Sunday, April 13, 2014

Blind Spot Fixed: Léon, The Professional


Life has taught me that it's always easier to just give your thumbs up to something than to back off and share your doubts on it. Add to that the fact that I can't really get angry - like, ANGRY angry - and think fighting is sort of useless, and you have me slightly afraid of the reactions to this post. Let's cut to the slack: I wasn't the biggest fan of Léon, my April entry to the Blind Spot series. It's a movie I've been aware of for a long time now and I've been close to picking it up several times on flea markets and the like. As all of the movies I chose for this blogathon, it's one of the highest ranked films on IMDBs Top 250 that I haven't seen until now - and this is a list I have only had good experiences with so far. Not that Léon was a bad experience. In fact, I acknowledge it to be a good, solid film with an unusual story and great characters. Still, I'm not a fan.

Spread the Word | Watching Chris Evans on The Tonight Show Is a Legit Hobby But I Still Don't Have a Life



NEAT BLOG POSTS
Mettel explains her reasons for loving film and defends movie-watching as a hobby.
Sofia - dashingly - lists 30 of the many movies to look out for this year.
It's an older post, but I finally read Stevee's wonderful post on feminism and film.
Nick impressed me by not only watching, but also reading Divergent.
Katy reviews Jobs and not surprisingly dislikes it a lot. My tiny hope for it was finally crushed.

SUPERB VIDEOS
Sherlock Season 3: The Musical is so perfect even now. I can't wait to re-watch this season.
Nik shared this awesome video of The Evolution of Bollywood Music.
Jensen Ackles sing 'Carry On My Wayward Son' - does it need more saying?
Chris Evans and his brother Scott were hilarious on the Tonight Show.

GROOVY PODCASTS
As You Watch is becoming a favorite - they recently talked about Woody Harrelson, Anton Yelchin and Daniel Brühl.
FTS is still my #1 podcast and in their latest episode theyd list their favorite Fake Movies/ Shows in Real Movies/ Shows.
If podcasting was a religion, my God would be Ryan McNeil who had Stevee Taylor join him to voice-review Noah along with Vigil and Ben Hur.

WHAT I'VE BEEN DOING ELSEWHERE
Since last time, my guest spots on The Film Pasture (Episode 13: Get a Life!) and the LAMBCast (Episod 212: Muppet Mania) came out. I had a great time discussing my lack of life and what watching the entire Muppet franchise has to do with that on both of these shows.

Spread the word!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Short Break | No Time


A long time before the days of Requiem For a Dream and Black Swan, Darren Aronofsky was "just" one of the most promising graduates from the directing program at the American Film Institute. Apparently, the most important short from his days of studying, Supermarket Sweep, became an actual National Student Academy Award finalist! However, neither this nor his other two AFI shorts Fortune Cookie and Protozoa, are available to common peasants like me. With no time on my hands and a strong desire to participate in French Toast Sunday's amazing director months, I tracked down the last of Aronofsky's short films. It is named, ironically No Time.

If your impression of Aronofsky so far has been that of a highly intelligent director who makes slightly depressing movies - including what is probably the most depressing movie of all time - you will think again once you've seen the precious 1994 short No Time. Where to start? It's pure mayhem from the beginning and then 22 minutes onward until the end. Consisting of several short episodic sequences that bear close resemblance to those sketch shows that seem to have disappeared from [Danish] television, this film is as different from the other two Aronofsky films I've seen, as the black swan is from the white swan. If anyone could've told that this was an Aronofsky film without knowing, I will quit being a semi-critic and watch 1000 more movies before I start writing about them again. 

The protagonists of the short are four friends that may or may not be living together, and whose entertainment options have narrowed down - however, we only find out what has happened in the middle of the short. Anyway, the try to bide their time by playing charade and also going on individual adventures such as playing basketball and fishing. If this sounds pretty basic; yes, it is, but Aronofsky manages to fill every sequence with enormous amounts of slapstick and situational humour that is pushed to an almost grotesque level in the end. This kind of humour is certainly dangerous and not universal at all, even for me, it can go either way. But within minutes, I found myself laughing louder than what is probably appropriate when your sister is trying to fall asleep next-door. No Time worked just as well for me as Requiem for a Dream and Black Swan have, although on a completely unexpected, ridiculous level. I can't wait to finally watch his other three - well, actually four now - movies soon. If you would like to see No Time for yourself, scroll down and hit |>.



All month long, FTS will be highlighting the work of Darren Aronofsky and also posting other related articles and links from around the web. Post your links and find banners here, send an email to lindsay@frenchtoastsunday.com for help and use the hashtag #DarrenAPRILofsky for tweets. 



Saturday, April 5, 2014

Big League Blogathon | Field of Dreams


What makes a life truly worth living? Few people living a privileged first world life - and I'm not talking about the top 10.000 - are satisfied by simply existing. Most of us, if not all of us, want to be remembered in some way, go down in history you may say. We want to be someone, to fulfill some sort of purpose in our life, a reason for a different future than one lacking a past that included us

Field of Dreams is a movie about this strange human struggle for validation and how people often have very different views on what makes a life worth living. In the middle of the attention, there's hippie-turned-farmer Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) who has built up an idyllic existence with his born-and-bred country girl wife Annie (Amy Madigan) and their daughter Karin. One day he hears a voice telling him to build a baseball field in his back yard, which he does - and as if things couldn't become stranger, the ghosts of old baseball players start appearing on the field. Confused, Ray goes on a quest to find his all-time favorite author Terrence Mann (James Earl Jones) to help him understand the messages he's receiving and the purpose of his Field of Dreams. Terrence Mann was an activist writer back in the 60s and 70s and so certainly lived a life worth living in many ways, however he retreated from the public when he felt people weren't listening to him anymore.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Across the Universe Podcast, Eps 23: Belle de Jour


It's the first time we're talking about a movie chosen by our listeners - you had the choice between 6 movies and in the end, you chose the 60s Bunuel movie, Belle de Jour. First of all, thanks to everyone who voted, you were a lot more than we initially expected! Also, you seem to know us well as the film fits right into our favorite niche of foreign cinema with a female angle. The missing male eye candy was all made up for by the mesmerizing, Goddess-like beauty of Catherine Deneuve!

00:30- Chick-chatter
03:09- Trailer
03:50- Interesting Movie of the Fortnight
16:53- The chicks discuss the Listeners' Choice, Belle de Jour (1967)
43:53- Plugs and Goodbyes

Soundrack: 
I'm No Good (by Amy Whinehouse)
Get Some (by Lykke Li)
Across the Universe (by Rufus Wainwright)


Please give us your feedback on facebook.com/acrosstheuniversepodcast, Podomatic, iTunes, Stitcher or acrosstheuniversepodcast@gmail.com or tweet us @Nikhat_Z, @filmflareblog or @mettekowalski.