Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Bad Girl

I've been bad and I'm quite behind on blogging. Supposed to be working on that "Best Shot" for this evening (La Dolce Vita) but I am a million hours behind and now the Academy has gone and finalized the Oscar Foreign Film list and the Documentary Short Finalist so there's that, too. Updating now so more on something or other in a couple of hours.


In the meantime this is a shot from Madonna's "Bad Girl" video which I've been obsessing over this week due to all The Social Network / David Fincher related posting. And I don't even like the song!  Discuss.

I promise I'm logging off of The Fincher Network now but isn't that shot heaven? Smoking kills but damn does it look good in movies/music videos. (See also: the complete works of Wong Kar Wai.) Incidentally the cinematographer on the Bad Girl video was Juan Ruiz Anchía, who hasn't worked with Fincher on any movies but his credits include the Mexican Oscar submission Innocent Voices (2004) as well as the Arthur Miller adaptation Focus (2001).Anyone remember that one with William H Macy & Laura Dern? It sure was visually showy. He also did the wee 'Witherspoon lost in the desert!' movie A Far Off Place (1993) and the 'Demi will cause the apocalpyse!' movie The Seventh Sign plus Glengarry Glen Ross and many more.

Madonna sings. Christopher Walken dances.

In completely unrelated news... My pal Nick did not like Black Swan that much. Oh no! Sadly, not everyone can love everything.






Back to work with me. kthxbye.
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20 comments:

Lev Lewis said...

You don't like Bad Girl? No way. That chorus, that refrain of "i'm not happy ... i'm not happy". One of my favourites off Erotica.

Magicub said...

Bar girl, drunk by six
Kissing someone else's lips
Smoked too many cigarettes today
I'm not happy when I act this way

pomme said...

even Fincher says "bad girl" isn't a very good music video


and about "black swan",your friend isn't the one & only to think it

NicksFlickPicks said...

The first response to that tweet I've gotten all day! I was expecting retaliation, or at least debate, but there's just been spooky quiet. If anyone wants to read more, I've just posted a full review to go along with that tweet, here.

Dempsey Sanders said...

im glad you said it, i thought it was rather crap too

/3rtfu11 said...

And I don't even like the song! Discuss.

Aside from the weak vocal performance which I’m sure someone will defend as intentional to the character Madonna’s portraying – what’s your objection?

My pal Nick did not like Black Swan that much.

I only care how Portman rates as a Best Actress contender: For the Ages? – Fantastic? – Fetching? – Fair? – Feh? – Flotsam?

Jesse M said...

I've been making some short films recently (purely for my own edification, of course) and it's amazing how easy it is to gravitate toward the cigarette as an incidental image. It's actually hard for me to stay away from it. It signifies so many things... urban coolness, rebellion, self-destruction, anxiety, idleness, restlessness. And it looks good between the fingers, and the smoke makes for an interesting atmospheric touch. I have to say, nobody's done as well as the tobacco industry at insinuating their product in the popular consciousness. It's hard work NOT to use an image of a cigarette as visual shorthand in film-writing.

NicksFlickPicks said...

@/3rtfu11: Overall, Feh. Though she has her fair and even her fetching moments. I really wouldn't call this an acting piece.

dinasztie said...

Is she better than Annette Bening or Julianne Moore in The Kids are All Right?

mrripley said...

The review is terribly long winded and pretentious there is no real discussion of the performances,sorry,i am still clueless.

Andrew R. said...

Foreign Film-Chad didn't submit Screaming Man! Called it!

Bsd Girl-Not a Madonna fan.

Black Swan Review-I have to agree with Mr Ripley.

Anonymous said...

Good job Nick. Black Swan was terrible!

NicksFlickPicks said...

Tough crowd. Regrets that a couple of you find the review pretentious. As for the performances, maybe you'll feel otherwise, but I really don't think the performances are the story here. They'll have bigger fans than me, but it's so Aronofsky's show.

Appreciate the couple of compliments, too.

javi75 said...

Juan Ruiz Anchia is a great cinematographer. If you like strong light/dark play and deep saturated colors any movie he shot for James Foley will do, and others too.

Roark said...

Hey Nick - I'm way more positive on the film than you are, but yours is about as thoughtful and in depth an opposing view as we're likely to get, so thanks for that. To some of yours points:

I think you're underrating the control Portman demonstrates over the physicality of the performance. Unlike Marshall, with Zellwegger, in Chicago, Portman's early dancing is meant to be awkward, strained, exhausted. They play with the expectation of Portman as a weak dancer by folding her less-than-graceful early dancing directly into the psychology of the character. They then subvert that expectation with her final (post, er, SPOILER transformation) performance, which has all the grace and beauty her prior dances lacked. I'm not saying Portman is a great ballerina, but I think between her, Aronofsky and Labatique they pull it off with a great deal more success than you seem to. Same goes for Kunis.

Re: the rest of the movie, well, look, you offered a lot to respond to and this is probably not the place to respond to all of it. However, just briefly - where you see thin, cliched secondary characters and scenarios, I see genre archtypes and tropes effectively deployed in service of an altogether thrilling, gonzo mashup of conventions that adds up to significantly more than the sum of its parts. You may be right that Aronofsky rides too thin a line by asking us to both empathize with and be entertained by Nina's downward spiral, but to me it was all part of the joy of what is essentially an extremely twisted backstage melodrama - the comic highs and horrific lows, the absurdity and tragedy of Nina's experience. I don't need or want the story to be only one or two of these things, and I don't even need there to be a whole lot of consistency.

But, you know, different strokes for different folks. I expect there will be a fair amount of mixed/negative responses. Hopefully they're all as well argued as yours.

NATHANIEL R said...

i wish i could join in the conversation but, alas, it's one of those movies that will have very disjointed conversations since it's playing at festivals for months before openining.

i'm purposefully not reading any reviews. Not even Nick's and I love to read his reviews.

Marshall1 said...

This has nothing to do with Black Swan...lol..but I've just saw a Japanese crowd-pleaser with a great central female performance. It's called Sawako Decides
Trailer:
http://www.nipponcinema.com/trailers/sawako-decides-trailer
It's very Japanese in a way that its central theme (to me) is most people are average, and even sub-middle, but we try our best everyday to get through life. Very different from the motto "Be the best you can be". However, the movie is funny and not depressing at all! Check it out!

NicksFlickPicks said...

Thanks so much, Roark, for such a rich response. Can you repost over at my actual blog? Would be nicer to respond over there, and not hijack Nathaniel's site.

Iskandar said...

bad girl. one of M best. gotta love M

zayıflama said...

hımm porfect.. film izle