Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Viddy well, little brother. Viddy well.


      Stanley Kubrick & Malcolm McDowell on the set of A Clockwork Orange
      “Well, as you know, when Singing In The Rain came out, for generations of people, [Gene Kelly] swinging around that lamp post and slapping in that water, and singing…it’s one of the most euphoric moments we’ve ever seen on film. So when I had to come up with something for this sequence, which involved my character in a very brutal situation, that’s when he’s happiest. So Singing In The Rain just popped out. I just started singing it, and [Stanley] Kubrick bought the rights and we redid the whole thing and incorporated it.
       A footnote to that is that a year afterward, when the film had been out and it was a big hit, I was invited to come to Hollywood by Warner Brothers. I came out and it was very nice to meet everybody. I had never been to Hollywood before. And some guy who was my minder said, ‘Hey, there’s a party in Beverly Hills tonight, Malcolm. Do you want to go, there’s going to be lots of stars there?’ And I went, ‘Yeah!’ I would love to!’ I was like a kid in a candy store. And we go and he said, ‘Hey, you won’t believe this. Gene Kelly’s here. Would you like to meet him?’ And I went, ‘Oh yeah!’ (laughs)
      So he had his back to me and he tapped him on the shoulder and said, ‘Gene, I’d like to introduce you to Malcolm McDowell’  and he looked at me…then turned around and walked off.
      But you know, I totally got it. I totally understood. I took his glorious moment and put a different spin on it. I guess I kind of ruined his moment in a way. But of course, it was an homage to him, because it was so amazing. And so indelible in me as a person, that I blurted it out and started singing it [while filming the scene].”
      -Malcolm McDowell (Alex Delarge)




I love Alex Delarge, really do. And Don Lockwood o'course.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Who Loves the Sun?

Who loves the rain
Who cares that it makes flowers
Who cares that it makes showers
Since you broke my heart
-Who Loves the Sun, The Velvet Underground




      It rained today, and yes I am a sap who cares about rain. That is because I live in a bloody desert, where it never rains. Some of my favourite rain scenes...

Saturday, 25 December 2010

BLACK SWAN

      Now in order to review Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan, I must talk about four things- its trailer, its posters, its cast and the film itself.

1) The Trailer

      The official trailer of Black Swan is one of the best ever. I remember seeing it for the first time and being absolutely mesmerised. It does everything a trailer should do- look good, create interest, leave the viewer wanting more, leave the viewer wanting to watch the film and also become unforgettable. There are barely any trailers that I've seen, not only this year but ever that match up to the beauty and the mystery of Black Swan's trailer.

2) The Posters




        The first time I found out about this movie was through a poster in my Tumblr dashboard. The colours of white, red and black stood out immediately. This is very important because the whole film is about these colours. The virginal white Nina has to become the visceral black swan and this transformation is assisted by deadly red blood. It's quite fantastic.

3) The cast



      Natalie Portman delivers the performance of a lifetime in Black Swan. Her Nina is this beautiful, scared, ephemeral, pure woman who has to embrace her darker side. She is a top-class ballerina who, after a lifetime of dedicated perfectionism, gets the lead in her ballet company's new production of Swan Lake. However she is only ideal for the white swan side, and has trouble embracing the black swan side of her character. Add to that she is being constantly ridiculed and seduced by director Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel), is facing competition from free-spirited Lily (Mila Kunis), and her overprotective mother Erica (Barbara Hershey). All this soon starts to affect her mind and her grip on reality as the story of Swan Lake takes over her life. Portman portrays all aspects of Nina- her reservations, her desires, her fears, her insanity, her malevolence; such that her last line "I was perfect" becomes a fact. And a damn good one at that. Her hard work into getting into the shape and mindset of a professional ballerina reminds me of Adrien Brody in The Pianist, who lost a great amount of weight and learned to play Chopin and hence won the Oscar for his portrayal of Wladyslaw Szpilman.
        The next best role was that of Barbara Hershey as the mother/the Queen. She channeled Margaret White and a certain Mrs. Bates for this role. Even a bit of Michele Pfeiffer from White Oleander. She was creepy as hell. She tries to control Nina's life to the extreme and treats her as a little girl, her "sweet girl"  so much so that she even dresses her, and cuts her nails and regulates her going in and out. Her paintings are just as weird, and the fact that she cries while she paints them does help her creep factor quite a bit. She is a failed ballerina, and despite the fake frigid smile on her face while wishing good luck, she wants Nina to be one too. It's quite a brilliant and chilling performance.
       Vincent Cassel is a sexgod and his Thomas is one too. I love the way he seduces Nina to bring out the black swan in her. He is the only one who sees this side of her, and if it wasn't for his advances, the quite virtuous Nina would not have broken into the new characater, or side. Mila Kunis is very good too. She, like Portman, practiced for months before to become a ballerina onscreen. She embodies the black swan in her role, and the stark contrast to Nina is commendable. Their sexual "encounter" is very graphic, but quite necessary. Winona Ryder is also there as the ex-queen ballerina Beth, who gets replaced by Nina. I love Winona Ryder to bits and hope that this excellent albeit tiny role would get her into the game again.

4) The Film


       Oh what a film! Aronofsky has delivered a cinematic melodramatic gem that will be loved for many many years to come. The entire concept, of taking a overly-secured ballerina, with a prolonged childhood and mixing in it the elixir of Swan Lake...genius!! It is visually stunning masterpiece. Everything from the beauty of ballerinas and their outfits, to the effects that show Nina's degarding mind is excellent. The music of Tchaikovsky adds immensely to the drama and the splendour of the film. The themes of light and dark, of sexuality and parental control, of control and release, of love and lust, of life and death is what the film consists of. All the characters show this, but especially Nina. I personally thought the ending was brilliant, but it still confused me a bit. As did the whole film. I can't help it but a part of me thinks that all of it was Nina's imagination, or maybe that she was Beth herself. It raises many questions on psychology, most importantly on those peole who have been performers all their lives and how that affects them. The details are minute and expertly put. The choreography is just beautiful and touching and shocking.

      This film hits you over and over again, but in a good way. Aronofsky can show the degradation of human mind expertly, like how he did in Requiem for a Dream, but he has really polished his craft in this film.


      Oscar predictions- I think Natalie Portman has the the Best Actress Oscar in the bag. The film, Aronofsky, score, editting, costume and Hershey for Supporting Actress should get nominated.

She's making a list, and checking it twice- FAVOURITE CHRISTMAS FILMS!!

      Ho Ho Ho...it's that time of the year again!! While due to the many insignificant complications of my life, I haven't had a Christmas tree or anything Christmas-related this year, my favourite Christmas films do not fail me. I love Christmas films and it is absolutely essential for me to watch them on Christmas Eve/Christmas.
Now unlike the other lists I put up, these are ranked in order of my preference. Also I must add that if anyone has noticed, there is a "Recently Watched/Rewatched Films" list to the right of the page and those have been given ratings. These ratings directly refer to my love of the films and there is a great chance that they might not be "critically acclaimed" or "commercially successful" or both (a rare occurrence indeed), but I do love them if given a high rating or vice versa.


      Anyways, here are my most favourite Christmas films, in reverse order:


8) Elf- This is an adorable film about how a human baby crawls into Santa's bag of presents and grows up in the North Pole as an elf only to find out his "true nature" when he grows up. He then embarks upon a journey to New York to find his father, only to see that he has been in the "naughty list". Will Ferrel plays Buddy, the  human-elf who has to experience the greedy and often unkind world, that he changes with his true love for Christmas. The films also stars James Caan as Buddy's "naughty" father and Zooey Descahnel as his musical love-interest. 


7) Love Actually- This film shows us that during Christmas "love actually is all around". Of all the romcoms made on Christmas, Love Actually stands distinct. I love this film and it's enormous and fantastic cast. Alan Rickman, Bill Nighy, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Laura Linney, Emma Thompson, Martin Freeman, Rodrgo Santoro, Rowan Atkinson etc. The list goes on and on. I love Richard Curtis films because they end up leaving one feeling all warm inside, and that's exactly the feeling a Christmas film should leave behind. There are a whole bunch of intertwined stories in this film and all are set during Christmas time and all have some connection with love, whether it's young love, trans-lingual love, trans-Atlantic love, sort of nudist love, love between friends, love between the British Prime Minister and his worker, unrequited love, love between an old couple facing problems etc. (By the way, this paragraph contains 14 "loves" just in case you are wondering).


6) The Santa Clause- What happens if Santa falls of your roof and dies/disappears? Why, you take his place of course. This is exactly what happens to Scott. Obviously he isn't very keen on it, especially since he is facing problems with son Charlie and custody rights. Add to that, he starts growing this enormous white beard and gets a Christmas goodies-fetish. This film is sort of similar to Elf in showing how people do not care much about Christmas, but they need to be reminded of its magic. I love Tim Allen as Santa and the elves and his son are plain adorable.














5) Jingle All the Way- I love funny Arnold Schwarzenegger films!! While the best is Kindergarten Cop, Jingle All the Way is quite precious too. He plays a workaholic father, Howard Langston, who has to get the perfect action figure present, Turbo-Man, for his son on Christmas. Except, he forgets and goes to all extremes to buy it last minute. This is a hilarious films and one of my original favourites. Also, I like how it deviates from the whole "Christmas is not about presents" ideal. Damn right it is, and you know it!





4) The Nightmare Before Christmas- From this point on, all the films are technically on the same level but for rankings' sake... Tim Burton's and Henry Selick's animated Christmas feature has become on of the biggest and greatest cult classics ever. The story of Halloween Town and Christmas Town and Jack Skellington and Sally and all the weird Burton-esque characters is just brilliant. The idea that Christmas can be taken over by the most horrific festival- Halloween and what the outcome of it would be, how Santa Clause becomes Sandy Claws, and a blossoming love in all of this just shows the true friggin genius of Tim Burton! Oogie Boogie people!!!


3)  How The Grinch Stole Christmas- This can also be called How Jim Carrey and Dr. Seuss Go Together. They really do. I love the story of a green and hairy Scrooge-ish Grinch who hates Christams and the Christmas-loving Whoville. He has shunned Christmas like how the people of Whoville have shunned him. It suits both of them fine until a young Who called Cindy Lou decides to vote him as the recipient of Whobilation, a great tradition and honour in the little town. At first Grinch is hesitant, but he does come to join in the celebrations, only to be then insulted by the Mayor Augustus May Who. After creating much havoc, he decides to ruin Christmas by stealing all the presents, disguising himself as Santa and his dog Max as a reindeer. Even though his masterplan at first seems successful, he then realises that Christmas is about more than material gifts. A change comes over him, his heart grows three times its original choice and he decides to make Amends. This is the highest grossing Christmas film of all-time (in your face Avatar!), and it comes from the highly acclaimed and very cool producer-director pair of Brian Grazer and Ron Howard. This is one of Jim Carrey's best roles, second only to probably Count Olaf in Lemony Snickets: A Series of Unfortunate Events. His Grinch is funny and tragic at the same time and we love him for that.


2) Home Alone 1 & 2- Kevin McCallister's epic survival tales take place during the lovely snowy time of Christmas. These are amongst the most loved children and holiday films of all time. This is because of the fantastic story of how a young boy left home alone, and alone in New York survives and protects himself from two of the funniest baddies ever- Harry and Marv. Macaulay Culkin's legendary role made him amongst the most famous child stars ever. Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern and Catherine O'Hara are also part of the great cast. Chris Columbus has a gift of making evergreen and lovely children films (see Harry Potter) and these are amongst his best.




1) The Polar Express- Only animation can truly achieve feats that live-action cinema can only dream of. And I think Robert Zemeckis's The Polar Express is a testament to that. I absolutely love this film. True, not may paragraphs ago I said that Christmas is about presents. But it is also about believing in the good and the naughty and the magic in the world. The film is about a boy who is starting to think that Santa Clause and North Pole and everything is made up, and then he is visited by a magical train that takes him to North Pole on Christmas Eve. It is fantastically made film, slightly dark but heart-warming nonetheless. It is number one because while it does apply many of the Chistmas movie rules to it, the total effect of it, with the story, the images, the music, the characters, the mystery, the aura, the Christmas spirit make it absolutely unique and unforgettable. I love Tom Hanks with all my heart. The review is here


       A special mention to It's a Wonderful Life, which was quite lovely too, but not that Christmas-y for me. Also Robert Zemeckis's Jim Carrey-starrer A Christmas Carol. I haven't seen the other adaptations of Charles Dickens' classic, neither have I seen Scrooged or Miracle on 34th Street. I don't want to watch Santa Clause 3 or Four Christmases. I really do not want to see Bad Santa as it might scar me forever.


        So as the carol goes, "Tis the season to be jolly," have a great time on Christmas watching these films, if you would like.


MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Monday, 20 December 2010

Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety

Happy Birthday blog! I started this blog exactly a year back with no expectations. Now I know that people read it, and that I have seven fantastic followers, seven times more the number of followers I wanted to gain in a year. Next year is college year, so that will mean even more dedicated blogging, hopefully.

Thanks!!

Saturday, 18 December 2010

A is for AWESOME

       So I have an elite list of favourite chick-flick-high-school films. To get into the list, the film should have:
1) chicks aka girls
2) humour(because it is a chick-flick)
3) bitchy-ness(same as above)
4) a high school
5) an original story
6) an everlasting impression


       As of yesterday, I had 6 films in this list- Heathers, Clueless, Drop Dead Gorgeous, 10 Things I Hate About You, Mean Girls and She's The Man (will write about them someday, promise). Many films have almost made it into the list- Princess Diaries (I like both together), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (I like all 7 together), The Virgin Suicides (very dark humour- not exactly chick-flicky), She's All That (too sweet), Cruel Intentions (too bitchy and no real high school), Slap Her She's French (it just somehow doesn't belong in the same league), and all the John Hughes Brat Pack classics (they're not chick flicks).

        And now there is a new member in this elite list, and with great pomp and pleasure I induct *cue drum roll* Easy A!!


         Easy A has been inspired by the story of Hester Prynne, the protagonist in Nathaniel Hawthorne's famous novel A Scarlet Letter. But with a very high school twist. Olive Penderghast (I love the name), who is a nobody at her school, becomes the talk of the place when the religious fanatic Marianne overhears her lie to her best friend Rhiannon about losing her virginity over an otherwise boring and Pocket Full of Sunshine-filled weekend. Instead of denying it, Olive likes the attention and soon with her new-found slut status decides to help homosexual Brandon by making him appear straight by testifying to having had sex with him. They go to a party and behind closed doors with an underwear-obstructed key-hole, have really loud fake sex. Rhiannon gets jealous of Olive's popularity and over a very heated phone call, Olive decides to really get into her skank-shoes, and clothes and buys a whole lot of stripper-esque clothes and stitches an 'A' on them, courtesy Hester. She goes to school like this, and everyone is awestruck with the bad-ass attitude and the tramp clothes. However, a number of guys find out about the fake sex thing, and they ask her to lie about having done, well, sexual deeds with them so that they too get a reputation. She does so, in exchange for gift coupons and vouchers, but soon things start looking bleak when Marianne's boyfriend Micah gets an STD and blames it on her. In fact, he is having an affair with the school councellor and wife of english teacher, Mrs. Griffith and got it from her. To save her favourite teacher's marriage, Olive takes the blame, only to get more drastic condemnation from the religious circle that now includes Rhiannon. While all this is happening, for the first time since her bad reputation surfaced, Olive gets asked out on a date by a boy called Anson. She is very happy about this untli she realises that Anson literally wants to pay and have sex with her. She escapes from him, only to run into the only nice guy in school, the mascot-playing Todd. Olive has had a crush on him since eigth grade, and had lost her only opportunity to kiss him while playing Seven Minutes in Heaven, when he was nervous about it. She still lied about doing so on his wish, and knowing this side of hers, he doesn't believe her fallen-woman image. With a little help from her very liberal parents, Olive decides that she will do a webcast telling her story to all of the school, after doing a very slutty-showgirl number at the school game to create interest. The whole film in fact is her telling this story. The film then ends with an awesome tribute to 80s teen films like Say Anything and Breakfast Club.

         This was very fresh film. Once again a classic story has been updated to our time to show its never-ending relevance and impact. Clueless was based on Jane Austen's Emma, 10 Things was based on Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew and She's The Man on again Shakespeare's Twelfth Knight. The obsession with fallen women is still present today, as it was in Hawthorne's days, though the terminology might have changed a bit. Like Hester Olive also battles this image, but unlike her it is after she embraces it due to what it does with ones popularity level. I loved the 80s films references, and the fact that instead of being nerdy looking, Olive is very pretty but still invisible. Her problems are very identifiable, and despite the fame, we understand her loneliness. Along with that, it is very novel in showing the Christian fanatic group of teens, who are generally shunned from such stories due to the unappealing aspect. Also when it ends, I like how it neither glorifies nor condemns sex.


        Emma Stone is Awesome! She is one of the genuinely funny, self-loathing and prettiest new actresses. She has a long way ahead. Her Olive is hilarious, cute, gorgeous and plain lovable. She has a great body and face and I personally loved the lingerie type clothes on her. This is the first film with her as the protagonist, and she is charming in the way she handles her whole situtaion. Cannot wait for her to get it on with my-future-husband Andrew Garfield as Gwen Stacey in the upcoming Spiderman reboot! Amanda Bynes as Marianne was fantastic since she always plays a rebel. Also I'm glad she didn't quit acting, despite having played a teenager for what seems like her whole life. I love Dan Byrd, and he is so funny in the fake-sex scene. Penn Badgely was a sweet supporting character, but he ain't no John Cusack. Thomas Hayden Church was pretty convincing too as the cool and mental teacher. Lisa Kudrow and Malcolm Macdowell were there, but only to add to the very strong support cast. The best were Olive's parents played by Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson. Who would not want parents like Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson? I would kill to have parents like Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson. They are wacky, witty, radical and just cuddle-able. The world needs more parents like Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson!!

        The reason why Easy A is now on the list is because it really does fill all the necessary conditions. Olive is a excellent female character, the film is very very funny, the bitchy-ness is in your face, there is a high school, the story is fantastic and so very properly adapted from a 19th Century classic. And of course, try as you must, one cannot forget the webcast, the crazy chapter names, the fake sex, the religious bimbos, Olive's clothes and just Olive. I guess one of the conditions is also to have a brilliant female protagonist(s) and along with Veronica, Cher, Amber, Kat and Bianca, Cady and Regina and Janice and Gretchen and Karen and Damien, and Viola, Olive is truly unfogettable.

WAITING FOR FOREVER

So I literally, along with my friend Ayesha, have been waiting for forever for Tom Sturridge's new film Waiting For Forever to come out. The tragedy was that even the trailer was taking forever to come out. But today it did!
Well, the trailer is kind of boring, but hopefully it will be one of the films which are very good but have awful trailers, like Igby Goes Down.




I'm making a list about films to watch, and my favourite trailers. Hopefully I will post them (I try but see how Harry Potter Day-a-thon turned out).

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

CAPTAIN JACK'S BACK!!!


Me finally learning how to put youtube videos on the blog happened along with the release of the trailer of one of the most anticipated films of next year, starring the best actor of all time playing the best character of all time.
Coincidence? I think not.

Monday, 13 December 2010

It had never occurred to me that our lives, which had been so closely interwoven, could unravel with such speed.


     
      Never Let Me Go is based on the novel with the same name by Kazuo Ishiguro. It tells the story of three "special" people- Kathy, Tommy and Ruth. They are special because they are "clones" made for organ transplantation for "humans" suffering from incurable diseases. When these clones grow-up, they give "donations" and eventually "complete" after a few of them. However, in the school where Kathy, tommy and Ruth grew up, Hailsham, there runs a rumour that if two of the students are in "verifiable love", these donations can be "deferred". I put these words in quotation marks because the whole story is based on our understanding of these words.

*SPOILER ALERT*
      The film is narrated by a twenty-eight year-old Kathy, who is a carer of the donors now. She is soon going to start donating herself, and now she looks back upon the lives of her two best friends, Ruth and Tommy, and hers. Kathy was always a passive, introverted but affectionate girl who fell for the sensitive and misunderstood Tommy since they were kids. But the more extroverted Ruth vies for his attention early on and they become inseparable until they reach their late teens. By the time they're all eighteen, they leave Hailsham and go to this place called the Cottages, where they meet other clones and hear for the first time about the deferrers. Tommy works out that the artwork that was taken by the students in Hailsham to be put in something called the Gallery, was a way to look into the souls of the students and see if they were truly in love. He tells this to Kathy, and also that it could not happen for him and Ruth, but rather with him and Kathy as she had submitted many of her sketches to the Gallery. Ruth however intervenes and due to an incident with a porn magazine, manipulates Kathy into feeling miserable about herself and her feelings for Tommy. Their friendship breaks, along with the separation of Ruth and Tommy. Kathy starts her job as a carer, where she's rather good, until nine years later when she runs into Ruth. Ruth has already donated twice and is very weak unlike Tommy, as she informs Kathy, who has also done two donations and is doing very well. They all embark on a trip together to see a washed-up boat they had heard about and here Ruth apologises to Kathy for keeping Tommy and her apart all these years. She admits that they always belonged together, but due to the deferrers story, and a fear of being left alone if they both got together, she had done everything. She now wanted to make amends and so she gives them the adress of the Madame who represented the Gallery so that they can apply to get deferred. Kathy and Tommy finally come out with their feelings towards each other, and go to see Madame, only to find out that the whole deferrers story was indeed a rumour, and the Gallery was a way for them to try and show others not what was in the children's souls, but that like normal children, they had souls. Kathy and Tommy leave the place empty-handed and with a bleak future ahead of them.

      The basic plot of the film, if you notice, is very similar to Michael Bay's The Island. Except, the story  isn't. Never Let Me Go is the most poignant film I have seen about matters of life and death, mixed with science fiction and a truly dystopian world. Beautifully written, the story touches the very core of your heart and leaves a permanent mark, very much like the scars on the donors' bodies. The existential metaphor of what our lives on this earth is like, the role of love, the role of those in charge, and our "completion" or death is so fitting, it's amazing. I don't remember actually crying throughout a film, but I did for this one. I mean, I knew the story as I have read a bit of the book and searched on it, but it is really frightening and touching at the same time. Two things made me weep- the metaphor, and the relationship between Kathy and Tommy.
      The metaphor was just so fascinating and terrifying. Everything in the story- the children who wear these tracking devices on their hands, who are scared to cross the fence of the school, who wait for days when the old clothes and toys from other people arrive for them as gifts, the grown up kids so uncomfortable in the real world, the fascination with sex, the idea that all of their "originals" are from the trash of the society like prostitutes and thieves, the deferrers rumour, the donations, the Gallery and the completion; just everything stands for something in this world. I especially loved the deferrers story. The idea that somehow our lives can be better, or in the case of the characters in the story without donations, for even a few years because we're in love, I mean isn't that what we live for? And of course the whole significance of art, that it is the only way to reveal if we have hearts and souls in us, because only through art can you show your love to others.

      Kathy's and Tommy's relationship has to be one of the most heartbreaking love stories I have ever seen. They were always supposed to be together, but never got the chance. The way Kathy looks at Tommy, especially after he and Ruth start going out, is so sad. She regretfully remarks, "I think girls are always mean to the boys they like. So maybe Ruth had liked him all along. Maybe I should have teased him too." Instead she was his truest friend, and treasured the cassette he had bought for her. This cassette, called Songs after Dark by Judy Bridgewater, contains the words "never let me go" and Kathy is shown often listening to it in the dark, thinking about Tommy. When they finally get together, their life together is cut short by the donations and the disproving of the deferrers rumour. When Tommy cries out in anguish, much like how he did as a child, Kathy as always comforts him. Kathy is shown looking at him when he has his operations done. The film ends with her thinking about him.

      All the performances were brilliant. Carey Mulligan has such a beautiful voice, and her narration is very impressive. She is the observer, and we feel her sentiments by the way she views things. I personally liked this performance of hers much better than in An Education, and she really has a long long way to go. I hate Keira Knightley and I hated Ruth, so that's that. Now coming to Mr. Garfield, well, he's simply splendid. Tommy is slightly confused, very innocent and emotional, and Andrew plays him perfectly. His character in this film, to me, was a mixture of Eduardo Saverin in The Social Network and Sheldon in I'm Here. And have I mentioned before how much I love his voice? A great deal to answer that question. He and Mulligan had excellent chemistry. One of my favourite scenes in when they have been told about how the deferrer story is untrue, and they both are sitting on the sofa holding back their tears. While Kathy is reserved as usual, trying to still smile, Tommy's face is full of hopeless sorrow. The child actors- Izzy Meikle-Small, Ella Purnell and Charlie Rowe, who played Kathy, Ruth and Tommy as students in Hailsham were really good too. Purnell actually reminded me of a smaller Eva Green, but Small (??) looked exactly like a younger Mulligan. Rowe was just adorable.

      The settings are breath-taking, especially the boat on the beach. The whole film has a very mellow cinematography, sort of like a grey dream, which is exactly what it was for the clones. The music is lovely, moreso whenever the "never let me go" song plays.

I definitely recommend everyone to watch it. With a box of tissues by your side.



Saturday, 11 December 2010



"I’m the girl who is lost in space, the girl who is disappearing always, forever fading away and receding farther and farther into the background. Just like the Cheshire cat, someday I will suddenly leave, but the artificial warmth of my smile, that phony, clownish curve, the kind you see on miserably sad people and villains in Disney movies, will remain behind as an ironic remnant."

-Prozac Nation, Elizabeth Wurtzel



So excited about Black Swan!

Friday, 10 December 2010

Silence is the most powerful scream

Video- Classic Silent Types

WATCH THIS!!
NYTimes made 14 actors act out 14 silent movie types in segments of 1 minute each. The only silent movies I've ever seen are Charlie Chaplin's and Laurel and Hardy's. So I cannot say which film or which actor the actors in the video are portraying. Hence I decided to give each segment my own name, just based on the story being told.

1) Javier Bardem- Bittersweet Symphony
2) James Franco- Mirror Mirror on the Wall, who's the Dreamiest of them All?
3) Natalie Portman- The Drama Queen/Too Gorgeous for Her Own Good
4) Jesse Eisenberg- I'm CEO Bitch!
5) Chloe Mortez- Anger Management
6) Matt Damon- Read the Curse Words off My Lips
7) Michael Douglas- The Chair/ The Boss
8) Jennifer Lawrence- Thriller/ Rape in the Valley
9) Noomi Rapace- Total Effect (everything together makes the shot work- the singing, her earing, the cigarette, the perfectly polished nails, the dazzling microphone)
10) Vincent Cassel- Happy Feet/Fly Me to the Moon
11) Anthony Mackie- Run Forrest Run!
12) Robert Duvall- Gilette/ Shaving for Dummies
13) Lesley Manville- Telephone Conversation/ Wrong Number
14) Tilda Swinton- Angels with Dirty Faces/ A Prayer


My absolute favourites have to be Natalie Portman, Noomi Rapace, Vincent Cassel and Tilda Swinton. I was very happy that younger actors like Jesse Eisenberg, Chloe Mortez and Jennifer Lawrence got a chance too. Vincent Cassel is bloody sexy. And Tilda Swinton is an absolute Goddess, I love her to bits.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

All men are created equal. No matter how hard you try, you can never erase those words.



"This is Harvey Milk speaking from the camera store on the evening of Friday, November 18. This is to be played only in the event of my death by assassination. I fully realize that a person who stands for what I stand for, an activist, a gay activist, becomes a target or the potential target for somebody who is insecure, terrified, afraid, or very disturbed themselves. Knowing that I could be assassinated at any moment, any time, I feel it's important that some people know my thoughts. And so the following are my thoughts, my wishes, and my desires, whatever, and I'd like to pass them on and have them played for the appropriate people.
I have never considered myself a candidate. I have always considered myself part of a movement, part of a candidacy. I considered the movement the candidate. I think that there's a distinction between those who use the movement and those who are part of the movement. I think I was always part of the movement. I wish I had time to explain everything I did. Almost everything was done with an eye on the gay movement.
The other aspect of this tape is the business of what should happen if there is an assassination. I cannot prevent some people from feeling angry and frustrated and mad, but I hope they will take that frustration and that madness and instead of demonstrating or anything of that type, I would hope they would take the
power and I would hope that five, ten, one hundred, a thousand would rise. I would like to see every gay doctor come out, every gay lawyer, every gay architect come out, stand up and let that world know. That would do more to end prejudice overnight than anybody would imagine. I urge them to do that, urge them to come out. Only that way will we start to achieve our rights.
I ask for the movement to continue, for the movement to grow, because last week I got a phone call from Altoona, Pennsylvania, and my election gave somebody else, one more person, hope. And after all, that's what this is all about. It's not about personal gain, not about ego, not about power — it's about giving those young people out there in the Altoona, Pennsylvanias, hope. You gotta give them hope."

-From a tape recording to be played in the event of his assassination, quoted in Randy Shilts, The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and Times of Harvey Milk (1982)

Some films and some people are just there to inspire us. After watching Gus Van Sant's Milk yesterday, I was full of emotions and respect. I mean I love the idea of revolutions, when people fight against all the wrongs that the society and the government force upon us, but to be led in such a revolution by someone like Harvey Milk would have been life-changing. I already feel that my life has been forever altered in this wonderful way just by watching the film.

      Milk was the first openly gay man to be elected in a public office in USA, in the Castro District of San Francisco. He was famously called the 'Mayor of Castro Street'. He became one of the city supervisors. He campaigned fiercely against a surge of anti-gay movements that bigots like Anita Bryant and John Briggs. He got many many followers and won a national movement against Briggs Initiative, which was a proposed law to fire homosexual tecahers. However, soon after he was killed alongside Mayor George Moscone by Dan White, another city supervisor who had resigned recently but wanted his job back. 25000-40000 people marched the streets of San Francisco with candles to honour him.

      The film shows the amazing life of Milk, but with so much more. It starts and ends with the tape that Milk made to be played at the event of his assassination. It showed his humble beginnings and his meteoric rise. His love affairs and his brilliant friends. The marches and the feel of USA in the 70s. Gus Van Sant used a lot the material that was already there from the many documentaries on Milk, most importantly The Times of Harvey Milk directed by Rob Epstein, to show people like Anita Bryant and the gay marches, and ofcourse the announcement of Milk and Moscone's death. Along with that we got a look into Milk's personal life- his lovers Scott Smith and Jack Niro, his friends like Cleve Jones, Danny Nicoletta and Anne Kronenberg.

      Dustin Lance Black came and breathed life into the almost-dead film that had been in production for fifteen years. He showed Milk as a lovely and powerful leader. The dialogues are funny and impactful. The somewhat non-linear chain of events keep the viewer anxious and happy at the same time. Van Sant, who generally makes films about people who are "different", namely To Die For, Good Will Hunting, My Own Private Idaho and Psycho, maid Milk so perfectly that the earlier ones now almost fade in comparison. But that is just my opinion. The precision in everything, from the place to the clothes to the dialogue is incredible. Once again he showed the vulnerable side of men without, no pun intended, gaying them up. I mean, just how Milk said, they were all men, who only loved with their hearts and not according to prevailing mores of the society. All the 'good' characters are bright and colourful, and the 'bad' ones bleak and sad. Amongst the critics who were rolling over it, the film got a positive reaction from many Christian magazines as well, and I think to make a film about such an important person and movement, and not to offend anyone, is just fantastic. To love one another, that's what humanity is, and Harvey Milk and this film showed that to all of us.

      Now actor-wise, what can be said about Sean Penn's acting abilities that hasn't been said before. He's a truly gifted actor who portrayed Milk so well that he stole the Oscar from teh favourite Mickey Rourke. He was passionate and adorable and just so stunning as Milk. He became Milk in this film, and no one had any doubt about it. I loved him so much in this role, and the way he spoke and carried himslef. Everything he said was honest and genuine. This was a Sean Penn film through and through. But that doesn't mean that the other actors and characters were not good. They were very important to show us Milk's character and beliefs. James Franco is always fantastic, and though he must have trampled over many women's hearts by playing a gay man- Scott Smith, he is one of the best young actors out these. So is the disgustingly talented Emile Hirsch. He was so cute and funny as Cleve Jones, with the hair and the glasses (must have), and the attitude (absolutely must have). Josh Brolin was very good too, playing the psychopathic bigoted arsehole Dan White. I couldn't recognise Diego Luna who was the lovestruck Enrique in The Terminal. That's a good thing as he was so sweet and mental and tragic as Milk's lover Jack. And Scott Pilgrim's Allison Pill was also there as Anne Kronenberg, the lesbian among the gays, but fabulous nonetheless.

      I have to mention the ending. It is absolutely one of the best endings I've ever seen and I'm a big believer is in the whole "All's well that end's well" ideology. From the moment that Milk is assasinated and he looks out of his window to see the opera house that he had spoken to Scott about, to the absolutely heart-wrenchingly beautiful candlelight vigil, and the fact that Milk somehow had predicted his ending..."I'll never make it to 50" (Milk died when he was 48), to the assassination, to the uprising. It was just heartfelt and exhuberant and just so right.

I'm just going to go ahead and say it. Watch it if you have any heart in you, and you'll love it!



My name is Harvey Milk and I'm here to recruit you!

Saturday, 4 December 2010

He looked like the love thoughts of women

So, the Sexiest Man Alive thing is out again, coinciding with this rather wonderful quote I found and put as the title. This is my own little list of faaaiiiinnneee men (actors only). I made it under 40...just so that I put pics of people other than Johnny Depp..
Enjoy!

Tom Sturridge- though he is practically a beggar, god does he look good....
Ryan Gosling- My earthquake man, I can never get enough...
Andrew Garfield- Pretty darn perfect
Daniel Radcliffe- 'Cuz being funny does matter.
Ian Somerhalder- Them eyes...
Joseph Gordon-Levitt- adorable till the end of days. Love his smile!

Matthew Goode- Brits make me go high
Leonard Di Caprio- He is my Jack and my Romeo
Jensen Ackles- I like manly men...sometimes
James McAvoy- The accent kills me.
Ewan Mcgregor- He's brilliant!
Jesse Eisenberg- I love Nerds



Of course I missed out someone...who??