Thursday, 30 August 2012



1) BEST MOVIE NEWS EVER, OF THE WEEK- Stop the presses people, Ryan Gosling is directing a movie! With friggin' Christina Hendricks in it! And it's a fantasy noir! I mean not only is he going to become the sexiest director EVER, he is making someone like Hendricks, who ought to be a much bigger star already, his lead and the synopsis of the film is ahmazing-
"How To Catch a Monster weaves elements of fantasy noir, and suspense into a modern day fairytale. Set against the surreal dreamscape of a vanishing city, Billy, a single mother of two, is swept into a macabre and dark fantasy underworld while her teenage son discovers a secret road leading to an underwater town. Both Billy and Bones must dive deep into the mystery, if their family is to survive."

Like I didn't think it was possible for me to be more crazy about him, but the Gos is a gift that just keeps on giving. Can't fucking wait!!

2) So I directed my first proper play couple of weeks back... and it was a total disaster. One of the leads fell really sick on the main day but insisted on doing her part, only to mix up her lines whilst on stage, confusing all the other actors and causing everyone to forget their lines. Props were put in the wrong place, people with single lines didn't get a chance to say even those due to all the commotion and the very scant audience did not laugh a lot, unlike what had happened during the rehearsals. Still, we managed to bag the technical award which came as a total surprise. On the whole, it was a lot of fun but I wish I hadn't felt like Ed Wood by the end of it. Although the celebratory chocolate cake was a welcome sight.

3) Lynne Ramsay, who made last year's very creepy We Need to Talk About Kevin is going to helm the western Jane Got a Gun, with Natalie Portman and Michael Fassbender. It's about a woman whose outlaw husband returns home wounded after being betrayed by his gang and she has to take help from her ex-lover to protect her farm and her family from the gang. I like the idea of it and the leads are brilliant. I hope there's a lot of red in this film too :D

4) Posters- Lincoln, which has Daniel Day-Lewis on it, as it should. It's not very innovative or anything, but apt. Life of Pi makes me love the tiger even more, though it's a meh poster. I actually really like the Killing Them Softly poster. I don't know why though- maybe the shotgun or the font or just how clean-cut it is. Also the posters of the other four Eleven/Pond episodes in the upcoming Doctor Who series. I just like the fact that each episode gets a cool-ish poster.

5) Links- Being a Teenager Through the Eyes of Stevee, keep voting in Andrew's Essential Performances of the 90s Tournament, and read Anna's latest pitch.

6) Trailers- The final trailer to P.T. Anderson's weird and awesome-looking The Master. Some breathtaking performances to look forward to in this film. American Horror Story Season 2 is coming and clues are being released to tease us with what to expect from it. See the latest and super eerie one. Also HBO's The Girl, which is about the making of Alfred Hitchcock's Birds has two teasers, (1) and (2) out and it looks quite impressive and intriguing. Finally, the latest trailer of Django Unchained that needs to be watched only for Leo tapping his fingers on a skull at the end.

7) Random question: The Breakfast Club is a coming-of-age film- yay or nay?

8) Finally, this-


Tuesday, 28 August 2012

"Some people go to the movies to be reminded that everything's okay. I don't make those kinds of movies."- David Fincher

David Fincher is easily one of the most gifted filmmakers out there. Notorious for his perfectionist method of film making, he is responsible for some of the best and coolest movies of the last two decades, including my favourite film of all time, Fight Club.


Here's to the next 50 being just as awesome :D

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

"All children, except one, grow up."


          Okay no, it's not my birthday yet, not for another three days. However I will be going out of station tonight and will only return the day after it. I know I had spoken about celebrating it on the blog, but I have been really tied up. I will definitely do something soon. I am so sorry!

          Anyways, this is, if you haven't read a few of my rants yet, not just any birthday. It is the twentieth. 2-0. When the teens technically end and I'm supposed to grow up. Luckily for me, I have been preoccupied with the play for most of the month and have not freaked out about this whole business. I think I have a bit of the Peter Pan complex, as made more obvious by the title of this post. 

       Still, I am quite looking forward to this next phase of my life. I feel that I have changed a lot since my last birthday. Certainly learned a lot, and I can positively say that this blog, and being part of the blogging community, was a huge reason for that.

       A ginormous thanks to all these blogs- 

Here's a goodbye to the teens and a helloo to the twenties :D

See you on the other side.

Thursday, 16 August 2012


         Helloo people. I do this post a full week after I was supposed to, but I've just been that busy/ tired/ dead lately. This is what is up-

1) So I am directing a one-act play for my year in the annual inter-year dramatics competition in my college. It's been a sort of whirlwind since it has only been a month in the new college and I don't exactly know what I am doing or am supposed to do most of the time. But I like it. I don't remember the last time I was excited about actually doing something apart from watching a certain movie or whatever. It's like that Catcher in the Rye quote- "I like it when somebody gets excited about something. It's nice." It *is* nice and though we are probably screwed for the final performance that will happen the day after tomorrow (SOO SCREWED), this may just be, as my mother embarrassingly calls it, my "directorial debut" (ugh, moms -.-). Yeah I wish it was a little less, well, crazy but we do have period costumes and fake mustaches and it is funny. All I want is that we put on a good show :) Also technically, my directorial debut was in 5th grade, with another one-act play which was about 3 minutes long. The teacher said that I was a good director, and I have come to think that this is probably the point where it all started...

2) Okay in the movie world this is what is happening: Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of The Great Gatsby will now be released in 2013, which sucks because all I wanted was a Very Leo Christmas. Next, Joss Whedon will also direct The Avengers 2- YAAAAAAAAYY! I am already hooked :D :D And Ben Affleck might direct the Justice League movie- what? In some ways, it might be surprisingly good, since Affleck is definitely a better director than actor, but I don't know. I can't quite picture it, at all.

3) One of the most anticipated films of this year, Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master has released a new poster and a whole bunch of pictures. I think the poster is gorgeous and weird, just like everything that has been released of the movie so far. The pictures clearly show that it is Joaquin Phoenix and not Philip Seymour Hoffman who is the lead, and I am still plenty happy about that. Another obvious powerhouse performance of this year will be Daniel Day-Lewis's in Lincoln. He looks brilliant!

4) Trailers- Another of the highly-awaited movies of 2012 is Seven Psychopaths, and goddamn the trailer is fantastic! I luurrvvee In Bruges, and what with people like Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson and Christopher Walken, this film is almost definitely going to be mindblowingly awesome! Trouble with the Curve, which is a film I can see myself not caring about one tiny little bit. I'm sorry but I just am that closed-minded when it comes to sports movies. Also, STOP MAKING MOVIES AND GO BACK TO MAKING MUSIC, JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE!! I just had to get that off my chest. A Royal Affair starring Mads Mikkelsen, which looks intriguing. Great Expectations looks terrible, but Jeremy Irvine is adorable and I think casting HBC as Mrs. Havisham is a stroke of genius. Finally there is the hilariously awful trailer of Red Dawn. I only talk about it because it has Josh from Drake and Josh! Remember him/that? What happened? :O

5) By the by, the films that I am most looking forward to this year are- 15) To the Wonder, 14) Imogene, 13) Perks of Being a Wallflower, 12) Ruby Sparks, 11) Place Beyond the Pines, 10) Anna Karenina, 9) Midnight's Children, 8) Holy Motors, 7) Moonrise Kingdom, 6) Beasts of the Southern Wild, 5) Skyfall, 4) The Hobbit, 3) The Master, 2) Seven Psychopaths, 1) Django Unchained

And so far my favourite films have been (not counting Margaret because I think that's a 2011 film)- 5) Chronicle, 4) Bachelorette, 3) TDKR, 2) Brave, 1) The Avengers. Clearly you can see that I haven't watched anything.

6) Finally, this is courtesy of Anna from Defiant Success-
Never get a mind filter, you glorious, glorious man.


Wednesday, 15 August 2012

"Make 'em laugh."

The "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" series hosted by The Film Experience is celebrating the Gene Kelly's Centennial Week with the musical classic Singin' in the Rain. I adore this film. It was the first "old" movie that I loved, even though I didn't find it perfect. I still don't, but few other movies can fill me up with so much pure, unadulterated joy.

Some of the things I love about it-
  • I love Debbie Reynold's expressions when she describes/insults movie actors.

  • The wide shots.

  • The dance between Kelly and the magnificent Cyd Charisse.

  • My absolutely favourite part of Singin' in the Rain, however, is the stellar supporting actors, Donald O' Connor and Jean Hagen. I know this post is based on Gene Kelly, and I love him, and Debbie Reynolds too, but Cosmo and Lina are just beautiful in this movie. So funny, so brilliant.
         For example, O' Connor's awe-inspiring screwball humour in "Make 'Em Laugh". Just look at his face, though the best part is when he jumps off the painted wall (the last image). I love how it looks, though I found it impossible to capture perfectly since it happens so fast.

           Then there's Hagen. Now the arguably the best thing about her in the movie is her voice. Just the first time we hear it, we cannot help but me shocked yet amused. And the contrast between her diction and her proper diction coach is hilarious. But her well-deserved Oscar nomination was not only for that. Just see her expressions, and how they change when Kelly's character Don Lockwood doesn't let her character Lina Lamont make a speech at their film's premiere.

           That's why my favourite shot is- but first, a little build up: Lina has just coerced the head of her studio to make Kathy, played by Reynolds, to voice her in all her talkies and after the successful reception of the first one, wants Kathy to sing a song for the audience behind the curtain, while she lip-syncs in front.

           Basically Don, Cosmo and R.F., the studio head, pull the curtain to reveal the true singing star, Kathy Selden, though Lina has no clue yet.
          Then, Cosmo comes and starts singing in Kathy's place and Lina is just beginning to register that-

(The Best Shot)

              This is why I love them so much. Cosmo is a genius- he is always the one who comes up with the ideas, and they are usually really funny. Here he is publicly humiliating Lina in the most humorous way possible. And Lina, well, her face perfectly captures and explains her catchphrase, "Am I dumb or something?" Priceless.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Liebster Award

Sati from Cinematic Corner, Diana from Aziza's picks, Anna from Defiant Success, Alleyandthemovies from Random Film Buff and Andy from The Film Emporium have awarded me with the Liebster Award. 

The Rules:

1. Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
2. Answer the 11 questions the person giving the award has set for you.
3. Create 11 questions for the people you will be giving the award to.
4. Choose 11 people to award and send them a link to your post.
5. Go to their page and tell them.
6. No tag backs.

I'm just going to go ahead and say this- rules will be broken.

11 things about me:

1. I don't know if the above picture is the most accurate depiction of me, but I like it because my wonky eyes in it have been inspired by Adrien Brody.

2. I am quite good at math. Not Matilda-good because I really can't multiply long numbers in my head within seconds, but I can grasp concepts quickly. However once I am done needing them, I delete them from my memory a la Sherlock Holmes.

3. I am an Olympic baby (1992 born). Woo hoo! Still hate sports though.

4. I have always been an actor-obsessed person, so much so that I sometimes divide my life into segments of specific actor-obsession (that might just be the creepiest thing I have ever written). Chronologically, it has been Leonardo Di Caprio, Hrithik Roshan, Daniel Radcliffe, Josh Hartnett, Tom Sturridge, Andrew Garfield and currently Matt Smith. The one actor I have consistently lusted after, since I was about 12 or 13, has been Ryan Gosling.

5. Ryan Gosling was the reason I read 50 Shades of Grey, since he was rumoured to take on the part of Christian Grey. The things I do for that man.

6. Remember when Oscars used to get other people to describe the acting nominees- that always made me cry.

7. I recently got into shit with a teacher of mine because she wrote that Otto Preminger was the writer of some book and I pointed out that he was actually a director, and she refused to believe me and called me an idiot. Ahem...

8. My favourite frozen dessert is raspberry sorbet.

9. I love how Calcutta is often depicted in Hollywood movies. The most recent example is The Avengers of course, where "Calcutta" looked like some famine-raged land from half a century ago. So funny.

10. I am the laziest person I know. Quoting Bukowski, "My ambition is handicapped by my laziness."

11. America's Next Top Model is my one true vice. I need some amount of trash TV in my life. Bring Andre Leon Talley back!!

Question time:

Sati's questions-

1. What is your favorite movie scene?
Jack vs Jack in Fight Club. I just knew then that I will never be the same, and that this film will take over my life. I still cannot understand how Edward Norton and David Fincher did it.

2. Your favorite performance?
Adrien Brody in The Pianist. It makes me cry.

3. Movie character that is most similar to you?
I can't think of just one with all my qualities. A mixture of three maybe- Brian, the brain, in The Breakfast Club, Cecilia in The Purple Rose of Cairo and Bridget Jones in Bridget Jones's Diary- nerdy, film-loving, awkward and unlucky me.

4. Favorite movie quote?
The one I use the most in daily life is "Boo you whore" from Mean Girls. The one I think describes me pretty well is "Christian, you may see me only as a drunken, vice-ridden gnome whose friends are just pimps and girls from the brothels. But I know about art and love, if only because I long for it with every fiber of my being" from Moulin Rouge!. My favourite quote about movies is one by Francois Truffaut, "Film lovers are sick people."

5. What is one movie where you would change actual director/actor/actress for someone else?
I really want to see Jackie Brown as directed by David Fincher. I don't know what it will be like, but I am curious.

6. What is the first film you saw?
I don't know what was the very first film I saw, though I am sure that it was a Bollywood flick. My earliest vivid memory of a cinema hall is when I saw Titanic. I was 5.

7. Would you change any character's fate? If so, whose and for what?
Presently, I would not have that big reveal at the end of The Dark Knight Rises for one of the major characters. THAT WAS SO GAY! Also, I would not let Fred Weasley die *sniff*.

8. Your favorite track from movie soundtrack?
This keeps changing for me. I guess Radiohead's "Talk Show Host" from Romeo + Juliet.

9. What book would you like to see adapted for screen?
I would love a proper Lolita adaptation, with Robert Downey Jr. playing Humbert Humbert. Also I want an animated adaptation of Markus Zusak's The Book Thief.

10. Favorite guilty pleasure movie?
I watch a lot of crappy movies, but then I enjoy them thoroughly. I would say Charlie's Angels, especially for Sam Rockwell.

11. Favorite trailer?
Blue Valentine. It is such a perfect trailer.

Aziza's questions-

1. What's the song that you keep listening these days (the repeat curse)?
"Unknown" by The Maccabees, "Shiny Happy People" by R.E.M. and "How To Disappear Completely" by Radiohead.

2. The last film you saw in cinema? 3 words to describe it please
The Dark Knight Rises. FUCK YEAH CATWOMAN!

3. Childhood crush? 
Leonardo Di Caprio as Jack Dawson when I was 5.

4. Think of a soundtrack of a movie and tell me the best song from it, one that you still listen, years after you've seen the film.
I still listen to "Where Is My Mind?" by The Pixies from Fight Club.

5. What's that one genre of films that you usually don't watch?
Westerns. Snore.

6. If you could adapt a book into a movie or miniseries, what would it be and why?
See question 9 from Sati's questions.

7. Tell me one actor/actress that you would be starstruck by (imagine you walk in a Starbucks and you see him/her 2 feet from you- possible reaction: eyes wide open, legs shaking, suddenly it's hot in the room)
Ryan Gosling. I will melt, but not before embarrassing myself in some awful way before that.

8. If you could recommend a book to your readers, what would it be and why?
50 Shades of Grey, because then they will appreciate the writing in this blog so much more. Okay seriously, I don't know. The Invention of Hugo Cabret maybe, since it is so pretty.

9. How would you describe a perfect (or close to perfect) script? What are they key elements it should have?
I like clever dialogue, well-formed characters, and loads of descriptions (like a Tarantino script).

10. Favorite British actor/actress?
Ewan McGregor and Michael Fassbender for actor; Helena Bonham Carter and Kate Winslet for actress.

11. What did you have for lunch?
Mushroom crêpes and blueberry pancakes. The crêpes were okay, but the pancakes were to die for!

Anna's questions-

1. Any actors you show promise for?
Quite a few actually. I am going to choose Daniel Radcliffe because he was my childhood hero and I really want him to get good roles and show off his acting chops.

2. Anyone you're hoping makes a comeback soon?
Winona forever.

3. Name someone in Hollywood you find overrated.
Channing Tatum. And he keeps coming in good movies- so annoying!

4. What do you do apart from blogging and watching movies?
I used to read a lot, but now I go to college and then come back and fall dead on my bed.

5. What TV shows do you watch?
Doctor Who, Sherlock, Parks and Recreation, Game of Thrones, True Blood, Girls, The Newsroom, New Girl, and of course, America's Next Top Model.

6. Your most prized DVD?
The 2 disc edition of The Social Network.

7. Do you watch movies in theaters more or at home?
Home. Mostly because nothing releases where I live.

8. You have the chance to go back in time to see a film premiere. Which film would you see?
I would love to see The Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat Station by the Lumière Brothers, because it is so iconic. Also the world premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 at Trafalgar Square.

9. Dog or cat person?
Not an animal person, but I am absolutely terrified of dogs, so I will go with cat.

10. Whose movies have you seen the most of? (This can apply to actors and directors.)
Probably Woody Allen.

11. Name your guilty pleasure.
Tumblr. I have wasted away months of my life on that.

Alleyandthemovies's questions-

1. What made you want to start your blog?
I saw a friend's blog and decided to make one myself. For about a year I didn't know what I was doing and then I sort of got on track.

2. Is there anything else you love to do besides devour films?
See question 4 from Anna's questions

3. Choose out of the two: Magnolia vs. Memento, Forrest Gump vs. Catch Me If You Can, The Jerk vs. Blazing Saddles.
Memento. Forrest Gump. Unfortunately I have not seen either of the films from the last pair, so cannot choose.

4. If you had to choose one movie to watch for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Scott Pilgrim Vs The World, since I notice something new everytime.

5. Is there truly a difference between a movie and a film?
Yes. As my film studies teacher told us, a movie is the actual end product we see, and a film is the roll on which the movie is recorded.

6. What’s your favorite quote about life?
Wow, life... I'll choose two-
"I don't want to end up simply having visited this world."- Mary Oliver
"Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, and I'm going to be happy in it."- Groucho Marx

7. Explain the name of your blog. 
Norma Jeane is Marilyn Monroe's real name and she went from being an ordinary person to someone who will be remembered forever. And the "Being" part is from Being John Malkovich and Being Julia. I guess the name denotes the state of being someone who hasn't yet (hopefully) become what she is meant to be. Yeah, it's a bit sappy, but it does have a nice ring to it :)

8. Has Denzel Washington had his “movie” yet? Tom Hanks had Saving Private Ryan/Cast Away/Forrest Gump, Tim Robbins had Shawshank Redemption, Clint Eastwood had Dirty Harry, and Robert De Niro had Taxi Driver. What’s Denzel’s?
Okay I don't think I have actually seen any Denzel Washington movies except for The Bone Collector (so embarrassed) . But whatever I have seen of Training Day and Philadelphia, I really loved. And he is famous for things like Malcolm X, The Hurricane and American Gangster. So yeah, I do think he has had his movie.

9. Who’s the most important in the filmmaking process: the director, screenwriter, or main actor?
Director. It is his or hers vision. He/she can breathe life into the words of a screenwriter and bring out great performances from his or hers actors.

10. Do you have a Netflix account? If so, how many movies are in your queue?
Nope. No Netflix in India :'(

11. What’s Hitchhock’s best film and explain why.
Psycho. The sense of dread, the look, the lighting, the characters, the shower scene, the flushing toilet, the music. It is just such a masterful thriller, and I love the Hitchcock movies that have a restricted amount of space and what is scarier than the Bates Hotel?

Andy's questions-

1. What was the film that made you feel the most terrified watching?
No Country for Old Men, because of Anton Chigurh. The number of times I had to pause to calm my nerves...

2. Chaplin or Keaton?
Chaplin. I have only watched one Keaton film, which although was brilliant, but does not make me feel as warm and happy as the Chaplin films. Also I have grown up with them, though I would not know the names of many of them. 

3. What is the greatest shift/turnaround of opinion, either positive or negative, you have had after a repeat viewing?
American Beauty probably. The first time I saw it, I was about 13 or 14 and I found the character of Lester Burnham incredibly creepy. When I saw it again at 17, I was completely gobsmacked, and Burnham became one of my most favourite characters ever. I don't think I got past the fact that he fancied his daughter's friend the first time. But I really understood all the themes and motivations the second time.

4. What is your first memorable trip to the cinemas?
Titanic, as I said above. The film was huge in India, and the theatre was packed with people and everyone was so affected by the film. It was magnificent.

5. If you were to add one film to last year's Best Pic nominees to make up 10 what would it have been?
Can't I remove some (I am looking at you, War Horse, The Help and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close)? Anyways, I would add Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2, because we deserved it damnit!

6. What is your single favourite performance ever?
See question 2 from Sati's lot.

7. What is you favourite animated film?

8. What is your favourite era (decade) of cinema?
I used to think the 60s, but I am growing really fond of the 70s. So 70s it is.

9. What is the best film you have seen in 2012 so far?
The Avengers from 2012. In the Mood for Love, My Dinner with Andre and Wild Strawberries in general.

10. Name an underrated television show you feel doesn't get the attention it deserves.
Black Books! Maybe then it can come back. Bernard Black, I love you.

11. Is there a film you feel completely alone in liking/disliking?
No, not really. I really hate Gone with the Wind, but I have friends who hate it too.

The 8 (remaining) bloggers I award the Liebster Award to:

1. Lesya at Eternity of Dream
3. Thaddeus at Net-flixation
4. Teri at Enid's Revenge
5. M. Hufstader at The Smoking Pen
6. SDG at U, Me and Films
7. Stevee at Cinematic Paradox
8. Sam at Duke & the Movies

My questions:

1. What was in Marsellus Wallace's briefcase?
2. Who's head will you go all "Being John Malkovich" in?
3. A cinema personality whose biopic you want to see, and who would play them?
4. A film you wish you lived in.
5. What do you think of when I say Bollywood?
6. Hero, villain or antihero? Also, who is your favourite from the chosen character type?
7. Favourite supporting role of all time.
8. Favourite music video.
9. Favourite cartoon show from your childhood.
10. A film you wish you had made and would have been remembered for.
11. Favourite joke.

Phew! Done. Even if I haven't tagged you, please do answer the questions in the comments.

Friday, 3 August 2012


1) Trailers- So last week I completely forgot to put some of the v. important trailers because I'm stupid. First we have the two identical Man of Steel teasers, except for the voice overs- one has Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent and the second has Russell Crowe as Jor-El. They are, as many have said, extremely Terrence Malick-esque, with butterflies and whatnot, but I kind of like it- especially the flying bit at the end. Then we have, what might be the most anticipated film of the year for many, many film lovers, P.T. Anderson's The Master. It looks very intriguing and the cinematography is beautiful. Next is Brad pitt-starrer crime flick Killing Them Softly. I like Pitt in this avatar and love the trailer especially towards the end. Kirsten Dunst, Lizzy Caplin and Isla Fisher star in Bachelorette, which is kind of like Bridesmaids (it even has Rebel Wilson), but perhaps meaner and less depressing. I really want to watch this- I love Kiki being a bitch, and gosh her clothes in the trailer! The best trailer of this week is obviously of Skyfall, the next James Bond movie. It looks absolutely badass and gorgeous. Love Judy Dench as M, love Ben Whishaw as Q, love eerie Ralph Fiennes and Javier Bardem, and love love love Daniel Craig and his suits. I am so stoked! Also, I must talk about the Doctor Who series 7 trailer. Though I liked the teaser more, this one is pretty awesome too, with River Song, aka the love of my life, making an appearance, and also all those blown Daleks, which is supremely cool. CANNOT WAIT!

2) Peter Jackson is making The Hobbit into a trilogy. I don't know how I feel about this. I mean, will we even get to hear Benedict Cumberbatch's awe-inspiring voice in the first one? Poor Jackson doesn't ever want to stop making these movies, understandably so. Also, he should definitely take some of Total Film's attempts to name the third film into consideration. My favourite :')

3) Emma Stone will star in the next Cameron Crowe film, Deep Tiki. It has a really weird plot about a disgraced military contractor finding himself when he is sent to some top-secret base in Hawaii. I am only writing about this because in Emma Stone's fantastic acceptance speech for the Trailblazer Award in MTV Awards, she talked about Crowe being one of her role models. And since she is one of my role models, and my fake BFF, I hope this is a great film for her sake.

4) The Olympics have started and no, I am not going to discuss the sports since I hate all sports; this is about the opening ceremony made by Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle. I sort of liked it. I saw all of it, minus whatever was cut during the fucking commercial breaks and between the march of countries that begin with the letters J-P, because I fell asleep then. In my defence, it aired from 1:30 am to 5:30 am here. Here's what I did like- Kenneth Branagh coming out of nowhere, James Bond and the Queen jumping off a helicopter (though I don't know how much I like the idea of both of them um, together... Bond has quite a reputation with the ladies, you know), J.K. Rowling, who is my queen, reading Peter Pan, big bad Voldemort, Rowan Atkinson being awesome, the whole music bit (except that cellphone love business), especially The Sex Pistols playing with the Queen present there, head banging to Arctic Monkeys at 4:30 in the morning, that one hot torch runner, the lighting of Sauron's Eye Olympic torch, the pretty fireworks and just the fact that Paul McCartney was there. There was a lot of weirdness too, the weirdest being the creepy giant baby that obviously was from Boyle's very own Trainspotting.

5) It has to be spoken about- Vertigo has replaced the fifty-year champion of Sight and Sounds "Greatest Films" list, Citizen Kane. Now I haven't seen the latter in the longest time, but I remember being blown away by it. Vertigo, not so much. In the entire top 50 list, I have seen 21 movies, which is decent-ish. From this list itself, another Hitchcock giant, Psycho, would probably top for me, followed by Taxi Driver (or maybe the other way round...), and then In the Mood for Love. The director's list is slightly better, with Taxi Driver at least in its top 10. Also I have seen 8 of the films, so yaay! Also check out the choices of some of the best directors around.

6) The sequel to the prequel, X-Men: First Class is going to be called X-Men: Days of Future Past which is based on an 80s comic of the same name and it has alternate timelines, so it will affect the events of the first three X-Men films too, and that awful Wolverine one too. The first one was certified girl porn, so I am obviously really looking forward to the prequel sequel (I just like saying that).

7) Check out Eternity of Dream's New York City in Genres. Also, the LAMB Foreign Chops: Modern Bollywood. I contributed to both (shameless self-promotion etcetera).

8) Finally, you know what I said about Daniel Craig and his suits-
Please, please, please make him the next Bond.


Wednesday, 1 August 2012

The Month that was- July

         This month sure did start out great, but then college began and things became really hectic. I have seen 46 films, including quite a few shorts. Of course it was also my Animation Month, as made very evident by the list below. I am excited about August though because it is the birthday month and though I don't know how much I can write about them, I intend on catching up with some essential watching.

1) Alice in Wonderland- Groovy as hell. Captures the book very well.
2) Fantasia- Absolutely incredible. So ambitious and overwhelmingly beautiful. Easily the best Disney could offer.
3) Bambi- Simple but effective. Also the animals are so cute!
4) Cinderella- Big fat meh.
5) Antz- Woody Allen is too awesome even as an insect. Loved all the Woody-ness.
6) Peter Pan- It shied away from some of the darker, and my favourite, parts of the story.
7) Little Mermaid- It was very sweet and beautiful. Ariel is adorable.
8) Bol Bachchan- Bollywood, stop with this nonsense already!
9) Dumbo- Such a downer. Even with a flying a elephant.
10) Mulan- Oh she's such a great Disney princess, and this film is hilarious. Love it.
11) Ferrari Ki Sawaari- My granddad's first film in a cinema theatre in about 25. And a really touching and sweet one at that. Sharman Joshi's smile is to die for.
12) Lady and the Tramp- Not a dog person, so a big fat meh again.
13) Pocahontas- I am so in love with Pocahontas. She is the prettiest Disney princess of them all. I thought it was quite a stunning film.
14) The New World- I liked the previous film so much that I just had to watch this. It was beautiful, as all Terrence Malick films are, but this one felt tedious too.
15) Grave of the Fireflies- It was such a poignant tale, and so gorgeously animated too. If you don't feel like crying during this film, get your stone heart replaced immediately.
16) Hercules- The muses are the shit! Watch it for their sass, if not for anything else (definitely do not watch it for the mythology).
17) The Jungle Book- My bare necessities include a friend like Baloo. I need him.
18) Kahaani- Vidya Balan's massive acting chops and a lovely and true depiction of Calcutta make this thriller a rare Bollywood gem.
19) 101 Dalmatians- Screw the Disney princes, someone get me a Roger! Fun fun fun.
20) My Neighbour Totoro- Wish I had seen this as a child. The catbus is pretty spectacular though.
21) Perfect Blue- A great psychological thriller. I have never seen an animated film like that.
22) Despicable Me- I want them minions. Really delightful film.
23) The Dark Knight Rises- I will be watching this again and then may or may not review it on the blog. But for now, really really liked it, but didn't love it as much as The Dark Knight and The Avengers.
24) Paprika- Confusing at first, but the surreal animation nearly won me over.
25) South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut- Smart and profane- just how I like it.
26) The Fireman- Saw this in film studies. Early Chaplin movie with a lot of his physical gimmicks, but not so much heart.
27) A Dog's Life- Film Studies again. This one had more heart, but also a dog :/
28) Akira- Badass and excellent and impactful.
29) Arthur Christmas- Dawwww. Christmas movies are the best!

1) Submarine- This film is so endlessly rewatchable. That soundtrack owns my heart.
2) The Prestige- I needed to see if my dislike towards this movie was due to my irritable sleepiness. Apparently not, though it sure is a pretty film. I also wrote about it on Alex's blog.
3) Ocean's Eleven- There are very few films that are as entertaining as this. Rusty is my fav.
4) Batman Begins- I had started watching The Dark Knight, but then decided to watch this instead because I barely remembered it. Turns out it was a good idea because TDKR draws from this so much.
5) Psycho- For film studies. I was the only one who had watched it, and then hearing people's reactions for the scene above was totally brilliant.
6) Spider-Man- This film is so much fun, though it does look a bit tame now. Tobey Maguire is a superb Spidey, that kiss is marvelous, the swinging is magical and the villain is uber cool. 

1) Tin Toy- Boy is the baby disturbing in this. Pixar has come such a long way, though you can see the beginnings of the concept of Toy Story in this.
2) Geri's Game- It is such a simple concept, but Pixar executes it perfectly.
3) Day and Night- Such a joy. This film is the essence of why I worship Pixar so much. It is about Day and Night meeting each other, and it is enchanting!
4) Partly Cloudy- Another Pixar short with so much warmth and respect for friendship. Beautiful to look at too.
5) Presto- A total riot. The funniest short Pixar has.
6) One Man Band- I remember watching this and it was as joyful now as it was then. Love the use of music, and that ending.
7) Lifted- I think any and every person who has ever been a student will relate to this film. Pretty funny too.
8) Boundin'- I love how all these shorts have a message to them. This one is about rebounding and moving on and having a blast in the meantime.
9) For the Birds- Another old one. Birds can be such bitches. Superb humour.
10) Knick Knack- Another uncomplicated idea executed impeccably.
11) Earrings- Alex Withrow's short, that can be found here, is a beautiful and haunting look into the life of a troubled woman. Especially love the Radiohead segment. 

TV Shows:
HBO's Girls- A prime example of first impressions being wrong. The first episode freaked me out, because it felt too realistic. But all the episodes since were genuinely great. Lena Dunham has made me a total fan, of hers and this show. Cannot friggin' wait for the next season!

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins- I really liked how it was set in the world outside of the games, but Katniss becomes very annoying very quickly. Still, it did eek out quite a few gasps from me.

Final Tally:
                                Firsts- 174                        Rewatched- 80                     Shorts- 16
                                                                             Total- 269 


Animation Month Marathon- The End

      O you cruel dashed hopes! I had started out with 40 titles to watch this month, including rewatches, but soon it was apparent to me that I won't be able to fit in all of them. Still I had hoped that I would cover my 26 first-timers. With a lot of difficulty, I have managed to fit in only 24, with quite a bit of effort I might add. Maybe I can do another animation month eventually and finish the rest, and more, because one thing I did manage was to get a new found appreciation for animated films, outside the realm of Pixar.

These are the animated films I have seen as of 31st July, 2012-

1) My Neighbour Totoro (1988)- I think if I were about 10 years younger, I reckon that I would have really loved this film. I still liked it quite a bit, and the animation, but there’s only so much of little kid crying that I can take.

The totoro itself was absolutely adorable. Like the Disney films of this month, this seemingly happy film has quite a dark side to it. Thankfully, the catbus comes to the rescue to those who suffer, at least in this world.

Rating- 8.5/10

2) Perfect Blue (1997)- This film is famous for its Darren Aronofsky connections. While I could not find the big Requiem for a Dream reference, the Black Swan allusions were clear as a day. It was a pretty far-out animated film, to say the absolute least. Not for children at all.

I liked the way the protagonist’s mind and control over reality deteriorate over the course of the film. It actually makes the viewer equally confused. I felt that the climax was a bit weird and I don’t think I followed completely, but overall, very good.

Rating- 8/10

3) Despicable Me (2010)-  A lot of people seem to love this film. It is really sweet and quite funny, so I guess I get where they’re coming from. I like a “good” baddie, and Gru is just that. Also his minions were totally epic and if I were to fulfill my dreams of being a supervillain who can steal the friggin’ moon, I would want them to be my army too.

The three girls were very cute as well. It was a surprisingly heartwarming film. Not a lot, since there was no crying involved on my part, but enough to make you smile.

Rating- 8.5/10

4) Paprika (2006)- Now at the beginning of this film, I was beyond confused and perplexed as to what it was that I was watching and who the hell this Paprika was anyways. It was quite a while later that things started to make sense.

People compare this to Inception, but I think the only thing common to both is the whole world of dreams that they are mostly set in. Paprika is very surreal, which is what I liked about it. I love the colours of the dream parade, and also the inclusion of films in such a place. Paprika, the character was strange, but I quite liked Dr. Chiba. The animation is definitely the best part of the film.

Rating- 8/10

5) South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999)- I have never been an avid watcher of the television series, but that’s because I am barely a TV person. Still, even with all the Indian censorship, I liked whatever little I had seen. So I was already on board when this film started, and boy was it some super-crass, super-awesome fun!

This is one smart movie with a really nice and important message, which was astonishingly unexpected to say the least. Personally, I like it for the potty-mouthed children and the “evil Canadians” and the Disney princess-esque Satan and whatnot. It is a total riot, but a rewarding one too. Also, Kyle’s mom is definitely an uber bitch.

Rating- 10/10

6) Akira (1988)- Woah that was brilliant! This film stands alongside Fantasia for me because it showed me things that I could have never even imagined to be a part of animated films. It has fantastic action and cool bikes and huge explosions and powerful villains and badass teenagers and just so much more.

A dystopian tale, it also looks at what jealousy can drive people into doing and being. I loved both the protagonists- Kaneda and Tetsuo. The animation is just mind-blowingly amazing. I can see why people would want to make a live action remake, but then again I can see them failing miserably. The music is superb too, and it is a great movie-watching experience all together.

Rating- 10/10

7) Arthur Christmas (2011)- Aww I love Christmas movies, and especially those about the Christmas spirit and the north pole and Santa. This film is about Santa's family, and especially his younger son Arthur, who must deliver the present to the only child his figurehead dad and adept brother missed in the whole world.

There is a lot to like in this film- the varied characters that the Clause family consisted of, the hi-tech North Pole, all the elves and especially the packing expert Briony, the magical sleigh- so many Christmas elements that one cannot help but feel cheerful. It also talks about changing times. It really is an adorable film that is officially going on my favourite films to watch on Christmas list. Also I can hear James McAvoy talk all day.

Rating- 9.5/10

Updated: 8) 101 Dalmatians (1961)- I can't believe I forgot to mention this film, seeing how much I enjoyed it. Despite not being a dog person, I love all the canine friends in this film. They are actually too cute. But the cutest of them all is Roger, the male owner. His "Cruella De Vil" has been stuck in my head for a while now. Also Cruella is ab fab.

The final act does get a bit annoyingly long though. If the film had finished earlier, it would have gone to join my list of favourite Disney films. A lot of fun still.

Rating- 9/10