Saturday, August 31, 2013

Her eyes, look at her eyes

Blue Jasmine
Written and Directed by Woody Allen.

This film is a highly entertaining portrait of a woman's fall. It is also a portrait about humble people and the contrary of humble people. I could say the rich snob society or even further, meta rich Fifth Avenue people, which was the case of Jasmine French, and about others who work a legitimately low paying job, which is the case of Jasmine's adopted sister.
These guys from San Francisco, Ginger and her boyfriend, can be humble, sometimes innocent, sometimes they don't really have many choices and often times they're not as smart or rather advantagable as others. To prove how smart the film is and great at balancing two worlds, I remember the name of our protagonist perfectly, but I don't remember at all the name of her sister (had to go check it). Little by little, we come to the moment when we see that it was Jasmine who brought everything to an end. So then, could I say it was her choice? It probably was. But the thing is, it was not for money, it was not for anything than the revenge over her husband's unfaithfulness. And this is the ultimate fact we get in the end. Jeez, it was really all her fault?

Jasmine French was a woman who just wanted to be substantial, even though possibly in the most superficial of ways. Her life was always superficial and intangible in a way, so no wonder she got delusional. She was an addict of this delusion and I don't think she has reached the rock bottom yet, even though the film does end.

Let's talk about casting and how perfect was this one. Really.You look at the screen and for reasons that are both about the story, physical, but also exterior to the film, the casting of Cate and Sally and Bobby and Alex became this harmonious mixed tape. It's so poignant and crucial to put a huge hole separating these different worlds and personalities.

Cate Blanchett doesn't loose her shit, not for a moment, not for a glimpse, as her Jasmine French gets increasingly unstable, out of control with pills and alcohol. It's truly amazing to watch Cate Blanchett - this is what I call a mother fucking treat. I kept thinking, asking why isn't she doing these performances three times a year, at least so I could see, because you know, not everyone is able to get to see her in plays (I guess mostly Australians do). Looking at this beautiful woman losing her shit I remembered a few times the word "Carol", which will definitely be my new obsession, my new project obsession.
Blue Jasmine is an extremely entertaining film and I really kept thinking about this once wealthy and now a degrading woman falling and digging deeper and deeper her hole. But Cate Blanchett, oh Cate Blanchett.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Pic of the Day

From the twitter of one of these gals.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh... can't do this to me.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Dallas Buyers Club

I don't think this role will bring him an Oscar. But this doesn't matter at all!
I'm looking forward to see this Dallas.
I already watched Mud and really appreciated the film and him.
Here's to the new Matthew career road!

Rooney in Mia out

I went to see Blue Jasmine this week and of course, I thought about Carol a few times throughout the film, as I looked at our beautiful and transcendent Cate Blanchett being absolutely brilliant! Really enjoyed the film. I also went to the library and read a chapter of Carol.
So a few minutes ago I read that Rooney Mara will be the new love interest of Cate Blanchett, in my world, this only means one thing - she's replacing Mia Wasikowska.
I really liked Mia, I think she was a really great choice for Therese. Now, Rooney Mara is playing the sometimes weird, sometimes over her time and straightforward Therese, secretive and with some pretty inquisitive eyes.
A few minutes later, thinking about the new girl...I like it! I really like it! I love Rooney Mara. It isn't the same physically, but I think this is a really minor aspect because I think she brings this unique figure, this unique mysterious notion about her, it isn't at all easy to figure her out and I think these characteristics fit really well into Therese.
Also - This means the film is moving forward...right? Right??
It better. This will be my new project obsession, after I settle down with Blue is the Warmest Color. It will take some time though.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Picture Moment

That thing you do 17 years later. Everyone thought Faye and Guy would end up together. No one suspected Faye and Lenny ( Steve Zahn ) had a secret longing for each other .

Says Liv.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Carry the One

They sat on old wooden office chairs across a scarred metal table from her. It was not a situation conducive to relaxed conversation. The family locked into a somber mood for these visits. For her part, Olivia never seemed particularly happy to see them, only relieved that they had come, that she hadn’t been forsaken. Once they were there, she could relax and give them desultory attention during their visit.
“A decent night’s sleep is hard to come by in here,” she said “Half these women are crazy in addition to being criminals. They need to tell everybody about whatever’s pissing them off. Even if you can get to sleep in the middle of all the crap that goes on in here, you only have until three or four until the maniacs start babbling and the depressives start moaning. And well, by four, it’s all over for me anyway because I have to go down and start mixing up the egg powder. Breakfast is at five. Meals in here are basically just another punishment thing.”  
This is a transcript from Carol Anshaw’s novel Carry the One I’m currently reading. This is from when the character of Olivia is in prison. Which reminded me a little of Orange is the New Black, obviously.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Ben Affleck as Batman

Intriguing move.
Also - I really don't give a fuck.
The film could be "interesting", could be whatever - I really don't give a fuck.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Pic of the Day

Beautiful Francophone Talent.
Léa and Matthias.

Get Lucky

And the songs of this Summer.
At least mine.

I usually don't like the Hit songs of the moment, but this one I gave in from the first moment I heard it. Besides, hearing this Get Lucky reminds me 100% of these two things:

Get Lucky screams CANNES, to me!

I think I saw perhaps 10% of this film, I totally fell asleep. 
But this song is definitely one of the coolest songs of the Summer.

But what won my heart was Canines, it was an absolute rendition to their songs.
After watching "I am not a Hipster", listening their album has become a treasuring experience.

"Black Bay"


Ok, just one more:

Monday, August 19, 2013

Taylor Smile

And they say Taylor Swift?
She looks so much like Katy Perry in here!
I was going to name this post Taylor Perry, but I don't like the sound of it...

Orphan is the New Black – The Best Thing of (My) Year

I wrote this after I watched the entire season of Orphan Black all over again and then finally finished Orange is the New Black. These shows are brilliant; they’re the most exciting thing ever because it really makes you think. And I should go further and add these other brilliant series like Top of the Lake and The Fall. They make you question, makes you think. The different and poignant storylines makes you open up your mind, to be outraged, to be in awe, and be in absolute amazement to what is presented to us. Sometimes it looks like a bit excessive, a bit over the top, a bit exaggerated. But what does that even mean? No, there’s nothing of that. The exposure is the essence of Orange is The New Black, for example. But it is also the essence of the other shows. It’s the exposure to human flaws, to the human brain, like different set of brains, to the human body. But ultimately, Orange feels utterly true, like all the others I mentioned.

Orange is so interesting I just want to grab it and take it in and feel it, study and understand all the ins and outs of it. I want to take every single second of this show, every dialogue and monologue, every character, every bad decision, every bad choice, every action and every reaction, every tone and look at it over and over again. I want to read this show, and I’m really curious to read Piper Kerman’s book. If a show makes you feel like this, then it must be good and worth it. So if you haven’t seen Orange is the New Black, then you’re missing one of the best shows of the year.

So resuming this first half of the year, but especially this Summer, I have to say I was taken over by TV programing - series or mini-series, fiction that isn't told through an half hour script. And there are these different tales that made my year. And I don't really think it is too precipitated for me to say that it is very likely that films won't top this. There will certainly be great films; I just find it hard that they'll top these wonderful stories about women.
It started with House of Cards. Then came Top of the Lake, The Fall, The Fosters, Orphan Black and Orange is the New Black. I have a strange or rather inconsistent relation with series, maybe it is the most normal of them; I can consume four seasons in one week and then never watch them again. I watched four seasons of Community in one week then I just stopped in the middle of season 4. Shows like Shameless, The Good Wife, Raising Hope, New Girl, Girls. I did catch up on Game of Thrones.
But these shows, the gratitude, the feedback is tremendous and the need to watch them again stays strongly and persistent.

Top of the Lake brings a tough story, an insightful look on a community. A young woman detective comes back to her hometown to help on a case of a thirteen year old girl who is pregnant and then she goes missing. This is just the starting point of a story about a lot of other things, like misogyny in work and any where else, like secrecy, like forgiveness. It becomes this great mystery story, like the others, you want to see it all at once and then again.

The Fall brings these great moments of pure satisfaction, especially through Stella Gibson. She stands on your own; she's a great professional and she becomes in my view this great role model for women. Like you're finally seeing something worth it, someone real, someone that matters, someone significant and not superficial.

The Fosters brings a sweet family story that really wins your heart for its transparent love. It is transparent in the sense that the show is made with so much care, the writing, the acting that it becomes pretty obvious as the episodes came. It's a show all people should see.

Orphan Black is one of the most exciting things of the year. No matter if you're a geek, if you're into dramas, if you're into comedies, it won't probably matter. I don't think there's anything else to be said. Like the other shows, they succeed in grabbing our attention in the most satisfying way possible.

Orange is the New Black which is revolutionary and pretty much like nothing we’ve seen before. I think this is possibly one of the best shows of the year. I don’t really watch that many, especially the likes of Breaking Bad and Mad Men, but I truly hope this one show has a chance at awards season next year. I would love if they would get awards recognition, from the writing to the directing; I wished Tarylor Schilling was nominated for an Emmy, even if I would probably nominate others, but at least it would bring that recognition. I hope she gets lots of nominations including an Emmy and I truly hope that then they will show the scene where she has to kneel and cough!
I do hope it gets its recognition. And that would be really special.

And now that I am focusing on Television, here’s my most anticipated new show for the season to come – “Masters of Sex”.
This new show starring Michael Sheen and the glorious Lizzy Caplan looks tremendously entertaining. The theme will be an amusement and at the same time it will certainly bring a look between something called taboo in the sixties but still with a great resonance in today’s American society. Not to mention Lizzy Caplan will be an awesome treasure for the show.

I’ve been watching less and less films, I’m not sure if there’s a specific reason. Part of the films I want to see aren’t available, the year hasn’t been great either. Hell, I could just be watching old films instead. But I’m focusing on films made within a two year spam, films made today. And now let’s wait and see what brings the last semester of the year. It will be an interesting year, but I’m not really inspired by it. Or maybe they aren’t as exciting as something like Oprhan Black. It will be about the exceptions, like Blue is the Warmest Colour, like In a World or Short Term 12 or Inside Llweyn Davis. So I have to mark this year of 2013 as The Great Year for Women in Television. Yes, there have been absolutely tremendous and now classic shows over the past few years, from The Sopranos to Breaking Bad and The Wire. But women are being the heroes and anti-heroes, the good, the bad and the complex girls like every human being is; the flawed human beings of their own stories. It is something so unique and exciting and there are other shows that are breaking through along the way, like Scandal, like The Killing, not to mention the work done on the web. I love this, I just love it. Here’s to them. Cheers. 

Orange – The truth catches up with you in here

Editor’s Note: A few days ago I woke up around six in the morning, I have awful nightmares, and so then I watched Orange is the New Black all over again. I’m starting to know the show pretty well, so now I will finally spread some of my thoughts about it, which I’ve written for a while now.

Piper Chapman is what you would call a privileged white woman, a middle class beautiful blond in her thirties who is sentenced to 15 months in prison for something she did over ten years ago, when she was in a relationship with a woman who was a drug dealer, or who worked for an international drug cartel.

Piper’s days most often than not end up being a roller coaster of emotions and it seems she always needs a number of actions required to make it to the next day. Piper is smart and intelligent and this in itself is already a challenge to where she stands, as much as being Hispanic, as being shy, as being a horse’s ass. Therefore, it does not necessarily helps her. It’s an incredible harsh and to the minute unpredictable and spontaneous adaptation to a system and especially to the people, but actually as she later realizes, the biggest of them all is the adaptation to her true self.
As the stories unfold, we get to know the people we see on this prison, and I mean pretty much everyone. Sometimes one more thorough than the other, but always significant enough, sometimes it just takes two scenes, three sentences. And so as the stories unfold, people like Larry, Piper’s fiance and Polly, Piper’s best friend, quickly become aliens to not only her world but also for us. They easily and early on take what Piper say for granted. Like when she says one inmate is holding her hands. In the chicken episode, “The Chickening”, it’s when you can perhaps see the biggest translation of one thing being the world of Piper and then the other world outside, to what something means to Piper and its relation on the outside. It’s Piper’s life, and her life is in prison, so a chicken ends up being the bigger thing of her day.

Unconsciously and sometimes not, Piper constantly keeps bringing trouble and challenges not only to herself but all the other inmates around her and the dynamics of the prison. On the outside, the fiance keeps being more and more impatient with her fiance’s rants about only talking to white people, about chicken, about the crazy lady from the bathroom that was actuality talking to her boyfriend through a cellphone she was hiding in the toilet. Details, details, details. There are so many moments to describe, when a show brings you all these layers, these significant details, it’s a treat to watch it twice, to watch a scene five different times - which I already did.
Larry complains, Polly complains. And Piper complains. But Piper stops complaining as her days in prison go by, because she realizes that instead of complaining she just has to face the situations head on. When Larry and Polly complain, they also acknowledge their complaining and being allow to feel shitty even when they know how lucky they are. When they’re saying this, how lucky they are, they’re the ones who really don’t appreciate what they’re saying. They’re absolutely not. Because not only they keep complaining, they just don’t seem to appreciate it, you know, life. This is pretty clear as the days pass and Larry gets more and more impatient, like for his god forsaken non existing sex days. But later his concerns are also with Piper’s old girlfriend Alex, who is sharing the same prison with her fiance. We, at least I get more and more outraged or simply disturbed by Larry’s and Polly’s actions, of the people and the world outside. They become sometimes annoying the way they complain and don’t appreciate things. But then you also have some pretty extraordinary characters like Larry’s parents. It is brief, they only have a couple of scenes but they are absolutely great and thorough. It’s hilarious and down to earth in the sense that makes them so authentic and extraordinary people.

Something you notice with Larry and Polly, it’s also a big part of Piper, is that they’re selfish. Even though they’re good people at heart, they always end up talking about themselves, turning the conversations to their issues. But this is not even about being selfish; this is just a common human tendency. Being selfish is when Larry goes on a talk show to talk about his state as being the fiance of a woman who was sentenced to prison, and the exposure. This was narcissistic and just thoughtless the way he exposes Piper, he is clearly not thinking about Piper’s well being. She’s in prison, not him. And somehow the ones living outside sometimes can also seem to be the ones is prison too.

Isn’t it just fucking glorious a scene like this one - Piper is smiling, she’s finally doing her things in the toilet??

Piper comes from a privileged place. There’s really no one that comes closer to her in this aspect in prison, maybe except for a few white inmates such as her ex lover Alex, Nicky Nichols, maybe the nun. But at the end of the day it is the same struggle. Piper has been a woman who gets what she wants, she chooses what she wants. When she first met Alex Vause, I think she was more attracted to the idea of this cool woman, a cool drug dealer, than the person itself. This is how we work sometimes, anyway. But when Alex couldn’t find time for her because she was overwhelmed with work and the heavy weight of responsibility, poor puppy ambivalent Piper ditches her. People like Piper are determined and you can see that because after Alex telling her her mom had just died , she still leaves her, but this isn’t solely the reason why.  I think she did the same with Larry. She actually expresses it, “I was somebody with a life that I chose for myself.” She picks him. At the end of the day, Piper is truly the one manipulative woman, not Alex. I never thought Alex Vause was toxic, and manipulative and especially a villain. I never saw her that way, even from the first moment. If anything, Piper to me, especially with Larry, feels like the true manipulative girl. Although it is a pretty cute manipulative, which is still manipulative. The true toxic thing I saw in Alex was her obvious intoxicating attractiveness, but this is another story. Again, Piper is extremely smart and manipulative. She’s great at playing this game with Larry, until a certain level also with Healy. But there is more to her, and this is why this show is so captivating. It is an absolute treasure to watch her go through all these diverse shit, like when she has to clean other inmate’s piss. When she uses her smartness and how stupid she actually sounds. But it is part of her, she will be describing a phrase from a poem, she will be talking about an author or rambling about a marathon, whatever she’s dealing with at the moment that sometimes you just ask: why is she saying all these things? She must know that they don’t know who is she referring to or what she’s talking about. But I don’t think it is pretentiousness. It’s part of her nature. So now we should talk about her toughness, her care and her fairness. It’s what grabs you, is to look at these women, to look at Piper and as the episodes unfold, see her come to terms with herself and becoming stronger.

“I’ve been starved out, felted up, teased, stalked, threatened and called Taylor Swift.” Well, at the end I would go for Katy Perry. I don’t know if it is her eyes, her sweet gentle smile, her delicate figure, but she’s pretty irresistible. She can be manipulative, self centered, but then she’s genuine and sweet. So then I like her, and I don’t like her, but at the end I absolutely love her. And I really love Taylor Schilling and her small titties. At this point, I do hope she gets a bloody Emmy. Look at all her faces.

Piper Chapman and her relationship with Alex Vause is something heartbreaking. The writers allow us to go through their story through a steady building conflict; they present them to us with enough mystery which makes us even more connected as Piper and Alex go through their history together. It is just a decent story, the way they react to each other is always so strong; from when Piper is so raged she can’t even look at Alex’s face, or when Alex always shuts down and doesn’t ever say anything about Piper, in this way, showing how much she matters to her and the respect she gives. We see they care so much for each other. I have to mention this strange feeling of watching Orange is the New Black, “I wasn’t Ready” for the fifth time and remembering my early thoughts about this character of the girlfriend, Piper’s old girlfriend, that woman in the shower, and the thought that this woman was close to being just a mere extra…this is also a translation of my ignorance of TV History, because I had absolutely no idea of who Laura Prepon was. Now I know. This old girlfriend, Alex Vause, she turned out to be one of the most truthful, most strong and beautiful characters of the show. And this is saying a lot, because there are great characters on this show. Like a fuck load. Like all of them. Alex is intelligent and what I love the most about her is her ability of standing in her feet, defend herself. She stands on her own.

I just love, love, love how Alex stands on her own and responds back, with no shattering to pieces or especially making a big scene. One of my favorite moments it’s actually when Piper tells her she chooses Larry and she doesn’t take more than a minute to tell her the harsh and the most sober and fair responses – she didn’t broke down, she didn’t cry, she was tough as she could in those circumstances, because I’m sure she was absolutely broken inside, and yet she came around and raised her head and told Piper in the eyes she may never ever come back to her. Which is the fairest of replies towards the situation at hand and the history behind it and what Piper had already made her go through. I love that she stands on her own. She’s always so right. Piper/Taylor is also tremendous here, because you can see how much she’s hearting, how much she would love to be with her, but it isn’t just possible, it isn’t her world.

So yes, I never heard of Laura Prepon before. Coming to this show, the only actors I knew were Taylor Schilling, Pablo Schreiber, obviously Jason Bigs, Natasha Lyonne and possibly a couple more. One of the things I’m in absolute awe must be this unbelievably talented cast, great work done by the casting crew. Taylor Schilling is great. Laura Prepon was like perfection. Alex Vause is an attractive woman, but what really defines her is her strength, her sobriety. She’s the one that cuts the bullshit. But there are others too. Like a lot of determined people, someone like Miss Claudette. 

If I start talking about this cast…it should be another ten posts. But what the hell, I’ve been talking about Piper for the past hundred phrases. You have Nicky with some serious parent issues, she turned to drugs. She tries to cope with her situation the best way she can.
“But she doesn’t talk!”, Nick says. “You might learn something”, replies Red. Red wanted more from her life than just be the cook-cleaning-wife. But no matter what, there are the ones who serve the bread and the ones who eat the bread. No one messes with her, but she’s also reliable and human. Then you have all these wonderfull and hilarious chickas, Maria, Maritza, Flaca-ca! Oh to see these girls act, what a treat. You have Yoga Jones who finds in her budaism some sort of shelter like any other, to overcome her past. Janae, who tried to belong and now she has to belong in prison and she’s no doubt looking after herself.
Poussey and Taystee are the best gals, they’re the best duo on the show! Their chemistry, they’re act and their stories, their irresistible wit it is just unbreakable and genius. Suzanne, aka Crazy Eyes, like most characters, she’s as human as her inmate neighbor. All these performances are truly remarkable and give so much to the show. Like Pornstache Mendez. Plabo Schreiber is so good here, from his pervert maneirisms, like his tongue, from the ruthless and genius comic timings. Joe Caputo, Mr. Healy and the other men are something as required to this show as…the toilets, you know? It’s part of the system.

And I still feel like I haven't even covered ten percent of interesting things I could talk about Orange. But it all comes back to the beginning and the willingness to watch this all over again. Orange is the New Black is good because it’s well written, it is defying, intelligent, it balances the details of today’s society and it becomes poignant in this aspect and then brings great awareness to a system we don’t really think about - prison. It brings questions and challenges you and there’s nothing more exciting than be looking at something and be completely taken by it and your mind goes on a roller coaster of math.  It’s good because is consistent, part of this consistency is greatly followed by the great performances, from Pablo Schreiber to Danielle Brooks and their authenticity and Uzo Aduba’s credibility, to Taylor Schilling and Laura Prepon’s chemistry and especially to all of the women’s courage. It’s all about them. The women in Orange.
And dude, how many times is the word “Lesbian” said in this show?

Morello - I never heard anyone speak like that, it’s genius. She’s hilarious.

The second part of this post comes right after.