirky bowler hats all becoming instant fashion hits as a result of the film. Her effortlessly androgynous look is still emulated today, with mannish brogues and peg-leg trousers a staple in many women’s wardrobes.

Breathless

It might not instantly spring to mind, but French classic A Bout de SoufflĂ© (Breathless) has influenced fashion more than you’d ever think. Breton stripes? Ballerina flats? Pixie Crops? They all started here. Jean Seberg’s laid back Parisian style is the ultimate in casual chic. There was no costume designer on the set of the 1960 film and instead director Jean-Luc Godard suggested the stars dressed however they thought apt for their characters.

Grease

The ultimate in feel-good musical films, the costumes in Grease will be forever remembered, from the slick leather jackets to the bouncy poodle skirts. Olivia Newton John's evolution from good girl to bad is one of cinema’s most iconic transformations. Her character's innocent 1950s style with her full skirts and prim sweaters paved the way to a killer makeover in the final scene – where she was infamously sewn into her skin-tight black catsuit.

Clueless

If you’re looking for a snapshot of outrageous ‘90s fashion then Clueless is the one for you. The film has become fashion royalty since its 1995 release, when knee high socks, plaid mini-skirts and tiny backpacks were emulated by girls the world over. Cher’s misinformed innocence stole our hearts with her mix of bright colours and textures. Recreate her look with the likes of United Colours of Benetton, as featured on Miinto.

Almost Famous

Awash in a sea of crochet, paisley and headbands, the characters of Almost Famous have us aching for the hedonistic pleasures of days gone by with their look of romanticism. Their ‘70s rocker lifestyles are shown through their ‘just thrown on’ style, made up from classic denims and worn out suede. Making her entrance in an Afghan trimmed jacket and a lace crop top, character Penny Lane is the epitome of the film’s look. What more do you need besides a pair of sunglasses when your life is already this cool?