Monday, February 25, 2008

Oscars : Everything is about glamour

Two years now that I am writting this blog I ' ve never mentioned Oscars. It seems so pointless to me. I dont usually agree with who wins the award of best film or script or best actor. People who read this blog have probably understood that i have my own criteria and that I am not so pro for Hollywood. Don't take me wrong. Hollywood can do a film technically perfect, but that doesnt necessarily mean that it will also be interesting. Moreover I think that the Academy is all about Hollywood. Rarely a minor film reaches the nominations and the awards. To make things worse even through the Hollywood film that will get there the Academy usually awards the more conservative ones. Under these circumstances Oscars have become a mere curiosity for me. They dont even function as the starting point of a discussion any more. All my friends that are into films agree with me on this point and if everybody agrees where is the fun to the argument? As a result I am not bothered even to find out the results. Usually my frind John who is more into gossiping informs me a few days later on. When I get a sunday newspaper and there is womans' magazine along with it I get to admire the gowns of the celebrities. In the end that is what the Oscar celebration is for me a glamorous fashion show.
For those that still want to know the results of the Oscar awards here is the link in the imdb:
the official site is : And for those who wish to see the fashion side of it the official site of oscars has covered that aspect too. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Atonement: Hollywood epic as usually is glamorous and meaningless

Hollywood can produce technically perfect pictures. Great acting, lustrous directing and photography and even a good script make a film that easily can be watched but can it really move you or even touch you. These films have no peculiarity, are perfectly balanced and therefore are heartless.

Atonement is one of these films. It has everything going for it. An interesting script from a book that is already famous. A tragic love story, a misunderstanding that complicates everything, a war to make things even more dramatic and still the script doesn’t manage to get you really involved. Directing is well done. It even has an interesting idea. In the beginning it shows the story form the point of view of both sisters. In this way it is very clear from the beginning the tragic confusion that spears the narrative of the film. On the other hand, it might have been a more compelling film if everything was not thus so well explained. If for example we watched all the film through the point vies of the little sister. I this way there would be a small mystery on why the elder sister is so much in favor of the man. Is she in love with a rapist, how can that be? As the little girl grows up and gets a better understanding of the situation the spectator would come to understand the truth with her. In this case though Keira Knightley would have a far smaller part and those who went to see the film just for her would be heavily disappointed.

All actors have done an excellent work and that is probably the most important plus of the film. Vanessa Redgrave as the elder Briony (younger sister) proves that even few minutes are enough for an actor to prove himself. Saoirse Ronan is also very good, even her competence has been overstated due to her youth. Still there too many scenes during the film that the actors have a mesmerized look on their faces. First the young Briony, then Cecilia confronting the tragic events and then again when Briony realizes what she had done. You don’t notice while watching the film but when remembering it you come up with too many scenes that different actors have the exactly same blank expression on their faces. Considering this I can only reach the conclusion that it must have been some guide line given form the director. To say nothing more it was a directing that ruined some parts of an overall successful acting.

In conclusion Atonement doesn’t manage to take the extra step that would carry it from being another without spirit Hollywood film to the grand epic (like the English Patient) that had ambitions to be.


I am in love with the green gown that Keira Knightley wears in the most crucial scene of the film. It was dress that advertised the film all by itself. On the other hand, if you end up commenting the dress in a film, the film is probably a lost cause.

Friday, February 08, 2008

My Blueberry Nights: the aesthetics of city blues and jazz

A film by Kar Wai Wong is always stylish. Is it also meaningful though?
After the gorgeous In Mood for love and 2046 he is coming back with My Blueberry nights. This time he distances himself from the aesthetics of his origin and manages to create a completely different atmosphere .My Blueberry nights is actually a stylistic tribute to jazz and blues. The story is about a girl who finds out that her boyfriend is cheating her. Since she can’t imagine her life without him she leaves New York to travel around America working as a waitress in various places in order to forget him. Before starting her trip she meets a guy that owns a coffee shop. She talks to him confessing in him and they become friend. The guy falls in love with her and waits her to return. In her trip she sends him postcards describing her adventures and the people she meets. In her trip she meets people who in a way are the embodiment of various feelings. Arnie is obsessed with a woman that doesn’t love him back. Sue is becoming the personage of guilt and remorse. Leslie is a trickster that doesn’t believe in sincerity. The protagonist manages to define herself by contrast to others. She chooses who she wants to be by comparing herself to the people she meets. In this way she chooses not to base her existence on someone that doesn’t love her back and not to loose faith in people. In this way she manages to resolve the issues that drove her to this adventure. She mends her heart. A year later she comes back ready to start a new relationship with the owner of the coffee shop that awaited her. The story is menial an excuse to develop the blues atmosphere. The dinner shop wit the painted glass, the often shots of the lighten train. The night aspects of the city and the noise of a busy city are emblems of a jazz aesthetic. , The characters of the film like the alcoholic policeman, the Vegas gamblers also contribute to the blues-jazz atmosphere.
The film is well shot and it has a distinctive atmosphere and images. This great advantage makes the film interesting and saves it from its somewhat banal story. It is a small cute film that you can easily watch. Some shots are so beautiful that manage to mark your memories. It lacks though all the grandeur of a good script. Not exactly without a point but also not exactly with a meaning either.

It is not a lucky coincidence that Kar Wai Wong chose Norah Jones as his leading lady. A jazz –blues singer and composer for a Jazz blues film