All posts tagged: film

Top 3 films of 2014

Only Lovers Left Alive (2013) I’ve been mentally drafting this entry since I saw this film back in April. It’s technically a 2013 movie but it was released so late and hit most theaters in 2014. It’s an art film, for sure. It had a limited release. It’s by Jim Jarmusch, who’s has had one of those careers I can only envy. I don’t think I’ve had such a visceral attachment to a film since David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive (2004). I think I would have loved it regardless of who was cast as the two vampires Adam and Eve, but Tilda Swinton is just such an otherworldly and beautiful creature that you don’t doubt for a second that she is an actual vampire. This is a strange film. I don’t really care about the story, or the mythology of vampires in this universe. It’s not about that. It’s a true film about the human condition, told through the eyes of a pair of vampires who consider themselves above humanity. And that’s the only way to …

Angelina

I was 17 when I became infatuated with Angelina Jolie. It was 2001 and Tomb Raider was about to come out. Hollywood, the media, tabloids, everything seemed a little different back then. It wasn’t so immediate around the clock. There was less internet and no social media. An half hour interview with the celebrity you liked still had to be scheduled on MTV and taped on VHS. Magazine clippings actually mattered. And I settled in to watch MTV At the Movies: Tomb Raider, and I met my spiritual soul mate. I did tape it, and I watched it over and over. It wasn’t just how beautiful she was, or the things she got to experience while filming Tomb Raider in Iceland and Cambodia; it was the tone of her voice when she got excited. It was how she talked about love and her husband Billy Bob Thornton. It was that, for some reason or the other, she had managed to carve out a life for herself in which she was absolutely free, and I had …

Review: The Goddess of 1967 (2000)

Picking a movie to watch is sort of like going on a blind date; you’re never complete sure what you’re going to get. I’m not a film snob or a very harsh critic – I usually give most movies a passing grade just for effort – but I do ask to be taken on a journey to somewhere I’ve never been before. It’s just usually never as literal as The Goddess of 1967. My movie picking process occasionally goes something like this. [insert actor] is really cute. I like her. I’m going to see what other movies she has on Netflix. In this particular case it was Rose Byrne. At the time she had three movies. One was called The Goddess of 1967 and had a gorgeous cover of a pink sky and a pink car with a couple inside. My brain snaps to judgement: ok, so it’s about a guy who meets an amazing girl in the year 1967 but it looks kinda indie so maybe it will be an insightful and pretty road …

Old Hollywood on the page

A well-written biography is the intersection between life, story and truth – my three absolute favorite things. To follow someone’s journey through their whole life, their highs and lows, regrets and lessons learned, is a very intimate thing. And unlike fictional stories, it feels more intimate because it is all true. Sure, they can’t all be gems, and it’s up for debate whether the fault lies with writer or subject, but the really good ones – oh gosh. It really is like gaining a friend. You come to know this person. You laugh with them at their silly stories, you read the poignant moments over and over, marvel at their perfection, and ultimately, you cry when they die, no matter how rich and wonderful a life. Mainly, because it was so rich and wonderful. In October I went to Hollywood for a few days to hang out with my favorite girls – Rita Hayworth and Gene Tierney – and I took a tour of the Warner Bros lot to get the feel of a historic …

A guide to watching independent movies and review: YellowBrickRoad (2010)

Being bedridden with a migraine is definitely on my list of least favorite things to do but finding random little film gems is pretty high on my favorite list so I’m calling this weekend a draw. After high school I worked on and off in an independent video store for a couple of years where the only perk was free access to a 30,000 titles film library. This was before the dawn of torrents so this was the best film education that money could not buy. I’m sure everyone who is interested in filmmaking knows this, but the best way to learn about what makes a movie good is to watch independent non-Hollywood movies. Hollywood movies are too flashy and too filled with good-looking famous people that feel like your friends to really notice if the story works or not. And because Hollywood movies are so expensive to make, they can’t be very complex because it has to reach a wide audience in order to make their money back. There can be no ambiguous endings …

Review: Spring Breakers (2012)

Damn. So I just watched Spring Breakers and I was honestly expecting some version of ‘Disney Grows Up’ Bubblegum Movie with a Morality Lesson at the end. Now I wonder where the hell I got that idea. What I got was a highly stylized, gritty, glamorous, pornographic violence fantasy set an unlikely soundtrack. So I looked up the writer/director. Harmony Korine of Kids fame. Ok, I get it now. The universe has once again aligned. Now I expected to really not like the movie, so imagine my surprise when I did. The movie makes me sad, and I’m happy it makes me sad. The so-called glamour of collage kids gone wild is degrading to both women and men. Alcohol consumed with tubes, bikinis coming off, coke snorted off naked bodies. Beer bottles masquerading as penises and the girls can’t get enough. And that’s just the first minute or so. I am a HUGE sucker for unexpected contrast in films so that’s the main reason this movie appealed to me, even more so than the story, …

Notes from my travels: Los Angeles (2006)

I’ve been wanting to write but then it’s also been the last thing on my mind all summer. I’ve searched for perfectly constructed sentences but I’ve contented myself with finding them in other people’s work. And I did, only they weren’t always written. Sometimes it was a sunset. On certain evenings the sky in California turns pink, not just around the horizon — all of it; cotton candy pink. I’ve been meaning to write about Los Angeles. So I might as well do it now, while my nails are drying. I’ve been alternating between blood red and aubergine for months, several times a week I’ll switch back and forth. Today is purple but when little children in restaurants and shops confront me about it, they insist it is black and their voice commend me for such a bold choice. Some mornings I wake up alone. He’ll be gone already but never without touching my lips with his and, “I love you.” We hardly ever part without those three precious words. I didn’t think I wanted …