Category Archives: Film

July in August

Apologies for the lack of posts…I know my last few haven’t been getting much attention (why? I don’t know?) but regardless, I WILL MOVE FORWARD because I watched Miranda July films and they are amazing. I also changed my Twitter icon to something more suitable than the neutral and weird picture of me in front of the ocean.

First, I watched “The Future” and I really liked it. It’s a lot more hidden meaning-heavy than “Me You and Everyone We Know,” which I also watched, and which is a little different in that it’s more realistic whereas “The Future” has what seems to be a lot more symbolic. The film starts off with the narrations of what at first sounds like a small small child but is actually a cat that Sophie (played by July) and Jason (Hamish Linklater) are attempting to adopt, as they rescued it.  The vet claims that the cat is in an unhealthy state but that if they care for it, it could live for five years. Sophie and Jason both realize (decide) that in five years, they’ll be in their forties, which, according to Jason, “is basically their fifties.” Each embark on their own adventures with different people in order to try to live more, but in the long run, you get the sense that it’s what kills them.

Sophie and Jason in their hipster LA apartment.

This is how the film starts out, with both of them sitting across from each other on a couch. At first, I thought their relationship was going sour but it actually starts out well, despite what the first few minutes of dialogue may tell you. I think Miranda July has a knack for making you feel like you’re watching a documentary without any narrators–you have to figure out a lot of things for yourself and because her films have been relatively short, a lot of it is up to your interpretation. If I talk more about it, I’m afraid I’ll give more away.

The second film I watched (which I guess I enjoyed more but I think it’s too early to decide) was “Me You and Everyone We Know” which is a lot more simplistic and is more of a “slice-of-life” film about a group of people living in LA whose lives get somewhat tangled. I guess I’m a sucker of realistic films about everyday people but this really is one of my favorites. It still has its indie-weird charm but it’s not overbearingly so (like in 500 Days of Summer, which, even after Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s quotation, still makes me irritated.) Miranda July isn’t the main character in this, rather one of the more supporting ones–they’re all supporting, which is what I liked about it. Nobody’s life is the center of attention because everyone’s life seems to matter to her. The cat’s life mattered more than anything in “The Future,” just as the kids’ lives matter as much as the teenage girl’s down the street. Everyone deserves to be documented, everyone seems to be significant.

This was one of my favorite scenes in the history of ever, the way they connected was one of my favorite parts.

Aesthetically speaking, there was a lot of pink. And who doesn’t like pink?? Don’t answer that.

The teenage girls were some of my favorite characters. While I always like seeing the way adults portray teenage friendships, I think that these two were definitely a weird pair but I liked them a lot because of it. They were a little competitive, which bothered me, but I guess that’s often true in friendships, sadly enough.

Carlie Westerman played Sylvie, a girl who is obsessed with cooking and house tools and speaks like a 30-year-old. I loved her character as well because a lot of kids have interests in really weird things, things that aren’t race cars or dolls and I think that it’s good it was documented (it’s probably a really deep metaphor and I’m just missing the point.)

Littletroublegrrrl, Talia (theshadowofyoursong), Riotsqurrrl, Ebertfest (old old article lol), thereeldeliansblog, Rotten tomatoes, allthingsfangirl, spfw, artbizblog.

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Listen, we’re only going for a drive

I saw Fish Tank a while ago and I think it’s one of my favorite films.

I’d already heard a lot about it via people on Tumblr and Rotten Tomatoes, so I sort of had an idea of what it was going to be like. One person (I don’t know who) on the internet said it was a “mix of Precious and An Education“which I think is somewhat accurate, although it’s way closer to Precious in my opinion. I really think it annihilated this childish view many people may have of England, like everyone is posh and educated and wealthy (???) which a) makes no sense and b) we still continue to embrace it. British characters are often portrayed in ways that make them seem more ostentatious, pretentious, and snobby than Americans or Canadians or whoever in American films. But Fish Tank is essentially the projects in a shitty part of London, with lots of poverty and drinking at the center. I don’t know why people have a hard idea believing that really bad parts of England exist just the way there are really bad parts of America, but here it is for you.

Andrea Arnold directed it, and although I haven’t seen anything else she’s worked on/etc. I really think she did a fantastic job of capturing the little things, like the horse tied up and the way that Michael Fassbender acts, which is sly and attractive at first, and then slowly but surely becomes more and more…weird. Generally speaking, in realistic fiction, you have to make sure that little details are taken care of because there aren’t fire breathing dragons or any of that to get people drawn in.

Bad dancing for the win.

Michael Fassbender being sinful and attractive.

To be honest, I think this was a great film cover (for the DVD or whatever) because I guess to some people it might look over dramatic (she’s, like, a girl staring ahead in the distance) with clouds circling around her but it’s capturing the high point of the film, when all the tension is building and you just say “shit.”

Photos via my tumblr.

I also thought that Katie Jarvis was fantastic. She had never acted before and was scouted at a train station as she was arguing with her boyfriend. While it seems like it’d be a crazy idea to just pick up any random person who seemed to scream well (I’m assuming,) this was obviously not a mistake and personally, I think, one of the best parts of the film. She plays into the role of Mia really really well, with her body language and bad dancing and her obvious intelligence combined with her being naive about a lot of things, even after growing up in such a bad environment (her younger sister Tyler, smokes and curses at seven just as much as Mia does at fifteen.) I also liked how the end (not going to spoil anything!) was realistic (you can expect that it won’t be happy from the beginning.) And while a lot of times in films when these things happen, the characters undergo an obvious or even drastic change, that didn’t really happen here. To an extent the characters did, but it was more sort of for the audience to decide because the shock of what happened (again, so spoilers!) built at the end and really seemed to shake everyone up.

Also (and I don’t know why I haven’t before) but Talia’s blog is absolutely amazing! She is so articulate and when she talks about films, you can tell she really understands them. I feel like I never get them half the time. If I were you, I’d check out her blog after watching a movie so you can get her perspective–it’s definitely worth your time. All of her stuff on Fish Tank is so helpful.

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Movie of the Month (II)

If you can figure out the two people in this, then congratulations! You are officially just as addicted to the internet as me. ANYWAY. I picked this because a) vimeo always has the best stuff, I should make an account just to like people’s films and b) I really like narration lately and this is creative to me because the characters are doing something else but they’re speaking to each other. It’s really beautiful.

Bigger format.

What do you guys think?

Also I changed my “about page” a bit if you care to check.

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Dreams

Whoa guys, I’m totally following up that post I did about Amber Ortolano‘s photography with this overly dramatic singular bullshit teenage title (the other was ghosts, if you didn’t recall.) There’s a girl at my school who tweets things like that–“graveyard nights,” “ghosts,” “I wish,” “no” and all of this vague shit. It’s actually funny to me how it’s sort of a hipster thing to be vague on something like twitter which is about your LIFE?? It’s rather pointless. And on Facebook it’s even better–she puts up pictures of herself with sentences below like “should have met him in the graveyard” and “regrets.” It’s so irritating and pretentious but I’ve gotten to the point where I detest the people in my grade so much that I just try to let them amuse me rather than make me hate them.

ANYWAY, I didn’t write a post about The Myth of the American Sleepover, which is still a movie I am having mental debates about (wow, what else  is new?) It’s written and directed by David Robert Mitchell. All of the actors and actresses are super unknown but if you like them just go to the wikipedia page and search stuff about them on other sites (because THEY ARE SO UNKNOWN THAT THEY DON’T HAVE WIKIPEDIA PAGES WUT.) Here’s the trailer:

After watching, I wrote a scrambled paragraph about my thoughts in my diary, which reads as follows (I’m posting the whole paragraph which isn’t exactly…cohesive):

Watching Myth of the American Sleepover. REALLY great movie—though it looks like it’s from the 70’s and I just think that if there’s no cell phones and it has this hazy look then they should have actually placed it in the 70’s. Like there’s no difference—except the clothes. It’s not a period piece but for Christ’s sake he doesn’t know how teenagers act. Fuck that shit. 

Okay please please take most of that–not seriously, as it was over half a year ago which IS A LOT in teenage time. Anyway, disregarding your probably raised eyebrows and wrinkled forehead (this is why I never share my diary with anyone,) I do agree with my past self. The film has a very hazy feel to it, something that’s sort of nostalgic, and it’s in suburbs in Michigan like TVS. The suburb it was filmed in wasn’t just one suburb–they went all over Michigan to different suburbs so it’s all shot in different places.

One of the few actresses I did remember was Claire Sloma, who played Maggie, a shy and extremely intelligent yet slightly naive girl who was one of my favorites. I believe she won a few awards as a result, which were well deserved. Definitely pay attention to her character if you plan on watching.

The thing that I dislike about it was that it wasn’t specified that it was from the 70’s or something and it obviously wasn’t because the clothes were modern. But the essence of technology–you can’t just disregard that. Technology plays a huge role in our society today. It isn’t just this thing you can throw out. There’s a scene in which all the boys watch porn together. While that may happen (though I wouldn’t know obviously) it would happen on someone’s Mac and not on an old television set. Also irritating was how they could get away with smoking and drinking so easily (someone would be bound to find out in a suburb somehow) and how they could walk and bike everywhere (when in reality that’s usually not the case in smaller towns.) And out of all of the characters, there was one Person of Color (out of like, 25 people??) and no couples who weren’t straight. Now if this were in the 70’s (like IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN) then you could have done a closeted same sex couple but it wasn’t and that makes it hetero normative which is REALLY REALLY GETTING OLD. I know I sound really rigid right now, but little things like always bother me. They’re not hard to fix or hard to make.

I liked scenes like this in the film the best. The style is sort of like Sofia Coppola mixed with John Hughes, with the Sofia Coppola elements integrated in the focus of the small interactions between people (see above: moments in the grocery store, eying the guy across the pool, going on bikes with your best friend) and the John Hughes element more obvious in the film’s subjects, who were all teenagers (not one adult was ever present.) I did like these elements a lot and I think that it’s hard to make films like that without them being boring, but Myth is never boring because you always feel like that all these interactions are building up to something, something’s going to happen and it would be a shame not to know what it is.

The film is currently available on Netflix.

Random things: I am thinking (considering) getting a Polaroid camera for the holidays and then documenting my life in pictures (one picture per day) everyday of 2013 and then making a collage. I want to see if I like visual diaries or written ones better and this could be a fun experiment.

Advisery and Bitdepth. And Dopernose.

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Squealing Pigs

If you know what I mean by this reference, then you have a really good memory or just need to get a life (which kind of shows that I shouldn’t be writing such obscure titles but I detest obvious ones so who’s to blame here I DON’T KNOW.)

I watched “Let The Right One In” (yeah, that’s right, the foreign non-Chloe Moretz version because I like to be cultured and see the originals or just because it was the only one on instant Netflix cough cough but which one sounds better let’s be real) a few weeks ago and I’ve been procrastinating on writing it because there’s too much good stuff.  Tess has seen it and was posting all these epic film stills and I just knew I HAD TO. It’s also a book, apparently, which is just really irritating because the book is always better, even if it’s the ~European original~. Spoilers throughout.

Some parts of the film (like this) are really artistically pleasing, including the ones of the suburban town in Sweden in the 80’s (i.e., the setting,) with the little buildings and the vast planes of white snow that just frame the whole thing.

This captures the town’s ~vibes~ well.

And while the kids aren’t exactly normal (uh,) they engage in plenty of child like behaviors, which is what I like because sometimes movies are just adults in kids bodies or the opposite and it’s extremely unrealistic (as in here, when Oskar is hunched over in the water, looking dazed, which kids seem to do a lot or maybe it’s the forced drowning scene either way I think it correlates with what I’m saying and even if it doesn’t, you shouldn’t say anything about it.)

Or here, in contrast with my whole THEY’RE KIDS thing–Tomas Alfredson  sort of picks up on subtle things about people and I just like the way it’s emphasized here, with the clawing hand.

I feel that even though the film was supposed to be scary, it wasn’t really things like this that bothered me. Sure, you can have all the blood you want, but it doesn’t compare to the psychological ideas that come into play, like the fact that Eli physically craves other people’s innards so that she can live a healthy life  and the fact that Oskar already has serial killer ish tendencies because of the bullies at school that nobody can stand up to. In fact, the most frightening part of the whole thing to me was when the woman who Eli bit started having vampire tendencies and burned up in the hospital room because of sun light. It would have been better for her to just die than to have to live with what being a vampire was like. As a random tid bit, I also like how they don’t have vampire teeth which, while appropriate, are just used so much and take away the subtlety factor that shows that vampires live everywhere and anywhere and look just like the rest of us…

Slightly off topic, but this picture by this tumblr user is kind of epic, if I do say so myself. As mentioned before, I’m a sucker for art that’s inspired by other art.

This captures everything color wise,with the surrounding white and neutral colors. I think that if we’re going to go all middle school English teacher and be like “OKAY KIDS THE CURTAINS ARE BLUE ON PAGE 97 BECAUSE THE CHARACTER CRIED ON PAGE 245,” it’s safe to say that the town is sucked dry (no pun intended) when Eli has to resort to killing people, hence its not having any sort of color and just white and brick and melancholy blues (the pool, Oskar’s eyes.)

Eli's Suitcase

First four photos via Tessurgh-film, astheybreedtheyswarm, harry-krinkle.

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Movie of the Month (I)

We already have song of the month and since I’ve been getting more and more into movies lately, I decided a film of the month was in order too. This month is SYNDROMES, a short film on Vimeo which I’m glad I stumbled upon (though I don’t quite know how, except that Sofia helped me out) because it’s extremely peculiar and extremely European (even though they never say where it’s taking place.) I’m kind of a sucker for vague films just because I guess they can’t disappoint you, and when they’re short it’s even better so you can speculate more and have less to absorb. Vimeo always has good stuff on it, it’s basically a way more sophisticated Youtube, as a side note. You can watch it in a larger format here.

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Teenage suicide, don’t do it

Welp, I’m a real damn cliche now because I watched Heathers and I loved it.

First of all, we’ve got Winona Ryder and that just justifies every single flaw in the whole things because she’s WINONA RYDER. I sound like a twelve-year-old but I couldn’t help thinking “Veronica really IS the prettiest out of all the Heathers if we’re going to be judgmental and pointless here” but I’m not going to go on (though I want to, people with cheek bones make me cry.) Spoiler alert: references of ENTIRE film throughout post, beware!!

Okay, first of all, she’s pretty badass (you go Winona, he doesn’t deserve your fucking speech!!! YOU ARE SO RIGHT, JUST REMEMBER NOT TO KILL HIM AND FRAME HIS DEATH AS A SUICIDE OH WAIT WHAT DID I JUST SAY.)

However, on the other foot, I am not going to lie and say that I just hated everyone and Veronica Sawyer was the only one I really liked because let’s face it–this movie would probably be nothing without Heather’s lines (see above.) I kind of want to use all of them on the people at school I dislike, which, in a non-sequitur, would up my bitch level to like, infinity, but it’s not as though any of my dip-dyed obsessed classmates would even know that when I said “fuck me with a chain saw,” I was quoting an 80’s film and not just my screwed-up mind.

I am also not going to lie and say that when Veronica and the Heathers were together as a group, I kind of wouldn’t have minded being one of them just so I could play crochet and wear 80’s shoulder-pad filled jackets and kill my hair with spray.

I made a Polyvore post about them:

Teenage suicide, don't do it

am3-forty5, goll-um, herloveturnedtostone,

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