Showing posts with label Movies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Movies. Show all posts

Monday, 8 June 2015

Movie Monday - 'Lilting'

It has been a while since I have done a movie Monday so I thought today I would pick a film which I saw a while ago now but has really stuck with me.

Set in London, Lilting tells the story of Cambodian Chinese mother Junn who after the death of her son Kai is left alone to live in a country she now has no connection with. Adding to her grievance is the presence of Richard, Kai's lover who longs to connect with Junn. As the two struggle to communicate without a common language they attempt to overcome their differences and share memories of a man they both loved.

The film is a beautiful exploration of grief,memory and love, highlighting the difficulties of finding the right way to express yourself and communicate with others. The language barrier between Junn and Richard is just one aspect of what makes their communication with one another so difficult, and what the director and writer Hong Khaou so brilliantly captures are the moments when the words of any language simply do not suffice to express emotion.

Lilting is shot beautifully and has a slow pace to it which is lifted with moments of drama and humour. I would recommend it as one to watch alone on a quiet afternoon - the subtitles and lack of dialogue means it requires a little more concentration to truly appreciate the subtle messages that the film portrays. 

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Go dance

This blog has many great pictures and gifs and has sucked up a lot of my time today: 

Monday, 4 February 2013

Movie Monday - Harold and Maude

I haven't done a Movie Monday in a long while, but last week I watched 'Harold and Maude' for the first time and absolutely loved it so thought it would be a good one to review and recommend for anyone who hasn't seen it. It is sort of an 'anti-romance' so what with Valentines day swiftly approaching, this is a good one to watch if you want to get away from the usual cheesy rom-coms. 

Harold (played by Bud Cort) is a bored, self destructive teenager who is obsessed with death and determined to sabotage his rich Mother's attempts at finding him a suitable girlfriend. He spends his time visiting graveyards, attending funerals and repeatedly staging his own suicide. He meets Maude, a wildly eccentric and optimistic pensioner at a funeral and they quickly forge a friendship as she introduces Harold to the beauty of music, art and doing whatever you want to! 

As the unlikely couple embark on various escapades and adventures together, their friendship grows into a romance and much to his Mother's horror and dismay - Harold announces that he intends to make Maude his wife!

I won't reveal the ending except to say that it is bitter sweet and completely suited to the overall quirkiness of the entire film. Both Harold and Maude are really quite bizarre characters and their whole relationship is definitely a little bit unusual given the 60 year age gap between them - and yet, they are a perfect partnership.

Ruth Cordon is hilarious and outrageous and is definitely the kind of little old lady I aspire to grow up to be! Harold is also acted brilliantly by Bud Cort and I can't imagine either characters being played better by anyone else.

My favourite part about the whole film is the soundtrack which accompanies it which is by the great Cat Stevens. 

The song below is the one that Maude teaches Harold during one of the more tender moments in the film.  I hadn't heard of it before but over the last week I have been playing it over and over again because it is just so sweet and uplifting! Anyway listen to the song, watch the film and enjoy :)

Sunday, 6 January 2013

The Life of Pi

12 years after it was first published and in just time for the film release, I have recently finished reading Yann Martel's 'Life of Pi'. I don't know what stopped me from reading it before now but after seeing the trailer for the film and reading the excellent reviews I decided that I definitely wanted to read the book before seeing the film adaptation.

Perhaps most people already have a rough idea of the story (which I didn't at all) - but it is an account of the extraordinary survival of a young Indian boy stranded on a life boat with an Orang-utan, Hyena and a Zebra with a broken leg. Oh and a Bengal Tiger called Richard Parker.

It took me an embarrassingly long time to realise that the character 'Richard Parker' was actually a tiger  and not a person - maybe because the formality of the name, the clever way in which Martel writes or perhaps just because I am a bit dim; but in any case - the moment you come to realise the gravity of the leading character Pi's situation it becomes impossible to put this book down.

The story is so beautifully written, and although I'm sure the film which is shot in 3D will be pretty spectacular visually - it is worth reading the book anyway because it serves as such a good reminder of how powerful descriptive writing can be. It's not always necessary to have a literal re enactment  or set of images to be able to perfectly picture or imagine a scene as is definitely the case with Martel's book.

Having said that I am looking forward to seeing the film and will post an update on how I think it compares with reading the book.

Another thing to mention is the parallel of spirituality and human brutality that runs as a theme throughout the story. The protagonist (Pi) is an intensely spiritual and religious character - yet inevitably his faith is tried at many points on his journey. In the epilogue there is a slight twist (of sorts) which I think serves as the perfect ending to the book - leaving the whole account as mysterious and open ended as religion and spirituality itself. 

Below is a quote from the book and some illustrations that I found from various artists.

'Battle Of The Minds' - Andrea Offermann. Offermann submitted these images for a 2002 competition to illustrate Life Of Pi ran by The Times but lost out to Tomislav Torjanac.

'Life of Pi' by Jack Bruml Norton 

Monday, 3 December 2012

Movie Monday: Tiny Furniture

I recently watched 'Tiny Furniture' which I enjoyed so much I watched it twice in two days so thought it would be a good one to review! It is written by, directed and stars Lena Dunham - who was just 24 at the time.
I imagine that this film would not appeal to everyone - there is no definitive story line or plot outcome and there is no typical Hollywood happy ending. The film is a snapshot of  the life of 'Aura' - a recent University Graduate who has just moved home and is faced with what to do for the rest of her life. We see the mundane activity of her everyday life as she attempts to find work, a boyfriend and adjusts to living with her family again.

Aura's Mother and Sister are played by Lena's real life Mother and Sister as Lena had no money to hire actors or fund the film. Their relationship is portrayed so naturally on screen although the script and dialogue  were not ad libbed and were specifically written for amateur actors.

What is so refreshing about this film is how natural and unfinished it is. There is minimal music, blurred camera shots and almost  documentary style to the filming. Along with the simplicity of the storyline this really  makes you aware of how over produced most other films are in comparison. 

Lena Dunham also produces, writes and acts in the American Tv Series 'Girls' which I haven't seen but have heard lots of good things about so hopefully I will get round to watching it soon. 

Maybe it is because I am approaching a similar point in my life to the main character in 'Tiny Furniture' that I feel I can particularly to relate to a lot of the key themes in this film, but I do think that its authenticity and originality is a key part of what makes it a really interesting and enjoyable watch.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Beasts Of The Southern Wild

Last night my friends and I went to see the film of the moment 'Beasts Of The Southern Wild'. I had been really excited to see this film as I had read so many good reviews about it and the advert looked so magical and imaginative. It really lived up to and exceeded my expectations and was just so moving and different from any other film I have seen. The acting of Quvenzhane Wallis who was only around 6 when the film was made was absolutely breathtaking... at points I was wondering if the film was acted at all or just an incredible documentary because the emotions portrayed by her and the rest of the cast were so raw and real - it seemed that it would be impossible to stage such a thing. 

The film made me laugh, smile and cry but mostly it just left me in a state of complete awe. There is so much to say about the love and devotion shown by the characters in the film to their homes and each other and the world around them. In other films their flaws would be really played upon to create stereotypical characters that we see time and time again, but here they are real humans whose strengths and flaws don't dominate the story or define them. They live as people do - with anger, pride, devotion and a deep love which aren't just cleverly crafted into a scene to create drama.

Below are some screen shots and a link to the official website where you can listen to the amazing soundtrack that accompanies the film.

If you feel disconnected to the world around you, this is the perfect example of how to truly embrace your environment and world with passion and defiance.

"I see that I am a little piece of a big, big universe, and that makes it right."

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Moonrise Kingdom

A friend shared this link with me earlier and reminded me of how much I enjoyed Wes Anderson's 'Moonrise Kingdom' . The story is melancholic, heart warming and unexpectedly funny with excellent performances from all the cast. I much preferred it to Anderson's other hit  film 'The Royal Tenenbaums', although there is a definite similarity in the tone and style in which the films are shot. 

The poster below is one I found on one of the tumblr blogs I follow daily:
The blog features contributions from lots of different artists and there are lots of awesome posters on there for a huge variety of films and tv series so its worth looking through the archive for your favourite. I'd love to get some of them printed out and they'd make a great present for film fans. Not sure what the deal is with copyrighting on some of them though, so if you re blog please make sure you credit the original artist! This one is by Sam Larson.