Mood Indigo

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On Saturday night, me and my friend decided to go to Cinémental, Manitoba’s Official Festival of French Language Films.  We saw L’Ecume Des Jours (Mood Indigo), a new film from director, Michel Gondry. He directed Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, one of my favourite movies, so I had high expectations. Gondry is known for surrealism and his artistic flair, which comes out with abundance in this film.  Mood Indigo is a busy mess of colour and futuristic devices that were visually stimulating, but difficult to get used to.  Most of the film is spent watching the characters frolic and participate in strange behaviour, and it felt as if Gondry was getting carried away. There are eels popping out of sinks, shoes that run off on their own, clothes that bite people, and a pet mouse who is a miniature grown man that runs around.

The main character Colin begins lighthearted, wealthy, and without a care in the world. He has a personal slave, or assistant (his role is unclear) named Nicolas, who takes pride in his work. When Colin is jealous that both Nicolas and his friend Chick have love interests, he decides that it is his time to be swept off his feet. Enter Audrey Tatou, who plays Chloe, a sweet girl who Colin is immediately smitten with.  The movie then depicts their whimsical dates and experiences in the strange world they live in.  Chloe eventually gets sick, with a ‘water lily in her lung’, and we see how everyone copes with the devastating news. This is perhaps Gondry’s take on cancer? The film begins quite bright and colourful , but the scenes slowly starts to wilt in colour and eventually fade into black and white, as the characters fall deeper into despair. Although, no matter what happens to the characters, it is difficult to care as you can’t relate to much in this film.

I should say that I’m usually open minded and typically like films that are “out-there”, but Mood Indigo provides no context about what is going on.  No explanation about what year it is, and there are mysterious people furiously typing on typewriters that is intercut with the film, so the audience is left wondering if they are crafting everything we see? The film has a Tim Burton feel, although the whole experience is a sensory attack and you are unsure if this is artistic genius or if someone spiked your drink.

I couldn’t get past the extreme alternate reality, and it resulted in a significant lack of compassion for the characters.  I commend this film on creativity – I can’t tell if everything was built or computerized but artistically, it was beautiful.  Everyone I talked to after the film had no idea what to make of it, and overall I think the story lacked in substance.

I recommend checking out Cinémental while the festival is still on. Visit http://www.cinemental.com/accueil_en.html for more info.

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Gustav & Niklas Johansson

Gustav and Niklas have created some of the best videos that I’ve seen in a while. Gustav is the director, and Niklas works the camera.

Together, the two are cutting edge, and consistently produce great work.

Please take a minute and watch some of their videos which I posted below.

Winner First Prize Young Directors Awards 2008 – Student Category

Django Unchained

I’m a huge huge HUGE Quentin Tarantino fan. Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, and Inglourious Basterds are some of my favourite movies. I think he is a brilliant director, but I’m having a hard time deciding how I feel about his latest film, Django Unchained. It’s definitely in tune with his style of excessive violence and latest aim to “rewrite history”.  Despite a few criticisms, I think the film does a good job of illustrating how horrible and inhumane slavery was. (Although, that’s not too hard.)

I’ve also been following the gun debate in America and am curious if the tragedy in Newtown will prompt any change.  I can’t decide if this movie came out at a perfect time, or at a horrible time.  I think a lot of people are very sensitive right now and certain scenes can be difficult to watch. Although, at the same time people are hyper aware of the issue and will have a visual that further proves how terrifying guns are.  The movie got to the point where it was painful to watch, the violence was too much and I kept imagining the kids of Connecticut.. a lot of people even left the theatre. In response to criticism about the level of violence in the film, Tarantino had this to say:

“What happened during slavery times is a thousand times worse than [what] I show,” he says. “So if I were to show it a thousand times worse, to me, that wouldn’t be exploitative, that would just be how it is. If you can’t take it, you can’t take it.” (http://www.npr.org/2013/01/02/168200139/quentin-tarantino-unchained-and-unruly)

If you see the movie, there is a point where it could of and should have ended in my opinion; yet it doesn’t. Especially with Quintin writing himself a small part, where he attempts an Australian accent? It just goes downhill from that point, you’ll see.

Don’t get me wrong, the movie itself was quite good. Potentially Oscar worthy I’d say. Christoph Waltz, Tarantino’s German muse made the movie for me, with his wit and unique way of speaking.  He plays a bounty hunter who kills ‘bandits’, wanted people in exchange for a reward. In fulfilling this type of work he seeks the help of Django, (Jamie Foxx) a slave who knows what his latest targets look like.  The plot then carefully unfolds mixing their new found partnership with a German fairy tale/search for Django’s estranged wife/Mandingo fighting/exploring Candy Land- Leonardo DiCaprio’s million dollar ranch.  Overall, Django Unchained is entertaining but a bit dragging at times. The actors all give great performances, and there are even funny parts which bring a sense of humanity to the characters.

If you saw it, let me know what you think.

Download: Who did that to you? – John Legend

American Psycho

“I had all the characteristics of a human being—flesh, blood, skin, hair—but my depersonalization was so intense, had gone so deep, that my normal ability to feel compassion had been eradicated, the victim of a slow, purposeful erasure. I was simply imitating reality, a rough resemblance of a human being, with only a dim corner of my mind functioning.” 

“No, I’m in touch with humanity.”

Some people might be offended by this movie because of its bizarre story. It is weird, and has disturbing subject matter – but the director Mary Harron is genius at pulling it off in a satirical way.

It stars Christian Bale, who gives the best performance of his career  in my opinion. His character, Patrick Bateman, is a psychopath yet he portrays him so effortlessly. Coincidence? Bale is brilliant at making an unlikable character fascinating to watch.

Bateman lives a lavish lifestyle. He goes out to the best restaurants in town, has shallow but equally rich friends, and a fiancée Evelyn (Reese Witherspoon) who is completely oblivious to who he is: a murderer.

It appears to be a hobby that he can’t control, and besides this need, he enjoys horrible 80’s music which he hilariously describes, and keeping himself in perfect shape.

Bateman does insane things. Throughout the movie he has a strange and violent threesome with two prostitutes, breaks down over business cards and attempts to kill his coworker whose cards he prefers, invites his secretary over and attempts to kill her, tries to put a cat into an ATM machine..

Lisa Alspector of the Chicago Reader says, “The slick satire cleverly equates materialism, narcissism, misogyny, and classism with homicide, but you may laugh so loud at the protagonist that you won’t be able to hear yourself laughing with him.”

I agree with that.

Here’s my favourite scene.

It is a bit of a “creepy” movie, but it’s worth checking out.

“If it’s a soul mate, it’s not supposed to end right?”

About a year ago I wrote this.

“Soul mates can be considered two people who are inexplicably meant for each other on both a physical and emotional level. It is a person you fiend out of explosive attraction, someone whose flaws only add to their perfection, someone who inflicts you pain when you are out of their presence..

We live amongst so many people, but have meaningful connections with very few. Why is that? If we never end up finding that ideal person, is it possible that our “soul mate” could come in the form of a best friend, or mother?”

Café de Flore

It is interesting I had these thoughts as the film Café de Flore deals with similar subject matter, exploring the question: could finding a soul mate happen twice in a lifetime?

Continue reading…

Mercredi

Right now I find myself lounging on my bed doing homework, yet again. (Well procrastinating currently..) It is a Wednesday. Bright, warm, obnoxiously jubilant – and I haven’t done one thing unrelated to #CreComm today.  I can’t think of one thing I feel like doing to blow off some steam? I’m too lazy to venture outdoors, I still only have basic cable so TV is out.. Guess I’ll get back to scouring the internet for Anti-Republican/Anti-Mitt Romney facts. I’m writing an editorial on the subject, and gotta say, I don’t think it will be too hard to find material. .

Also, veering off topic completely, I really enjoy this bit from the movie Garden State.

[Andrew Largeman: You know that point in your life when you realize the house you grew up in isn’t really your home anymore? All of a sudden even though you have some place where you put your shit, that idea of home is gone.
Sam: I still feel at home in my house.
Andrew Largeman: You’ll see one day when you move out it just sort of happens one day and it’s gone. You feel like you can never get it back. It’s like you feel homesick for a place that doesn’t even exist. Maybe it’s like this rite of passage, you know. You won’t ever have this feeling again until you create a new idea of home for yourself, you know, for your kids, for the family you start, it’s like a cycle or something. I don’t know, but I miss the idea of it, you know. Maybe that’s all family really is. A group of people that miss the same imaginary place.
Sam: [cuddles up to Andrew] Maybe.]

For some reason that line, ‘it’s like you feel homesick for a place that doesn’t even exist’ really resonates with me. Thoughts?

Download: The Kills – Pale Blue Eyes