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?