tilly_stratford: (Buster: kiss)
Day 20 - Favorite kiss

Oof, that's another tough one. There aren't many movie kisses that have left a lasting impression on me - in most movies they want us to sit on the edge of our seats when the leading man and leading lady press their faces together and stay perfectly still while the music swells. I think in most romantic movies the kisses are the least interesting aspect.

That all being said, the first thing that popped into my mind when I thought "memorable movie kiss" was the ending to La Fabuleux d'Estin d'Amelie Poulain. My mind was blown when I first watched it, it was so different than in the Hollywood movies.

Day 21 - Favorite ship

My favourite movie relationship is something as boring as a married couple. If I ever find someone I want to spend the rest of my life with, I'm going to show that person The Thin Man (1934) and ask "You do understand why Nick and Nora Charles is my favourite movie couple?" and that'll be the million dollar question.


Apart from the fact that they're Myrna Loy and William
Powell, obviously.

I can't think of a single movie marriage where the characters are on such equal footing, where they laugh and argue and tease eachother mercylessly and obviously love eachother so much without being the least bit schmoopy. In fact I don't think they ever utter the words "I love you" during the whole movie, though between kisses Nora tells Nick that she's "Gotten used to him." Laugh all you want, I wouldn't mind a marriage like that.
tilly_stratford: (Bogie)
Day 19 - Best movie cast

There is simply no way I could forgive myself if I said anything but the guys and gal in The Maltese Falcon. No way. I can't think of another movie where I've thought to myself that if a single actor was replaced it would mar the whole movie.


Also it has a cast of a bird! Get it? Get it?

Sure it has been pointed out by some that Mary Astor was too old and frumpy to be called upon to play the femme fatale, but I think she's good in the role. I'm one of those viewers who can accept that the macho protagonist falls in love with someone I don't personally find attractive anyway. The Maltese Falcon is broadly considered the first proper noir film too, so I don't see why it should be negatively judged by the tropes of a genre it helped invent.

And here's the part I geek some more about Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet. I just can't adore them more than I already do. Their final scene together is one of my favourites ("You--you imbecile! You bloated idiot! You stupid fathead you!").
tilly_stratford: (Constantine: Sly smoke)
Day 18 - Favorite title sequence

The only title sequence I can find worthy to be called a favourite is the one to the original Psycho. Watching it, with it's panicky Herrman score, flickering slized-up text and rapid Saul Bass animation, still gives me that "ohhh I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to handle this movie" uneasiness.

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(Though the name Martin Balsam always makes me chuckle; balsam is Norwegian for hair conditioner).
tilly_stratford: (Buster: kiss)
Day 17 - Favorite short film

I remember being completely smitten with the Norwegian animated short film Tornehekken (The Hedge of Thorns) back when I was studying Media and Communication. It's an adaption of the French children's book Flon Flon et Musette and is about little Florian trying to comprehend the war that's separating him from his best friend Malene ("You must never speak of Malene again," his mother tells him. "She's on the other side of the War.").


Oh and they're all anthropomorphized rabbits.

The movie itself is at times pretty abstract and yet it still gives me goosebumps. When the air raid sirens wail Florian and his mother (his father is fighting in the war) go down to the cellar; In the dark a tree appears with small red glass hearts hanging on it, and for every explosion several of the glass hearts fall to the ground and shatter. Both Florian and his mother try to catch the hearts before they fall, but by the time the bombing's over the tree is naked and they've only saved two little hearts. Ridicule me all you want, it always makes me teary-eyed.

Here's the official English-language website for the film with information, pictures and a clip (though that's in Norwegian).
tilly_stratford: (Cowboy De: Ride a cowboy)
Hoo boy, that's one exam down. I'm beyond worrying about it, 'Immigration in Europe and the USA 1850-1930' is behind me now for all I'm concerned. I intend to do little else but read comics and listen to music for the remainder of the day.

Day 16 - Your guilty pleasure movie

Through the years I think I've become more and more unapologetic about the movies I enjoy - my associates think it's weird that I love a movie like Casablanca so what can you do? I can't remember being embarassed by the movies I like, whether they've been animated or camp or so-bad-they're-good.

On the other hand... I'm frequently embarassed by the reasons I hunt movies down and watch them (i.e. usually crushes on long-dead actors). The most recent example I remember enjoying was Warlock from 1959. Despite its name it's a Western and not a fantasy flick, and it stars Henry Fonda, Anthony Quinn and Richard Widmark and is well-loved by Western fans. Not too bad for a guilty pleasure movie right?


Although it is in 2.39:1, the only aspect ratio I ACTIVELY HATE.

Of course - I like it for DeForest Kelley. I've watched a lot of boring Westerns for that man, and in this one he's got a character arch and motivation and everything (even a name!). My copy of the movie got lost in The Great Computer Crash of 2010 and I was surprised by how annoyed I was with losing it. That's Warlock for you.
tilly_stratford: (Fred and Cyd: Don't mind you watching)
Day 15 - Favorite female character

Right until this morning I thought my answer was going to be Amélie Polain, but like a lightning bolt the realization hit me: Who's the coolest female movie character ever? Ursula from The Little Mermaid!

What's not to like? She's sassy, she's powerful, her motivation is not based on being accepted by a man (unlike that so-called strongwilled Ariel) and she's got her very own villain song (which I obviously first heard in Norwegian).


And she's an OCTOPUS LADY. Which are like 80 % cooler than
mermaids the last time I checked.

Truly one of the coolest classic Disney characters. And sadly also one of the most grisly deaths.
tilly_stratford: (DW: Four is puzzled)
Okay so I've been gone for a couple of days. The reasons for this are: I've been freaking out over my upcoming exams (the first one of which is on Thursday), I've been watching various vintage scifi with Maria (Come on Undiscovered Country, you were made in the nineties, how hard can split screen effects be?) and the fact that yesterday was Norway's birthday (Hooray!)

So, catching up on the movie meme:

Day 12 - The movie you’ve watched the most
and
Day 13 - Favorite childhood movie

These can efficiently be answered with the same movie: The Lion King. I was six years old when it premiered and there's a special kind of obsessive behaviour I think only children below ten really understand. Me and my sister would watch it again and again and again, we'd memorize the lines, we'd play with our Lion King toys and listen to our Lion King CD. My mum was even groovy enough to let me have curtains adorned with Simba and Nala.

I still think it's a great movie too. Hamlet with an all-animal cast.


Day 14 - Favorite male character

I've been giving this some thought for the last couple of days. My first instinct was to say Harry Lime from The Third Man (as portrayed by Orson Welles) - but how could I know I hadn't been influenced by the spinoff radio series, where Harry Lime is less of a unscrupoulus villain and more of a charming anti-hero?


I have also decided I shall keep a zither player with me at all
times in case I make eye contact with someone.

I was trying to think of someone else when I happened upon the movie blog Sunset Gun where writer Kim Morgan evocatively reflects on Harry Lime's entrance in the movie:
A window opens, and light flickers on Lime, and the camera holds a mysterious, mischievous and disarmingly smiling face. Welles (as Lime) looks back at Holly with eyes that [...] makes you understand what Anna later says about Lime: "Harry never grew up. The world grew up around him." You forget about the terrible things he's done. You just want to follow him, anywhere, no matter what the repercussions.
YES. Harry Lime it is. Unscrupulous and the culprit of gruesome, heart-wrenching crimes, and yet so irresistibly charming, so disarmingly jovial.
tilly_stratford: (Darkwing: not convinced)
Day 11 - A movie that disappointed you

Ah. Well. Too many to count.

Although, there is one movie I stupidly keep rewatching because I always think that this time I'll be swept away and love it just as much as everybody else does. And I always - always find it annoying and uninteresting. I mentioned it once before: It's Gone With the Wind.

I don't know why I can't cotton to it. Me who has no problems with slow pacing or melodrama or older movie effects, yet every time I watch GWTW I'm disappointed all over again. I already adored the actors when I first watched it (and it introduced me to Hattie McDaniel ♥ ), I love grand costumes, the cinematography is occasionally breathtaking, the music is grandiose... But I completely fail to connect with the characters. I even think Scarlett O'Hara is one of the most unsympathetic protagonists I've ever come across in film.


I'm always like, "Rhett, bro, I bet there are women all over town more
deserving of a moustache ride than that whiny O'Hara broad."

So I'm sorry fellow cinefantasts, I know I'm supposed to love it, but I can't.
tilly_stratford: (Fops with canes are teh sex)
Day 10 - A movie you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving

I never did like Gone With the Wind, and I've yet to make it through Ben-Hur - so without realizing it I eventually became wary of classic big-budget star-studded epic historical dramas. I made a point not to watch them.

...Until Lawrence of Arabia. Two years ago they were showing it at the movie club and I wasn't even sure I wanted to go - did I want to snore through a two-parter about some white git riding around on a camel in the desert? But then Lawrence blew out the lit match in his hand and the movie abruptly cut to the sunrise searing down on the naked desert and that overwhelming music began to play. My God. Suddenly three hours had gone by and I had no words befitting that kind of experience.


And to be fair, at times there wasn't even a camel in sight.

I still haven't rewatched it, because I'm worried it won't be as grand as it first was in the darkness of that nearly empty movie theatre.
tilly_stratford: (Astaire: Wry smile)
Day 09 - Best scene ever

Oh God, I'm so bad at these. Once upon a time I kept a sort of diary of all my favourite movie scenes (a lot popped up in some very bad movies too) but I lost that document a long time ago. So.

I'm going to go with the first thing that popped into my mind, because I can't deny I grew up with The Blues Brothers and thought that every single scene was the coolest thing I'd ever seen in my life. Plus I bet nobody would ever think I'd pick a car chase as my favourite.

Sadly the vid can't be embedded, but you just click here to see Dixie Square Mall smashed to pieces.

Massive destruction in movies is so cathartic to watch, don't you think? CGI just can't pull if off the way it should be.
tilly_stratford: (Cat: relaxed)
Oh dear, kitten season has started at the shelter. You're supposed to be a mature representative of an organization but damnit there are tiny little furballs with gigantic blue eyes who crawl into your sweater and fall asleep while you're doing paperwork. A girl can only fight the urges to squeal and babytalk so long.

But I did set a personal record today: Two cats adopted! Granted one was a ten-week old kitten and they are never hard to sell, while the other was Sjasmin, a strong-willed Abyssinian mix. I'm feeling quite proud of myself.

I could show you so many pictures of all the lovely kitties, but for some reason my old lappie (now that Churchill is incapacitated) won't let me transfer the photos from my camera. Damn and blast.


Day 08 - A movie everyone should watch

Wait, haven't I pretty much answered this one before?

Very well then, I decree that everyone shall watch Some Like it Hot immediately. I don't care if you've seen it before, just do it.

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It's probably the only movie I know that is funny while revolving around men in drag. And Lord knows you can't go wrong with Marilyn.
tilly_stratford: (Fred and Cyd: Don't mind you watching)
What? It can't rain on my birthday! I can't remember the last time I didn't have a brilliantly sunny birthday. Somebody didn't deliver their weather order on time.

It's also my second birthday in Bergen. It still feels a bit odd to be so far away from my roots on May 11th - But ah well, an excellent excuse to put off studying (pff like I needed an excuse!) and have myself a day of complete self-pampering. I've already treated myself to a hearty English breakfast in a restaurant downtown, I've bought myself a comic book (it's now officially a tradition) and I've had a looong shower using all those beauty products I never use. Herbal facial cleanser? Sure, why not.

Later tonight I'm off with Maria for dinner and Iron Man 2. Nifty action movie and Robert Downey Jr. should definitely become a birthday tradition (You remember for my last birthday I saw Star Trek XI and we all know what an avalanche that started...)


Day 07 - Least favorite movie of your favorite movie franchise

Remember how embarassing it was to watch Kingdom of the Crystal Skull?


Pictured: George Lucas squeezing the life out of yet another
of his franchises.

I dunno, there was a fridge and some flesheating ants and monkeys on a motorcycle and aliens and WTF. When the only positive thing one can say about a movie is "Well Harrison Ford looks reasonably fit for his age" somebody somewhere did not do a good job.
tilly_stratford: (Constantine: Sly smoke)
Day 06 - Favorite movie of your favorite movie franchise

I suppose I'm not a movie franchise kind of girl, but I still have a big squishy soft spot for Indiana Jones. And then, well, there's no competition - it can only be Raiders of the Lost Ark.


Teaching generations of girls that unshaven college professors
wielding whips are the way to go.

Who can deny that the epitome of nostalgia is watching Nazis melting and screaming in pain?
tilly_stratford: (Spirit: Yellah)
Day 05 - A movie you hate

I know I devoted an entire reaction post to how much this movie sucks, but it's seems to be one of those never-ending things. Words can't describe how this movie is an eternal spiral of suck.


No, movie. This is definitely not what the world needs.

It didn't offer anything of value to any kind of audience. The teenage demographic was expecting Sin City 2, which it wasn't; comic fans (like me) were upset that Frank Miller had completely reworked a celebrated and historically significant concept; and the rest of the general public, well, IT WAS AN INTENSELY BAD MOVIE. It was insulting, it was sexist, it looked like something a first-term graphic designer threw up on a copy of Photoshop.

(Interestingly, both of the other movies I considered for this spot were comic adaptions: Constantine and X-Men: Origins (X-Men 3 wasn't up for nomination on account of me and my sister having decided that it never existed). But both of them had a something, a scene, a joke, that redeemed a millimeter of their badness. The Spirit most definitely hadn't.)
tilly_stratford: (Bogie)
Day 04 - Your favorite movie ever

Ooph, that's a tough one. But if you're twisting my arm, well...

The Maltese Falcon! It's eternally rewatchable, and it's got plenty of suspense, machismo and even a healthy dose of humour. And a tough guy noir detective striding along in the fog, don't forget.

I think my favourite thing about the movie is really that every single character is intriguing and memorable, not just the main characters: Even the nameless upstart sent to spy and Spade's ineffable secretary stay with you after the movie's over.


And it teamed up Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet for the first time, a
collaboration so awesome we still haven't finished calculating the effects.

And the Falcon itself? Sure it's a macguffin, but all in all the movie is just an excuse to watch all these fascinating characters clamber over eachother to be get hold of the stuff that dreams are made of, the Maltese Falcon.

ETA: Looking at promo pictures for this film uncovers the weirdest things. I have no idea.

N / A

May. 7th, 2010 01:27 pm
tilly_stratford: (Deadpool day)
Day 03 - Your favorite new movie (came out this year)

Ah.

Well.

If there's one thing I think my journal might be a testament to, it's that I'm completely out of touch with the times. I go to proper cinemas (that is, movie theaters who show new movies as opposed to old ones) about four or so times a year. I have gone to the (new) movies twice this year, but both times I watched movies that premiered last year.

So let's say I choose my favourite movie made in 2009, then? Okay, that'll be... Inglorious Basterds.


And not just because it introduced me to Christoph Waltz.

And for the record I definitely plan to see Iron Man 2 when I find the time, it's just been... You know.
tilly_stratford: (Buster: kiss)
Day 02 - A movie that you wish more people would watch

Same answer as always: Buster Keaton's The General (1926). It's a delightful, funny movie with a surprisingly emotional centre. And not to brag or anything, but Orson Welles called it one of the most perfect movies ever made.


The epic tale of a man, a train, a girl and a sabotage attempt during
the civil war - hilarity ensues. Oh and it's based on a true story.

Also I recommend it because, well, as much respect I have for Charles Chaplin, I still think it's a pity that so many people have him as their only frame of reference for an entire era of movies. That'd be like someone who's only grasp on colour comedies would be Jim Carrey (not that I'm comparing Chaplin to Carrey you see, but overall...) As of yet not a single person I've shown The General to has been anything less than thoroughly entertained and pleasantly surprised.
tilly_stratford: (Bogie)
And BAM! insomnia hits again. Apparently. Inexplicably.

And since two o'clock in the morning obviously is the best time for making decisions, I hereby declare my intention to do that thirty-day movie meme. Which is even cruel by my standards, since I'm not the sort of person who ever say "This one is my favourite movie in the whole world". Oh, and by the time I've (hopefully) finished this, I'll be through with all my exams for the term and also be twenty-three years old. So!


Day 01 - A movie that shouldn't have ended the way it did

Obvious answer: The Magnificent Ambersons. Test audiences are idiots.

After some more thought... Certain gangster movies of the thirties. The Roaring Twenties comes to mind.

I know the Hollywood plot rule at the time was "a killer must die in the end" and yeah, the protagonist in gangster movies does a whole lotta killin' so, you know, the ending never comes as a big surprise. But in certain movies of the era, the studio obviously had so much fun playing with their larger-than-life gangster they would postpone the death scene to literally the last few minutes of the movie. They'd have him swingin' in one scene, damsel on his arm and gunsel at his side, and then randomly killed in a drive-by shooting in the next. No build up, no foreshadowing, just "all right, fun's over, the nanny state wanted this ending".

And yet I forgive them every time. Because I love gangster movies.


The original Scarface (1932) doesn't have one of those
annoying endings, but I bet you can guess what happens to
Paul Muni in the final reel.


Things you can look forward to over the coming month:

Day 02 - A movie that you wish more people would watch
Day 03 - Your favorite new movie (came out this year)
Day 04 - Your favorite movie ever
Day 05 - A movie you hate
Day 06 - Favorite movie of your favorite movie franchise
Day 07 - Least favorite movie of your favorite movie franchise
Day 08 - A movie everyone should watch
Day 09 - Best scene ever
Day 10 - A movie you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving
Day 11 - A movie that disappointed you
Day 12 - The movie you’ve watched the most
Day 13 - Favorite childhood movie
Day 14 - Favorite male character
Day 15 - Favorite female character
Day 16 - Your guilty pleasure movie
Day 17 - Favorite short film
Day 18 - Favorite title sequence
Day 19 - Best movie cast
Day 20 - Favorite kiss
Day 21 - Favorite ship
Day 22 - Favorite ending
Day 23 - Most annoying character
Day 24 - Best quote
Day 25 - A movie you plan on watching (old or new)
Day 26 - OMG WTF? ending
Day 27 - Best begining
Day 28 - First movie obsession
Day 29 - Current movie obsession
Day 30 - Saddest character death

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