Tag Archives: independent film

“Write A Haiku About The Last Film You Saw.” Really, Plinky? Really?!

17 Apr

Seamed stockings and lace

She left it all anyway

Still, she’s pin-up queen.

    Gretchen Mol dispatched this film expertly, and though it wasn’t the biopic of the century, it was nice to be able to “see” Bettie Page‘s life onscreen, with a well-rounded cast of supporters, to include David Straithairn and Lili Taylor. Special features include footage of the real Bettie Page getting naked and doing what she did best.

    Still the most popular pinup to this day, and apparently more popular than blondes Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield combined, this brunette has a quality about her where, as one of her photographers Bunny Yeager says, “she doesn’t seem naked when she’s naked”, I guess that fresh-faced “girl next door” look compensated. Whatever it was, she was a legend in her own right, and this film just confirmed for me what we already know–Bettie was the kind of girl you wish you could have gone with for girls night out!


    Michel Gondry, I ♥ You.

    23 Nov

    Having just finished watching Be Kind Rewind, I just had to wiki up Michel Gondry once more before bed.

    I learned:

    According to the 2004 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records, Michel Gondry’s Levi’s 501 Jeans “Drugstore” spot holds the record for “Most awards won by a TV commercial”. The commercial was never aired in North America because of the suggestive content involving purchasing latex condoms.

    Mais voilà! Through the magic of YouTube, c’est ici!

    Cheeky. I love it. In other news, here is my (tentative) Michel Gondry Film ranking:

    1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. It made me cry in the theatre. It really did. Having seen it after a breakup, it was well timed. Seared into my memory forever.

    2. The Science of Sleep. I made sure that I knew as little as possible about this film before I saw it, and the complete media blackout did good. It’s a bittersweet story, the best possible kind.

    3. Be Kind Rewind. It is definitely “more American” than the others, as the NY Times Mag has said, but the Gondry-ness is still alive and well within this film. I’ll take this as Gondry’s love letter to small towns and their people.

    I can’t wait to see what he does next.

    I Am A DocuGeek.

    16 Nov

    I am totally addicted to a relatively new 10-part PBS series called Carrier. From the PBS website:

    “Making the film CARRIER required 17 filmmakers to take a six-month journey aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz during its deployment to the Gulf in support of the Iraq War. They disembarked from Coronado, California on May 7, 2005 and returned there November 8, 2005 with stops at Pearl Harbor, Hong Kong, Guam, Kuala Lumpur, Bahrain and Perth, Australia.

    The trip proved an evolution for the film crew who spent the early weeks trying to find their place while the 5,000 sailors and Marines around them were too busy to take notice. Eventually, the film crew discerned the ebb and flow of life on a carrier, and began to feel more at home on board. The ship’s crew not only accepted them but also took a vested interest in the project, making suggestions on the best places to film and providing access to missions that helped capture the full experience of the deployment.”

    How badass is that. Either this is badass, or I am a DocuGeek. Or both. Probably both.

    Here’s the half hour preview:

    Here’s the link to the entire 10-part series. God bless Hulu.

    “Once”: Demands To Be Played More Than Just Once

    26 Aug

    Are you like me in that when you find a new musical artist that’s really taken your fancy, you can’t stop listening to them?

    In a world crowded with Top 40 radio stations playing the most plastic fabrications they’ve irritatingly labelled as “music”, I have retreated to NPR, channeled through my local station of 89.3 KPCC. Over the years, colorful radio shows like This American Life with Ira Glass have helped me to quite successfully block out the latest horrific plastic pop, and indulge in hearing stories, a very favorite past time of mine. Simple, yet insightful episodes like “The Super” have kept me transfixed, letting the 405 traffic I am sitting in fade away around me.

    But one can’t listen to public radio all the time. The human ear has a craving for musicality. How do I find new music, you ask? Most of the time I stumble across it randomly, have my super hip German friends send me some CDs, get dragged to a concert by my super hip cousin Amette, or even listen to the recommended music by the NPR program All Songs Considered. (I was introduced to The Detroit Cobras by this program. My favorite Detroit Cobras song: Silver & Gold.)

    However, there is one group of artists that I have been seriously addicted to, and today, upon realising that I was playing the album on repeat for the fifth time, I knew I had get it out of my system partially by posting a blog entry dedicated to them. The music has an organic quality to it, evidenced by the fact that most of the film was shot by handheld cameras, some of the original musical performances even being captured as they were shooting, and dubbed over by their studio recordings afterwards. Here are Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, the actors and musicians behind this year’s most incredibly charming indie film, Once, singing the Academy Award-winning original song, “Falling Slowly“.

    I hope that you fall in love with the beautiful simplicity and the elegance of the arrangements of this original soundtrack. Other favorites of mine include “When Your Mind’s Made Up” and “Say It To Me Now“.