Sunday, February 24, 2013

Oscars 2013

I realized this was five years ago! I always revisit this speech each year, anyway, a few times a year actually...

Ohhhh Alicia Vikander!! A Royal Affair and Anna Karenina dudes!

My mom approves completely...

My mom's favorite hairstyle, ever.


Rebelle/War Witch star Rachel Mwanza. Different haircut from Berlin!

Adele and Jennifer peed together, and then Adele called her Rachel! End of story!


Can she move? At all?

D'Fwan was literally on E! Was he not?! It wasn't him?

On a total different note:
Like a boss!! 5 Broken Cameras.

What happened to you K? I see bruises all over...

Ok, let's go. Let's see the Musical, right? It will literally be a musical and the speeches will have a 5 second range. Ahhh. Ok.
He did it, he made him laugh!

...Oh my God, that was fucked up...bless the break...

Beautiful! And there you go, short speech - wasn't it just incredible and sweet and cute?

Oh women are winning awards!

Wow wow wow - what a voice, first standing ovation - deserved. Break.

INOCENTE - I really really want to see this.

Sixto Rodriguez - That's what's up. The most inspiring human being I've seen recently.
Searching for Sugar Man - Best Documentary.

AMOUR - Zankyou, zankyou, zankyou, zankyou!

Where's Adele? I want Adele!!!

Yap, have to pee now...not now though...wait wait...

Oh my god...
A tie? WOW! How cool, Zero Dark Thirty wins an Oscar, so deserving.
SKYFALL?? WOW!! I bet no one predicted this outcome! No one!
Is this saying something about the 'other results' to come??

Ah shit fuck, here we go. It's going to hurt, this one! The speech, I mean.
It's not hurting at all...hmm...too many names! No offensive music? Wow. And there you go! Done. Next?
Oh Adele.
Ahhhh finally the pee. I think it's everyone's story at this point...right?!
How funny, the Academy President comes and guess who appears in the corner of the screen? Harvey Weinstein.

Let's see what this will say about the rest of the Oscars!
Best EDITING - Argo - William Goldenberg - cool.

Nailed it. Nailed the shit out of the Oscars. Standing ovation in my living room. I think I heard this one before...*Kelley O'Hara - Love you!

Oh my God Kristen, they keep forcing you to do things and you keep being so painfully unconfortable about it!
Lincoln wins an award, Amazing! BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN. Oh and there's another Adele in the room...I love Adeles.

YAP, it's already a classic.

The Boobs Sequence was like...'hmmm why?', but in the middle it was like...giggles...but then, really, what's the point? Boobs, women have boobs, so...that's it. But then it's a joke. Ok, let's giggle a little, let's celebrate boobs, 'Yay'!

Though, I'm still thinking about that joke by Ted about Jewish and Israel...

No standing ovation to Barbara? I'm actually surprised. *Because it's about the dead.

Oh Keira...
Life of Pi - Mychael Danna - BEST SCORE.

Oh my god, you are amazing.

Well, and there we go, the final nominations.

My mom loves this woman - Who doesn't?
Chris Terrio - intelligent man! BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY.

Let's see the surprise - ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY - Wow, Tarantino wins the Oscar, seriously, wow. Let's hear it. Thank you me...thank you me...blablabla!

Ok, now I still have two No Guts no Glory predictions standing!
One is Emmanuelle Riva for Amour - which, hmmm, just become tougher.
And Silver Linings Playbook wins no awards - which consequently just become tougher too.

BEST DIRECTOR - ANG LEE!!! Ahhhhh this was my prediction too!! Oh my God, deserving ovation!
'Thank you Movie God!"
Everyone deserved this. Great great win though.

He made it!
Oscar Scene - literally - Jessica.
Oh God, no one's going give the Oscar to Riva after that scene, what was I thinking!!

OK I was right! JENNIFER LAWRENCE. My sister will be pissed!
What, what's happening!! There you go Jennifer! There you go, you're the woman of the hour, of the year, and of the years to come I guess! Good Luck!

Daniel Day Lewis-----'waiting----'waiting----
History is made.
Oh that was brilliant.

"And now ladies and gentleman"
POLITICAL, I would say.
"Best Picture of the Year"
Seriously? "Director", could you be more specific?
You did it dude, you did it.
Let's all take a deep breath.

Here's to the losers. Amen.
Here's to the losers. And that's a wrap.
P.S. Congratulations to the winners.
Also, Jennifer Lawrence, I don't think you won't be sleeping...or eating...for days to come...good luck on that! Everything will be Jennifer Lawrence from these weeks on...good or bad...Jennifer Lawrence...all the time, Jennifer Lawrence. I think you get it. So, again, good luck!

Emptiness at the end of the road

Oscars 2013
I started the season mentioning the promising political side that could make an important position throughout the months. I really had no idea how political it would turn out to be. Despite the fact that each year, everything is always political, I think this year in particular was especially political, too harshly political in various levels. I also said it was a year for the American history, and again, more than the usual American culture presence each year, this was surely a special year for that. Slavery, Presidents, cults, true facts, all involved in the mix.
It comes to these last few days before the big night and I feel completely nothing. It’s Sunday and only now I’m pushing my energy up about it. I confess that when the hour comes I will certainty get excited, I always end up at least a bit curious about the all thing. It’s an uncontrollable situation and feeling, it’s part of a tradition, no matter how phony it sounds the all thing at the end of the show. It’s, again, irresistible on my part and on many others, I guess. No matter how bad we feel about it, how raged or whatever, we still see it and have hopes about it. I do.

 So here it goes, my NO GUTS NO GLORY predictions!

I say for Best Actress in a Leading Role – Emmanuelle Riva wins over Jennifer Lawrence.

I say Silver Linings Playbook comes out of the ceremony empty.

For Best Original Screenplay I say Mark Boal for Zero Dark Thirty – probably the only Oscar it will get. Maybe two for a tech win.

Best Editing – William Goldenberg for Argo or William Goldenberg for Zero Dark Thirty.


I say for Best Original Score BEASTS OF THE SOUTH…Oh wait, there weren’t nominated!

Best Actor – “Oh God, how could Joaquin Phoenix not have won that Oscar???” – will the reaction a few years after this ceremony. Then they will say, right, Daniel Day Lewis was there that year. If they hadn’t give him the Oscar their credibility would be down the charts?!

I’m looking forward to see Adele, not only sing but her accepting speech!!

I dreamed a while ago Anne Hathaway would lose the Oscar to Sally Field – not that it will happen, but I actually felt bad about Anne Hathaway’s dreamful lose, sad for her.

Anna Karenina wins an Oscar – Best Costume Design, which I’ll be glad to see Anna Karenina be recognized at something, also, a chance to look at Keira Knightley...

I’m curious about who will win the Best Documentary Feature – if I were to win some bucks I would choose Searching for Sugar Man, the most likely winner, but I still don’t know which one I would vote, for sure. I really admire them all, except the one I didn’t see!

I’m definitely curious about who will win the Oscar for Best Picture of the year. These Oscars seem unpredictable, at more categories than the usual, that’s why it sounds ‘unpredictable’, but at the same time it really isn’t. We all know deep down Argo will win. But anyway, let’s see how it goes.

So these Oscars will be more like a musical, right?
I'm not looking forward to...well, the host. Sorry dude. I don't think he'll be very present anyway. There are so many people singing in this show, I don't know how much time the winners will have to, well, have their time. Probably ten seconds at this point.

Let's look at some of the 'unseen' actors with more than one film at the Oscars:

John Hawkes did almost the unlikely, go agains't the other actor he performed with - The Sessions and Lincoln.

Alicia Vikander - Anna Karenina, A Royal Affair. It was her year.

Jemery Strong - Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty. Same character in both?! I'm kidding.

John Goodman - Argo, Flight (and Trouble with the Curve). Awesome in both!
First order of the day:
Happy Birthday Emmanuelle Riva!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Cold Facts

My favorite films of this season are ultimately the documentaries.
My friend was mentioning the fact that it comes to the end of this phase of Oscar films and, at least this year, she isn’t really excited for the fictional films as she is for the animated features. She just relates to them more, she is more inspired by them, she is utterly attracted to their creative process, their imaginative stories. I don’t think she’s even considering the quality, it’s not about that. You may argue though it's nothing but a matter of taste. It may be. On my end, I can’t bring myself to watch any of the animated films. I think how she is compelled by animated film I am by the documentary.
And this year it is just mind blowing, their quality, the stories they have been bringing to us. Where should I start?

The Invisible War and the other Oscars docs:
I already mentioned this film last year and here’s the thing, we have this films we see and understand how important they are because they have been making such a substantial difference, like The Invisible War, which since it premiered more than one year ago has been making some change and a great deal of awareness. This film not only is all of that but it is of course a great work of research, great narrative and absolutely entertaining. But yes, it does hurt to look at something like The Invisible War, but the good part is that people can change that. Then you have Searching for Sugar Man which brings this incredible story of a unique human being. It is beautifully made; it is wonderfully entertaining and brings an incredibly satisfying story. How to Survive a Plague is another great, amazing film which kind of brings both aspects of what I mentioned earlier. 5 Broken Cameras is exceptional and just spot on. I have no idea which of them I would vote for. Searching for Sugar Man will probably win because it brings the satisfying ending. But The Invisible War and How to Survive a Plague could win to, so 5 Broken Cameras and The Gatekeepers, but I have not seen the last one yet. 

Searching For Sugar Man
Of course this is one of the most talked about documentaries of the year, and god, what not to say about it. This is one of the most creative, accomplished pieces of art of any kind and also one of the most touching and fascinating stories I’ve seen in years. I’m easily lost for words.
Sugar Man is a truly amazing, fascinating tale, a beautiful rarity of sorts. For someone who comes towards this film without knowing anything about it, the experience must be even more fascinating and satisfying. This is the story about a mysterious musician called Rodriguez, who many thought was dead; while he gradually became more popular than Elvis Presley, but not in his own country but in some other place in the world, South Africa.
What makes this film so astonishing starts with the story of course, but more importantly how director Malik Bendjelloul lead the whole piece, that’s what makes this film so good, it is such a well crafted film, such an accomplished piece of art. The director chose to bring what seems the most obvious aspect of the entire story, the mystery. So he brings us mystery, he brings us suspense. He asks for our full attention, while he explores the own inner elements of the city of Detroit, the city of the singer Rodriguez. While he explores key members of this journey to find what happened to Rodriguez, while he explores South Africa, while he explores the world of record labels. Another crucial element to Sugar Man is the songs. They float beautifully throughout the entire story, not only their timing is always impeccable, they bring this beautiful atmosphere, they bring meaning and once again, all the while the director never stops from creating meaningful connections with the space he’s showing to us. Detroit becomes this influential connection not only with Rodriguez, but with the bridge between the forty years that passed, to what Detroit is today and to what Rodriguez is today. Therefore, this film is thorough in so many ways. I’ve seen this documentary a couple of times, and then some, and I still feel the same way from the first viewing, which is really what this man represents, Rodriguez is one of those who in their own nature become this extraordinary, unprecedented human beings. Rodriguez brings the music, brings the mystery, and brings the human nature at its most unprecedented and beautiful form. It’s the human spirit of Rodriguez that will most touch people. Just listen to his songs.

The Queen of Versailles
Here’s what I kept saying after this documentary ended: This is so good. This is soooo freaking good. Good God, this is good.
The timing couldn’t be more perfect, that’s one of the main perks of this fortunate direction by Lauren Greenfield, followed by a tremendous and crucial narrative. It is continuously captivating, honest, amusing and…this is so damn good. It will become one timeless, classic piece of work we can look at and learn, from different perspectives, from different levels, for different purposes. People will look at this and always remember what America is made of. This is so good.
This documentary follows a billionaire couple as they are about to build the largest home in the United States of America, when the economy crushes deep down. The Siegel Family is the intriguing case that gives us a variety of perspectives, in every level you can imagine really. This being said, I still need to make a special mention to Jackie Siegel, the wife, this unique soul who really brought the truly genuine spirit to this Queen of Versailles, she was truly the queen of this show, she was undoubtedly the star! A tremendous praise should be given to the director who had the guts to keep moving fearlessly through this world. So this documentary is obviously among the most entertaining features of the year, and undoubtedly the years to come.

Ai Weiwei: Never Story
Filmmaker Alison Klayman gives us an inside look at the Chinese artist and inevitable activist Ai Weiwei, an increasingly prominent figure in the contemporary Chinese society, a place still full of prohibition, with no freedom of speech, with the ultimate disrespect for human rights, to let them be who they are. She follows this artist without ever being too present, but coming to him always in the right time with the right questions; she’s just simply there, because this artist, this artist brings everything. Ai Weiwei is warming, moderated, and educated, an amusing man who struggles with his country’s circumstances with the most admiring and relentless passion, a truly fascinating human being.
If the system doesn’t work at all, he has to work through the system. That’s what he has been doing. His passion is a truly admiring thing to watch nowadays. To see how twitter and the internet works for him, how important his art becomes and how important it is for him, it gives us an idea, it just gives us an idea of the human spirit set in the right fields. He embarrasses us all. That’s what’s about! I guess that’s what this new world of cyber communication brings us, on one hand I absolutely loathe Facebook; doesn’t just irritates your nerves when you happen to read something like “Anti social people, I’m going to sleep”. Why? But on the other hand, we have someone like Ai Weiwei who can make a difference, in the true sense of the word. I was very moved by this story.

How To Survive a Plague
We Were Here was already so touching, and this year comes How to Survive a Plague which is equally touching and poignant. We Were Here takes place in San Francisco, How to Survive a Plague takes a whole new set of activists in New York, I think this one is even richer. This is another great touching documentary about the AIDS epidemic, and the editing work is so good, all the years of protesting, all the information they collected translated in this one film it shows how good this documentary is. Tears were constantly threatening to come out from the very first moment until the end.

5 Broken Cameras
This is a great inspiring story of a man in the middle of an exceptional situation in his life, in the world really, which is the Palestine. A man who happens to have a video camera, or a few of them, who loves to record and ends up gathering footage and bringing to us this passionate and inspiring civil movement in his village. In these circumstances he has this unthinkable spirit and craft of being able to portrait the ultimate Israel-Palestine situation, therefore the filmmakers shows us the human passion, and he brings us an example of hope in the middle of one of the most hopeless places in the world. This documentary is both entertaining, inspiring, revealing. It’s everything you hope to be.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi
Do you like Sushi? So you want to have a little but crucial taste about life? I watched this little documentary and I did taste what life is all about in this corner of the world, a little restaurant under the Tokyo subway. It is perhaps on a subtle way, one unexpected beautiful film.

West of Memphis
It seems this story that many people are now aware of is coming to an end. But it’s not quite there yet, is it?
Once again, with a new set of directors and producers, this documentary brings a consistent and complex resume of the situation but more importantly it brings the new elements that have been gathered very recently. Because this is a story that is still hard to believe, West of Memphis is still worth the big spot, it keeps being more and more fascinating how everything went wrong in this case. Ultimately it is never enough to remind every single one of us, that justice as to be made righteously, that people’s rights need to be respected and once they’re violated there’s got to be something done.

The Imposter
Here are my emotional levels throughout the film, if it matters at all, because I freaked out, I freaked out so much I had tears in my eyes, I was so freaking nervous and disturbed, but mostly, so scared with The Imposter. It just kept getting better and better, or yet, worse and worse, or better yet, creepier and creepier, super disturbing, and I would say, finally, outrageous! It was bloody outrageous.
How the world does become this small connected place of constant outrageous coincidental actions? Oh, this was a very Cloud Atlas moment. Shit.
I do admire the people who find these stories and have the intelligence and resilience of embracing it and be able to bring it together into a documentary, got to praise their work. Though, this was too much!

What a beautiful, artistic portrait of a not so artistic situation, which is the city of Detroit, an increasingly degraded place, which has been harshly hit by the economic crisis. It’s an American story through the eyes of a hidden camera, which moves lightly through the empty streets, through the empty souls, through people with a vision. I’m not from Detroit but I believed the spot on portrait of this film.

Side by Side
Spot on take revealing the current state of the world of film, yes it is technical but the truth is that it really is a moment of change in the universe of cinema, the questions about digital and film will always be the questions of storytelling.
Everyone the least involved in this world quick learns the current atmosphere of continuously technological improvement, if you buy this one really good camera, there’s a big chance in a few months the same camera has been improved and another one more sophisticated comes to replace it. Everyone in this world realizes that what they’re facing it’s a change of course, but like with any other, it is always a difficult process. There are always the skeptical ones; there are the ones who fully engage onto the new. The thing is, like they say in this film, there are good pros and mostly defiant opportunities. It is always developing, the human nature assures you that and it won’t stop improving, ever, even if they screw up a little in the meantime. At the end of the day what matters is what better contributes to the way they want to tell their story.

These are only some of the films I had the good pleasure and fortune of seeing. There are still so many I want to see and missed out.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


I decided to do the curious case of watching Hitchcock followed by The Girl. In other words, the making of of a couple of films, more specifically  Psycho, The Birds and Marnie and Alfred Hitchcock obsession for blonds, his relation with his actresses and his wife, ultimately his awful demeaning relationship with women in general.
Not good films, both of them. Entertaining? Maybe a bit. Poorly executed, poorly written stories. Especially The Girl, especially Sienna Miller’s Pippi Hedren. Turns out, Hitchcock it’s even more repulsive than he looks in the pictures! 

“It’s only a bloody movie.” In this film, Helen Mirren brings her natural talent, but even with her charms her Alma doesn’t really transcends in any special level. It’s just another chattered and disvalued wife behind some really obnoxious husband. As for the rest of the cast and crew, oh wait a minute, I’m mixing everyone from both films at this point, but from Hitchcock, no one’s really given enough depth.
What’s curious and entertaining about these films is the actual behind the scenes, it’s the making of the films, the scenes where actresses and actors are playing other actors, like Scarlett Johansson’s Janet Leigh, like Sienna Miller’s Pippi Hedren, Sienna being more exposed to these situations, especially in making of The Birds, with the birds scenes!

The Girl.

It’s about an old man, that can’t get it up anymore, and being utterly nasty and unattractive doesn’t help much either. Between an old man not accepting his last stages of life, followed by his obsessions for his work and his actresses you have Hitchcock. But there are different interpretations in the film’s lines; one of them it’s really the question, does the man is in a crisis of a man’s menopause, or does he really had a particular fixation on the woman? I kept questioning the real motives to every line of this film. 

Unfortunately, Sienna Miller’s Pippi didn’t help at all being that it was poorly and awfully weak, mainly bad written. I just felt like going over to the imdb and see Pippi’s biography and build my own dimensions of this character. The only logical reason for Sienna’s Golden Globe nom, besides the whatever aspect of the award itself, is her effort to be a human being that moves around, that speaks, that has a brain, that blinks, that thinks, that surely has something on her mind. Also, it is an absolute treat to look at her performance when she is acting, Pippi's acting for the films! Acting within the acting. I think when they were trying to translate Alfred Hitchcock’s vision, fixation and his own molding of Pippi, they forgot to bring the actual dimensions of the person itself. Between Pippi’s acting under the directions of Hitchcock, between Hitchcock’s creation of this person, they forgot the Pippi Hedren. 

Still, Sienna Miller does look like a doll for many times throughout the film. It was an absolutely unfortunate character. And when I thought I couldn’t be more repulsed by the man, Cock, he did get worse in The Girl, even though Toby Jone’s Hitch isn’t as repulsive as Anthony Hopkins’. It just isn’t, when actually it should be, because I watched the making of Psycho, than The Birds and Marnie, as you can see, the dates get together correctly, the man gets older, and the older he gets the worst he behaves with his actresses. Pippi caught the culmination of this man’s fixation on his actresses and their blond hair. Sienna Miller just couldn’t do anything about it, could she? It’s such a strange character, such a strange performance, because it’s just hard to understand which way they wanted to take this woman. Nonetheless, she looks utterly drop dead beautiful.

The famous Sienna Miller.
I have a sudden urge to watch her films all over again, but looking at her film career, there aren’t that many interesting films. And I’ve seen the majority of them, the interesting ones. I wonder when was the moment she became a star, the timing, it probably wasn’t from any film. I don’t have a clue. I don’t remember her story anymore. But I do wish she had more interesting films. I really do, because I could look at her beautiful smile all day.