Thursday, December 19, 2013

Another way to watch 12 Years A Slave

I watched 12 Years A Slave the other day and I thought of something: The movie is a great allegory for what is happening to animals right now all around the world. I doubt that the filmmakers had that in mind or that many members of the audience thought/will think of it but so what?
I didn't like the movie. I thought it was a good represantation of that part of history (I hear it's accurate) and the human complexity displayed made it sure that the film is not about just one period in history. But I still didn't like it for reasons that I can't put my finger on. I feel like the movie took itself too seriously and kind of thought we're dumb. But, really, I can't say for sure so I leave it there because that's not the point of this post.

What I was saying regarding the animals is that, like the black slaves depicted in the movie, they are considered inferior, property and just plain soulless.

There are many people suffering today because they don't get the respect they deserve from others but this is probably mostly true for animals.
We have all seen animals in factories living their whole lives as products/property/slaves. Having no room to move, being treated cruelly and being killed.. well, killing is never completely un-cruel.

There are, of course, animals who are luckier and die, perhaps quickly, after they've lived a normal life in their natural habitat. It's still murder, but it's not as awful as living like a chicken, cow, pig etc in a factory that provides us with he animal products we need, or think we do.

When people try to defend women, LGBT people or non-white people, one argument (and one that is used in the movie) is that they're people too. Well, I think that's a bad argument. It's arbitrary (unless, maybe, you use Bible as your source of facts) because choosing the species as proof of someone's worth makes as much sense as choosing the race, or the gender etc. So, my answer to why you should respect a fellow creature's life and rights is that, like you, he/she/it has a life and has feelings.

So, even if the filmmakers didn't have animals in mind (the front, middle or back of it), the movie works well as a reminder of the evil that permeates the act of being cruel (physically or otherwise) to someone you regard as inferior. This concept applies to how we treat animals today (more than ever) and it's there for anyone who cares to see.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Casting The Song of Achilles

So, some of you may know that a while ago I read The Song of Achilles and loved it. It probably became my favorite novel. It's about the Trojan War and it focuses on the relationship (a romantic one in this book) between Achilles and Patroclus.
What I will try to do here is cast the movie that I have no idea if it's even considered to get made. It should! Unless they make it less than pretty good. The book has the potential to become a great movie, I think.

I won't waste any more time.

For Achilles I was thinking:

(random order)

Alex Pettyfer - He looks the part but I'm not sure he can act it. His persona is just right, I think.

Aaron Tveit - He has what it takes actingwise and he is really handsome but maybe too old and/or not the right type?

Ryan Gosling - A few years ago I wouldn't even consider anyone else. Now, I dunno.

Trevor Donovan - He looks Achillean and from what youtube tells me, he has some homoerotic experience on TV but maybe too old or not good enough an actor? I really don't know much about him.

For Thetis (Achilles's mother, a sea-nymph):

OK, for this role I could imagine all of my favorite actresses above 35 (though, I think even, say, 38 is kind of young for this role) but I will limit myself to..we'll see..

Tilda Swinton - Yep, that's it. Neeeext. Miller herself would be more than fine with this choice.
Emma Thompson - Nothing to say here; if you don't see it...

Jullianne Moore - Ditto.

And Cotillard and Bening and Kidman and and and..

For Agamemnon and Chiron:

Here's the deal: We have Michael Fassbender and Mathew McConaughey. One of them should play Agamemnon and the other one should play Chiron (the centaur who taught Achilles and Patroclus how to be..well..many things). Or maybe
Édgar Ramírez for Agamemnon.

The only problem I see is that Fassbender's colors most suit Agamemnon's brother, Menelaus, but does it matter that much? 

For Odysseus I thought of Bradley Cooper but I'm not that excited about him and I'm too lazy to think more on the subject.

 The very interesting character of Briseis, a young woman (Not Trojan, I think, but certainly of origins closer to the Trojans than the Greeks) who was enslaved by the Greeks and became friends with Patroclus, could be brought to life by:

Shailene Woodley - A good actress that matched Briseis's sweetness.

Mia Wasikowska - A good actress that matches Briseis's uneasiness.

Well, an interesting character is more than one thing and I can imagine both those actresses being able to create a whole, faithful to the book Briseis.

Pyrrhus is the son of Achilles and princess Deidameia. We spend time with him when he is twelve but supposedly looks much older. He has fiery hair. I really have no idea. I did a silly google search and only came up with a guy named Brian Balzerini.

And the star of the show, Patroclus. Well, basically any kinda-dark-haired, under 33 who is not ugly will do.
I thought of Andrew Garfield who is probably my favorite candidate. Then, Emile Hirsch, Oscar Isaac and..nothing really interesting, to be honest.

I know it was a mostly lazy effort but what I was interested the most was not throw ideas (which is always fun) but just tell the world that I want this lovely book to become a movie. OK, one post in a world of a million (more? probably) posts a day isn't much  but I'm hoping it's something. You could say Im planting a seed. 
If nothing else comes from this, maybe one person will buy and read the book, which would make me happy. 

PS: Tell me if you're that person. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

My Spooky Valentine

I watched The Talented Mr Ripley at a time when I had the biggest Gwyneth crush. I was probably 14. It was also about two years after I had visited Italy with my mother and aunt. My first time abroad. We went to Rome, Florence, Piza (for an hour) and Venice. Also, I'm gay and watching it for the second time some days ago I realized I have kind of been Mr Ripley for a period in my life.
So I guess this movie should mean more to me than it does (did, actually) but until the more recent viewing it just didn't have any special place in my heart. I barely even thought of it.
But after rewatching it I fell in love with it.  Not because of Italy, not because of Gwyneth and not because I felt connected to the story (though these things matter at least slightly) but because I thought it was a great movie. Well-made on every level. So glad I revisited it!

The reason I rewatched it was the Hit Me With Your Best Shot episode which has this movie as its subject.
I picked this particular image because I liked how subtly Ripley's crazy anger manifests itself here. Philip Seymour Hoffman's character keeps pressing harshly the piano keys despite Tom's suggestion to stop and it's like we're having an "Imma kill you some day" moment a la Birth's opera scene. It's kind of an inside joke between the movie and its audience.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

A gondola named desire

This was the first time I watched Summertime. I didn't love it but it was perfectly fine and I was moved in the end.
The reason I watched it was that I wanted to participate in the Hit Me With Your Best Shot series once again.

There are many pretty images in the film and it wasn't easy for me to pick my favorite (for whatever reason I would pick it) so I chose one that I just liked in a special way.

In a way, it's stupid to choose an image that is too dark to show the beauty of Venice or Hepburn's beautifully expressive face but this one makes me think of high-school romance in Venice.

Thursday, April 4, 2013


Your legacy lives in the way I (like many others) watch movies and will live as long as movies exist. Thank you so much for everything you've done, Roger Ebert.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Lovely Bones is what you're having for supper Mr Gollum

This is one more review in which I explain why I disliked a movie. Sorry...

The Hobbit part1 is a good kids movie. Or at least it would be if it was a lot less violent.
For an adult, at least for this adult, it's pretty but mostly boring.
I liked it visually a lot. The nature, the creatures and the camera movements. Somethimes I was thinking "That. is. so. nice".
But we shouldn't judge a movie only based on its cover and the praise ends there.
 I didn't care for any of the characters. I didn't mind spending time with Gandalf again but it's not like he showed me another side of him.
The rest of the characters were pretty simple and uninteresting.
Bilbo was the most interesting sane character but he still wasn't engaging enough. Martin Freeman did a good job though his acting felt a bit like he it was from a 2012 Real Earth drama. I don't know if I was supposed to care about Bilbo's internal journey. I mean, he felt OK at home but he was kinda bored and his ancestor was brave so maybe he should do something extreme and hey these poor folks need help but maybe not but what the hell he'll just do it. Also, he totally stole that ring probably because it was shiny but he spared  Gollum's life so he's forgiven by the audience... Seriously?

I like how in the movie whenever the heroes are close to dying, they get saved by their resourceful minds and not by a cheap trick like the phrasing of this sentence.

Question: Can't the Dwarfs get a home somewhere else? I mean, you were there and now the dragon is there. Get. over it. Gold is nice but there are more important things in life, like friendship and playing with plates after dinner.

I just don't get what powers Gandalf actually possesses. He seems to be nothing more than a good fighter at times. Does het get stronger or weaker according to the plot's needs?

The Gollum scenes were probably the best ones. Serkis's facial expressions are a masterpiece they combine creepiness,  joy (of a twisted kind) and pitiful humanity, making Gollum, as weird as it may sound, perhaps the most relatable character. He/It's a hightened version of the everyday person as opposed to most of the other characters who are either one-note or too familiar by now.


Saturday, September 1, 2012

In Anticipation of movies and better ideas

I haven't been posting much recently but I think I have been writing that phrase quite a lot!
Anyway, I listed to list a list cause, you know, lists!!

This one is kind of more random than usual because it includes the remaining movies from 2012 I'm most interested to watch. Note that I mean the movies with a 2012 USA release date. No idea when they'll come to Greece. 

1) Lincoln
2) Les Misérables
3) Anna Karenina
4) Great Expectations
5) Zero Dark Thirty 
6) To the Wonder
7) The Master
8) Silver Linings Playbook
9) Rust & Bone 
10) Quartet
11) The Place Beyond the Pines
12) Amour
13) Argo
14) At Any Price

Lincoln is my first because Spielberg, Kushner, Daniel Day Lewis etc
Les Miz is my favorite musical (give or take Beauty and the Beast) without having seen it from start to finish. I just adoooorrrreee some of its songs. I'm just not entirely confident that it will work.
Anna Karenina is a classic novel and the director is someone you can't ignore, as is Keira!
Great Expectations is a book that has a character that has always fascinated me: Estella. I'm curious to see what the new embodiment of that Ice Queen has to offer.

I'm also really interested in finding out how Bigelow and her screenwriter have handled such a rich and complex story as the Bin Laden one is.