Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tally from The Hundred

It's time to check-in, folks, and see how many/which films have been viewed and blogged about for this here 100 Project.

12 /100 Greatest Films
2 / 25 Alternate Must See Greaties

14 TOTAL for Le'Project

It's a Wonderful Life
West Side Story
Jules et Jim
Annie Hall
Star Wars (ep IV - A New Hope)
Pulp Fiction
La Dolce Vita
Blue Velvet
Airplane! (aka 'Flying High')
To Kill A Mockingbird
A Streetcar Named Desire

Any suggestions for must see next? Let me know. I'm really in the mood for Casablanca,

Chinatown (1974) - Roman Polanski

Sigh. Chinatown.
Ah a most depressing, dark & disturbing neo-Noir.

For some reason this film didn't impress me as much the second time around just now. I imagine this is largely due to the fact that I knew the outcome of the movie, knew the plot. Lack of shock & surprise.

But even still, just a bit underwhelmed for some reason. Yes, it is a good film. Yes, Roman Polanski is a strange and creepy man (love his cameo though), albeit a great filmmaker. But I just didn't love it as much as the first time; perhaps it's due to the fact I studied it intensely in my film course and had to write a paper on it, thereby having been guided into a richer interpretation thereof.

Jack Nicholson is spectacular, as is the demure Faye Dunaway.I love watching Jack in his hayday, before he got fat & yuckmo.
There's some great sassy dialogue in this film - I particularly dig Jake Gittes' potty mouth which he generally fails to censor around the lady (it being the 1930's and all).
A great haunting soundtrack, some interesting shots. A well-crafted film and excellent film noir indeed.

It's the highest on The List that I've yet watched for this project - coming in at #4. Do I agree with this rating?
Erm, not so much really. I know that's not going to be popular to say, it being the one and only Chinatown. But I think I give this approx 3.5 Monkeys.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life" (1946)

"Strange, isn't it? Each man's life touches so many other lives. When he isn't around he leaves an awful hole, doesn't he? " - Clarence, the wise old fool...

Coming in at #56 on The List is Frank Capra's uber classic, feel-good holiday-time movie, "It's a Wonderful Life".
Would you believe that despite it being aired on television at least once or twice per year at Christmas time, I still had never seen this? (I think perhaps my love of Christmas cartoon movies - Peanuts, Burl Ives' Rudolph, etc. trumped this film when networks air multiple movies during the XMass season.

Alas, it's not anywhere near Christmas (though it is chilly here in Melbourne), but I picked this up the other day and watched it yesterday.
I liked it. I indeed liked it. Very nice little old film. Some BEAUtiful close ups, of Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed (a gorgeous one of Reed when her husband comes home all disturbed).
I appreciated the storytelling device of an angel looking down upon the important snipets of someone's life. It makes you sort of take stock of your own important bits, which evidently is the point. To love & cherish the life you've been blessed with. To realize that we're all important, in the grand scheme of life.

"Remember, George: no man is a failure who has friends."

A great little love story, holiday movie meets Death of a Salesman.
I liked it. 4/5 monkeys


Yay...for more blog followers! Yay!

Tre' exciting.


Monday, May 10, 2010

Jean-Pierre Jeunet I Love Love LOVE You...

And I LOVE French cinema!

My Mother's Day treat (in addition to a wonderful lunch and a new Wii game) was a ticket to see a matinee of Micmacs at the art cinema while hubby took care of baby.

...YES!!! Just. What. I. Needed.
To spend an afternoon baby-free, recharging myself, wandering around a'la Artist Date style, and then cozying up in a tiny cinema to watch one spectacular film, by one spectacular director, who may just have to be considered my favourite director (I have a hard time committing to one favourite of anything..;)

Micmacs was magic. Pure magic.
Jeunet's films are poetry in motion.
There is something about his work that makes your heart soar & bubble & burst with glee. That makes your weary soul realize how blessed you are and how amazing LIFE really is.
Spellbinding. Lovely. Enchanting.

Amelie is my all time numero uno favourite movie (ok, so I 'spose I can pick just one for some things. hee). And I firmly believe that one should make it a point to watch his/her all time favourite movie atleast twice a year - or whenever you need a swift kick in the ass, or pick me up, or...
After seeing the delightful, satisfying Micmacs, I am going to start watching Jeunet films in general to cleanse my spirit, so to speak.

There is something about Jeunet's filmmaking and writing that makes me feel giddy and kidlike. Stylistically, Micmacs was all industrial-punk-grungy-apocolypse-chic.
More importantly however are Jeunet's rich characters, endearing and strange. So well cast, as per usual in his work. He even manages to throw in a darling little love story between Bazil and the Contortionist, alongside the intricate and hilariously crafted revenge-plot.
(And I adored Dany Boon! Great lead. Jeunet picks actors with such watchable, interesting faces)

I can't say enough great things about this movie. If it weren't for my severe sleep deprived state of being, I'd keep going for pages. In fact, obviously I have strayed from the task of my 100 list in blogging here about this ,but it just couldn't be helped.

...and so the Not So Snobby Film Snob has a vivid moment of Film see, I was meant to see this film a few weeks back, with members of my new mum's group (there is a theatre that does a Mums & Bubs session once a week). Anyway, I ended up not being able to make it then, much to my chagrin. So recently when I caught up for coffee with the mum's group, I asked one of them how the movie excursion went. She replied "Oh great, it was nice, only two of us though. Well, the movie wasn't any good but it was nice just being out".

Hrmmm...I know you can't force someone to like anchovies if they just don't like anchovies.
But I must say that after watching this brilliant film yesterday, I'm judging those two women. ;-) Can you blame me?!
Honestly, to NOT like something like Micmacs is just reedunkulous.
It makes me a bit sad, that I might not have much in common with these new mums (which I have begun to suspect anyway. sigh).

Alas, my point is...
6 out of 5 monkeys! :-))

Saturday, May 8, 2010

the next two

Next up, sitting on the coffee table ready to be watched n' reviewed...


It's a Wonderful Life


Friday, May 7, 2010

West Side Story (1961) - Jerome Robbins

ahhhh, what a classic, classic movie musical. Based on such a quintessential stage musical.
West Side Story has it all...saucy dancing, over the top cheesy love story, gushy ballads, fun upbeat numbers, all intertwined into a modern day version of Romeo & Juliet. How can one NOT like West Side Story, I ask?
It's barrels of fun, with lots to sing along to and even more to poke fun at.
um....gangs of dancey fairies?!! HAaaaaa! love me some gay.
If Scorsese made this film, it would've been called 'Gays of New York'. hee!

Hee, sorry, I'm not being politically incorrect - lord knows I'm the biggest fag-hag fruit-fly out there (for those readers who don't know me personally). But the opening sequence, oh mannnn, soooooooooo gaaayyyyyyy (said in the voice of a 13 yr old teenage girl, of course). Love. It.
The world's least threatening members of society - pretty, well-trained dancer gay boys - posing as a "scary new york city street gang of hoodlums"....ha!

and then there's UBER gay Tony, played by way-too-pretty-boy Richard Beymer. And his slew of super F-A-G-G-Y moments, singing 'Maria' and the very daggy 'Something's Coming". Telling Maria he loves her a couple hours after meeting her, after they've exchanged perhaps 70 words total.
Love it!
There is something hilarious and fun about the disgusting commitment to love at first sight, that Tony & Maria display. Great cheesy acting (well, one couldn't pull off Tony & Maria without such) that depicts the neo Romeo & Juliet characters as blinded by ideals and passion and lust. It's comical, seeing two people like that. But you're still WITH them, you know.

So, I was watching this and felt almost like I was in a theatre. The theatricality captured on screen was brilliant - although, cinematically, the film is excellent as well. So many gorgeous bird's eye views shots of new york and the 'burb depicted.
GREAT use of camera work for the choreography (which I loved as well).
I was telling my partner that I know the story, and I know all the songs, and have seen some classic scenes from the film - but, I truly don't think I have watched this movie fully before now. How pathetic, really, a theatre artist with a degree & special affinity for musical theatre. shocking.

I am soooo an Anita, though. Rita Moreno rocks this role out, but of course. But I would love love love to play Anita in a production of this one day. Sassy, saucy, and full of gusto (unlike the sappy, purebred role of Maria. Those girlie high-soprano roles are DEFinitely not my bag...All the Natalie Wood's of the world can keep 'em).

My fave number choreographically - "Cool"
World's most narcissistic, yet endearing, song - "I Feel Pretty"
Gayest song ever - "Maria"

4 out of 5 stars! fun time, folks.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

west siiiieeeeeeeed

In the middle of watching West Side Story (also in the middle of baby sleep-training, so I'm a bit preoccupied in this hellish attempt at training my bub into some daytime normalcy...).
I just peeked at The List and realised, whoops, it's not on the 100, but rather the 25 Alternates. Ah well. I shall still review it and count it toward my hundred. ;)

more to follow.

I'm thinking next perhaps Chinatown and Casablanca. Two films I love love love & am eager to see again.