Entries in April Showers (38)
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 yours? How 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.
Anna Karenina's stylish snowfall
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?
April Showers semi-daily @ 11
(Tonight's edition is a rerun dedicated to Ms Reese Witherspoon)
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 ______________________ ."
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.
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...