Thursday, 10 July 2008

My Week in Film

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The first film of My Week in Film was a complete delight. Seeing Fellini's 8 1/2 at Cinematheque Ontario as a part of their tribute to Marcello Mastroianni was a great way to start July. It's been over 10 years since I first saw a Fellini film, La Strada, which is one of my favourite films of all time. Thank goodness I decided to take Italian Film that year! 8 1/2 was fantastic, it ranged from logical to playful to meta to bizarre. It was full of life yet it addressed shying away from life, or more so people that you encounter in life. I enjoyed every single minute of this masterpiece.

I look forward to seeing more films at Cinematheque during the summer months, however the remaining films will be from the Japanese Classics selections. I'll be sure to tell you all about them!

Staying in black and white context but a completely different tone, I caught up with the classic horror film House on Haunted Hill (1959). It's a fantastic scary delight, this is exactly how I like my classic horror films with lots of tension, and air of mystery and an interesting story. The added bonus is the impeccable Vincent Price as the witty four times married millionaire. It's a short one at 74 minutes but every minute is good. It also includes the most believable ear-piercing scream I have every heard. Want to hear for yourself? You can check it out as House on Haunted Hill is part of the public domain and available for viewing here.

The next film was indeed a happy surprize, I had no idea how much I would like it: Stardust. I find it a little strange I didn't see it at the time of the release but when I look back I didn't sound overly enthused. Little did I know what a delightful, fun fantasy film this would be. Just when I was beginning to think I wasn't going to like any romances at all, this gem comes along and wins me over. Loved every minute of it, I highly recommend it to anyone who has an open mind as well as those that enjoy fantasy films.

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I got out to the theatre a fair amount this week and was thrilled to enjoy the touching and understated film Brick Lane. It's in limited release and I would say to get out and see it while you can! I also loved Hancock which seems to be getting a fair amount of negitave reviews. Hogwash to that I say, it's a heck of a fun film. Last up for theatre moments was Savage Grace which I wish I enjoyed more, the darkness and sadness of the film was quite predominate leaving me rather melancholy. Click through for full reviews of the films.

I caught a few semi-recent films with Atonement and 28 Weeks Later. Okay, I know I pick weird double bills. I quite enjoyed Atonement even though period pieces are not my thing. The art direction was gorgeous and the story engaging, I'm not surprized at the numerous nominations and wins it was granted. On the other end of the spectrum is 28 Weeks Later. I quite enjoyed the original although it's one of the films that I don't think I could watch again. The sequel really didn't have the same quality level storytelling that the first did and I ended up feeling like it barely held together.

Disappointment of the week: Ri fi fi. Apparently there is another film or presentation by the same name as the Criterion heist film as the copy I received was not the one I expected. Oh well, I'll keep looking for it!

Previews and trailer watch oddity: During the screening of Savage Grace, there were 2 previews with films that star both Penélope Cruz and Patricia Clarkson: Elegy and Vicki Cristina Barcelona. What are the chances? The only other trailer of note was the release of The Day the Earth Stood Still which I found oddly not like the original, showed way too much and overall underwhelming.

The Day the Earth Stood Still - Trailer - This trailer is pretty spoilerific, but the first half is spoiler free

Up next week: Hellboy II: The Golden Army, City of the Lost Children, Eraserhead, oodles of Fellini and much much more.

What did you watch this week?

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Found this on Dundas Street, between Bay and University.

5 comments:

Cinexcellence said...

Just picked up a copy of Stardust at Blockbuster the other day. Really fun film.

I finished watching the documentary My Kid Could Paint That. It made for some great thought food that I'll be snacking on for a while. :)

Sacred Suzie said...

Cool pics! I love the one of the fence and that start for Ebert was so great. That's a lot of movies Shannon! R & I saw 8 1/2 about five years ago and found it completely entrancing. I am definitely going to give Hancock a chance. Stardust was so much fun! I saw Factory Girl, I Walk the Line and Elizabethtown this week. Not bad for me. I didn't know Orlando Bloom could act!

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

Oh, My Kid Could Paint That has been on my list for ages! It's nice to hear that it made you think Cinexcellence! Makes me all the more curious!

I'm glad you like the pics Suzie :) You and R were entranced by 8 1/2? How fantastic! I'm thrilled you two saw it. I loved loved loved it. How was Elizabethtown? My memory is hazy on whether it got a non festival release. That's quite the list of films!

movie base on book said...

I have read "Atonement" by Ian McEwan.I love this story.
also I had read the book by Ernest Hemingway was called "A Farewell to Arms"
that story was included "Love War Seperation".I think Atonement is a little same as this story.
anyway I love this type story .also I saw the file ,Keira Knightley was excellent .
I propose to anybody have read this book watch the film ,too

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

Interesting idea there movie base on book, I've always been a fan of reading the book first and always try to if I know the film is coming up and it's a subject I'm interested in.

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