2017/04/28

End of addendum: Rear Window (April, 27)

Here we are, folks!

The day I was waiting for since the moment I fell from the stairs and saw my knee separating in two halves has arrived! Sure, I was expecting it would come a few weeks early. And that's the beauty of lack of expectations: I thought I had some more weeks on the wheel's chair, but the doctor quietly looked at me and asked me why I was still seated there. "Let's get up and walk". He gave me his hands, I got up and gave my clumsy first steps after almost 70 days.

I was looking like a drunk duck. Wonderful!



In a mix of amazement and fear, I got back home, and a thought came to mind: That's it, the addendum to OMAD is over. For nothing in the world I would end it in a low tone as Arctic Love though. This way, I decided to follow my friend's Audrey suggestion and watch Rear Window, a movie that I simply love.

I've seen it many times, always amazed by how written and scened it is. The set is great, in all the Hitchock's care with details while creating life - and how great it is here. Each character, in its small flat, is a part of living we recognize. The pace looks so easy here, but it is the work of a genius. We are voyeurs, Hitchock's telling us. It doesn't matter if we look through the window of an apartment or through the lens of a camera. We are Jefferies, only on the other side of the screen. 

The cast is one of my favorites. James Stewart I love always. Grace Kelly is so stunning here, and witty - her Lisa is a wonder. Thelma Ritter as Stella is such a strong presence. The trio is a perfect fit. It is hard to remember they're actors, and that what we're seeing on screen is a carefully constructed performance. Again, what seems so easy comes from hard and well planned work. It is difficult to remember we're not inside that appartment with those three amazing and mad people.

I specially love the dynamics between Lisa and Stella (Kelly and Ritter) - I told Audrey that we both would be like these two amazingly crazy ladies, running after clues to prove a murder in which, at first, neither of them believed. We're are that crazy, only we usually find ourselves running after stuff to create great parties, not clues to a murder :)



There's so much about this movie. The trivia on imdb.com is full of gossip (:) and movie essons.

I'll excuse myself here to be a bit rude. One thought that came to me during the whole film was: how Jefferies goes to the bathroom? His flat is smaller than mine, the cast on his leg goes to his waist... wait (I'll be even vulgar, sorry), where goes his junk? How he pees or... well. It really bothered me. Practical issues get more real during times of restricted movements.

I'm gratefully to Audrey for suggesting this movie to me (and for my new blue All Star!).. I hadn't see it for a long time, and it was special seeing it on this day, while ending this time without walking. I'm still trying, it is not so easy, a bit scary actually. I'm thunderously happy, though. And relieved. And amazed by how tall I am. Everytime I'm on my feet, the world seems very different. 

My gratitude goes to the opportunity of taking more time with OMAD. I'll talk more about it in a next post, to end this period with more detailed thoughts (as I've done before). However, I must say here that I just love this blog. I'm trying to establish a new dare, but I'm having a hard time detaching myself from this one. This way, I don't want to repeat the circumstances, but I'm in a way not only grateful, but happy to spending more time here. 

Thank you, dear darlings <3

Rear Window. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Cast: James Stewart, Grace Kelly,
Thelma Ritter. Writers: John Michael Hayes, based on the short story by Cornell
Woolrish. USA, 1954, Mono (Western Electric Recording), Color, 112 min. (Netflix).


PS: Have you seen Pride & Prejudice? There's a comment by Joe Wright on the DVD extras about a mirror scene. It is a beautiful analysis on the role of the lens of a camera and the eyes of viewers. 

Les Secrets des Banquises (April, 26)

The first thought on my mind at the end of Arctic Heart (Les Secrets des Banquises) was: what a trash. I couldn't believe in such a cheesy nonsense. I turned off the TV, went to bed, and was then surrounded by many other thoughts.

French comedy is a really risky business. It is not for everyone, and not all of them are truly funny. Those who are successful on their endeavor, are memorable. The ones that attempt to fit the current American comedies, are weird and confusing, as this film.

I have many ideas about the possible "messages" here (note: really good movies transcend the notion of an specific message, because they are so much bigger than that, similar to life). The shared love for science that unites a secluded scientist and a grad student intern. The idea of many academic geniuses that science is something apart from life, therefore they must isolate themselves in their researches and labs (this notion seems extreme, but she is an ordinary scenery, even if less of a caricature than Professeur Quignard). The perception that those people only are themselves when literally submerged in their subjects... I'm sure there's an ulterior message here connected to the penguins, I wasn't able to get it. Well, I think not one of that would be enough to justify such an weird endeavor. And I wanted so badly to like this movie.

I love Antarctica, it is a dream destination for me (Iceland too... there's a fascination for the opposite icy pole here). And I love Guillaume Cannet since Last Night. In this movie, he has an odd similarity to McDreamy, I kept mixing both - I was really sleepy. That was, btw, the reason I reached this movie (it was easy, short, looked a light entertainment), and it was not a happy choice. Even if I don't hate it, cheesy endings and all. 

I should have payed more attention to the one star on the Netflix ratings.

Les Secrets des Banquises. Directed and written by Marie Madinier. Cast: Charlotte
Le Bon, Guillaume Cannet, Anne Le Ny. France/Belgium, 2016, Color, 81 min. (Netflix).


2017/04/26

Committed (April, 25)

"I've read somewhere, the reason most relationships break down is that each partner is waiting for the other to fix it. But if you want somebody to stand by you always, you have to be willing to do the same for them, even when they're acting like an idiot."

Awlfull poster... And it is a Weisntein production!
That's the idea of commitment for Joline, an endearing young woman that dedicates herself beautifully to everything she does and loves. Including her idiot of a husband, a guy that is to comfortable to throw on her all the blame of his mediocre mind and soul. It is such an ordinary trait in relationships, we risk not even be aware of it anymore. Joline knows what she has on her hands, but prefer to pretend she doesn't (another ordinary action on a relationship),  and so she moves earth and sky to fulfill what she considers as her responsibility in Committed (2010).

I just love this movie. I saw it for the first time on TV in the early '2000s, and could connect to it immediately. Now that my heart and mind are far from that troubled days of trying to achieve the impossible regarding someone else, this movie still makes sense, from a more distant point of view. I love those characters, all of them really committed to life in different ways. It is not by chance they met each other, in the universe's odd and amazing ways of putting the right people together in fundamental times of life. They're crazy,  weird, too much sometimes, lovely, attentive as only committed people are able to be.

"You never know how your fate is gonna come back to you. It could be something completely ridiculous, maybe that's the whole point. So stop asking whether deserves your fate or not, and do it for its own sake. I mean, who it's really for anyway, them or you?"

I realized on this film how commitment has many different meanings in English. One of its meanings lead to the other, when the we take the bond too seriously, going beyond all reason. That's an important point in Committed. Those characters seem so nonsense, specially Joline, but she is admirable actually. Her heart is bigger than the whole world, but she is no fool. She tries to do what she thinks is right, taking big leaps of faith that sometimes throws her on the rock bottom. Other times her faith is rewarded in small or big doses. She is convinced then about her way of taking life. I can connect with that for sure. 

"How do you know when you've gone to far? There could be some very solid clues, but you could be too busy digging safety cradles on the dirt, and those clues passed you right by."
The cast here is peculiar. Heather Graham has an odd career, and I love many of her underrated movies, as Hope Springs and Committed. Luke Wilson, Casey Affleck are so young, specially the last one (almost a kid). Goran Visnijic I love in this movie, he's is incredibly weird (Where has he been, by the way?). Patricia Velasquez I hadn't met before, and she is so natural and endearing as Carmen. But the real surprise here is Mark Ruffalo in a mad role - I wasn't a fan at the time I saw this movie at first, and being one now I was amazed when I saw him so young in such a bizarre role. 

I was happy for reaching this movie again, something I was planning to do for a time now. I'll probably repeat the dose in a near future, after seeing how, despite its different meaning for me nowadays, this movie still makes a lot of sense, reminding me of the things I'm able to compromise and those of which I don't give up, for their role in defining who I am. 

"I'm still a committed person, I found that I have an act for it. Some people just do, and if they didn't take things to certain extremes, how would they ever know for sure? How they would ever know what they're made of? Where they stand?  How they know where anybody else stands? It'd be a history."

Committed. Directed and written by Lisa Krueger. Cast: Heather Graham, Luke
Wilson, Goran Visnjic. USA, Dolby Digital, Color, 98 min.


PS: My persistence with the many quotes from Committed in this post is a way to follow Joline's journey through her own beliefs: since the first, when she's still pretending her idiotic husband has some value, until the last, when she becomes aware of herself for her own sake (the journey of a whole life).  In here, it is kind of random... I assure you it made more sense in the context of this lovely story.

2017/04/25

Nuestros Amantes (April, 24)

It was 9 pm, time for the day's movie. After comfortably settling myself on the sofa, with my legs on resting on the wheels' chair, a bag of pepper chips on my lap, I realized the jumble I've made. First, I had a hot chili snack and no soda. Second, the external HD with all my movies was on the table in the kitchen. Ok, it is a small flat, but for nothing in the world, no even soda, I would get up at that exact moment. I didn't envision myself looking for a film in the lousy cable TV, so my solely alternative was Netflix.

I put on the first movie on the streaming service, Our Lovers (Nuestros Amantes). The summary was promising: a couple meet at a coffee shop-library... There was no need to know more. Coffee shops in bookstores are one of my favorite places in the world (and so are cinemas and rock gigs and my home). Two people start a friendship and fall in love without knowing anything about each other. Well, or something like that. 

The plot here is great, actually. The execution was the problem. With a screenplay too rational, it was difficult to fall in love with this love story. Probably counting with the support of the City of Aragón, Spain, there's too many touristy scenes - the place is stunning, for sure, but if someone as airy as I am was aware of the excessive scenery-scenes, you can be assured that was really too much. By the way, excessive is a good word to describe this movie, specially regarding all the talk about love in what intends to be insightful, but remains just in the surface of intellectual exaggeration.

Everything here also intends to be so cute, but it is a shallow sort of cuteness. The characters are messy, and it is wonderful, however they're so rational, intellectual, even when talking about their most painful feelings. It is the screen writers fault (sorry, folks), I think. Too much theory, not life enough. A script must breath life to make sense. Otherwise, it happens what I saw on the screen on this day: a great potential wasted by so many good intentions and points of view to be stated (and proved).

It is not all bad. The plot twist was surprising actually. The main couple is nice, we root for them. They're honest in their feelings, even if it is delivered in an overly rational wording. The coffee in the bookstore is beautiful, and the cognac scene is fun. The rest was a bit over the top, as I've said. A 91 min flick that took the length of an epic war movie. Or maybe I was too sleepy for my own good. OK, no, there's no such a thing. Other movies had already took me out of my numbness by being truly cute and endearing. The fault here is not in my star, I must say :)



Nuestros Amantes. Directed and written by Miguel Àngel
Lamata. Cast: Eduardo Noriega (who looks so much as
a friend of mine), Michelle Jennes (who looks so much
as a friend of mine also called Michelle - seriously, a movie
full of familiar faces), Fele Martínez. Spain, Dolby Digital,
Color, 88 min. (Netflix).


PS: My masterpiece of a friend, Pan, came to see me after work, as she has been doing since I fell from the stairs, to see if I was all right. She had to study Spanish for her class, and at the end we said goodbye in a goofy Spanish accent. I had no idea I would see a movie from Spain, and the result was that I wouldn't stop laughing at some words. That also shows how much the movie wasn't able to catch me for real. 

2017/04/24

The Station Agent (April, 23)

The Station Agent arouses that kind of giddy love that only such lovely movies can achieve.  It was love at first sight, with pink hearts floating around me. I was so happy, so enchanted... what a marvelous trip.

Oh, look at all the lonely people. How amazing we are. 

The characters here are such a gem, alluring, weird, lost, captivating. The smile on my face kept on going strongly the whole time, so amazed by how effortless Peter Dinklage, Patricia Clarkson, Bobby Cannavale (Joe is a wonder by himself) and the little Raven Goodwin make it looks. They're exquisite in their weirdness and solitude, you'll want to be part of their troupe. Michelle Williams makes a small cameo here, as another lost soul finding her kindred spirits. I was raising my hand, expectantly trying to ask if I could be walk with them.

Peter Dinklage I noticed for the first time in Death at a Funeral, the most hysterically funny movie I've ever seen in the theater (and I've seen many, as Welcome back, Mr McDonalds). I don't care much for GoT (sorry), but as a whole I find him very attractive, really interesting. In here, he is really alluring, a lonely soul with whom I usually connect easily. His expressions say so much, it is a treat. 

Again, I was astounded by how somethings have evolved. The reactions of a small (and big) town to a dwarf was so dreadful, I couldn't believe. It is not by chance Fin prefers to be absolutely alone. Until he finds amazingly crazy people with big scars that insist in running over him with their car or giving him free cafe con leche (not lattes, be aware). 

My soul is still smiling, full of floating little hearts. 


The Station Agent. Directed and written by TomMacCarthy. Cast: Peter Dinklage,
Patricia Clarkson, Bobby Cannavale. USA, 2003, Dolby Digital, Color, 93 min.

PS: I can hardly wait to see this movie again, it is so lovely. Actually, I've been observing that a movie directed and written by the same person has from the start great potentials. 

2017/04/23

Take Shelter (April, 22)

Take Shelter is an astonishing movie, of those that could only be a product of a small production. Indies movies have a way of getting closer to some aspects of life in a very special way. From the mind of Jeff Nichols, the same from the surprising Midnight Special, Take Shelter presents an important view of daily life through the extraordinary.

I was trying to figure out a way to write about it without giving out too much, because doubt is an essential feature here. We navigate through many theories, notions, without knowing exactly our location. 

Some days ago, a close friend told me how a guy, in her neighborhood, looked at her carrying her old dog (the most beautiful creature in the whole world, the lovely Leka) and said: "What a waste, someone treating an animal as a kid". She is a very no-nonsense person, and immediately inquired if he was talking about her. Because, she said, my dog is old, sick, and is not able to walk in some places, as this one. The thing is, even if she'd treated her pet as a kid, it was her problem.He was being so overbearing in his judgment, it is something we see frequently. What it had to do with him anyway? 

The impressive Michal Shannon
Why are you not married? (I've heard that a lot on the after falling down the stairs, because I'd have asked my husband help for changing a bulb). Why do you like to sleep so early? (Not for me, for sure). Why this, why that... So many questions about stuff that matters to one actually. And they fall from people's mouth like a stream coming from nowhere. Judgment comes also from the lack of a careful look to the other. We usually seek conclusion before observation. I've read once a Jungian rendering of Eros and Psyche myth in which the author said that Psyche put a light on the face of Aphrodite's son in order to know who he really was. At the same time she had a knife on her back, however she used the light first. Acording to the writer, she used knowledge before force. It is so beautiful, a lesson we should carry close to the heart every second of our lives. We have our opinion, of course, but judgment is a very different thing, a perverse way of treating others (and, sometimes, even ourselves). 

Take Shelter addresses this kind of careless way of living in a small community. However, being a non simplistic filmmaker, Nichols give us the wonderful other side, which is the extreme care and attentive love in a relationship that could be full of cliches. It is stunning, so amazing. Such a strong character, I was never expecting it. To show how much I know...

The ending is big, I'll just tell you that. What is this movie? A slap on the face of easy conclusion. I loved it, and for sure I'll reach other Nichol's features and his much needed careful look to our surroundings while dealing to what seems from another world. 

Take Shelter. Directed and written by Jeff Nichols. Cast: Michael Shannon,
Jessica Chastain, Tova Stewart. USA, 2011,Dolby Digital/SDDS, Color, 121 min.



2017/04/22

Alien - Director's Cut (April, 21)

It was a sure outcome watching Alien on this day. I'd saw it so long time ago, I couldn't resist to reach it again. It is the kind of movie that is already a part of the collective unconscious. It is an icon, even more than just a pop culture reference. Even if you've never seen any of the instalments in this big franchising, you'd know what one's talking about when referring to Alien's movies. 

The franchising is bigger than I thought. Ridley Scott confirmed that it extends not only to the films with one of the Alien characters (as Alien X Predator - that I liked, to be true -, but also to Blade Runner - a big surprise for me). As a whole, there are 15 chapters, including the upcoming movies, which were responsible in part for my choice on this day. 

Not for nothing Alien is such an icon. Watching it today, I'd realize how many and many productions drank from the Alien movies. And it is so dark, dirty... An ugly  and terrible future (here the connection to Blade Runner makes more sense) A space ship where people drink beer, smoke (the full ashtray at the opening scene call the attention of today's viewers), wears flashy Hawaiian shirts.. It seems so casual, but it is the stronger statement of a futuristic reality in which all the advanced technology that is so clean to us is actually a part of the daily life. Nostromo is a cargo ship, its crew is composed by one scientist (a surprise here), of course, but mainly by workers - space truckers. They're raucous, mercenary, loud... Their main interest is the financial gain. What they don't know is that they're collateral damage on bigger interests. 

This way, the movie is still modern, despite all the idiosyncrasy with our own times (particularly about the technologies on the '70s). I started to see it on the afternoon, but had to stop, continuing when it was already dark. I was a little bummed by seeing it at night, because I thought it was too scary (I was with Life still in my nerves). It is not, though. My main thought during the whole movie was how good it is - idiosyncrasies allow a kind of distance that it is inevitable even if the movie is still catching.

I'm curious now to watch the others on the immediate Alien franchising. If you observe carefully, some of big filmmakers had a significant worldwide break with Alien's movies: Ridley Scott himself, James Cameron, David Fincher, Jean-Pierre Jeunet. I'm also looking forward to see the next movie on the franshising, Alien;Convenant, even after Prometheus

There's no way to talk about Alien and without mentioning Sigourney Weaver. She was so young (as John Hurt, who went to the upstairs level on January, 25), and already an strong iconic (female) character. Sigourney and Ripley deserve their fame, representing the only smart person on that whole imbecile crew (I was talking about this in the Life post). She was and is amazing still, so relevant as Alien itself.


Alien (The Director's Cut).. Directed by Ridley Scott. Cast: Sigourney Weaver,
Jonh Hurt, Harry Dean Stanton. Writers: Dan O'Bannon (Story by Dan O'Bannon,
Ronald  Shusset). UK/USA, 1979, 70 mm 6-Track/Dolby, Color, 116 min. 


PS: I wasn't sure when choosing between the theatrical or the Director's cut of Alien. I went for the last one, and despite some concerns regarding this choice, I'll follow this fashion on the other instalments also.

2017/04/21

Life (April, 20)

In order to understand my state of mind regarding Life, you have to bring out all the swearing you are acquainted to. For real.

&*(%#¨&$#@*

I'm grateful for my lack of ambition in being a movie critic, because I would have blown up all my qualifications just with this post.

However, the goal here is to expose my feelings about the experience with movies in the form of comments, for whom it may concern (I cannot imagine there would be someone beyond my closest friends, but the staggering numbers are maybe proving me wrong - or it is the blogger statistics fault).

Well, the graphic reaction above was my thoughts at the last scene. While the final credits were rolling down, I looked at my niece Mari, who too kindly took me  to the movies once again, and let out a loud: WTF. I doubt there's so many other ways of reacting to this movie.

Mari was all    \,,/(*_*)\,,/

Is it any good? I think so. Too damn good, actually. Despite all the bad comments about it, the movie is spectacularly well executed, being worthy of its references - both the most obvious one and the small others. I'm crazy about Gravity, and was so pleased to see it represented here in many aspects. There's a scene in which I almost told Jake Gyllenhaal: oh, how George Clooney-y of you :)

The biggest reference is clearly omnipresent. We know what is about to happen in that space ship just because of it. We've seen it before, but in a different manner. And it is the way of doing something we already know with competency and brilliant skill the greatest achievement of this Sci-Fi Horror Thriller (to refer to all the genres appointed by imdb.com :). The kind of tension we were submitted to during the whole duration of this film is something just a few productions can achieve. The camera movements create such an atmosphere, when we see, we're catch by what is happening in desbelief - the same we can identify on the characters' face. It is Sci-fi, an alien movie, and everything is so real, so close... I almost had a heart attack, for real.

Direction is brilliant, the characters are solid - they're people. Everybody's human, but no one is stupid, as we see in many movies of this kind. They are a great team doing the best they can, until it is not enough anymore. Performances are equally solid, collaborating to a amazing and never wrecking entertainment.

Mari and I, we're have the same genes of reverie... It is not unusual for us to not pay attention to ordinary details that are staring us just on the face. Let's say, for example, the movie's poster. When we left the theater in astounding amazement, I inquired to her how we did miss that. It was for the best, because we had no idea what that movie was about, and the crescent unexpected horrifying events were a very effective way of being scary. I couldn't ask for a better time on this day.

8.    

Life. Directed by Daniel Espinosa. Cast> Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Fergnson,
Ryan Reynolds. Writers: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick. USA , 2017, Dolby
Surround 7.1/Auro11.1/Dolby Digital/Dolby Atmos/DTS (all the best Sci-fi rely
on a great sound design), Color,, 104 min. (Cinema).

PS: There's a rumour that Life is a prequel for a 2018 movie named Venom.  It makes sense and it is even expected, after that wtf ending.

2017/04/20

The One I Love (April, 19)

What a fun, suspenseful, interesting movie.

Without knowing, I reached the second Charlie McDowell film in a roll with The One I Love. It is his debut in features, another unusual sci-fi partnership with writer Justin Lader. It was also another shot in the dark for me on Netflix, on a day that I wasn't in the mood anything.

This film was a good fit for me since the beginning. It is ironic, the characters are complex without the need of giving out much - the marvels of a good actor directing and acting, of course. Mark Duplass (also the producer with his brother) and Elizabeth Moss are convincing as a couple, and I had controversial feeling towards them. They feel close to us, despite the distance we're looking at them. We know bizarre is coming, but even so what they go through their relationship is the ordinary issues of a couple that is trying to get back their old lovely days of falling in love after a shaking crisis. The thing about the swimming pool is heartbreaking.

How I just love this house...
The mix between ordinary and bizarre is the biggest quality of this movie for me. How close the strangers features of life are. The choice of just a few characters, small environments was another good alternative here. The crescent sense of something very wrong going on adds to the suspense, while we still are having fun with Duplass' struggles. Poor guy, he was right all the time (and the title is a hint of the matter here).

Today, writing about it, I have a smile on my face, always a favorable point. I'm so happy when this kind of movie fall on my lap unexpectedly. The joys of the magic shuffle :)

The One I love. Directed by Charlie McDowell. Cast: Mark Duplass, Elizabeth
Moss, Ted Danson. Writer: Justin Lader. USA, 2014, Dolby Digital, Color, 91 min. (Netllix).



PS: I had a familiar feeling during this movie, and I think it was because Duplass Brothers also produce Your Sister's Sister, a movie that I simply loved on a similar moody day. I becoming a fan, Duplasses.

PPS: Just for the record: it's been exactly 2 months since my epic fall from the stairs...

2017/04/19

The Discovery (April, 18)

I chose The Discovery by chance on Netflix. It looked like a small nice Sci-fi, with an interesting cast and story. It was that and a little bit more.

I've read many angry comments from people that are mad with the movie for different reasons. Some say it doesn't live up to its promising beginning, others question the religious aspects presented in the plot. Despite the rage being predictable, I was bummed by all the bad ratings. I wasn't expecting much  from this movie, and it ended up as a pleasant (even if melancholic) surprise. The film touches some big and small issues in one's life by a suspenseful, delicate, intriguing way. 

I don't agree about Jason Segel bad acting here. He is not an actor that calls my attention, but his subdued manner here is fit to his character. Rooney Mara I love, and she is good here, captivating. Robert Redford is a good addition - its great seeing him always, even if in small or not so interesting roles. The cast here was a part of the dreamy (kind of nightmarish) atmosphere of a world devastated by a scientific discovery that should look as a comfort at first, but was more like a plague. 

The closeness to important matters in life is incredible in this Sci-fi flick. Each line brings something that transcends the fantasy of the plot, as commonly in a good work of fiction. I liked particularly when Will reflects that there's not a reset point in life (or death), for we will always be turning around the same struggles. No matters the place, we'll still be dealing with our problems. It is an important thought taking under consideration the role of suicide in this movie. 

I thought at some moment how the whole  love story bit  was unnecessary. However, as the final credits started to roll on the screen, I realized how fundamental it is. The thing is that it is played very soberly, without much fuss, and it is like it would be not a great thing. It is, as happens in our lives. Sometimes we're not aware of its role in our every move, but it the base of our actions - along with pain, resentment (which makes a big cameo in here), rage... I know. But at the end, it is love that prevails, undoubtedly. 

The Discovery. Directed by Charlie McDowell. Cast: Jason Segel, Rooney Mara, Robert
Redford. Writers: Justin Lader, Charlie McDowell. USA, 2017, Color, 102 min. (Netflix).



PS: About love, resentment and all the things we should take under consideration with so much care in our lives, in order to let some ot them go, I always think about Perfect Sense, a film that I simply adore. It summarizes the world today for me. 


2017/04/18

Take Care (April, 17)

When I thought about this kind of "bonus track" to Omad, I planned to watch Take Care as the last movie, just before I went back to stand on both my foot. Things didn't go as I was thought at first, and I have  some time on wheels (maybe just a little bit? Oh, hope). Yesterday, I felt like sharing my experience with a fellow temporary crippled, and put Take Care on the screen.

I have seen bits of it on cable, and always had fun. A girl is run over by a car, has her leg and arm broken and has to be kept out of her feet for a couple of months at least. Her friends are great, but very self absorbed. She doesn't want to leg go of her little flat to stay with her overbearing sister on the suburbs - after all, she probably fought hard for her independence and life in New York. Seeing herself in a difficult situation, she resorts to a way to have the help she needs while setting right something from her past.

What was fun before became too close to me, now that I'm in a relative house arrest after breaking my leg and shoulder in a domestic accident (due entirely to my stupidity and hurry). I was laughing hard, with tears in my eyes, while seeing a fancier, more comic, exaggerated version of what I'm going through.

There's so many small details that I could relate to. The first time we're able to open the fridge by ourselves. The first time out of the confinement of a tiny flat (Leslie Bibb's face on this specific scene, as in many other, is perfect, a sort of childish discover of the world). The visits to the bathroom, the clumsy attempts to gave herself a Kleenex bath (Hey, moist wipes are great :) . How every tiny little daily thing is tremendously hard. The objects surrounding herself while stuck in bed. The attempt of not eating in order not to get fat (it is too late for me, I'm already overweight... But I'm really trying to control my eating, despite spending almost every minute of my days at home). She stuck in bed, and it isn't even her real one, I think... She set up camp in her sofa bed at the living room (bedding settling is a real problem, believe me). 

Her doctor reminded me my own: a true expert, pleasant, funny. He also compliments his own genius work (looking at the X-rays and saying how beautiful it was :). My doctor also didn't tell me exactly how long it will take to walk again. I was looking at the scene in front of me, nodding my head: yep, they're just like that, girl!

I was laughing really hard when I notice something that had no way I could identify before: she has physiotherapy at home (a true luxury), and at one time she is using CPM . Hello, old friend. He is called Continuous Passive Motion, a device proper for some kinds of knee injuries. At the clinic, I named it Creosaldo. He was truly cruel at the beginning (her face on the scene is not an over reaction, I promise you), but now we're good friends. The medieval torture of rope and bonds (50 shades of physiotherapy) is the main cruelty I'm suffering (so much drama, I know).

Bellow, you can see two of the similarities that made this film so close to me at the moment:


 Above, Frannie's X-rays (mine is on the right)





Frannie with CPM - Creosaldo and me 
(No, Frannie is not laughing)



Of course there some different features; the whole movie is not just shared struggles, but those last ones were overwhelming. If we should look at our lives as a movie sometimes, Take Care was a concrete opportunity to do it.

I don't live in a flat with flight and flight of stairs anymore, and many friends pointed out to me how lucky I was just for that. The first scene on the movie is a sample of what I would go through if I hadn't move a couple years ago. The difference on this matter is that I have at least 80 pounds over Leslie Bibb and no neighbour, cranky or not, would carry me up 4 flight of stairs.

The true chasm between our situation, though, are the friends. Her's are nice, dear friends, but too self-absorbed to truly understand all the fragility involved by her state. The gay friend taking a crush from Grinder to her home at the time he would sponge bath her is outrageous - but true. That happens - not frequently to me, thanks my careful friends. The thing is that not just everyone is totally aware of what means to be so dependent and not mobile anymore - and Frannie's friends are miles and miles away of that notion. Her sister is overbearing - worried, yes, but suffocating. All that is heavy stuff to confront while being so incapacitated, struggling with the loss of mobility and independence.

Lucky me my friends are so incredibly amazing. They took a lot from my hands, looking for the right wheel's chair when the first one was too big for my the narrow doorjambs at my flat. They were with me 24/7 for more than ten days, each one giving the time and effort they could (a lot of times they went so far beyond their possibilities). I was surrounded by some much care, love, attention... I'll be grateful for the rest of my life (and for so many lives after).

This way, I didn't had the need to resort to what Frannie was in a way forced to in order to have some minimal comfort and dignity. I don't think she was wrong or that the guilt obligated an ex to care for her. I even think that it was a right thing to do, according, for example, to what advises the systemic therapy (Family Constellations). There was something missing there, not recognized, and by asking help as she did it was possible to heal so many hurt, to recognize what was done and to mend lots of bridges.

Yes, it is a comedy, a romantic flick. This way many things are a bit too much, but they're a part of telling this story. My bigger but is the characterization of Devon's girlfriend. She is insecure, needy, despite being successful, beautiful, wealth and all the things we wrongly associate to a strong emotional being.  Not by chance Devon is with her - he becomes stronger on her side, after a couple of years being the fragile part of a relationship. However, Betty Gilpin and her character didn't deserve to be transformed in one of the White Chicks - a caricature woman. It is too much, even for comic effects. The over cranky neighbour, though, is perfect. It was Joe who reminded that the actor was the same guy of In Your Eyes, a dear movie for both of us. Watching the movie aware of this allowed me to like him much more here (and I was already a fan of his bluntness in this movie).

It is an odd mystery what happens inside of each one of us. We don't always are aware or able to understand what hurts more to someone. And there's no sense to try to input to others our pain and resentments - I truly hate when someone tries to blame their issues on me (it makes me furious sometimes). But I try to constantly understand that it is a sign of a deep hurt, and if the person is important to me, I try to listen and attempt any way to help in the way that is suit to that person. Sometimes the hurt is so gigantic that there's no way of communication. However, if there's something we become aware when totally depending of others, is that the help must fit to the one that is receiving it - we don't help in our own terms, despite only doing what we're capable of. We help on the other's terms, and that's the lesson to Devon - he was both recipient and giver, and through two different occasions, he learns how to deal with both.

I see a lot in this story, but I'm aware that not everybody, specially the critics, see the same. If I was able to recognize many important subjects in the movie before, now I have in it a friend to talk about a similar trouble. It was so good to have its help on this day. That's cinema for  me: a way to confront myself, my own life, while understanding others and their issues. I couldn't ask for a better partner.

Take Care. Directed and written by Liz Tuccillo. Cast: Leslie Bibb, Thomas
Sadoski, Michael Stahl-David. USA, 2014, Color, 94 min.

PS: I hope my my next appointment will go as Frannie's: the doc will look at me and will tell me to get out of there - walking. I think it is more complicated than that (the movie always seemed very simplistic in this matter), but I'll hope (cautiously) anyway :)

PPS: It is always good to see Thomas Sadoski. He reminds me of Newsroom, an amazing TV show. And his character was so good - complicated, easy to hate and love :)



2017/04/17

Sing Street (April, 16)

Absolute joy.

I couldn't believe how happy I was in the whole duration of Sing Street. I already was aware that this movie would be just my cup of tea. I never imagined, however, how happy it would make me feel. And since from the first scene.

It is so unbelievably good, in a non pretentious and quiet manner, in the usual way of John Carney. I'm annoyed by his statement about Keira Knightley, who is the soul of Begin Again, but I tell myself a lesson given by Neil Gaiman: the person is not the art. It is sad to see someone  that reaches our soul with its art being such a jerk though.

Once was my first Carney's flick, and I love it so much, it is so heartfelt, real, close to the heart - and filmed on Dublin <3 It was with Once that I realized how a good sound design is fundamental to tell a good story. On the Edge and Begin Again are other love given to me by Carney. And now Sing Street is a part of this great troupe.

All the musical influences in the movie were my own, bands and songs that are still a lovely part of my life. I had a smile on my face that only faded on the more sad scenes. It is one of the heaviest Carney's movies, along with On the Edge. What the characters go through is very similar to the life of those living in small cities without much access to anything (as Brasilia on the '80s).

I remember watching the video clips with the same awe as Conor's. The way he repeats his brother's views on Duran Duran (a view probably borrowed from someone else) is so familiar, I've heard it from many people at the time I was 15, it was impossible not to relate to the story and the people on it. This movie has it all: the perfect dose of exaggeration, travesty, comedy, sobriety, friendship, feelings, pain, love... A perfect mix.

The scene where the three siblings dance while their parents are arguing loudly on the hall is sad, beautiful, heartfelt, endearing... it broke my heart in a million pieces. Impossible not to remember my own youth, despite the different circumstances. It was a great journey through time, with amazing people, songs, memories, and the realization that life is pretty good after all.

The last but not least: a movie about the '80 opening with a Motorhead song :) I was jumping on the couch for sure.

Sing Street. Directed and written by John Carney, from the story by Simon
Carmody. Cast: Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Kelly Thorton, Jack Reynor. Ireland/UK/
USA, 2016, Dolby Digital, Color, 106 min.

PS: Sing Street brought me the a joy of going back to my teen years, specially when I was 16, one very similar (not so intense) to what I found a couple years ago with Eleanor & Park, a book by Rainbow Rowell. The two main characters are 16 in 1986, the same as me. All the references - comics, songs, bands - are so mine, it was such a journey. The bit about The Prefab Sprout's T-shirt made me yell in pleasant surprise. The story here is heartbreaking, Eleanor felt so much an alien as I did - a trully weird kid, living a life so detached from the others at the school. Even so, in that time I met the best friends in the whole world, that accepted me (and still do) as weird as I am till this day - they're my Park, sweet, very special, caring and amazingly crazy themselves.

PPS: About the Gaiman's take on Lou Reed, I'd probably posted this bit here already, but it is worthy a reprise. This dialogue is so F* good:

"I named my daughter Holly after Warhol superstar Holly Woodlawn, who I'd discovered in Walk on the Wild Side. When Holly was 19, I made her a playlist of more songs she had loved as a small girl, the ones she'd remembered and the ones she'd forgotten, which led to our having the Conversation. I dragged songs from her childhood over to the playlist – Nothing Compares 2 U and I Don't Like Mondays and These Foolish Things, and then came Walk on the Wild Side. "You named me from this song, didn't you?" said Holly as the first bass notes sang. "Yup," I said. Reed started singing.
Holly listened to the first verse, and for the first time, actually heard the words. "Shaved her legs and then he was a she …? He?"
"That's right," I said, and bit the bullet. We were having the Conversation. "You were named after a drag queen in a Lou Reed song." She grinned like a light going on. "Oh Dad. I do love you," she said. Then she wrote what I'd said down on the back of an envelope, in case she forgot it. I'm not sure that I'd ever expected the Conversation to go quite like that."

So good.

Demolition (April, 15)

It is very rare, out of the more artistic circuit, to see a movie expose with such accuracy the ugly business of loss and pain. Demolition does that beautifully, through the journey of a guy that had no idea what he was or had until he lost it. 

Jean-Marc Vallée had already touched important matters with Big Little Lies. And Wild (let's not forget). And C.R.A.Z.Y. of course (what I said above about more artistic productions?). He is establishing himself in more mainstream medium with the same care and heart from some of his earliest features. On TV, it is the same. So it is not too much to say that we could expect (damn) amazing things from him in the near future.

I gotta say that I would like to be a part of the demolition Davis is forced to face up when his world crumbles, but he is still too delusional to admit it. His life had assumed a certain pattern that was very effective to part him from himself and the people he loved. He was detached, until the true detachment came, forcing him to demolish all the walls and superficial feelings he had around him in order to not live and feel and suffer. How many times life does that to us? And will keep going, until we are strong enough to do this sort of demolition freely.

I love the sound of glass breaking. Things shattering with no way back. We should demolish all the protections we erect since childhood in order to survive. We're older, stronger than the kids we were, even if still too fragile sometimes. But we can face it up front. Ask Denis, he'll tell it is a gigantic effort, but one worthy of ourselves and the people we meet on this fundamental journey.

Thanks again, Dear Joe.

Demolition. Directed by Jean-Marc Vallèe. Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Naomi Watts,
Judah Lewis. Writer: Bryan Sipe. USA, 2016, Dolby Digital, Color, 101 m

Split (April, 14)

There's a reason why this post is late. I usually try to publsh my comments about a movie in the day after I saw it, no more than that. Sometimes, lazyness or some blue spell prevent me of doing so. This time, was something else though.




I left the theater without knowing what I was feeling towards the last M. Night Shyamalan's flick, Split. First of all, have you see what I've wrote? I left the theater! Yeah, baby!!! I went to the movies, big screen, buttery popcorn, noisy costumers and all. Wonderful. It was more than 2 months far from one of my favorite best places on the world. It was like when we see a beloved friend after some time apart: it seemed like not one day had passed by <3

I was extatic, despite all the trouble I gave my niece and the friend that went with me. It was so good to be in a movie theater again, being so close to the film! Thanks Mari and Dea, for allowing me a great time going back my home in this world!

So, about Split, I was anxious to see it in the theater. So much that I had no doubt about the movie to watch on this day, even if there's many others I'd like to reach on the cinema. I try to follow James McAvoy's career for more than a decade. I'm not sure when he called my attention for the first time, but there are many films out there that I saw because of him. I gave up following him up close a couple of years ago, but he is still an actor that I admire. Playing a character with 23 different identities? I couldn't miss that!

I won't talk about that thing about expectations, that's old news (despite being always true). The bigger problem on this film for me was that it started as a psychological thriller, a good one by the way, and at the last 20 minutes, someone changed his mind and decided it would be a horror story, connected to the universe of one other of Shyamalan's films (to know which,don't get up before the end of the final credits - so Marvel of you, M). It is not just a matter of keeping the suspense up, but a basic lack of definition  of the main plot. There's a hint about what would happen in one  character's speech at certain point, but it is too little to justify such a turn of events. The thing is, the psychological thriller was so well executed, it was a shame loose that. 

Other negative aspect here is the slight (maybe not so discreet actually) erotization of violence against young women. The lack of some clothing here, the way it was pictured,  was unnecessary to the story and characters, I think. The matter is too delicate to be treated like that. And we're talking about me, a person that is unfortunately not always so attentive to such issues (really unfortunate). So, if it called my attention, if it made feel discomfort... well, it is not a small thing (not so slight).

A friend of mine hates Shyamalan because of Signals. I wouldn't say I dislike his films, but I'm starting to change my mind. A director cannot survive only of The Sixth Sense, doesn't matter how amazing it is. 

Split. Directed and written by M.Night Shyamalan. Cast: James McAvoy, Anya
Taylor-Joy, Haley Lu Richardson. USA, 2016, Dolby Digital, Color, 116 min.

PS: The first time I've watched The Sixth Sense, I was spending a couple of months in Vancouver to study English for the first time. I was by myself at the theater, no friends with me, just strangers around. At the end, I wasn't sure if I had got it right, and was very tempted to ask someone about it. Well, I had just to wait ask my friends from school if I had really understood the ending...

2017/04/14

Midnight Special (April, 13)

One day that some very nerd friends would come visit, I asked the help of Google to find what was considered the best Sci-fi movies of 2016. It was among a lot of amazing productions I've had already seen that I found out about Midnight Special.

This movie is a small gem, I'll say up front. It is a studio production with a weight of all that a good indie movie has. I saw a Jeff Nichols' film before, Mud, many times on cable. It is a sweet and bitter tale of coming-of-age, with intense performances by Matthew McGonaughey (I don't believe I spelled it right in the first try) and Reese Whiterspoon. I'm looking for his other films now because of Midnight Special

The cast is great. Michael Shannon is a constant in Nichols' movies, as I've read after. Kirsten Dusnt is in a very unusual role for her, and delivers a heartfelt Sarah. Adam Driver is perfect as the NSA brainiac. The kid? Course, Jaeden Lieberher took us all with him, without even asking. And we go willingly.

This sci-fi movie is exquisite. There's not many explanation of a lot of things preceding the point when we start to follow the story, but there's not a single hole on the script, if you think carefully. What Nichols explicits here is that any story has a frame of time, of space. Yes, there's those, like David Copperfield, that tell all, from the moment they're born till death comes with a vengeance or not. Even so, there's many things before and after. Where is the beginning of things, after all?  Nichols tells us he is not interesting in explaining that. He allows us to form the story with him, and what he doesn't show we can figure out easily - that's the beauty in a story well constructed. If you look for something already chewed for you, maybe even still this film will grab your attention, the suspense and action are interesting and well done.

It was more difficult for me at the end, but just because I'm a bit slow (if it was just a bit...). It was obvious what was happening, the wires on a character's head. It took me a while to realize what it was, but I'm very satisfied with my perception of it. 

To move through a story and taking bits of it to built a bigger scenery is a feature just good directors achieve with such success. We're lucky that there are a lot of them out there, giving us not only big masterpieces, but also small gems like this movie, both equally fundamental to our lives despite their different dimensions. I'll watch Nichols more attentively from now own.


Midnight Special. Directed and written by Jeff Nichols. Cast: Michael Shannon,
Joel Edgerton, Jaeden Lieberher. USA/Greece (what?), 2016, Dolby Digital/
Datasat, Color, 112 min.