Monday, September 30, 2013

The Broken Circle Breakdown

Beautiful beautiful beautiful.
Powerful and heartbreaking film, universally resonant.
One of the most touching films I've seen this year.

Blue is the Warmest Color Through the eyes of a homosexual female director, by Molly Oconnor

Note from the blogger: Molly Oconnor is a LA based filmmaker who is currently working on various projects. She produced and directed the short film Violeta, with Edy Ganem. You can see her work here. This essay you'll read I believe is a well structured and poignant take on the very talked about film Blue is the Warmest Color and I strongly encourage everyone to read it.

September 7th, 2013

Blue is the Warmest Color
Through the eyes of a homosexual female director
Molly O’Connor
I have lost the last 4 days of my life, trapped in emotional upheaval from seeing the film Blue is the Warmest Color.  Since I was a child I knew I wanted to make movies because film, as a medium, has an immense power. One of which I have recently been subject to experience, to the greatest extent I ever have. 
Blue is the Warmest Color had been on my radar since I saw Lea Seydoux in Farewell My Queen. As a director and consumer of cinema in general, I see the need for good queer cinema, lesbian cinema especially.  So I was excited to see this film.  I didn’t know much about it. I have not read the graphic novel. I don’t usually pay attention to media reviews, trailers, and such.  I saw that Blue won the Palme D’Or at Cannes and figured okay I am in for a treat.  It just so happened that I was going to see an advanced screening of the film in Los Angeles.  I watched the trailer a few days prior, but didn’t quite feel I had a grasp on the film.
My friend Joe and I wait in line then finally get in and find our seats. The movie is 3 hours long so the theater encourages people to go get food.  Especially since the director, Abdellatif Kechiche, is stuck in traffic and will be late.  They are holding the film so that he can introduce it.  After about a half hour he comes in, he tells us a little about the film, and they get things going.  They also warn us that the film has no credits because they were not yet finished. 
So the film just starts.  I am happy.  I love French cinema and the general verite aspect of it.  I like the look the film, the natural light, the style.  I like that we are introduced to a character just as she is.  No make up, slightly unkempt, a teenage girl who is not concerned of fitting into any type of Hollywood norm.  I like this a lot.
Within a matter of minutes through the tight framing of Adele’s face, I start to feel disoriented and claustrophobic.  I want the frame to loosen up just a little.  Then I start to get really uncomfortable because I feel that I am witnessing things I should not be seeing.  I am forced to watch this girl sleep as the camera just sits on her, drinking her in at her most vulnerable.  It starts to click that I am being subject to see this girl through the eyes of a director who seems to be in love with his actress.  I feel weird and creeped out by frame after frame of her sleeping, eating, masturbating, crying.  It’s unnerving, but I try to block that from my mind and get back to the film.
Adele Exarchopoulos is captivating.  Her emotions are so raw that instantly I am feeling with her.  Feeling what it felt like to know something is different when you are not feeling what you are “supposed to” with a boy.  That moment of love at first sight, when love just bowls you over.  I am feeling that sense of torture and longing that goes with being in love.  That feeling that consumes you, you can’t eat, you can’t sleep, you can only think of that person.  I am feeling the anguish and pain that Adele (also the characters name which blurs the line between character and actor) is feeling.  I have never been so moved by a performance in this way.  I have never been able to identify so closely with a character like I am with her.  And you cannot escape the feelings.  The camera is in her face constantly capturing all of this in some unspoken glory. 
I feel that moment of relief and rapture and ecstasy and total fear when Adele finally meets and talks to Emma, her love at first sight.  I am right there with them.  Lea Seydoux is a powerhouse, an amazing force on screen.  The two of them together have a chemistry that is so rare and so divine that I am taken in.  I cannot take my eyes off them.  I know exactly what they are feeling.  I have been in both of their positions at one point or another in my life.  I am feeling all my past relationships in my body while experiencing this film.  It is amazing and scary and brilliant.  I am watching this story unfold and it has me hook, line, and sinker.
And then… The film goes from this moment of truth and honesty to porn.  I am now subject to porn.  In general I am indifferent to lesbian porn.  But I have a serious problem of the depiction of lesbian sex in this film.  Lesbian sex is not porn.  I am now clearly, without any doubt, being subject to Kechiche’s male gaze, his highly distorted fantasy of what lesbian sex is.  There is no pleasure, passion, sensuality, emotion, love, or anything to me that honestly sums up lesbian sex in this scene.  Instead for 10 minutes I am subject to two actresses who look uncomfortable, unsure, and exploited.  They do not look like they are having fun or enjoying themselves. 
The film has just taken this amazing portrayal of a relationship, a certain truth, and turns their love into a big lie.  A lie that he is trying to pass off as something it is not.  He speaks about the scene as having passion, emotion, and sensuality. The scene is garish, unsexy, laughable, and just plain absurd.  To the point where people are laughing in the audience in part for being uncomfortable and in part because the scene is so ridiculous.
Once again I am brought back into their relationship.  Before I get to see any of the good aspects of their love story, the happiness, the tenderness, the joy, etc we are already in their decline. They have settled into their roles.  They don’t quite fit.  Things have cooled.  Then they dissolve and break up in a scene that once again is so real and painful and something I could identify with.  There is a certain damaging power that women possess and it is all on display in the scene.  Emma slaps Adele in the face and I feel it.  It’s shocking. It hurts.  Adele is once again so lost and heartbroken. I am heartbroken with her. I can taste the salt of her tears in the memory of my own. 
They meet some time after they break up.  I feel that moment, that excitement, that crushing desire for the familiar, that hollow distorted ache.  And once again the scene quickly turns into a mockery.  A gross display of untruth, of grabbing and kissing and snot and absurdity.  Not long after this scene, the film ends.  3 hours and my first thought is I don’t need to be in a relationship any time soon.  This film was enough to remind me what that is like. 
After the film there is a Q & A with the director, Adele, Lea, and Jeremie Leheurte.  Lea is holding Adele’s hand cowering behind her as they walk to the stage area. There is a translator, which makes the Q & A difficult.  A 3-part question is asked and answered.  Then my friend calls Kechiche out, on a quote in the film, about female pleasure and how men in art are trying to decode that mystery.  My friend asks him if he feels he has done that with his film.  Kechiche gives a bullshit answer that skirts around the question, but proceeds to tell us how his film is about passion, love, sensuality, female pleasure, etc.  I am trying to digest this the best I can, as the film I just watched did not display what the director is telling me that it is.
Then a woman in the crowd asks Kechiche what he thinks that Adele gained and lost in the making of this film.  He says ask her she’s right here.  The woman says no I am asking you.  I don’t at first understand this woman, as it seems strange she wouldn’t just ask the actress. The director defensively states right off “well she was 18”.  This sticks out to me.  Adele answers the question herself after Kechiche.  All questions the cast answers are very benign and feel almost like they are saying what they are supposed to. They keep repeating the same answers.  I chalk it up to they don’t speak English that well. 
They wrap up the Q & A and on our way out my friend and I talk to Lea.  He tells her that her performance was brave.  I want to talk to her seeing as I admire her work, but I can see behind her smile that she seems very uncomfortable and doesn’t really want to be there.  So I tell her she was brilliant and leave her be.  We walk over by Adele.  I notice Lea get into the suv they came in.  Again my friend talks to Adele for a moment.  I tell her she is amazing.  We walk away.
I am, by this point, just able to kind of grasp what I have just seen and experienced.  I am troubled.  I am seriously troubled.  We discuss the film and how sick it is that this is just another film hopelessly caught in the male gaze.  This is a film that just exploits its actresses having these sex scenes that are pure male fantasy.  I now get why the woman questioned the director in the Q&A.  She must have been feeling what we were feeling.
This film, like so many others, fetishizes this male idea of lesbian women.  It does so in a way that makes it seem real.  And yes certain aspects of the relationship depicted, read as a real story.  I could identify with the characters.  However, the lines of real and not real get seriously blurred in this film.  It is dangerous as it is passing off a serious lie as truth.  In some respects it is perpetuating false ideas about women and the love between them. My friend makes a comment about the girls, how they reminded him of children who have been abused the way they cling to each other.  This registers, but only in part.
The next day I wake up a mess, an emotional wreck. I am still feeling the film.  I am angry. I feel violated. I feel cheated and deceived.  I feel dirty.  I feel that there is something so off about the film and meeting the actresses and listening to the director speak. I have all these mixed emotions.  I look at photos online and I think it strange that it seems like the actresses are still caught in that relationship.  I send a facebook message to my friend about how weird this all feels and why am I feeling so strongly (I am not normally an emotional person). He messages back that he dreamed of the film.  He gives me a diplomatic answer about how problematic the film is.  It is all a jumble.  Then I listen to Lykke Li’s song, I Follow Rivers, which is used in the film. I’m right back in the moment with Adele dancing. I start crying.  I don’t cry normally, but here I am crying.  Why?
I start thinking about the performances and how amazing they are and how real they feel.  Adele Exarchopoulos should hands down win the Oscar. I think as a director myself, how did he get such real performances? 
Then I am furious with this director for having crossed the boundaries.  I am furious with this director for violating me by subjecting me to his fetish.  I am furious with this director for making something that feels so real, so moving, and then for shitting all over it at the same time with such lies and untruths in representing me, my life, my experiences on screen.  How dare he get into my emotions and then lie to my face in the Q&A.  I am angry and feeling sick because part of me wants to see the film again.  I want to see these amazing performances.  Yet I do not want to be subject to this man’s perversions.  I want for everyone to see this film because the actors are so wonderful and yet I don’t because I don’t want the audience to buy into the lie. I don’t want anyone to bear witness to what it took to get those performances.
I get a text from my friend later in the day. He is a wreck. In the evening, the report in The Daily Beast comes out from Telluride.  All that I am feeling is starting to make sense.  A director gets a performance so real by wearing down his actors.  By being manipulative and what I would say abusive.  “They look like children who have been abused the way they cling to each other because only they know what they have been through”.  I read Lea and Adele’s statements about their experience in making this film. In an eerie way my friend’s statement is almost their words verbatim. The piece’s of the puzzle come together.  All my feelings, my anger, are validated by their statements. This director went too far.
The next day Kechiche fires back at Lea.  She is crying during the press conference for The Los Angeles Times. She was crying in the press conference in Cannes. What is going on with this film? I realize I am reacting not only to what was happening on screen but also the implications the film has caused off screen. Kechiche states that Lea has no right to talk about suffering on set.  He basically calls her a media whore.  And worst of all he attacks her talent as an actress blaming her, not being able to get into character, as to why it took so long to shoot the film.  It’s a media frenzy in the highest of American fashion. 
After reading a few more articles I am even more furious.  How could this man as a director cross that sacred line of trust between director and actor?  I am disgusted in my gut feeling that these actresses must have overrode their own instincts and their own trust in themselves to please him.  As a director it makes me sick.  As a woman it makes me sick.  And yet here he is attacking one of his actresses???  Of course not the one that he is seemingly in love with in his filmmaking.  His words say so much about his character and it makes all my feelings of the days prior make complete sense.
Then I am overtaken by this sense of fear.  This sense that people are praising this film as being great when in truth it is not a great film.  It is a film that has two amazing powerhouse actresses who give brilliant performances.  This is also a film that is dangerous in the way it perpetuates false ideas of some lesbian mystique and sells that in some fashion as truth, when his film over all is not truth.
This man is dangerous because he seems blind to the film he made. I believe the aspects of the film that read as real come from the actresses and not the director. I believe it shows in the juxtaposition where the lines of  “truth” quickly turn into absurdity.  In the edit of the film he can’t seem to see what works and what doesn’t. This film doesn’t need to be 3 hour long. The fact that he holds you in a sex scene for 10 minutes feels like he wants to again subject you to his fantasy under some guise of what he thinks is beautiful.  It is not beautiful and it is not art.
This film is dangerous in the way the director’s male gaze is almost masturbatory in his fetish and how it sells the fantasy.  It is dangerous that men are praising this film.  As if they are so caught up in the fantasy they cannot see just how troubling this exploitation really is.  Yes this is something that happens in Hollywood all the time and we accept it.  The difference, in some way, is that Hollywood films don’t read as real.  You don’t experience a Hollywood film in the way you do Blue is the Warmest Color.  I am not saying this makes it okay the way female sexuality is depicted in Hollywood, but rather that people don’t buy it as truth.  In the end it is just a movie.  With Blue there is an element of truth in some of the performances that it doesn’t feel like just a movie.
I am left questioning myself as a director.  I am fully questioning female sexuality in film and the ways that I have been indoctrinated by film and the media to look at women the way a man would.  What does this mean for me in depicting female sexuality in the films I make?  How do I not perpetuate this very thing?  Would my take on female sexuality in film be different simply because I am a woman?  All these questions have really opened my eyes to the over all problems of sexualizing women in the way we do and selling that as pleasure.  It is not that I had never noticed, but that now I see it so differently. I don’t have an answer for any of these questions just yet.
It is day 4.  I wake up thinking okay this feeling is finally fading maybe I can get back to my life.  I have things I need to focus on that I have been too discombobulated to deal with.  Yet this film is still haunting me.  The song is still in my head on repeat.  The feelings come in waves.  I am finally better able to articulate my thoughts and feelings about this experience.  I get angry again that the film itself is not even worth warranting my time, emotions, and energy for 4 days.  I question this reaction, stepping outside of it and realizing how crazy it is that a film has affected me this much. I hate the director for affecting me this way with something so amazing and yet completely horrific at the same time. Then I marvel in the very power that film has.  One day I hope that I make films that have this strong of an affect on people but in positive ways instead of negative.
I think that I am lucky to have seen the film before the media blow up.  I am lucky to have had the experience of the Q & A.  I am lucky to be this moved.  I also know that people who are privy to the film and all the media about it will most likely not have the experience I did.  In some sick way I have to give Kechiche my kudos for making a film that has moved me so much. But I hate him for violating me with his sadistic perversions.
I am also glad the actresses spoke out about what it was like to work with him, the grueling conditions and the lack of care for their well-being. I do not see them as victims, but it is good that people understand the lengths he went to and what it took to get those performances. People should also be aware of what they are witnessing.  The performances seem so real because the actresses were really suffering. This film should not be praised as a great film or a great expose on a lesbian love story. The actresses should be praised for enduring the abuse they did and giving what they did to the film.  The rest of this film needs to be exposed as a fetishized male fantasy that is trying to pass itself off as truth. This is not sensuality, passion, female pleasure, lesbian mystique, or art. Perpetuating that lie is not okay and this film needs to be called out for that.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Tom at the Farm Trailer

Trailer here.
Oh my fucking God.
I also saw Parks and Recreation Season 6 premiere a few hours later...
I didn't had a meltdown...or did I?

Friday, September 27, 2013

Thursday, September 26, 2013


Directed by Ron Howard.
Written by Peter Morgan.

This film is so awesome. You’ll love it.
I knew it would be this awesome. I couldn't wait to see this film and so the expectations were pleasantly responded and perhaps they were exceeded. This is a film I definitely want to see again.
It is indeed curious, or not, how this sport, racing the fastest cars of Formula 1 turns out to be so exciting. My sms ring is the sound of a Formula 1 car, I guess because it’s just that cool. But it’s just not the speed and the sound of the speed, the competition or non competition sometimes, going lap after lap, it’s a sport, so granted intrigue. But in this case it is granted a great story to resume it all.

Rush focus on two drivers from the seventies. It goes pretty much like this: one side is being driven by reason and logic and the other side mostly by feeling and instinct. This is some of what the dynamics of the drivers and the driving of these two great competitors and even greater adversaries was based on. And you are absolutely driven by it, the whole thing.
Then the whole thing is done greatly by all departments. The rush of the editing, the exhilarating sound, the stunning cinematography, the realism of the make up done, the performances, especially of the impeccable Germans I love so much, Daniel Bruhl and Alexandra Maria Lara. One is consistently credible, ruthless and touching, the other, unfortunately, doesn't have much to do except expressing concern through her face, through her eyes. I must say I really find myself often uncomfortable with these types of characters, but it’s Alexandra Maria Lara and so it was already a great casting given that it’s an absolute pleasure to be looking at her eyes alone. I was also wondering how Thor would fit in a Formula 1 car. He fit quite well, but now I wonder if they made one especially for his size. I actually never saw Thor, but I really enjoyed Chris Hemsworth, he’s gorgeous and quite suitable in that suitable role.
Rush is what I was hoping for (minus the female roles, there’s really no space for it) and probably what you hope for, mostly a good film. If you would ask me, Rush is pretty entertaining and by the way, it is crucial that you’ll see it in a theater. It is stunning. Go see it.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Lifetime Achievement Award

European Film Academy honours Catherine Deneuve with the Lifetime Achievemente Award.
I'm looking forward to that speech. December 7.


I'm glad I wasn't able to see the Emmys and apart some Tina and Amy with 3D glasses on, I intend not to see and or read anything related to it. It's all bullshit. I think this is a pretty cool resume for me, thanks Snarks.

However, I saw this, and it is just glorious. Absolutely glorious!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Blue Posters

Yap. I continue to load the posters of Blue is the Warmest Color.


I've been noticing this for a while now, but is it me or Tina is hotter than ever?
What's happening??

I miss Tina - I'm looking forward to see her hosting SNL. It was a great choice for them to start the season.

Ron Swanson

I'm laughing so much I'm about to start crying...oh that's it!! THE MOMENT CHRIS KISSES RON!
This is PERFECT.
Oh my god, my favorite character in the world! I LOVE RON SWANSON.
I'm sorry, but I really can't help the caps lock.
This next week will be one of the longest weeks of the year, for sure.


The fact that she's leaving......................................

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Blackfish - Crimes

The marine life, especially marine mammals, or in other words, whales, always fascinated me. I always thought the Orcas were so fascinating and beautiful. Like some of the trainers featured in Blackfish, I was one of those kids who grew up watching those BBC and National Geographic documentaries about the wild life. One of my dreams was to watch these whales. I always imagined watching them in the open water from a far. Not in tanks. I don’t know if it was because it just simply looked more beautiful, because of those National Geographic images. While I knew of the existence of the whales in tanks, I obviously had watched Free Willy, I looked at them there and although they still were simply stunning, I never really thought of going to one of those things because it never felt right.

I grew up really loving these animals but also studying them, so unlike many others who are watching this film, I already had a history with these animals, I’m aware of their characteristics, about their life in the wild. Like I know they’re not necessarily killer whales, this term exists because they’re simply too powerful animals, and if they decide to hunt in group, to which they often do, they can take a twenty meter blue whale. But this is the wild. They’re animals who eat other animals, from fish to seals and occasionally pelicans and such. It’s not like a shark, which we can say they’re killer sharks, obviously; they do attack people and kill. Killer whales are not driven by human blood. So one of the things that irritates me the most while watching this film is the Sea World institution and as we learn, their attempt and continuously misguiding idea of their educational role models. Because they’re the most inaccurate you could ever heard. They tell lies. They talk about killer whales as if they were talking about Palestine and saying it’s a peaceful country – it is how inaccurate they sound.

Well this one even looks funny...or not:

Blackfish takes the recent case of the tragedy that occurred in 2010 when one of the most skilled and experienced trainers was attacked to death by one of the whales, but this whale was no other than the infamous Tilikum, probably the most popular whale in captivity after Keiko, the Free Willy whale, and Kathy, one of the Flippers from Flipper. From here, the history is gradually presented to us, of this accident that happens more often than anyone thinks. The story goes back from the days when they would capture whales in US territories until it was prohibited and they moved, per say, to Iceland, where they were welcomed because they would be doing a favor to the fishermen. We should go back and understand how this started. A man from Seattle, with obvious sea history, he was also part of the fishing for whales, owned a small aquarium, he had a tank and decided to have one of this whales as a pet. This man, used these words, “They of course were extremely dangerous and reportedly ate people, of course no one ever reported that after they’ve been eaten but…I began my quest for capturing a killer whale for public display and also as a personal pet.” Namu didn’t last long and died a year later but people watched this whale and were taken over and this is how the show began. One time, when this man was cutting the net to do something, he made a sound and the orca made the same sound. He then realized she was trying to communicate with him and he suddenly became aware of the fact that these whales had some sort of cognition. But it was too late. He was ignorant. And the people after him continued to be ignorant. Obviously, what we know today is much more. But still. Namu was still an animal in an awfully small place for his body size.

Blackfish shows us perspectives mainly from the trainers’ point of views, which are essential, being that the film takes a trainer’s tragedy to go through the whole, then whale researchers and even a neuroscientist. Then, of course, shows us the ridicule that the institutions of Sea World and alike bring to their programs, basically a fuck load of lies with the solemn purpose of selling and making money. The film backs up this notion I think quite appropriately and accurately. I think it’s clearly very well sustained through the narrative, the footage they choose for different moments, the timings are good and just shows this wrong universe. Even though anyone was representing SeaWorld, any official, it would only help back up the obvious.

Moments like when one of the trainers is giving the so called educational moment of the show, speaking to the public: “That’s why all of our actions are very careful thought out…especially our work interaction…WOW…” and one of the whales comes and almost runs him over, he then jokes “Ahahah, you big dork.” And then he resumes “Especially our water work interactions because they’re potentially the most dangerous.” This is one of my favorite moments. When he was clearly saying, ‘Uff, that was close.’ But at the end, I feel compassion for these trainers. I understand where they’re standing. For various reasons, we can’t control these feelings of empowerment, for instance, of dealing with this stunning and great animal. The bonds that are created, I believe when they say that they stayed for the whales, I understand if some felt mad for people who were against them because they had that emotional connection and so it hurt them.

I think most things in life are about timing. There’s timeliness to most of life events. Meanwhile, I’ve seen other documentaries and I watched The Cove all over again, and I began to think about this aspect - timing. Many people knew about the whale slaughter in Japan and other areas, maybe from the eighties, but things never really progressed in terms of activism. Then in the last few years, gradually, activists began to take a more direct action, like when a number of surfers went to that cove, until the culminating moment, I think, when the documentary showcased the history of those cruel events. I felt like that was a culmination and from the moment the film began to  make headlines everywhere, I believe a movement slowly started to improve, because of course the movement already existed, but perhaps not as strongly. And I guess it’s never too late, yes many have died, but many can still be saved.
I think now it’s happening the same with Blackfish. The Cove is a much more dense, much more troubling and difficult I would say, especially emotionally, but Blackfish is able to also bring that particularly special awareness – it’s the right time, it’s a culmination of a case that is now open to everyone, a moment when people can be heard in a more substantial way, which helps a lot.

The film really raises that ultimate question, so many people comment, of the notion of animals in captivity – in aquariums, zoos, etc. I don’t think there’s got to be a great meditation on the subject rather than the conclusion that these animals are better in their natural habitat. The only situations that differ from the previous are really those Clinique institutions, those places based on rehabilitation, and of animals in extinction.
Learning more about this, I don’t think freeing the whales is the great solution, quite the contrary in fact. We have the case of Keiko, the Free Willy whale who was suddenly under people’s spell and the Free Willy Foundation was created and you can learn that it took a long time for her to adjust – or better, she never really adjusted. Believe it or not, she couldn’t even eat live fish. Can you imagine an Orca not being able to eat tiny little live fish, when you can see them tearing apart seals? They kill these whales from the moment they take them from their natural habitat. Then what to do? People can start by not going to the shows. I think. With this, the Sea World will inevitably have to rethink their program. In this lines, to stop breeding would also be another huge step. Not having to do five shows per day, or any shows at all, rather than just for public display and let them rest. Rehabilitation programs, like putting them in the sea, with proper areas with nets, sure, but at least let them be in the sea and feed them until they die. It’s up to the whale movement now, I guess.
At the end of Blackfish we most definitely stay waiting for more, much more. At least I did. It stays with you, this is the most certain aspect! You will be thinking about Blackfish for days.

Stories We Tell - Revealing and touching

Sarah Polley is something. Sarah Polley attracts me for her resilience and at the same time reservedness she evokes in the room, she doesn't let herself be known that easily. And I admire Sarah Polley for her work. Apparently, she always seem to know what she wants to do or maybe it's about her instincts being mostly great and refined, whether it's in fiction or in this Stories We Tell, which is a non fiction narrative.
Stories We Tell borns with her need to rediscover her family, to rediscover her family history. In particular, the focus seems to be on her mother and who her father is. But she doesn't come and just tells a story about her family. She uses her family as she uses herself, but she also uses the tools of narrative to make this documentary a level greater and incredibly touching. And it is so well done for that matter.

It really is a family of storytellers, especially her father and her biological father, their eloquently wise words, their unique souls, their romanticism bring another level to this documentary, and it wouldn’t be so great if she hadn't been intelligent enough to use it. But then it’s also so incredibly revealing as the film goes and to see each different personality coming to the surface, her sister who is always with a smile on her face, one brother who is constantly being sarcastic and another brother who seems to be the tough one and turns out to be the most fragile and touched by the history of his family. I said earlier that the focus seems to be on her mother, but as the film evolves and we gradually began to witness the transition of her mother to her father, it’s so touching to see her father becoming the center of the story, sort of the star. She gives him a tribute, to this wonderful, lonely literary man. Sarah uses their poetism with generosity and intelligence because it makes this film so incredibly beautiful.

Stories We Tell starts with Sarah Polley's need to know the story of her mother, of her family, through each one's perspectives, brothers and sisters and the few other people involved, after a journalist sort of warns her he will make public who her biological father is. And then it turns out to be a story about the dynamics of memory and the feelings we experience about remembering someone and something and sometimes our needs to be something else, something that may distort the inner thoughts and truths. It's incredible.

Suzanne Trailer

I can't help it. Ever.
It's Adèle Haenel in yet another supporting role - which I absolutely believe will be one of the best things of the film!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

First Look at Masters of Sex

Like I perceived from the trailer, I think I can say Masters of Sex brings this straight forward narrative on gender and even though it takes place in the late fifties, there are certainly common places you can relate to. You don’t actually have to think it over that much, just in the fact that I’m excited when I see a woman hitting a man back. Because this is not too often seen everyday, it is always cool to see it. It is always exciting to seeing a woman who lives with her own strong wills and won’t bow down over others, whether they’re men or women. By the way, yes, I am talking about Lizzy Caplan’s character, Virginia Johnson.

Whether it is about relationships or a man’s ego, or about women’s emancipation, you can see there are quite a few interesting lines to look at with this new show. 
You can or could watch the first episode of Masters of Sex online on Youtube. If you can't, then you'll have to wait until the end of September.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Pic of the Day

Ah! Finally, Brad Pitt cut his hair!

Concussion Trailer

The other lesbian film.
P.S. This one is made by women (I mean written, directed, produced...)

Happy Birthday Amy


How interesting! Today I woke up and decided to hear some Ask Amy.

Happy Birthday, awesome and generous and talented and beautiful Amy Poehler.

Ellen is the New Black

I have my cheeks sore and it was only three minutes.
When will the people of OITNB go to Ellen??

Friday, September 13, 2013

Adèle Haenel - Where Have you been these days?

Who missed some Adèle?? Me!

My favorite Adèle.
I don't really have any news about my favorite Adèle, only that I miss her and I hope to see one of her films soon.

I love this so much - IT'S ADÈLE AND CELINE!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Angelina Jolie to Receive the Academy's Governors Humanitarian Award

“The Governors Awards pay tribute to individuals who’ve made indelible contributions in their respective fields. We couldn’t be more excited for this year’s honorees and look forward to bringing their peers and colleagues together to celebrate their extraordinary achievements.”

Said the Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs.

Always affectionately proud of my Angie.

The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, also an Oscar statuette, is given “to an individual in the motion picture industry whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry.”
Filmanthropist Jolie, who won an Oscar for her supporting performance in “Girl, Interrupted,” has been a passionate advocate for humanitarian causes, traveling widely to promote organizations and social justice efforts such as the Prevent Sexual Violence Initiative.  Jolie has worked for a number of global advocacy groups including the Council on Foreign Relations and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), for which she was appointed Special Envoy of High Commissioner António Guterres in 2012 after twelve years of service.  Her dedication to these causes has also shaped her work in films that tackle global humanitarian issues including “A Mighty Heart” and her feature film directorial debut “In the Land of Blood and Honey.”
From IndieWire.

The O Season - Into TIFF

I loathe this.

Right before the storm is about to set across and hit your face.
As of early September - Telluride in the map, Venice and right into TIFF.

It just got hot. And exciting.
You must have realized for a while now that this is The Year of the Biographies and adaptations but mostly biographies. From Lee Daniel’s The Butler to Diane and Grace of Monaco to Rush and 12 Yearls a Slave to Dallas Buyers Club and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom and to everything! This didn’t sound like a great thing, curiously. It actually sounded pretty boring to me. I think it’s finally changing.
12 Years a Slave just swept in the mountains of Telluride, I think even films like Blue is the Warmest Color were overshadowed by it (even though Blue was already seen by a lot of people so it isn’t quite the same). But I can only speak in general, since I wasn’t there to hear from people. But along with 12 Years a Slave are also Gravity and Prisioners, I might as well add the doc “Tim’s Vermeer”. And on a slight lower scale All is Lost, Labor Day. Prisioners sounds like a pretty challenging and demaning drama with outstanding performances. Recently, Rush just came out super strong too. And this is what will be happening day in and day out for the next days too.
Gravity was described by James Cameron: “I was stunned, absolutely floored,” he says. “I think it’s the best space photography ever done, I think it’s the best space film ever done, and it’s the movie I’ve been hungry to see for an awful long time.” Source.

But there’s still a lot of Indie love to consider too. So let me make a recap:
We have the already released films like Before Midnight, Mud, Fruitvale Station, Frances Ha, Short Term 12 and Blue Jasmine. We now have the Telluride front runners, and the rest of the film fest circuit to come (TIFF, NYFF, LAFF, Santa Barbara, etc.) Being that Blue is the Warmest Color is the film of the circuit, as it is practically in all of the major and non major film fests. From Finland to Tokyo, back to Belgium and the London Film Festival. As predicted since last May, Kechiche would be traveling the world, showing his film. And then the ones for the final battle, the late end of the year releases.

 Stunning girls from Venice.
Rebecca, Scarlett and Evelyne.

I will now name, just name films and actors, putting it out there, just by ear. It’s incredible how this “ear” many months later was being right, if this is the word, all along. So let’s go for it.

Cate Blanchett the front runner for Beat Actress. It’s for the win.
Now that we’re in this category, Adèle Exarchopoulos is in for the (ultimate) Oscar nomination among the five.
By the way, they’re moving Meryl Streep for Best Actress in a Leading Role, so if it goes this way, it will be hard for anyone else, considering Julia Roberts has a major player, because we don’t have to consider this about Meryl.

Names, Leading Actress:
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine.
Adèle Exarchopoulos, La Vie D’Adèle.
Sandra Bullock, Gravity.
Julie Delpy, Before Midnight.
Bérénice Bejo, The Past.
Greta Gerwig, Frances Ha.
Brie Larson, Short Term Twelve.
Judi Dench, Philomena.
Scarlett Johansson, Under the Skin.
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County.
Amy Adams, American Hustle.
Emma Thompson, Saving Mr. Banks.
Kate Winslet, Labor Day.
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County.
Nicole Kidman, Grace of Monaco.
Naomi Watts, Diane.

Both Chiwetel and Fassbender make the cut for a nomination. Leading and supporting respectivaley. And God, I really need to really read letter by letter of Chiwetel Ejiofor’s name. I will know it by the end of the season, that’s for sure. Or maybe not.
And talking about Best Performance is a Leading Role we could have at least three black actors. Chiwetel, Whitaker and Michael B. Jordan.

Anyone from Prisioners might get a nom. From Hugh Jackman, who is certainly going strong, after the last year’s hype, to Jake Gyllenhaal. In this case, it will probably depend how they’ll play the categories, like August: Osage County; like if Hugh goes for supporting, which sounds like not the case, but his chances could increase, but actually I don’t even know how strong the supporting category is at the moment, but it might be strong as well.

Names, Leading Actor:
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave.
Robert Redford, All is Lost.
Bruce Dern, Nebraska.
Hugh Jackman, Prisioners.
Jake Gyllenhaal, Prisioners.
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club.
Osacr Isaac, Inside Llewin Davis.
Tom Hanks, Saving Mr. Banks.
Chris Hemsworth, Rush.
Daniel Bruhl, Rush.
Steve Carell, Foxcather.
Joaquin Phoenix, Her.
Christian Bale, American Hustle.
Michael B. Jordan, Fruitvale Station.
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wallstreet.

Then there are always the cases of actors and actresses (obviously and directors and films) that are in a career moment, in the recognition award category. I guess what I’m seeing, and it isn’t career momentum or anything rather than just simply plenty of performances to look at.
But in this way, we have:

Robert Redford. He could be a major upset for Leading. And I guess he’s going with the right amount of career momentum. He will be there.
Along with Bruce Dern with Nebraska. But I don’t think he’s as strong, but definitely strong (let’s remember who’s voting!)
How could I not include Leo? He surely must be in this category of ‘old odds’.

Amy Adams, although she’s super young for the case, as we know, sometimes they end up awarding the so called less (deserved) performance – see Meryl Streep with The Iron Lady, or Lawrence last year or Scorcece for The Departed and I could go on and on. Even though we have no idea what will come out of American Hustle, this could happen…right?
We also have Margo Martindale for supporting.
Actually, veterans are coming in full force, I think as usual.
Judi Dench close enough of another Oscar nomination, though I doubt she’ll win. Again, Meryl Sreep.

I should wait just a couple more weeks. Basically, this post is a waste of time!
Let’s face this fact, and my sister is the witness (and the guy who was sitting next to me). Last year, by the end of September I told her Daniel Day Lewis was going to his third Oscar. I said to her, guess what? Do you know who’s going to win the Oscar for Best Actress? Jennifer Lawrence, really. Oh, Anne Hathaway will totally win the Oscar this year, I said, for supporting. I think I said Phillip Seymor Hoffman was the strongest for supporting. Again, this was the end of September. I have no idea if you call this a predictable year or the “ears” were especially alert and/or astute.
I know there’s still a while for the end of September, but I would certainty not say the possible winners as granted as I did a year ago.
Cate and Chiwetel for Leading. Fass and Spencer for Supporting?

Oh these Oscars will be classy.
Let’s just wait a few more days.

The case for Blue
The notion of La Vie D’Adèle Chapitre 1&2 as an Oscar runner - It’s pretty obvious they’re in full swing for the season. I even bet they’ve been practicing English since last May! I even wonder if the girls went into something like a workshop entitled The Circuit. Of course they didn’t. I’m also quite certain that Léa quit the project in which she was starring with Deneuve to go on the insane awards frenzy bus (*add my frown face) of screenings, followed by Q & A’s, Parties, Film Fests, Film Awards, Talk Shows, Roundtables and I’m tired of mentioning. But let’s go for it. This is an EPIC film. This is epic in all forms. And controversial. This is one of the film of the year, if not the film of the year. Let’s go for it.
It’s all about how the U.S people will take it. I really need a few more days on this, but anyway, I’ll risk saying it will not be easy. Or maybe it will. For the simple fact this is one of the most talked about films of the year. Right at the top. I also think Adèle and Léa could totally charm the hell out of the voters. Adèle is so expressive and straightforward. You can understand that in this interview, for example, but also in any other. Like her response when they asked her again about her comments on a popular French homophobe, “I should just shut up and French kissed Léa.” It would actually be freaking entertaining to watch her in something like the Oscar Roundtables - it would be freaking hilarious too.