Thursday, January 24, 2008

i am a false prophet. God is a superstition.

"if you have a milkshake and i have a milkshake and i have a straw and my straw reaches across the room and starts to drink your milkshake. i drink your milkshake! i drink it up!"

again, i am left mesmerized by p.t. anderson's magic. his achievements as a writer and director are remarkable. anderson really outdid himself with his recent film, There Will Be Blood. every aspect of the film, the story, the cinematography, the acting, the score, they form a perfect harmony that carries the film. anderson moves away from his traditional ensemble work, in this stunning portrayal of a man(daniel plainview)who dreams of oil.

There Will Be Blood, tells a story of family, greed, religion, and oil. anderson's script was inspired by upton sinclair's novel, oil!, which i now have to read. anderson allows the film to speak for itself. there is no unnessesary or cliche dialogue. so many films say too much. anderson takes There Will Be Blood, in the opposite direction. the dialogue feels so carefully chosen. every conversation, so quotable.

so many of the recent film releases have been in the 2 1/2 -3 hour range. many of these films seem to drag on, leaving the feeling they could easily have ended 20 minutes sooner. i feared the same thing would happen with the 2 hour 38 minute, There Will Be Blood, but i was pleasantly surprised. from the moment it began the film swept me off my feet and into the 1900's. there was no squirming, no checking my clock, only complete submersion in anderson's haunting tale.

There Will Be Blood, is a visual masterpiece. the film has an antique look, which i later found out was partially due to one of the lenses used in the filming. anderson has a 1910 pathe camera whose 43mm lens was modified to be used in the film for certain shots. there is such attention to detail. robert elswit's dream-like cinematography captures the brilliance of the scenery. he manages to make barren land breathtaking. the thick black of the oil covering the white skin is a beautiful contrast.

anderson makes wonderful use of music in his films. There Will Be Blood, is no exception. the score from radiohead guitarist, jonny greenwood grabs you from the first moment. the music intensifies throughout the film, as plainview's hunger grows. it sets the mood and never lets up.

daniel day lewis' haunting portrayal of daniel plainview is a masterpiece. both charming and cruel, every inch of him is daniel plainview. his accent and characteristic walk combined with his confidence and growing hatred ignite the screen. anderson pulls you in, and daniel day lewis keeps you there, holds you, and refuses to let you go. paul dano is remarkable. his portrayal of paul and eli sunday is superb. originally cast only as paul, his role expanded to include eli, and how lucky we are for that. dano's, eli sunday attempts to fool us and plainview as a soft-spoken preacher, but a wildly charismatic evangelist soon ensues. plainview and eli sunday's hatred for each other is chilling. dillion freasier, also deserves mention as plainview's son and business partner, h.w.

every moment of There Will Be Blood, is phenomenal. it deserves constant praise and every award it's up for. a film i will not soon forget, in years to come it will be considered a true classic. lets hope p.t anderson continues to offer up his creations.

"i'm finished."

Saturday, January 19, 2008

23 on August the 12th.

"what's your favorite movie?"
impossible. that's one of the hardest questions i've been asked...and it's asked a lot. sometimes there is my favorite, "movie of the moment". and there is of course the ever-changing "top ten". and if you really want to get into it, you can have the "top ten" in various genres. you have your classics, your cult classics, your guilty-pleasures, your dramas, your comedies, your westerns, your foreign films...but that seems like cheating. it's best to stick with the all encompassing "top ten"...and no matter how often that changes, it usually holds tight to a few.

so here it is, my "top ten", of the moment. in no particular order:

Breakfast At Tiffany's
there are so many layers to this film. it's beautiful. and sad. and audrey hepburn is magical.
Leaving Las Vegas
at times painful to watch. dark and haunting. mike figgis captures the utter loneliness, connection, and acceptance of these characters with perfection. nick cage is dead on and elizabeth shue is tragically vulnerable.
American Beauty
a hell of a directorial debut. this film perfectly encompasses the dysfunctional suburban family. each character outshines the next. not only is it visually appealing, the score is brilliant and the writing is remarkable, and the acting is impeccable. i rule!
Lost In Translation
sofia coppola is remarkable. she captures the characters connection with ease. there is a mellow, relaxed pace that ads an unassuming quality to the film. the metaphor of being "lost in translation" is expressed in various ways throughout the film creating layer upon layer. the film is beautiful. bill murray is a pleasure. it gets better with each viewing.
pt anderson is always impressive. every character's story is heartbreaking. the way one life connects to another and the idea that it can't all be a coincidence, can it? this film is so smart and powerful and warrants multiple views, there is way too much to process for just one.
On The Waterfront
brando is remarkable. it's not so bad having the mob run the labor union, when you're on their side. disappointments, tragedy, and rising above yourself.
The Conversation
those damn coppolas'. this is a psychological thriller at its finest. it's haunting. genius.
stunning. roman polanski captures the pure grittiness of this tale. the web of deception weaves deep in this film. it's powerful and tragic.
The Apartment
billy wilder is one of my all-time favorites. jack lemmon and shirley maclaine shine. this film is time-less. funny. sad. lovely.
Conversations With Other Women
this film has managed to hold the position as my favorite "movie of the moment" for the past year and a half. it is like nothing i have seen. the simple complexities. the honesty. it's brilliant and i can't get enough of it.

Honorable Mentions(is this cheating?):
apocalypse now, the royal tenenbaums, sunset boulevard, fight club

so there it is, my "top ten", for now.

now it's your turn.

Friday, January 18, 2008

i am by no means a film expert. if 4 years of film school taught me anything, which i'd hope it taught me a lot, it's that sometimes the more you know about film the less you really know.
maybe it just seems that way because something that can come off as so simple, a moving picture on the screen, really is so much more. once you open your mind up to the fundamentals of film it's like this huge explosion. there is so much to learn. not only do you have the terminology(covering every aspect of the film spectrum) which ranges from beautiful french phrases like film noir and mise en scène to basics like grip and best boy. there are the directors, the writers, the producers, the classics. everything has a reference. in music you "tip the hat to the teacher" in film, well, it's a "hommage". as the brain expands the more it needs to fill the space. the more you know the more you want to know to the point that it seems like you don't know anything at all. so maybe the big thing film school taught me was the art of absorbing.

i love film. i love every aspect of it. i love the idea of film. the idea that you can be somewhere else for 90+ minutes. i love the act of seeing a film in the theatre. being surrounded by darkness and just losing yourself in the glow of the screen. i love sitting back and watching the credits after a really good film and just feeling content. i love walking outside of the theatre when it's all over and slowly easing back into reality as the dialogue and imagery lingers in your head. i love that.

i guess more than anything this blog will just be some sort of outlet for the films i see, or have seen. and hopefully it can eventually serve as some sort of connection to others who are reading this to share what you've seen, what you love, what you hate, and what you can't live without in regard to film.

this should be fun.