Thursday, January 26, 2012

We Need To Talk About Kevin; Based on the novel: We Need To Talk About Kevin

What a disturbing story, shown in the most perfect way. There was one timing issue in the end but I don't want to give too much away...I realize I've done too much of that in my previous posts. I suppose I should work harder on that...nah. This is MY blog, so NYAH!!!
I feel like this film was a cross between The Good Son and Taxi Driver; a rather healthy marriage, don't you think? I don't know, something about psycho children just sort of points me in that direction.
Tilda Swinton gives a chilling performance as she portrays a mother whose son has gone on a killing spree. I saw a little tiny bit of Winona Ryder in her flashback scenes, but I definitely don't see that as a problem. Swinton was absolutely dead behind the eyes, something that is not easy to convince on camera.
Ezra Miller is Kevin and I fear seeing him in any other performance because I will only be able to picture him as this psycho. There are very fascinating moments with Kevin's wardrobe where it would often be duplicated from his childhood. It was such a simple thing but it caught my eye and creeped me out even more. Oh're just so complicated and smart.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

2 Great NY Films

I spent yesterday at a local cinema. I dedicated all that time to honor two very special New York films and I wanted to make sure I could watch them both on the same day. Both were so incredible and explored love and sexuality in two very different, raw and pure ways. Neither film glorified sex or nudity, even though they had a fair share of both (one WAY more than the other, but again, it wasn't glorified and was very very much justified). As an audience member, I was really really moved by both films. As a person who works in film, I had a few notes, but I will try to keep them short as to allow more gushing.
"Shame" explores the life of Brandon Sullivan, a sex addict. Honestly, this film really educated me, because I (like many people) felt that all men were sex addicts, and they used it as a medical term to get away with being creepy perverts. Wow. Just wow. I stand corrected. An addiction is an addiction, whether it be drugs, alcohol, or in this case Sex. Director, Steve McQueen did a tremendous job expressing that. Wealthy, attractive and successful Brandon would often times resemble a junky when he is trying to get his fix. This is where I give a small kudos to the Costume Designer, David Robinson. At first I didn't understand what he was trying to accomplish, but the minute I saw which way the film was headed it all made sense and immediately earned my respect. In fact I found it rather genius.
I'm going to take a minute to objectify Michael Fassbender. He should change his surname to Assbender because that's exactly what he is in this film. Superb performance. He really really gave himself to the character and I applaud him for going that far with it. I loved him in Inglorious Bastards and have been looking forward to seeing his beautiful face onscreen again. I got more than what I wished for; I got to see more than his face. Thank you, Jesus. YES.
Mr. Assbender is a very very handsome man, but his talent and IQ make him uber sexy. It would be a pleasure/dream/fantasy to dress/undress him.

Carey Mulligan plays Brandon's sister, Sissy. She was good. All I have to say is, whenever I saw her in her white outfit, I kept thinking she looked and sounded like Drew Barrymore as Casey from Scream.
This is from my absolute favorite scene in the movie. I really enjoyed the cinematography in this film because of its long, uneasy shots. This particular scene (and shot) was very long and I felt like my heart was going to explode. It was so intense in so many ways yet with hardly any movement at all. So uncomfortable, but so incredible.

Pariah was an absolutely amazing story. I felt like there were technical issues with sound and man did this crew desperately need a tripod. The uniforms in this film were unconvincing, and took me right out of it but it was only for the length of the scene.
I promise, those are my only notes...Pariah introduces us to Alike (pronounced uh-LEE-kay), a lesbian struggling with sexual identity, risking friendship and family; a true pariah.
It's so refreshing to see a story about gay characters who aren't victims of rape, hate crime, or AIDS or as some over exaggerated flamboyant butt of a joke. This film deals more with life at home and school, something we can all relate to.
The ending made me cry, which is hard to do. I'm still haunted by Alike's final poem.
Much respect to Eniola Dawodu, the Costume Designer of Pariah. She doesn't have much experience, but I was quite impressed at how she was able to dramatically transform such insanely beautiful women to a pair of masculine "AG"s.

Adepero Oduye is absolutely stunning as a fem and an AG. Job well done. Her performance still haunts me.
Pernell Walker's transformation blew me away as well, as did her performance.
Before I close, I have to mention Kim Wayans. Like Mo'Nique in Precious, I was quite impressed with this comedienne's approach on such a serious role. She made it easy to hate her, which means she served the character well. I will always prefer Ms. Wayans in the comedy world, but very much appreciated her work and dedication in Pariah.

The Artist

I am a huge fan of this film. Some people feel it was a copout or a bit too "gimmicky" but I found it absolutely wonderful. 100 minutes of pure greatness. I have a soft spot in my heart for old black and white movies and silent films.
In a world where this art is dying, George Valentin fears what many celebrities fear: inadequacy. The story really put things in perspective for those of us who are feeling old and face the threat of being usurped by younger more attractive generations. It also reflects what is to become of our entertainment industry as a whole. Silent or not, this was a good solid story.
Let's touch on that silence though. The ever so loud silence. I really think this enhanced the performances. The actors could no longer depend on the way they deliver a line, instead they had to rely on the Robert DeNiro style of acting---acting with the eyes. Jean DuJardin was absolutely brilliant with his expressions from dramatic and excitement in fame to subtle vulnerability in defeat. Those magic eyebrows and timeless face really convinced me he was in fact from the late 1920's. Absolutely dreamy and soooooo French.
Silent films make you notice everything else more, just like those who are deaf have heightened senses, we are able to feel more what our hero feels. We pay closer attention to what they are wearing and their environment; the details, time and talent it took to construct the look.

I also want to say, the dog in The Artist should get a Best Supporting Actor Oscar, Golden Globe and SAG Award. I'm not trying to be funny. This dog gave a hell of a performance and he supported George throughout the entire film, stealing the scene many times over, which is more than I can say about more than half of the human performances I've seen today.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Pardon Me, Do You Have Any Grey Poupon?

Yes I know I keep making empty promises to you guys about more frequent updates. I'm sorry. I'm just working on all these gigs! Wait....I'm working so you know what? No. I'm not sorry. I'm succeeding. Hahahahahaha.
Let's take a second to talk about mustard. It is the new black, not only in fashion but also in the culinary world. A colleague of mine works for The Food Network (what a dream job!!), and she turned me onto their blog. Behold the awesomeness of mustard:

"Mustard in its many forms — from condiment to vegetable, spice to cooking oil — is about to get its moment. Heat is hot, and this multifarious member of the cabbage family represents a vast, underexplored source of culinary heat. Look for sharp, peppery Indian mustard oil, spicy-salty Sichuanese pickled mustard greens and pungent-sweet Italian fruit mustards. We’re all about to learn that this genuinely global ingredient is much more than a hot dog condiment.

In 2012, condiment mustard will be made from scratch (it’s so easy) by more home cooks and chefs, mustard seeds will be pickled and scattered over all things rich and porky; mustard oil will move beyond Indian (and Korean and Chinese) kitchens, becoming a common cooking and seasoning oil (it makes a great salad dressing); and the greens, so healthy and so long neglected, will be next year’s kale."

Drawing inspiration from the foodies, I can honestly say mustard is definitely having its moment in fashion. I feel like the last time it truly was explored this way was around the 60's/70's. I myself have hesitated often when presented with mustard as a color option. I feel like it doesn't serve my beautiful complexion very well and that it makes me look rather sick. I am eating my words like I'm eating a veggie sammich oozing with--yep you guessed it: mustard.
There is a way to really maximize on this tricky color. If you're nervous about trending up, while its still a hot color, I suggest using it like it is used in food--as a condiment. Start with a splash of it as an accessory, on a scarf or a hat. It pairs well with charcoal, black or even dark brown. If using it in a larger portion, I'm a huge fan of it being used in the sweater family--cardigans, cowl and crew necks.
This is a photo from a 2011/2012 preview shoot I did last year. Notice how mustard can look retro and sort of timeless.

I've yet to venture into full on mustard territory for my personal wardrobe. I'll do bangles at most. I'm more of a Tobasco sauce gal, myself. I think I'll stick to that vermillion yes you can say I'm passing on the mustard...but hey I've always liked my stuff a lot more spicier than the common man.