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Wednesday, April 28, 2004

for once a typical day in my life.
The mailman did not pass... I know I ma obsessed with the mail and the post office but... I have been waiting for a package 3 weeks already, it should have been here 2 weeks ago. sigh, and there was Howl's castle in it (the book) and a pirate Mickey Mouse, and an Osamu tezuka manga. sigh sigh sigh

I spent the whole day listening to Chage and Aska, put my winamp on random. Yeah, some of you might think it's cheap, commercail music... I like them though, it feels relaxing. It helps me with my Japanese too.
I understand many more words than I used to.

Then what else did I do. Send out some emails, taken a freelance, read some manga, read a book....
talked about my friend's love's trouble, talked about life and philosophy with my menthor.
and got the news that my sister had a miscarriage...

a typical day.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Italian movies.... well... and Disney too.

Mi piace lavorare is a movie about mobbing. I was shocked something like mobbing would get to Italy, but my mother was a victim of mobbing for a while and that is why I think this movie was really interesting. It is more on the documentaristic side and at the same time tries to be too simpatetic with the protagonist of the movie.
Other than that, the movie is almost sprouting out of neorealism and some scenes reminded me of De Sica's Umberto D.
Sometimes it's too socialist. In general though it keeps its distance and leaves the spectator develop ideas, feelings and opinions about what's going on. To a certain extent it left me with the same feelings that were given to me by a movie called 13 conversations about one thing. although the stories were different, the timing and the storytellinf was very similar.

Agata e la tempesta is really an adorable movie, although it kind of fails the viewer in the ending... somehow it felt they did not know how to end the movie so they killed the one character that ignites the story at the beginning (although he is not the protagonist). The ending was kinda Almodovar'ish feeling... but it did not match the feel of the movie so it was a bit of a let down... other than that, there were some pretty good ideas (except for the mayor of Stokholm who was merely dropped in there and I still haven't figured out why) and I found it very pleasant to watch and absolutely to my liking.

L'imbalsamatore that is a movie that felt likethe first Visconti. It is nice to see how good culture is showing through these young italian directors' opus. On one hand it felt like watching Osessione or L'avventura from Antonioni.... on the other end it felt this one too should have been a short. (I had the same feeling about Whale rider, just like Elephant the director had not enough story to make a feature but indeed ketp shooting and add water to the soup).
On a persona note, the young protagonist looks too much like my father when he was young, so watching the movie freaked me out, had he had blue eyes as well I would have switched the movie off right away in horror (to see my father kiss another woman, would be too much to handle).

Le fate ignoranti very nice film, it starts too slow and takes a while to take off. The themes about homosexuality and belonging somewhere were the right ones and the metaphor of the glass breaking was the right solution for the ending... I reaaaally loved that choice for the ending. But at first, the whole set up and how it's approached felt like a movie produced for TV and maybe hte writer should have jumped in the plot point one a little faster. I still don't know why, but I wasn't hooked up for some good 20 minutes or so but after that it becomes less painful and really an enjoyable watch.

Home on the Range God it felt good to hear Alan Menken's songs again!!! instead of those tedious, no melody, no talent, whining songs from Collins and Elton John. We are talking of an 8 times oscar winner here... and is he worth it!!!! Hell yeah! Okay so the movie was cute but had its flaws. Considering what it went through during production, the story was all over the place, there were way too many dialogues and the main character wasn't appealing at all. But in general I would say every single scene was like a colorful bead for a necklace and taking some beads over others... there, some beads were really pretty and overall the necklace wasn't cmpletely bad. The song were not sang by the characters.... good! The only one to sing is the villain but there's a reason to his singing. that was the smartest choice... my friend did not like it, they said it was stupid but i think it was too surreal for them to accept something that isn't as obvious as a bad guy doing kung fu. Y.odle yodels and hypnotizes cows to kidnap them. The wholel yodle scene was like the pink elephant of dumbo it was a great omage.
I like side characters better than the main ones, especially Grace. I did not get the lucky rubbit at all, but I do love the Villains, all of them. And some of the gag in the saloon were... too weird and twisted not to laugh. The horse was a little annoying, but not less annoying then Shrek's donkey. So who cares?
Too bad it was disney's last but.. thank God this was their last and not that horrible horrible Brother bear.

When it comes down to the European movies I have been watching... I was very much impressed by the quality of the stories.

with My name is Tanino I discevered Virzi'. And what a discovery, the guy is brilliant! My name is Tanino is the story of this very simple sicilian guy who goes to America and everything that could possibly go wrong... does go wrong.
He is envolved in so many surreal situation that the whole adventure will end up caving in and things get so bad, in the end he si thrown out of the country!!!! The movie is simply hilarious, make fun of cliches by drowning you into the cliches themselves. It was like watching a reborn Dino Risi.

Elephant is something halfway between a documentary and a short film. I believe is like 1 hr and 20 mins long. It won an award at the Fetival of Cannes for best direction I think. Well, it's the story of two kids who go to school and shoot, like it happened in Columbine. The director follows a few kids in their everyday life, and when I say follow... i mean he phisically follows them cuz 75% of the shots is camera following these kids walking in the hallways, we almost see more of their back then their faces. He divides the story by chapters using the names of the kids and actually some of these chapter are a whole sequence with no cuts in between. The camera continuosly moves, following this or that person and never cuts away. The result is, after a while you are totally aware of this: there's no cuts between scenes. It becomes too exploited and it feels like the director is trying to water down the soup. In fact, there's enough material for a nice short and with tighter timing I believe a very nice one would come out of all this footage... but... it's not a short. He stressed so much the fact the story is shot almost in real time that... it makes it way too heavy to viewer. For the rest is a really scary story... really shoking. I have to confess the idea of how the kids cross each other's path during the same day, by showing the same scene, shot from different points of view and in different part of the movie is a really nice expedient.

I fiumi di porpora 2... I haven't seen number 1. They are a series of thriller movie, protagonist is Jean Reno as a detective. In this one there's a story about the end of time, the Apocalipse and other escatoligcal stuff. Errr... for being a movie writte by Besson it really has some bad dialogues and it's way too linear. I mean the moment Christopher Lee shows up you know he is the bad guy, furtermore he is German. It is nice how they related the story to the Maginot, so it would be hard to adapt this kind of story to another country, and this makes the movie really french. But it still is way too simplistic, and it is very easy to figure things ahead.

L'auberge Espagnole is another very pretty French commedy. Very hard to expalin, it is very european. Well you see the protagonist he gets a scholarship called Erasmus to go study to Barcelona for a year. If you have never been in an experience like that, where you live in a foreing country, with foreign people for a while, then you will not understand the movie and you will take it for the usual silly comedy. But it is not, actually there are some very good observations in the story, one of which is the fact that you only know the true nature of a person if you throw him/her in a unfamiliar place, doing unfamiliar things, sharing his life with unfamiliar people. It's all about surviving cultural clashes and growing up to be a perfect child of the beautiful United Europe. It's a movie about following your dreams, finding who you are and becoming Cosmopolite. We say, the world is interesting cuz everyone is different. I particularly enjoyed the movie and share the final decision of the protagonist, seen I myself went through the same kind of emotion and took the same path.

I am watching many movies lately, a lot of them are european, so hard to get around here... some other I go the movies.

If I were to make a list these are the movies I watched in the last few weeks: Hellboy, Eternal Sunshine of the spotless mind, Kill Bill 2, Elephant, Secret Window, The Barbarian Invasions, League of extraordinary gentlemen, L'auberge Espagnole, My name is Tanino, I fiumi di porpora 2, L'imbalsamatore, Mi piace lavorare, No man's land, Le fate Ignoranti, Agata e la tempesta and Home on the Range.

Let me see, I got the impression I am developing immunity to special effects so in a way I am not impressed by them anymore and I am able to fall asleep during an action movie. So far I was so craving for movies with a good script and good dialogues and an unusual story, I don't feel appealed by the way a movie looks anymore. It is not enough.

Thinking this I have to say Hellboy was probably the worst movie I saw this year. First of all I don't think it was even close to the mood of the comicbook (which I don't really know well, but I read some of it... and frankly I think it's one of those stories that work pretty well as a comicbook but is not cinematic enough). If you haven't seen it dont' read this it contains big SPOILERS. Take on hellboy was that the movies tried to move forward without an engine. Hellboy spends hours fighting demons in the subway, we don't see him defeating all of them but we see him going to Russia to hunt the big guy instead... so my thinking was: what about the guys you left in the subway? Once he gets to Russia it takes the pyro girl nothing at all to burn the demons down... duh... and in the end.... when the big Bad guys, the squid comes out, one things... there goes the huge battle scene, but no, we get fried calamari in less than 5 minutes.
Plus always the same kind of jokes: how many times do I have to kill you? Haven't I killed you already? Ouch, this is gonna hurt....
Boring! I fell asleep. Beside all action heroes movies dun have twist anymore in the end, he kicks ass and kisses the girl. that's it. LXG was no execption... or maybe it was a bit worse then HB... at least HB had milk and cookies on a rooftop discussing his love problems with a kid.. throwing rocks at his rival.
I so don't want to go see Spider man 2, I-robots and Van Helsing now...... as for the other movies.

I was very much impressed by Barbarian Invasion, great story, great dialogues, great display of culture and great observations of the surroundings. Maybe the movie just lacked a little bit of emotional crescendo in the end, but the lack was due to inadeguate soundtrack I suspect. definetely an oscar winner.

Same goes for No man's land which ran and won against Amelie. Now Amelie is an adorable movie, but no man's land is one of those stories that truthfully tells you in a war, no one is right, everyone is wrong, enemies cannot become friends even after they discover they both are human beings and the third party can only but watch as a helpless spectator. The ending was astonisling brilliant. Another oscar winner.

Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind. there are no words to describe genius. My friend's comment on the movie was: nowadays it's so easy to figure out when a movie begins from its end. Well, yeah< iw ould say Kauffmann really gave enough hints to the public, and he knows how to play his game of making the spectator feel smarter than what he really is. The spectator things "i know wha't going on!" they feel smart but truth is... all the hints were there, left behind like thumbelino little crumbs. What I like was the sane pessimism with a vein of sudden optimism, hidden again pessimism again. When the protagonist decides to erase his girlfriend, there's good and bad memories he wants to get rid of, of course when the whole process begins the bad memories are the first ones to go. As a results Joel (the protagonist) begins his race against the process of erasing to keep what's left of his good memories. Of course we hope with him that he might do it, that he might stop and keep the memories... but is a mere illusion: first of all his desire to suceed is dictated by the fact his bad memories are gone, so the idea of love and good relationship now in his brain is not a whole image of what the relationship truly was. If he were to succeed and keep his memory of his girlfriend we would be wishing him bad. But at the same time the movie was telling us that maybe we love with our body as well, not only with our heart and mind and maybe as a quote to Chomsky, Joel's body retained the informations of the image of her body and definitely felt attracted to her all over again and fell in love all over again. Are we maybe destined or condemned to fall in love with the same person over and over again, if we were given second chances? I dunno, but truthfully, no matter how many time we were to start over we will still be lead to the same conclusion: if it did not work once, chances are it never will unless we change along the way. Maybe that was the meaning of that little repeated scene in the end.... maybe Joel and his girlfriend went over the same processo of losing and finding each other over and over and over again. a gorgeous movie!

Kill Bill 2 is not as entertaining as the first one, for the action movies lovers.... but somehow is smart pants enough to put you in front of the dilemma... should BB really kill Bill? Well, there are no way out, first of all because that is the name of the movie after all, second of all because there's no room to forgiveness in a revenge story, but only room for understanding. I was amazed to see Tarantino thank so many Italian moviemakers in the end, included Leo Corbucci, and frankly some scenes I enjoyed more than other cuz they reminded me of italian mafia and western movies from the 70's. Also I think he was leading the public by the nose, giving them what they wanted.... but making fun of it, although lots people still think Kill Bill is an action movie.... Tarantino is a second picasso to me.

secret window is a nice King's story, with the usual lack so typical of King: the impossiblity to wrap it up nicely and in satisfactory way. My thinking on the movie was... they revealed too soon and too much the truth about Morty. I would have exploited the creepy Turturro longer... used Shooter more, to haunt down the wife, until a few seconds before he hits her, when he says the line: it was his idea, it was Morty's idea. She should then say: you are morty. The the camera turn around TUrturro, we use is shoulders as a transition/wipte thingy, wee see Johnny Depp with his hat on and we realize.... shit it's split personalty. The we put the we put the flashbacks of how he killed everyone else and then he hits the wife he hits the lover and he gets away with it. Nice and clean. the ending was way too quick at revealing you the truth.

Monday, April 12, 2004

Note to self:

My little personal log, need a record to the fact I sent a script today to a screenwriting festival... and I need to keep track of my doing, next step to take is to register the second script. Good luck deda!!!!

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

I am overflowing with ideas recently.
I recently finished my second drafit of one script and am working on the third draft of another one... I am still working on these two and already have an idea for a new one.

How would I say this, I want to write a thesis about people who loves animals... but depict the bad and good things this love causes to animals. Sometimes to train a dog it's not the best thing you can do to him... and sometimes to love an animal as if it were a person it's the worst thing you could do to him.

I think animals should be loved for what they are. Love given in the right proportion, in the right ammount will not spoil and rot. It's a matter of honesty, a dog cannot replace a person so it should not be treated like one, a person should not act like a dog cuz it would make the poor animal confused.

I had confused pet before. A tortoise who was born and grew up in an aviary and thought to be a bird.
A bird who thought my dad was his mother and my sister was his wife and hated my mother with all his guts to the point he will chew on the leaves of her favourite plant, out of jealousy... and talk behind her back making faces as soon as she turned her back to him: che che che che (the most spiteful sound I can think of hehehehe).
A dog who thought everyone else was a dog too.
A cat who thought to be a dog.

Belive me, messing up with an animal psyche isn't nice, just let them be!