Posts Tagged ‘movies’

I love you too much!

Top 5 Heroin Songs

1. Heroin

2. Lust for Life (Hubby calls it “the happiest song about kicking smack ever written!”)

3. Needle and the Damage Done (not my fave NY song, but what the hey hey my my, it qualifies!)

4. Comfortably Numb (I’m not too fond of this, but it makes the list, OBVIOUSLY)

4.5. Bridge Over Troubled Water/Hey, Jude OKAY, so these aren’t really about smack, but I like the urban myths anyway

5. Honorable Mention: Sister Morphine

Top 5 Reasons I Can’t Sleep

1. itching on bottom of L foot

2. clutter

3. house too small/brain crowded

4. depression

5. went to bed after 11

6. new sheets felt scratchy

7. too hot/too cold

8. cat on bed, cat on head

Top 5 Haunted Things in My House

1. my remote mouse

2. my body

3. cat

Top 5 Reasons to Move out of This House

1. too small

2. on 116

3. on corner of busy road; fear of air pollution from too many cars and shortened life span from stress of traffic noise and bad air

4. 2 cats killed by cars

5. bad basement smell from Day 1 of purchase

6. it’s a ranch

7. it has no character

8. the bedrooms are next to the kitchen

9. hollow doors, not worth replacing considering 1-8

Top 5 Reasons to Stay

1. price

2. most convenient location in the world

3. must clear out clutter if we move

Top 5 Hottest Male Stars of All Time

1. Gary Oldman

2. Paul Newman

3. Javier Bardem

4. DDL

5. DDL in a loin cloth or as Bill the Butcher

6. Johnny Depp, but let’s drop the cigarettes already, Johnny, okay?

7. Anthony Hopkins

8. Heath

9. Leo di Caprio, especially that sex scene from The Beach

10. EWAN!

11. Alan Cumming

Top 5 Numbers of All Time

1. 3

2. 449

3. 25

4. point O O one

5. 225

Top 5 Vegetables

1. sweet potatoes

2. kale

3. that clean, local, nitrate-free bacon

4. some forms of chocolate

5. any perfectly-prepared coffee-blended

Top 5 Vacation Spots

1. Hanalei Bay, Kauai

2. Truro

3. P town

4. Paris

5. Prague

6. Amsterdam and Venice

7. the ocean

8. all the lakes of my childhood

9. Boulder

10. Annecy

11. New Mexico

12. New England

13. not camping

14. almost anywhere with my Hubby

Top 5 Friends

1. women

Top 5 Meals

1. Canada on a farm, long ago, I was 16, maybe 17, in high school, but I remember the peach pie and the homemade bread. And I don’t even like pie.

2. 2 meals at Parisian restaurant run by Greek chef, not sure which arr. I ate there once in 1991 and once in 1992. Around the corner was one of those free-standing Haagan Daaz ice cream stores and I got a chocolate-chocolate chip (cone?). It was SO good, not at all what you get in the pints any more. I really do remember it.

3. my mother’s spaghetti before she started to lose her memory

4. papaya with lime in Hawaii

5. Amsterdam open market

6. trdelnik

Worst Place to Pee EVER

1. darkly-lit hole in the ground (granted there were metal foot plates) when I was on my period behind best meal ever in Paris

Coolest Public Bathroom Experience Ever

1. Prague self-cleaning, automated, public loo (is it environmentally sound with all of that water use? I do not know)

Top 5 Worst Smells

1. the pee of Paris

2. poop of blind dog I took care of for a week in high school when owners were away

3. paper mill

4. driving through Gary, Indiana

5. big cities combo of exhaust and garbage when you’re just grooving around on foot

6. dead things in the woods

7. chemical detergent scents. REALLY? REALLY? Is this what you want to smell like?

8. mildewed clothes

9. pee clothes (I know it’s sad and some people can’t help it, but I do not like it)

10. boy pee vs. girl pee (boy pee is stronger (until menopause) and they get it all over everything. This is one reason why having 2 daughters, as opposed to any sons, works out pretty good for me)

11. cat pee/litter box

It Would Be Impossible To Put Down Top 5 Movies

I do love Rushmore, as you know. And Gangs of New York until the plot falls apart at the end and of course the unfortunate choice of Cameron Diaz.

There Will Be Blood except for Paul Dano. Elizabeth because it is so dramatic and Cate Blanchett is so beautiful and amazing. The Front, which we just saw for the final film of the Woody Allen revival at Amherst Cinema. Unforgiven—totally entertaining. Not a big fan of Spielberg, but I loved Catch Me If You Can for the fun of it. American masterpieces: Hard Time; Five Easy Pieces; Thunderbolt and Lightfoot; A Woman Under the Influence.

The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. The Fisher King.

The Godfather I and II because they are also masterpieces of American cinema. Nostalgia, though I don’t remember it.

Pennies From Heaven and Days of Heaven; Heavenly Creatures (okay, it’s not one of my favorites, but it does have the lovely Kate Winslet and keeps the theme of movie titles with the word heaven in them. And it’s Peter Jackson and very very trippy).

Some of the images from The Fall, especially the opening sequence.

Top 5 Rolling Stones Songs

1. Sweet Virginia

2. Can’t You Hear Me Knocking

3. Loving Cup

I give up already. This shit just got real, yo.

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Ah, me. I hoped to post a music/video combo today. With all of the pain in the world right now, Japan and Libya, and even our own bubbling turmoils from Guantanamo to Wall Street to Wisconsin, I thought it would be nice to tip my hat to an admirable human trait–our ability to create Beauty.

Did you see the Tarsem movie “The Fall?” The opening sequence is an eight-and-a-half minute, black-and-white, slow-motion scene set to Beethoven’s 7th Symphony, 2nd movement. It ranks as one of the most stunning things I’ve seen on film and it literally took my breath away (unlike most Americans one encounters in interviews, I do know what literally means).

I saw the clip of the opening sequence of “The Fall” about 3 months ago on youtube, but is has since been pulled; therefore, dear ones, I cannot post it.

On another note, did anyone else feel sluggish yesterday? Were your children dragging ass on their way to school this morning? Tired in your marrow rather than filled with new sap running up and down the length of your limbs? I know for me it was the absurd time change (a not-so-admirable human creation).

Spring. Waking up. The Fall.

There is only one solution until I can make my coffee-blended.

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This is fairly self-explanatory. It was performed at The Amherst Cinema in November, 2010. Sketch written by Hubby, performed by Pam Victor and Mosie McNally. But you’ll know all of that from the end credits. Grab your wheat popcorn and settle in. This is gonna be good!

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All right, ladies.  I loved “The Black Swan” enough to risk making it into our first Girls’ Night Out destination.  This post is dedicated to the 5 of you who accompanied me last Saturday night.

I first saw “The Black Swan” by myself at the Mega-Death-Plex-16 down in Ft. Myers, Florida in December. You’re never really alone at the Mega Plex, but let’s just say I was unaccompanied.

I had only seen 2 of Aronofsky’s films before “Swan.” I liked “The Wrestler,” though I thought it had a lot of faults, especially the Hollywood-style treatment of the relationship between the father and daughter.  I liked Mickey Rourke and I liked Marisa Tomei, but to be honest, I don’t remember too much about the movie.

The rest of this post is filled with reveals about each of the following movies, so you are now on a continuous SPOILER ALERT.

What about “The Fountain?” I hated it. I can’t think of an elegant way to say that the acting was really, really bad.  Maybe if Aronofsky hadn’t cast his wife and Wolverine in the main roles, I wouldn’t have been laughing at what was supposed to be the grave story of centuries-old soul mates, the story of a love so strong it could overcome Time (well, it almost overcame time).  The theme started out promisingly and I loved the visuals of the domed, golden sky, and Queen Isabel’s chamber and the tree, oh, I mean The Tree. But, alas, I found myself laughing at the mushy, misguided plot.  The movie dragged to the point that I kept putting it on pause and going to the kitchen to grab snacks and water and then pausing it again to get more snacks and more water. I didn’t care beans about the characters. I even wanted her to die, you know, just to get it over with. Even the sumptuous costumes of Queen Isabel couldn’t redeem the silly New Age and Pro-Enviro leanings of the story.

Based on the trailer for “Swan,” I feared I would hate it, too. It looked so cheesy and predictable and once again, at risk of being completely overblown.

Well, “Black Swan” is cheesy, predictable, and overblown, but it all worked for me.

First, we have seen each of these characters before and we have seen the underlying themes done to death. What makes “The Black Swan” different?  The film tells its version of the fairy tale that is the center of  the ballet “Swan Lake,” and proceeds to twist it around and show us what would happen if such a fairy tale came true in the human realm. The film takes the cliché of artistic drive by the throat and gives us something violently, and even humorously, new. It is at times, or maybe entirely, over-the-top.

For example, when Nina, the protagonist, walks into the bathroom in the ballet studio and sees the word “WHORE” written in red lipstick, I laughed. This could have been a scene from an after-school special on the detrimental effects of bullying (she does kill herself in the end after all). But Nina is not in high school and these are not teenagers. This is a professional ballet company and should give us some indication that the filmmaker is going rogue and rogue-r with all of the arch, overused motifs.

The cake that Mommy brings home to share with Nina: OH MY GOD! Was that the most amazingly beautiful pink and green with silver nonpareils only-in-New-York cake you have ever seen? But when Mommy threatens to throw it out, I laughed.

Before we exited to the lobby after the movie, I knew my gal pals didn’t really take to the film, especially due to the fact that some of them were audibly gasping and visibly cringing at each new manifestation of gratuitous horror that Aronofsky provided. Some of the statements I heard afterward, in regards to our heroine, Nina, were “she was mentally ill” and “she was a cutter.” I understand these sentiments, but I think that, ultimately, they miss the point.  If we take the movie as true and see Nina as a real woman living in New York and struggling to become the lead ballerina in “Swan Lake,” the movie doesn’t really work because Nina is both cliché and archetype.

If Nina were simply to realize that her hallucinations and scratching could be remedied by seeing a therapist; if she and her mother were to attend a mother-daughter therapy group and begin to talk about their problems; if Thomas examined his motives and checked his chauvinism at the door to attain a less dysfunctional and more affirming method of teaching ballet to young women, this would be a different movie.  It wouldn’t be offensive and it could star Julia Roberts. In that version, Nina would be satisfied to dance the Black Swan once, call it quits and join a bulimia/anorexia recovery group. Now that would be a triumph!

One question that came up after the movie was whether or not a ballerina would be able to dance the 3rd and 4th acts of “Swan Lake” with a piece of shattered mirror wedged into her gut. Well, Nina did exactly that and it killed her (thus fulfilling the fairy-tale narrative). So the answer is both yes and no.

Color and lighting are strong elements in “Swan:” clichéd, kitschy, and done to the hilt. From the white pillowcase and its black Florentine scroll that cradles Nina’s waking head in the opening sequence to the first scene between Nina and Mommy, when Nina stares down at her pink grapefruit for breakfast and says “so pretty,” color is used to identify each of the main characters (Nina is pink and white, Mommy green and black, Thomas gray, black, and white, and Lily, black) and to underscore archetype. Nina’s counter colors to her pink and white, as she completes the transformation from Child/Virgin/White Swan into Bitch/Whore/Black Swan are red (as in blood and lipstick) and black.

Mirrors are another repeated motif. They are used sometimes for their horror effect and sometimes to the point of silliness, but in Aronofsky’s hands, they work, screams, laughs, and all. I particularly liked the giant, multi-faceted  mirror in Nina and Mommy’s apartment.

The more realistic pieces of the movie worked for me, too. The dancing and music, the knowledge that in order to dance ballet professionally, one must put one’s body through pains and tortures, even beyond what most athletes subject themselves to, the subjugation of womanhood in ballet for emaciated, pre-pubescent body lines, the sexism and misogyny, and the beauty of all of the principle characters. I haven’t mentioned that the acting was brilliant, with perhaps Barbara Hershey and Vincent Cassel outshining even Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis, no small feat, that. I used to strongly dislike Natalie Portman (“Closer” and “Cold Mountain” are two glaring examples of her lack of skill), but she has won me over.

So that’s why I loved “The Black Swan.” I loved the horror elements. I loved all that it stole from so many movies that went before. I loved the use of color, mirrors, and lighting, the darkly lit interiors and crammed spaces. I loved the realism. I loved the acting. I loved the pop-psychology, sexually-repressed girl- run-amok business of it. I loved that it was over-the-top and made me laugh at things that are supposed to be sacred.

So who’s free this coming Saturday night? We could see a double feature: First, we’ll rewatch “Black Swan” and then we’ll move on to “Eat, Pray, Love.” Are you in or out?

With love, Twinkly

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