Archives for October 2013

X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) Trailer

Hot off the press, here is the trailer for Bryan Singer’s latest installment to the X-Men franchise:

My initial thoughts? Well, I really have not been following the revelation of plot points, etc, so my knowledge was pretty much restricted to the casting.

However after watching the trailer, I am kind of going with the juxtaposition of the past and present(future) colliding, as well as the return of some of our favorite characters. Can’t wait to see some of the new ones too!

Your reaction? You know the routine.

An Edith Head Appreciation Post

On the occasion of Edith Head’s birthday I decided to do a quick appreciation post. Frankly, I cannot believe I have not done one sooner; I guess this is down to relying on all you wonderful people out there who have waxed lyrical about the film fashion icon’s life and times.

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On my part, I feel like the best way to ‘celebrate’ her contribution to the world of film fashion her contribution is through pictures – namely a few fashion folio shots and sketches. Here are some of my personal favorites:

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I also refer you to the Pinterest boards for a deeper dive into all the work she did (mainly at Paramount and Universal) over her long 50 year career.

Finally, here is the woman in her own words (talking about Audrey Hepburn non the less):

 

What are some of your faves? Hit me in the Comment section below.
eh ah

 

Don John (2013), Written, Directed and Starring Joseph Gordon Levitt

As far as directorial debuts go, Joseph Gordon Levitt’s Don Jon is quite an auspicious one.

A rather unconventional romantic comedy, Don Jon follows the romantic travails of the eponymous Jon (played by Levitt), I suppose one would classify him as a “stud,” and who balances his structured life with an unhealthy relationship with a very specific form of “online entertainment.”

All of this comes awry when he meets Barbara (Scarlett Johansson) a seductive woman who has her own perspective on love and romance and with all of her best efforts tries to find that ideal in the form of Jon. She wants her ‘happily ever after.’ For the filmgoer, these characters represent dueling sides of expectations for love, sex and relationships. Between the laughs and these somewhat divergent views there is an ambivalence that resides in the middle, replete with life’s ups and downs. This is why the film ends the way it does – “real talk” in the truest cinematic sense.

Film Title: Don Jon

Performance wise, everyone serves his or her roles quite well. JGL seems an unlikely “player,” but he acquits himself well. His leading lady, ScarJo goes back to her “Noo Yawk” roots and plays a manipulative vixen very well. In a small, but key to the plot supporting role, Julianne Moore does what she does best. Other performances of note include Brie Larson as his silent yet observant sister and Tony Danza, as the tree from whence Jon comes. Finally, as an added treat, there are a couple of cameo appearances in the film.

Film Title: Don Jon

All of this aside, are there aspects of the narrative that I wished were more fully formed? Of course – in particular, as an exercise in exploring a very paradoxical cultural fascination with female sexuality (often in its most explicit form), I am not sure the film will resonate with any but the most self-aware of individuals. Still, it is start. I think that this type of artistic refinement is a skill that will come with practice. Hopefully, JGL will continue to hone his craft and become a skillful and effective storyteller.

Film Title: Don Jon

 

 

 

“Behind the Screen” at the Museum of the Moving Image

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This past Saturday I ventured out to Astoria, Queens (NY) and made my first ever visit to the Museum of the Moving Image. For the uninitiated, MoMI (as I am calling it) is “the country’s only museum dedicated to the art, history, technique, and technology of the moving image in all its forms.” (Source: Museum of the Moving Image website)

My focus of interest, of course is cinematic, and I was not disappointed to find on offer, ranging from film screenings to film-related installations. A centerpiece in the exhibition area is Behind the Screen, an ongoing collection of ephemera that “introduces visitors to the history of the moving image, from 19th optical toys to the present-day impact of digital tools on film editing and post-production.” (Source: Museum of the Moving Image website)

Among the highlights for me on my visit include:

  • portrait photography of Hollywood stars from the silent through studio area,
  • Else Lancaster’s wig from The Bride of Frankenstein;
  • Bette Davis’ wig from Jezebel;
  • the fan magazines;
  • script treatments from Citizen Kane and This Gun for Hire;
  • Star Wars action figures and play sets;
  • and very creepily, the life masks from the likes of Dorothy McGuire (The Enchanted Cottage).

Here are a couple of photos from the walkabout:

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Sorry Breaking Bad fans – one collection of snaps you will not see are from the collection of costumes and props from the recently-retired television series (photographing the pieces was strictly prohibited). There were other television related pieces on view and photograph, including Robin Williams’ space costume from Mork and Mindy and one of Bill Cosby’s sweaters from The Cosby Show.

If you are ever in the NYC area, I highly recommend that you catch the N/Q train to 36th Avenue for a wonderful opportunity to see common and obscure items from the world of cinema and television.

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Post-Weekend Update

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Sorry it has been a spell since I last posted, but I have been quite a busy young-ish lady. Not to fear, the movies (of course) have been a part of my time away.

 

I saw Prisoners!

I thought about posting a full review for this film but in many respects I think it must be seen to be believed. And I totally mean that in the best way possible, or as my post-viewing tweet stated:

 

This film was tense and INTENSE. I was holding onto my theater chair armrests for the majority of the film’s two and a half hour running time. One thing that really resonated and stayed with me was the atmosphere that Canadian director Denis Villeneuve was able to create. Add to that wonderfully raw emotional performances from Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal and you have a recipe for a film that will remain will you long after the final credits roll.

 

I also saw Don Jon!

Actually I saw this opening weekend, have the writeup ready. It will be posted sometime this week.

Film Title: Don Jon

 

SXSW 2014, here I (may) come!

Logistical issues to be sorted out, but it looks like I will be making travel arrangements for Austin March 2014! Stay tuned to this space for details.

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Speaking of fests, I did a walk by of the 2013 NYFF

On the way to the aforementioned Don Jon, I stopped by the New York Film Festival box office to collect my ticket for the Cannes Palme d’Or winner Blue is the Warmest Color. I was treated to a celeb-sighting too, Steve Coogan (IMDb link provided for the unintitaed).

Blue is the Warmest 2_3

I am also slated to attend the 20th anniversary screening of Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused (schedule pending).

The one sad-face moment for me this year was my inability to score a pair of tix to an early screening of Twelve Years a Slave. That disappointment was short lived, since I soon realized that I will have the opportunity to catch it next week here in lovely NYC.

 

How was your weekend? Hit me in the Comments section below.