movies, music and everything else

This blog is about pretty much what the title implies... movies, music and everything else.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

I like movies, music and everything esle... ; ) oh... and i can't spell, so, please, no comments

Thursday, September 15, 2005

TORONTO - day 6 (part two)

I’m becoming more and more convinced that the best movies in the world are coming out of Korea. Tonight I saw a beautiful love story from director Jin-ho Hur called APRIL SNOW. The official synopsis is… a man and a woman meet in the hospital after their respective partners are involved in a car accident. After learning that their spouses have been having an affair, the two begin one of their own. This is a cross between “In the Mood for Love” and “21 Grams”.

The performances by the two leads are both fantastic and the filmmaking is just brilliant. It is not ‘beautiful’ or flashy, but it is real. You really understand these people and the guilt, fear and anger that they are going through. They each have their separate journey that ends up leading them to each other.

The director described the movie as a story of how love can destroy a person, but also how it can save them. This is the kind of movie that I love. It is not about the plot or what happens. The story is fairly simple. It is about the characters and the truth behind what they are feeling and why they do what they do.

The pace of this film is slow (as the audience was warned by the filmmaker), but I was never once bored. The film only runs 105 minutes and it feels like the right length. The ending was completely satisfying. I am not giving away anything by saying that. I didn’t say that the ending was happy, I just felt satisfied by the journey that our characters took.

This is a great story about love and also a great love story… easily one of the best that I have seen here.

When I walked into THE NOTORIOUS BETTY PAGE, I had no idea who the director was… if I had, I would have chosen another movie. Mary Harron (I Shot Andy Whorhol, American Psycho) is a director that seems to get some critical acclaim, but I have never liked a film from her. This was no exception. I will start off by pointing out one of the two good things about the movie. Grechen Mol delivers a really good performance as Betty Page. Never for a second did I see Mol in this film. She was transformed into this fun character, full of life and energy.

But as Harron proved in “American Psycho”, a great leading performance does not make a great movie. The other thing that I liked was the photography. When the film is in black and white, it is beautiful high contrast. The blacks disappear and it is really quite stunning. When the film is in color, they reflect the time period by simulating a three color Technicolor process. The colors pop and it creates a surreal atmosphere. The best looking part of the movie was the color portion. That gets me into what I disliked about the movie… in short… Mary Harron. The film bounces back and forth between black and what and color with no rhyme or reason. When asked about this in the Q&A after the film, Harron confirmed my belief when just said that the reason is just that it is what she felt like doing when she was writing. There is no motivation, just changes on a whim while writing… Ahhh… writing. That is the worst part of this film.

I never once felt like I got to actually know Page. There is really no story or structure. Important parts in her life are glossed over, while the movie just seems to deal with how silly it is to take S&M photos. I am tired of talking about this movie. It is just bad… I wasted two hours of my life watching it and I am not going to waste any more writing about it.


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