Thursday, 28 November 2013

2014 Blind Spot Series

Ryan McNeil has been hosting a series called the Blind Spot series for the last two years where he attempts to strike off a number of cinephile must-sees from his watchlist. He just announced his titles for 2014 and I think I would like to take part in it as well.

The only reason I had not started this earlier is because I don't do many reviews in this blog and the ones I do are mostly for the films I feel very strongly about. Lately, I have been feeling less and less inclined towards blogging, which isn't something I want. If anything, I hope to take this series as a challenge* for myself to start writing more. And if this also includes me finally watching some of these apparently great movies that have been gestating in my watchlist for far too long, hurrah for me.

The List:

January- Rebecca
February- The Apu Trilogy
March- Blue Velvet
April- Judgement at Nuremberg
May- Do the Right Thing
June- M
July- Easy Rider
August- Grand Hotel
September- Aguirre, the Wrath of God
October- Solaris (1972)
November-The Thin Blue Line
December- A Star is Born (1954)

*Fingers crossed my laziness does not get the better of me

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

"I've always seen myself in sentences. I begin to recognize myself, word by word, as I work through a sentence."

      The New York Times have released their annual shorts celebrating the year's best performers, and in the case of this year, the best writers. They have all been shot by the incredible cinematographer Janusz Kaminski. As usual, some of them are quite "out there", but I do like the concept a lot and the lines are kind of amazeballs.

Cate Blanchett with line by Andrew Bujalski
"Show me where the bed is, put a blanket over me, and don't ever let me see you again."
This one is definitely one of the weirder ones but god, I love the Cate-ness of it all! She's such a goddess. Also, one of my favourite lines.

Bradley Cooper with line by J.C. Chandor
"I’m broke. I mean it. Don’t laugh. It’s all gone. Seriously, I got nothing left. But I still got this. What’s it worth to you?"
Oooo dancey and sparkly. Also, I don't know how to put this any other way, I was kind of staring at Bradley Cooper's butt throughout it :/

Robert Redford with line by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg
"Actually, I’ve never really liked tofu."
 One of my favourites. I love the anticlimactic humour, and boy, is the climax built in this.

Oprah Winfrey with line by Sarah Polley
So you died while I was out. How convenient. I thought it would be easier if you were dead. But actually, it’s just irritating."

Greta Gerwig with line by Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater
You look like you want to say something. But don’t. That look on your face is so different now."
I liked this one too, especially the line. Plus, the The Shining-esque setting is pretty awesome. And I am a little bit in love with Gerwig at present.

Forest Whitaker with line by Greta Gerwig
"People are always telling me, ‘It’s so messed up what she did to you.’ Whatever. It’s all in the past."
 This was one of the more sensible ones and Whitaker kind of gives it his all. What an actor.

Julia Louis-Dreyfuss with line by Nicole Holofcener
"Yes, I’m wearing a wig."
My absolute favourite. What can I say, I am biased towards red lipstick. And then you pair it with a shiny pistol, a lipstick-stained cigarette and a line like that that just comes out of nowhere- love!

Michael B. Jordan with line by Spike Jonze
"Well, recently I found out that I am alive. And I guess it’s a lot to take in. I didn’t realize exactly what it all entailed. And I really didn’t know it was going to be so incredibly sad."
Just reminds me of how hilarious "Bound 3" actually is.

Oscar Isaac with line by Lake Bell
"I hope this is a joke."
 Was anyone else reminded of Amelie? I thought it was funny.

Chiwetel Ejiofor with line by Jeff Nichols
"How long have you been waiting there?"
This was kind of meh.

Adele Exarchopolous with line by Danny Strong
"They call me sexy, smart and sociopathic. But not necessarily in that order."
I am definitely in love with Adele. I thought it was lovely.

       I am guessing that the lines were given first and then the shorts were made around them. My favourites turned out to be the really mundane lines that would have probably stuck out in any context. I am super happy that Exarchopoulos and Gerwig were included but it would have been great to see some other biggies of the year, performance-wise, like Scarlett Johansson, James Franco (though he still wins) and Tom Hanks.

        Awards season is go!

Saturday, 23 November 2013


Helloo people! I know I haven’t written in for forever, but I have honestly, truthfully, pinky-swearingly been very busy. I came back to India, went back to college, spent an entire week running to and from theatres because of the film festival, and now I’m sick.

1) The film festival was great. It was my first fully immersed festival experience and I did make the most of it. I saw 26 films. My favourite new film was Blue is the Warmest Colour. It really is an excellent movie and Adele Exarchopoulos (I will learn the spelling before Oscars. Yep) is by far my favourite performer of the year. Lea Seydoux is great too. And yes, the 7 minute lesbian sex scene can get a little awkward but do what I did- stare at every middle aged man in the room (and there were so many!!) and see their reactions. It’s hilarious. I saw some other great movies too. Don Jon was awesomesauce and Scarlett Johansson was on fire. Other first timers I really liked were Blancanieves, Paradise: Faith, Pieta, Touch of the Light and The Past. Also, if you are a Louis Garrel fan, watch Jealousy which is in black and white and therefore Garrel is in black and white and then your ovaries die. The films I wasn’t such a big fan of were Bastards, Of Good Report and Night Train to Lisbon. The first was just generally an awful movie going experience which might have made me dislike the film more than I ought to, the second was just boring and creepy and the last one was painfully mediocre. It had Jack Huston (who is American), August Diehl (who is German) and Melanie Laurent (who is French), all playing Portugese people. What? My absolute favourite thing about the festival however was the chance to see classic movies on big screen. I saw Elmer Gantry, Gone with the Wind, Sabrina and The Apartment (YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS) and really enjoyed myself. The fact that a lot of the people who seemed to be so grumpy throughout the festival just started clapping during the Wilder movies kind of restores my faith in humanity a little bit.
My KIFF experience :P 
The Louis Garrel comment on the right is by my friend Alliya and I agree whole-heartedly.

2) Adam Levine has been voted the Sexiest Man Alive by People Magazine. The people at People
Magazine need to fill up the biggest douchebag jar they can find for making this decision. My choice? Duh.

Actually, any one of them will do too-

3) The Honourary Oscars were given out recently and Steve Martin, Angela Lansbury, Angelina Jolie and Piero Tossi. I really loved Jolie’s acceptance speech. I am one of those saps who cries watching acceptance speeches (I even cried in Emma Stone’s MTV Award speech), and I thought Jolie’s was really beautiful and heartfelt. And goooo Steve Martin!!!

4) So guess what’s happening this Saturday? Only something I have been waiting forever for. Or, well, since April or something. Anyways, the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary is nearly here! (Isn't my banner awesome?) I already went nuts over the official trailers, though I am cautiously avoiding all other clips since I want a complete experience watching “The Day of the Doctor”. My entire plan of rewatching all of Nu Who and then ranking my favourite episodes before “The Day of the Doctor” *obviously* went kaput since my planning skills suck, but I promise to do one before series 8 next year. Anyways, it seems our dearly departing Doctor, Matt Smith, is in talks to star in Star Wars Episode VII. Of course it is all rumours at present, but if it comes to pass, this will be a massive opportunity for Smith. I just hope he doesn't end up in some ridiculous alien make-up. Especially now that his hair is growing all nicely.

5) Imogen Poots (I love her name so much), might be starring in Todd Field's next film, Beautiful Ruins. It is apparently his most ambitious project yet and it will span over a number of decades, from the 60s onwards. It is about three characters and their lives that is altered by an incident that takes place during the shooting of Cleopatra. I recently watched Little Children and loved it, and this is Field's first movie since then. I think Poots is really pretty and it will be interesting to see her take on such a role.

6) Joe Wright is going to make a film about the origins of Peter Pan called Pan. Generally, I would be against it because I think we *have* had enough of fairytale movies for a decade, but I have really loved everything Wright has made so far (except The Soloist, which I haven't seen). I have full trust in his vision. Javier Bardem is being considered for Captain Hook, according to rumours.

7) ScarJo is on a career-rise again. She kicked ass in Don Jon, but it is her work in Her that is getting awards attention. This is very unusual because she herself, i.e. er perfect sexy human self, is not in the movie, but her voice instead. But it's great to see actors getting recognition for their voice-work. She just got an award at the Rome Film Festival.

8) Fassy is going to star in a gangster film called Trespass Against Us. It will be directed by UK director Adam Smith, who has worked for things like Doctor Who and Skins, and the score will be created by The Chemical Brothers. The movie is "set across three generations of the rowdy Cutler family, who live as outlaws — hunting hares, ram-raiding stately homes and taunting the police. The family have always lived this way but, defying the expectations of his father, Chad Cutler is looking for a way out of the criminal life." Fassy will play Chad and I think will do a really good job. I'm kind of surprised he hasn't done more films like this tbh.

9) Robert Pattinson and Benedict Cumberbatch are going to star in Lost City of Z. The film is based on New Yorker science writer David Grann's book of the same name. Cumberbatch plays Lt. Colonel Percy Fawcett, a British archeologist and explorer who went missing in South America while hunting for the lost city of Z. The book follows the Fawcett expedition and tries to piece together what exactly happened to him and his team, which included Fawcett's son Jack and one of Jack's friends. RPatz will probably play Jack. It sounds like an intriguing project (Brad Pitt's name was attached to it formerly. Now he's producing). The Brit duo is also unique and I'm curious to see how they gel together.

10) Wes Anderson made a short film for Prada starring Jason Schwartzman!
Don't you want to live in a Wes Anderson film?

11) Alex has some awesome news!

12) Trailers- The Maleficient teaser looks a little half-baked, although it does give us it's two most important aspects of the film-Angelina Jolie as the titular character and Elle Fanning as Aurora. Jolie looks and sounds amazeballs, and if anyone can make me not hate Aurora, it's Fanning. The Wind Rises has a very pretty trailer out and I am really looking forward to it. It looks as lovely and poignant as all the Miyazaki that I have seen. The Devil's Knot looks quite intriguing. I have only seen the first half of the first Paradise: Lost documentary, so it will be interesting to see how the material is treated in this film. Plus, good cast. Speaking of, Muppets Most Wanted looks awesome! I SPOT HIDDLES! I'm really excited about this one. I absolutely adored the first film. Oh God, Noah :/ :/ (See what I did there). But seriously, I don't know how to feel about this film. On one hand, I want to trust Aronofsky and his vision, but on the other hand, there is Russel Crowe and his face that makes me sick for whatever reason. And the material and the way the trailer seems to be treating it does not pique my interest at all. Divergent trailer is meh. I'm just all-round meh about this film. Mehhh. There are two trailers I really loved and are my king of trailers in this post. One is Nymphomaniac. This will be some batshit crazy stuff but lord help me, I'm intrigued. The second is the teaser to The Raid 2: Berandal. THAT'S HOW YOU MAKE A TEASER, PEOPLE!! So fucking awesome.

13) Finally, with "The Day of the Doctor" almost upon us, let's all listen to Sir Ian McKellen's words of wisdom about the show-
Re: Matt Smith- Never knew Sir Ian and I would have so much in common.


Thursday, 21 November 2013

Across the Universe Podcast: Episode 14

Episode 14: Noirvember

In this episode, Mette, Sofia and I look at some classic film noirs to celebrate Noirvember that has been started by the awesome Marya Gates. Listen as we discuss our favourite cynical morally conflicted heroes, the untrustworthy dames in their lives, the beautiful low-key lit black and white and everything else noir.

I must also apologise here for sounding very dazed throughout the episode. As you will find out when you listen, I was recording after a very hectic week. Apologies to all.

0:19- Chick-chatter
2:57- Trailer
3:19- Interesting Movie of the Fortnight
22:05- The chicks discuss The Maltese Falcon (1941)
35:53- The chicks discuss Sweet Smell of Success (1957) 
48:07- The chicks discuss Sunset Blvd. (1950)
1:16:28- Plugs and Goodbyes

Artie Shaw "Nightmare"
The Velvet Underground "Femme Fatale"
Jim Sturgess "Across The Universe"

Follow us at:
Write to us at:
Find us on iTunes: search for Across the Universe Podcast
Download episodes from: Our Dropbox page

Saturday, 9 November 2013

"The moment is coming."


I don't know if you know this about be me but I'm a little super duper excited for the upcoming Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special "The Day of the Doctor". And after months of counting down to it, it is nearly here and BBC has finally released an official trailer.

"The Day of the Doctor" is special for various reasons- it's the 50th anniversary so it's gotta be big, John Hurt being awesomesauce, a return of shape-shifting villains from the 70s, more light thrown on the Time War and of course, the Tenth Doctor and the Eleventh Doctor interacting. Oh lawd, all my fangirl feels!

Anyways, let's just look at the trailer-

Is it all part of the Time War? We'll find out.

John Hurt's intro in the trailer, which looks a little inspired by Breaking Bad.

Eleven is back and is dangling from the TARDIS!


Clara's back!
Why is she crying?

And how does she have the vortex manipulator?
Parting gift from River? Can we expect a cameo?!!

Rose is back!
What is her hair even? A big question is whether or not Rose will meet Ten and/or Eleven in the episode. I certainly hope so.

And the Bad Wolf is back!

Favourite part of the trailer, obviously. They're going to be such bezzies.

The new villains- Zygons.
They do look frightening, but a little ridiculous at the same time. But they can shape-shift, which is very intriguing.

Joanna Page as the Doctor's much talked about former flame, Queen Elizabeth I

This throwback to "The Girl in the Fireplace"
It *is* Ten on the horse, yes?

The exploding Daleks is a scary concept, right?

This juxtaposition.
Eleven is still very much the main Doctor and it is apparent that Hurt's Doctor is someone affecting him more.

This cut too.

Walking towards an explosion like the badasses they are.

And here's them in the TARDIS.
Ten's converse shoes!

And Hurt's Doctor facing what people are saying is THE Time Vortex.
Is this how he ended the Time War?

It's a short trailer but it totally lives up to the hype. I've seen it 20 times already. Let's hope the episode is as awesome as this looks.

Update: The second, longer, better trailer-

And here's the official synopsis. It's easy to guess which Doctor is present at which point.
"The Doctors embark on their greatest adventure in this 50th anniversary special. In 2013, something terrible is awakening in London’s National Gallery; in 1562, a murderous plot is afoot in Elizabethan England; and somewhere in space an ancient battle reaches its devastating conclusion. All of reality is at stake as the Doctor’s own dangerous past comes back to haunt him."

I'm so pumped, it's mental. I don't know if I'll be able to finish rewatching the new series in time, but rest assured, I have never been more excited for a television show in my life.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Across the Universe Podcast: Episode 13

Episode 13: Give Life Back to Music

In this episode, SofiaMette and I welcome our first guest on the podcast, Ryan McNeil from The Matinee. Having observed Ryan's affinity towards music, we went with a related theme in mind. Listen as we count down our favourite music-related films that aren't musicals. Also, we get to know our guest better with a little questionnaire.

We must apologise for the few technical hitches in the episode. The geographical distance and my awful new headphones that I promise you won't hear from from the next episode onwards, are to blame. In spite of that, we had great fun recording the episode and we hope to get more guests on the show soon.

Finally, a big thank you to Ryan for being such a gracious guest.

0:26- Chick (and guy) Chatter
2:53- Trailer
3:52- The Guest Questionnaire
15:15- The chicks and Ryan list each of their Top 3 Music-related Movies
1:06:10- Feedback on the Topic
1:10:11- Plugs and Goodbyes

Guest's choice- Metric "Black Sheep"
Daft Punk "Give Life Back To Music"
Music from our number 1 Music-related Movies
Jim Sturgess "Across The Universe"

Follow us at:
Write to us at:
Find us on iTunes: search for Across the Universe Podcast
Download episodes from: Our Dropbox page

Sunday, 3 November 2013

The Month that was- October

How is it November? I don't understand! Time has gone wibbly wobbly if you ask me. I have spent my holidays doing nothing whatsoever. I did finally surpass the one movie a day average for this month though (34 films in all), so yaay!

1) Little Children- Saw it on Kate the great's birthday. I really liked it. Patrick Wilson is hot.
2) Frost/Nixon- I thought it was great. I love Michael Sheen.
3) Bright Young Things- This has a crazy cast. It was a little too frenzied and the emotional side of the story got lost somewhere in that.
4) Alps- Not as brilliant as Dogtooth but still very interesting ideas in place. Gorgeous ending.
5) The Way Way Back- Aww, this was sweet. Sam Rockwell is awesomesauce.
6) Go Goa Gone- In-flight movie. Harmless fun.
7) En Kort En Lang- This would have been such a Bollywood film if we took the gay angle out of the mix. Very sweet and Mads Mikkelsen is just adorbs in it.
8) The Grey- Sooooo good! Was not expecting that at all. Scary and profound.
9) The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones- A.W.F.U.L.
10) The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou- I liked it but it's one of the lesser Wes Anderson films for me.
11) Gravity- Phenomenal, obviously.
12) Airplane!- The puns just kept coming, didn't they? The flamboyant air traffic controller is my hero.
13) The Intouchables- This film was like sunshine. So happy.
14) Eyes Without a Face- I thought it was very tragic and beautiful.
15) The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford- I liked it but god, it was long! Casey Affleck and Roger Deakins were the best things about it of course.
16) A Man Escaped- Kind of brilliant, no?
17) Wadjda- I really hope to write a post on this soon. I absolutely loved it.
18) A Woman Under the Influence- It got quite scary at times but excellent acting by the leads.
19) Something in the Air- It was pretty but bland.
20) The American- Stunning. A perfect film.
21) Deliverance- I *get* the whole deal now.
22) Leaving Las Vegas- So sad but beautiful at the same time, and amazing performances by Nicolas Cage and Elizabeth Shue.
23) Night of the Living Dead- I was really bored at first but it does get very thrilling later. I must say that I was not expecting a black man to be the hero, and it was a welcome surprise.
24) Dawn of the Dead- Fantastic. I didn't realise that I had seen the remake earlier but I liked this one much much more.
25) Hocus Pocus- This was fun. Gotta love cult favourites.

1) The Social Network- I had to watch this after getting the best director prize at my college's drama competition. Fincher is god, after all.
2) The World's End- With my little brother this time.
3) Silver Linings Playbook- This film makes me happy.
4) This is the End- Again, with my brother. I have a bad/good feeling its ending will top my list of favourite scenes of the year.
5) Children of Men- Had to watch it after Gravity. It's still one of the most powerful movies I have ever seen.
6) Stoker- I have an urge to rewatch it everytime I listen to its score. Which is like everyday.
7) The Darjeeling Limited- I had apparently forgotten some of it. The rewatch has confirmed that it's my third favourite Wes Anderson film after Rushmore and Moonrise Kingdom. 
8) The Rock- I had not seen it in 7 or 8 years. I forgot how funny it was.
9) Starter for 10- Again, the cast is mental. Benedict Cumberbatch being a college loser is HILARIOUS!

The Prince- It was... interesting. I don't really know what to say. It's a bit awful but kind of brilliant at the same time.

Final tally:
                                  Firsts- 164                        Rewatched- 70                         Shorts- 2
                                                                              Total- 236

So in spite of my amazement, November is here and with it, the Kolkata Film Festival and finally, the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary special!!!!! Geronimo!