The film remake of the beloved children’s book Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, released a trailer last week. It’s directed by Spike Jonze and includes an outstanding indie cast: Catherine Keener, Max Records, Mark Ruffalo, Lauren Ambrose, James Gandolfini. The movie looks awesome, and the costumes true to the original book’s illustrations. I’m so happy that the “monsters” are not digitally created—their costume-like quality mimics the book’s fierce drawings and our own tangibly-raw imaginations. I can’t wait!more »
Snarling, angry dogs; eyes ablaze, teeth bared and saliva glistening in the sickly yellow light of the dawn sky. They stampede through grey streets, knocking over everything in their way as they hurtle towards their quandary, who stands waiting at a window. This is the recurring dream that old friend Boaz tells director Ari Folman about one night in a bar, explaining that they are the 26 dogs he was ordered to shoot during the Lebanese war; he still remembers every face. Folman is surprised to realise that he remembers very little about his own experiences of the war, and sets about tracking down old friends and acquaintances from the past, in the hope of bringing into focus the elusive imagery he is able to dredge up.
What follows is a mesmerising investigation into Folman’s wartime experiences, detailing the subjective, slippery (and often hallucinatory) nature of memory and its ties to trauma, guilt, and confusion. Past and present, fantasy and reality, horror and beauty all blend into each other, further muddying the murky waters of the filmmaker’s hazy recollections. The result is undeniably stylised yet sufficiently substantial, ensuring that the viewer is instantly engaged with the subject matter and soon absorbed entirely into the collective recollection of... more »more »
“Be pleased then, you, the living, in your delightfully warmed bed, before Lethe’s ice-cold wave will lick your escaping foot.”
This weekend, I made the journey to the Kendall Square Theater to see Persepolis.
Since Kendall is the only theater in Boston showing the movie right now, it was packed, forcing me to the second row, where I slumped as down low in my seat as I could and craned my neck to watch. Luckily, it’s one of the best movies I’ve seen in a long, long time.
Persepolis, nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, tells the story of Marjane Satrapi, a young Iranian woman. Based on the graphic novel written by Satrapi, the film details Marji’s coming of age as her country dissolves into revolution and war with Iraq. Marji’s story doesn’t need lush color or flashy animation–the film is almost entirely in black and white stark graphics, true to the graphic novel format. Though Marji is forced to wear a veil and cannot be seen consorting with men, drinking alcohol, or listening to music, she somehow manages to remain fiercely independent. The film is charged with humor (watch out for the Marji’s rousing rendition of Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger”) and grace, even while people are executed and the country is bombed. I don’t know much... more »more »
The site believes that documentaries can effect real world change, and hosts a bajillion excellent movies from the more famous (Born into Brothels, Supersize Me) to the obscure (We — Arundhati Roy’s Come September speech set to archival footage and electronic music).
The streaming video quality is pretty good, and scalable to your whole screen. Bored tonight? Give it a shot.more »
Brook Busey-Hunt went from working in a cubicle to stripping a la stage name Diablo Cody to blogging on The Pussy Ranch to writing a memoir called Candy Girl: A Year in The Life of an Unlikely Stripper all by the age of 28. It isn’t a traditional path for a screenwriter, but it’s the way this particular Midwest girl got to Hollywood – and her first film Juno comes out this week.
Juno might be one of the best films out right now for a number of reasons.
1. It is not a war film
2. It is not begging for an Oscar (although it might get nominated for a couple)
3. It is an indie film! We love indie films!
4. Killer soundtrack
But probably the best reasons are the lead actress, Ellen Page, and aforementioned Brook Busey-Hunt, who now goes by Diablo Cody, and who penned the script for this film. The premise of the film is pretty basic: high school girl gets pregnant, decides to keep the baby and then put it up for adoption. The boy who impregnates her is Michael Cera, from this summer’s blockbuster Superbad, and the adoptive parents are played by Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman. It sounds... more »more »
So this is my first blog attempt and I’m assuming it’s going to suck, but stick with me. Good intro, right? Now I’ll talk about what kind of food got stuck in my teeth this morning (cinnamon apple sauce) and my favorite kind of toilet paper (whatever that commercial is with those red bears!)…. I thought that was how blogs worked? You see, I did a little research. Dwight Schrute’s blog is about a time capsule he sent to himself. No, really. I’m actually getting to something literary. Seems to me time’s a pretty mysterious mofo. Heard about this study about how people like to see, in their movie trailers, everything that’s going to happen in the movie? Not original. Flannery was doing that stuff ages ago. See “A Good Man is Hard to Find.” You know damn well they’re going to meet the misfit the moment the grandmother, and then the storeowner, mentions it. Or “A Circle in the Fire.” Fire’s in the title, even, and it’s the protagonist’s greatest fear. What she really pulled off is making us pant with anticipation (that’s right, like a dog) until we get there. Why don’t we see this in a lot of... more »more »
Before Harry Potter took over as Ultimate Hit of Summer 2007, there was a very popular movie called Knocked Up, comedically chronicling two young people deciding to keep the baby. All of a sudden, these stories are everywhere: Glamour has hired a 26-year-old single mom-to-be to blog about her experience (and here’s what Gawker burped up), and the NYT recently ran a poignant Modern Love about journalist Ronda Kasen’s decision to keep her unplanned baby.
What’s going on? First question, is there a subversive anti-choice message going on here? As the trend grows, it’s almost inevitably going to swing that way, unfortunately. But for all the backlash about the film Knocked Up being anti-choice propaganda, I don’t think that’s the case. I think we can thank the ultraconservative, sex-fearing MPAA for abortion and sexual issues’ absence in contemporary American film (and if you haven’t seen Kirby Dick’s This Film Is Not Yet Rated, you oughta).
I think this trend elicits something different — the bittersweet idealism of launching a baby into a crumbling world. I’m 25, and of all my friends and cousins, know no one having a kid. It’s too awful out here. Even despite these troubled times, we’re just too poor, too busy, have... more »more »
As a promotion for the Simpsons Movie, 7-11s around the country have been turned into Kwik-E-Marts. My first thought was “how cool,” but after reading both Angry Asian Man’s and Ultrabrown’s blogs about the promotion, I’m not so sure. Both bloggers think the character of Apu is racist, or at least that the promotion focuses on the racist aspects of his character (Too Sense applauded the Simpsons for complicating Apu’s character, but noted that the Kwik-E-Mart promotion included none of this complexity). One particular objection was that actual desi owners of stores participating in the promotion are having this racist caricature thrown in their faces — they have to dress up in a uniform modeled after Apu’s.
Well, color-me educated! As a clueless white chick, I didn’t realize that many South Asian folks were offended by Apu. For all the other clueless white folks, here’s why Apu is/might be racist(please add reasons I may have missed in the comments):
- He has a poorly done Hindi accent, and is voiced by a white dude. Some have likened this to white dudes who put on blackface for minstral shows. Desidreaming has an interesting post on this — the discussion in the comments is also intriguing.
The Japanese movie Lady Snowblood (1973) meets all these criteria. The title character, who also goes by Yuki, is born to a woman in prison. As we later find out, four criminals brutally murdered the rest of Yuki’s family — her mother’s husband and her brother. In prison, Yuki’s mother aggressively slept with prison guards to beget a child who could carry out revenge.
Yuki spends her early years learning to fight, in a training sequence so kick-ass that I won’t describe it here. Later, she mild-manneredly hunts down the criminals in her pretty kimono, with her sword hidden inside a parasol.more »