Posts Tagged film

CHOICE QUOTE: Dom Hemingway

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“misfortune befell me.”
–Dom Hemingway

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Choice Quote: Diablo Cody

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“I’m perhaps alone amongst my colleagues because I like talking about women’s issues in film, and feminism. I think a lot of women don’t like to do that. It’s usually, “Can we please turn the conversation back to my work?” For me, it’s an important part of who I am. I feel like so much of the reaction to my work and to me is connected to the fact that I’m a woman, so I can’t avoid that conversation. A part of my career is that I am a woman and I’ve committed myself to writing roles for women. I cannot separate myself from that and say, “Oh, can we please just talk about my work?” That is my work.”

–Film School Rejects, October 19, 2013

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Choice quote: film

“Why are people interested in art? It’s the trace of our passage on Earth.”
The Intouchables

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Women’s History Month: focus on Anita Loos

Anita Loos [1893-1981]—screenwriter

–born in California
–by 1919, Loos had written scripts for 200 silent films
— The New York Hat, starring Mary Pickford and Lionel Barrymore and directed by D. W. Griffith, was her third screenplay and the first to be produced
–Loos was one of the best paid people in the film industry in the 1920s and 1930s
–kept her name when she married a colleague in 1919

–best known for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes [1926], San Francisco [1936] and The Women [1939]
–Loos also lived in New York and wrote for Broadway–plays she wrote included Gigi [1951] and Cheri [1959]

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Just Like Bad Sex, SATC: The Movie Left Me Empty and Disappointed


This film was directed and written by a man, Michael Patrick King, and it’s supposed to be representative of women? Yikes! It’s like the former SATC writer having such success and being on Oprah with his book “He’s Not that Into You.” It’s because as women, we have to realize that there is something wrong with us that we are single after a certain age. I speak to my therapist about it all the time. It’s unfortunate.

It’s okay to be over 35 without a boyfriend or husband but Hollywood does not want to show that of course and people don’t want to see it. Why else would people dress up to see this film and go get cosmos and make a whole girls night out when they don’t see another film for months at a time (in the theater)? I could go on and on but I won’t. Hey, it happens. Do I always want to be alone? Not really. Would I like to have sex 4-5x/week. Absolutely. Did I think I would be turning 39 without a boyfriend? Never.

SATC: The movie was predictable and pathetic with few laughs or witty moments. There are moments here and there that are worth seeing but it’s really just an extremely long episode of a half hour sitcom. The one-liners fall flat. There’s little creativity. The highlight of the film are the outfits. I commented more than once on a dress or bag I liked.

I enjoyed the television show and was a fan– what I appreciated was that Carrie did not end up with the guy and the ring at the end. When I heard about the movie and that there would be a wedding I expected mediocrity which is what this film is.
But the film and show has always been about Carrie Bradshaw and her thoughts on dating and mating: she’s always been in search of the guy and her happy ending. She made it seem like she’s doing it independently but when you’re always writing about sex and dating and reading magazines and shopping and coveting shoes of all things, it’s hard for any guy to look at you and say: “Wow that Carrie is independent.” There was an episode once where Carrie needed to buy her apartment and Miranda pointed out that she probably could have purchased it with the amount of money she spent on shoes (as most of her shoes cost at least $400/pair). Charlotte ended up helping Carrie out.

Four years after the series ended and all the girls are happily settled. Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) and Steve live in Brooklyn. She still treats him like crap and bitches about how much work she has to do and also has to take care of their son. Charlotte (Kristin Davis) is married and a full-time mom as she’s always wanted to be. Her husband, Harry (Evan Handler) is decicedly cool. Charlotte’s constant companion is her three-year-old adopted Chinese daughter Lily. The girl is like a prop. Can’t Charlotte do anything without her? She’s wealthy and must have a nanny. Miranda has a nanny for Brady. Samantha (Kim Cattrell) is on the Left Coast managing the career of Smith. He loves her, she loves him but as she says quite astutely “I love you but I love me more.” She finally realizes she cannot have her life revolving around a guy. Then there’s Carrie who thinks her life does not revolve around a guy but it actually does. She has managed to write three books about dating and love.

Big buys an amazing penthouse so that he and Carrie live there together and she freaks out. Now, I have nothing of my own to fall back on. There’s the bitter split of a mistress and her beau and the Christie’s auction at the beginning to show that women need to get married to protect themselves financially. Big makes a casual marriage proposal which Carrie finds rather cool.

Then suddenly it’s snowballing into an enormous event and then Big is Big and he bails. There’s the Page Six announcement and then Carrie’s spread as
“the face of 40” in Vogue and also Big’s realization that on his third marriage he’d rather not have a big blowout. Carrie and friends recoup down in Mexico. Carrie takes to bed for days. And yes, after a breakup one might collapse for a while. But Big has done this so many times to Carrie that who didn’t predict this from the first mention of a betrothal? Everything works out in the end with Carrie and Big marrying at City Hall with Carrie wearing an vintage off-white suit and not the elaborate Vivienne Westwood gown. Kisses and cosmos all around.

Oh, and the friend a went with? A 46-year-old single mom of two, said she nearly cried a few times because the movie made her (and women in general) feel they may never find love over a certain age yada yada. Kudos to Sarah Jessica Parker and Michael Patrick King for making tons of money with this tripe.

Sex and the City: the movie is like putting on a pair of fabulous Chanel gladiator sandals without getting a pedicure. There’s just something amiss. Sure there’s mild entertainment scattered throughout. It’s fluff: empty calories.

STEELE RECOMMENDATION: WAIT FOR NETFLIX (IF YOU’RE A FAN, YOU’VE ALREADY SEEN IT)

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film review: Turn the River

When he introduced the film at this year’s Independent Film Festival of Boston, writer/director Chris Eigeman said, “If handmade is the opposite of corporate, I hope this feels handmade.” It does. It has its charms. Eigeman starred in the Wilt Stilman trilogy: Metropolitan, Barcelona and The Last Days of Disco. He’s very good at playing the buttoned-up, upper crust preppie type. So it’s somewhat surprising that he wrote and directed a film like Turn the River. But then again not that surprising as in those films, the characters drew the interest. Turn the River is a character study. Eigeman met Famke Janssen when they starred in the indie In Treatment together. Eigeman wrote the character in Turn the River specifically for Janssen. That tells a lot about her acting talent. She’s a tall, beautiful woman, yes. If you’ve only seen her in the X-Men films, you are missing out. She’s fantastic in little films like Monument Ave. and Love and Sex. [I’d love to see a film with Janssen and Elizabeth Hurley playing sisters.] While effortlessly beautiful and cool, Janssen can delve into nearly any role with conviction. She’s fearless. And there’s no Charlize Theron-technique of hiding her beauty to play serious roles either. Those beautiful, expressive eyes carry her character through this film. She turns in a gritty, natural performance as a pool hustler mom in Turn the River.

Kailey lost her custody of her son Gulley (Jaymie Dornan) to her ex-husband about a decade ago. We’re not exactly sure why but can guess. She seems from the other side of the tracks. She plays a lot of pool, isn’t educated in the conventional way and shuffles from place to place like many a grifter. Life experience shapes her and provides her with that hard edge. Yet her heart remains open to her son. Kailey has suffered losses at a young edge when she may wasn’t even enough of an adult to realize their implications. She’s not “book smart” like her son but certainly appreciates the virtues of his private schooling. Rip Torn plays the owner of one of her regular joints. He’s the father she’s always wanted. He doesn’t ask her too many questions and he supports her and unconditionally loves her and cares for her. It’s sweet. She spends most of her time at pool houses, sizing up potential marks, storing wads of cash in the back of a pick-up truck she won in a card game. When she finally decides to make the big move with her son, she’s going to risk everything.

Turn the River is a quietly moving film. It’s not flashy but is direct and complex. It slowly unfolds to show this street savvy woman who’s so on the edge and so close to going over the top. Will she make it? The ending may leave you completely confused and even asking, “Why did that just happen?” It’s flawed, absolutely. There are holes throughout but also plenty of heart. Overall though, this is a fine little film with stellar acting from Janssen.

STEELE RECCOMENDS: SEE THIS IN THE THEATER!

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film review: 2 Days in Paris

It’s not easy being in a relationship, much less to truly know the other one and accept them as they are with all their flaws and baggage.

2 Days in Paris is a refreshing, layered, truthful depiction of relationships. The film makes shrewd observations on how a relationship influences the human heart, soul and mind. The coupling without losing the individual. Sometimes you get blinded, often you are insecure and eventually, you might get it right. This chatty, extremely funny and insightful romantic comedy finds talented actress Julie Delpy directing her own script. She co-stars with ex-boyfriend Adam Goldberg, her own parents and even her cat makes a cameo appearance.

This sharp film reveals the minutiae and varied aspects of a relationship. Marion [Delpy] is a 35-year-old French woman who lives in New York. She’s a photographer and has been with her serious, brooding, introspective boyfriend, Jack [Goldberg], an interior designer, for two years. After a trip to Venice, the couple stops in Paris to see her parents. During those 48-hours, Marion runs into several ex-boyfriends, throwing him into an insecure spiral and he starts to question her commitment. It’s a turning point for them as the relationship will either wither or bloom in the City of Love.

Delpy attacks Parisian stereotypes in a way only someone French can really do. She shows the real, gritty parts of Paris; the political undertones, the racism, the immigrants and the less-romantic side– the dark underbelly. 2 Days in Paris simultaneously evokes Delpy’s love of the city and her distain for its politics and hypocrisy. And the best part is that Delpy is hysterical. The film is a winning romantic comedy full of surprising moments.

2 Days in Paris is thoughtful, genuine and amusing in its reflections on love and self-identity for a career-oriented woman in her 30s. She’s independent, has had many loves and relationships in her past. In this refreshing film, the focus is a career-oriented woman who does not want children, has slept with more than a dozen men and is neither regretful nor apologetic and loves her cat and boyfriend equally.

STEELE RECCOMENDATION: SEE IT IN THE THEATRE

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