Thursday, February 11, 2016

Thursday Movie Picks: Valentine's Edition, Pt. 2


It's Thursday, and that means it's time for the second entree in the Valentine's Edition of Thursday Movie Picks!  This week, for me, was the hardest so far of this year's themes to narrow down, as I had a slew of films I wanted to mention here.  For one reason or another, these three stood out to me (actually, they all stand out because of their tremendous Lead Actresses anchoring the films in such brilliantly complex ways) and so here we are with my picks for the week.  

Enjoy!

Love in the Afternoon (Billy Wilder, 1957)
By this time in her career, Audrey Hepburn was already an Oscar winner for her breakout role in Roman Holiday, but for me this is the moment where her star truly shines for the first time in her career (a career that I adore) and should have been the moment that Oscar knocked on her door because as the blossoming Ariane, Hepburn is spectacular.  She charms, delights and then ultimately crafts such texture around this young woman falling in love, finding her own and becoming a woman.  It's a shame her costar is as wooden as a 2x4.  How in the world can you be that stiff around such elegance? 

Limelight (Charlie Chaplin, 1952 1972)
The love that blossoms between the aged Calvero and the stunning Thereza is so beautiful to watch because it never once feels forced or disingenuous.  Thereza's adoration of her teacher, his strengths, modesty and talent is so obvious, but it is his inner person that draws her so close to him, even when he pushes her away (all for her benefit and happiness) that you can't help but break for them, ache for them and ultimately fall in love with them! 

The Reader (Stephen Daldry, 2008)
Ef you all, I love this movie.  I love this story.  I sob...SOB!!!  And yes, Hanna does some terrible things, not the least of which includes preying on a 15 year old boy and MURDERING a bunch of people, but her inner person is so conflicted and shocking human that you can't help (or at least I can't) help but sympathize with her and pray for her happiness, her peace.  Balk all you want, but I buy this love, start to finish.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Trailer + Poster Break: A Bigger Splash


Have you seen this?  I admit, I haven't been following much on this one, even though there has been lots of talk about it since early last year.  Guadagnino's I Am Love is one of those films I'm constantly telling myself I need to revisit, simply because the reasons I told myself I didn't like it are reasons I'm pretty sure I'd love it upon a revisit, and this trailer is so melodramatically beautiful, I'm convinced it could be one of the best films of the year.  This trailer is so damned sexy!  Everything about this film is dripping with sexual intensity and a vibrancy I wasn't expecting.

And have you seen these?

The 1958 Fisti Awards


1958.  This is such a weird year for me, because as much as I love musicals...I kind of hate Gigi, this years Best Picture Oscar winner.  You wouldn't know that by all the nominations/wins that it racked up here at the Fisti Awards, but the fact remains that the film is gorgeously mounted and a technical marvel...it's just vapid and stupid and offensive and boring.  You know what isn't vapid, offensive, stupid or boring?  Hitchcock's masterpiece...Malle's debut...Le Chanois's opus...Brook's sultry take on Tennessee Williams...Wajda's political message film...the list goes on and on.

This was a year that I had some issues with exploring.  Certain Oscar films were not readily available for me, so films like The Defiant Ones, The Old Man and the Sea and The Brothers Karamazov went unseen by me.  To be honest, I'm not really sure they would have had any impact on these ballots.

I did see a lot, so with that thought in mind, I present to you the Fisti Awards of 1958!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Tuesday Tunes Tastings


So, one month is officially done and over with and that means that I've listened to and reviewed 32 albums so far.  I've actually listened to a few more, but I didn't get them reviewed because I listened to them after I posted that week's 'tasting'.  I hope you guys are enjoying this new series.  I've enjoyed putting them together, even if trying to listen to all this new music is, at times, overwhelming.  

Now it's February, and that means a new crop of artists are going to be blessing us with their music.  This week I got to 6 albums.  I wanted to get to more, but time got away from me...and one album in particular fascinated me to such a degree that I listened to it quite a few times, taking away from the time I could have spent listening to something else.

I'll admit, this week started off rough.  The first album I tried listening to was Wiz Khalifa's new album...but two songs in I couldn't take it any more.  I thought I was a fan or something or I don't know, I knew the name and had heard him on other tracks and just assumed I would be into this, but yuck.

Thankfully the week got better, mostly.

Monday, February 8, 2016

A Fistful of Thoughts...about doubling up, moving on and kicking the bucket!


Happy Monday everyone!  Hope everyone had a great weekend.  It's time for A Fistful of Thoughts, which I'm shamefully throwing together this morning.  This weekend has been BUSY, and no, it's not because of a certain football game that I didn't bother to watch.

Who won?

I'm not really interested, to be honest.  You know what I did last night...I watched Indiscreet, a little rom/com gem from the 50's starring two of my favorites, Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant.  I think I made out all right.

But that's not what we're here to talk about.

Friday, February 5, 2016

2014 Mouthi Awards Ceremony


The ceremony for the 2014 Mouthi Awards took place in San Antonio, TX at the Tobin Center for Performing Arts on December 31st, 2014 at 8:00 PM, Eastern Standard Time.  Due to technical difficulties, it was not available for widespread presentation until now.

It was hosted by international musical sensation, Celine Dion.

Here are the highlights:

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Thursday Movie Picks: Valentine's Edition, Pt. 1


It's a new month, which brings us to a new Thursday, and that means it's time for Thursday Movie Picks!  This whole month has it's own sub-theme; Valentine's!  So, first up is the Star-Crossed Lovers portion of the month, and as we all know, star-crossed lovers are lovers doomed to experience an end to their relationship, whether it be in death or in the terrible fact that they just cannot be together.  So, I decided to go with three sets of doomed relationships that were doomed because of the terrible world in which we live.

Atonement (Joe Wright, 2007)
So a few things here.  We've heard the whole 'poor boy loves rich girl and society won't allow their happiness' routine before.  Seen it a thousand times.  We've seen it end well, and we've seen it end in tragedy.  But, this love story doesn't end because of society, because I have a strong feeling that, left alone, these two would have lived forever in each other's arms.  No, this relationship died due to a little girl and a lie and that lie spread so sharply through this family that it caused the unthinkable and the unspeakable and next thing you know, next thing you feel, is the sharpest pangs of love lost; forever.

Wuthering Heights (Andrea Arnold, 2012)
Here we go again with the societal 'poor boy loves rich girl' route, but what makes Andrea Arnold's art-house rendition of this classic tale especially profound is the race card thrown in.  By making our lead African America, the game is changed and the tale is much deeper in its depiction of the doomed love between these two 'adopted' siblings. 

Her (Spike Jonze, 2013)
UGH, has there been a more romantic pairing in recent years?  I think not.  These two were perfect for each other, and I think the pain we feel when they no longer are together is felt so strongly because of the realization that we all want this kind of love; this kind of companionship.  Here though, the relationship is doomed from the start because these two worlds just cannot share that kind of space and in the end, more is needed to sustain a relationship.