Thursday, November 18, 2010

Some Updates on Films, Books...

Over the last 2 months I had been very busy with my job at the Brisbane International Film Festival. The new life here sort of changes my writing habit, or in fact all of my habits. I actually become very domestic, lazy and laid-back.

Some brief notes on the films I saw recently:

Somewhere. D: Sophia Coppola

I never liked her. Quite disgusted with Lost in Translation with her superficial and condescending attitude. I don't mind her as a filmmaker and indeed the films were well made, but isn't she a bit overrated?

To say that I did not enjoy Somewhere would be a lie. It is well made, a couple of nice moments even. Liked the zoom-out when father and daughter were lying together at the poolside - she is good at such kind of shots that depicts a decadent emptiness, another one I remember very well is the sunrise shot in Marie Antoinette. But isn't sophia's vision a bit too narrow? I wonder if she is able to look at human condition in a perspective that is beyond her bourgeois/materialistic mentality. Again I don't mind it as a film, but Golden Lion, are you kidding me? A famous actor's empty life, oh well, when we have, say, La Dolce Vita, do we need Somewhere?

Certified Copy. D: Abbas Kiarostami

Speaking of need. Here's a film we need.

Starts with a discussion on replicas (and authenticity, and originality, and creativity) and the man being cynical about the idea ends up replicating somebody's else life, and that's when he start thinking about it all over again...A Kiatostami version In the Mood for Love?

There are films that challenge us, surprise us, entice us, but this is a film that we need. It unravels the soul, intoxicates it, and then consoles it, at last perplexes it. A very to-the-point - ok if also cliched discussion of male/female dialects/sensibility, and then, also a look into life's bitter-sweetness. Oh you laugh, and feel sorrowful deep down. So true to life. The intellectual conversations are also reminiscent of the good old days Eric Rohmer. I am most satisfied when I walked out from the cinema.

Enter the Void. D: Gaspar Noe

Came out from the cinema feeling totally fucked up and depressed. But there certainly is a cathartic (and I daresay, calming) effect. You so have to watch it in a cinema, and to sink into it. A very good cinematic experience.

Welcome to the Rileys. D: Jake Scott

I am not ashamed to admit that I watched it for Kristen Stewart's sake. But also for Tony Soprano. I know it's cliche, but those who follow this blog would know this is the kind of film I will go to. James Gandolfini cute and sexy, KStewart laid-back as usual, funny combination.

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Apart from the movies, I am reading Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar. This all started with the conversation between me and Tim's friend who is a charming lecturer teaching Shakespeare and Creative Writing. At one point he was quoting an imagery Sylvia used in the book and I went to get it right away. Sylvia wrote this only novel a couple of months before she committed suicide in 1963. The novel, however, is a good laugh with a dark and odd sense of humour. Poor and lovely Sylvia.