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Entries in April Showers (34)

Sunday
Apr282013

April Showers: “Anna Karenina”

 April Showers semi-daily @ 11 

 Andrew here to briefly talk about Anna Karenina, because  I relish any opportunity to talk about one of my favourite 2012 films.

Among the great many things about Anna Karenina I remain grateful for (Keira’s most adult performance, Marianelli’s most inventive score, great work from Durran are a few) Jude Law’s turn as Alexei Karenin is near the top. Prior to Anna Karenina I’d been experiencing something akin to cognitive dissonance with Jude for the last eight years or so. Other than the odd Contagion thrown in I’d been finding it more and more difficult to justify the reasons I kept maintaining that he was my favourite actor under 40. So, naturally, he had much to prove to me with Anna Karenina and luckily I wasn’t disappointed.

The shower in question is brief but comes at a pivotal moment in the film. With a third of the narrative left Karenin, assured of his wife's infidelity, experiences an awkward dinner with her brother's family. He is too scrupulous to excuse or understand Anna’s cheating ways and when he receives a letter plaintive letter he rips it to shreds.

 
 
 

 With that tortured look, alone, I’m willing to forgive less than exciting work in the years preceding. It's not that post-2004 and pre-2012 Jude was slumming it, but he's not been pushing himself either. It’s one of the key reasons I would reach for Wright’s Karenina before any other. Karenin is not a footnote, but a full realised man. Wright and Stoppard are unwaveringly interested in ALL of their characters and the examination of Karenin is as compassionate and warm as that of the eponymous heroine. As the shredded paper morphs into a shower of snow it leads to one of the multiple glorious images of the film.

Seeing steadfast Karenin (and his good ethics) inundated in a shower of white does not seem accidental, to me. The idea of a jilted lover standing in a shower of rain is not unheard of, but of course Karenin - forever suffering in silence - is showered not in loud raindrops but snow which is not only as pure and immaculate as his morals are but silent, too. There is no pitter patter as this shower unfolds but a chilling soundlessness as the snow falls to the stage. Like Karenin himself, a man not out of love with his wife but too emotionlessly silent to show it, there is no sound. Poor cuckolded fool, though; shredded paper and all he’s at her bedside in the next scene.

Was anyone else as moved by Jude's Karenin last year? Did Wright's compassion for the cuckolded husband impress you too?

Monday
Apr222013

I Know That You Saw Ryan Phillipe Shower

April Showers semi-daily @ 11
(Tonight's edition is a rerun dedicated to Ms Reese Witherspoon) 

Hello?

So I have never seen I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997) all the way through but here's my question. If you were spying on Ryan Phillippe in the shower, wouldn't you forget to carry out your dastardly deed? Who could concentrate?

So Ryan wraps himself in a towel (shame) and moseys on over to his locker where he sees this photo.

You should complete the sentence in the comments.

"I know ______________________ ."

Saturday
Apr202013

April Showers: “The English Patient”

 Andrew here with an April Shower to pass the evening.

I’ve always gravitated towards film scenes incorporating water. Often it does not transcend the aesthetic (water on screen just looks pretty), but even as downpours – natural or man-made –are often utilised as read-made ways of attuning the audience to moments of sadness, it’s great when filmmakers utilise it other ways. I say utilise with slight hesitation because in a film where Minghella seems to be telegraphing nodes and nodes of information, the rain scene in The English Patient comes off as especially slight.

The titular patient (formerly known as Count Laszlo de Almásy) has been severely burned across the body and confined to a bed, remembering ghosts of his past. He is dying, and convivial Nurse Hana – running from ghosts of her own – is keeping him comfortable in his last days in an abandoned Italian monastery as World War II draws to a close. They are joined by mysterious thief Caravaggio and sapper Kip and his Sergeant Hardy. A few moments before the rain is released, an agitated Hana bicycles out to find Kip, her new lover. He is busy defusing a bomb which has his name written on it. Literally.

 

 [more]

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Wednesday
Apr172013

April Showers: The Loneliest Planet

April Showers Returns! (Most nights @ 11)

When I reviewed The Loneliest Planet last year, I puposely avoided the one true spoiler that the whole movie pivots on -- "the incident" as the director calls it. But my aversion to spoilers was so pronounced that I got a little carried away. I didn't even reveal what the first scene of the film entailed. But by now, since this returning series is all about film showers, you've surely guessed it.

I began my review this way:

The first of the senses that writer/director Julia Loktev hits us with over the opening black screen is hearing. The sound is a rhythmic pounding / creaking / breathing that's hard to place (sex scene? construction work?). When the fade-up happens, you'd never guess what image is waiting for you! It's something both utterly mundane and alien and strange. This is only the first of the surprises that await you as you journey across the Georgian wilderness with Nica (Hani Furstenberg) and Alex (Gael García Bernal) in The Loneliest Planet

That utterly mundane yet alien [NSFW] image is after the jump...

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Saturday
Apr132013

Turn on the Faucet

I was going to skip a year but people keep asking... (what do we smell or something?). April Showers begin again on Tuesday April 16th. Waterworks most nights at 11 PM. (Any requests?)