Friday, 30 November 2007

High Noon

Dir: Fred Zinneman (From Here to Eternity, The Day of the Jackel)
Cast: Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly, Lloyd Bridges, Lee Van Cleef
USA, 1952

Seen: May 6, 2007 thanks to Toronto Public Library

Reason to see: It’s on my 101 list of films I can't believe I haven't seen

This film reads a lot more sombre than many westerns. Even the opening sequence is paired with a song along the lines of a ballad as opposed to something lively, eerie or catchy. So right off the bad you know you are in for something different. Add to that, it's in real time. Add more to it, it's not overly long at 84 minutes but feels long and like not much is happening. I even wrote in my notes "Lots of build up, nothing has happened". There is an interesting premise in there, but I wanted more. Characters, story, punch, heart, anything... something, maybe even a little bit of everything but as long as there was more.

One thing to note is at the time of viewing I was not aware of the connection it was making to blacklisting.

Shannon's Overall View:
It did not hold my attention
I'd give it another shot
I'd recommend it to classics and real time film fans

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© Shannon Ridler, 2007

Thursday, 29 November 2007

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly / Il Buono, il brutto, il cattivo

Dir: Sergio Leone (A Fistful of Dollars, Once Upon A Time in the West)
Cast: Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, Lee Van Cleef
Italy/Spain, 1966

Seen: April 28, 2007 thanks to the Toronto Public Library

Reason to see: It’s on my 101 list of films I can't believe I haven't seen for being #4 on imdb's top 250

I was floored by this film, from the first moment the strikingly familiar music came on to the very end. In all the films I've come across on my 101 list, this along with Rashômon are two of the best films I have seen in my entire life. I watched it twice in 2 days, and it's over 3 hours long, that is how good it is. The acting is stellar, the cinematography is beyond words and it is rich with tension throughout. It explores a common theme for westerns (and many contemporary films) which is what people will do and how far they will go for money. There is a fair amount of violence which usually makes me less interest but somehow with this film it works. Everything works, it was sheer maddening joy to watch it unfold.

Warnings – Violence, torture

Shannon's Overall View:
I thought it excellent
I'll buy it
I’d recommend it

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© Shannon Ridler, 2007

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

The Treasure of Sierra Madre

Dir: John Huston (The African Queen, Across the Pacific, The Maltese Falcon)
Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Tim Holt, Walter Huston
USA, 1948

Seen: November 24, 2007 thanks to Toronto Public Library

Reason to see: For Western month as it is one of 'the' best westerns on multiple lists, won 3 Oscars (directing & writing: John Huston and supporting actor: Walter Huston)

I'm surprized to say this one did not rank really high for me, after seeing it on so many list's not just as a western but a film in general I'd have to say it fell short of my expectations. It's a different kind of western than the one's I've been watching lately. Almost the entire film is confined to the three main characters and is situated on the land, not in a town. They are all down on their luck and looking to strike it rich with gold. For me, that is where I became less interested. There is a certain need, want and desire that is associated with wealth that I do not fine compelling. Many people consider such things as a exploration of human nature and I usually find it shows us a darker side that I would rather not see, and sometimes I don't believe. All in all, it does have a solid story with amazing acting (especially Tim Holt and Walter Huston), and I tried to appreciate it on that level but in general I found it a little depressing.

At long last to know where this quote came from:
"Badges? We ain't got no badges. We don't need no badges. I don't have to show you any stinking badges."

Oddity:
There were no subtitles for the spoken Spanish throughout the film.

Shannon's Overall View:
I thought it was a solid film, however I didn't overly enjoy it
I'd not likely watch it again
I'd recommend it to classics and western fans

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© Shannon Ridler, 2007

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

El Dorado

Dir: Howard Hawks (Rio Bravo, Monkey Business, Red River, Bringing Up Baby)
Cast: John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, James Caan, Charlene Holt, Michele Carey
USA, 1966

Seen: November 20, 2007 thanks to Toronto Public Library

Reason to see: For Western month

This is one solid western featuring a great duo: John Wayne and Robert Mitchum. If that wasn't enough add in a very young James Caan, so it adds up a little more like a trio. The characters are all fantastic - the good ones and the bad. One of the reason's I like this films is because of that, and that the characters have integrity, at least the good ones do, and it shows the strength of friendship.

The film is full of great dialogue and lines, (see the imdb quotes page) but this one is my fave:
"We travelled together"
"That means he saved your life or you saved his or both, and neither of you will talk about it"

Shannon's Overall View:
I enjoyed it
I'd watch it again
I'd recommend it to western fans

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© Shannon Ridler, 2007

Monday, 26 November 2007

High Plains Drifter

Dir: Clint Eastwood (Unforgiven, Pale Rider, Letters from Iwo Jima)
Cast: Clint Eastwood, Billy Curtis, Stefan Gierasch, Walter Barnes, Verna Bloom, Marianna Hill
USA, 1973

Seen: November 10, 2007 thanks to Toronto Public Library

Reason to see: For Western month, I also tend to like Clint Eastwood films

This is one of the type of westerns that I was wary of when I first posted at the beginning of the month re: the Bad and the Ugly. I didn't know that this one would be an example of it, I just though - cool! Clint Eastwood flick! The level of dispassion and selfishness in the majority of the characters makes this quite a hard film to watch, although it does have it's moments. The music is spectacular and eerie, giving it an otherworldy feel. The protagonist is a highly skilled and adept individual which can be compelling to watch. But on the flip side, the sexual violence was not compelling to watch and was quite disturbing. I did feel that on the whole, the film was worth sticking through seeing it to the end, but I would not watch it again.

Warnings: Violence, sexual violence

Shannon's Overall View:
I was surprized by it
I'd not watch it again
I'd recommend it to die hard western fans, or those who enjoy an exploration of the dark side of human nature.

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© Shannon Ridler, 2007

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Favorite Westerns

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Back to westerns we go! What would be a better way to get back into the swing of things than with a poll? No better way, which is why as you can see to your right a poll to cast your vote on your favourite westerns. I included ones spanning a fair number of styles and throughout the years. I decided to leave of the few that have come out very recently to alleviate the bias of recency. If your fave isn't on the list feel free to add it to the comments here and I will count it. Enjoy!

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
High Noon
The Magnificent Seven
Once Upon A Time in the West
The Ox-Bow Incident
Pale Rider
The Searchers
Tombstone
The Treasure of Sierra Madre
Unforgiven

Friday, 23 November 2007

Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival - Awards and Wrap Up

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Five days of reeling wonder was the 2007 Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival. Out of all the festivals I’ve been to this year, The Toronto Reel Asian International Film festival has the strongest programming. The films were fantastic, their was a huge range in types of films (feature, shorts, documentaries, silent) and the quality of the films were excellent. Even if something didn't suit personal taste, they were all solid.

Official Reel Asian Award Winners
The Reel Asian Awards were presented on Day 5 before the screening of Sakuran. It was quite a night! Lesley Loksi Chan's speech takes the cake as the cutest, she let us know it was her first festival and she thought getting a badge was cool! A round of applause to all the winners

Animasian Award went to Yellow Sticky Notes dir. Jeff Chiba Stearns
and honourable mention to Flutter dir. Howie Shia

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Jeff Chiba Sterns accepting the award for Yellow Sticky Notes

TSV Visionary Video Award went to I No I No dir. Lesley Loksi Chan

Centennial College @ Wallace Studios Most Innovative Film Production Award went to Wanda and Miles dir. Lesley Loksi Chan

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First time festivaller and two time awards winner Lesley Loksi Chan

NFB Best Documentary Award went to Koryo Saram - The Unreliable People dir. Y David Chung and Matt Dibble

Charles Street Video and Reel Asian SEE ME! HEAR ME! PITCH ME! pitch winners
Winner in the Professional Category is Castle in the Sky - Dean Vargas and Lena Lee
Winner in the Emerging Category is What You Eat Jennifer Liao

NOW Audience Award went to Getting Home dir. Zhang Yang

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In a bizarre stroke of luck (good or bad I'm not certain), I saw a grand total of zero of the award winning films. So, I am going to share what I felt were the stand out films.

Features: Owl and the Sparrow, Finishing the Game

Documentary: And Thereafter II, Total Bangkok

Shorts (live action): Smile, The Contest, Souvenirs From Asia, Rock Garden

Shorts (animated): Flutter

Silent: Factory

Favourite Program: Total Pen-ek - Shorts Programme on the works of Pen-ek Ratanaruang on Day 4

Best Experience: Opening Night screening of Finishing the Game. Guys in yellow and black jumpsuits, high energy crowd, fantastic film and Dustin Nguyen did a Q&A/Trivia game. What a night!

Funnest collective experience: The pig toss! Every screening a pig was tossed into the audience and the catcher won a prize!

Best Q&A's: Owl and the Sparrow, Smile

Happy unexpected moment: Julia Kwan in attendance for Smile

Most unexpected: Loving And Thereafter II and not loving Love Conquers All

Repeating themes: Orphans, love, social inacceptance/culture clash

Fullest Screenings: Finishing the Game, Owl and the Sparrow, Sakuran

Wish I hadn't missed: The World Of Lesley Loksi Chan

Most Compelling Imagery: Factory

Weirdest venue thing: Why are different seats at Innis different widths? Some were cozy, others were a little smaller. Very odd. Front row on the left is mine though, called it!

It was an amazing festival, and just like little piggy here time to rest up for next year, as this with definitely make its way to my schedule again next November.

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Oinked out!

The Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival 2007 runs from November 14-18, 2007 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Seven Samurai / Shichinin no samurai

Dir: Akira Kurosawa (Rashômon,Throne of Blood / Kumonosu jô, Madadayo / Not Yet, Yojimbo)
Cast: Takashi Shimura, Toshirô Mifune, Yoshio Inaba, Senji Miyaguchi, Keiko Tsushima, Isao Kimura, Daisuke Katô, Minoru Chiaki
Japan, 1954

Seen: July 7, 2007 at Cinematheque

Reason to see: It's on my List of 101 Films I Can't Believe I Haven't Seen, for being on the imdb's top #250 films (currently ranked as # 10). It is also my entry for week 29/52 for my challenge of seeing films in the theatre 52 weeks in a row.

Reason to review: My fourth and final review as a part of the Akira Kurosawa blog-a-thon

This film is a fascinating journey of integrity, faith and hope as a village being preyed on by bandits looks to hire samurai to protect them. However, not all samurai's are cut of the same cloth. As with any film that has multiple important characters were are giving opportunities to distinguish them from one another in various ways. But the story is not just about the seven samurai, but also very much the community that commissions them. It also speaks to having the skill and means to support, contribute and defend your family and community, specifically the experience of not being able to do this things. In some says it's a parallel underdog story and band of misfits story. For me, that is always a great start. There are so many wonderful characters and special moments with them. That being said there are also many challenges, some of which are hard to take. All in all, it is worth it to stick with it to then end as it is an excellent film.

There were some sound quality issues when I saw this film and I think that put a damper on my enjoyment ever so slightly. Even with that, out of all the Akira Kurosawa films I've seen I would have to say that Rashômon is my favourite, with this coming in as a close second.

This film was remade numerous times, most famously as The Magnificent Seven starring Yul Brynner.

Fair warning - it's a long one! Most cuts of the film are 3 hrs plus so make

Shannon's Overall View:
I really enjoyed it
I'd buy it
I highly recommend it

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© Shannon Ridler, 2007

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Madadayo / Not Yet

Dir: Akira Kurosawa (Rashômon,Throne of Blood / Kumonosu jô, Seven Samurai / Shichinin no samurai, Yojimbo)
Cast: Tatsuo Matsumura, Kyôko Kagawa, Akira Terao, Hisashi Igawa, Jôji Tokoro, Masayuki Yui
Japan, 1993

Seen: October 2, 2007 thanks to the Toronto Public Library

Reason to see: Another delving into Akira Kurosawa's work!

Reason to review: As a part of the the Akira Kurosawa blog-a-thon!

This film was not at all what I expected, although I didn't know anything about it to begin with other than Akira Kurosawa directed it. I was complete astonished by it, and you really have to be ready for a bit of a long haul as it clocks in at 2h14min and there are quite a few repetitions on simliar yet building events. Centred around 'The Professor' Hyakken Uchida (played by Tatsuo Matsumura) though many stages of his list starting in about the 1940's, some of the stages were grand and others more gruelling. In essence, the film reads as a tribute film to a fine and optimistic man admired by his former students. I have a soft spot in my heart for teacher stories and this one did find a little home in there.

Shannon's Overall View:
I quite enjoyed it
I'd watch it again
I would recommend if you like stories about teachers, and have patience

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© Shannon Ridler, 2007

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Throne of Blood / Kumonosu jô

Dir: Akira Kurosawa (Rashômon, Seven Samurai / Shichinin no samurai, Madadayo / Not Yet, Yojimbo)
Cast: Toshirô Mifune, Isuzu Yamada, Takashi Shimura, Akira Kubo
Japan, 1957

Seen: May 29, 2007 thanks to the Toronto Public Library

Reason to see: I adored Rashômon and wanted to see more of Kurosawa's work!

Reason to review: As a part of the the Akira Kurosawa blog-a-thon!

When I was picking what to see next of Kurosawa's, this jumped off the list of possibilities as it is a version of Macbeth. It's so weird to say or type Macbeth, after years working in a theatre I'm so accustomed to saying 'The Scotish Play'. Therefore being familiar with the story I was surpized that I found the film quite hard to follow in terms of plot, roles and motivations. I did enjoy the striking visuals and strong physicality of the characters. It also brings up some interesting questions such as is it better to know or to not know? Throw that together with a lot of blood, and you have just that: The Throne of Blood.

Shannon's Overall View:
It was not what I expected
I'd likely not watch it again
It's a hard one to put a recommendation too, I would say for those interested in stories set in alternate historical settings

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© Shannon Ridler, 2007

Monday, 19 November 2007

Rashômon

Dir: Akira Kurosawa (Seven Samurai / Shichinin no samurai, Madadayo / Not Yet, Yojimbo)
Cast: Toshirô Mifune, Machiko Kyô, Masayuki Mori, Takashi Shimura
Japan, 1950

Seen: March 18, 2007 thanks to the Toronto Public Library and July 5, 2007 at Cinematheque

Reason to see: It's on my List of 101 Films I Can't Believe I Haven't Seen, to inspire myself to see a film by the one, the only Akira Kurosawa. It also was week 28/52 for my challenge of seeing films in the theatre 52 weeks in a row.

Reason to review: A big thank you to the Akira Kurosawa blog-a-thon, for which this would have continued to remain on my 'to review' list - current at 200+ films

I came to watching this which absolutely zero information on the film, and I would say none is really needed - it's that good. One of the reasons I've put off writing about it is exactly for the reason that it can be seen without any knowledge about it for it to work. I think the power of Rashômon is in belief. Belief in the character, their stories, their motivations at any given times. Even when unlikely and your brain is telling you "Naw, that can't be..." you heart is there at every single moment of the film be it keeping shelter from the rain, walking through the forest, hiding, fighting or frightened you are there. When you do not yet know, you want to know. The conflict in the story becomes the conflict in you. After you do know, are you glad that you did? What do you believe and is that what you actually want to believe? The film is expertly crafted with amazing visuals and music that create and fit the tempo and tale of each moment so clearly. The acting by the entire cast is astonishing. A film that is not only well worth watching, but I would consider it an essential. One of the best I have seen in many many years.

Warnings: Sexual violence

Shannon's Overall View:
I thought it was excellent
I've already watched it again, convinced other people to see it and added it to my 'to buy' list
I highly recommend it

It is a rare occurence that my notes during the viewing of a film are one page, and that being the case here I thought it might be fun to share them. The notes below contain major points in the plot and style of the film so I would not recommend reading them unless you have seen the film. Then again, with my handwriting I'd be impressed if you make out more than a few words.

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© Shannon Ridler, 2007

Reel Asian 2007 Day 5 - November 18/07

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The fifth and final day of Reel Asian was full of fantastic films. Features, documentaries and shorts were all included for those of us who battled through the Santa Claus Parade and braved the cold where there to enjoy the cinematic delights. The last film of the festival, Sakuran, was preceded by the awards presentation. It was truly and amazing day, one of many surprizes.

Homestay
Dir: Ian Kenji Barbour, Joshua Yuji Olson
Canada

Impressions: Very well received 'pseudo-documentary' film about Yasuki, Japanese student who comes to Canada being hosted by unprepared comedian/singer Skeena. Ultimately the film is a road trip film with an unlikely and mostly non-conversational duo. There were many humourous and touching moments, although we are often left to ponder what the characters are thinking when the started this crazy journey.

Reel Asian link to Homestay

As Long As You Stand - Shorts Programme

Smile
Canada, 18 min
Dir: Julia Kwan

Impressions: Delightful short by Julia Kwan, and fans of Eve and the Firehouse will definitely enjoy this tale of a family as they prepare for a free family portrait at Sears to send to family overseas. Wonderful and charming, it gives the audience a window into this quirky and recognizable moment into one families normal life.

Director Julia Kwan was in attendance of the screening and for a Q&A. She indicated that this film was one short story she wrote but didn't make it into the film Eve and the Firehorse. She currently traveling with the short Smile and is writing her next feature.

Reel Asian link to Smile

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket pictured: Heather Keung, Julia Kwan

The Last Chip
Dir: Heng Tang
Australia, 22 min

Impressions: The story one trip to the casino by three women, with various levels of interest and experience in gambling. Ultimately, my reaction was that it was an anti-gambling piece with stunning performances.

We Belong Together
Dir: Leah Glushien, Maiko Tanaka
Canada, 4 min

Impressions: This film is comprised of 4 lipsynched Youtube videos of Mariah Carey's "We Belong". Bizarre and captivating.

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Co-director of We Belong Maiko Tanaka

Want You
Dir: Jang-Ho Lee
South Korea, 16 min

Impressions: A series of uncomfortable situations portrayed between a shy guy, his girlfriend and her Dad. Snowball effect after snowball effect, yet rarely do you see them coming. A little to tense for me, but it did have some great moments.

BomBomBomB!!!
Dir: Kim Gok, Kim Sun
South Korea, 20 min

Impressions: I found this short quite hard to sit through as its focus is on the tormenting and bullying of a young boy by his classmates whom think he is gay. It does however, bring up some interesting questions on when, how or if ever people will act on such a situation. Formidable performances by the young cast.

Reel Asian Link - As Long As You Stand shorts program

And Thereafter II
Dir: Hosup Lee
USA, 56 min

Impressions: The second of Hosup Lee's trilogy on the lives of Korean women military bribes who live in the US, this documentary was a happy surprize to me. It's odd to use the term happy with such a scenario especially considering the subject, Ajuma, is a widow. A candid film from both the honesty of the director and his filmmaking process and choices as well as Ajuma's very frank recount of her experiences while being a prostitute. The film morphs from being straight interview format as we being to learn and see more about Ajuma as well as the director. One of the festival's best films.

Reel Asian Link to And Thereafter II

Love Conquers All
Dir. Tan Chui Mui - feature film debut
Malaysia

Impressions: This film has beautiful cinematography and interesting characters, however I felt that I didn't connect very much to the characters or the plot. Introduced as a film that has swept up awards and numerous previous festivals, I wondered if I was missing something. There is dual elusive element to the film but combined with a very frank foreshadowing that ultimately left me surprized and disappointed at the same time. The program akin's it to Breaking the Waves, and rightly so - I think if you enjoyed that or any of Lars von Trier's film you would get a great deal from Love Conquers All.

Reel Asian Link to Love Conquers All

Sakuran / さくらん
Dir. Mika Ninagawa
Japan
Closing Night Gala Presentation

Impressions: Lush, lavish and colourful this film was a vivid account of a rising courtesan. Power plays and group dynamics are present going from the extremes of the sly to out and out fighting between the girls and women in the house. In some ways it feels similar to reality television.. who is wanted the most this week? Those who get the most attention received the best rewards. However, instead of being 'off the island' if you lose you are bound and beaten. There is an inspiring story of rebellion and the pursuit of freedom but it is marched side by side by the allure of gaining attention and being 'the one'. How's a girl to choose?

Reel Asian Link to Sakuran

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Pictured: The packed house at the Sakuran screening

The Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival 2007 runs from November 14-18, 2007 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Reel Asian 2007 Day 4 - November 17/07

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Day 4 was filled with shorts, shorts and more shorts from commericals to silent films. Here are the highlights.

Total Pen-ek - Shorts Programme on the works of Pen-ek Ratanaruang

This program was a huge treat. Three very different intentions and styles shown in of the combined works of Pen-ek Ratanaruang, whom at the time of the screening would be out with friends (12noon here is 11pm there..) and unavailable. I hope he had a great night, as screening was great fun too. Here are the stand outs:

Total Bangkok
Thailand, 2006
22 minutes

Impressions: A documentary on the creators and players of an under-expressway football (soccer) field. The film was made with the sponsorship of Nike, and the symbol is seen between sections of the film and is rather uninvasive. There is a quiet earnestness to the players, from those who were highly skilled to those who loved the game over all other things. You clearly got the sense that all of the players would later look back at these times and say 'Those were the days'. It was a wonderful portrayal of community and happiness.

Commercial Works by Pen-ek Ratanaruang
Thailand, 9 min

Impressions: These commercials were wild. Many involved some pretty dark humour, there was one anti-drug one that I found very hard to watch - lots of needles, wounds and unexpected visuals. The darkest humour was in the series on life insurance, which was no holds barred and reminded me of the Final Destination films. It was an absolute delight to have the opportunity to see these amazing works.

Majestic Taiwan: Chen Chieh-jen 陳界仁 - Shorts Programme

I will admit that this shorts program intimidated me a bit as the prospect of sitting through 3 silent films felt slightly daunting. It was introduced as being silent, stunning and challenging - and I agree on all three counts. The three films shown were Factory, The Route and Bade Area, all directed by Chen Chien-jen. For me, the stand out was Factory a haunting yet beautiful depiction of workers returning to the factory in which they worked. Whether the screen was filled with piled up furniture, presser foot and needle or the swirling liquid in a glass every single moment was perfectly composed and brought us images both captivating and beautiful.

The Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival 2007 runs from November 14-18, 2007 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Reel Asian 2007 Day 3 - November 16/07

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Owl and the Sparrow /Cú và chim se sẻ
Dir: Stephane Gauger - feature film debut
Cast: Pham Thi Han, Cat Ly, Le The Lu
Vietnam

Impressions: It is so refreshing to see a film about hope and persistence to strive towards what believe in, and helping other people selflessly. Owl and the Sparrow follows the story of three protagonists: Thuy a young girl who takes a chance to make it on her own at the age of ten, Lan an unfulfilled flight attendant and Hai a zookeeper. Who would think these three would have anything in common? But they do, they are all searching for something, or is it someone? It is a gentle and touching look at the optimistic side of human nature and the power of choice.

After viewing, it is no surpize that Owl and the Sparrow has already won awards at the festivals where it has played. I would expect this trend to continue as it is well deserved.

Reel Asian Owl and the Sparrow link
Owl and the Sparrow site link

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Stephane Gauger - director of Owl and the Sparrow, Heather Keung - Reel Asian Programming Manager

The Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival 2007 runs from November 14-18, 2007 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Friday, 16 November 2007

Akira Kurosawa blog-a-thon

If you love Kurosawa, you might want to check out the FilmSquish site for the Akira Kurosawa blog-a-thon, which runs November 15-22/07. Numerous entries are already linked and ready for reading! I'll be posting my contributions here from Nov 19-22/07.

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Reel Asian 2007 Day 2 - November 15/07

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Very exciting day at the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival. I attended Power Play screening of shorts made showcasing Canadian talent, which was very exciting and many of the directors were in attendance for introduction as well as a Q&A. Also on the bill was No Regret, the contemporary Korean queer romance film. A new element was added to the daily fun with the 'pig toss' (stuffed pig. Fuzzy stuffed animal pig..), that is thrown into the audience to determine winners of prize give aways. If you win, remember to pass that piggie back!

Power Play- Shorts Program

Flutter
Dir: Howie Shia - in attendance
Canada, 7 min
This was a visual delight, with an amazing textural feel. I was captivated by the newspaper winged shoes and graffiti girl.

Miss Popularity
Dir: Wayne Yung
Germany, 7 min
Wild ride showing happy tv family images and activities white adeptly describing the cut-and-dry logistics of dates two boys at the same time. Conceptually bizarre, beautifully realized.

The Contest
Dir: Naoko Kumagai - in attendance
Canada, 13 min
This 70's set short about a woman who becomes a little more than slightly obssessed with Guy LaFleur was a complete crowd pleaser. "Game on!"

Good Luck Counting Sheep
Dir: Khanhthuan Tran - in attendance
Canada, 4 min
Captivating minimalist style animated short about pushing the boundaries of commercialism and..well... a sheep.

Souvenirs From Asia
Dir: Joyce Wong - in attendance
Canada, 11 min
Dark yet often hilarious film from the perspective of an adopted Korean teenager on the ideas surrounding passive and aggressive responses to cultural identity.

50/Fifty
Dir: Jane Kim - in attendance
Canada, 3 min
Quiet and touching, this beautiful tribute film allows us to journey through memories from home movies and hand-processed film.

Rock Garden: A Love Story
Dir: Gloria Kim - in attendance
Canada, 11 min
Spectacular in concept and result this short shows us love can cross the barriers of rocks, flowers and fences. Visually stunning.

The Official Guide To Watching A Saturday Night Hockey Game (For Intermediates)
Dir: Tak Koyama
Canada, 8 min
Slightly bizarre yet giggle inspiring animated 'how to' guide for watching Saturday Night Hockey complete with food, beer and random off screen curse words. Classic.

Reel Asian Link - Power Play shorts program

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Left to Right: Howie Shia, Gloria Kim, Khanhthuan Tran, Joyce Wong, Jane Kim, Naoko Kumagai, Heather Keung

No Regret / 후회하지 않아
Dir: Leesong Hee-li (Sugar Hill, Good Romance)
South Korea

Introduced by Raymond Phathanvirangoon (International Programmer) as the first time a gay filmmaker has made a gay film in Korea that is a contemporary love story. It was very controversial but a the most successful independent film.

Impressions: What a triumph this film is. A contemporary love story for sure, with characters facing age old difficulties. Beautiful performances from Lee Young-hoon as the orphan Sumin and Lee Han as Jae-min. It is not always easy to watch, to see two people with so many barriers not only working against them but often times between them. You are, however, rooting for them every step of the way.

Reel Asian No Regret link
No Regret imdb link

Reoccuring themes of the night:
reconciliation and making amends

Cutest moment of the night during the screening of the short Good Luck Counting Sheep the sheep 'baa's' for us. A heartbeat after we hear the almost exact same noise from a wee lil'one in the audience. Completely charming.

The Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival 2007 runs from November 14-18, 2007 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Reel Asian 2007 Day 1 - November 14/07

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The 11th Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival started off with a glorious red carpet screening full of energy and entertainment including Bruce Lee impersonators revving up the folks in line:

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The festival first screening was preceded by a generous welcome from Grace Bai, acting Executive Director:
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And Programmers Heather Keung and Raymond Phathanavirangoon:
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After the thank you's we were entertained by Dustin Nguyen, actor in the evenings feature Finishing the Game, whom lead the enthusiastic audience into some trivia. What was the most fun was when the question prompted by producer Julie Asato, asked was "What was his character name on '21 Jump Street'", women from all different parts of the audience shouted ou the reply.

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l->r Heather Keung, Dustin Nguyen, Julie Asato, Raymond Phathanavirangoon

Now, on to the screening!

Finishing the Game
Dir: Justin Lin (Better Luck Tomorrow)
Cast: Roger Fan, Sung Kang, McCaleb Burnett, Dustin Nguyen, Mousa Kraish, Jake Sandvig, Meredith Scott Lynn, Monique Curnen, M.C. Hammer
USA

Impressions: Absolutely spectacular film. A mockumentary of the process of casting 'The Game of Death' a film that began with only minimal footage of the late Bruce Lee, yet attempts to fill in the blanks. The film unfolds as a series of character studies on the different casting possibilities from the established actor Breeze Loo (Roger Fan), to naive up and comer Cole Kim (Sung Kang) to almost successful "aren't you...?" Troy Poon (Dustin Nguyen) to many more. Add to the fun a 70's setting with great music and costuming and you have a fantastic film. If that isn't enough, between the great lines and ridiculous situations there was also true heart to the film and the characters experiences, which was a joyful surprize.

More info on Finishing the Game see:
Reel Asian link on Finishing the Game
Finishing the Game official site

The Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival 2007 runs from November 14-18, 2007 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Toronto Reel Asian International Festival begins!

Tonight marks the beginning of the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival 2007 with the Opening Night Gala Presentation of Finishing the Game (dir: Justin Lin) at the Bloor Cinema with actor Dustin Nguyen in attendance.

Check out the full festival line up which features 77 films (features and shorts) from 13 countries over the 5 days of the festival.

The Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival 2007 is a festival of contemporary Asian cinema and work from the Asian diaspora running November 14-18, 2007 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Gone Baby Gone

Dir: Ben Affleck - feature film directorial debut
Cast: Casey Affleck, Michelle Monaghan, Amy Ryan, Ed Harris, Amy Madigan, Titus Welliver, Morgan Freeman
USA, 2007

Seen: November 6, 2007 at Scotiabank

Reason to see: As part of my See 1 film a week in the theatre for a year challenge. This is week 46/52.

I honestly went to see this film because the timing worked perfectly. There were other choices that were slightly higher on my list but I would have just missed the beginning or had to wait and I just wanted so see something... and fast!

Needless to say my expectations were not terrible high. I had heard some good reviews and some lukewarm reviews and I will admit I didn't get into it for a while. Looking over my notes I scribbled "Am I heartless? I don't even care what happens..." but that did change not so much during the film but after the fact. What convinces me that it's a good film is that I've continued to think about it over and over since seeing it. Usually when that happens it's due to some kind of continuity issues but that isn't the case with Gone Baby Gone.

One of the strongest contributions to the film is the performances. Some of the sweet roles are in the supporting cast including Amy Ryan as the less-than-ideal mother of the missing child and Ed Harris as the police liaison the private investigators Casey Affleck and Michelle Monaghan. Casey Affleck brings us another strong performance this year (the first being The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford), although it would have been greatly improved is there was no mumbling! It did subside over time but at times was distracting.

The film is heavily steeped in the plot and I will not go into details there but I will say that there are interesting themes surrounding of community, family and sticking to your guns.

Warnings: Violence, abduction, disturbing images and ideas

Shannon's Overall View:
It took a while for me to get settled in this film, but when I did I enjoyed it
I'd watch it again although not over and over and over
I'd recommend it

18 minutes of preshow including 8 commercials and 5 previews: Juno, The Bucket List, Margot at the Wedding, No Country for Old Men and Love in the Time of Cholera

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© Shannon Ridler, 2007

Monday, 12 November 2007

Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival 2007

The Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival 2007 begins this week with a bang! The line up for the 5 day event is jam packed with numerous promising and exciting films. Here are some of the films I am looking forward to seeing:

Finishing the Game
Dir: Justin Lin (Better Luck Tomorrow)
USA
Opening Night Gala, this mockumentary on finishing a film "Game of Death" that is set to be the last Bruce Lee film, focusing on the process of casting potential stand in's.

Exciting news just in: Dustin Nguyen will be in attendance at the screening of Finishing the Game, Wednesday November 14, 2007 at the Bloor Cinema. Those who also attended Toronto After Dark Film Festival 2007, you will remember Dustin Nguyen with his brilliant performance as Sy from the impressive historical martial arts film The Rebel (see my coverage of The Rebel here).

No Regret / 후회하지 않아
Dir: Leesong Hee-li (Sugar Hill, Good Romance)
South Korea
A look at tragic romance in current day Korea, focusing on the homosexuality as well as social status. Surprize box office hit in 2006.

Owl and the Sparrow /Cú và chim se sẻ
Dir: Stephane Gauger (Three Seasons)
Vietnam
Who can resist a " tiny tale about hope"? Not me, I'm in.

Total Pen-ek Shorts Program
A program of commercial and commissioned works by independent Thai filmmaker Pen-ek Ratanaruang.

Love Conquers All
Dir. Tan Chui Mui - feature film debut
Malaysia
The understated beauty of the trailer for Love Conquers All has me wanting to see more!

That is just the tip of the iceberg, to see the full schedule of films look here. There is something to suit anyone and everyone from features to shorts to parties and events. Check back often here at Movie Moxie, I will be providing daily coverage of the festival from November 14-18, 2007. Enjoy!

The Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival 2007 is a festival of contemporary Asian cinema and work from the Asian diaspora running November 14-18, 2007 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

3:10 to Yuma (1957)

Dir: Delmer Daves (Demetrius and the Gladiators, The Hanging Tree, Cowboy)
Cast: Glenn Ford, Van Helfin, Robert Emhardt, Richard Jaeckel
USA ,1957

Seen: November 5, 2007 thanks to Mpix

Reason to see: For Western month, and also curious as to the comparision to the 2007 remake

The film starts with a great opening sequence highlighting the title song. We are soon introduced to one of our two protagonists, Ben Wade played by Glenn Ford who is one charismatic thief who can get on a horse as easily as a bartending pouring a drink. Add to the mix our second protagonist Van Helfin as Dan Evans who is down on his luck but a do-right guy. The crux of the film is the interplay between the two and a moral dilemna. Both characters are played well and interesting and it's great fun to watch the banter as the film goes on.

In comparison to the 2007 remake the two films are very similar. I do think the newer version makes the situations more extreme, and the original was more about a person's character. The original is more charming and the remake is more violent, neither of which I find particularly surprizing. They are both well worth watching.

Shannon's Overall View:
I enjoyed it
I'd watch it again
I'd recommend it

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© Shannon Ridler, 2007

Saturday, 10 November 2007

3:10 to Yuma (2007)

Dir: James Mangold (Walk the Line, Identity)
Cast: Christian Bale, Russell Crowe, Ben Foster, Gretchen Mol, Peter Fonda, Alan Tudyk
USA, 2007

Seen: September 8/07 at Scotiabank

Reason to see: I was sneaking in a speak preview for See 1 film a week in the theatre for a year, for week 37/52.

A great study in character is what the essence of 3:10 to Yuma is for me. Although many westerns delve in the land of character study this film focused on two characters that are a not as often seen in the genre. We have Christian Bale as the down on his luck family man Dan Evans, and Russell Crowe as the charismatic bad guy Ben Wade. This is excellent casting and I al always impressed by Christian Bale, and for this film in particular he portrays an uncanny strength of character which I feel is not often show enough. Russell Crowe is also very good, although I did feel at moments a strong similarity to Gene Hackman. The plot itself is fairly straightforward, however it allows for lots of interplay between our two protagonists, as well as a fantastic supporting cast featuring Alan Tudyk, Kevin Durand and Peter Fonda. But it doesn't end there, the one performance that literally commanded attention was that of Ben Foster, who plays Russell Crowe loyal follower Charlie Prince with such fierceness. He is definitely one to watch.

*3:10 to Yuma is a remake of the 1957 film of the same name. I saw the 2007 version before the 1957 therefore reviewed if from the point of view as a stand alone film. I will discuss any comparison between the 2 films in my review of 3:10 to Yuma (1957).

Warnings: Violence

Shannon's Overall View:
I thought it was great
I'd watch it again
I'd recommend it

2 minutes of preshow including 0 minutes commercials (yay!) and previews : Good Luck Chuck

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© Shannon Ridler, 2007

Friday, 9 November 2007

Holes

Dir: Andrew Davis (The Fugitive, Under Siege, Collateral Damage, The Guardian)
Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Sigourney Weaver, Jon Voight, Khleo Thomas, Patricia Arquette
USA, 2003

Seen: August 12, 2007 thanks to Toronto Public Library

Reason to see: The word was out that it was a good movie

It's not that often I see and review a Disney film, I believe the last time it was for Watcher in the Woods. A very cute movie with a great story in current day and an added historical flavour flashbacks (with a western setting!), brings us to learn, follow and care about a series of misfits in a youth detention camp. Our protagonist is played by the currently in-almost-everything Shia LaBeouf and I have to say he is quite impressive as is Khleo Thomas as Zero. It is great fun to watch all the adventures and mishaps of the hooligans and their keepers in this family friendly film.

Shannon's Overall View:
I enjoyed it start to finish
I’d watch it again
I’d highly recommend it

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© Shannon Ridler, 2007

Thursday, 8 November 2007

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

Dir: Andrew Dominik (Chopper)
Cast: Brad Pitt, Casey Affleck, Sam Shepard, Paul Schneider, Sam Rockwell
USA, 2007

Seen: September 25, 2007 at the Varisty

Reason to see: As a part of my See 1 film a week in the theatre for a year. It also had big buzz at TIFF 07.

I was very surprized that I didn't get much from this film after there was so much buzz for it and I am astounded that it is #7 on Imdb's top westerns. Considering the screening I saw had a fairly small house I couldn't get a sense of the other viewer's enjoyment level. The film is set in the time of westerns, with the characters of westerns but at the pace of a drama. A very slow drama at that, and I am not opposed to films that have a slow pace, often I like them, but I didn't feel the effect of the slowness added to the film in any way. The number of long, drawn out shots of Brad Pitt as Jesse James doing a whole lot of nothing are far too numerous to be of any effect. The portrayal of Jesse James was also very different than any other I'd seen and it showed him not as the legendary man but merely someone who appeared to be at the right place at the right time instead of my previous impression which is that of someone of particular adeptness and charisma.

The one saving grace of the film was Casey Affleck who provided an astounding performance. I will be surprized if he doesn't snag oodles of nominations this upcoming awards season, although I would predict it will likely be oddly as supporting even though he has the majority of the screen time.

Shannon's Overall View:
I was bored while watching it
I'd not watch it again
I'd recommend it lightly to those who like long, slow drawn out films about iconic people

20 minutes of preshow including 12 commericals (!!!!) and 5 previews: P.S. I Love You, Michael Clayton, There Will Be Blood, No Country for Old Men, The Darjeeling Limited

I have to say, to have 20 minutes of preshow before a 2h40min film is just wrong.

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© Shannon Ridler, 2007

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Dir: George Roy Hill (The Sting, Toys in the Attic, Funny Farm)
Cast: Robert Redford, Paul Newman
USA, 1969

Seen: Feb 18, 2007 on AMC

Reason the see: It's on my List of 101 Films I Can't Believe I Haven't Seen for literally being 'one of those films you have to see'

This is an excellent buddy movie in a western setting with the great duo of Paul Newman and Robert Redford. The film has an amazing opening sequence and a masterful use of tension throughout, add to that the double protagonists who have excellent rapport. Some times you love 'em and well, most of the time you love 'em! Through the shoot outs, tricks and all in all mischief it is a enjoyable experience throughout.

Shannon's Overall View:

I enjoyed it
I'd watch it again
I'd recommend it

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© Shannon Ridler, 2007

What are the chances?

Yesterday I went to see Gone Baby Gone, and during the plethora of preshow there were back to back previews with Javier Bardem. Want to guess what they were? I'll let ya know:

No Country for Old Men
Love in the Time of Cholera

A world of creepiness sunk in as the characters he plays in the films are so different (a serial killer vs romantic lead), it literally made me squirm in my seat. Too weird.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Lone Star

Writer/Dir: John Sayles (The Secret of Roan Inish, Passion Fish)
Cast: Chris Cooper, Elizabeth Peña, Frances McDormand, Matthew McConaughey, Kris Kristofferson, Gordon Tootoosis
USA, 1996

Seen: November 4, 2007 thanks to the Toronto Public Library

Reason to see: Western month pick! I also believe there was a remark about it in a recent Filmspotting podcast

I will admit this one was a bit of a goof of a pick. I was thinking of the play Lonestar, and assumed it was the same story but it isn't. It did get a Oscar nom for best writing though. I did not realize it was going to be in a contemporary setting.

I found this to be a very ambitious film in terms of storylines and content, there were so many different things going on it was a bit of a challenge to keep track. A lot of the storylines were interesting be they ones about solving a mystery, relationships or social issues (primarily racism). Due to the film being very different from myh initial expectations I found that I didn't enjoy it as much as I might have, and I was left wanting to know more certain things and felt I knew way more than I needed to about other things. I was impressed by Chris Cooper's performance and felt that was what kept me in for the long haul.

Shannon's Overall View:
It had some interesting elements
I'd watch it one more time
I'd recommend it to current day western drama fans

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© Shannon Ridler, 2007

Monday, 5 November 2007

Best Westerns - Yours, Mine, Ours

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With all this talk about westerns, it got me thinking - what is your favourite western? Need inspiration? See the lists below for some 'top westerns'. Do you know a great western that isn't on the lists? Drop it in a comment and I'll add it to the list!

Now, let's put it all together. Email me (moviemoxie at gmail dot com) your top ten westerns by Saturday November 24, 2007 and I'll post the results at the end of the month. If you are really enthusiastic also answer the bonus questions!

Bonus Question One: What western are you surprized you've never seen?
Bonus Question Two: What is your favourite non-western western? (ie not a traditional or spaghetti western, but follows the same pattern)

Imdb's top 10 westerns

1. Buono, il brutto, il cattivo, Il (1966) - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
2. C'era una volta il West (1968) - Once Upon a Time in the West
3. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
4. The Wind (1928)
5. The Ox-Bow Incident (1943)
6. High Noon (1952)
7. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)
8. Per qualche dollaro in più (1965) - A Few Dollars More
9. Unforgiven (1992)
10. The Wild Bunch (1969)

Canoe -- Jam! Top Ten Westerns

1. Unforgiven
2. The Searchers
3. High Noon
4. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
5. Dances with Wolves
6. McCabe and Mrs. Miller
7. The Magnificent Seven
8. The Wild Bunch
9. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
10. Shane

Random-ish Listmania pick - G. Michael Alatorre's selection of Westerns

1. The Wild Bunch
2. Tombstone
3. Rio Bravo
4. The Searchers
5. The Outlaw Josey Wales
6. Unforgiven
7. High Plains Drifter
8. Quigley Down Under
9. A Fistful of Dollars
10. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
11. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
12. Red River
13. The Horse Soldiers
14. Jeremiah Johnson
15. The Long Riders
16. The Shootist
17. She Wore a Yellow Ribbon
18. The Professionals
19. Winchester '73
20. Rio Grande
21. El Dorado
22. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
23. The Big Country
24. Once Upon a Time in the West
25. The Magnificent Seven

Have your say:
3:10 to Yuma (1957)
3:10 to Yuma (2007)
The Quick and the Dead
The Proposition
My Darling Clementine
Forty Guns
Pale Rider

Sunday, 4 November 2007

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

Dir: John Ford (The Grapes of Wrath, My Darling Clementine)

Cast: James Stewart, John Wayne, Lee Marvin
USA, 1962

Seen: November 4, 2007 thanks to Toronto Public Library

Reason to see: I realized I had not seen any of John Wayne films and considering I am looking at westerns for the month, that had to be changed.

Now this is one heck of a film. A stellar cast brings a diverse group of characters to life in this tale in a town named Shinbone. The film explores the question of realism versus idealism in how to deal with a evil man named Liberty Valance, and as the town runs as a whole. Is it possible to change the tide, or will people always stick to your guns (literally or figuratively). It’s a beautiful, rich film and delves much deeper than many of the westerns I’ve seen and although I have to admit I was surprised at the casting of James Stewart was in a western but the choice is 100% perfect. It was also exciting to finally see a film with John Wayne, who I recognized within seconds after hearing his voice. It’s no wonder John Wayne is a favourite of the genre with his great lines with perfect delivery to quick and strong moves all with more style and charm than anyone else on the screen.

Shannon's Overall View:
I thought it was brilliant
I’d happily watch it again
I’d recommend it

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© Shannon Ridler, 2007

Saturday, 3 November 2007

My Darling Clementine

Dir: John Ford (The Grapes of Wrath, Fort Apache, The Searchers)
Cast: Henry Fonda, Victor Mature, Cathy Downs, Tim Holt, Ward Bond, Linda Darnell
USA, 1946

Seen: October 28, 2007 thanks to Toronto Public Library

Reason to see: In preparation for Westerns month, it is listed in top westerns - The Best DVD's you’ve never seen, just missed or almost forgotten

It’s a little strange to see My Darling Clementine after seeing a film like Tombstone, it certainly seems a backwards way to view them but it was how I saw them. They both feature the characters Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday and are set in the town of Tombstone. One thing I found interesting about it was that it’s clearly the story of Wyatt Earp (played by Henry Fonda) as a man looking for the simple life, however Doc Holliday (Victor Mature) who is the most powerful man in town is in my opinion, a much more interesting character. Speaking of characters, the title character Clementine was barely even in it which was quite the surprize. All in all there was an interesting story there, just not what I expected. A lot of the standard western elements were there but it fell a bit to the slow and dramatic style, and sometimes my interest wavered. I did think that Victor Mature’s performance was stellar, he really did steal the show anytime he was on screen.

Great quote “There is probably a lot of nice people around here, we just haven’t met them yet.”

Shannon's Overall View:
I thought it was a pretty good movie but didn’t like it as much as some of the other westerns I’ve seen

I would watch it again

Would I recommend it as a classic western


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© Shannon Ridler, 2007

Friday, 2 November 2007

Westerns - why did I pick them for November and what are they?

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So, let's get to the skinny of it, why did I pick westerns for November. There are a few things that have sparked my interest in them recently. First was finally getting to see The Good, The Bad and the Ugly of my 101 Films list. I was flabbergasted by the quality of the film. I enjoyed it so much that I watched it twice in two days - and it's 3 hours long! Second, at the TIFF 07 screening of SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO my friend Danette asked me what a spaghetti western was, and my moment of pondering nothingness led me to realize, I had no idea what a spaghetti western even was. Those two things together got the pot stirring that westerns could be a fun thing to explore and then it cemented all together when I saw the Tanner Adams short The Bullet during the Toronto After Dark Film Festival 07, where the genre is capture with such beautiful simplicity in a mere 11 minutes. If I needed any more convincing it could easily be done with the subtle resurgence of westerns, we have already seen a minimum of two released in 2007 with 3:10 to Yuma and Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.

So the question is, what are they all about? I am going to give my first and very newbie impressions today, and throughout the month discover how close these impressions are to the western. I bet it's even likely that I'll end up with a favourites list by the end of it.

The Good
Characters. They can be a surly bunch but at least they have attitude and make things happen! There is usually a good character and numerous bad, but usually they are the bad you love to hate.
Story. Whether the story is simple or complicated it is always interesting, often a tale 'against all odds' and who doesn't like those?
Atmosphere. Be it the sound, setting, costumes or all three, a very distinctive feel is created to bring you to another time and place

The Bad
Violence. Not my favourite thing by any means, however it tends to an essential element to the genre. Now, I like a good action movie and watch a surprizing about of horror films, but on the whole I have a low interest for anything over the top violent.
Women do not tend to fair well. Usually the roles of women in westerns are limited to prostitutes, an occasional wife and very seldom a barkeep. Often there is violence or the threat of violence against them.

The Ugly
Length. They are freaking long. 2 I've seen recently were pushing 3 hours, and that is quite the time investment. Not that it isn't worth it but wowza, that is a lot of time.
Sub-genre galore! This is necessarily an ugly thing but it might make the journey a little foggy, considering that films can split into subgenres like: spaghetti, comedy, space and more
Meanness. Tales of revenge, depictions of racism, crime and all around selfish behaviour

One other thing to mention why they don't tend to fly on my radar: Americana. With notable exceptions such as The Proposition, they tend to be set in the States. Being Canadian myself, I don't feel an affinity to that.

Those are my impressions on the onset, I wonder what will change come Nov 30/07.

Thursday, 1 November 2007

November at Movie Moxie

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Now that the scary days of October have rolled on by it's time to switch things up a bit here. When I think of November, I mostly think a month that is cold and rainy so to get out of that groove I'm going to focus on the exact opposite: westerns where the lands are dry and the fights are high. Now, hold on their partner, if that ain't quite your style I will also be attending and writing about the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival (November 14-18/07) and the Akira Kurosawa blogathon (November 15-22/07) as well as current film. Gunslingers to samurais, it will all be here.
All content on Movie Moxie is written by Shannon Ridler, © 2006 - 2012