Tag Archives: movies

Woody Allen, Tina Fey and some Epiphany


If I was ignoring your texts and Facebook messages last Sunday, it was because I was too engrossed in the blabbering of Woody Allen’s famous characters. “Annie Hall” is a movie that has been in my “to watch” list but I never got to having it crossed out. I can’t remember what prompted me to finally watch the film, maybe I was having another la-dee-da moment, but I watched the film for about three times that whole afternoon.

Every time Alvy Singer says something mundane but insightful, my brain implodes. My brain was basically entering a new dimension all through out the film. I’m used to watching a movie that is so spontaneous, so natural, dialogue driven and quick witted. I loved Richard Linklater. I even loved Kevin Smith. Those three film makers are within an area where my brain capacity can easily traverse in. Woody Allen is the same but different. He could make you listen to the seemingly prosaic lines and wonder what he was actually trying to say. I watched a few Woody Allen films before this, his later works mostly, but Annie Hall struck a chord in my romance worshiping heart.

“It reminds me of that old joke- you know, a guy walks into a psychiatrist’s office and says, hey doc, my brother’s crazy! He thinks he’s a chicken. Then the doc says, why don’t you turn him in? Then the guy says, I would but I need the eggs. I guess that’s how I feel about relationships. They’re totally crazy, irrational, and absurd, but we keep going through it because we need the eggs.”

Realizing the meaning of this line is probably going to end up as one of the proudest moment of my life. Alvy Singer’s jokes were not the “haha” kind of jokes but they’re the ones that will make you say “ahh” and then nod like an idiot.

As one of the many people who could memorize all the lines and every shot in 500 Days of Summer, there is indeed a great deal of similarities among the two films. However, they’re the kind that Kevin Smith would do to a Richard Linklater.

Wait. I think I remember why I was watching Annie Hall. It was because the above quote that was retold by Tina Fey in her book “Bossypants”.

I was reading Tina Fey’s Bossypants because of the 65 Books You Have to Read in your 20’s list from Buzzfeed. A friend has tagged me on Facebook asking me how many books in the list I have already read, I shamefully answered “3” and went on to begrudgingly download five books.

Reading a book is my number one time killer in the office. I was reading page 10 and then page 165 cruised on without my notice. Bossypants is a fun read and very empowering too. Women could be funny. Women could be the boss. And women could stir the men dominated dirty dimension that is politics.

I could go on and on about the books I have read and the movies I have watched for the past three days but what I was really getting into is that I have learned that art creates a ripple effect. Richard Linklater acknowledgment in a Kevin Smith film. Annie Hall shots in 300 Days of Summer.  Woody Allen quote is in a Tina Fey book. One’s work could affect another’s work, in most times so profound that although it could not reach the same level of it’s inspiration’s greatness, it could stand as a remarkable work of art on its own.

I need to participate in this wonderful ripple.

My boss and I had this conversation earlier during smoke break:

Boss: “It must be hard writing a movie.”
Me: “Yes, because you are not writing the words but the actions too.”

We went on to discuss forgotten Filipino films from the 70’s. I don’t know why we ended up with that conversation. What I know is I wanted to talk about movies all the time. Well,maybe I’ll start with that.

And by the way, if you were patient enough to get to the page with the Buzzfeed list and to this paragraph, and if you want to know what books have I read on that list, it’s “The Sandman”, “On The Road” and “Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World”.

After “Before Midnight”


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How can you profoundly relate to something you have never experienced before? The answer is good writing and acting. Personally, Before Midnight brought me a glimpse of a chapter I have not read, yet it becomes oddly familiar as it unfolds.

Let’s just board the time machine first and travel back to the before-est of these befores. It was 1994 when Celine and Jesse first met on a train to Vienna. They were young and youthful. You know how the story went, they fell in love and we fell in love with their story. There was something special between this adventurous French girl and this idealistic American boy which was universal and we all felt it or wanted to feel it towards somebody. For some, we shared that connection with the movie.

However, no matter how special one thing could be, fate has a way of making it even more special. Nine years after they first met, Celine and Jesse met again at Shakespeare and Co. in Paris. He was signing books he wrote about her. She was just walking in to see him again. He had a flight scheduled to leave before sunset but they walked on the lovely streets, stopped at a café, argued intellectually and romantically, there were confrontations and you know how it ended. It was probably the most romantic a movie could ever end. She said, “Baby, you’re gonna miss that plane.” He said, “I know”. And just like that, despite how winding the road is we believe in true love again.

But will that ideal love wear off as the complications of maturity piles up ahead of us? Now this is where I lost track of the whole love train. Before Midnight opens with Jesse dropping off his 14 year old son at a Greek airport and Celine is outside watching two little girls inside the car. They are now parents. He is a scruffy looking dad wearing a “Neptune Records” shirt as if hinting “Son, I am a cool dad”. She on the other hand, looks like a plain wife at first close up. Their looks alone suggest that a lot has changed since he missed that plane. But how about the feelings, do they remain the same?

The film goes on to depict a typical mature relationship- with arguments, compromises, sex and a lot of sex. Celine is caught in the middle of the responsibilities of being a mom and her creative desires, while Jesse is caught up in his own creative pursuit and guilt over his irresponsibility as a father to a son who can’t live with him. She complicates things. He simplifies it for her. Suddenly, the girl does not think they are on the same page anymore and the guy would reiterate that he is exactly the same guy she met on that train 18 years ago. He was driving her crazy, crazy enough to declare that she does not love him anymore. But he loves her, he loves her enough to put up with her craziness. They are exactly the same character, only in different circumstances.

Seeing how Jesse and Celine fell in love with each other made me want to ride that train across Europe and talk to a random guy and pretend I am eloquent. But seeing how they argue made me want to just take the shortcut to that mature relationship where you can confront the other person without affecting too much regret in the future, because a few hours after you’ll realize how much you have sacrificed to build that longstanding connection, so precious you can’t break it, which in a way is a perfect manifestation of how powerful that true love can be.

After the movie, I said “I have a beef with Richard Linklater, women are not as crazy as that.”I watched the film with two of my friends who are actually married to each other. My friend replied, “No. The movie is so right.” She is thirty something. Then I answered, “Yeah. Maybe, I’m just not there yet.”

What’s on a Misfit’s Weekend Watch List?


Another long weekend is upon us and what other better thing to do than curl up on your bed, watch movies while guiltily eating bars and bars of chocolates? I’m having another Bridgett Jones moment, and I need cinematic intervention.

 

I have been hooked to this British TV series “Misfits” for the past weeks. It is my own unique way of dealing with emotions I can’t handle. The characters are way interesting and when I looked up for the casts on the internet, they are way interesting than the characters they play. And so because of my endless pursuit of movie nerdiness I feel I must watch the casts other works.

Joe Gilgun

 

For a guy who’s been through emotional struggle (in real life) it looks pretty easy for him to play Rudy Wade whose power is having another self, splitting off of his chest every time his conscience is bugging him off. Well, in fact his other self is actually his conscience.

This is England
This is England 86 (TV Spinoff)
This is England 88 (TV Spinoff)

“A story about a troubled boy growing up in England, set in 1983. He comes across a few skinheads on his way home from school, after a fight. They become his new best friends even like family. Based on experiences of director Shane Meadows. “

Lockout

“A man wrongly convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage against the U.S. is offered his freedom if he can rescue the president’s daughter from an outer space prison taken over by violent inmates.”

Also, I have a secret love for Luc Besson movies.

Matthew McNulty

 

He plays a love-lorn power dealer, Seth.  His character is intriguing because he keeps you guessing what his motives are.  Is he a bad guy or a good guy?  In real life though, he is a really good-looking guy. Also, his neck tattoo is very sexy, I almost thought that it is part of his power.

Little Ashes

“In 1922, Madrid is wavering on the edge of change as traditional values are challenged by the dangerous new influences of Jazz, Freud and the avant-garde. Salvador Dali arrives at the university; 18 years old and determined to become a great artist. His bizarre blend of shyness and rampant exhibitionism attracts the attention of two of the university’s social elite – Federico Garcia Lorca and Luis Bunel. Salvador is absorbed into their youthfully decadent group and for a time Salvador, Luis and Federico become a formidable trio, the most ultra-modern group in Madrid. However as time passes, Salvador feels and increasingly strong pull towards the charismatic Federico – who is himself oblivious of the attentions he is getting from his beautiful writer friend, Magdalena. In the face of his friends’ preoccupations – and Federico’s growing renown as a poet – Luis sets off for Paris in search of his own artistic success.”

As a pretentious art fan, it is a shame I havent watched this movie yet.

Control

“A profile of Ian Curtis, the enigmatic singer of Joy Division whose personal, professional, and romantic troubles led him to commit suicide at the age of 23.”

Ian Curtis’s poignant life is made even more poignant by Sm Riley’s accurate depiction. I need to mention that I love Joy Division.

Robert Sheehan

 

Alright, I have a huge crush on this guys charming Irish accent , his messy brown curls and his goofy sense of humor. Although I can’t tell if it’s his character Nathan Young or his real self that I’m crushing on. Robert Sheehan looks more like a European Jay Baruchel. And he is just fun to look at. Sorry, my inner fan girl can’t be restrained.

Killing Bono

“Two brothers attempt to become global rock stars but can only look on as old school friends U2 become the biggest band in the world. “

If I have to draw a pie chart of movies that I love, films with music references will surely take up half of the chart.

Cherry Bomb

“Cherry Bomb follows teenagers Luke, Malachy, and Michelle as they embark on a wild weekend of drink, drugs, shop-lifting and stealing cars. But what starts out as a game turns deadly serious when the three discover that they can’t get off the wild ride they’ve set in motion.”

Rupert Grint and Robert Sheehan in one film, too much adorkableness.

Iwan Rheon

 

He made his character Simon Bellamy appear as if it was written for him. Or maybe it was, I did not really research it. His big blue eyes and deep baritone voice makes him more interesting as Iwan than as Simon.  And the fact that he was in Game of Thrones makes him even more awesome.

Wild Bill

“Out on parole after 8 years inside Bill Hayward returns home to find his now 11 and 15-year-old sons abandoned by their mother and fending for themselves. Unwilling to play Dad, an uncaring Bill is determined to move on. Although Dean the older boy has found a job and is doing his best to be a father to his younger brother Jimmy, the arrival of Bill has brought them to the attention of social services. With the danger of being put into care looming, Dean forces his feckless Dad to stay by threatening to grass him up for dealing. If there’s one thing Bill doesn’t want its to go back to prison. He reluctantly agrees to stay for a week o help fool social services that the boys are being cared for. Having never really grown up himself Bill quickly connects with Jimmy and through this new bond starts to realize what he’s been missing. He has a family, a place in the world.”

All these films and maybe more for the Labor Day weekend.  I might spend a night at the beach after I’m done with this, or maybe watch a gig, or maybe just stare at cat photos online. Who knows?

Have a great weekend, you.