Movies of january!

In january, I love discovering new movies mainly influenced by the nominations of ceremonies like the Oscars or the Golden Globes. Even if i was extremely disappointed by the Cesars’ nominations in France this year, a lots of films teased my curiosity in this begining of the year. I choose to talk about my two main crushes at the moment:

  • When I heard that the new movie with Benedict Cumberbatch received numerous nominations at the Oscars, I was even more excited to see The Imitation Game. Mr Cumberbatch play the role of Alan Turing, the mathematician who enabled the Allies to defeat the Nazis during the second world war by decrypting a lots of messages written by the Germans. In addition to this incredible story, we can see the position of a man like Alan Turing (who is homosexual) in the english’s society after the war. I’m a huge fan of Benedict Cumberbatch and i have to say that his performance in this film is brilliant, as much as Keira Knightley ( however I am not very impressed by her usual performances).

  • An another movie which is more confidential but also stunning: Whiplash, directed by Damien Chazelle, tells the story of a nineteen-year-old boy who wants to become an icon of Jazz as a drummer. I think it’s the movie to see for jazz fans or just for people who love music and who actually play an instrument because Whiplash is a beautiful illustration of the musician’s work. For now, this movie is my favorite in the race for the award for best picture.

These are just quick reviews of two movies which really Worth the view: I share with you the trailers, in case you want to see what it looks like, and if you have already seen one of these movies are both, don’t hesitate to give your opinion.

 

 

Don’t talk about the Fight Club!

 

The time has come to talk about a movie which I can call « an experience »: Fight Club!!

Since the release of Gone Girl in October, I remembered how much I admire David Fincher and how much I love all his movies, without any exceptions: Panic Room, Se7en, the Social Network…(and don’t forget the amazing House of Cards). However, Fight Club doesn’t occupy the same place in my heart, Fight club is above these movies, it’s an outlet, an inspiration.

First, I love the screenplay (the movie is adapted from the eponymous novel of Chuck Palahniuk which is my favourite book of all time): The story is divided in 3 major acts: In the begining, we discover the narrator and his boring life, his boring job and his boring apartment described as an Ikea catalog. His sad life seems to finally brighten when he meets the nonconformist Tyler Durden that will teach him how to live without the consumer society’s dictates. They decides together to create the Fight Club to help others man who also looking for an outlet. Unfortunatly, the narrator wil doesn’t be able to control the hundreds of fight clubs which emerged throughout the country and which begin to commit terroristes acts against symbols of the consumer society.

I love the choice of the interpreters (Fincher knows definitely how to choose his actors): Brad Pitt, Helena Bonham Carter, Jared Leto, EDWARD NORTON!!! seriously, it’s the best cast I ever seen in my entire life. And the character’s construction… Wow! The character’s construction is incredible, you just have to look at the link between Tyler and the narrator ( if you saw Fight Club, you know what I am talking about). The Relationship between Marla and Tyler is also very well done, with all her ambiguity.

Some people thinks that this movie extols the acts of rebellion and the violence but it’s precisely the opposite that the movie stands up for: the last scene shows how much this acts are useless and that it’s not the destruction which is important: it’s the reconstruction. I think it’s a beautiful way of think when we see the tragic events which happened lately

The wolf of wall street!

Certainly one of the most popular film of this year: This last Scorsese’s movie was a huge success worldwide probably thank’s to the presence of M. Dicaprio in the cast (I understood that he was quite popular on this blog), but mainly because it’s a very good movie! Inspired by a real fact, it tells the story of the famous trader Jordan Belfort and its irresistible rise in the finances’ world in the 90s where only money talks.I choose to talk about this movie because it illustrates the notions we study in class very well:

  • first, it refers to the notion of « Power and counter-power » we study on english class: it denonces very explicitly the power of traders who earn money thank’s to fraudulence and dishonesty. It’s a very nice satire of the financial’s world, and of Wall Street’s manipulations in particular.
  • « The Wolf of Wall Street » refers also to the theme of « the initiatory journey » we study in literature class: the journey into a new world (finances’ world) which brings him a lot of happiness and satisfaction (here, money is the satisfaction for the character of Jordan Belfort and his buisness’ partners). But, he will be caught up by his mistakes from the past and he will have to come back into the real world (the FBI forced him to betray his collegues and friends, then he went to prison during almost 2 years).

This movie is a perfect illustration of the ravages that money can do in our modern World. If you haven’t seen « The Wolf of Wall Street » yet, I really advice you to watch it.

the master of evasion

Do you know The Shawshank redemption (translate by « les évadés » in french) , a movie directed by Frank Darabont in 1994?

This little masterpiece is inspired by The Stephen King short story « Rita Hayworth and Shawshank redemption » from his 1982 collection « Different Seasons ». Andy Dufresne (played by Tim Robbins), an honest banker, was accused of murdering his wife and her lover. So, he was sentenced to spend the rest of his life in one of the most ruthless jail of the United states: the Shawshank penitentiary.The years he will spend in Shawshank will be the worst ones of his entiere life, as the most beautiful ones.

I have to say that I discovererd this movie recently, But It was one of my best cinematographic experiment of all time.

All this movie is a metophor about hope and about how patience can bring us freedom if we show a bit of intelligence and maturity. I don’t want to talk overly about the story to not spoil it because the final revelation is very important in the appreciation of the movie.I particulary appreciate the characters construction because each individual correspond to a symbole of incarceration and i had a real crush for the soundtrack composed by Thomas Newman (Skyfall, The Green Mile) , he’s such an amazing composer.

The Shawshank redemption is a wonderful lesson of life: it’s worth seeing!

 

The master of suspence

Let’s talk about the great Alfred Hitchcock!

Yes, the master of suspence, the one and only. He is decidedly the reference who inspired the greatest thrillers of the modern cinema. His visual audacity, his mastery of émotions on screen and his hard work made him one of the most influent directors of all time. I choose to talk about one movie, maybe my favorite, but definitely the most famous: Psycho ( inspired by the Robert Bloch’s eponymous novel).

Marion Crane (Janet Leight) steals 400 000$ from his employer and she decided to leak to escape the police. In the middle of the night, she stops at a motel in the middle of nowhere: The Bates motel. She is welcomed by the strange property landlord called Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) who visibly try to seduce her. Then, she hope to spend the night here safely, but nothing will happen as she had imagined.

Some people could say that it’s an outdated movie but, replaced in its historic context (1960), It’s a truly innovative and major work in the history of cinema. As an exemple, we can thought about the shower scene, which was so difficult to achieve and which is , today, one of the most famous scene of all time in cinema. Visually, it’s simply magnificent ( the plays of light created by the black and white help a lot) and the unforgettable soudtrack of Bernard hermann renforces this chilling atmosphere.

So, if you haven’t seen Psycho yet and if you are a little bit curious, I can only recommend you to see it.Personaly, I also love the remake of 1998 directed by Gus Van Sant (he recreated the original movie shot by shot adding a few interesting details like colors).There is also the film Hitchcock, which returns on the creation of Psycho in 1960 and which is very interesting to see.

Finally, there is an awesome Tv series which is tells the Norman bates’s youth with his invasive mother but if you want more details about that you can read the article written by my friend Emma called « Bates Motel ».

 

the master of folk

Since we’ve talked about the great Bob Dylan in class, i thought it would be appropriate to evoke some of his greatest songs. I choose three well-known songs of him that inspire me a lot.

  • « Blowin’ in the Wind », and what a song! it’s probably the most popular song of Dylan. Written  » in 10 minutes » (according to the famous songwriter), it became quickly a true Anthem for a whole generation, supporting many ideas about peace and freedom.
  • « all along the watchtower » is also a famous song in its accoustic version, but its most known version is definitly the one made by Jimi Hendrix, slower but also more rock.
  • « Masters of war » is my favorite song of Bob Dylan and also one of my favorite songs ever. The power of this song is so strong and unifying that it still resonates through our world today.

I would like to share with you my favorite cover of « Masters of War » made by an Irish singer that I love for a few years already and who begin to be known in France : Ed Sheeran.

I hope you’ll enjoy this cover ( whether you like the original or not). And what about you? do you like Bob dylan? what is you favorite songs of him?

Impossible love…

Impossible love… It speaks to everyone and, if love is a recurring theme, the impossible love is equally. That’s why a lot of writers use this Gimick in their books, here is a few examples:

  • how not to speak about Shakespeare and his too  famous Romeo and Juliet. It’s a classic for good, an incontestable reference. i think it’s impossible to find more universal than Romeo and Juliet.
  • A great novel which gave a place to one of the most amazing film ever directed, Gone with the Wind ( written by Margaret Mitchell and published in 1936) tells the impossible loves between Scarlett and Ashley then between Scarlett and Reth ,who will never be happy together even if they were madly in love with each other.
  • It’s one of my favorite short stories. Brokeback Mountain (written by Annie Proulx in 1997) tels the love between two cowboys who will separeted during their entire lifes. It’s gorgeous but also totally devastating.

Of course, there are many other examples  in the french literature or outside the literature in general. If you see another examples, don’t hesitate to leave a com’.

Sherlock, THE adaptation!

It’s not a secret, Sherlock Holmes is the most famous private detective of the world and also the most adapted on screen. A lot of films and series refered to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s novels and short stories (like Guy Ritchie’s movies with Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law or the series Elementary). But I would like to talk about my favorite adaptation wich is incredibly well written by Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat and diffused on TV since 2010.

The famous detective is incarnated by Benedict Cumberbatch and Watson by the most famous Hobbit of the world: Martin Freeman. Their performance are perfectly well done and pretty original. The screenplay is ingeniously transposed on the 21th century and we find some Holmes’ famous case (like The Study in pink or The Hounds of Baskerville)

We can see on screen a police series who seems finally be original, ambitious, and full of irony.

So disappointed by Tim Burton!

I’m sorry but if you like Tim Burton and if you think that he’s a genius of the cinema, you probably won’t like this article . The thing is I like less and less Burton’s movies. he has his own world and some interesting ideas but we often find  the same elements :the staging,  the music (often made by Danny Elfman),the characters (always alone, marginal and tortured). Johnny Deep is often present (in 8 films) as Helena Bonham Carter (in 7 films). The only movie that seems to be detached from this scheme is Ed Wood output in 1994 ( a black and white movie which chronicles the life of « the worst Hollywood’s directer »). It’s my favorit film of Mr Burton.

  • I am much less admirative for Alice in wonderland ,output in 2010. Despite a quite well done comic, this movie is a perfect copy of his previous films ( except Ed Wood). We feel that Burton doesn’t try to innovate anymore and merely uses his usual visual and his favorits actors.
  • Moreover, in this movie, the main character isn’t really Alice, but the Mad Hatter played by Johnny Deep again (to believe that Burton has a true « Depp-endance »).In fact ,he is the most accentuated character (always in my opinion), more than Alice. We can also find this in Charlie and the chocolate factory where the character of Willy Wonka (also played by Johnny Deep!) is much more important than Charlie.
  • Burton takes some liberty with the original story of « Alice in wonderland », making it darker (representing « underland » rather than « wonderland »), to better match his world ( which is a good thing).

Even if the story is overrall well done and the visuals are remarkable (especially in 3D), I think this movie stay too little innovative and not equal Tim Burton’s first movies (like Edouard Scissorhands or Sleepy Hollow )

Slaves at the Oscars!

« 12 years a slave » is one of the movies who touched me the most in my life. That’s why it was impossible for me to not talk about it.

It’s the third film of Steve McQueen and the consecration’s one. After « Hunger » and « Shame » (which are really great movies), McQueen decided to adapt an autobiography written by Solomon Northup ( the movie’s main character) published in 1853. In his book, Solomon tells how he was captured to be sold as a slave while he was a rich free man from the north of the USA. We can follow his travels and his meetings until his release after 12 years of suffering and silence.

The actors are all wonderful especially Lupita Nyong’o which is incredibly upsetting in her role of a tortured young slave. Michael Fassbender ( i love him!!) incarnate perfectly the master which seems to ignore his slaves’ humanity. But The others plantation masters ( and their wives) are often much more complex, shared between their conscience and their desir of supremacy.

Thank’s to his editing , his sensational music ( made by Hans Zimmer who worked in Gladiator and many other success),and his amazing actors, « 12 years a slave » show to us a reality we would probably forget where freedom is never acquired. McQueen does’nt try to hide the truth, he expresses it explicitly and very violently.This film has already received numerous awards and he won the oscars for the best movie, the best adapted screenplay and for the best supporting actress for Lupita Nyong’o ( I’m so happy!)

If you have to watch a movie it’s this one. Made your own opinion!

I Frankenstein, the sequel of mary shelley’s novel.

i,Frankenstein is one of the new fantasy movies from the begining of this year. It’s directed by Stuart Beattie, an australian scriptwriter and directer (he is famous for being the scriptwriter of « australia » in 2008).
A lot of journalist said that it was an horror movie, after seeing it I can say it was only a thriller. It can be entertainig if you like fantasy and action movies. it’s not really my case so i did’nt really like it althought the staging was suprising sometimes. I find the story was really superficial and without real interest. It’s only based on special effects unfortunatly and, for me, a good movie isn’t just some visual effects with a nice music. Moreover, the Frankenstein’s story doesn’t really interest me and , generally, i don’t appreciate films about Frankenstein ( except  « the bride of Frankenstein » which is really awesome).

Make your own opinion!

old cinema!

In class, we watched an adaptation of « alice in wonderland ». it dated back to 1903, only a few years after the cinema’s birth. For the time it was a really good adaptation despite the limites means (money and special effects) and i think a lot of people in class enjoyed that.