Mine is all over the place today. Can't focus on any one movie... which might mean a movie marathon is in store. When's the last time you had one?
How soon into a movie or book or anything do you know you'll love it? When I first read The Hours, Michael Cunningham's transcendent riff on Virginia Woolf's "Mrs Dalloway" I knew as soon as Clarissa had entered the flower shop. With the film version I knew even sooner, perhaps having been prepped for the movie by the book but also because of the unfussy simplicity of the kick-off to this glorious triptych. (The Hours isn't always unfussy, of course, but note how the music drops out completely in this absolutely key moment when Virginia finds her first sentence.)
All we're left with is three women, three eras, three great actresses, and three separate temperaments.
Virginia: Mrs Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.
Laura: Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.
Clarissa: Sally, I think I'll buy the flowers myself.
How utterly perfect and succinct - Art, uttered first in the imagination, is then received and contemplated, and finally lived-in and through, having made its mark. (It's a subtle thing but how beautiful that Stephen Daldry's camera pulls out a bit with each repetition, making more room in the world for the words)
"Mrs Dalloway", Virginia Woolf's masterpiece -- or one of them at least (I can't live without "Orlando") -- was first published 88 years ago on this very day!. The concept, a woman's whole life in a single day. And as the later book and film helpfully extrapolates and reminds us ... and in that day her whole life.
I love the cut to Allison Janney's blunt exclamation, that pulls us out of this first sentence reverie before it gets to precious.
[to Clarissa] WHAT? What flowers?
[to Self] Shit.
Which books do you wish would inspire not straight adaptations but spun off works of art that stand beautifully on their own? How soon did you love The Hours?
the first & last images or lines from motion pictures
the first image after opening titles
-Do you know what's going to happen now?
-I guess I don't either."
Can you guess the movie?
Alexa here. It's a big week for the Cumberbitches (or Cumbercollective?) out there, with Star Trek Into Darkness opening and his appearance in the first August: Osage County trailer. I can't say I'm all that confident about his casting as Little Charles; innocent sweetness doesn't seem to play to his strengths. My favorite performance of his so far was his clenched-jaw Christopher in Parade's End. His turn as maybe-Khan sounds about right; if anyone can play a genetically engineered human it's Bendy.
Here are a few curios for the Cumberfans out there salivating for his boom-voiced villainy this Friday and the next season of Sherlock. Top of the list are these screenprints made for for Gallery1988 by Rhys Cooper.
More Cumbercurios after the jump..
Excess was in this weekend, the second of the summer movie season despite the slight technicality of Spring having just started. Billionaires Tony Stark and Jay Gatsby were flaunting their expensive suits and pining for Pepper & Daisy everywhere you looked.
Cheer up boys, you can now afford your second twenty-second home.
BOX OFFICE TOP DOZEN
01 IRON MAN THREE $72.4 (cum. $284.8) Reviewed
02 THE GREAT GATSBY $51.1 *NEW* Reviewed
03 PAIN & GAIN $5 (cum. $41.6)
04 PEEPLES $4.8 *NEW*
05 42 $4.6 (cum. $84.7)
06 OBLIVION $3.8 (cum. $81.6) Reviewed
07 THE CROODS $3.6 (cum. $173.2)
08 THE BIG WEDDING $2.5 (cum $18.8)
09 MUD $2.3 (cum $8.3)
10 OZ: THE GREAT AND POWERFUL $.8 (cum. $229.9) Reviewed
11 SCARY MOVIE 5 $.7 (cum $30.6)
10 THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES $.6 (cum. $19.9) Reviewed
Though I'm nearly always pleased when a non-franchise non-genre drama wins big gold coin, The Great Gatsby's huge gross fills me with dread for our collective future. I think the movie is admirable in some ways and a failure in others but the movie isn't really the point. I was holding on to Drama as my last refuge from those fucking 3d glasses and you know Hollywood will assume that it was the EXCITING 3-D that drove audiences to purchase tickets to a lengthy romantic drama. Worse still, Baz Luhrmann -- a true original who works so infrequently he probably only has about 3 more movies in him before he dies -- apparently has his heart set on doing Hamlet next... and with DiCaprio, too (meaning DiCaprio would have starred in 50% of his filmography). Annoying Fact: Hamlet has been filmed over 50 times for the screen and is revived somewhere on stage every year.
FOR GOD'S SAKE BAZ... AT LEAST PICK A LESS OVER-WORKED SHAKESPEARE IF YOU GOTTA HAVE THE BARD. THERE ARE DOZENS TO CHOOSE FROM! AND P.S. YOU'VE ALREADY DONE THE BARD WITH LEO AND YOU'RE NOT GOING TO TOP ROMEO + JULIET. FIND NEW TOYS TO PLAY WITH!
What did you see this weekend? And are you, like me, weeping over the apparent future of Bazmark Productions?
We're getting to know The Film Experience community one-by-one. You can read a bunch of past interviews here. Today's "Reader Spotlight" is Daniel, an art student from Scotland. You can follow him on twitter here.
Nathaniel: When did you start reading TFE?
DANIEL: Around two years ago. My best friend Scott read it before I knew of it. We are both award season fanatics and general cinephiles, so it was great to plug into a smart, energetic, personable blog that obviously loved the movies as much as we did. Now it's a site I regularly 'touch base' with.
Nathaniel: What's your first movie memory?
DANIEL: I don't remember the movie that well, or at all really. But it's effects have rippled far into my life. I was 4 and my dad and I watched Arachnophobia. My mum tells me that I was beside myself after watching it, and I have been insanely + irrationally terrified of spiders ever since. How bad could it have been?
I'm not a huge follower/fanatic of directors, I drool at the mouth for performers more, but I'd say some favorites are: Lynne Ramsay - I died for We Need To Talk About Kevin, it blew me away. Shes an Artist -visionary, brave + hard as nails; Steven Soderberg - It makes me ill that he isn't a household name. His work is exciting + engaging. Never boring; Todd Haynes - "SAFE", that's all; John Cameron Mitchell - I liked Shortbus a lot, but Rabbit Hole was something truly special, and I think his vision/direction had a lot to do with that.
Shout-outs to Ang Lee, Jane Campion + Darren Aranofsky
What's your movie diet like?
In a normal year around 70 in theatre and on DVD around 60, being the ones I missed, and ones I've yet to see from past years. I'm very fortunate that even though I live in a small Scottish town, near a fairly small city, we get an excellent selection of smaller films. Very lucky indeed.
If you were in charge for a year, what movies would you get made?
Oh yes, I'm Megan Ellison for a year. I'd start with Lynne Ramsay's Moby Dick adaptation, however much she wants, it's a deal. Anything that has Allison Janney in a demanding lead role. Any film that promotes a feminist worldview. Hollywood needs it.
You recently did an art project called "perform/reperform" inspired by Tilda Swinton in Michael Clayton I take it? Tell us about it.
I am obsessed with certain actresses + performances. They enter into my conscious + I end up acting out the part in little ways day to day, whether its the voice or walk or what have you. This project was about that process. The emulation of a character, of an actress and of a moment. Based on my personal loves at that time. It is a scene(s) re-performed, documented + then re-photographed. But I'd also say that a good chunk of the reasoning behind it is my desire to promote my favorite actresses to a new audience. I love them so much, I want the Same for others. I'm an ultimate fangirl.
Have you ever parted ways with someone because of your passion for movies?
That's yet to happen. But they'd have to know that when award season comes around, my priorities, thoughts and passions are firmly on the golden statues and nothing else!
I heard that.