Sunday, 2 October 2011

The God of Thunder, a Singing Whale, a Depressed Bride and Mexican Footballers

While still desperately looking work in the industry (TV or Film) I cheered myself up by watching plenty of films and yes, drinking various coffee, tea and fruit teas. Even thought this weather is unbearable I still like to drink my hot drinks.

First film I watched this week was Thor directed by Kenneth Branagh accompanied by strawberry tea and savoury biscuits. I hadn't seen this film since it came out in April and in the weeks leading up to its DVD and Blu-Ray release date I had had cravings to see it again. I needed my Marvel superhero fix. For those who haven't seen it, it based on the Marvel comics' character The Mighty Thor, the God of Thunder. Thor is banished from his homeworld of Asgard by Odin, his Father, and ends up on Earth where he is found by Scientist, Jane Foster. You may remember her from such ridiculous posters as (see below). I really enjoyed this film and I know there are others who didn't. But you have got to see the fun side and as my friend Amy said, the awesome design of the film.
After Thor, later in the week I watched two classics from my childhood which were accompanied by some Irish Cream flavoured coffee. First, The Water Babies (1978) a half action, half animation based the book of the same name. I remember watching this when I was younger but watching it again I had forgotten all of the friends Tom, the chimney sweep hero makes on his travels under water. There's the Scottish lobster, Jack, the exaggerated french swordfish and of course the extremely camp seahorse, Terrence. And when I say camp, I mean camp. When i was younger I probably didn't realise this but watching it now, its actually really funny. I found it on youtube in 7 parts and I definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys British 70s films.

The second film, isn't really a film, its a short made by Disney. My ultimate favourite, The Whale Who Sang at the Met aka Willy the Whale. We had a video of this short with three others but its mysteriously missing from our video collection. So I found it on youtube. I love this story of a whale who sings opera. Its the sort of story I wish I could write but then this idea could only work in animation. Rewatching I also thought how incredibly sad and depressing the end is and this is meant to be a children's animation. Go and watch it, you'll see what I mean!

Now for the films I had never seen before. At the cinema I saw Lars Von Trier's Melancholia. As I was in the cinema, the only drink I could enjoy was water, but afterwards I treated myself to an Ed's Diner milkshake, long overdue. The film was incredibly beautiful, the first 10 minutes were slow motion sequences featuring the two main characters, sisters Justine and Claire, Kirstin Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg. They way it was filmed reminded me of Tarsem's The Fall as all the opening shots looked like photographs. In Melancholia, they looked like paintings, works of art. The film was very good but very depressing. The first part of the film, everything slowly unravels throughout Justine's wedding day and it is enjoyable to watch but then suddenly there is point where I realsied, this story is depressing. But don't get me wrong, its still a good film. The second half I found myself getting paranoid and worried as story moves away from the depressed Justine and onto to Clair who is scared of the approaching planet, Melancholia. Afterwards when discussing the film, my friend Chris said he didn't understand why Dunst won best actress at Cannes and I agreed. For me Gainsbourg was by far the standout actress in the film. Go see it and see if you agree.

Last night, while sipping some Damson Plum tea I watched Frost/Nixon. When this first came out I wasn't particularly interested as I felt it was just in a long line of films where Micheal Sheen had played a famous person. But after watching, I was wrong. It was tense film on a subject that I didn't know much about so it was also refreshing. If you missed it, I'm sure its on BBC iplayer.

Finally, this morning, while drinking some ordinary coffee, I watched Rudo & Cursi starring two actors I love, Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal. It is about two brothers who work on a banana plantation and play football for their village team. Both are noticed by a talent scout and are taken to Mexico City to play for different teams. I have had this film on my shelf for two years, waiting for the right time to watch it. It was worth the wait. Being about football was off putting at first but there is hardly any football scenes in the film and only one of them is actually on the pitch. It is more about the brothers and how they cope with coming from a poor background and then how they cope with fame. The ending was a surprise but satisfying. I found out after watching it that it is the sixth top-grossing Mexican film of all time.

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