I've really been making an effort to expand my cinema knowledge lately. My list of to-watch could probably wrap around the equater once or twice. I adore movies but my repertoire is a little lacking of classics. I've seen tons of movies, but there are so many that "everyone's seen" that I missed out on. I'm trying to catch up. I only recently started watching the Star Wars franchise which was way overdue, mostly because I am Princess Leah!
Yesterday I watched Pulp Fiction. I haven't fully formulated my opinion on Quentin Tarantino but it's mostly positive. I have seen Pulp Fiction, Django Unchained, and Inglourious Basterds. I mostly really liked them. The violence was only too much a select few times. I really like his writing. I think the scenes are often subtle and hilarious in the face of ridiculous violence. I loved the characters in Pulp Fiction, but the timeline sort of confused me. Granted, I was sewing a skirt at the time so I only paid about 87% attention to the movie. I'm definitely glad I watched it though. Now I want to rewatch the Pulp Fiction Community episode. In fact, I'm doing that right now.
I also watched Red Balloon which was so sweet and creative. I really recommend watching it. This little boy finds a big red balloon on the street and they become fast friends. It's a magical little tale with pretty cool effects for being made in 1956. It's only half an hour and it's on instant Netflix. Plus, it's on the Hulu Criterion Collection so that stands for something, right?
This week in theaters I've seen Trance and 42. Both were really great. Danny Boyle's Trance is a total trippy mind fuck. As my friend Alice said on Facebook: "It's got everything. Explosions, techno music, boobs, guns, Mac trucks, those gas line fires, and that thing where people pretend to be other people.....it's awesome." It made me think of Fight Club a little bit. You're never really sure exactly what's going on but it's hot and pretty and the actors rock. The leads were James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson, and Vincent Cassel. They totally brought it.
42 was a total tear jerker. It chronicles the life and career of Jackie Robinson, the first black man in Major League baseball. Chadwick Boseman totally embodies Robinson and Harrison Ford is fantastic as Branch Rickey, the baseball exec who pushed for change by signing Robinson in a very unwelcome time. The supporting cast was also wonderful. I loved Nicole Beharie as his lovely wife, Rachel Robinson. It was fun to see some of my Grey's Anatomy loves--George O'Malley (T.R. Knight) and Chief Webber (James Pickens Jr.)--on the big screen. Alan Tudyk was fantastic as the vile, slur-spitting Ben Chapman. Man, I love Alan Tudyk. He is so versatile! You hate him in 42. You adore him in Firefly. You are terrified of him in Dollhouse. And yet, you always love him. The fellow Dodgers were also great. I especially loved Hamish Linklater and the shower scene. Definitely recommend this movie. Bring tissues.
This monday I went to the opening night of the City of Lights / City of Angels French film festival with my dad. We saw Daniele Thompson's It Happened In Saint Tropez. I prefer the French title, Des Gens Qui S'Embrassent, which translates roughly to People Kissing. It's a crazy story of family and many entangled and complicated relationships. It's the kind of movie that should be seen without reading a synopsis I think. If it ever pops up on Foreign streaming Netflix or anything, make sure to catch it. It was charming, funny, sad, sweet, and silly at times. Great cast. Great movie. My mom is from Paris and I feel disconnected from my French heritage (especially since I don't yet speak French.) I am determined to start watching a lot more French movies and I really want to move to France to immerse myself in the language and culture in the near future. Anyone have any recommendations for how to go about that?
Here's to more movies soon! I'm glad I finally smashed my psychological writer's brick wall enough to squeeze this piece out.