2011-01-30

The Social Network

The Social Network (David Fincher, 2010)


This movie is about the story of the most infamous addictive 500 millions + members website: Facebook. Based upon the book The Accidental Billionnaire and brilliantly adapted by screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network is more than just worth a look. The central character, Mark Zuckerberg co-founder of Facebook is strongly impersonnated by the young rising star Jesse Eisenberg (The Squid and The Whale, Zombieland, Adventureland).

Sorkin's script evolves simultaneously around the two poursuits against Zuckerberg and on the beginnings of the 25 billions dollars enterprise to be. Tighly constructed and perfectly written The Socail Network hits in the middle of the target. It doesn't have a substory where it slows tha pace of the movie. Everything is important in the plot and many elements are crossed-referenced within the film.

David Fincher handles the dark interiors of Harvard with soft warn colors contrasting with the clear cold lights of the glassed rooms of the offices of the lawyers and even in the offices of Facebook themselves.

The character himself, Mark Zuckerberg, is intriguing and many subtilities of his persona are lighted. However, Zuckerberg isn't a very known face to me and unlike a public person like Bill Gates for example, I can't really compare the personification with the real man.

On the popularity of The Socail Network, I think it stands for most part because of the popularity of Facebook, the website. Let's face it, who's not on it?Even bth my parents have their own accounts at 54 and 53.
Moreover, I think the success of The Social Network relies on the clarity and the concise script it stands on. You don't have anything useless. Also the fact that this is a true story based on real events and real poursuits and mostly because this is the story of a successful man living the American Dream in the 21st Century with the methods of the 21st Century.

David Fincher now stands as a major name in filmmaking and his attempt to make his own Citizen Kane proves he is good because it felt personnal and not like an imitation of something else. This is a work of his  own. A must see!

2011-01-25

The Fighter

The Fighter (David O. Russell, 2010)

Not being a fan of boxing I wasn't really looking forward to this picture. I didn't even knew who Micky Ward was! When I saw the previews I thought to myself; Raging Bull 2. Well, I couldn't be more wrong, except some slow-motions "à la Scorsese" during the fight we have a movie of his own. I assume that David O. Russell (Three Kings) was very meticulious to not redo something that has been done before.

2011-01-24

Top films of Tim Burton by LMdC


One of the most uncharacteristic American mainstream director working these days. I have great respect and admiration for this filmmaker that doesn't make unnanimity, but still captivates its viewer with almost every film making it an unique experience.

1. Ed Wood
2. Sleepy Hollow
3. Big Fish

4. Edward Scissorhands
5. Corpse Bride

6. Batman Returns
7. Mars Attacks!
8. Batman
9.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
10. Beetle Juice
11. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
12.
Alice in Wonderland
13. Planet of the Apes 

2011-01-17

Cannibal Holocaust (1980)

Cannibal Holocaust (Ruggero Deodato, 1980)

One, if not, the most controversial movie of all-time depicting some of the most disturbing scenes ever film in a fictionnal film, Ruggero Deodato's Cannibal Holocaust will be discussed here. I should mention that it was a challenge for me to enter in this infamous movie, because of the violence and the reputation of the film itself. I am not too enclined about exploitation films and I entirely disagree when a filmmaker uses animals and hurts them voluntarly (turtle scene and the pig scene). They are gratuitous and they don't bring anything interesting to the story or the propos of it.

Deodato's challenge was to make a fictionnal movie about a documentary that feels like the real making-of of a documentary. He succeeds in this aspect; the movie feels like if it was shot by two different teams. One in New York and the other one in Amazonian forest. Instead of presenting the shocking images all in one continuous shot, Deodato makes us wait with the trip to find the tapes of the documentary with the Professor Monroe. The professor Monroe is one of the most important character in the movie, he represents science and also morale. He is the only character the viewer can actually identifies himself with. He has a lot of common sense but he also wants to understand the native tribes he encounters in his trip; a representation of our curiosity and interest in viewing the film. He will oppose himself with force agaisnt the broadcasting of the disturbing images of the final journey of the journalist team.

This team of reporters thirsty for celebrity and money will do anything to get the images they want to show to the public of the civilized world. It represents this buzz of journalists that will kill themselves or others just to get the scoop or the most blood of some news or documentary. Cannibal Holocaust is a metaphor on journalists and on how they feed themself on human misery and sensationalism.

The final image of the film when the camera moves from Professor Monroe to some buildings in the city reprensents one of the many metaphors of the movie: who is more civilized? the cannibals living in the "stone age" or the "civilized" living in stone buildings in "societies"? Well, the answer of the film states that in every "world" there are evil and good. The buildings and technical advances do not mean that we are better humans than the one still living in the jungle or the "stone age".

Even with all the thinking Cannibal Holocaust has provoke for me it was not a film I particularly loved, but its messages are clear and maybe the methods are extreme, it still denounces abuses within it. I also believed that this is not a film for the faint of heart by in some ways it's like a mandatory film to watch...

2011-01-16

Black Swan

Black Swan (Darren Aronofsky, 2010)

From the director of Requiem for A Dream & Pi that I recently discovered, and The Wrestler my best film of 2008, Darren Aronofsky offers his best film to date in his brilliant career: Black Swan. Nina a ballet soloist is chosen to interpret the Swan Queen in the greatest ballet ever made, Swan Lake. She'll have to deal with the director, Thomas and the second to first dancer, Lily. Moreover, she will deal with the pressure of her mother and her own pressure on herself.

First, the cast is simply amazing, Nathalie Portman carries thre film on her shoulders with great talent. Her opposite, Mila Kunis is simply right for her role and she gives everything in the right amount for her role. Vincent Cassel is just excellent as always, since Doberman I always enjoyed his performances. As for Barbara Hershey's portrayal of Nina's mother and Winona Rider as the former star of Thomas' ballets.

This multilayered story felt like a Stanley Kubrick picture, it will take many views to fully understand the richness of the story and the implications of the characters. Matthew Libatique (Cinematographer) and Darren Aronofsky said that their main influences were Roman Polanski's Repulsion and The Tenant. Of course, they looked at Pressburger and Powell's masterpiece The Red Shoes, but also Kieslowski Three Colors trilogy for its ambiences and its photography.

Some of you may ask why I compared Black Swan to a Stanly Kubrick picture. Well, first off because Kubrick was one of the few and last American auteurs. His films were characterized by amazing cinematography and stories without comprimize and censorship. He was a master of blockbuster auteurism. When I saw Black Swan I had same feeling like if I was watching a film as great as The Shining. Another multilayered thriller made with stunning visuals and a story that's so much deeper than its broad lines. The movement of cameras in the Ballets can recall the greatness of the boxing sequences of Raging Bull. Scorsese's 1970's films are the few films with top of the art visuals that can be compared to the cinematic quintessence showned in Black Swan.

Aronofsky has put himself right with the greats of his art, his other films are exceptional achievments but he fully reaches maturity with Black Swan and its dual story of good and evil and reality and psycho. There are few movies each year that will stick through the years. I hope that this one will mark our memory for a long time.

The last aspect of Black Swan I'd like to discuss here is the visual effects used. The fact that they are mind blowing is mainly because we don't feel like if we were watching visual effects. It makes us believe in those black wings and metamorphosis of Nina. We are entering her mind and we, like her, can't tell if it's reality or hallucination.

I think that my enthusiasm is palpable and that I have praised enough Aronofsky's last film. So I don't have to mention that so far for 2010, this is my top film of the year. Still, I haven't seen The Social Network, The King's Speech, Toy Story 3, and the many contenders for the Best picture of 2010.

2011-01-13

Some news from your friend here...

Hi everybody!

I've been on a short break from writing reviews here and I haven't given much news about me in 2011. Well, to start off, I've watched some excellent films I've wanted to see for a long time: Jim Jarmusch's Dead Man, P.T. Anderson's Boogie Nights, and Black Swan. I have decided to face one of my many cinematic duels (a film I think I'm too chicken to watch) Cannibal Holocaust! For all those films you'll eventually have reviews and or essays to read about.

In 2011, I've decided to push myself more into the Seventh Art and I will direct my first film! It will be a short that I'm rewriting. We will shoot this winter and I'll edit this spring, I promise to put it on YouTube or Vimeo for my dear readers as soon as it is finished! I'll also put the synopsis for you to read an comment. Maybe you'll have some stills...

I'll also work on the set of the 10 years project of veteran director and friend of this blogger Christian Audet.

But the biggest news of 2011 is my wedding in August! So I'll probably have less time to write but each time I'll try to make it better and richer!
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