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Posts Tagged ‘watching’

happy dance

I admit I totally did not *get* Fantastic Mr. Fox the first ten times I watched it. (When you have a child, movies get re-played). But then on the 11th viewing, the light went off *BING* and I Totally Got It. It was brilliant.

The first Wes Anderson movie I watched was The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004) because Robin recommended it (Hi, Robin!) and I totally did not get it. I said, “That was not a good movie.” I have not watched The Life Aquatic ten more times, so I don’t know if it would *BING* come to life for me now.  I love Bill Murray, so I can see giving it a second chance.

Based on Robin’s say-so,  I also watched Rushmore (1998) and The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) and said, “I don’t think these are very good.”

And then I watched Fantastic Mr. Fox ten times, and the light went on. *BING.* So I watched The Darjeeling Limited (2007) and I thought, “This is a pretty good movie.” So I watched Moonrise Kingdom (2012) and wondered if there were more Wes Anderson I could catch up on? The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) followed, and I was won over. I had been totally all wrong about Wes Anderson.

It’s funny how sometimes you have to grow in certain ways before you are able to understand certain things. Yes, that is vague, but that’s life.

So it is a happy dance I am doing because this Friday Isle of Dogs is being released, and it looks like he’s working with the animators from Fantastic Mr. Fox.

I am so excited!

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I was working on a full day of painting, and it always helps to put in a movie to give the brain something else to think about. The Age of Adaline (2015) was one I sort-of remember hearing, “That’s a good one,” but then it passed off my radar.  I noticed it at the library, and added it to my stack of, “Maybe one of these will be good,” hopefuls.

Wow, what a knock-out of a romantic fantasy. I loved it.

Adaline was born in 1908, and through a fluke of luck, ended up not aging past 29. She has all the knowledge of the past 100 years, but no one to share it with because early experience taught her not to share her fate with anyone.

I found it a treat to hear the wisdom of an old-lady coming out of the mouth of a young one. Put this one on your “maybe” list, and then remember to watch it.

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Ikiru is 2hr23mins of subtitles. I have to say that first, because in today’s world, that’s a big time investment where you can’t do anything but follow along. Still, it’s on Critereon’s classic list for a reason. The story follows snippets of the protagonist’s life after he learns he has 6 months left to live. He’s spent his life as a bureaucrat, and has an epiphany: his life has been wasted. He flails about looking for his own purpose, and confirmation his life had not been without meaning.

What should be a straight-forward examination of a life is of course never as simple as it surfacely appears. The protagonist, named Kanji Wantanabe, takes those six months and fills the time with an exploration of what it means to be alive, and finally seizes a purpose which had already existed within his own grasp all along.

It’s worth a rainy afternoon, with no maudlin scenes and a life-affirming ending that will make you glad you watched.

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We went to see Kubo and the Two Strings today, because even though it seems to be under-advertised, we knew it was made by Laika (who also made Coraline, and The BoxTrolls) and we love everything they do–so yeah, let’s go see it on the big screen!

We didn’t know what to expect, but when you’re making a stop-motion film, you’d better have a superlative story because you need a structure that is going to hold up all that hand-crafting for a very long time. In other words, we didn’t expect a lack-luster story that would disappear into filmdom’s dustbin in 3 months.

And, yay, no disappointment!

Here is a trailer about making the film, instead of the actual film trailer. I don’t think the trailer does the film any justice; the rich underlying themes aren’t even alluded to. I think this film will not get the credit it deserves simply because people will be too confused by the advertising and think, “Nah, that isn’t something that will interest me.” Which would be a shame, so I’m here to tell you: Go see it!

At the theater were two families with children, and a retired couple, and us. That’s it. So I could tell the retired couple knew what they were in for, but the kids (five and under) were too young to appreciate this one. I wish there would have been a bigger audience, but maybe everybody went opening weekend.  I sure hope so.

Here’s the official trailer, just in case you’re curious.

I find that Laika films become richer with each viewing (unlike a lot of films, which offer nothing new on a second viewing), so this one will be added to our private collection when it hits dvd.

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watching: A Royal Affair (2012)

A Royal Affair (2012) was a movie that somehow slipped by me in 2012, probably because it’s Danish. I certainly never heard of it, but our small-town theater doesn’t play half of what’s available.

And you know what? I loved it. I only mention the movies here that I love. I hate movies that leave me indifferent, or worse, bored. (This viewing was part of a Mads Mikkelsen marathon. Stay away from Valhalla Rising (2009), it was awful, but go ahead and watch The Salvation (2014), if you like genre westerns meant to be an homage–but feel more like heavy borrowing.

If you like historical intrigue based on true events, A Royal Affair is a winner. Don’t let the “affair” theme and brief snips in the trailer fool you, this is one you can sit down and watch with kids present.

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watching: The Box Trolls (2014)

There’s only so much we can cram into a lifetime, and I wish I would have realized sooner that working for a company making stop-motion animation sounds pretty cool. There’s only a handful of people making a living at it (and even those, pretty off and on), but you know, I might as well be one of those people, too, right? Anything can happen.

I would love to have worked on The Box Trolls. There’s not a lot of films you can watch multiple times and still be surprised by this or that–what you didn’t notice the first time, or the depth of something you notice the second time around. And then pull it out a third time and still be enchanted.

Everyone who worked on this one should be very proud. (The same company who made Coraline, you remember I talked about that one not too long ago.)

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watching: The Wind Rises (2013)

Our house eagerly awaits each new Hayao Miyazaki movie, and every year he has not retired seems like such a blessing on the world. I admit we are greedy and do not want him ever to retire, because even though the list of his accomplishments is long, there would always be the unanswered: What might have been?

I am linking to the subtitled trailer, just so you can see the longest clip available.

Jiro is in love with aircraft design, becomes an engineer after WWI, and lives an ordinary life within this frame. The story unspools slowly, following Jiro’s life, his chance encounter with a young lady, and meeting her again 12 years later. The pivotal moments propelling Jiro’s life in new directions occur at moments when the wind is blowing harshly, bringing change. The lift the wind gives to Jiro’s aircraft is more of a technical consideration, but similarly thematic.

Truly lovely, and a touch sentimental. Worth watching again and again, as each time you will see more depth.

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