Sunday, April 25, 2010

Rope (1948)

Ha Ha if only Alfred made one of his cameo appearances like this in the film!

I am so disappointed with myself, it has taken me this long to see Hitchcock's 'Rope!' I'm mainly disappointed because I absolutely adore it and am adding it to my Hitchcock Top 5! I think I have a slight obsession with Hitchcock's films set in the one spot, i.e. Dial M For Murder & Rear Window. Rope, of course, falls under this category.

The film is set in an apartment where friends Brandon (John Dall) & Phillip (Farley Granger) have just murdered their friend David (Dick Hogan) and are set to hold a little party afterwards. Little do their friends realise that the chest on which their dinner is set contains their friend/son David. Keeping their secret from their former professor, Rupert (Jimmy Stewart) proves to be more challenging than Brandon & Phillip expected.

'Rope' has everything you want from a Hitchcock film; suspense, witty lines and of course the ever-amazing Jimmy Stewart. I think this is Stewarts best role in a Hitchcock film. The lines he says in the film are hilarious!
i.e. Rupert Cadell: [Phillip and Brandon have been arguing about strangling chickens] Personally, I think a chicken is as good a reason for murder as a blonde, a mattress full of dollar bills or any of the customary, unimaginative reasons.
Janet Walker: Well, now, you don't really approve of murder, Rupert? If I may?Rupert Cadell: You may... and I do. Think of the problems it would solve: unemployment, poverty, standing in line for theatre tickets...

His character's view on murder is a unique one but when it gets taken from Brandon's point of view it takes on a different meaning...

I think if you're a Hitchcock fan and haven't seen this one yet, you're missing out! It's a short one but damn it's perfect. So glad I can say I've seen it now!

Rating: 4.5/5

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Blowup (1966)

David Hemmings in a scene from the film, working his models.

Ah, there is so much to love about this film! The fashion, the music, the photography and I am absolutely in love with the character Thomas (Hemmings). Thomas is a fashion photographer who treats his models like shit and is obviously bored by the subject. In his spare time it appears he prefers to photograph nature and people within it. Thomas' outfit in the film is also what made me fall in love with him, he's so stylish and suave. If he were wearing this outfit today he wouldn't look out of place, it's timeless.

Blowup is mainly set in one day, the day in the life of the unusual photographer, Thomas. When he gets carried away spying on a couple in the park, he takes many photographs of the pair and gets caught. This is how we are introduced to the character Jane (Vanessa Redgrave), a woman who is happy to come into a strangers home and take her top off (yes you will get a few odd moments from the director, Michelangelo Antonioni). What makes the story get a little interesting is when Thomas develops the photographs from the park and discovers there is a mysterious man in the picture who appears to have murdered the other person in the photo.

This is the first film I have seen by Antonioni and I gotta tell you I absolutely adored it! It probably has a lot to do with the fact that it was filmed in the 60s but damn, I really loved it! I thought I would be sitting through a pretentious film all about photography but surprisingly it had a story to it. The whole mystery with the photographs he develops is extremely exciting! I guess the only thing that spoils the film is the ending, still not sure what happened. But aside from that I highly recommend it! For photographers, I think it will be inspiring. The photographs that are taken in this film are absolutely exquisite.

Rating: 4/5

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Good Hair

Chris Rock

Like a lot of girls I always have something to complain about with my hair; it's too flat, my fringe won't sit right, it's too soft (yes I do actually complain about this!), etc. But after watching 'Good Hair,' these are all really petty issues.
In the documentary Chris Rock takes us on an adventure to learn about black hair and the lengths black women (and men) go to to make their hair look like a white woman's.

Before watching this documentary I only had a slight understanding of what a weave was from watching America's Next Top Model, but I had no idea about Relaxer. For those of you white people, like me, who also have no idea, Relaxer is a product that is made from Sodium Hydroxide. It is used to make a black woman's hair more straight and 'relaxed.' Chris Rock shows us how damaging Relaxer can be to hair; it can cause scabs, hair loss and permanent damage. This is frightening shit but somehow Rock not only makes this topic insightful and educational but also quite hilarious.

I laughed so much throughout this doco. Rock and his interviewees are fabulous. Interviews with Ice-T, Salt N Pepa, Tracie Thoms and some great characters in barber shops and hairdressers are totally entertaining. One of the best quotes in the film comes from Paul Mooney when he says, "If your hair's relaxed, white people are relaxed. If your hair's nappy, they're not happy." The lines these people come out with are amazing.

I also love the fact that there are hair competitions where hairdressers perform quick haircuts on black women's hair and parade around and dance on stage. There is such a huge following behind this industry and it's a huge money making business! Weaves cost around $1000! It's insane.

I loved this documentary! It was highly enjoyable yet insightful at the same time. It's a documentary for all races. Go and see it!

Rating: 5/5

Thursday, April 1, 2010

An Education

Peter Sarsgaard & Carey Mulligan in a scene from the film

Haven't we all met this person once in our lives? The one that changed your life, that up until you met them your life was boring and had nothing. This person introduces you to new things and suddenly everything becomes fun. I definitely met this person once in my life but mine wasn't an older man like Jenny's (Mulligan) in An Education.

An Education follows Jenny, a 16-year-old girl studying hard in highschool so she can attend Oxford University. Her father (Alfred Molina) pushes her to work hard and focus mainly on her studies. But when Jenny meets David (Sarsgaard) she's willing (and so are her parents) to throw away her future and spend the rest of her life with this man and "have fun!"

The title suggests that one can get an education from more than just school; you can also get it through life experiences. Jenny may be well educated in school but meeting David and his older friends teaches her something completely different. Although she feels grown up with these people she still has a lot of growing up to do. It shows how one can be so naive at the young age of 16. But even foolishly, her parents fool for David's charms, so perhaps we can't all be well educated when it comes to life.

An Education is definitely an education for those watching. Being able to relate to it also helped with my understanding of the film. I absolutely adored Carey Mulligan in this film, she's deinitely one to watch in the future. I highly recommend this film to people of all ages. It may be very eye opening to some and 'educational' for others.

Rating: 4/5