Welcome to my movie blog, containing reviews and articles. I've been writing since 2004 - with a short break during 2009.

He's a disco-dancing, Oscar Wilde reading, Streissand ticket holding friend of Dorothy, know what I'm saying?

Who would want to be a guy? Girls have all the freedom. I can watch any genre I like - guys can't. If I parade crime as my movie dish of choice, no one minds - in fact, its really rather cool. I don't know a single guy who admits to loving romances - do they exist, or are they just very quiet about it?

At the same time, when the misery of no romance finally hits following the end-of-school dance, I can still indulge in a mega-marathon of Brief Encounter, When Harry met Sally and Clueless, armed with one box of kleenex and one box of chocolates. Who would be a man?!

Brief Encounter is what happens when one wakes up with "As Time Goes By" in the head, realises there's no legal way to get hold of Casablanca before 11o'clock, and has to settle for second best - the British black-and-white smoldering couple instead of the American; train stations instead of airports. I wasn't entirely joking about the kleenex either - while I handled the latter two movies, well, like a man, I actually cried all the way through Brief Encounter. Which is probably a new record. Or something. I'm a pretty easy cry, but this was impressive even by my standards. All the way through.

I was impressed by the music - 40s movies tend to drown in their overwritten scores. BE did drown, but it matched the mood of the film very well. All or most of it was Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto. I'm not a classical expert - but you'd recognise it if you heard it, because the tune was ripped off as "All by Myself". So while the swells of piano and strings echoed the emotion, certain scenes appeared to be accompanied by the famous love ballad. To pretty good effect as well.

To say its an old film, a lot of Laura's dialogue feels so real and raw. Definitely not a film to watch when feeling sore over love yourself. Mind you, romance never gets old. One of the attractive thing about Ovid's love poetry (written in the good ole Roman days, remember) is how fresh and modern it feels.

Incidentally, my favourite scene was between Alec and his friend Steve. It was bizzare for showing Alec apart from Laura - everything else was from her point of view, leading to the post-1999 interpretation that maybe he's a figment of her imagination. Like ignoring James Stewart for five minutes, and giving Harvey a whole scene to himself. I liked the sudden danger it gave the film - the tone was emotional and bittersweet, but Steve knowing gave it a threatening reality, and his amused reaction made their behaviour seem truly sordid. I'm not in the habit of assuming just because a writer is gay his characters will be gay also (and its a hard position to defend when Oscar Wilde is your favourite author), but I kinda assumed Steve was, at least as gay as one could be in the 40s. His slightly jilted reaction suggests Alec does have a whole world apart from Laura, which you never feel in the rest of the film.

When Tarantino made Pulp Fiction, he told all the characters to assume they were the hero of their own movie - a Mia Wallace movie, a Pumpkin and Honey Bunny movie, whatever. Its an attitude I like to take to films in general. I want to see the Steve and Alec film, not because I think Alec is anything other than entirely straight, but because it would be interesting...

And finally, he's played by Valentine blummin' Dyall! I only just found this out, but excited doesn't cover it. I'm checking the video as we speak. The "Man in Black" was in 70s Doctor Who as the Black Guardian (my no. 1 vote for villain who should come back into the new series), in my 2nd favourite episode of all time Enlightenment. I can see why I didn't recognise him - he looks different 40 years younger, without a big black eeevil cape and a dead bird on his head.

In short it was wonderful. Its certainly made a good double bill with When Harry met Sally (well, I watched BE the evening before, and WHmS the morning after, but the effect was the same). Particularly the moral "men and women can never truly be friends because the sex part always gets in the way", which really could have applied to Brief Encounter. Even though I felt too young to appreciate it properly - I'm still a good ten years off being a thirty-something wondering why she isn't married and depressed about middle age - I'm enough of a pessimist to get the idea. I admired it as a rom com because it was desperately romantic, without being cheesy. By the time it got to its cliches, it had earned them by being so cynical earlier on.

Incidentally, the new year speech - the one at the end - was printed in Empire as a great scene, and I loved it so much I bought the movie. At least Brief Encounter's famous last scene is repeated at the start, so you don't have to wait the whole thing for the stuff you recognise.

And then onto Clueless, which I watched with my sister. We both found it hilarious - until I realised or remembered it was based on the novel Emma. At that point, knowing the rest of the story, my enthusiasm faded. Final verdict - very good, but give me the Heathers any day.


Am I a bad friend? Ever since Grindhouse was announced, I've been really excited to see it. I groaned when it didn't come to England intact; I complained when it didn't come to our island at all. I've already got the soundtrack; I already quote it. If you check in regularly, you'll probably be sick of hearing about it. One of the worst nights of my life was spent in a hotel room between the hours of 8 and 11:30, with a full version of Grindhouse showing at the cinema next door from midnight onwards. It was torture - I can't handle late nights, and it would have been better had my parents said "no" outright - at least then I could have got angry at them, instead of gradually feeling my strength seep away, and realising I couldn't handle (let alone enjoy) any film (let alone one criticised for its length) if I was already too tired half an hour before it starts.

Finally, I start seeing it in DVD shops. Initially, I decided to wait for the inevitable three disc set - the real film, packaged with the long versions of Planet Terror and Death Proof which made it through English cinemas. But it's been years since Kill Bill, and there still isn't a decent boxed set out. So I gave in in the recent bargain sale and bought both.

That was two weeks ago - the path of true love never did run smooth - and the next obstacle was my family. Namely my mother and sister - but eventually an occasion when they are both out presents itself - Friday. Today. Am I excited? Oh yes. But there's a problem...

Two days ago, my friends and I went out for breakfast. Its the summer holidays, and our usual meet ups have been getting dull. Hence we are becoming more creative. Breakfast was one novel replacement for going out for dinner. We started planning a barbacue. For Friday.

Folks, what do I do? I can't throw over a party for a DVD I can watch anytime...can I? Its not like I have somewhere else to go - I'm just staying in on my own. But...but...but...


Copyright 2009 Cinecism. All rights reserved.
Free WordPress Themes Presented by EZwpthemes.
Bloggerized by Miss Dothy