Saturday, March 10, 2007

Friends of the Experience #3

A round of applause to another "shortlist" of patrons. We'll go five wide like the Oscars this time. Because... well, it's all about the Oscars. Even when it's not or something. I bow to Mikadzuki, Edward ("etslee" from the comments), Corey in Arizona, Beau in California and Mark in the UK who all donated

Mikadzuki lives in beautiful Sweden and, appropriately enough, mentions Ingmar Bergmanas creating his favorite movie ever, Fanny and Alexander. He writes:
The set designs and Nykvist's cinematography are among the most vibrant and beautiful I have seen, and the film itself manages to capture childlike wonder (sometimes magical, and often creepy) so perfectly it felt as though I was re-experienceing my own childhood. Five hours in the company of Bergman might seem like a daunting task, but believe me - they FLY by (and this is coming from someone who thought the 90 minute Through A Glass Darkly was a total bore). If your Netflix queue is ever empty...
Oh the shame, readers: this brings me to a terrible confession... I still haven't seen this movie and it's been on my DVD player twice! I ended up returning it to Netflix in a frenzy of whatever deadline I had. Back on the queue!

Corey loves himself The Hours. Always the hours... He loves it so much it's as if he's loving it in a parallel way in the distant past, recent past and right here and now. He calls it
...an embarrassment of riches. Kidman, Moore, Streep, Collette, Harris, Richardson, Daniels, Janney, Danes, Reiley. Just a splendid cast. It's so refreshing to watch a movie, that doesn't rely on cheap camera cuts, or zooms to convey emotion. it's purely task of the actors to drive the movie forward, and I love that.
Corey also seconds my outrage that Maria Bello didn't get nominated for A History of Violence. Funny how we movie lovers have trouble letting those things go. That snub still drives me to puking in hospital bathrooms and angry rutting on staircases.

And speaking of Oscar snubs...

Mark is a longtime reader who gets passionate about one particular Oscar omission. With his donation, he wanted to scream from this blog rooftops that Sigourney Weaver is amazing in practically everything and that she's eternally robbed by the Academy. Those snubs for Death and the Maiden and The Ice Storm and no Oscar ever?!? I'll agree with Mark that Sigourney is "a class act"

Beau chooses Before Sunset as a favorite and since he speaks about it so lovingly I'll just show you his words
The film itself is little more than just two people talking, yet it's provided me with a different outlook on life in terms of the way I think, speak, observe and act. Hard to imagine that when I sat down to watch it in November of 2004, only seventeen years old, I'd no idea of the profound impact it would have on me. Hard to define and categorize my love for it, it's one of those wholly unique, singular moments that you yearn for that only get bestowed upon you once in a great moon. To me, it's a treasure. And no woman has ever done what Julie Delpy did in this film. Utterly transcendent.
I love that film too (top ten from 2004) and it ages so well --tremendously well written and incisively performed. To my way of thinking nobody involved has ever gotten enough credit. I listen to "Waltz for a Night", Julie's closing guitar number a lot on my iPod, I do.

Edward writing from the Bay Area got especially attached during the Brokeback Mountain phase of this site/blog. Brokeback fever got us all good. When do y'all suppose we'll experience another phenomenon like that one?

What do you think commenters:
Will we ever see such a mass appeal gay film again? [sniffle]
Will Julie Delpy ever move us as much again? [sob]
Will Sigourney Weaver ever win that Oscar? [grrr]

17 comments:

aaron said...

I'd like to take this moment to re-iterate how amazing Fanny and Alexander is. You really must put that back in the queue.

WickedScorp said...

I am a huge fan of the original Before Sunrise; I remember seeing it in the old, run down theater in my hometown and later going on to own it even on laserdisc (oh yeah, I said it). It was one of those films that stuck with me through the years and that always held my curiosity as to how it all played out. Before Sunset obliterated me. It was brilliant, right down to its ambiguous conclusion, and just like the first it lingered. Both characters in such imperfect situations, so regretful, but still a chance. It hurts even thinking about it. Good stuff.

RMS said...

- EDWARD- Oh, 'Brokeback' got me good too. A day does not go by that thoughts/images of Ennis & Jack don’t pass through my mind.

I’ll never forget that cold, December afternoon I first saw it… all the signs posted around the box office; “All showings of 'Brokeback' SOLD OUT”. God, it was surreal. Seeing that film in a packed theater, not knowing what would happen (I bought the short story but refused to read it till I saw the film) proved to be one of the most emotionally cathartic experiences of my movie going life.

And for it to then become the year’s critical darling, a cultural phenomenon, and the most awarded picture of 2005 was something indescribable. It’s a genuine treasure. (Have you seen the AFI posts supporting it?… whew) Ennis & Jack forever!


- PS. On another note, Sigourney Weaver is a goddess and her Oscar snubs REALLY piss me off. She’s an incredible actress and deserved Oscars for her creation of Ellen Ripley as well as for her wickedly funny performance in “Working Girl”. Thank god the Globes and BAFTA’s have more sense. Weaver’s made of steel and I think a supp. Oscar is still in the cards… when I don’t know. But in all seriousness, she doesn’t need Hollywood’s ultimate-self-congratulatory-pat-on-the-back-trophy; her mark on both the industry and cinematic history is indelible.

Adam P. said...

I am in total agreement on 'Before Sunset'. I'm in love with 'Before Sunrise' as well, but 'Sunset' is just about as flawless a film as I've ever seen. It evolves so naturally and feels so honest and human. I can't believe Julie Delpy got no love that awards season. Not only did she provide great writing and music, she brought such great understated work to her performance, and how sexy and charming is she while dancing to Nina Simone! It's one of those movies that works its way into the heart, along with 'Sunrise', and it's hard to think of a romantic pairing that is more believable or that seems so right. My pick for the best sequel ever made.

Beau said...

That woman should've not only gotten nominated for the Oscar, but she should've won the damn thing as well. And this is difficult for me to say, considering that she was up against Kidman (in what I think was her greatest performance with 'Birth'), the Uma with KBV2 and Winslet, with her best work in
Eternal Sunshine. I always flip-flop between the two, Winslet or Delpy... both performances are just so luminous and heartfelt and staggering that I... I don't even know.

No woman has ever really done what Delpy did with that to me. I've seen women come close, I'm a large admirer of Winslet, Ullmann, a few others... but Delpy, whether she's speaking about global politics, her inability to replace anyone she's ever loved... her fantastic rant in the car to Hawke, "Let Me Sing You A Waltz", and dancing to that fuckin' Nina Simone song, I...
wow. GOD.

she is love.

Stephen G said...

Fanny and Alexander, Before Sunrise, Brokeback... *sigh* these Friends of the Experience have such impeccable taste!

It was Sigourney's snub for the Ice Storm that really got me. It's like Glenn Close, she seems now to be on some sort of blacklist and it will take something extraordinary to get her nominated again. That said, wasn't it reported in Variety and on Oscarwatch that she's going to be playing Gypsy Rose Lee soon?

Agent69 said...

Don't get me started on Sigourney's snubs. She is my all time favorite, so it is an especially touchy subject for me.
If she doesn’t win it’s not like she’s in a bad company-Peter O’Toole, Richard Burton, Judy Garland, Clint Eastwood, Glenn Close, Michelle Pfeiffer, Harvey Keitel …

Kamikaze Camel said...

Signourney's in my top 5 actresses list. I just love her so much.

Agreed on Before Sunset. It's such an ingenius little treasure. I like to think that in 30 years or so it's one of those films that people will just discover and fall in love with.

Fanny and Alexander is pretty great (although I didn't see the five-hour version that Mikadzuki saw.

Anonymous said...

Fanny and Alexander (the 5-hour version) is simply a MUST-SEE for any film buff. Bergman's best film (which is saying A LOT) and one of filmdom's great masterworks.

Beau said...

It's astonishing to me that I haven't gotten around to F&A yet, seeing as how Bergman's managed to move me so much in the past year that he's become my favorite director.

The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries, Through a Glass Darkly, Winter Light, Hour of the Wolf, Persona, Scenes From a Marriage and Saraband are all masterpieces unto themselves. (Preference? I've no idea. It's like stating your favorite Shakespeare... I lean towards either Winter Light or Scenes personally.)

But that man just... ugh. Need to catch that film. Soon.

Boyd van Hoeij said...

F&A is one of my favourites of all time and they show it every December at my local cinémathèque (though it's the shorter, theatrical version, not the original, 5-hour TV marathon). It is THE film for me that sets the mood for those weird holiday season contrasts of warm & cold, opulence & austerity and personal religion & faith in the family...

And good news for all those Before Sunset lovers: Delpy has made a new film called 2 Days in Paris which is great (though it does lack some of the emotional resonance of her work on Sunset). I'm sure it'll come to the US at one point, also because, though it is set in Paris and is actually a Franco-German co-production (hey, it stars Daniel "Good Bye Lenin!" Brühl as a fast-food terrorist fairy!!), most of the dialogues are in English since Delpy's character's BF is American...

Mikadzuki said...

I'm very happy to see so many other readers agreeing on the genius of F&A! For those who have not yet seen the 5 hour cut - it may not be a significantly different film, but I think it feels more "complete" than the often curiously open 3 hour version (which Bergman himself considers an abomination).

But of course, many of the best moments (like the marvellous wedding banquet epilogue) have been left intact, so both versions are of course A+.

Beau said...

Delpy in a new film. Hell, I'm there.
I'm already watching 'The Hoax' first weekend it comes out.
Of course, adding Hope Davis, Alfred Molina and Richard Gere to the mix can't hurt.

amir_uk said...

Hey Beau, you know Delpy did get an Oscar nom for Before Sunset. Ok, so it wasn't for acting, but screenplay - but still, that can't be a bad thing (especially as it was 2004's Best Adapted Screenplay).

amir_uk said...

PS. Totally agree with you that Birth is Nicole Kidman's best work - should've won the Oscar that year hands down (and I'm a Swank fan to boot ... anticipates hate mail!)

Kamikaze Camel said...

Bergman is one director who's films I need to take slowly. I couldn't do a marathon of sorts. I've seen about five of his movies. My favourite is Persona, then Fanny and Alexander and Dreams (an early black and white film). Although I am not a fan of Scenes from a Marriage or Sawdust and Tinsel (another early one). I really want to see Wild Strawberries and The Seventh Seal next. They're getting high on my DVD queue.

Beau said...

Wild Strawberries is the only one of this which hasn't completely won me over just yet. All the rest of them, whether it was on the initial viewing or the following weeks after have all stuck with me like nothing else. Strawberries suffered I believe, due to the format on which I viewed it. (VHS, no DVD available at school library.) Definetely needs to be rewatched.

His films do need to be taken one at a time. Much as I love him, I even need to take a few weeks before venturing into his territory once again. (I own Cries and Whispers, Shame, The Passion of Anna and The Serpent's Egg, and I've yet to attempt most of them. Cries and Whispers I tried, but I wasn't in the right mindset at the time.)