Friday, May 20, 2011


David Lynch. Painter. Filmmaker. Musician. Iconic. Genius. Unique. So damn cool. (oh & babe.)

Just some words that come to mind when I think of David Lynch. Just in case you didn't notice... I am a fan of the man that is David Lynch. I have been obsessed with him ever since viewing Mulholland Drive. I may have caught on late but after seeing some of his other gems like Blue Velvet & the best TV show ever created: Twin Peaks!!! I have gone crazy over this guy, grabbing as many books as I can on the guy and reading as much as I can about him. It was after reading Lynch on Lynch that I became interested in his film Wild At Heart. I finally saw this film a week ago and let me tell you, my feelings for Lynch have not changed, the film made me love him even more. (Yes in my fantasy world I am madly in love with Lynch).

Wild At Heart is so Lynch-esque. It's dark, hilarious in parts, totally whack and inspiringly creative. I loved his use of close-up shots of something as simple as lighting a match and then the smoking of a cigarette. The sound effects used in this re-occurring shot are also amazing. I love Lynch's use of sound in his film, it's so creative and intense. The story follows young lovers Lula and Sailor on the run from Lula's overprotective mother, Marietta (who is a total nut by the way and covers her entire face in red lipstick at one point in the film - amazing scene!). In amongst this long road trip we are encountered with some strange characters, Bobby Peru being a noteworthy mention (boy is he a scary looking man). Another noteworthy mention is a scene where Lula is talking about her crazy cousin Dell. It is completely unrelated to the storyline but it's such a great moment in the film where we see a little moment of Dell's mannerisms and for that short moment you are left in hysterics. I have re-watched it on YouTube so many times and laugh every time.

I really could go on and on about this film. It is high up there now with my favourite films of all time. I could not get enough of it. I am a biased Lynch fan but fuck it, I'm giving this a very high rating.

Rating: 5/5

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Playing Ping Pong in the Chateau Marmont's 'backyard.'

I have been a huge fan of Sofia Coppola's films ever since I saw her feature film debut, The Virgin Suicides. I quite literally obsessed over her when I was eighteen, watching her films on repeat and even made a film inspired by her work where I filmed mainly nature and the characters were probably only featured for a quarter of the film. So of course I got extremely excited when I heard of her new film Somewhere. When I was overseas I went to so many cinemas in search of her new film but it wasn't showing anywhere. I have had to wait all this time for it to be released on DVD and boy did it kill me! Fortunately it did not disappoint (this could probably be because I am obsessed with Coppola's style so in my eyes she can't do no wrong, but regardless it's a damn good film).

Somewhere has a basic storyline, there is a very minimal soundtrack and the characters have little dialogue. It is mostly a visual experience. Coppola's films could be compared to a meditation class, you are completely relaxed throughout and come out feeling calm and at ease. Coppola describes it beautifully in the Making of Somewhere, '...I wanted to do something that was more like a poem, just a little portrait. I'm not really interested in an elaborate storyline and narrative, but more of a mood and a portrait of a person. Just kind of a moment in our life.' When she says this she is comparing it to her last film Marie Antoinette where she had a lot of obligation to historical facts and the storyline was therefore a little more complex. With Somewhere she had more freedom and was able to focus on things away from the storyline. She could basically be an artist.

I absolutely adore this film! Elle Fanning is just adorable as Cleo and Stephen Dorff is perfect as the actor who is stuck in this world of sex and alcohol. Really pleased to see Coppola sticking with her style in her fourth feature film.

Rating: 4.5/5

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures

Kubrick on the set of A Clockwork Orange (by far one of the best photos I have ever seen of this man)

I'm doing something a little different today, instead of reviewing a film, I'm reviewing a documentary about a filmmaker instead. The filmmaker is none other than Stanley Kubrick.

First of all I am just going to inform you I am not a crazy-mad fan of Kubrick's. I have always admired his work and consider a few of his films my personal favourites. A Clockwork Orange was always considered for a long time to be my all time favourite film and I have always loved The Shining, Full Metal Jacket and Lolita. I am still yet to see a few of his films and there are also a couple which I dislike. After seeing this documentary though I have considered to re-visit these films again and hopefully change my mind.

Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures is hugely insightful and inspiring. It takes you from his childhood to the inside of each of his films including interviews with his family, assistants, other great directors, actors from his films, etc. You learn how much of a perfectionist Kubrick was, spending long amounts of time working on films providing hard work for his actors and crew. His passion for classical music, and how well it was used in his films. Think of the use of Beethoven in A Clockwork Orange and Strauss in 2001: A Space Odyssey. It is used so perfectly in his films to create a mood to go with the scene.

The things I loved to find out about were things like the relationship that Malcolm McDowell and Kubrick had during the making of A Clockwork Orange. McDowell describes their relationship during that time as very close but McDowell held onto this relationship after the film was released. He was always calling Kubrick hoping to spend time with him with no response. McDowell said he was young & naive at the time but your heart kind of goes out to the poor guy! Then there is a behind the scenes look at just how tough Kubrick was with his actors when we see him getting frustrated with Shelley Duvall on the set of The Shining. He swears at her and tells her she's wasting their time with not getting the scene right. It's quite a shock to see but it makes you understand just how much of a perfectionist Kubrick was and Duvall says in the doco that she never regretted doing that film because it was a learning experience but would never want to go through it again. You can see the clip here:

Most actors who worked with him praise Kubrick throughout the documentary. Jack Nicholson says at one point, 'Everyone pretty much acknowledges that he's the man, and I still feel that underrates him.'

It's astonishing to discover he only received one Oscar from the Academy and to hear critics were so harsh toward his films and often referred to him as a lunatic is such a shock because today we consider him to be a genius and one of the best filmmakers of all time.

I was highly impressed with this documentary. It made me want to watch all his films all over again and see the ones I haven't already viewed. Kubrick truly is one of the best filmmakers of all time and this documentary emphasises this.

Rating: 4.5/5