Tag Archives: movies

Pendant le Weekend

C’est pas ce WeekendJe veux dire ce Weekend.

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As conveyed in my review of her film The Photograph, I adore Stella Meghie‘s writing and filmmaking style.  I saw her film The Weekend (2018) on Amazon Prime a year ago and recently realized that I need to have it on DVD.  I’ve rewatched it twice in the last couple of days and am certain that this film will be one of those movies I rewatch on a quarterly basis.  Rather than try to articulate why Meghie’s film appeals to me so much, let me point you to Lorry Kikta‘s review of it for Film ThreatThe Weekend resonated with Lorry due to similar life experiences.  Although I can’t make that claim to the same extent, I firmly agree with Lorry’s observation that the dialogue “seem[s] exceptionally real, and the dynamic of all the actors seems lived in and not fictional…The Weekend explores all kinds of relationships dynamics in its’ rather short run time, and also manages to have some great cinematography and production design (courtesy of Kris Belchevski and Cindy Chao & Michele Yu respectively) to boot.”

 


Watch it, watch this movie today if you’d like to get out of your head for a bit, laugh a little, and without being in denial regarding the complexities of human interaction.

Saving the Red Band Pacific Hawk Generation Flags

Also known as Saving Private Ryan (Steven Spielberg, 1998), The Thin Red Line (Terence Malick, 1998), Band of Brothers (2001), The Pacific (2010), Black Hawk Down (Ridley Scott, 2001), Generation Kill (2008), and…

AcroWF

Flags of Our Fathers (Clint Eastwood, 2006).

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Ensemble casts, war films and TV series, so many actors poised for or in the middle of stardom.  How many have you seen and which are your favorites?

And I might as well throw in Memphis Belle (1990) and Hacksaw Ridge (2016) on account of the ensemble casts.

Pics creds: IMDB, Amazon

Wrath of Man I wanted more Josh Hartnett and Andy Garcia

I’d wanted to see Wrath of Man (Guy Ritchie, 2021) when it came out earlier in the year but was unwilling to see it at a movie theatre, so I was thrilled to see it out on home video this week.  I’m an admirer of Jason Statham‘s work and Guy Ritchie as an auteur and assumed that I’d be charmed by the script and editing.

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To my surprise, however, I ended up wanting more Josh Hartnett and Andy Garcia and feeling underwhelmed by the film’s final sequence.

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The film’s closing was such a ho-hum experience that it inspired a poem.
Spoilers ahead, turn back now if you don’t want to know more or less what happens:

wrath of jason statham

it was a bit
of a let-down
the ending,
i mean,
you got what you wanted,
you got your man
but did it feel good?

those actions aren’t meant
to turn back time,
nobody intends
to bring back the dead –
not in this genre at least –
blood will be shed
property will be damaged,
but wasn’t there the smallest
amount of lackluster
accomplishment

when you nailed your man
to the edge of the bed
a liver for a liver
a lung for a lung
a spleen for a spleen
a heart for a heart?

what was i expecting,
i’m not sure
but something that would’ve taken
a bit longer to finish.

– yiqi 24 July 2021 5:44 pm

The opening credits sequence is the best part of the film, which probably isn’t the best compliment.  I have no regrets watching the film, and now as I type these words, I wonder if I’d have liked it more if Mads Mikkelsen were in it instead of Jason Statham.

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pic creds: IMDB

The Ho Hit Me First

When I was in grad school and had to give a presentation in my Feminism & Popculture seminar, I chose to discuss Girlfight (Karyn Kusama, 2000).

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I looked through my notes from that class and could only find a poem I wrote about the boxing film.  It could probably be performed as a spoken word piece:

Traipsing Around in a Male-Centered Arena

What do you do
with a girl like me
neither tomboy, nor girlie girl
at the cusp of your 21st Century
I’m just angry
I don’t take any shit
I’ll call you on your stupidity

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Where do I go?
a girl like me
neither geek, nor artist
not a hippy punk, but still anti-authority
I haven’t stolen,
I’m not in a gang
So spare me that lecture
on finding me some structure—
I know how to cooperate,
I just don’t

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Choose to
Or want to

Can’t I just punch
you in the Bronx

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switch places with my little bro
the aspiring painter,
the collegiate
whereas I,
I wanna box

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It really is my idea

That’s where I go
inside a ring
my chin down, eyebrows scrunched
can I get some recognition?

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I still haven’t stolen anything
I’m still not in a gang
Have I been fightin anyone at school lately?

I could do PE class all day

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Hit me with your best shot
I can handle this love subplot
I’m not going down for this,
I might rage the bull
But this isn’t Body and Soul

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This girlfight has no Master Plot
It’s about standing up
To the man that drove
My mother to suicide

But before I get carried away

Step back from that ledge
Victory isn’t that rewarding
It can’t be
This is about me

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And where you gonna put
a girl like me
neither tomboy, nor girlie girl
I came before Pink
and I’m no Gabrielle Reece

So look at me
Get acquainted with every grimace
Get used to it
I’ll still be here in the morning.

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— yiqi 2 april 2007 3:40 AM

Pic creds: IMDB and Yahoo Movies (when it was still a thing)

Originally posted at my LJ.

Hysterical Blindness

Debby (Uma Thurman) drives an 84 blue camaro and in the few snippets here and there throughout the romance-drama Hysterical Blindness (2002) where the camera follows as she drives, it’s evident that Mira Nair knows how to capture the way various tools and accessories are both important to and a part of people’s everyday life.

HBlindness

Yes, you read that correctly — after releasing her sumptuous, critically and commercially acclaimed film Monsoon Wedding (2001), Mira Nair shifted gears to helm the HBO TV movie Hysterical Blindness.  Along with her best friend Beth (Juliette Lewis) and her mom (Gena Rowlands), Debby is doing her best to live life and manifest a meaningful connection with a guy named Rick (Justin Chambers) who would really rather just drink beer, play pool, and have a one-night stand.

Maybe it’s the New Jersey accents, maybe it’s the 80s hair and fashion, but nearly every scene without Gena Rowlands and Ben Gazzara has the tone and pacing of what could be an SNL sketch featuring Kristen Wiig and a guest host.  In desperation to catch the eye of and then prolonged interactions with Rick, Debby smiles, dances, seduces, and invites him over for filet mignon.  The secondhand embarrassment is suffocating.

I came across this film a year ago at a used media goods store and bought it on a whim because of the 80s hair and makeup.  I hadn’t even realized that Mira Nair directed it until I looked at her IMDB page over the weekend when I re-watched Monsoon Wedding for the first time in many years.  Mira has a gift for exploring the routines and disappointments of daily life, rites of passage, and special occasions.  Her ethnographic storytelling sensibilities coupled with her attention to the automotive presence at gathering spots leads me to wish she’d make a roadtrip movie in the vein of Planes, Trains & Automobiles, but with less snarky humor.  It will be called Boats, Bikes, and Barefoot details the misadventures of two soon-to-be college graduates who have to travel halfway across the country to accomplish a task and their modes of transportation consist of boats, motorcycles, and walking.

Hysterical Blindness can be hard to watch in those scenes where Debby is just trying so, so hard, but it demonstrates Uma Thurman’s talents for expressing those character traits and suffering from “hysterical blindness,” which is a form of temporary psychosomatic vision loss.  It also has a great soundtrack, including this song which plays in the first bar scene Chez Ollies.

The DVD comes with English, Spanish, and French subtitles.  I watched it with French subtitles and was thrilled that I understood most of it.  I also learned some more phrases and vocabulary that I don’t remember learning in high school.  Par exemple, “who cares?” = “on s’en fiche.”  Google translates went with “on s’en fout,” which is consistent with “je m’en fou,” or “I don’t care.”

En Espagnol, “on s’en fiche/fout” = a quién le importa
En Italienne = on ci importa
En Portugais = ós não ligamos