Backlog, Part 3

The SaintAug 31st, 2011Posted by The Saint on

Birth of a Nation
Lets be honest, this is not a film for everyone. It is a 3 hour silent film that depicts the KKK in a non-negative way. Just one of those points is enough to turn many people off from watching a movie. I wouldn’t say I enjoyed the movie, but it was very interesting to watch and think about what it said about the time that it was depicting and the time it was made.

The Piano Teacher
Erika Kohut is piano teacher at a music conservatory. While there she starts teaching a young male student and the two of them become obsessed with each other and explore their fantasies together. Going into the movie, I knew that it was going to be a little twisted, but didn’t know much about it. After watching it, I realized it was by Michael Haneke and everything made a lot more sense.

The Long Goodbye
Philip Marlowe is a classic private eye. There is only one small difference. He lives in LA during the seventies. The story line is much line many others of the film noir genre, the the time and setting allow it to present a different picture. Marlowe spends the film trying to find out what happened to his friend. The police say he killed his wife and then killed himself in Mexico, but Marlowe does not believed it.

Invasion of the Wolves

The SaintJun 16th, 2011Posted by The Saint on

Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Aliens have come to Earth and are replacing humans with body doubles. People start to become suspicious as the double lack emotion and become distant from the people they were close to. Donald Sutherland and Brooke Adams work to discovery the mystery of the duplicates and escape the invasion. It’s a great horror/sci-fi film as it takes it’s time to develop and provide the feeling of helplessness.

Dances with Wolves
Kevin Costner moves to an abandoned fort in the western frontier after being awarded for his actions during a Civil War battle (he was actually trying to kill himself). Living on his own, he spends time learning a life of the land. In turn, he befriends a tribe of Sioux that lived in the area. Costner, a first time director, spared no expense to make the film as real as possible. The film features thousands of buffalo and a few “trained” wolves. This movie is the reason Goodfellas did not win Best Picture.

Back Log, Part 2

The SaintMay 15th, 2011Posted by The Saint on

I’ve been lazy and pushed off more write ups.

Babette’s Feast

Two sisters live in a small Danish village continuing their father’s work as a Protestant priest with a congregation that is aging and dwindling. The sisters do their best to provide for the community and bring meager meals to the elderly. One day a Babette, a refugee from Paris, arrives at their door with a note from a former suitor saying she would be a good housekeeper. Babette learns from the sisters and quickly becomes a part of the community by taking many of the chores. After many years, Babette wins a French lottery and convinces the sisters to let her cook a traditional French dinner before she returns to Paris.

In trying to right that short summary, it emphasized how awkward I felt the plot was. There is an extended flashback that details the back story of how each sister had a suitor that was refused based on their father’s wishes. Neither seemed to have much chemistry with the respective sister, but both reemerge in the story to have an impact. The entire thing is fairly drab until Babette starts showing her true self and preparing for the meal. The ending is heartwarming, but requires you to sit through a lot before you get there.

Au Hasard Balthazar

Tow parallel stories are told of a young girl and a donkey she befriended as a child. Neither have a happy life and deal with their troubles in their own way. This movie isn’t about flash or in your face action. Everything is very minimal and going through the motions. However, this makes the scenes that are filled with emotion stand out. I felt a stronger connection with Balthazar (the donkey), but understanding his sorrows gives you more insight into Marie’s life.

The Ballad of Narayama

A remote mountain village that rich with traditions and superstitions. At the age of 70, a person is carried up into the mountain and left to die. The second born sons are not allowed to wed and must help their family grow their crops. The film focuses on one family who has a 69 year old grandmother, her two sons (the eldest had to become the head when his father ran away), and a younger generation that no longer has a mother because she died giving birth to the youngest daughter. The movie follows a year in the life of this family and the village they live in. There are hard times and tough decisions to be made. There are a few brutal scenes that are the result of this situations and cultural customs. And all of this is pieced together with clips animals in nature doing the various things they do in their life.

The Band Wagon

Fred Astaire plays a washed-up movie star who has returned to New York City to try and restart his career by doing a Broadway musical. Lots of people and egos are brought together to produce a play that ends up being an interpretation of Faust for the stage. The plot is fairly simple as personalities clash, only to find out later that everyone does like everyone. Since the plot doesn’t have a lot to it, most of the acting scenes feel like they are just there as a way to get to the next song or dance number.

Crosses, Stakes and Puns

The SaintJan 17th, 2011Posted by The Saint on

Last night I finished watching Buffy The Vampire Slayer. To put it bluntly, this show is in my top 5 list of TV shows.

This show completely deserves the praise and recognition is has. Some people still brush off this show. Twilight isn’t helping the situation either. I know the concept of a teenage girl that world’s best hope for saving the world from evil seems cheesy. Joss Whedon is able to produce a show that can pull in a wide audience by not being a serious drama and having a “monster of the week” formula in the onset. But, then it does things that catch you off guard and surprise you. I say this both as plot points and cinematic presentation. Buffy is able to have episodes that are musicals, dream sequences and have no talking for 30 minutes without feeling out of place. Before starting Buffy, I was already sold on Whedon, but this is his master piece.

I haven’t talked about it much, but the reason I started watching Buffy was because of Evan. Through the course of that year we had been watching The Wire and Dollhouse and talking intently about both. At one point he said I would be better off if I started watching Buffy instead of Dollhouse, as it was better. The week after I tried to watch another episode of The Wire, it was too much. I needed to do something that was lighter, but still meant something. Buffy The Vampire Slayer was that thing. It is another thing to add to the list of things he introduced me to and I am grateful of.

Oh! My! God!

The SaintFeb 5th, 2010Posted by The Saint on

That is all.

Frak Me

The SaintNov 28th, 2009Posted by The Saint on

Just watched the Battlestar Galactic mini series that leads into the first season. I was immediately happy with my decision to watch a four season show that I knew very little about, with the exception of nobody every saying something bad about it.

Stylistically it reminds me a lot of Firefly. Though, Firefly is more aggressive with the flares and un-steady-cam. They also both do a lot of space flying that utilizes zooming in on ships after they come on to screen. Other than that the shows are completely different as Battlestar stays very close to the space scifi feel and Firefly is all about the comedy and melding of genres and cultures.

Selectable Fan Speeds in My Car (Revisited)

The SaintSep 28th, 2009Posted by The Saint on
  • Off
  • Hey, can you turn on the air.
  • Dude, I said turn on the air, I’m hot.
  • About time, but can you turn it down a little.
  • Can’t … move … too … much … wind. OOONNNN!!

Today’s Quote of the Day

The SaintSep 25th, 2009Posted by The Saint on

The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it. – Flannery O’Connor

I May or May Not Have Lost a Bet

The SaintSep 13th, 2009Posted by The Saint on

Golf Dress Up

General Update

The SaintJul 16th, 2009Posted by The Saint on
1001 Movies, General

Been kind of slacking on my movie list. I’ve slipped to a movie every 3.13, I was at about 3 even in May. But I still am making progress and am at 216. Most recently I watched All the President’s Men and Cool Hand Luke. Both were good, the latter being very much so. I’ve got Rosemary’s Baby and A Night at the Opera here from Netflix, so hopefully I get through both this weekend.

Tonight I watched Primer a second time, I still don’t know how everything pieces together quite yet. However, some one has documented it. Don’t read through it if you haven’t seen it, but you can look to confirm it’s confusing-ness. It’s very well done and the actors are the people actually making the movie too.

In other news, work is going well. The thing I’m working on is very likely about to become much larger and will keep me very busy. While working I’m making some good progress on my For Review folder of music. However most of the progress has been bands I’ve decided not to keep around. One of the non-ill-fated bands is Ozomatli. Think Flobots, but take the string instruments and replace them with Latin influences. I also have a place to live for the next year, so that’s good

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