Tuesday, 8 April 2008

The London Gay and Lesbian Film Festival

Well my lovely BF got me tickets to see a few of the films (3 in all) at this years fest. We missed the fourth due to a fire at Waterloo and therefore not being able to make it to the cinema in time. Plus they had loads of special treats like All Night Musical, which I am just finding out about. My musical hating hubby must have kept that secret.

The festival was well organized, and LOADS of movies available to see. Such ashame we are still in post Christmas saving mode otherwise we would have seen everything.

I do not understand the appeal of "Paranoid Park". I am not into the skating culture, I am one of those old scares people who thinks it is dangerous and just too noisy. However I understand how people can enjoy the feeling of danger from having your entire body at the mercy of a plank of wood with wheels.
Gus Van Sant likes his young men. During this film I noticed how he lovingly caressed them with his camera. Close ups on baby fat cover boys-soon-to-be-men. Innocent cupid lips on bodies awaking with sexuality. It is an interesting study of teenage boys, even though I wished he would stop these semi erotic close ups and get on with the story. The story is about a young skater-boy who tries to deal with the consequences of accidentally killing a security guard while train jumping.
He is also dealing with the divorce of his parents. It is never said but you get the feeling his father is gay, which adds to his burdens.
The cast is unknown, and it really does not help pep up the slow and rather dull story that is unfolding before my barely awake eyes.

But the bf really liked it. C

Thankfully we got to see "XXY". The story of an intersexed teenager struggling to find their identity while in living in solitude with family in Uruguay. When a Plastic Surgeon who is a friend of the family comes with his wife and teenage son, things get a little more complicated.

I will not go on and on about how wonderful this film was as it serves no other point than to let you know I liked it. By now you already know I like it a lot. It is sensitively handled from beginning to end. This film, however, is so much more than the movie about a 15-year-old hermaphrodite, it is the story of that difficult time in a teenagers life, and how their views of their parents can change, and how a parent can either accept their child, or not (the latter is one of the most crushing scenes I have seen). It was just a shame that the audience felt the need to laugh to cover their own discomfort.

The director Lucia Puenzo handles the drama and the humor of the story gently. She allows the actors and the scenery to meld and feel organic in their co-inhabitance and even when the camera is in full close up, you can feel her respectful distance. B+

"Show Business: the Road to Broadway" was fun. However I personally would have loved to have seen a more in depth account of just how hard it is to put such a show together. Perhaps if they had decided to concentrate more on the difficulty of bringing a show to Broadway I would have enjoyed it more.

The film focused on the behind the scenes of Wicked, Caroline or Change, Avenue Q and Taboo and how they were all poised to be the big musicals of the year and hopefully compete for the Tony award.
this would work so well if aimed at movies, but there is so much more time taken to bring a big show to Broadway than it is to make a film. So much time and money is invested, and people sacrifice their lives for sometimes very little. The film just skimmed over the surface. That was such a pity, especially with productions like Taboo and Caroline, or Change which deserved to have their profile raised a little.


Monday, 7 April 2008

Music Mondays.

Discovered Gabriella Cilmi when she was played a few times on Radio 1.
I love it.
She sounds totally gin soaked and slutty. Like a cleaner, prettier more toothsome Amy Winehouse.

Hurrah and Yippee

My little Sheila is back!!

I was totally expecting Toni Collette to follow where so many wonderful and great actresses end up slumming it, and that is on TV, but it seems Sam Mendes has come to her rescue.
From Empire Online comes this wonderful bit 'o' news.

Don't get me wrong, I love my TV. TV is where some of these ex movie actors truely shine. Mary Louise Parker is wonderful in "Weeds", Kyra is great in "The Closer" and I am sure Holly, Glenn, Sally and Minnie are all wonderful in their shows, but it all felt just too soon for my Toni.

Sure the premise for "The United States of Tara" sound interesting (it also sounds like it could fall totally flat too) but I like my Toni on the big screen thank you!

So Toni....come back to me. I miss you!

Sunday, 6 April 2008

He That Believeth in Me

Could "Battlestar Galactica" be better than "Buffy"?

After seeing the very first episode of season 4 I have to wonder. There is so much going on, but not in a "Lost" 'what the f*ck' kind of way. But more in a "wow that is deep" kind. There are so many questions, and apparently a lot of the answers are in the above picture (click to enlarge)

- Who is the last Cylon? Adama? Roslin? Starbuck? Baltar?
- Is there one God or many?
- Will they get to Earth and if so what will it be like? Which time ----frame?
- Are they going to get to Earth and the earthling will think it is an ----alien invasion and nuke us all to hell?
- Will Lee dish out any more angst?
- Are the Cylons right and more importantly are they us?
- Will Roslin seduce Adama during one of her acid trips?
- Will D'Anna come back?
- Will Six be able to find any more revealing outfits?
- Will Jamie Bamber and Tahmoh Penikett like to wrestle with me ----naked?

So many questions, and unlike "Lost" I really really care about the answers.

"Paranormal Activity" trailer

Blogging from work! Look at me!
Holy shit did this give me the willies. It is also getting rather great reviews so I will definitely be checking this out when a release date is announced over here.

MAFFE Awards 2008!!

I know, I know, there are a long time in coming, but I was holding out for a hero (ie Mr Motivation to come my way)

This year I am not going to follow the Academy's lead. I am not going whittle it all down to 5 nominees then announce a winner because that is never really fair. I find what I liked today I will love tomorrow, so in keeping with this I am not going to announce a single winner nor will I have 5 nominee's. Six is my lucky number, and I am going to celebrate six performances/screenplays/technical achievements/artistic achievements that I loved in 2007, and those are the winners.

This is entirely my opinion so don't have a cow man.
I will also not have categories such as Foreign Film or Animated Film. I am not the Academy and therefore do not segregate. All films are welcome (expect for Documentaries, which I am sad to say I saw hardly any last year!)

Also I have not yet had the honor of seeing the following films

"The Bourne Ultimatum"
"Pirates of the Caribbean: Will This Never End"
"Lars and the Real Girl"

MAFFE Awards 2008!! The Films

Yep, 12 nominees this year. I love the cinema of 2007 so much that I wanted to celebrate the best of the bunch. All these films are ones that slip in and out of my top 6 with each passing day. I always find it so hard and unfair to single out so few movies, when there are so many to choose from. If only I was a big awards branch eh?

The twelve wonderful movies are:

"4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days". I sat with my hands covering my face throughout this entire movie.
It was only of the best directed, written and acted movies of the year, and I could never bring myself to watch it again.
It was such an intense journey that I doubt my heart could take a second viewing.
That ending!..............WOW.

I was really not expecting myself to enjoy "A Mighty Heart". This year was full of dark films, and knowing the horrific ending of this real life story put me off watching it so much.
No good could come from me seeing this movie.
I love being wrong. After everything this is such a life affirming movie.
One of the five that made me cry (this one made me heave!)

Number four in bringing on the water works is the love story of the year "Atonement".
I have waxed on lyrical about this movie all last year, and I am a little out of things to say.
Everyone who visits this blog knows it has it's place firmly in the top 12 (near the top in fact).
There is nothing more to say really.
Except, I love this movie.

"The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" was one of the unexpected delights of 2007. How a film depicting such tragedy and grief ended up being so life affirming I do not know.
Just the thought of what this man accomplished by writing his book, and the varios people who wrote down his works just exhausts me.
I can't even put it into words. A truly jaw dropping accomplishment (and it made me bawl).

"Into The Wild" divided people like no other film this year. People either loved it or hated it.
This depended on if you allowed the selfishness and self importance of the lead character to get to you, or if you kept your distance and allowed the supporting performers to tell the story.
If you can do the latter you will be rewarded.
And yes....Hal Holbrook made me lose my steely composure *sniff*.

"Michael Calyton" is the movie that I am still surprised I am including. Simple because this is not my type of movie at all.
This just goes to show how a strong and intellegent screenplay, direction and acting can make any genre of movie accessible to those who would usually shrug it off.
Everything is far more interesting due to the complex shades of grey that are painted.

"No Country for Old Men" is one of those films that EVERYONE was raving about. SO I had decided before hand that I would not love it.
Silly silly me.
What got me was the somber tone of the film. The senselessness of the violence today was the thread that made this film different. Bad guys sometimes get away, and the innocent do suffer.

A quiet musical? Who would have every thought it possible.
We are used to our musical being big or bloody or bad, not quiet and simple and just about the music.
This is exactly what "Once" is. A Musical about the love of music and how it can bring people together. Just a guy and a girl with a guitar and a piano and one of the years best.

How to sum up my feeling of "Persepolis" is just a few words. Well it takes you on a journey to another land. Another world even, yet to feel you know it. It simply narrows the gap between our different cultures and reminds us that everyone on this planet are just human beings trying to survive.
Surprisingly funny, extremely political and very moving. Not a combination that can usually work, but here it does.

The final film that brought on the tears for me this year. "Ratatouille" is a film of surprising depth.
Sure there are your standard villains and hero's of the movie, but there is so much more.
A film about cooking rat just seems preposterous. Here you believe. In this world every creature is equal...how...well...lovely. The sense of the outcasts of society being accepted just appeals to the outcast in me.

There is nothing good about industry and religion. Or so the film should be titled.
"There Will be Blood" is not an easy sit. In fact it makes you very uncomfortable.
But this is brave film making. This is a very intelligent way of attacking the current state of the world.
Oil and religion are what it is all about after all. And neither of them are good for the soul.

How was this movie forgotten?
Where were it's backers?
"Zodiac" was one of the first films I saw in 2007, and I sat in that cinema gripped to me seat the entire time. Such masterful story telling and stroke inducing suspense.
I am still perplexed as to how some other movies were deemed better.
There is no accounting for taste.

See you all for MAFFE this time next year. It is April and I am still awaiting my first film LOVE of 2008.