Thursday, July 30, 2009

Che Part 1/ The Argentine

The above first picture is iconic and represents counterculture in ways you wouldn't believe. It is a symbol of revolutionary depth and rebellion. It's been used in countless T-shirts by people that have no idea what it actually signifies or represents. Che Guevara WAS a communist but that's besides the point- he was a doctor, a poet and a revolutionary fighter that helped Castro build his army and power. He DID kill people that defied his side but what he achieved is historical and bold. Steven Sodebergh's two part Epic called Che is more than 4 hours long- I've seen the first part called The Argentine- Now available on DVD- and although flawed, it is fascinating. Right-Wing nutjobs can wine all they want that this is a 'Valentine' to communism, they've obviously not seen the film. Benicio Del Toro doesn't play Che, he is Che and it's something to see. The battles scenes are harrowing and the presence of the man is even more grandiose. Walter Salles released The Motorcycle Diaries in 2004, it recounted Che's young days in Latin America as a doctor and the affection he got for his homeland via interaction with the people. That was a very good movie and paved the way for golbal Che acceptance. If Salles' film was about a young adult maturing into a man- Sodebergh's movie is about the man already matured and ready to take on the world. I'm impatiently waiting Part 2.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Image(s) 7/30/09

Talking about movies such as 500 Days Of Summer and Eternal Sunshine made me completely forget Sofia Coppola's divine Lost In Translation. As Thelma Adams stated 6 years ago 'Getting lost never felt so good'. A beautifully shot film.

To whom it may concern...

She started off as a 12 year old isolated with Jodie Foster in David Fincher's edgy Panic Room but Watching Greg Motolla's hip 80's retro Adventureland the other night- I couldn't help but get awestruck at Kristen Stewart's understated performance and completely forgot the sin she committed as that Vampire lover in Twilight. Fact of the matter is she deserves better roles- roles that don't involve Robert Pattinson or blood sucking but roles that are as sweet and resonant as the character she plays in Adventureland or Emile Hirsch's girlfriend in Sean Penn's Into The Wild. Here's to her choosing smaller, smarter movies and -at some point in her career- flashing us her breasts.

Monday, July 27, 2009

(500) Days Of Summer

Van Morrison once said 'To live is to love is to love is to love is to love is to love'. That's as close to a concrete explanation of love as were likely gonna get anywhere. It's messy, frustrating, amazing and -above all- unexplainable. Director Marc Webb knows that and his new film called (500) Days Of Summer IS in fact messy, frustrating, amazing and unexplainable. Add the words Original, sweet and thoughtful. It stars Joseph Gordon levitt, the awesome Zooey Deschanel and gives us a peak at their 500 days together in a fragmented, twisted narrative. This film is so truthful and ambivalent about love that I was reminded of past relationships and past -shall we say- forgettable circumstances. It's a small movie, very hard to find but look out for it.

Levitt and Deschanel are Incredible-they bring the film to a much higher level than it deserves to be at. Especially given the fact that it does have the misfortune of going all saccharine on us towards its conclusion. As for Levitt, I'm not sure why this guy has not hit it big yet, every film he's in just surprises me and makes me realize he's one of the better actors of our generation. No, I'm not joking and Yes I do realize he's the kid from 3rd Rock From The Sun. Want rental advice? watch him in The Lookout.

It's rare to find a movie this truthful and honest about attraction- not many films in the past few years have actually had anything interesting or new to say about what it is to be with someone. I can think of Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, in which Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet erase each other from their memory -literally- only to get back together not knowing it had already happened. Fate? not sure. That's another thing about (500) Days Of Summer that interests me- the notion that love is possibly not only about fate but the right and wrong decisions you make in between. It's sweet but real and I believe the people that see it will likely enjoy diving into its pool of pain, sorrow and happiness + any film that has references to The Smiths and Springsteen is perfectly fine in my book

David Ansen

I've been reading David Ansen in Newsweek for many years now. So, much to my dismay, I find out that he is no longer writing and has decided to go his own way. Replaced by a -shall we say- degenerate robot writer. He's not the only one, film critic Glenn Kenny has done the same thing- except he was fired from Premiere Magazine. Most of these unemployed critics are resorting to blogging as a form of expression. Although it does not bring much money, it is their only way to write about film (not including books). I guess when you got no choice, you got no choice- Newspapers are cutting down and film is one of the targets. I had the chance to have a quick chat with David Ansen a few days ago and he claims it's all for the better. 'Im still writing, just not as often... had a piece in newsweek on bruno and one on ang lee's new movie next week, and did something for The Sunday NY Times about a month ago, my new contract with the magazine calls for 11 pieces a year' He talked about the mediocirty that exists in movies today and how he is happy he no longer has to 'watch boring movies every day'. I'm worried. more people are hooked online and less take the time to actually buy a newspaper or read a magazine, which means cutting down and more cutting down. The horror of it all pains me and it's only going to get worse.

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