RSS

Author Archives: enaescanan

Paris Je T’aime (071289)

Paris Je t’aime is composed of 18 unrelated short clips by about love in Paris. A different director directs each clip. The variety in the 18 clips makes this an interesting film. Some are dramatic and some go for comedy. I don’t remember all of them but there are a couple of unforgettable ones. One is is called “Quartier de la Madeleine” and it is about a tourist backpacker (played by Elijah Wood) who meets a vampire in a bridge. The clip was interesting and different but I didn’t like it because it was too weird.  Clips with familiar faces were memorable too like the ones with Maggie Gyllenhaal and Natalie Portman. Another was is the film with Catalina Sandino Moreno as an immigrant mother in Paris. Her character would leave her child in a daycare whilst she served as a nanny to a Paris couple. The irony was really striking and it really hit home. How sad was it to be able to take care of someone elses child but not your own, to hold an infant but be so far from yours? This would be torture, thinking of all the things you could not do for your child because you had to be able to supply for him or her. This movie showed both sacrifice and hope, which is why I think among all the films in Paris J’taime, this was the one I really remembered. The other striking film which seemed campy but stayed true to the theme of love was the film by Gus Van Sant. He showed two boys who did not understand each other, working together. One was French, the other American. There were looks and nothing more, until finally the call of curiosity made them talk to each other. It was touching to see two young men be able to communicate and relate, love-wise in such a non-conventional way.

What I liked about this movie is that, even though there is a time restriction, you could still understand and grasp each story. They don’t show the complete story but somehow you put the missing pieces in your head. The same thing goes for character development. Obviously you cant mold a complex character in 8 minutes. The characters in the 18 clips were stereotypes and didn’t need background cause you already have it in your head.

I like its American counterpart New York, I Love You better than this. I felt more love from that movie. This is ironic because Paris is the city of love so it should have love oozing from the cracks of its sidewalks. I think the love shown in New York, I Love You is more modern so I identify with it more. But I still like Paris Je T’aime because of its simplicity and variety in depicting love between different kinds of people living in our city.

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on 25 May 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: ,

V for Vendetta (071289)

The movie V for Vendetta is about a mystery revolutionary man called V. It is set in a dystopian alternative London. The character V is a freedom fighter that saves and in a way brainwashes Evey (Natalie Portman again!). The world of V is one where homosexuals are abducted from their homes by the government for being homosexual, where people are killed for speaking their minds, where others are taken as long as they are not missed. V is one such person. His name V comes from the roman number V found on his door. A survivor of the biological experiments of the governments, he wears a mask that has become the icon his revolution.

The movie brings to life the thoughts of Allan Moore, the writer of the graphic novel V for Vendetta, which the move was based on. The fear of totalitarian military regime is brought to light, as V creates chaos among a world totally controlled by the government. What makes this movie powerful are the images of what the government really does to good people, in order to control and subject them to their ideals. Steve Fry who plays the boss of Natalie Portman is brutally murdered because he is a practicing homosexual who admires art. The lesbians that Evey reads about when she is imprisoned by V show the dregs of mankind, and how low humanity can truly fall. The chiaroscuro effect of the mise-en-scene within the London scenes contrast the brightness of that one scene which shows the happiness of the two lesbians. This sharp difference in color shows the director’s intention of contrasting a happier London with the present one.

What makes this film interesting is that it is a film based on a graphic novel of the same by by Allan Moore. The dark images and ideals are given life by Portman and Weaving. It is given an alternative ending though, with Portman’s character falling in love with V. This change may make one who does not know the comic enjoy the film, by giving it a Hollywood ending. It also gives those who have read the graphic novel a twist, which some may or may not take into kind. The images found within the film give are a watered down version of the even more graphic images found in Moore’s comic. It can serve as an alternative for others who may not be able to take the violence and gore within the novel.

Overall the movie was a cinematic representation of a dystopian society. It is an interesting take on alternative futures society may have, while showing the resilience of the human spirit.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on 25 May 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: ,

Hotel Chevalier & Darjeeling Limited (071289)

I didnt get to watch this in class so I downloaded it and watched it at home in the same way, Hotel Chevalier first then The Darjeeling Limited.

The movie Darjeeling Limited by Wes Anderson is about three brothers on a quest to see their mother. The three brothers Francis (Owen Wilson), Peter (Adrien Brody), Jack (Jason Schwartzman) ride the Darjeeling Limited and partake on a somewhat spiritual journey, spearheaded by Francis. The three have not met since their father’s untimely death, and Francis, after a near-death experience, decided to reunite his family so that they can be united once more.

The movie has Wes Anderson’s auteurship written all over it. The bright colors of the scene are reminiscent of his other movie Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou. This is seen in contrast with the melancholic theme of the movie: family and the three brother’s searching for something spiritual, something that will explain their father’s death and help them make sense of their mediocre life.The colors are very bright blues and yellows or Indian in a sense. The colors make you feel like you really are in India.  The music he uses is apt for the scenes. Even if it doesn’t seem to match the images on screen, the lyrics reveal something about the character. For example, when Peter runs towards the car during the opening sequence of the movie, the song that plays reveals something about the journey he is about to take. The lyrics go: “This time tomorrow, I will be on a spaceship, sailing across an empty sea, This time tomorrow, where will we go?” This frames the journey of the brothers and their uncertainty about their life, another common theme that Wes Anderson tackles in his movies. Similarly, the theme of family and father-son relations is seen in the play. The father is absent throughout the movie but his presence is seen through the quiet desperation of the boys to meet each other. Another interesting thing about Darjeeling Limited is the mini-movie it comes with: Hotel Chevalier. This movie has only one of the brothers: Jack. He along with his girlfriend (Natalie Portman) meet in Hotel Chevalier to talk, and end up making love. This scene reveals much about the character of Jack, and the brothers in general. All are confused rich boys. The fact that Jack could live in Hotel Chavalier for so long show how well-off his family is. His confusion regarding whether he should take his girlfriend back show how indecisive he is. The movie Darjeeling Limited is seen as pleasureable because of the folksy music it uses in its background, the colors that are used, the fluid cinematography used to portray the plight of the three brothers and the touching theme of family and brotherhood used. If one is not used to Anderson’s directing style, however, one may not be as open to his unconvetional and somewhat slow pacing of the movie. Many of the events are seen as slow because the director highlights the dialogue between the characters instead of the action that takes place. This trait, when taken into consideration, makes one be able to appreciate Darjeeling Limited and Anderson as a director.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on 25 May 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , ,

Blow-Up (071289)

If someone asks me what’s the worst movie I have ever watched, this movie comes to my mind.

I never had a worst movie (you can check my icheckmovies.com account). I honestly don’t want to have one. I always try to find something to like about a movie whether it’s the way an actor’s hair looks, how a single frame was shot or even the intro or credits design. Almost everyday since we watched Blow-Up in class I’ve been trying to remember the movie in detail and find at least one thing to like about it. (I guess this is the reason why it took me so long to write this blog entry.)

I give up. I hate this movie. For 6 weeks I’ve been trying to like this movie but it’s just not happening. Finally had the courage to say it. Moving on now.

Blow-up was a hard film to watch. It doesn’t stick to the point and has a lot of distractions and unnecessary scenes. WHAT IS UP WITH THAT PROPELLER. The pacing of the movie is so weird and it seems to give emphasis to the most unusual and unimportant parts. If the minimal dialogue and lack of music was to be compensated visually, yeah… well… okay fine.

Similar to La Jetee, Blow-Up shows the wonders of black and white photography and similar to Spider it presents the vagueness of reality and what is and what isn’t really there. This movie shows how we tend to blow-up and overanalyze things. I still don’t know if the murder in the movie really happened but I’ve been forcing myself to believe that it did because if it didn’t, the movie won’t have a point and it wouldn’t make sense. I also tried to find some personal attachment to the movie but it was a hard film to watch with it’s uncanny scenes and weird pacing which makes me somehow think that it doesn’t want the viewers to get attached to it.

The only thing I could relate to is the main character and his life as a photographer. Photographers like to create their own realities with their photographs. I find this ironic because photographers are the people that could accurately record reality. But instead they use their art to escape reality. In the scene where the main character of Blow-up literally blows up his images and overanalyzes them, I couldn’t help but feel sad for the main character because in that scene I realized that his life is so boring that he’s forcing himself to see the dead man and the shooter in the photographs just so he could have something interesting in his life. That is also the reason why I’ve been forcing myself also to believe in the murder in the movie as sympathy for the main character.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on 25 May 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: ,

Punch-Drunk Love (071289)

This was my first time watching Punch-Drunk Love and I didn’t like this movie. I agree with a comment on rottentomatoes.com about this movie “Anderson seems more concerned about pushing the limits of weirdness than actual storytelling.” I think there were a lot of unnecessary and unimportant things and scenes in the movie like the piano/harmonium, the phone sex hotline girl and this thing with the pudding. Maybe these things meant something but for me they didn’t. The phone sex hotline girl might be important here to highlight Adam Barry’s loneliness but it should have ended with the call. This is supposed to be a romantic movie but the love story only happens in like what the last 40mins? They meet, fall in love, something happens and they break up and then they get back together.

It does have the elements of a typical romantic movie complete with all the cheesy lines but it didn’t seem to focus on them throughout the movie. They build this tension from the start then pours it back to you at the end. I really didn’t understand the movie as a whole. I’m glad they got their happy ending though.

Adam Sandler’s acting wasn’t something commendable. His acting here reminded me of him in 50 First Dates and Anger Management.

About the thing with the lens flares, I totally didn’t get that. Turns out it is used during scenes that show the love between Barry and Lena. I don’t know if people really noticed it or just read it online. The lens flares looked so artificially I thought it was just a camera mistake.

I was expecting a warm lovely feeling from this movie. 😦

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on 25 May 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: ,

La Jetee (071289)

La Jetee is a beautiful film. La Jetee is a photo-roman about a post-nuclear war experiment in time travel. It is a movie about remembering– the main character recalling his past and the whole movie seemingly told from memory by the narrator. It is told in black and white photographs accompanied by voice-over narration and some music and sound effects. Having a somewhat complex story told in a simple manner makes this movie unforgettable. Also contributing to this is the setting of the film- Paris in the wake of a third world war.

I love the use of photographs because I think it captures how we really remember memories- in stills. It makes the memories more real, like they actually happened with no doubts. If the movie was in normal motion, the scenes in which the main character is under the experiment and recalling memories will probably look more like dreams and the movie wouldn’t have the same strong impact. Adding cinematic flair and style would also be damaging to this film.

Unusually, I didn’t pay much attention to the photographs shown in the movie. Being a Fine Arts major, a designer and a photographer, I should probably be writing about the cinematography like the composition of the photographs and how they played with the lighting to show the relationship between good and evil (because they seem to always be about good and evil). But the only thing I noticed about the photographs was that they were predominantly black and nothing more. For some reason I was more focused on the feeling of the movie than what is being shown to the point that I actually closed my eyes in some scenes to fully be captivated by the experience of remembering. I might actually watch this movie again but with my eyes closed.

I didn’t like the part when the main character traveled into a different space and meets these weird group of people. Yes this movie is a futuristic science fiction film but this part was too corny for me. It didn’t contribute to the story too. I’m trying to delete it from my mind.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on 25 May 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: ,

I like Primer (071289)

I think I’m the only one in class who liked the movie Primer. I even downloaded this movie so I could watch it again. Every time Sir Andrew asks who liked Primer, I’m afraid to raise my hand in fear of being judged and possibly threatened outside of class.

Okay here we go. Don’t shoot me.

Yes, the movie was hard to understand and to comprehend. It feels like the movie is not meant to be watched by the general public. I agree to that. But I understood the movie. I admit that I did not understand the whole thing but only the basic stuff which was enough for the movie to make sense and for me to like it. Honestly, I didn’t know that they were building a time-traveling machine (or that the movie is about time-traveling. Watching La Jetee before it didn’t give it away. How was I suppose to know that it was time-traveling themed movies day?) until I heard one of the characters say ‘double’. But I knew they were doing something revolutionary or ahead of their time. At first I thought they were making free energy. It reminded me of an episode of Dexter’s Laboratory when he was also creating a complex machine in his garage. You can say I’m interested with science stuff. I didn’t understand the whole timetable of their time traveling at first. I had to search it online and read the story a couple of times. But somehow it doesn’t really matter or you don’t have to understand what’s happening every minute but what I think is important is their intention/goal for their time traveling.

The cast and acting were great. I was actually distracted during the whole movie because David Sullivan (Abe) looks A LOT like Chad Faust who was in a recent House episode. I had to open my laptop and play that House episode so I could compare their faces. But even being distracted, I still understood the movie. I think it made me like it even more even if they were not the same person.

Cinematography was excellent and the film didnt look low-budget at all. Shots and compositions were artsy enough. I appreciated the camera movements and angles of framing. Focus is on the right point of shallowness and it had a couple of close-ups here and there. Lighting varied a lot per scene but it was all suitable.

The intro shot and the end credits design is pretty interesting. Being a graphic designer, I pay attention to these things. It didn’t look like the typical center-aligned white text over a black background but it was more stylized. This movie was made in 2004 but the font choice and typography is so late 2010s. I think it adds to the futuristic feel of the movie. Props to the graphic designer 😉 (not that anyone really watches this part. So I guess you can really see how much I liked this movie. To the point that I watched till the very end. )

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on 25 May 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: ,