I’ll be taking a trip to Houston, TX (again) to see Fiona Apple. Bought my ticket today. Planned on seeing her in New Orleans at the House of Blues, but tickets were fucking sold out, and I refuse to spend over $150 for a single ticket at a venue that doesn’t justify the price. This will be my second concert, the first being Radiohead, and I couldn’t be happier that it’s going to be Fiona <3
now that I fucking have money and a fucking job, tickets to go see Fiona Apple play at the House of Blues in New Orleans would be sold out. I knew that the gods hated me, but…damn. This is cold-blooded.
In Sweden, 94 years ago today, Ingmar Bergman, the greatest filmmaker of all time, was born. At 8 o’clock on a Sunday morning many years ago, I woke up to The Seventh Seal. After it finished, The Virgin Spring came on. My life had changed. I woke up to one of the 20th century’s few essential artists. I woke up to a man who spent his life dealing with the same things I deal with and who had decided to use his art as a way of fighting, of figuring out, and of expressing the most primal issues that challenge our existence and construct our humanity. It was the first time that an artist had captured *exactly* what I had always felt and struggled with. Watching The Seventh Seal assured me that there was someone out there that could help. In the years that have passed, I’ve never strayed away from Bergman’s cinema, and he’s never strayed away from my heart. When things are at there worst, the film that I always rely on is The Seventh Seal. I feel better after watching it because it’s a reminder that humanity and pain are inseparable. Bergman passed away in 2007 at the age of 89, and we lost one of our greatest visions. Luckily for us, and for everyone in the future (thanks to the folks at Criterion) we have his life on film. This is an artist whose oeuvre is unlike any other’s. If you have yet to bear witness to this man’s films, I suggest going with either of the two masterpieces that he produced in 1957: The Seventh Seal & Wild Strawberries. You may never enjoy a single one of his films, you may hate them with all your being, but I assure you that you will not be the same person you were before you watched one of them.
Happy Birthday, Ingmar Bergman, and thank you..
Zuzanna, thank you very much for this. It’s greatly appreciated, and I’m delighted that you enjoy my blog. I’d love to see what your’s is like. Thank you for the Kieslowski doc recommendation. I’ll give it a shot. I’ve yet to see any of his films, and I’m very eager to see his Three Colours Trilogy. Who are some of your favorite filmmakers? And, if you don’t mind me asking, but based on Kieslowski and your name, are you from Poland?
My new kitten, Gatsby, was killed. Tried to find solace in Bergman’s Face to Face , and at least I know I can always rely on his films when I’m at my lowest. What hurts the most is that I imagined the future we would have together; watching him grow up. He was going to be my cat, and now he’s gone. I hope, hope, that there wasn’t any pain. I buried him, and said the final line of Gatsby as a requiem.
became the 1, 760th film I’ve ever seen. That a Woody Allen film made this milestone makes me even happier. I’ll be writing a review this weekend, so stay tuned.
Just finished the first season of The Sopranos. It’s incredible. The New Jersey of a Philip Roth novel, or a Springsteen album; the neuroses and pitch-perfect dialogue of a Woody Allen film; the family drama laced with crime that harkens back to The Godfather saga. It’s all there. I love the relationship between Tony and Dr. Melfi - how tumultuous it is. I can seriously relate to Tony, and I must admit it was difficult watching him in the “Isabella” episode; a testament to James Gandolfini’s acting. What a superb cast! Damn good television…
The Amazing Spider-Man
Directed by Marc Webb
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Martin Sheen, Sally Field, Denis Leary
The Amazing Spider-Man, Marc Webb’s follow-up to 500 Days of Summer (our generation’s Annie Hall), is a film that will probably surprise many of those not familiar with the mythos of Spider-Man aside from what’s been seen in Sam Raimi’s trilogy with Tobey Maguire. You’ll notice the absence of entities such as Mary Jane Watson, J. Jonah Jameson, and the Daily Bugle. Webb’s adaptation of the wise-cracking web slinger is one that tries more to be a film than to be a superhero film. With a penchant for focusing on relationships, The Amazing Spider-Man succeeds in capturing sympathy early in the film as we witness Andrew Garfield’s spectacular turn as Peter Parker. Especially in scenes with Emma Stone, portraying the lovely Gwen Stacy (Parker’s first love interest in the comics), Garfield shines as the boyishly awkward and troubled youth who falls for a girl that no one would ever expect to fall for him, too. The film combines the stories of Parker’s missing parents, the Faustian Dr. Curt Connors, who succumbs to madness in pursuing perfection and thus becoming the Lizard (Rhys Ifans becomes a green and scaly, beautifully tortured, Jekyll & Hyde) and, Parker’s burgeoning relationship with Gwen, the death of Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen shows a tough side to Uncle Ben that no one could’ve expected), and the mystery of Norman Osborn and Oscorp. To some, to many, this is too much. However, I feel that multiple subplots allowed for a good pace, good editing. These stories provide an opportunity for the actors to develop their characters in different settings, different situations. Marc Webb’s direction is never boring, but always interesting and fun. Never, except maybe while playing Spider-Man 2: The Video Game, was swinging from a web so majestic and just flat out cool to watch. First-person swinging: Yes! The biggest criticism of the film that I have is the soundtrack. There were only, if my memory serves correctly, five songs throughout the film (The Shins and Coldplay worked wonders for their chosen scenes), whereas 500 Days had that many songs within the first half hour or so. And that was a damn good soundtrack. I would’ve liked to have seen more of that in “Amazing”; though I do have say that James Horner’s score did a great job mediating the emotions for a given scene. Also, not being a fan of Sally Field, a better actress could have been picked for the crucial part of Aunt May. Another casting note: Denis Leary as Captain Stacy? Good choice - look out for the dinner scene involving a heated discussion between him and Parker. This is a film that makes a major improvement on the previous Spider-Man films, delivering the emotions that are essential to the beloved hero. While the first of Raimi’s films was very good, and the second was great, Webb’s adaptation was without the forced awkwardness and jokey feel to it. This film just let it naturally come out. While the first film can rightfully boast to featuring the best villain, as Willem Dafoe, as always, was phenomenal as the Green Goblin, that this film has the better Peter Parker, for me, means a great deal more. Let’s not forget that Spider-Man was the first superhero to actually be *human*. Before him, the caped crusaders and defenders of the earth were pretty one-dimensional; perfect. Spider-Man, Peter Parker, had problems. He dealt with things that we all go through on a daily basis, thus making him truly one of us. The Amazing Spider-Man does just this, and the credit is due to Andrew Garfield. He’s believable as the shy young man burdened with the death of loved ones and great powers, great responsibilities. The film is believable as a story about a kid who gets something that he doesn’t want, but decides to do what is morally right. Even if it comes with a price. The Amazing Spider-Man is what its title suggests, and there’s a great amount of fun to be had when watching this film - something that I’ll look forward to doing multiple times.
You need books, I’m your bitch.
After seeing the trailers for The Master, The Dark Knight Rises, and Django Unchained (on top of knowing the prowess and unprecedented skill & vision of these directors), I think P. T. Anderson, Christopher Nolan, or Quentin Tarantino will be taking home their first Best Director Oscar next year. They all deserve the honor, and these films, as it looks now, are promising and highly anticipated. A wonderful trio. And I’d love for Wes Anderson to at least get a nod for his direction/script. Moonrise Kingdom was such a marvelous film.