Thursday, July 22, 2010

Oh Liz Lemon

"Where are you? I hear sunshine."

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Oh Liz Lemon

Monday, July 19, 2010


The got the dvd of Volver from Blockbuster's sale back in Ithaca almost 2 years ago and I finally watched it last week. Volver's screenplays is phenomenal. I thoroughly loved it from start to finish. The story flows so well and it kept me interested the entire way. There are stories within stories and many many characters, each with their own histories; but the film never fell into disarray. The stories and histories build on top of each other to create a fruitful film.

As always, Penelope Cruz is amazing. I absolutely loved the scene where she sings/lip sync and the way she deals with the situations thrown at her. Along the way, we learn the reason why she is the way she is and the struggles she has been through. But Penelope Cruz is only one of many female characters. The others too have their stories to tell and it's so wonderful that Pedro Almodovar includes everyone into the film. There are the "dead" mother, the unaccomplished sister, the daughter who is becoming an adult, the neighbor who is struggling with cancer, and the friendly prostitute.

Lastly, in addition to the screenplay and actresses, the cinematography and artistic direction are eye catching. The colors explode onto the screen making a film about death and struggle ultimately beautiful and cheery. Volver is such a great film that gets everything right.

Such is life

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Class

So I am on a Palme d'Or run.

The Class is an unpretentious, documentary-like, and focused film that touches on so many important issues--race, socioeconomics, sexual orientation, the education system, parenting, and immigration. Like other Palme d'Or films, The Class is just as thought-provoking.

The film is actually quite uneasy to watch for me. Growing up, I went to public schools. From elementary school all the way till high school, most students (probably 95%) behaved very well. We got our work done, respected our instructors, and respected other students. The students in The Class is nothing like that. In the film "insolent" is used to describe the students a lot. But at the same time, you can tell some of these students are brilliant in the conventional way and perhaps in unconventional ways as well. The problem is that not everyone is going to grow up to be philosophers, professors, lawyers, or doctors. Some are to become musicians, police men and women, athletes, or farmers who still use their brains for their trade. Each student in the film has something special to offer and be discovered.

The camera takes on a very tightly focused mise en scene. Most frames are filled with only the characters' faces. We don't get to see a full picture of the classrooms until the end and the camera never leaves the school. The way the film is shot really focuses your attention on issues at hand and the characters. The Class is an unconventional and universal film that brings our attention to problems in our society.

The Wind that Shakes the Barley

(Meh, the trailer is a bit too Hollywood. Yuck.)

Raw. Powerful. Enlightening. The Wind that Shakes the Barley is one of the best Palme d’Or winners that I have seen, and it is so deserving of the Palme d’Or for its thought-provocation. It is so well written, edited, and delivered. It is also one of more uncomfortable films I have seen given its graphic scenes and ending. In one of the earlier scenes, I was sweating; I thought I was going to faint.

The character, Damien, played by Cillian Murphy is well developed. His beliefs, actions, emotions, and devotion to the war make the film what it is. This character gives the film substance, power, and structure. And there's such a unjust irony that happens to the character.

The Wind that Shakes the Barley is truly a gripping film that shares with the audience a story not often told. While I was studying in London, I heard of the Irish Republican Army (which is the army that the main characters of the film are in). All I know is that there are very few trash cans on the streets of London because during the 70s and 80s the IRA placed bombs in trash cans. And of course after learning about this, my impression of the IRA is that they are, in a way, terrorists. But after watching this film, I learned that everything happens for a reason. Not that placing bombs in trash cans is right, but obviously the IRA is getting the English back for something that happened many many years ago. Thus, this film is very enlightening, and I even learned that Irish is a language.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Oh Liz Lemon

"She's very well read. She's very stylish, don't you think? And the most important thing is that she makes Jack happy. She's like a white geisha." - Liz on Phoebe, Jack's fiancée

Monday, July 5, 2010


Sorry for the lack of posts...I'm lazy.