Disclosure #1: I watched The Artist for the first time in the middle of a 14-hour trans-Pacific flight. I didn’t even have an aisle seat. Not the best conditions for enjoying quality film, but do not be mistaken–The Artist is certainly a quality film.
Of course, the Oscars have come and gone, and The Artist won basically everything. Naturally, the usual backlash against the film occurred before the ceremonies were even over.
Disclosure #2: I wasn’t rooting for The Artist. My personal favorites were Midnight in Paris and Tree of Life, but the French tribute to silent film was a shoo-in. Now having seen the film (finally!), it’s clear to me why it won. Not that I have anything against horses or baseball.
Much has been said about the sound–or lack thereof–in The Artist. As a silent film about silent film, the choice of background music and sound effects shines through each chiaroscuro scene.
Posted in film, foreign, review
Tagged Academy Awards, Bérénice Bejo, entertainment, film, film reviews, French film, Jean Dujardin, Michel Hazanavicius, movie reviews, movies, reviews, silent film, The Artist, Uggie
Mark Twain was one of the first authors I ever claimed as my favorite. I fell in love with his humor by reading a collection of short stories left over from my mother’s college days. As I grew older, I read the requisite famous Twain works. I pored over The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn like every good English major should.
For some reason, I had never before read A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court until this year. I must have been under the mistaken assumption that the novel would deal with courtly matters in medieval England, not my favorite genre.
In fact, the novel is set primarily in medieval England, but the story is told through the eyes of a time-traveler from Twain’s present. Hence, the title.
Posted in classics, literature, review
Tagged a connecticut yankee in king arthur's court, book reviews, books, classic books, classic literature, king arthur, lancelot, literature, mark twain, medieval england, medieval times, samuel clemens, time travel
Do not watch this movie. Watch The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie instead.
Both films critique bourgeoisie excess and the decline of French (and to some extent, Western) civilization. The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie manages to do all of the above while keeping the tone light and stimulating, while La Grande Bouffe (The Great Feast) takes forever and a day to set up the story, makes an obvious argument, and then beats a dead horse for another hour and a half of repetitive orgiastic nonsense. Continue reading
Posted in classics, film, foreign, review
Tagged Blow-Out, classic film, film, French film, italian film, La grande abbuffata, La Grande bouffe, Marcello Mastroianni, Marco Ferreri, Michel Piccoli, movies, Philippe Noiret, reviews, The Grande Bouffe, Ugo Tognazzi
Ah, love. There’s nothing else the French are more known for, especially in cinema. De Vrais Mensoges (Beautiful Lies for North America) is a cute romantic comedy, starring Audrey Tautou and Sami Bouajila.
The movie itself isn’t particularly clever or insightful, but romantic comedies don’t need to be. Tatou plays Émilie, a streetwise salon owner, who receives a note from a secret admirer. Unbeknownst to Émilie, that admirer is none other than the salon’s janitor, Jean (Bouajila), who also has a few surprises up his sleeve. Continue reading
Posted in film, foreign, review
Tagged audrey tautou, beautiful lies, COLCOA, de vrais mensoges, entertainment, film, french cinema, French film, movie reviews, movies, nathalie baye, pierre salvadori, reviews, romantic comedies, sami bouajila
First of all, the meaning of the episode’s title doesn’t become clear until far into the ep, when we get a gratuitously offensive scene that doesn’t spin the title in any humorously unexpected manner. Hugely unnecessary. I hate when TV courts controversy for the sake of controversy.
Also unecessary: Andy’s romance. Andy’s antics are often comic relief, but, in the past, his storylines have at least somewhat intersected with the main narrative (Nancy). Instead, in this episode, Andy (Justin Kirk) continues his fling with Maxeen (Lindsay Sloane), the artist from last ep., only to find himself in a polyamorous pickle. No connection whatsoever to the rest of the characters. Continue reading
Posted in review, TV
Tagged Alexander Gould, entertainment, eric jewett, hunter parrish, justin kirk, kevin nealon, lindsay sloane, martin short, Mary-Louise Parker, reviews, television, tv, weeds
Weeds has always been great at the cliffhanger ending. The wonderfully shocking closing scene of this season’s opener, for example. Last episode‘s closing scene was less shocking, but still provided a compelling problem for Nancy to overcome.
“Game-Played” opens with the resolution for last episode’s cliffhanger. Nancy (Mary-Louise Parker) did test positive for marijuana, after she–uncharacteristically– smoked with her former cellmate’s brother. Since sending Nancy back to jail would make Weeds fairly boring, sitcom law allows Nancy a second chance.
Oh also, Andy (Justin Kirk) is the saddest character ever. More on that later. Continue reading
Posted in review, TV
Tagged Alexander Gould, entertainment, hunter parrish, justin kirk, kevin nealon, Mary-Louise Parker, Pablo Schreiber, reviews, television, tv, weeds
Do the Right Thing is the film that made Spike Lee. The movie is intelligent, poignant, and powerful, and deals with a topic that is painfully relevant in modern day America.
It’s easy to make a generic movie about race relations. Throw in a few slackjawed racists, and some do-gooders, and in the end, everyone gets along and sings Kumbayah. This is not the case with Do The Right Thing.
Posted in contemporary, film, review
Tagged bill nunn, danny aiello, do the right thing, entertainment, film, giancarlo esposito, malcolm x, martin luther king jr., movies, ossie davis, race, racism, reviews, samuel l. jackson, spike lee