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LA story, the player, alfie (original one), l’eclisse and a tale of two sisters…

August 23, 2006

hmm…
since i was 12 i pretty much lived on my own… well, it sounds crazy but true… i left home to go to this art school since i was 12 and although i did stay under some sort of adult supervision(?) throughout but still i was pretty much free to do whatever i wanted to do… sometimes i wonder how come i never got off the “track” of being a decent student throughout… guess i have to thank my parents for giving me so much trust…
when i turned 15 or so i finally got my first vcr… and there was no adult around most of time… until then my grandma would come by and stay overnight but it got less frequent… so with free access to vcr, i started to rent movies… i think most of time i had no idea what was good and bad… just liked watching movies… sometimes i’d watch 4-5 movies a day or a night… sorry, mom…
anyway it was my second year in high school, i think… rented “LA story” just because… and i was so taken by its charm… seriously i don’t think i understood all that much, especially when the translation must have been pretty off… but the way this movie described LA was just so sweet and charming… and steve martin was pretty damn funny… and c’mon, traffic sign telling your fortune…? that’s pretty cute too… thought victoria tennant wasn’t that attractive but what the hell, it was still a cute movie… and steve martin became one of those actors that only i knew along with robert downey jr… i still don’t think he’s all that big in korea… i ended up watching this movie over and over…
then the following year, after reading all these fancy movie magazines declaring how great director robert altman was, i went to see “the player” in a theater… also it was making some buzz for tim robbins’ frontal nudity that had to be covered with one of those pixelated patch… anyway, i was so taken by the whole movie setting… the fact it was about hollywood and how these people were trying to get ahead of other people at any cost… and it probably was the first tim robbins movie i’d seen and i used to have a thing for really tall guys…
so with all that memory and a recently acquired interest in LA (heh heh heh), i decided to watch them again last weekend… and was happy to see that both of them aged really well… especially after having been to LA twice even for briefly, it helped me appreciate little things more… and of course my english is better than when i was 16… “the player” was so much more fun because also i was getting all the references to other movies along with more faces i recognized… and i thought in the scene where tim robbins’ character commits murder, his intensity reminded me of orson welles’… although i am NOT putting them in the same level in any other category… to me, orson welles is one of the greatest, period… also i was proud (yes, i’m such a geek) to get the reference to “la dolce vita” in the opening of “LA story” and “touch of evil” long single tracking shot reference in “the player”…
then finally got to watch “alfie” after renting it previously how many times but never got to watch it for some reason… it was so sad…! i wasn’t expecting it to be so sad… oh, my, god, michael caine is so good at playing this kind of character… a bit cynical, self-centered, dry humored yet charming… like him in “ipcress file” although he’s not as selfish as in “alfie”… and he’s damn good looking… think it did capture of the ’60s very well though… when people were feeling more isolated by trying to figure out what it meant to be free… don’t know if i want to watch the new version with jude law… although at the very end of “alfie”, michael caine looked very much like jude law… ah, those good looking chaming brits…
then i thought i should follow up on antonioni since i got so intrigued by “la notte”… which left me with certain emotion that’s really hard to describe but i knew that it touched me… and “l’eclisse” didn’t let me down… it was toxicating from the very beginning until the end… especially the last 5 minutes of the movie really killed me… made my heart ache by its beauty… wow… and it’s really incredible that he was able to pull out the emotions from the characters without any real dialogues… you could just feel from their gazes, hand gestures and camera angles… unbelievable… and monica vitti is so gorgeous… wow… she is one of those actors who knows how to act with their lips…
then on a completely different note i decided to watch “a tale of two sisters”, a korean horror flick that i’d heard so much about from some friends… i rarely watch scary movies, seriously… when i went to see “the audition”, i was literally under my seat for the last 20 minutes because i just couldn’t bare… however this movie captured me from the beginning for it’s visual presentation… it was constantly on the edge of being too stylish but somehow managed to stay just enough, if you know what i mean… and the usage of colors was really effective, i thought… still i got so scared after watching the first half, i scanned through the second half of the film, then went back to it and watched it… actually it was the moment i saw this sack soaked in blood, i freaked out because it reminded me of “the audition” too much… however when i finally got the plot, i was really impressed by how well the story was written… it’s really clever, suspensful without being too over the top… meanwhile i think it’s still interesting how “westernized” the house looked…
so… that was my weekend… now i have “whatever happened to baby jane” waiting to be watched… yikes…

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One Comment
  1. Gosh, how do you handle all these movies!?!?!

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