Archive for the ‘ Cinema ’ Category

Biutiful (2010)

I am what they call a “movie junkie”. I love watching movies, showing movies, discussing movies. Now I’ve decided to also write about them. I’m not a professional, I just want to share what I like and don’t like, while you can agree or disagree. So, let’s begin.

***

“If in the first act you have hung a pistol on the wall, then in the following one it should be fired. Otherwise don’t put it there.” A.P. Chekhov

Biutiful

Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu

Starring: Javier BardemMaricel Álvarez and others

Description: Uxbal (Javier Bardem) is a middle aged man trying his best to raise his two children, deal with a mentally unstable ex-wife (Maricel Álvarez) and earn money on all kinds of jobs to feed his family. Along with the usual problems appears a new struggle – he is diagnosed with cancer.

What I think: I don’t like detailed descriptions of movies, as well as teasers. In my opinion, they often spoil the whole impression, giving too much information about the movie. But Biutiful is one of the films that can not be spoiled. It is an unusual story of a seemingly usual man, which will not leave you indifferent, but will not load your brain with ugly pictures either – no, it is pretty merciful to the sensitive eye of the viewer. It will give you a whole variety of emotions: you will laugh and cry, get creeps and find yourself enjoying ugliness because it suddenly seems… beautiful. You might even start talking to the characters, asking them not to do certain things. Or it’s just me.

Beautiful camerawork is probably the first thing one notices – live and deep shots make the nicest picture. Dynamic editing is the one to keep you concentrated, because there are simply no irrelevant scenes or long useless shots. Trust me, you will not want to look at your watch to check what time it is, because all you will care about at the moment is how not to miss a detail. Dialogues are clever and humorous when needed. The last line of the movie should also leave its impression on you. And by the way, don’t expect to see Barcelona the way it’s usually depicted. In Biutiful we see its ugly side.

Javier Bardem is climbing my rating of favorite actors as fast as no one else before. Of course, this role did not allow him to blow our minds again as in The Sea Inside or Love in the Time of Cholera but he is still natural and, you can tell, knows what he’s doing. Maricel Álvarez, for whom Biutiful became the second movie she starred at, did a good job playing the weirdly unattractive and completely “coocoo” towards her kids and the world around Marambra, Uxbal’s ex-wife.

About the creators: One of the reasons I love Iñárritu for, is the special yet every time different style he holds on to. Whether it’s Amores Perros21 Gramsor Babel you can tell his hand, but it’s still new, fresh and impressive. He finds no need to subtitle dialogues in foreign languages, because you don’t get subtitles in real life, he puts important details throughout the movie, so you have to watch it closely and more importantly – absolutely every “pistol” he hangs on the wall eventually fires.

Another detail one notices about him is his loyalty to the talented crew he once discovered. When you watch Iñárritu‘s movies you can be sure to see a beautiful camera work with long, sophisticated shots by Rodrigo Prieto, notice dynamic editing by Stephen Mirrione and enjoy tender music by Gustavo SantaolallaBiutiful is the first movie he made without his usual writer Guillermo Arriaga. Among producers you will also recognize some names like Alfonso Cuarón and Guillermo del Toro.

My rating: 8.5 (out of 10). Definitely worth watching.

When to watch:either alone at home or with intellectual friends (preferably cinema junkies) who you can later discuss every detail with and stay under impression for the whole following week.

Advertisements

10 Opening Credits You Have To Recognize…

…if you were growing up in 80-90s in a post-Soviet country.

Special thanks to my brother for having an awesome memory!

I’ll go chronologically backwards, from the ones you remember for sure, to the ones that’ll awaken your earliest memories.

1. Sunset Beach 1997-1999

Yes, we were young, stupid and were watching this blah

Continue reading

I Met the Walrus

In 1969, a 14-year-old Beatle fanatic named Jerry Levitan snuck into John Lennon’s hotel room in Toronto and convinced him to do an interview. 38 years later, Levitan, director Josh Raskin and illustrators James Braithwaite and Alex Kurina have collaborated to create an animated short film using the original interview recording as the soundtrack. A spellbinding vessel for Lennon’s boundless wit and timeless message, I Met the Walrus was nominated for the 2008 Academy Award for Animated Short and won the 2009 Emmy for ‘New Approaches’ (making it the first film to win an Emmy on behalf of the internet).

This is without doubt one of the best things I’ve ever seen.

%d bloggers like this: