I love the genre of film loosely termed ‘American Indie’ From Mumblecore to Rom Com these low budget, dialogue driven films regularly portray the lives of slightly lost 30 something creative. These remind me of my life and those of many I know, people not sure what they want in life but sure they don’t want an office job and so for now have social jobs in bars, cafés and cinemas; working on something creative on the side and never fully committing to a future goal or the idea of being a grown up. People who are really decent and intelligent but just a little lost. This is me at 25.
Category Archives: Film
I’m in the process of selling my house and everything I own, the hundreds of meaningless possessions, including my DVD collection of circa 500 titles. The number of items I own which actually have any emotional attachment are very few and of all my DVD’s I have narrowed it down to ten which I have the desire to watch numerous times again for various nostalgic reasons rather than them being films I like based purely on quality, hence there being no foreign language films. These are the shortlisted films, with a reason, in no particular order.
Having been aware of a book since my early teens, being generally aware of its content and its themes and its necessity as a read distracted me from ever reading it. After reading it for the first time in my mid twenties I can but question if the impact it so deservedly had is lost on the liberated, postmodern society of today.
As a standard working to middle class person I find it hard to associate with the ‘hotel living’ celebrity lifestyle in Somewhere and couldn’t help myself seeing it as a pretentious rip off of Californication, which, with a little more humour and less lingering shots it would undoubtedly be. However, I do realise that due to Coppola’s upbringing this is probably what she believes everyday life to be like….
When that time of year arrives when all the highly polished Academy Award hopefuls are released onto the big screen one feels the need to compare them and make up one’s own decision on the deserved winner.
Judging by media speculation, nominations and similar award ceremonies all heads are looking towards The King’s Speech and The Social Network. I will be skipping over The Social Network a bit in this article as it was seen months ago and isn’t particularly fresh in my mind. I remember it being very enjoyable, having a good score and feeling like the sort of business drama that may well win awards. Classical in many ways but taking on a modern issue and making many people aware of a phenomenon they may well have been oblivious to beforehand.
Jonas Cuaron’s debut Writer/Director offering to the big screen is both sweetand unique. After taking photographs of every aspect of life for a year Cuaron edited them all together and provided a narrative voiced over the pictures. After getting used to this style it really works and thinking back to it it feels like a standard 24 frames a second. Some research has been done as to whether our memory works in moving images or in stills and I believe this film is addressing that concept.
The Breakfast Club is a film about a light-hearted microcosm society of five teenagers in a fictional school in Illinois. The film represents the different characters from a stereotypical cross-section of students attending a weekend detention. It emphasises their differences,likenesses and their evolution throughout the session. This relatively simple film had a surprising impact on the audience, promoting it to cult status.
Released in 1985 The Breakfast Club stands out amongst the other films popular around this time. Of the popular films released there were many crime, futuristic and fantasy adventure films; these were promoting imagination and taking advantage of the technology which was ever improving, films such as Terminator (1984), The Goonies (1985) and the Indiana Jones and Star Wars trilogies were all amongst the top 20 films of the 80’s and these all include a large element of fantasy and escapism. Compared to these The Breakfast Club particularly stands out.It stands out for being simple and real, perhaps more believable but also being easy to relate to as we see parts of each character in ourselves.
Directed by Ridley Scott this seminal road movie tells the story of two women living outside the conventions defined for them. The characters are easy to empathise with as we see them both in the familiar settings of uninspiring lives. Thelma is a housewife living under the rule of her baseball obsessed husband, taking whatever insults he gives and fulfilling his every demand. The first thing we hear him say to her is ‘God damn it Thelma, what did I tell you about hollering like that’ whilst she is assisting him. Although Louise is somewhat more independent and in a trusting relationship with one of the only two respectable men in the film she is still fulfilling the stereotype of a hum drum lifestyle, working in a hectic diner, serving greasy food.
The following ideas are partly inspired as well as being an extension and culmination of those proposed by Susan Napier in her book From Akira to Howl’s Moving Castle and those of Gresh and Weinberg in their book The Science of Anime.
Akira can be seen as a text that illustrates youth frustration, alienation, aesthetics and the human ageing process as well as embodying the reification of evolution. The dominant ideas proposed by the film are those of adolescent frustration and how this period of transformation is felt with equal intensity on both an external and internal level. The film also attempts to remind us of the ultimately biological nature of ourselves with its examination and representation of the ageing process as well as its conclusion that scientific principle is the power that ultimately governs humankind. Directed by Katsuhiro Otomo in 1988 (having being based on an original manga by the director) the film tells the story of Tetsuo, an adolescent biker gang member, who inadvertently awakens deadly psychic powers within himself. Set in Neo Tokyo, a hyper city built around the nuclear devastated ruins of Tokyo, Tetsuo’s new found power leads the narrative down a path of violent and catastrophic destruction. The character of Tetsuo can be likened to a representation of an adolescent undergoing puberty with the film commenting on how the transformation being endured by the adolescent can appear horrifying to the individual undergoing the experience as well as those on the outside witnessing it. The way in which Tetsuo deals with this adolescent metamorphosis is reflective of the uncertainty and confusion that it bestows upon him. He often seems afraid and weary of his change, reluctant and resistant. However, conversely, he is seen at times to submit to the experience and revel in the power and authority that it affords him.
After months of excessive marketing almost promising this years Academy Award success ‘The Road’ was released to a not so overwhelming reception. After selling itself on the fact it was based on a novel by Cormac McCarthy one has to ask what depth of audience they expect to gain from an author only famous in Britain for writing the novel of No Country for Old Men which was released a year previously. I’m sure he has much more renown in America but over here that doesn’t really seem like a solid grounding.