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Resolutions, and such

January 5th, 2014 (07:50 am)

Anyone around?...

Happy New Year!

And it's off to a fine start (much better than last year).

Seen so far:

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty: I wasn't expecting much - in fact, nothing; I'd really meant to see Inside Llewyn Davis and had ended up at the wrong theater - but this was fine for a quiet showing over the holidays. In fact, it almost slipped out of its Hollywood trope bounds. Almost.

Inside Llewyn Davis: I'm a big fan of the Coen Brothers. This is not major Coen Bros, and maybe it's not meant to be, but something was missing. Perhaps it was the subject matter; don't know much about the folk scene. But the spark - didn't for me.

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom: Took Mama Wakasa to see this (and very narrowly escaped A Madea Christmas, *someone* was smiling down at me). I'm not sure how factual this was, and how much was heroic myth recounting; but, based on my memories / surface knowledge of events, this was very well done and fairly complete. The Sharpeville Massacre is there, and Winnie Mandela's actions are not glossed over (although the explanation for them may have been softened a bit). Definitely worthwhile. Mama Wakasa had wanted to see a comedy, but was very happy that we ended up seeing this inside.

Pitfall: Two roustabout miners in 1960s Japan are skipping out from job to job. Until they sign up for what seems a sure thing at a large mine, and one is sent off to a second mine. He's murdered for no apparent reason, and his ghost tries to make sense of the why behind the white-suited, briefcase-carrying man who stabbed him with such skill.

This is Hiroshi Teshigahara's first film, and what a film. It turns in totally unexpected directions, around the harsh politics and business practices of the time, while combining a touch of the supernatural and murder mystery. What a great surprise. This was in the Three Films By Hiroshi Teshigahara box (from Criterion); can't wait to see what else is in there.

lady_wakasa [userpic]

Trailer for Hong Sangsoo's The Day He Arrives

May 1st, 2012 (08:26 am)

Watch. And know that it's Hong Sangsoo.

http://www.cinemaguild.com/dayhearrives/

lady_wakasa [userpic]

Stranger Than Fiction...

January 16th, 2012 (12:22 pm)

...even Jean-Luc Godard's fiction: apparently the Costa Concordia, the ship which ran aground off the coast of Tuscany a few days ago, is the very same ship on which Godard filmed part of his 2010 "movie" (it's Godard, after all) Filme Socialisme: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jan/15/costa-concordia-jean-luc-godard

Okay, I may break down and see it. Or at least look at the images going by; as I mentioned, it's Godard after all.

lady_wakasa [userpic]

Julie & Julia, et al

March 6th, 2011 (11:14 pm)

Remember Julie & Julia? The story (at least partially) of how Julia Child worked herself into becoming Julia Child, and Julie Powell worked herself from a blog into a career?

Most people know that that story started when Powell decided to make all 524 recipes in Mastering the Art of French Cooking in 365 days.

Well, now there's Lawrence Dai and the The Lawrence/Julie & Julia Project. Lawrence takes it one step further, deciding to watch Julie and Julia every day for a year and blog about *that*.

He's currently at Day 97. And yeah, it's going about as well as you might think at this point:

Day 1: I promise to dedicate as much of my attention as I can to this incredible, generation-defining film and the blog entries that accompany it.

Day 95: Wake up, Julie Powell. You don't get points for doing something completely derivative of someone else's life's work. - above a picture of him in the same pose at his keyboard as Julie Powell is at her keyboard and Julia Child is at her typewriter. Un-hunh.

At least he has a sense of humor about the whole thing... so farCollapse )

lady_wakasa [userpic]

R.I.P.

January 2nd, 2011 (12:29 am)

Japanese actress Takamine Hideko passed away on Tuesday at the age of 86.

I haven't seen many of her films, but I definitely saw the very memorable When a Woman Ascends the Stairs (Onna ga kaidan wo agaru toki, 1960) a couple years back. The movie was about a bar hostess who is stuck in her job, faced with some decisions, basically acts as everyone else's support, and has society's expectation leaning against her, but needs to find a way to the things that will make her own life more meaningful. This being basically a 1950s Japanese film, that's a little easier said than done.

Highly recommended film.

According to a couple of online sources I scanned, the West is mostly familiar with her work with director Naruse Mikio (which includes When a Woman Ascends the Stairs); but in Japan she was originally a child star, her work familiar with the public before she started collaborating with Naruse.

Even with the limited exposure and 30+ years since her last film, it's sad to see her go. (And I should have a slightly happier post in the near future.)

lady_wakasa [userpic]

Sad News

December 18th, 2010 (10:29 pm)
Tags:

Some sad news: Manish Acharya, one of the shadow puppet narrators from the movie Sita Sings the Blues (among other things), died in a riding accident a few weeks back.

I never wrote up Sita, but I did give out copies of the movie with last year's Xmas cards. If you haven't seen it, I strongly suggest you read up on it, visit the website, and dowload and watch it. (All legally.) Also find out about Nina Paley's activism around copyright law.

That's a much better way of understanding what a loss this is than I can explain.

lady_wakasa [userpic]

Ooooo...

October 25th, 2010 (11:03 pm)

International poster art for Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan, right 'chere for you.

Cut for your viewing pleasure...Collapse )

And the article about them. No attributes, though - and the comments section thinks I'm spam when I ask about it.

The film is about a ballerina (Natalie Portman), about to be called upon to take over a major role from the prima ballerina of her company - and then a rival appears (Mila Kunis). A *really* odd rival. I've heard shades of All About Eve and Perfect Blue; and done right, this could be good.

Now I'm intrigued - might have to go see this. Or at least hope these become available at some point, à la the Antichrist poster I picked up last February (though you might not be happy you clicked on that).

lady_wakasa [userpic]

October 9, 2010

October 9th, 2010 (11:51 am)

Happy birthday, John Winston Ono Lennon.

And thank you.

lady_wakasa [userpic]

NYFF: Film the First!

October 2nd, 2010 (10:03 pm)

An inauspicious start: a rainy day and a delayed train meant I was late to my first movie at the 2010 New York Film Festival. Fortunately the short, All Flowers in Time, was still playing; unfortunately, missing the first few minutes was like missing the first few minutes of The Last of Sheila - when, well, Sheila shows up, is murdered, and never appears again. It looked good but I had *no* idea what was going on, except it was really, really trippy. Really trippy. A-woman-and-a-boy-shapeshifting-for-fun trippy. And it went on and on, until I really started wondering if I'd wandered into the wrong place... but I'm getting off track. Soon enough the short ended, the feature began, and I knew I was definitely in the right place.

And of course it's Korean... Review: Oki's MovieCollapse )

lady_wakasa [userpic]

RIP

September 30th, 2010 (09:30 am)
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And Tony Curtis exits the world, at the age of 85.

Thank you for the many hours of laughs, starting with The 4:30 Movie as a kid, and even recently with the German "original" of Some Like It Hot, Fanfaren der Liebe... You were more a part of growing up, rather than just an actor.

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