Monday, June 23, 2008

I watch films sometimes.

I had a huge movie binge this weekend! This is what I saw:

- The Sea Inside (Alejandro Amenábar, 2004)
A moving and well made story of the life of Ramon Sanpedro, a quadriplegic who is appealing for euthanasia, which is against Spanish laws. The film shows all the people in his life – from those that live with him (his elder brother, his sister-in-law, his nephew and his dad), to the two women who love him, Julia, a lawyer who herself is suffering from an illness, and Rosa, a single mum who firsts visits him out of curiosity (played willingly by Volver’s Lola Duenas). 

I found The Sea Inside sad and intelligent (it doesn’t take sides), though a tad overlong and after a while I got bored of the flashbacks/dream sequences of Ramon diving into the sea. That said, it’s worth watching purely for Javier Bardem’s subtle and affecting performance. This is the guy that killed all them people in NCFOM, everyone!!

- Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Richard Brooks, 1958)
One of my favourite films of all time, about unfulfilled wife Maggie (Elizabeth Taylor, in sizzling form), whose handsome but indifferent and alcoholic husband Brick (Paul Newman, nearing Brando levels of hotness) not only doesn’t care about who’ll get his dad’s large inheritance, but also, won’t have sex with her. 

Tennessee Williams hated this version of his play due to the toned down references to homosexuality and Skipper’s suicide, but to be honest, they don’t have to spell it out for us to work it out. I saw this with my brother yesterday, which possibly detracted from the power somewhat as he could only see the funny side in it all (such as when Brick was chasing Maggie around the room with his crutch), but it still remains a highly enjoyable melodrama with one of the best ensembles I’ve seen.

- The Girl on the Bridge (Patrice Leconte, 1999)
Another one of my favourites, though on a rewatch, I feel that my ranking it 43rd was a little high. I think it would be just outside my 100 now. It still remains a highly entertaining and witty experience, but I don’t know, I guess I just don’t like it as much a second time round. It’s about Gabor, a knife-thrower, who stops Adèle, a suicidal and confused young woman (who quite frankly, is a bit of a whore) from jumping off a bridge. Together, they form a double act in circuses, and their luck thrives everywhere. The entire film is really charming and quirky, not dissimilar to the oddness of Amelie, and the knife-throwing scenes are exhilarating to watch. Vanessa Paradis and Daniel Auteuil have such incredible chemistry that you wonder why Adèle would ever run off with another man. (Answer: 'cos she's easy.)

- The Spirit of the Beehive (Víctor Erice, 1973)

OK, this is another film that was one of my all-time favourites, an
d my adoration for it has lessened slightly. I think I should only watch films once. Anyway, I think the second time round watching this, I just wasn’t as beguiled by the minutiae as I was the first time, and found some of the wordless scenes, frankly, a little dull. But I’m still as effusive, if not more so, in my praise for little Ana Torrent’s performance, which is probably one of my favourite from a young actress, nay, an actress, in cinema. Honestly, those eyes!! She was just beyond sweet, and every time she asked a naïve question, or gave that wide-eyed look, I just wanted to give her a massive hug. A performance, along with Jennifer Garner’s in Juno, to make me want to go and become a mother.

- Kinky Boots (Julian Jarrold, 2005)
A winningly unassuming Britcom about mild-mannered Charlie Price who inherits his father’s ailing shoe company. Needing a bright idea to stop his company being walked over by repo men, he’s inspired by London transvestite Lola to start a niche market making boots for men. Mainly thanks to Chiwetel Ejiofor’s by turns charismatic but profound performance as Lola, and Simon, respectively, and Joel Edgerton’s bumbling nice guy, this film really works. Kinky Boots does what it says on the tin: make you laugh (Nick Frost is hilarious and the line about Ukrainian peasants had me giggling for half a minute), entertain you (the drag act scenes are oddly interesting), and generally give you a good time for 100 minutes. Just like the boots Lola wore before Charlie designed better ones.

- His Girl Friday (Howard Hawks, 1940)
I said, goddamn. They talk quite quickly in this film, don’t they? Wow. And, after me going off three films slightly after watching them again, His Girl Friday only went higher in my estimations. 

The frenzied humour, the mile-a-minute speed of talking, and Rosalind Russell does wonders on the girl power front as highly capable and Godlessly reporter who was always too good to be just married off and become a housewife are just some of the things to love about Howard Hawk’s screwball and massively funny comedy.

So that was me! Seen any good movies recently?


Catherine said...

I love His Girl Friday! One of my favourites. It made me want to become a reporter for a time, but I doubt working in a newspaper would be quite as exciting as the film. And Cary Grant wouldn't be my colleague, so, boo.

I saw a few films this weekend, not as many as you though. Let's see - 'Network', 'Life Size', 'Now, Voyager', 'Together', 'Opening Night'.

Emma said...

Which Together is that, Catherine? The Moodysson one, or the Chinese one about the boy and his violin? If you saw the latter, WHAT DID YOU THINK?!?!

Catherine said...

Ack, it was the Moodysson, sorry!

Kayleigh said...

The last film I watched was The Good Shepherd, I reviewed it on my own blog. I only bought it because John Sessions is in it *shame*

anahit said...

la fille sur la pont, right? yeah I loved his girl friday too, except I keep calling it my girl friday, because of this line from scrubs; (it's what dr cox calls jd). anywhoo, i really wanna watch the spirit of the seems so sweet! or is it intensely creepy? i know frankenstein and escaped prisoner type people come up, so I can imagine it being extremely freaky-outy.

I haven't seen anything much recently, at least...well, yeah I have I guess: amelie again, good will hunting, and the queen which I massively loved.

oooh, and I was considering putting joan fontaine, because of the whole rebecca thing...but, hmmn, I dunno. I recorded rebecca a few days ago, I'll watch it some time soon and see if it still impresses me. But yeah, I need some classic actresses. The only "oldie" I have is audrey hepburn, otherwise, ladies from that era didn't really impress me; ingrid bergman in particular seemed to spend the entirety of casablanca staring soppily up at humphrey bogart xxx

Kayleigh said...

Oh I watched Rebecca a few days ago too, before I turned it over to see *mumble* Sessons in New Tricks. Just kill me now! How evil was Mrs Danvers!? What a cow! I really must read the book, I hve a 9 book collection of Du Maurier books.

anahit said...

ooh my gosh kayleigh the book is amazing!! seriosly, it's really readable and tense and terrifying, and it's also a lil' bit different from the film! it's great. which other of her books are good? xxx

Kayleigh said...

I've only read Frenchman's Creek by Du Maurier but I would recommend it. It's about a bored upper class woman who ends up falling for a pirate. Ignore the cheesy harlequin style sounding plot and enjoy the feminist message with a fantastic protagonist!

Scarlett said...

Emma! Wow, that was fast. Thanks for the comments..., but I'm even more thankful for the "link" to your Blog. I'm gonna learn a few tricks from the master, I'm sure.

By the way: 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof' is also one of my favourite films!

Hope life's treating you well! =)

The Mighty Pierre said...

His Girl Friday is a fantastic comedy. I like the fact that it shows that it is not only new films that like to slip little 'in jokes' into their films. there are two crackers in His Girl Friday.

If you are talking old comedies the best film i have rewatched recently is Sullivan's Travels by Preston Sturges. A truly funny film with a worthwhile sentiment about the value of making people laugh.

On the minus side I went to see The Happening the other day and what a dissappointment that was. A great idea, utterly wasted.

Rebecca, A Clothes Horse said...

Love "His Girl Friday!" I'm addicted to old b&w movies. Lately I'm turning into a Francophile though, I've been watching tons of french films.

anahit said...

oooooooh I love James Potter!! I have the hugest ever crush on him. I think he's only ever shown in a bad light, because we've only seen him from snape's memories. Anyway, I'm sorta apathetic towards dumbledore these days, I think he was, when it comes to it, a bit manupalative...although he was a nice guy. hence why he didn't make it to either list. Ginny was a bit annoying in book 6, bit of a slag really, but she perked up in book 7, and I think jk rowling was a bit disillusioned and wanted to portray her as "popular", whereas today's generation sees that as slutty. but she is brave and nice, so whatever.

I am such a huge L/J shipper though, so I'm guessing you totally hate that!!! xxxx

anahit said...

ooh my gosh, and wasn't it your last exam today?!?! do tell!!! xxx

Griet said...

Hello Emma. It's my 1st time here. I like your blog very much. I'm a new user, and I don't know how to create a picture list like your Frequent Blog Topics. If you could teach me, that would be great! Thanks!

Emma said...

@ Anahita:

Well, my "proper" exams - aka the ones that matter - finished last Tuesday, but yesterday, I did two AEAs, Advanced Extension thingies, for Physics and Economics. (Don't ask me why for Physics, I can barely do the A-level!) So for Physics I just sat there for three hours, daydreaming, but Economics, though I think I failed, was interesting to do, because it was very different from the A-level, and the question was on fairtrade, and I learnt a really interesting fact: only 2p from a 99p fairtrade chocolate bar goes to the farmers! The rudeness!

Anyway, yeah, I kinda wish I hadn't put my name down to do the AEA because all in all it was a waste of time and it doesn't count towards your Uni offer, but whilst I was walking back from school, I found a book on the ground, so I'm gonna take that as my reward. :D

Emma said...

@ I lj ship pairings as well! I like Harry/Draco and Harry/Ron. And... Sirius/Lupin. =D

I mainly ship footballers though. I'm seriously obsessed.

Anonymous said...

i sincerely hope you haven't written any lahm ones.

Emma said...

Nope, I haven't! I have no idea who I'd slash him with. Anyway, he's too innocent looking.

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aaliya said...

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