Thursday, February 28, 2013

Life of Pie: Thoughts

     Firstly I must say that this film is one of the better adaptations of literature I've seen to date. Having read the book before, overall I believe it includes the right amount without really tearing away from the majesty of the story. It's stunning and the visual effects are jaw dropping, not because of likeness but because of it's perspective and it's wonderful sense of magical realism that one seems to find so rarely in film these days. 

     I must address that it's rather awful what the company Rhythm & Hues, that did all of the VFX for Life of Pi, has been dealing with since the film and some of the protests that have been going on recently for the VFX industry in general. Besides the company having had to file for bankruptcy, the poor visual effects team that accepted the award at the Oscars this past Sunday were shooed off stage with none other then the Jaws theme just as they began to address the issue. I don't think it was clever or funny for the Jaws theme to be used in that manner, it was simply disrespectful, for any of the winners it was used on to sweep offstage. 
     Besides that take a look at an open letter that one of the lead compositors of the film addressed to Ang Lee. For a film and story that relies so heavy on one's imagination, the manner in which VFX was used was remarkable. It just shows the quality that VFX can produce if done properly, and it's unfortunate that all this negativity is being swirled up with all of this. 

     In the end, the film is outstanding and it should be viewed. It's a wonderful adaptation of a beautiful piece of writing by Yann Martel which you can grab from your local bookstore, library or even form Amazon. I'm sure most cities are extending their screenings of Life of Pi because of the recent awards it's garnered. So keep your eyes out.

Happy moviegoing folks!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Holy Motors: The Faculty of Film

With the Oscar's happening this Sunday and my disappointment that Holy Motors was not recognized at this gathering I feel it's about time I write about this glorious film.

It is, for me, a true love letter to the art of filmmaking. It allows the viewer to take a long ride with Monsieur Oscar, driving into many forms of cinema and the very act of honesty and authenticity in film today. All the while breaking every rule and paying due homage to all the wonder and magic that is film.

There are moments that require mentioning, because I feel like these attributed to why this film spoke to me in the fashion it did. There is a point where a man visits M. Oscar and says "it looks like you're getting tired...if your performance continues to disappoint, maybe you should stop..." Oscar replies he wont until he is dead..."it is the beauty of the act." How perfect is this? why tired? why would that matter? poor performance? why is this even contested? how can one even think to dispute the beauty of the act?

Another is when Oscar talks about the "machines" once being bigger than himself and now they're smaller than our heads.  It's mentioned more then once that "these machines" aren't wanted anymore as if to question why. The very performance of Denis Lavant is heart breaking because it's as if he represents pure truth in the act itself. Why he hasn't got extensive praise for his performance is beyond me and it just goes to show how rare acting like that is in today's cinema. As if to say most audiences today can't even comprehend such an ability.

The film itself begins in a theatre, whilst a child is present, as are the hounds as they prowl through the audience threatening to snatch them all. Overall this film captivated me, it ensnared my thoughts about film and filmmaking, and transfigured every notion I had about contemporary cinema's path. Forget ideas of narrative, because unfortunately our thoughts about it only condition us to assume it must be undeviating and straight as an arrow by today's standards. However remember your heart and open it up to the grandeur of the act.   Film is not dead my friends, it is only hiding, as if in a safe house, you just have to go find it.

Happy moviegoing folks!

Keep an Eye Out For: Room 237 pt. 3

Finally a US release date has happened. The film will be showing in select theaters March 29th 2013 my friends and if you're close to your iTunes, Xbox, or Amazon Instant accounts then I would check those venues out as well. Hope you all get a chance to see it and if you're in Los Angeles also check out the Kubrick retrospective at LACMA it's very fun.

Here is one more trailer for you...just to make sure you're listening:

Again it wont give away too much which is mounting my anticipation for this film. However fan of Kubrick or not, this will be a, sure to please, documentary about passion, insight and the power of observation, and subjectivity.

Happy movie going folks!