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Entries in April Showers (38)

Wednesday
Apr092014

April Showers: Flirting With Disaster

waterworks each night at 11

How many of you have seen David O. Russell's Flirting With Disaster (1996)? With the exception of the stupidly maligned I ♥ Huckabees, it's his funniest film. One day it will surely be rediscovered given the attention his films regularly win now. The film centers on bickering spouses Mel & Nancy (Ben Stiller & Patricia Arquette) who are searching for Mel's birth parents. In the screwball chaotic final act, they end up sharing the guest rooms in the crowded home of drug-loving hippie conspiracy theorists (Lily Tomlin, Alan Alda, Glen Fitzgerald) with a neurotic adoption agency executive Tina (Tea Leoni) and federal agents partners Paul and Tony (Richard Jenkins and Josh Brolin) who are also lovers. Eyes start to wander: Tina and Mel get flirtatious and Tony just can't stop coming on to Nancy.

While Mel enjoys a very uncomfortable dinner downstairs, upstairs tattooed and pierced Tony walks right into Nancy's bathroom where she's brushing her teeth. She immediately gets nervous and drops a picture frame on the floor and begins babbling about prints she has at home. Should she frame them? Anything to avoid looking at this bisexual hunk in a towel. He interrupts...

Tony: Do you want to take a shower?

Click to read more ...

Monday
Apr072014

April Showers: Home Alone 2

waterworks each weeknight at 11 as we turn on the cinematic shower. Here's Andrew Kendall on Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.

No, it’s not December, but I'm taking a trip down memory lane to ubiqutious Christmas film. The Macaulay Culkin Home Alone films were ubiqutious during my childhood and I was obsessed with them. Kevin McCallister is just the kind of precocious child that children would be enamoured with. And, still, for all the obsession for some odd reason I never saw the first five minutes of the New York based sequel until a few years ago, which robbed me of some essential information regarding one of two important showers in it. As the family prepares to go out to a Christmas shower Kevin laments that his Uncle Frank is keeping him from getting dressed.

“My tie’s in the bathroom. I can’t go in there ‘cause Uncle Frank is taking a shower. He says if I walked in there and saw him naked I’d grow up never feeling like a real man. Whatever that means.”

Whatever that means - I wonder how many children left the movie asking their parents what that meant? Kevin's Dad just brushes him off and tells him to go get his tie. And, so he does.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Apr062014

April Showers: "Shutter Island"

We're going to be in for some weather...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Apr302013

April Showers... Poor Truman

april showers & a tuesday top ten in one!

Do you ever think of The Truman Show (1998)? I really and truly loved it in 1998 naming it 'The Best Film of the Year!' to anyone who would listen. (This was in my pre Film Experience days of course... though it's hard to remember such a time). 

My Top Ten Of 1998 - Unranked

  • Bulworth (Warren Beatty)
  • Celebration / Festen (Thomas Vinterberg)
  • Gods and Monsters (Bill Condon)
  • High Art (Lisa Cholodenko)
  • The Idiots (Lars von Trier)
  • Living Out Loud (Richard LaGravenese)
  • The Opposite of Sex (Don Roos)
  • The Thin Red Line (Terence Malick)
  • The Truman Show (Peter Weir)
  • Velvet Goldmine (Todd Haynes) 

...with Central Station and Shakespeare in Love just outside the top ten though I'm always considering reinstating them. They were both once on the actual list (The Idiots and the Malick I saw a little later). I haven't seen any of them save Velvet Goldmine for at least...seven years? Would my list hold up? Would yoursHow often do you revisit your #1s from various years and do you ever lose track of them completely the way I did The Truman Show

Today the movie popped into my head in an existential "is this all there is?" crisis moment I was having. Then I thought about the malfunctioning sudden downpour that drenches the star of that show. Truman is played by Jim Carrey (in the first of his series of FYC performances that Oscar sadly passed on). The childllike man still hasn't figured out that his life is actually a TV show. Despite his ignorance oddities like the malfunctioning rain start waking him up to life's surreal absurdities if not yet fully to his own life's precarious relationship to reality. He stares in confusion and disbelief as the shower follows him and eventually he ends up laughing and yelling with joy as the glitch gives way to a fullfledged rainstorm.

I worry that I wouldn't be as amused if this happened to me.

I need to find a way to be that lighthearted and childlike when I'm suddenly drenched. After all, when it rains it pours and we aren't always carrying umbrellas.

 

previous shower
Anna Karenina's stylish snowfall

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?