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Entries in Revenge (7)

Sunday
Apr142013

Derek Cianfrance and Genre

Paolo here. I am the bearer of bad news. Apparently there are Blue Valentine' haters out there, two of whom are close writer friends of mine. One of these friends has repeatedly criticized the movie through Twitter, especially its director Derek Cianfrance's melodramatic tendencies. 

At first I disagreed with this minor yet tolerably vocal crowd, since that movie evinces hard-hitting, unquestionable emotions. I finally admit that yes, its saturated colours do evoke a hispter version of a Todd Haynes picture (nothing wrong with that!). And as it pains me to write this, Young Dean's (Ryan Gosling) appearance and actions are reminiscent of the cartoony, blinding spark on a boyband member's smile.

Maybe it's Cianfrance's new movie, The Place Beyond the Pines, that allowed me come to terms with the director's melodrama leanings. This release is being sold as an epic crime drama and sure, it delivers on that regard; a movie with a masculine cast gets slapped and labelled with a masculine genre. I normally take most movies at face value but I'll share with you how I see this movie. One that features a handsome man from the wrong side of the tracks, dysfunctional families, rapid aging and time lapses, and the revelation of a secret identity.

We're watching a fucking soap opera, people. Revenge with Boys

Click to read more ...

Monday
Nov192012

TV: Arrow, Nashville, Revenge, Copper, Homeland

For as much as I've tried to ween myself off of TV, it remains the go to entertainment medium when I'm tired- sick, writer-blocked or basically-broke... add those  things up and that equals a lot of time. I wish I could kill time by listening to music since there's so much good stuff out there that I'm unfamiliar with but music, like the cinema, absorbs all of me. I can't do much else while indulging in it. The only other things I can do while listening to music is exercize and clean.  

Welcome to the Nineties! Jennifer Jason Leigh and Madeleine Stowe are stars again!

So herewith a few thoughts on various shows from the fall season, new and returning... would love to hear if you're watching or feel differently in the comments. More...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Oct212012

Madeleine Stowe

Confession: On Sundays I think of little else.

P.S. my apologies that I haven't written about Revenge this season. I feel so overwhelmed by every episode. Where to even begin?

Wednesday
Sep192012

Which TV Shows Do You Watch and Read About?

It's Emmy Week so the small screen is naturally on my mind. This time of year I'll usually try out a show or two and roll my eyes in disgust. Revolution was SO terrible: generic actors, pandering action sequences, and terrible authenticity problems. I should elaborate so here's just one example. If there's no electricity and there hasn't been for 15 years why have men's hairstyles not evolved into something manageable that doesn't require the weekly use of electric razors or blowdryers or what have you to maintain??? All the actors looked so freshly scrubbed clean, perfectly coiffed, and flawlessly made-up like they've never spent even one minute away from their huge hair and makeup team in a nearby trailer, let alone been without luxury beautification for 15 years! 

Despite the easy-to-ignore mediocrity of the TV landscape (easy to ignore given that the highs are so very high and you're reminded of them weekly while the dross you only have to see once!) I do watch my share of TV.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Aug302012

Unmissables I Nearly Missed on Vacation

Nathaniel, here, returning to home base. I'm baaaa--aack. Did you miss me? I shan't take another day off until late October so I'm all yours again! But before we get started again, hugs and kisses and floral bouquets and firm handshakes to Leslye, Melanie, Beau, Jose, JA and Matt for filling in for the week.

The internet moves with such speed -- except while visiting relatives in internet challenged rural Utah -- that if you're gone for a week you can totally miss seismic events. Here are some webthingies I'm so so glad people alerted me to so that I didn't miss them in my spotty connectivity travels. I'm sharing them on the off chance you missed them. No one should have to!

Revenge came out on DVD! - a magical elf in PR made sure I received mine. Thanks you! The cover of the Season 1 box is Emily in her promotional thematic thorn dress but we all know the true magic of the best nighttime soap in decades and decades is Madeleine Stowe's icy glares... deadlier than any thorns have ever been! If you have any love for Stowe's early 90s heyday (Short Cuts, Mohicans, Blink - holla!) or the art of the prime time soap opera, you owe yourself this series. The first handful of episodes are a bit too procedural repetitive for me but once the gears catch... oh my diva, this is an addictive series. Madeleine Stowe for the Emmy! Damn. She wasn't even nominated. #unforgivable. 

Cooler Cinema on the Sight & Sound List - This handwringing discussion of critical failure online is yet another example that that S&S List is proving to have an unusual shelf life in terms of continually trending topics. While it reads a bit to me like too much complaining about the lack of "instant classics" on the list -- I'm personally glad that canon lists focus on the past as that's what canons are for, to give you a foundation of cultural literacy rather than pat you on the back for your pleasure in the world's current favorites -- there's much food for thought here.

AO Scott's Review of The Oogieloves and the Big Balloon Adventure - Speaking of instant classics -- this review! The punchline is The. Best.

Karen O's Best Original Song Contender "Strange Love" - If Tim Burton's animated expansion of his early short Frankenweenie is as weird/cute/fresh, he might really have something. As usual Rich Juzwiak says it best:

I don't know whether Karen has lost her edge or merely child-proofed it, but the song is pretty fucking adorable.

David Fincher: A Film Title Retrospective - his films always have great credit sequences, don't they? This interview and wonderful quote only add to their appeal.

 

I don’t know how much movies should entertain. I’m interested in movies that scar.

Finally... two things I forgot to write about that I had totally planned to before I left. 

I had the scoop on the Before Sunset sequel prior to anyone in the States and I stupidly forgot to post anything in my rush to pack and fly (Sorry Manolis!) so The Playlist got their first. Good on them. Word is Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke are already filming their third romantic duet and Before Midnight might be the title. I love that series so much. If it's as good as Before Sunset several cinephiles could well experience the rapture and vanish from the Earth.

Finally Finally there's one more week left in a peculiar challenge set by Lars von Trier who is asking young filmmakers to choose from one of six masterpieces

 

  • James Joyce's work Ulysses
  • August Strindberg's famous play The Father
  • The Zeppelinfield in Nuremberg, created by Hitler's main architect Albert Speer.
  • Paul Gaugin's painting Where do we come from? Who are we? Where are we going? 
  • French composer César Franck's improvisations. 
  • Sammy Davis Jr. (in general)

...and create a short film inspired by it but NOT too obviously/directly. A collaborative film will be built around the submissions by female director Jenle Hallund in a project they're calling Gesamt. Sounds interesting/weird/Five Obstructions Von Trier'ish. If you're all "why didn't you tell me this two weeks ago, Nathaniel ?!? I could have created a masterpiece" just think of yourself as a reality TV show contestant. They never give them any time to speak of and they manage. Create quickly by the seat of your pants. Create all the (possible) way into Danish film history.