I like French Films

Pretentious Boring French Films!

I have begun to suspect that this year’s film festival is the year of the loooooong sloooow take. Saturday’s films seemed to be indicative of this general trend anyway.

I started the day feeling bleary again, so wonderful Lee gave me a ride to the cinema (cue Co2 emmissions guilt) where I met Svend and C for Animation for Kids which was about a million times more fun than Animation Now! It was packed full of different animation styles, and nice stories about the moon and kids making stuff up and yeah. It was cool.

In the evening Lee and I saw Mutual Appreciation which was essentially a Jim Jarmusch Indie College Movie. But not made by Jim. It was long and a bit indulgent. I liked it alright, although I was annoyed that the “incipient menage-a-trois” promised in the programme didn’t actually occur…but that’s just me I guess.

The New World was Lord of the Rings-esque lengthwise. It was just very very long. I quite liked it, as a period drama, but the director made some pretty big mistakes. Like having all the voice overs say total wank. Plus, the noble savage thing was very, very in evidence. The girl playing Pocahontas was very beautiful and she had that spirited, playful thing which came across just wonderfully on screen. Suffice to say, Lee didn’t like it.
Sunday I saw Van Gogh all on my lonesome. In tone and look as well as theme it’s pretty similar to Pollock starring Ed Harris. You know, great artist is a bastard, sleeps with some girls, paints, is a bastard, then dies. I liked it, because I like movies about art and I like the way they don’t idolise the artists. It was another long one, but it was pacey enough that I didn’t get bored. Four different cell phones went off in the screening though, which was pretty darn rude.

Today I am piking on Wah-wah because I applied to Hogwarts_Hocus as Kyo from Fruits Basket and I thought I’d rather stay home and play. I’ll go out soon to do some bank stuff and see Vampires vs Sheep Man and then Thank You for Smoking.

I am feeling like I have more energy today, which is nice and the symptoms I was feeling of UTI seem to have cleared up. That’s lucky because I only have one more antibiotic pill.

PoF: browns
CO: h_h

drain

I saw Time and Tide yesterday, which was a short documentary about Tuvalu and how it’s land is threatened by the rising sea level. It was well made and very evocative of island life, and the directors were there to answer questions which is usually pretty interesting.

I was hungry all through the movie so afterwards I made it to the BNZ centre with this idea that I wanted a filled roll with seafood cocktail in it instead of meat, but no one had them, so I bought Chinese food instead. This rather overweight woman was behind me in line and ordered the same size plate as me, but her three choices were egg fu yung, egg fried rice and mee goreng… which I mostly noticed because although I really wanted sweet and sour pork *and* orange beef, I chose something with vegetables in it on purpose.

Mmmm orange beef.
After that I dragged myself around Te Papa for a while but I was feeling so drained and crappy I ended up coming home after an hour or so for a nap. Naps are nice. I’m feeling pretty energy-less today as well, but that can be blamed on the very long sleep I had as well.

Last night I finished the hand quilting on Zephfi’s fashion quilt, so this afternoon (after Animation for Kids) I’ll get started on the binding. I thought I’d use the pink leopard print Hello Kitty fabric for the binding, because it’s so bright and cheerful.

PoF: Be afraid
Co: movies

More movie reviewing

Sasquatch Dumpling Gang is an awesome awesome movie. It’s a sort of slacker comedy about sci fi geeks. The lead is played by Peter Pan from the most recent movie, whom I rather like, then there’s a tall, fat guy who makes medieval weapons out of electrical tape and foam, the girl who is interested in the lead and the random short kid. The idea is that they find sasquatch tracks in the woods and alert the authorities, hoping they’ll be proved real. The movie is told in chapters, following a bunch of different characters, and getting to the bottom of the mystery.

I liked the chapter titles, which each had a cartoon still of an upcoming scene and a heading. I liked the secondary characters, especially “shirts” who never wore a shirt, always had a cup of coke and usually had a hotdog on a stick. I liked that it never got too nasty.

Event 16 (Uhm, not much on imdb there, but one comment from someone who saw the same screening as us.) I am conflicted about Event 16. I wanted it to be good, and I think the story is very strong…but…it wasn’t without it’s problems. I feel like the script was letting it down, especially the dialogue. I thought the (rather poor) sfx were relied on too heavily. I was disappointed at the portrayal of women (with one exception all speaking women are either nurses or hookers) and the fact that the camera didn’t seem to be very high quality. I can think of changes I would have made that would make the movie a bit more redeemable.

Lee’s friend Ezra played the man bad guy, a troubled and slightly insane serial kiiller from 1893 that comes into the present time, and he was awesome. Really creepy and sinister (and that’s after I’d just chatted to him outside!) The other two leads were alright.

I was really annoyed with one thing they did in the future sequence ****SPOILERS**** The lead woman knew that eventually the killer would come for her, right? She spent 22 years learning self defence, so she could fight him off. One question: if you’d had all that time to prepare, wouldn’t you have moved on to full blown martial arts? Like Tae Kwon Do or freaking Jujitsu? Meh. I should be used to inherent sexism in movies, but when the lead male told her to wait in the closet while he “took care of it” I wanted to cry. ***END SPOILERS***

Deep Breath. Ok, after that we saw Army of Shadows a restoration of a 1969 French film about the Resistance. It was very good, but very long. I suspect it’s just a reflection of the time it was made but it did seem frustrating to show us every single motion involved in packing a suitcase, or walking through a prison camp…so yeah. That combined with the increasingly uncomfortable Te Papa seating made it a very long movie. The ending was, quite predictably, depressing.

Thursday Rachel picked me up for lunch and after that I bought fair trade sneakers (loves) and then we saw C.R.A.Z.Y. which I had thought would be a gay coming of age film but was really a family drama. Most of the movie the lead (a delicious looking boy called Zac) is striving to be anything but gay and the story is centred around his relationship with his four brothers and his Dad. I really really liked this film, it was steeped in wonderful 70s music and full of clever jokes, just the right amount of Magic Realism and a real depiction of brotherly relationships. Plus, obviously, the lead was totally pounceable.

Then I convinced Rachel to stay on at the Embassy and watch The Method (which apparently doesn’t have an imdb entry?) It was a very tense and suspenseful movie about suits competing in a board room for one job. It was very involving and I felt my stress levels rising while I watched it. The ending was annoyingly ambiguous but overall I liked it very much, even if it killed my buzz from C.R.A.Z.Y.

My plan for today is to go to a lunchtime move at the City Gallery and then wander around looking at art. I may even make it to Te Papa today and have a look at the exhibitions.

PoF: black, pink, rennovated skirt.
CO: saving the world, one purchase at a time.

Jenni Dallas Multi Task

Quickly, because I am chatting on IRC with Hogwarts people, and I don’t have much time before I meet Rachel.

Illness = e coli. I have antibiotics for it, so that’s good. I actually don’t have the symptoms like I did yesterday so I feel alright, just run down.

Trade Aid = well, it’d been a while since I’d been into Trade Aid, so it was quite an eye opener. It’s fair trade heaven there! I bought: fair trade chocolate, fair trade coffee, fair trade hot chocolate and even a fair trade teddy bear. (Teddy bear is adorable! And I’m helping to save coloured alpacas.) They also have non sweat shop sneakers. Link here for what they look like. Well, they look like converse chuck Taylors. Wgtn trade aid has them in black, blue and red. I of course, crave the pink ones.

Movies yesterday were Sasquatch Dumpling Gang, Event 16 and Army of Shadows. I’ll write about them later. I gots to get ready to go and I’m feeling a bit scatterbrained.

PoF: new hoodless. It’s a tracksuit top, with a high neck and a zip up the front and no hood. Grey and blue with stars. I was wearing it on Tuesday, Zeph.
CO: Sasquatch Dumpling Gang

groanly

I went for another run this morning, which may have been a mistake. I didn’t really want to go but I made myself and then when I started running my legs were all stiff and I had to run like a spazz. It is mildly embarrassing to run like a spazz through Thorndon, but I managed it. I did a bit more running than last time, maybe. I don’t really know. Maybe I should try and run further next time but not today, today was icky.

Now I think I may have a urinary tract infection and I can’t get in to my doctor til this time tomorrow. *cries*
I was going to go and see a film festival movie (Passenger) this morning, but Svend’s review of it was a bit meh, and I wasn’t that dedicated to seeing it and I’m feeling like crap after the run, so I’m staying at home instead. My plans for the morning include: laundry, katamari damacy and sitting under a duvet. I’ll walk into town when I get hungry for lunch (but lateish 1.30 or so) and go to Te Papa before I see Sasquatch Dumpling Gang with Lee at 4.
Heh. Katamari calls to me.

Yesterday I did good shopping. I bought two cheap tops like the hoodie I love from House of G and (curse them!) they have impulse buy socks right by the counter. Impulse! Socks! Jenni buys! White anklets with red hearts, so cute. At supre I bought $20 trackpants and a much reduced and adorable hoodless which is grey and blur with stars on it.
I also bought myself hand cream from Lush, because I know it’s good. I begin to suspect that my signature smell is Rose Absolute, which is a problem because Lee doesn’t like it.

Watched In Her Shoes last night which was fine. I don’t have much to say about it apart from Cameron Diaz is so cute, but we knew that anyway I think.
PoF: comfy clothes for watching movies in.

CO: katamari soon, then maybe a mid morning nap???

Happy

It’s great when a movie you’ve been anticipating turns out to be even better than you thought it would.

A Scanner Darkly is a brilliant movie. It’s funny, it’s cool, it’s weird, it’s a mystery and it challenges you. Lee complained (and Rachel mentioned also) they thought it was slow paced. I disagree, although admit I usually have more patience for slow paced movies when I feel it’s justified, (case in point: Travellers and Magicians.) Also, I just love watching rotoscope animation, it’s so lush and strange and real. (Oh and Rachel, in Linklater’s movies the rotoscoping is digitally done, although in the past it’s been hand painted. Wikipedia.)

I liked the movie a lot, is what I’m trying to say.

Great script, Keanu doing the best he can, Robert Downey Jr and Woody Harrelson as weird ass stoners, Winona Ryder also awesome. Plus it was an enigma. One of those movies where you see things and think “Oh, that’s important. Now *why* is it important?”
I didn’t find the twists surprising, but maybe that’s because I was thinking so hard about all the clues? I dunno. Maybe my super power is twist prediction now?
Best quote: Barris: There’s only one thing we can do to thwart the plot of these albino shape-shifting lizard BITCHES!
I just showed the superhero film to some workmates and it went down very well indeed. I am looking forward to seeing later versions!

PoF: Queen of Grey and Black stripes
CO: shopping this afternoon

Expanding out…

a bit about each of the films I’ve seen so far…

Dave Chappelle’s Block Party was a little overlong and I would have edited the song sequences a bit. That said, it was overall a very fun movie, totally reflective of Dave Chapelle’s easy going, cheerful attitude. I found myself enjoying the rap and hip hop music quite a lot and falling in love with Dave Chappelle. Does anyone else think he looks a bit like a black version of Steve?

This Film is Not Yet Rated is a well made and fun documentary along the same lines as uhm, Super Size Me like it used cute cartoons and funny jokes and subversive tactics the same sort of way. Of course, Morgan Spurlock is directly influenced by Michael Moore, so I have to say Yay Michael Moore for bringing in this era of accessible, interesting, watchable documentaries!

The American film ratings board itself came off looking pretty shadowy and corrupt (as well as homophobic and hypocritcal), and as the credits started rolling a guy stood up in the audience and said loudly “actually it’s pretty much the same sort of thing happening here, come and talk to me about it.” Which was kind of awesome. Now I wish I’d gotten his email address instead of going for lunch immediately.

Lunch was grand: Fluid smoothie and pan fried dumplings with Rachel and Alan.

Then it was off to the yearly fix of Animation Now! It was clearly a bad year for animation. Out of 16 films I think I liked five. There was a lovely paint on glass animation about cat things bugging their neighbours with the sound of taking the washing down and the baby one playing with the moon. (At least, I think that’s what it was about.) I also liked one about a girl who’s heart beat too fast and loud, again disturbing her neighbours…overall the collection was too full of ‘random shapes moving to music’ shorts, which frankly, I’ve seen enough of. I’d seen enough after the ones they used to show on Sesame St. It’s just not that impressive a film after hundreds of people have already done the same thing.

Black Gold (There’s not a lot about it on imdb it turns out) is an in depth look at the coffee trade, with a bit about all the stuff like World Barista Champs but mostly focussed in on one Ethiopian man’s endless crusade to get fair prices for the growers in the co-operative he represents. It’s pretty disgusting that for a kilo of coffee the growers are paid aprox. 27 American cents, while each cup made from those beans is selling for aprox. $2.90 American. As I said yesterday, it made me want to champion Fair Trade Coffee. It’s a pretty easy choice to make, but like so many things, it’s a bit more expensive (just like free range eggs are like, twice the cost.) My brother in law was wondering why Free Trade coffee is more expensive if all the middle men are being cut out. I think it boils down to the growers actually getting a fair price for their produce.

The really scary thing was that even if they only get paid three times what they’re getting now, the quality of life would improve immensely. A lot of farmers are cutting down their coffee crops and switching to a narcotic called Chat because it’s more profitable. Not so that they can buy a car or fancy clothes, just to get enough food to eat.

So, yeah. That was a pretty depressing film with a clear message of action. Free trade coffee = good. Ema linked me to a fair trade coffee place in Wellington: coffee supreme. I also found this flyer in my work intray linking to fair cuppa, which was apparently a day in May, but has some interesting looking links. (Not reviewed.)

My initial impression of Fearless is that it was Tai Chi master from an older, wiser point of view. Apart from the fact that they both star Jet Li both films share themes of loss, sacrifice and hubris leading to rebirth, wisdom and spiritual strength. I enjoyed it very much, although the sound at the Paramount was up so loud to combat the music from Boogie Wonderland I had to hold my scarf over my ears for the sword fights. (Uhm, being tired makes my ears more sensitive. It was the end of a long day).
I really liked the movie and definitely recommend it to fans of martial arts and Chinese culture. And obviously, Jet Li. (Is it just me or is he looking more and more like Jacky Chan as he ages?) Plus it featured the cutest little girl in the world ever. Ever.

On Sunday we started off with an Inconvenient Truth. I feel the impact of it lessening with each hour since I saw it, but Lee and I have made some solid plans about what we’re going to do to reduce our carbon emissions so yay. In terms of film making, the documentary was slick, smooth and well informed. The science was kind of terrifying, with predictions about the sea levels rising and animations of parts of the world going under water.

I was pretty freaked by the whole thing, but right after that I saw my parents and sister and they assured me that there was nothing to worry about and it’s all hyperbole, and they’d know right?
So, now I need a copy of the movie so I can start lending it out….The website’s pretty good actually, apparently they’re going to start training people to present the slideshow that Al Gore does.

Then last night Lee and I saw Tristram Shandy: a Cock and Bull Story which was a strange mix of period film, fictionalised film making and utter hilarity. The hot chestnut bit has stuck with me as the funniest bit, but there were many. Steve Coogan obviously enjoys playing the pretentious arrogant Hollywood bastard type, as he seemed exactly the same as he did in Coffee and Cigarettes. It was a really good film, but the freaking fire alarm went off when we had about five minutes to go and we had to evacuate!

After people had come back in (less than half the audience returned) the projecter wasn’t working, presumably it was something to do with the alarm mucking up a circuit or something. Suffice to say it didn’t start up again and we gave up and got a drink. An annoying end to a very good movie.
Because of the alarm, Shortbus was about half an hour late starting.

It was worth the wait. It was a light, funny, beautiful magic realism type of film. There was a lot of sex, but as Rachel said, it all seemed integrated and part of the story. I liked it very much, go and see it. Definitely NC-17 because there was an awful lot of footage of penis.

PoF: boring
CO: half eaten snickers