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Archive for the month “December, 2012”

Wes Anderson filmography ranking.

Hello again,my dear readers…the good news is that I finished the whole filmography of Wes Anderson! Therefore I would be talking about my top Wes Anderson films and my thoughts about it.

O.K if you guys did not hear about Wes Anderson or heard about his films (I suggest you do it now before I stab with you the scissors). I would do a small biography of that man and his aueteur style.

Wes Anderson was perhaps the most upcoming aueters,yes you would either be charmed by his charming style of directing or perhaps find it a ripoff from Jeneut. I am in one of those groups who fall in love with his works. Yes he deliver comedies,but it’s not those haha moments. It was dry but it was enjoyable. It was a mix of dysfunctional families,a unique colour palette and great soundtracks (I am surprised that he have the same taste as me). Recently I found out there was a bingo game dedicated to spotting Wes Anderson’s signatures

Yup,no denial that Wes have its own style 😉

With the recent acclaim of his recent work Moonrise Kingdom,with a nomination of Golden Globes (Congrats Wes!) and a new film The Grand Budpast Hotel,a period piece with a stellar cast (For me I am damn excited to hear that F Murray Abraham is in this film) which homages to Billy Wilder and Ernest Lubistch. I am going to give my two-cents of the Wes Anderson filmography. (In order of my preferences)

1)Rushmore (1998)

Story:An eccentric teenager Max Fischer,faced academic probation while he fall in love with a lonely kindergarten teacher Ms Cross while holding a friendship with Mr Blume.

My views:I could say this film is perhaps the most relatable films for me among Wes’ filmography and my instant favourite. I called it the Graduate in reverse (here another favourite film of mine). It is a little wry,yet it have the most touching moments on growing up and learning to find your purpose in life. I particularly loved the performance of Jason Schwartzman here.

Favourite Wes Anderson music moment: I would choose Ooh La La By Faces ending,because it just fit on that moment where Max met his unrequited love Ms Cross and just dance away. Damn it,it was too beautiful and quite a bittersweet ending. I loved the revenge sequence of “A quick one who got away” by The Who,it was quite hilarious as hell and pretty unexpected.

Favourite Wes Anderson quote:  “Sic transit gloria. Glory fades. I’m Max Fischer.”

2)Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

Story: Two outcasts Sam and Suzy ran away while the entire community of New Penzance were looking for those runaway lovers.

My views: Being the first Wes Anderson film I watched,I instantly fall in love with his style with Moonrise Kingdom. I said it was the best cast ever with some surprises like Bruce Wills as the cop,Edward Norton as Scout Master Ward and cameos of Tilda Swinton and Harvery Ketiel are pretty awesome. However it was the two child stars that took the attention for me for adapting Wes’ whimsical style and their chemistry is flawless.

Favourite Wes Anderson music moment:No denial,I probably played this tune more than 60 times in my iTunes library,Le Temps D’Amour by Francoise Hardy. I mean that scene of the two kids dancing in the beach and having a damn good time,there it goes to them doing the french kissing is that personification of young love. The chemistry of the actors are just perfection,with that awkwardness that we experience when we fall in love for the first time. Ever since this was my favourite Wes Anderson soundtrack piece. If I have to choose a second,it would be the narrator’s telling with Simple Symphony, Op.4 – 2. Playful Pizzicato. It is just perfect and add this childlike feel for this film.

Favourite Wes Anderson Quote: “I made you some jewelry. Are your ears pierced?”  (Yup that next moment is pure comedy when you hear Suzy scream and there she think it looks pretty.)

3) Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)

Story:Based on a book by Roald Dahl,Mr Fox,a former chicken thief pulled out the biggest heist in years,which threaten his community.

My Views:Screw it,this book was part of my childhood. Fantastic Mr. Fox was one of these books that I loved to read. I am pleasantly surprised over his adaptation on my favourite childhood book. It just make a good book much better and cause me to want to reread this book again. It have one of my favourite soundtracks of Wes Anderson and of course translating his quirky style to stop-motion animation was incredible. Maybe it is not for the little kids because of its dry humor,but it’s a worthwhile watch.

Favourite Wes Anderson music moment: O.K the soundtrack of Fanatstic Mr Fox is super duper amazing,and I often played this. This have won for the best nostalgic award,when they played Love from my childhood film Robin Hood .This one was hard to find,that even my twin sister freaked out when she did not notice that reference..look out for that moment where Krisstoftern dived into the pool,that is where they played that song. For the rest,I do love the use of The Beach Boys here,especially Heroes and Villains,Street Fighting Man by The Rolling Stones for the battle with the rat and Mr Fox. Of course the ending tune-Let Her Dance is the winner for me and keep everyone in a good mood. Scores-wise they did that great job on that ditty on Boggis,Bunce and Bean.

Favourite Wes Anderson quote: Mrs. Fox: [to Ash] We’re all different. [indicates Mr. FoxMrs. Fox: Especially him. But there’s something kind of fantastic about that, isn’t there? (I would choose that damn hilarious King John-esque moment where they sang the song on Mr fox’s adventures)

4) The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)

Story:A dysfunctional families of former geniuses came along,when the absent Patriarch Royal came back to tell his family that he was going to die.

My Views: Perhaps it was a more heartfelt and absolutely funny,yup it did take the attention for an extremely witty script,great soundtrack and of course very great acting. One of my favourite Wes Anderson characters is of course Royal which is played wonderfully by Gene Hackman (Yup he is an asshole but I love that man).  Of course it gave me a new perspective on actors that I consider to be that damn overrated like Ben Stiler and Gwyneth Partrow. Yes I can see that Owen Wilson can actually act pretty well thanks to Wes Anderson’s direction. Perhaps it have the best ensemble chemistry besides Moonrise Kingdom. Of course the set design is pretty gorgeous to look at.

Favourite Wes Anderson music moment: This holds for the second,for best use of popular music. I love the medley of She Smiled sweetly/Ruby Tuesday by The Rolling Stones where Margot and Richie met together. I mean the emotions was absolutely perfect there and of course the lyrics of that song Ruby Tuesday just make my heart ache so much.

Favourite Wes Anderson quote:

Royal: Got a minute?
Ethel: [startled] What are you doing here?
Royal: Uh, I need a favour. I want to spend some time with you and the children.
Ethel: Are you crazy?
[she carries on walking]
Royal: Well, wait a minute, dammit!
Ethel: Stop following me!
Royal: Well, I want my family back.
Ethel: Well, you can’t have it! I’m sorry for you, but it’s too late.
Royal: Well, listen… Baby, I’m dying.
[she stops]
Royal: Yeah, I-I’m sick as a dog. I’ll be dead in six weeks. I’m dying.
Ethel: What are you talking about? What’s happening? Oh, I’m sorry… I didn’t know…
[starts crying]
Ethel: Well, what’d they say? What is the prognosis?
Royal: [trying to comfort her] Take it easy, Ethel. Now, hold on, baby, hold on. Hold on, OK?
[she starts wailing]
Ethel: Where is the doctor?
Royal: Well, look, just wait a second now. Wait a second. OK, uh, listen, I’m not dying… but I need some time. A month or so. OK? I want us to-to…
[she slaps him hard]
Ethel: WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU? Are you crazy?
[she walks off]
Royal: Ethel, baby… I am dying.
[she comes back to him]
Ethel: Are you or aren’t you?
Royal: What? Dying? Yeah.

yes we did that for directing class,here Gene Hackman and Huston are just flawless together here!

5) Bottle Rocket (1994)

Story: 3 young dreamers Anthony,Digman and Bob planned a big heist mission in order to achieve these dreams.

My Views:Being that debut film of Wes Anderson,this have some of his style. Some parts are little dry and sometimes confusing for me. However it shows me again that Owen Wilson can act pretty well and the cinematography is pretty amazing. Music-wise it’s a little resemblance to his current films.

Favourite Wes Anderson music moment: Arrgggghh I can’t remember any music from Bottle Rocket D: It’s not one of my favourite soundtracks here..

Favourite Wes Anderson quote: “What do you think I was doing the whole time you were out there man? I told you Dignan got fired, out on his ass. But you didn’t think about that, did you. In the end it’s easier to think about yourself than it is to think about Dignan.”

6)Hotel Chevailer/The Darjeeling limited (2007)

Story: 3 estranged brothers went through a spiritual journey in India after a year of their father’ s death.

My views:This film is slightly serious as opposed to his previous works where he used the playfulness of Truffaut and Welles. Here Wes Anderson was inspired by Jean Renoir’s The River and Sajitay Ray’s films. While I find the story to be lacking in some parts especially the spiritual aspect of it. However I find this film the strongest for Wes’ visual style in bold splashes of blue and yellow. Music-wise,it was a contrast as he used Ray’s film scores for his soundtrack which was quite bold. However I prefer the use of The Kinks and that little ditty. The acting of Brody,Wilson and Schwartzman are pretty great that I am convinced that they are brothers.

For Hotel Chevalier,I like that short,this is where he is at his strongest in compressing his unique style within 3 minutes and of course it have one of my other favourite Wes Anderson music moments. I suggest that you watched the short before the film,because in the dialogue,one of the brothers wrote his experience depicted in his short.

Favourite Wes Anderson music moment: Yes I am in love with that Peter Sarsdelt: Where do you go (My lovely). I called this a perfect F- you song to your ex-girlfriend/boyfriend/ best friend thanks to Darjeeling Limited. Do watch it and you get what I mean. For the rest,it’s not the Ray’s scores,I love Strangers by The Kinks and of course that sneaky Rolling Stones song “Play with Fire”

Favourite Wes Anderson quote: “I wonder if the three of us would’ve been friends in real life. Not as brothers, but as people.”

7)The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)

Story:Steve Zissou,an oceangrapher goes with is misfit crew to hunt for the mythical jaguar shark.

My Views: Perhaps this film was one of the least favorite Wes Anderson films among critics. I am one of them,while I enjoyed the whimsical animation of the sea creatures and the production design of the ship’s interior. I am not in favor with the story-plot which was pretty messy for my taste and the acting was pretty bad despite having two of his veterans Bill Murray and Anjelica Huston. Soundtrack-wise,it does not fit the film’s atmosphere unfortunately despite Seu Jorge’s great renditions to Bowie classics.

Favourite Wes Anderson music moment: As I am not much of a Bowie fan,I can’t comment much how it fits the film’s context . Seu’s covers are amazing but however I think it does not fit the film. However I do like “Queen Bitch” ending sequence (with a great jam of that song by Seu himself) and Life on Mars by Bowie himself.

Favourite Wes Anderson quote: “Oh, shit! Swamp leeches. Everybody, check for swamp leeches, and pull them off… Nobody else got hit? I’m the only one? What’s the deal?”

So anyway here is my rundown of the Wes Anderson filmography! So do let me know what are you favourite Wes Anderson films by your comments or my tumblr page! Now I am looking forward to his next film

Power of Beethoven in A Clockwork Orange

WARNING THIS POST CONTAIN NSFW IMAGES

An appreciation to The Big Lebowski (1998)

Well I heard about this cult-classic through some cinephile friends and lecturers,there I managed to get this cult classic in conjunction with Jeff Bridges (A.K.A the Dude)’s b’day on 4 December….I decided to watch this classic. I hate to admit it,I am in love with this film. It’s not in a fangirling manner and here are my reasons. Whenever you find it in a wink in your local Tv like this

Or perhaps it is just a quick stumbling like me

The Dude Abides!

For the history of this film,before The Coen brothers made Barton Fink (Another fave of mine). It was a box-office disappointment if you look in a financial producing perspective and of course it came out with mixed reviews if you are in a film critic’s perspective. Well like red wine,it aged well with time during its quirkiness and great dialouge. So here is the story of the Big Lebowski is simply about a slacker Jeff Lebowski A.K.A The Dude who got himself in a mess when he was mistaken for the cold millionaire Jeffery Lebowski and there it snowballed to the kidnap of his wife and of course a friend who wanted the cash. Yup we have the WTH face,a slacker doing something crazy. Of course it wasn’t your cheesy Hollywood thing,when you encounter the Coen Brothers-it became something different.

First of all,what I loved about The Big lebowski-it was seriously quotable. Here is the assortment of the quotes you would say.

Of course we struggle with the writing of dialogue,but the beauty of Lebowski was how natural the dialouge is and I dare you not to say “F***in’ A” or my version Freaking A! after watching the film. I keep on quoting the dude line randomly.

It leads to my second favourite thing from The big Lebowski is the extremely comedic moments. I think every part of the film is hilarous. Here is are my  favourite moments

I am surprised they should add this as one of the moments that used classical music. This never ever grows old for me. I dunno why the use of Mozart’s Requiem in such a serious moment and The Dude going “Ok..yah…” while Mr Lebowski discussed something serious is hilarious. This is how to use classical music for comedic effect

This itself is also pretty too priceless,here a chirpy song played a snowballing effect to find something mysterious.

Of course there are so many honorable mentions for the best moments of that film,anyway man…this film is just hilarious that I could narrow down with these few.

There it lead me why I loved the Big Lebowski,the great performances for so many underrated actors-may I give a shout-out to John Goodman as Walter ? He was a favourite for me ever since Barton Fink,everytime he keep shouting “Donny Shut the Fuck Up” with such comedic timing and of course the “Stranger” is too epic. Of Course we abide the “Dude” Jeff Bridges is awesome as the Dude. We actually symphatize him on his journey and Bridges make him so believable to the point most of the “Dude”clothes were actually his.

I saw this post once and thought I like to share with you because it summarised the film in an interesting light is about the perceptions of masculinity. O.K I was mind-blown that I could take some exercepts from it

“Anyway, like I was saying, the film answers a single, very important philosophical question, a question that is posed at the beginning of the film by The Big Lebowski (the character): “What makes a man?”

The rest of the film is devoted to answering this question. Or, if I were to rephrase this in a way relevant to reality, the film questions the conventional notion of a “man” or masculinity in today’s society.

The film takes all pre-conceived societal notions about masculinity being defined as body image, and turns all of that on its head with Jeff Bridge’s character The Dude. Here we have: an unemployed slacker and stoner, physically unfit, cowardly, poor, etc. etc. As far from society’s (and the audience’s!) notion of what a real manly character should be.

And yet. By the end of the movie, one can certainly make the claim that The Dude is NOT cowardly. Doesn’t he spend the film trying to dive to the bottom of a mystery that he doesn’t even want to be a part of? Despite what he may appear to be on the outside, by the end of the movie The Dude is definitely more courageous and willing to do what’s right than at the beginning.

When I watched in the end-I simply go what the hell,but love the comedy. There after reading this post,it gained my respect for this film. How do we perceive the idea of masculinity,not by appearance but his traits and willingness.  It is quite philosophical especially learning to take things by stride. I actually loved this quote from The Dude to move on life. Even before I watched that film,I actually reblogged a GIF set on this line and it helps me in so many ways

Perhaps that is why it sprouted conventions and revitalize a long-forgotten cocktail.Of course it helps that this film can be seen in different perspectives,when it was a modern take of The Big Sleep or simply a comedy to laugh on. You must attempt this comedy. You should!

Les Enfants review

Les Enfants review

Well,as promised I have my thoughts of that French classic! So enjoy!

Les Enfants du Paradis expérience-the magic of the big screen

The Highlight for me last night 🙂

During that gruelling semester,I received a very wonderful surprise in school email inbox. Here I have the saying on this film

It has been brought to my attention that one of the greatest films ever made (yes!) is screening at the National Museum of Singapore in December. It is Marcel Carne’s LES ENFANTS DU PARADIS – made in 1945 during the German occupation of France. I cannot recommend this film highly enough – it is about the theatre – and so much more – and featuring some of France’s finest actors of that time, including the great Jean Louis Barrault. You will never forget seeing this film – it may even change your perspective about acting.  

Of course – you can hire/download this and watch it on a small screen – but this does not do this masterpiece any justice. To experience the full impact of this film you need to see it on the big screen.

Of course I cannot resist that offer (aside from my much needed Singapore film society offer for free tickets). My country do show old films once in a while on the big screen. Plus I know that experience of watching on the big screen is amazing,having watched Bertloucci’s The Last Emperor on the big screen last May. Plus I heard about the restoration of that French classic,so of course I wanted to go there.

Plot-wise,it was a love triangle between a mime Baptiste (Played wonderfully by Jean-Louis Barrault) and Garache,a free-spirited socialite. Yup it sounds like your atypical Korean melodrama or even worse (for my case) Fleming’s Gone with The Wind which I loathe. Luckily it did not go for this route for me. (More will be talked on my tumblr blog)

It was pretty hard for me to stay up all night to watch this beauty,with an uncomfortable seat and an extremely warm air-con (I remember the last time I came,it was freakin’ cold). I feel slightly ashamed to go back and forth to the toilet and secretly binging snacks and water to keep me alert. I am not too happy with the projection though,it was seen as squashed and did not do justice to the restoration of that beautiful film. Yes I am ranting it out on the flaws of the screening,as I seen better screenings than this.

As I went back home,I realize that I could also have that big-screen experience at my own home. I am more comfortable in my slacks,binging on snacks that would add calories and enjoy the coolness. While my country do not have that culture like America that consistently showed films of old. My local library is more than enough to satisfy my cravings for great cinema with its varied amount of DVDS.  I could borrow all the Criterion DVDS I want,sit on my couch and enjoy it. If I am exhausted,there is always a pause button and there I go for my little breaks. In addition,there is no irritating people gossiping on the big-screen.

However it was worth it to see films on the big screen was the audience’s reactions whenever it was foreign expats or the locals (I am surprised there is a decent amount of locals coming along to see this film-my faith in Singaporeans being cinephiles is restored). We laughed at Fredrick’s exaggerated actions,I hear the ohhhhhs on Pierre-François discovering the ill-fated lovers and of course we got hurt by the parting of Baptisite and Garcahane. (I was ugly-sobbing on the inside when I see this ending). Even as I left that hall,that British Lady hold on to my shoulder and recalled on watching that film.It was brief but it made my night. As Lynch commented on why we watched films “You go to films for different reasons: just go, and then there are ones that get down and thrill your soul.” It was definitely the experience that everyone feel is universal.

I say,while it is nice to watch all old movies I want in my DVD player at the comfort of my own home. However it does not replicate that universal emotion the audience have together. I am not saying that you must sit on the big-screen all the time to enjoy it. It might be at your own home. I think enjoying films is everywhere….As I shall conclude with a quote

I didn’t grow up thinking of movies as film, or art, but as movies, something to do on a Saturday afternoon.
Sydney Pollack

No matter where I watch a film,I am enthralled by the magic of film. It’s a way of life. Like the film’s setup,we are just watching a performance of ourselves here.

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