Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Snorkel

Watched The Snorkel last night. This is one of those adorable Hammer Film Studios suspense films that I just love to see!  Filmed in lovely black and white in the French Riviera spot of Villa della Pergola and in and around Alassio.

We start with a murder. Candy's step father Paul has killed her mother in what he fancies is a pretty clever way. No one believes her. Candy witnessed Paul drowning her father and no one believed her then. 

Interesting characters and beautiful sets keeps things rolling along. This is quite suspenseful as you wonder if clever Paul will ever be caught. Ahh….. You'll have to watch to find out.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Inside Llewyn Daivs

I've been chomping at the bit to see Inside Llewyn Davis. I'd seen the trailer or trailers several times. I'd read a few reviews and I'd read about the real life person the film is loosely based on - Dave Van Ronk (who, btw, sounds like really interesting and talented person). The times they are a changing.

It's February 1961 (my birth date-ish) in Greenwich Village and folk singers grow on trees. Bobby D hasn't hit the scene yet, but that is blowing in the wind (can't help it). The film follows a week of Llewyn's life or lack there of as he floats from couch to couch and cat to cat. Llewyn has a problem; he's quite talented, his partner committed suicide and he doesn't really like people. The only things Llewyn seems to care about are animals and making a quick  buck.

The amazing cinematography work of Bruno Delbonnel (he paints with the camera) makes the film look like it was actually shot in New York in 1961. The oh so narrow hallways and gritty alleyways gives you a sense of what it must've been like to live in cheaper digs. There's also the sense of movement with the numerous subway shots of the passing station numbers and the mind numbing trip to Chicago on the pre-interstate two-lane highway. This is the sort of film I like; there's no plot twist, no awakening moment, no happy ending. Bravo!

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Holy Mountain

I watched The Holy Mountain by Alexandro Jordorowsky curtesy of NetFlix DVD this past weekend. I was worried that visually it would be dated and just kind of drag along. THM is a very clever visual feast. It's pretty clear this was big budget movie with a very creative director at the helm. I must say I really couldn't have predicted any of it. It's three, count 'em, three stories in one. 

The movie starts with the thief, moves to the story of each of the 7 mortals who aspire to greater glory and lastly, the trip to Holy Mountain. 

You can tell it's the 70's but, Alexandro was clearly ahead of his time. I couldn't take my eyes off of the shoes/boots in the flick. Alexandro must've employed a heck of a cobbler. The ending shows that at the end of the day, the director was aware he was after all, only making a movie. 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Haute Cuisine

I had planned on watching something else from NetFlix, but accidentally clicked on Haute Cuisine - so be it! Catherine Frot plays chef Hortense Laborie who spent 2 years cooking for the President of France in the late '90s. In real life, the chef's name is Daniele Delpeuch - the actress is on the left above and the real life chef is on the left. I am not sure why they chose not to use her real name.  Yes, this was beautifully filmed. You'll want to go to Antarctica after you see the shore line scenes. I loved the peek into the professional French kitchens and all the talk about food preparations. It was refreshing that they demonstrated that these dishes are not easy to make and require a lot of practice. I think reality cooking shows would have us thinking you just roll out eatable masterpieces all willy-nilly. Something else that I thought was interesting was the Hortense character wasn't without blame; she did over step her boundaries and she did step on toes in an impolite sort of way.

When the moved ended I felt like something was missing - we never really got to know Hortense. She went to Antarctica to cook because she was mad? How did she hurt her leg? Did she ever date? Who was taking care of her farm? Did she think she could take train rides to buy cepe and no one would ask? I found a very interesting article on Daniele Delpeuch that answers several of those questions. Dang, now I want to eat something with truffle in it.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Topp Twins - Untouchable Girls

Via NetFlix streaming, I watched the documentary Untouchable Girls Saturday night. I just love it when I stumble on to artists who are clearly so out of the box and just refuse to stop believing in themselves. At first glance you might think, gee, who cares about some singing Kiwi cowgirls? Lynda and Jools use their talents for good, not evil. The world can learn a lot from those two. It's quite humorous to think of how rockstars in the '70's rented jet planes to avoid common travel and how Lynda and Jools crammed everything in their car and drove to a gig laughing all the way.