Sunday, October 14, 2012

Liberal Arts, The Perks of.. and London Itself

Mette is back from her first visit to her favourite city in the world and talks about what that's got to do with cinematic miracles.

Six days, two films
I wonder whether it was my one-week cinematic celibacy that caused me to see two extremely amazing films in the short time I spent in the amazing city of London - or if it was simply luck.
Actually, there's a third option too: good networking and experience (the first because a fellow blogger told me about Liberal Arts, the second because I watched the trailer of Perks a while ago because I think I do know a little about what potentially good films look like).
Most probably, it was a mixture of all these. Of course, I probably hadn't known about Josh Radnor's second directorial work if it wasn't for Chris (thank you so much, by the way, if you're reading this) but I was very lucky that it was playing at just this time. As for Perks, the posters were everywhere - on subway walls, buses, buildings... so they reminded me of the trailer that I remembered being quite convincing. I guess the celibacy-argument is lost then... but I did find it poetic sounding.

The reason I'm making such noise about these two rather new releases is that they are some of the best films I have seen. This year. I mean, I haven't seen many films this month, so that doesn't count - and actually I have seen a big bunch of great films this year. So I should say: they're some of the best 2012 movies I've seen until now. Not quite topping Moonrise Kingdom I think, but I see Cosmopolis losing two ranks here. And you have to keep in mind that usually I don't see the good films until next summer or so. Slash, around the Oscar hype time, but this time I actually saw them in cinema! In English! 
That was the other reason that made the experience perhaps even greater than the Moonrise Kingdom experience, which I had to see in f***-ing German dubbing. We're such an egoistic and lazy nation, aren't we? Don't even care to read subtitles (or learn English for that matter). Really, this is an important issue. I'm actually thinking about writing an article on this. Though it probably wouldn't change anything.

Before I forget to say this: Elizabeth Olsen is wonderful.

But back to the movies, which were breathtaking
Liberal Arts, as you might now, is the second work of Josh Radnor as a director and it's not without reason that I count him to my favourites already. Much like his first film Happythankyoumoreplease, Liberal Arts didn't really get much notice and publicity, but it's a film that really would deserve it. How does this man do it? Combine this perfect humour with such profound thoughts... a way in which he reminds me of Woody Allen a lot. He always plays a certain kind of character and there is this search of the meaning of life throughout all his work (ahem, his two films - no, actually it's in his HIMYM character too). And then of course, there's the love of literature - a much bigger subject in this one than in his first film however. You can see how much he loves the art of combining words in every single frame.  Perhaps this is not a film for everyone, much like Woody Allen films weren't until Midnight in Paris. But I wish it were. I wish everyone would just give it a try. Please be one of the people that do.

BTW: Both movies were about writing. A sign from up above?

My comment on The Perks of Being a Wallflower is going to be shorter, or at least I'll try (a week without blogging leaves me with so much to say!). Because I know that you have already read something between at least a short article to long hymns on this film. It's "the newest cult movie" (VOGUE, I think), "an absolute must-see" (one of those quotes on the London posters), blablabla... and this is true, of course. Maybe more than true. If that's possible.
I always knew that Emma Watson was amazing, so unlike many others I was less surprised than very pleased by her performance. What truly astonished me were the performances of the boys: Ezra Miller and Logan Lerman. Now, Ezra Miller I didn't know before, so I was just incredibly happy about finding someone new and so promising. But as for Logan Lerman, I was full of prejudice about him for starring in Percy Jackson. Seriously, the trailer is one of the worst I have ever seen. And that's why I was really most impressed by him.
Ahm, okay, I'm writing a lot. One last note: I don't think I've ever cried as much in a movie. Which doesn't mean this is a soap opera kind of movie, really not. Yeah. Watch it!

Now to something not entirely different, but still different...

I SAW ABHAY DEOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yeah, I'm still excited about it. Especially because it was just so much of a coincidence that I'm almost starting to think about it religiously. Okay, I'm exaggerating. 
But you know, we were in that cinema (Empire Cinema on Leicester Square, great cinema) and had just bought our tickets for Perks an hour before it was going to start (we knew about the BFI LFF and were afraid of not getting any tickets). I did want to go see some of the Festival, but we didn't have that much money and wanted to see London itself so we decided not to buy any tickets for the Festival itself. Anyhow, there were all these press people (I wished I were one of them) and one lady comes over and asks us if we'd like to see a press conference. We had time, and it sounded exciting, so of course we agreed.
Well, we went down a long staircase to Screen 2 and there were camera people, press people and a long table with name cards instead of a screen. So, we sat down at the front and that was when I realized the names on the cards were Indian. And then I realized that they said "Prakash Jha" (!), "Arjun Rampal" (!!) and... "ABHAY DEOL" (!!!). 

As for the conference itself, it was very interesting although of course we hadn't seen the film (Chakravyu). While the actors were very sweet and funny - Arjun Rampal even hugged a reporter for telling him she loved the film - Prakash Jha really was the big star. He looks much better than most directors, I must say, and has a very captivating way of speaking; slowly and thoughtfully. I realized I've only seen one of his films, Raajneeti, and this is something I am going to change very soon. A person so intelligent must make very intelligent movies too, and judging from the one I've seen, that's very much true. 
A rather different thought: I'm very, very relieved that my first "meeting" with a, well, "celebrity" I admire was just the way I had hoped for it to be. They were neither snobby nor did it feel surreal. Okay, a little surreal, but just until they entered the room. They were and are simply people whose work I respect, and whom I find interesting. People I could meet just somewhere and sympathize with. I'm so happy about this, because I just hate hyping people, if you know what I mean. You can hype their work, but I don't like all this fuzz about some persons, because that must be horrible, and I want to be neither the person whom the fuzz is made about, nor the person who makes the fuzz about someone.
Well, summing this up, I just want to thank life for bringing me to that exact cinema at that exact time to see that exact press conference.

Last but not least...

See You Soon, Londoners
I met a lot of other celebrities in London too, such as Charlie Chaplin.

And at this point I want to repeat that London is my favourite city in the world. I just wish I could stay there, watching the movies, seeing the shows, walking the streets. Meeting people. But anyhow, I'll be back. 


  1. Thank you for loving my hometown! :) What cinema did you see the movies in?

    1. Thank you for having such a wonderful hometown!
      We (I had to stay with my sister all the time) went to the Empire Cinema on Leicester Square because it was the first one we found that showed both movies.

  2. You're welcome! Glad you had a lot of things go right for you last few days, the movies lived up to your expectations, and a perfect press conference for you :) I remembered how much you praised Happythankyoumoreplease, so made sense to recommend his latest. I agree, Elizabeth Olsen is wonderful, a rising star, she got a good amount of awards attention for her performance in Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011)

    1. Yay, that was a great recommendation. It's so great to be connected with people that know my taste of movies :).
      I really want to see Martha Marcy May Marlene, it's supposed to be so great!

  3. Glad that you liked coming to London, do come back and let me know when you do. Possible meet-up in progress? (When I'm free off work, ate least!)

    In terms of good London cinemas, it'll always be the Curzon branches and Prince Charles for me. They're really the best ones around!

    1. Oooh, I would like to come back right away :).
      No, I guess I'll come back when I'm 18 - next March - so I'm free to do whatever I want. So, yeah, I'd love to meet you then some time.

      We read about the Prince Charles, but it didn't show the movies we wanted to see, sadly. I'll have to go there next time.

    2. There are definite positive sides, even though most of them seep into negativity for me - but that's what you get when you live in a city for all of your life!

      And yes, definitely do go to Prince Charles, it's a lovely little cinema and their deals are really good. My friend bought me a year membership which knocked off SO much on ticket prices when I had it last year, but even then, you can see films for like £6 and massive double bills full of 5/6 films for like £20, which is extremely cheap by London standards...

      At the Empire cinema in Leicester Square I paid £10 to see Scott Pilgrim, more so than seeing stuff at the London film festival there, which I thought was pretty insane.

    3. Well, I think I understand that. But living in a small town, I just really would like to live in a city.
      I guess the Empire is quite expensive, haha, but nevertheless I liked it.

      The good thing about living in a small town: Although our big cinema is expensive, we have a repertory where you can see films for 3-4 Euro.

  4. Your blog is turning into a real treasure trove! I really liked Liberal rts, especially Elizabeth Olsen. I hadn't paid any attention and didn't realise that Radnor directed it. I preferred his character in this to happythankyoumoreplease but would still like to see less Ted Mosby in his characters.

    Wallflower was brilliant. The first movie I've ever seen of Emma Watson, and she was superb. I also liked my compatriot's performance as aunt Helen and kudos to the writers for making her what they did. It's nice to see that particular reality acknowledged on screen.

    1. Thanks a lot, Stuart, I appreciate the fact that you're One of the few people that actually read my older posts. Blogging is a lot like journalism I guess - what you write kind of "vanishes" although of course it's never completely gone.
      It would be interesting to see Radnor do something completely new for him some time, so I hope he'll try that. Like you, I also loved Olsen in the film, I hope to see more of her. Also, I know it's not your kind of thing, but you should try watching harry potter some day :)


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