Monday, January 22, 2007

Gah! And Films.

I just finished off the previous post and published it - I started it a long time ago. Obviously I've been neglecting this blog, but I'm trying to get back into a more regular posting rhythm. This post can't be long though, because I have to go to Linguistics soon. I want to say a few key things though, mostly having to do with movies:

Pete and I went to see Children of Men recently. We both think it is one of the best movies we've seen recently. What especially stood out to me was the camera work. It wasn't quite like anything I've ever seen; or if it was, it was done better than what I've seen. Clive Owen is fantastic. Granted, in the limited number of movies I've seen him in he's been essentially the same character, and he's good at being that character. In any case, I like it.

Anyways, if you're interested in seeing Children of Men, I highly recommend seeing it at the theatre. It's one of those films that actually grabs you by the shoulders and shakes you, saying, "Picture this!" I don't think it would have this same effect if watched on a small screen. In fact, I doubt it would seem much better than a run of the mill, mediocre flick. But really, this is one of the most emotional and refreshingly original apocalyptic visions I've witnessed in a long time.

Pete and I are taking Contemporary Cinema, which has its ups and downs. Every Thursday we watch a movie, and every Tuesday we discuss the movie we saw the previous week. The first one we saw was called In This World, (directed by Michael Winterbottom). I think it has merit, although Pete and I didn't actually enjoy it all that much. Then again, it's not supposed to be all that enjoyable in the traditional sense of the word. It's a low budget production, a drama dressed up like a documentary featuring non-professional actors. It tells the story of Jamal, an a refugee from Afghanistan who makes a long and difficult journey to England. There are some filming techniques used that are quite effective and, as our prof pointed out, some very clever and seamless insertions of necessary comic relief that is both simple and effective. Otherwise, the piece is fairly simple and quite depressing.

The following Thursday we watched Dirty Pretty Things. This one was lot better received by most of the class. I was absolutely tickled pink to see Chiwetel Ejiofor, (fondly referred to by me and Peter as "Chewy") in a movie that wasn't awful. (As a matter of fact, he played a supporting role in Children of Men as well.) Several wonderful moments of dialogue combined with a fascinating look into the lives of illegal immigrants made for a very enjoyable experience. Oh, and then there's Audrey. (Are men allowed to swoon? Well, they are now.)
This one is a must-see also. It's directed by Stephen Frears, who was also behind the recent highly-acclaimed "The Queen" (Helen Mirren), which I haven't seen yet, but want to. In any case, although the scale of Dirty Pretty Things is certainly smaller, I don't think it deserves any less praise.

More coming later. Really. You trust me, right?


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