Sunday, March 25, 2012

"The Hunger Games" posters if made by Fellini, Woody Allen and others

When reviewing the latest The Hunger Games last week, I wrote "If done by Kubrick, it could have taken a very interesting and important anthropological steering. But if you look at it as what it is and not as what your favorite filmmaker would've made of it, as I did, you can have a very enjoyable cinematic experience.". Such a high concept, so thematically vast, huge production values, is it possible that we instinctively try to bath it in another light?

These are the film's posters as if directed by other filmmakers, in a parallel universe. All great. My favorites: Fellini, Hitchcock, Woody Allen.



Saturday, March 24, 2012

Sarah Palin vs Julianne Moore in comparing video

Julianne is just one of the greatest actresses to ever step on Earth.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Hunger Games (2012): 2nd aniversary review

A long gone revolution culminating in an apocalyptic failure of humanism and morals. The disillusion has been turned into unforgettable films throughout the history, from European auteurs generation, such as Fellini's La Dolce Vita, to the American satire, such as Lumet and Chayefsky's Network. Could it ever be printed upon the popular papers of young adult adventuresque tales with at least decent relevance? The Hunger Games, adapted from Suzanne Collin's book by herself, Brian Ray and the director of the film, Gary Ross, did it.

A funky flamboyant futuristic city that applauds the sacrifice of twenty-four 12 to 18-year-old boys and girls to brutally fight to death in a giant arena while two extravagant anchorman comment on the events with smiles that require more craftsmanship that hunting a unicorn. The twist from Orwell's big brother is the fact that we the people are the actual entity behind the cameras. The totalitarian action is inflicted upon twelve districts, who provide the contestants for the Games.

Before the rumble begins, participants and their managers have much to account for. They have to impress the ravenous cheerful population and possible sponsors that might provide them with survival utilities during the hunting. Those boys and girls riffled out of a pot and off of their families embrace a perverse version of honor, courage and sacrifice to parade as if carrying the Olympic Torch, to train as if fighting the Death Star and to kill as if amusing the Roman Empire. From then onwards, they're all gladiators in a coliseum controlled by technological features that approach it to a real-life videogame experience and broadcasted as a common reality TV show. The experience attains the dimension of a Super Bowl.

If you expect to watch a sophisticated film, this might cause you a rash. Some dialogue lacks subtlety due to the target audience, the third act has some deal of phoniness, some questions are left without satisfying answer (why would she trust him again?) and the secondary characters are flat (Stanley Tucci is brilliant though). If done by Kubrick, it could have taken a very interesting and important anthropological steering. But if you look at it as what it is and not as what your favorite filmmaker would've made of it, as I did, you can have a very enjoyable cinematic experience. These are Campbell's rites of passage, step by step, with the hero's sacrificial matrix in all the spots (she even volunteers). It has good moments, interesting alliance making and breaking, and Jenniffer Lawrence (as Katniss) is absolutely marvelous - this is a young-people blockbuster in which the protagonist spends maybe half of the second act barely speaking. As far as I'm concerned, its strongest asset is the romantic metaphor: Katniss-Gale's love story is absolutely cliché and fake. And that's it, that's what Katniss wants. She's been learning it from the flames during the pageant, from the great talk-show scene, from Haymitch's advices and foreshadowing after foreshadowing we watch her fool the world and her partner Gale, because although they're archetypally bound, she always knew that working that fake romance would bring audiences, claps, sponsors and, ultimately, a great surprise during the climax. You can go beyond and add some meta-narrative connotations: all the obstacles and magical potions the engineers arrange in order to propel the drama are the solution for the wearied or coincident nature of  some of the steps or sub-steps of the hero's journey when applied to the adventure genre. It ends in a great tone, with a very strong simple moment for the antagonists and with a captivating hook for the protagonists. I'll be waiting for the next one.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Praise to Iaranian film "A Separation": Streep, Spielberg, Fincher, Pitt, Jolie and Woody Allen

Rod Bastanmehr from Salon, reporting on his conversation with A Separation star, Payama Maadi.

" “She could recite every line,” he says of Streep. “She was crying during the [Independent Spirit Awards] montage, I swear.”


“[Streep] pulled me aside, and just told me how moved she was by the vision of realistic Iranian life. ‘It’s just one house. One house and you just see who is in there and what they are like, who they are.’ She was so moved. That’s when you realize you’ve done something special.”


They’ve heard it all: Steven Spielberg said that he believed “A Separation” to be the best film of the year by a wide margin. David Fincher spent over half an hour discussing his various takes on the film’s complex technical scope. Brad Pitt took Maadi aside during a press conference to describe his intense reaction to the film’s opening scene, which caused his wife (maybe you’ve heard of her) to pause the film and return to it days later.

Angelina Jolie later cornered Farhadi at the awards, telling him that she longed to star in his next film. He thanked her, but politely made mention that, unfortunately, the female lead speaks only French.
Jolie told him she would learn the language by the first day of shooting.

But even after months on the circuit, it’s still hard for Maadi to shake the shock of having Hollywood’s most notable faces and filmmakers sing their praises. Woody Allen didn’t let his infamous shtick of never attending the Academy Awards stop him from reaching out to Farhadi and Maadi, asking for even 30 minutes of their time once they arrived in New York."

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kindgom" will open Cannes'12

A great premise, an amazing cast, a beautiful poster and a much promising trailer. One of my most awaited of 2012.

"Set in the 1960s, a pair of young [12-year-old] lovers flee their New England island town, prompting a local search party led by the Sheriff and the girl's parents to fan out to find them", in a fairytaled tone.

Written by Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola, the film has been gathering huge buzz and might contribute to the definite launching of Sofia's older brother, after having co-written Darjeeling Unlimited (2007) and written his upcoming directorial debut A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charlie Swan III  

Moonrise Kindgom is directed by Wes (The Royal Tenenbaums, Darjeenling Unlimited, The Life Aquatic of Steve Zizou, Fantastic Mr. Fox), starring Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton and Jason Schwartzman.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

God is in the Details

Especially if you give it a second look. One of the best of the year. Alfredson escalating from a great film (Let the Right One In (2008)) to a little masterpiece *.

* Would be unfair to leave out such names: Bridget O'Connor & Peter Straughan (adapted screenplay), Alberto Iglesias (original musical score), Hoyte van Hoytema (cinematographer), Dino Jonsäter (editor), Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Toby Jones, Tom Hardy, Mark Strong, John Hurt (cast).

Sunday, March 4, 2012

29-year-old Steven Spielberg's reaction to the 1976 Oscar nominations taped on video

It was the summer of 75 when Spielberg's shark finally hit the waters of national theaters, after months of a uphill battling production. The horror, sci-fi, medium-budget film went to strategically scare the sun out of the population skin, planting a global seasonal panic of what one might encounter a few foot from the shore. It slashed the box-office off becoming the first blockbuster* ever, and launched the renowned director to the height of the industry. Jaws (1975) won Oscar for Best Editing, Best Original Score and Best Sound, losing Best Film to One Flew Over the Cucu's Nest (1975).

*There are two ways for the word. There's the expected blockbuster, thus comprising films like "Gone With the Wind" (1939), and there's the unexpected blockbuster, the film that reaches great financial success without those being its production expectations. Here, we talk about the second case.

Steven's biggest itches were regarding Best Director - a spot he missed against top-shots Milos Forman ("One Flew Over the Cucu's Nest"), Robert Altman ("Nashville"), Federico Fellini ("Amarcord"), Stanley Kubrick ("Barry Lyndon") and Sindey Lumet ("Dog Day Afternoon") - and Best Original Screenplay - a spot the writers missed against Federico Fellini ("Amarcord"), Frank Pierson ("Dog Day Afternoon"), Robert Towne & Warren Beaty ("Shampoo"), Ted Alan ("Lies My Father Told Me") and Claude Lelouch & Pierre Utterhoeven ("And Now My Love").

Take a look at the video, it's hilarious, epic.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

"Harry Potter" star will lead Sofia Coppola's new film

While Daniel Radcliffe, from Broadway to the recent success of The Woman in Black (2012), has already been counter-spelling J.K. Rowling's wizardries, Emma Watson payed a discrete apparition as Lucy in My Week With Marilyn (2011), began modeling for Burberry and tried to go through Brown University. I've always been a firm believer of Emma's post-HP talent, although the public voice feels annoyingly compelled to deny her any over-with-Hermione skills, without even allowing her a decent chance. It may take her less than expected to be recognized as a truly serious actress, possibly making it to the Hollywood's Eleven.

Sofia Coppola grabbed Kirsten Dunst at 17 with The Virgin Suicides (1999) and at 24 with Marie Antoinette (2006); allowed Scarlett Johnasson to shine at 18 with Lost in Translation (2003); and gave Elle Fanning her breakthrough role at 12 with Somewhere (2010).

Emma Watson is 21 and will be the star of Sofia's next filme, The Bling Ring, based on the true story of a group of teenagers that assaulted celebrities' houses in Beverly Hills, such as Orlando Bloom, Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan, collecting an amount close to three million dollars. Sounds great, sounds like Sofia - richness, glamor, defiance, emotional desolation.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Hopkins, Johansson and Mirren on film about Hitchcock and "Psycho" (1960)

The life of famous director Alfred Hitchcock during the making of one of his most spread masterpieces, the horror film Psycho (1960), is taking its first steps towards its visual form. It seems the trick behind the shower scene is not the only backstage prop worth dramatizing, as Stephen Rebello wrote the book Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho detailing every aspect of the film's production, documenting the arc of what took off as a low-budget somewhat-experimental youth-horror movie and landed as an worldwide success with a safe spot in the history of cinema.

The master of suspense will be portrayed by no other than Anthony Hopkins, probably his most relevant role in many years. Helen Mirren will be Alma Reville, Hitch's wife, and James D'Arcy will be Anthony Perkins and his character Norman Bates. Today's great news is the addition of bright Scarlett Johansson to play the role of Janet Leigh, who played the main character Marion Crane. Analogies to Michelle William's "My Week With Marilyn" are expected in due time. This could also be Scarlett's definite rise to the top.

The director, Sacha Gervasi, is best known for his documentary Anvil! The Story of Anvil (2008), about the heavy-metal band, which got a nomination in the DGAs. Stephen shares script credits with Black Swan (2010) writer John McLaughlin.

Via Collider.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

"Movie: The Movie", an all-genres parodic trailer starring everybody

Hilarious. Starring... everybody. On Jimmy Kimmel Live. Take a look.