Tuesday, 31 July 2007
Nugget: if you sit through the credits you will be rewarded with a Springfield anthem to the tune of La Marseillaise and Maggie's first word.
Gyllenhaal is brilliant at all the nervous ticks of a young woman who has been through a lot of therapy. She is soft and fragile but has a wicked side.
This really could be a short film but it is inflated with reasonable success to feature length. In an interview for FilmFour, Gyllenhaal confesses that neither she nor the director Steven Shainberg knew what the ending would be when they undertook the project, and indeed that shows as part of the film's weakness, without really spoiling so much what has gone before.
Nugget: not the film I was expecting from the poster. A notably strong performance by Gyllenhaal.
Sunday, 22 July 2007
As with Leone's Spaghetti Westerns, it ain't so much in the tale as in the telling. There is very little dialogue in the opening 20 minutes; meticulous set-ups and a symphony of sound effects. The dubbing is noticeable.
Nugget: a long film (229 minutes) that has its rewards but demands close attention. I remember seeing it in Germany as a kid in the late 80s when it was shown on TV in two parts on consecutive nights, like a mini-series.
Nugget: a light-hearted study of early 60s anxieties. The best line in the film is "I'll hit you so hard, I'll kill your whole family."
Reasonable viewing. Its tone is lightened by a number of good one-liners. Mark Wahlberg is amusing as a no-bull senior detective, the sidekick of Alec Baldwin.
Nugget: gets bloody.
Friday, 6 July 2007
The two main characters, Shrek (Mike Myers) and Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) are less interesting than in previous films. They have settled into their relationship together and have even reached the stage where we can expect the patter of tiny feet. They are also upstaged by the minor characters: Pinocchio (Cody Cameron), who has a hilariously circumlocutious way of avoiding lying to Prince Charming; the Gingerbread Man (Conrad Vernon), who punches well above his weight; the various princesses who act as Princess Fiona's ladies in waiting, including Snow White (Amy Poehler), Rapunzel (Maya Rudolph), the Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella (Amy Sedaris); and, the best kept secret, Eric Idle as Merlin, a magic teacher from Artie's Worcestershire high school who took early retirement because he went bonkers. He's a New Age, organically fuelled nutter and by far the funniest new character. These minor characters have overtaken the show. Donkey (Eddie Murphy) and Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) continue their successful double act.
Nugget: despite some gags of joy, the format is getting a little tired.
Thursday, 5 July 2007
Nugget: think of a cross between Larry Clark's Kids (1995), Requiem for a Dream (2000), and Ken Loach's Sweet Sixteen (2002).
Read the full review on FilmExposed.
[Update: Friday 17 June 2011: looks like FilmExposed is no more, so that link is broken.]
Wednesday, 4 July 2007
Originally uploaded by 'stpiduko'.
I clickled across a set of photos on the Flickr blog called "People I Have Asked". It's a thing of beauty. Makes me want to take pictures of the people I know so that everyone can have a picture of themselves that looks this good (not that I can take pictures this good).
Episode 1: 18th-century origins
Samuel Richardson, Pamela (1740); Clarissa (1747-8)
Henry Fielding, Shamela (1741); Tom Jones (1749)
Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey (1798)
Episode 2: 19th century
Walter Scott, Ivanhoe (1819)
Charles Dickens, Great Expectations (1860-1)
Elizabeth Gaskell, Mary Barton (1848)
William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair (1847-8)
George Eliot, Middlemarch (1871)
Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady (1881)
George Gissing, New Grub Street (1891)
Sunday, 1 July 2007
There are 31 of these figures dotted around the rooftops within a 1.5km radius of the Hayward Gallery on London's South Bank (27 fibreglass and 4 cast iron). There are a few at street level as well - similar to those he placed on the beach oop north at Crosby (hight "Another Place"). He's also the dude who made the Angel of the North. It's fun trying to spot them all. I think they're beautiful. So peaceful and calm. They don't look as if they're going to jump. They're more like guardians watching over the city, facing you with their palms forward.
Update: Stuart Candy writes about Gormley's art in geological time on the stylish Long Now Foundation blog, which has a photo of Crosby Beach that could only be called a thing of beauty.