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

Can I arrange a hit for Tuesday evening?

What the hell was wrong with the 90s? Did everybody suddenly wake up and realise their life was worthless? I refer, of course, to the triple whammy of American Beauty-Fight Club - The Matrix, all basically attacks on the cubicle-worker existance. Good old 1999, vintage year for movies or so I'm told.

It must have been something in the air, and last night I watched Office Space, 1998's black comedy about - yup - depressed office workers; Fight Club without the violence, if you like. It appears to have been written as an act of total wish fufilment. That's pretty much all I can think of to say about it - I loved it, and I recommend it to any frustrated office workers in the mood for something lighthearted.

I've just come back from holiday in Italy. Bit of a trial, really, as my knowledge of the language was cribbed from The Godfather movies. Consiquently, my entire vocabulary consisted of "father", "family", and "can I arrange a hit for tomorrow night?" - not that useful to your average traveller. And that was about Sicilians anyway...we think we might have seen some mobsters one evening too. Apparently, the mafia is still a big problem in Italy. I'd kinda thought it had died down, but we found the anti-mafia office in Florence, mafia-related songs on MTV (all rap; it's the equivalent of getting out of the ghetto songs, I suppose) carry anti-mafia warnings. Hilariously, MTV's anti-mafia logo is the little hand with the puppet strings a la Godfather - which is one of the least anti mafia films I've ever seen. Even though Michael Caine carrying a massive sodoff gun has become an iconic 60s image, I might recommend Get Carter to put off anyone considering a career in organised crime. It's entirely without illusions, and very unpleasant to boot. Mind you, I'm probably the only person who's ever decided to become a military helicopter pilot after watching Black Hawk Down, so maybe it wouldn't work...

We spent a lot of time on Italian music channels, basically because the films were all dubbed. Such a torment. Although we caught Grease one evening (the songs were all from the original), and they showed Apocalypse Now: Redux another. That was exciting. If you want to listen to some anti-mafia Italian rap, may I recommend Cappotto Di Legno by Lucariello - and stay clear of current chart topper In Italia, which is the most mind-numbingly awful piece of music I've heard in any language.

We also did some set-trooping. We visited Florence with a Baedeker, and found the square and church from Room With a View. As I've already noted, The Godfather was set and filmed in Sicily, but we did also get to ogle the Venice sets from Brideshead Revisited TV. Venice is absolutely the most romantic place on earth, and packed with shops selling carnival masks. Most are tat for the tourists, but some are gorgeous. And one such shop proudly advertised that it had provided the masks for Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut.

Speaking of Kubrick (kneel and pray, folks), I've now seen Paths of Glory and enjoyed it very much. My mum's comments was that she "couldn't see the point". I sympathise with this - it was wonderfully made, the performances were great, and all in all a powerful piece of drama, but apart from admiring the pretties I too felt a something missing. But who cares - it was gorgeous, He really does have a thang for long, wide shots which I love.

Finally, I've just finished K- Unpronouncable's Three Colours Trilogy, and I lovem. Lovemlovemlovem. They're just involving on every level. The music is brilliant. The direction is so pretty that even when nothing is happening, its beautiful. The link between the three films - three colours of the french flag, and all about the three ideas they represent - means that every film has a strong colour palette. I also like the ironies of the way the central concept is used. Blue is about liberty - but it's freedom by isolating yourself from everything. White is equality in the sense of getting even. Only Red, fraternity, doesn't try to be clever - its about communication, or the lack thereof in the modern world. Even my sister, who can sometimes be a bit blonde, loved Red. And the endings, while maybe obvious, are terribly satisfying. And did I mention the music is wonderful?


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