Archives for October 2010

Quote of the Day

[life is] much more quantum. People leap from one state to another and they don’t necessarily show a flicker of what they’ve been through. An awful lot of stage acting … is devoted to showing. But in life we don’t always show – and we often show the opposite of – what’s going on, what we’re really thinking. We may have suffered terrible tragedy but we walk in a room and nobody can see it on our face; nobody could ever know. We’re just there, in the moment with no idea of what’s to come.
Interview in VOGUE magazine, October 2010.
Photo Credit: Vanessa Regdrave in a production still from Blow-up (1966).

Do You Really Know Who You Are Talking To On The Internet (A Review of Catfish)

I originally wanted to see this film as a companion piece to the fantastically engrossing The Social Network. In many ways it is – it shows us that in the wake of the social media phenomenon which is Facebook the landscape of who we are what we want people to think about us and who we interact with is forever changed.

In this respect Catfish is a fascinating watch. I think that coupled with a rather raucous audience that went along with the film in a rather tongue in cheek fashion made it a pleasant viewing experience. When we saw something that was like “huh?” we laughed and offered on the spot commentary. Normally this is not the type of movie going experience I take pleasure in but in this instance it worked.

One criticism levied against the documentary was that many feel that the film exploited certain parties involved in the narrative. That part of the story does not bother me too much only because for this kind of doc you need to get permissions and clearances. I guess the counter can be made if the parties involved were somewhat unwitting (much in the way that some reality show folks may be blissfully ignorant to what lies ahead). I do think this is a valid point but honestly my initial reaction was to have no pity. It’s cold I know but that was my initial primal response.

In the end, it has a lovely takeaway and for most of the story does make one question about what this internet age has wrought.

The Social Network (or Should I Drop the “The”)?

I will not waste time “reviewing” The Social Network so to speak. But I did think I should take a moment to mention how much I really liked this film – in fact in a year where what I have seen has been a bit disappointing, this is clearly one of my favorite films of the year.

In many ways, the major coup for me was taking what on its surface would seem to be a “nerdy” or “intellectual” subject and creating an all around fully engaging film that at times left me so involved in the drama on the screen that I forgot where  I was.

There are a lot of props to go around. Director David Fincher  at the helm of this very well made film. His signature is all over the film. In less capable hands this could have simply fallen into the area of legal melodrama.

Much of this credit is due to Aaron Sorkin’s (West Wing!)  fantastic screenplay. He was able to capture the drama, comedy and in some cases, the tragedy surrounding the people, places and events that mark the Facebook phenomenon.

Of course you cannot be engaged in a story through direction and writing alone. You need a cast that is able to deliver the goods. On that count the entire cast showed their chops – yes Jesse Eisenberg is the primary catalyst of all the action but I feel like this was really a great ensemble piece. [Another Dr. Who reference: Andrew Garfield (Eduardo Saverin) featured prominently in a two-parter during Series Three of one of my favorite shows!]

As we approach the the season where films are “geared towards adults” this was a great entreé.
The Facebook page of Britain's Queen Elizabeth is shown on a computer screen in London November 8, 2010. Queen Elizabeth has joined Facebook, adding a presence on the world's most popular social network to the royal family's accounts on Twitter, photo-sharing site Flickr and YouTube.  REUTERS/Dylan Martinez  (BRITAIN - Tags: ROYALS SOCIETY)

One example of Facebook’s reach.

Quick Pick: “I Married a Witch” (1942)

1941:  American leading lady Veronica Lake (Constance Ockleman, 1919 - 1973) wearing a glass-beaded dress in a scene from 'I Wanted Wings' about the fortunes of three recruits to the American Air Force, directed by Mitchell Leisen  (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

I tweeted about this film last night as I watched its closing moments. I just wanted to take a moment to briefly post here about what an imaginative, creative piece of cinema this was. As a fan of the television series “Bewitched” (which this film predates by 20 years or so), I really was taken in by the story of a witch mixing with a mortal and all the wondrous things that come with that.

The film was directed by René Clair and is based on the novel The Passionate Witch by Thorne Smith.

The supporting cast is also of note and includes the likes of Cecil Kellaway,  Susan Hayward and the ever entertaining Robert Benchley.

For more information on this film, I refer you to the entry in the TCM Movie Database.