Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Force Majeure

I want to watch this so bad.
Yeah, it seems this blog has become a trailer search... 
I'll eventually talk about the films.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Working, with Xavier Dolan

Why do you keep killing your mother, Xavier?
Here's the trailer for Elephant Song, which he stars (and not directs writes produces etc etc!)

AND here's more news from TIFF - He is hiring Jessica Chaistain for his upcoming English Language debut. The film is called "John F. Donovan" and she's playing the role of an antagonist who wants to ruin characters like the protagonist, sort of. Read it here.

Friday, September 5, 2014

On the Set

The Lobster.
This is actually old, from May. But I like it.
It's just a reminder that I really need to watch Alps and Canino from the Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Women's Portraits

Orange is the New Black is so poetic.

There’s something so poignant and beautiful about this show and that’s how the writers show us vulnerability. The usual and undeniable human vulnerability. And then the diversity and human flaws. And then you know the rest. Yes, Season 2 is all of this and all of this is, sometimes, poetic.
Sometimes Orange is poetic. It truly is. Because with Orange, you might be in the brink of becoming, I don’t know, skeptical, beginning to think this is nonsense, but then at the end of the scene or the climax of the episode, or a particular line, it hits you with the reality, the truthful honesty, whether we’re talking about Red’s utter fear for someone that turns her almost delusional or blind or even how she fights over her smuggling activity, only for us to realize that what she’s fighting for is something way beyond the apparent. Or Ealy’s delusional agendas that make absolute sense to be shown, because the more his ideas seem completely delusional the more you realize the number of people who think exactly like him and it is pretty essential to have a man actually say this, it is important to remember how ridiculous it all is.
The ultimate gift of this show is that it’s truthful.

(Healy) “Which lesbian is that? – (Pennsatucky) With the fat stomach and the haircut. – Black? She’s, like, the worst one. – No, she’s white. You know you can’t say that shit around here. Trust me… - No. No, no, no. You’re talking about Boo. ‘Black’ is her last name. You should stay away from her. – You think I can’t handle myself? I will say this. She’s got some sick, like tattoos, like her ink. Have you seen it? – That’s how they get you. Being cool, doing cool things, and before you know it, you’re part of their agenda. – What? – You know, you should read this book. It’s called The End of Men. In it they talk about how, pretty soon, men are gonna become irrelevant. Now women are more educated, they’re gonna make more money and pretty much run everything.- Really? – Mmm. Well, then, who would, like, be the President? – Exactly. It’s the lesbians that started this whole thing. They’re making babies out of a tube. That’s why they’re walking around all the time like they’re better. Waiting for us to go obsolete that’s what they’re doing. – No offense, but, uh, men being in charge has never done me any good.”

So poetic.

"Okay, right inside the big ol’ hole there’s another hole. Like a little one. – Wait, what? I thought you said it was a whole other hole. – It’s a hole in a hole. – For the love of God, girls, the hole is not inside the hole..."
Poetic AND pretty historic!

Some Piper face time.

Gail Fucking Peck.
Lez be honest, I don’t really watch much of Rookie Blue these days. It is a nice show but if there’s one thing they excel at is with Gail Peck. A fascinating case.
This is such an accomplished character, so well written, and many times, it is all in these two minutes scenes, sometimes a minor storyline from the entire episode, and still, it’s so successful.
Here’s the deal, on how female characters should be – real. I love Gail Peck, I just love her. I love her consistent witty sarcasm, unpredictability and just strong character. She’s strong and she’s vulnerable. We may identify with her because she’s so often alone, or because we realize how hard it is for her to open up and let someone in. She’s just this strong female character you rarely see being portrait anywhere. It’s how dimensional she is, we get to be connected to her because she’s a human being. It’s seems so simple, so why there aren’t more Gail Pecks out there? Someone we look at in the screen and feels real? Like in the likes of Cosima? Another female character I could go on and on describing how real and truly a rarity of sorts she is. It goes down to the detail, obviously, thanks to Tatiana Maslany. Cosima is someone with such a strong personality, so I’m just going to steal from someone else and just say that Cosima loves, This is a woman who just loves. And it is beautiful to watch, she’s so passionate.

A sisterhood like no other.
Thoughts on Orphan Black’s season finale – the stomach was aching and it felt just astonishing. It was a beautiful episode, full of drama and excitement.
First thing I would mention about this season is that it is quite different than the first season. Yes, we’re still part of a sisterhood like no other, oh if we are, but I also feel like we don’t have a clue of what we’re looking at. This season reminds me of something like Game of Thrones, where we have these different lines, but with Orphan Black each line stands on a world of its own (instead of a King…?). Ok, I don’t know what I’m saying and surely it is nothing to do with Game of Thrones. Each line stands on its own, with its particular agendas and modes as well as with each character of this show. It goes something like this, it feels like each character works for someone we don’t have a clue, and these people in its turn works under different codes and bosses and so forth. 
The thing about this season, to me, is that it didn’t really give much answers, it just kept throwing wood to the broad fire. But that’s also what makes this show, apparently. It keeps you tangled. You don’t really trust any characters and with every new plot point comes the inevitable skepticism. At the end of the day, everything’s possible.

Season one is revealing, season two is tangled around another tangled bubble of tangled balls…or maybe not that tangled.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Féminin/Féminin - A hidden treasure

Robichaud directing Léa and Émilie.

Chloé Robichaud. This is how I need to start talking about this show. I cannot emphasize her name enough, Chloé Robichaud, because she will be so successful, with a truly promising career ahead. She’s that talented. 
She’s my favorite young talent, along with Xavier Dolan. But I would draw a line not necessarily with him but rather with another Francophone, Céline Sciamma. I had already mentioned how Robichaud’s debut film reminds me a little bit of Water Lilies. I think the main point here is how the two are successful at telling their story. I think it’s the clearest aspect. Both debut films tell us a unique story that feels personal and they tell it quite successfully, despite the dimensions. 

Féminin/Féminin consists of eight episodes and it is a perfect little show with great potential to keep growing. There are a bunch of good things to point out. It’s really really good. Maybe because the idea came and it is being supported by LezSpreadTheWord, a LGBT Canadian web platform that emphasizes on all things Lesbian, that Robichaud is a part of, the show is part mockumentary, part fictional, and they’re only ten minutes long. Therefore the idea that it is really really precious!
I’m in love with this series.

A group of girls chat at a Café, they seem pretty close. They are also pretty They’re gay. At least most of them. But we’re already over it.
These are some of the characters we’ll be seeing throughout the episodes. A Robichaud shows up and they ask her about these two Canadian actresses, Suzanne Clément and Hélène Florent. Then two boys pass by, they play around guessing who the lesbians in the group are (stereotypes issues – check) and then they ask them for a make out session. The girls sigh, they flip the fingers. We laugh. And this is Féminin/Féminin. Right here. 

Léa is the character we follow closely in the Pilot. She’s newly single and she’s casually dating around, playing the role of not wanting anything serious. As she says, “So, I eat, I live alone, I watch Grey’s Anatomy, I cry a little and then I go to bed happy.”
Then we are presented to the mockumentary part. Now you can see who Robichaud is, she’s the director of this documentary. And this fictional documentary is pretty much about being gay. What love means to them, how different they think of their own personal relationships and how can they differ, if they differ, with the heterosexual and so on. It feels really natural and authentic.
I loved the pilot when I saw it at the beginning of the year, it was really good.  Once you see the rest of the episodes, you easily realize everything is in the pilot, every bit of creativity that is present in the pilot works well throughout the rest of the episodes.
What you can immediately see with the Pilot is the series’ authenticity. The acting and how natural it feels. The look of it. How balanced it is the fiction with the fictional documentary. And then that last punch moment (that comes with every other episode) where you have the actresses Suzanne Clément and Hélène Florent sitting next to our close friends Léa and Émilie and have a smooch. Yes, obviously, it’s still fiction, acting within the acting, but it is like a bomb, a bomb of laughter. Because it is so good – and the actresses playing Léa and Émilie kill it with their expressions.
I still look at this scene and crack like the first time.

Episode 2 - Céline & Julie.
In this older younger relationship, Robichaud searches for a representation of the new generation of women in Quebec, bringing these women from different generations. Like when Céline, the recently divorced, asks her younger friend Julie, if twenty four year olds’ believe in love.
You can see Robichaud’s sensitivity with Céline. She’s not here just for showing off lesbians and/or lesbians’ lives, she’s thoughtful about every single character. She brings them humanity. And always warm giggles.

Episode 3 – Steph & Sam.
This episode is beautiful, subtle, dimensional and especially heartfelt. Again, Robichaud brings a story of a couple, apparently steady, actually looking maybe to start a family of their own, but instead of being struck with the excitement of a new life they are hit by lightning, when Sam discovers she has cancer. It’s another beautiful exploitation, in this case, how things can turn opposite sides completely. It’s life.

Episode 4 – Noémie.
 “Noémie knows that she’s gay. She just hasn’t kissed anyone yet.”
This is the coming of age episode, one could say. A tender look on youth. It’s so well written, just in nine minutes, she tells a story that sometimes takes a feature film, and the timings, always so on point. This is like a short lighter version of films like “Fucking Amal”.

Episode 5 – Alex & Anne.
The juicy episode. This is the episode I giggle every second of the way. The comedy timing is to perfection. And the acting - this brilliant scene where they are in a restaurant trying not be awkward but being totally awkward. It’s a treat. When the awkward turns cute.
I should be talking about this series’ soundtrack already. It’s so bloody great. The choices for each particular scene, the opening credits, etc. Damn it Canada.

Episode 6 – Émilie & Maude.
Émilie decides to move in with Maude, a woman she fell in love with very recently.
This episode starts with a harsh break up, like every other relationship that last for four years probably, but as the episode progresses, it just gets funnier and funnier. That last scene when Émilie looks a bit trapped and just unsure to her saying yes to the moving in, it’s everything.

Episode 7 – Le Chalet.
Chloé Robichaud reunites the girls for a weekend out in the country side. It’s hilarious.

Laughing out loud.

Episode 8 – F/F.
The timing of this show is impeccable. The way Robichaud is able to incorporate the mockumentary and fiction, you don’t feel any distance from one to the other, nothing feels disconnected, you contemplate the whole as the whole and it is pretty consistent. It doesn’t even feel like breaks because it is natural. It’s all in the way she decided to write the show, the thematic lines, the way she talks about these women’s lives, so it all makes sense when they’re answering the questions Robichaud asks. 
So, the consistency, the writing, the acting, the music choices, the quality of these web series stands alongside TV front runners, actually better. Way better. I shouldn't even mention The L Word because it is degrading for F/F to be put in the same sentence. I guess this is what Ilene might have once wanted her show to have been like. But the truth is that The L Word is still part of the very few mainstream TV shows entirely based on lesbian characters.
Féminin Féminin just breaks out in this new Internet generation for a new wave of accomplished queer shows, that don't need to worry about breaking barriers and being unapologetic but just are filled with talent and the opportunity to create something unique.

About Féminin/Féminin.