Tuesday, June 20, 2006

How about my all time favorites?

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingCINEMATOGRAPHY - It is known as the discipline of making lighting and camera choices when recording photographic images for the cinema. Ranging from Amelie, 28 Days Later, Hero, Titanic or Spring, Summer, Fall Winter and Spring…, one film is my all time favorite for this category, AMERICAN BEAUTY created a poignant, wicked and surreal version of the truth that flows in the mainstream society being dictated by constant globalization and technological craze. The red background constantly on the screen effectively symbolizes the life force and the voice of our sexuality.

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingORIGINAL SCORE - Film score is the background music in a film, generally specially written for the film and often used to heighten emotions provoked by the imagery on the screen or by the dialogue. Through this, Amelie, Cinema Paradiso, Malena or Run Lola Run suited the definition but still, TITANIC’s film score immortalized the overused tale of first love. The film score being comparable to Gone With the Wind or Dr. Zhivago is so mesmerizing, touching and deeply affecting.

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingPRODUCTION DESIGN - Production design is a term used in the movie industry to refer to the overall look of a film. Tae Guk Gi, Good Bye Lenin!, The Schindler’s List and Far From Heaven are all my favorites but AMELIE created a dreamy, enticing and attractive picture of the real life wild Paris. The quirky, fun and impressionistic elements in the set contributed a lot as to why our main Protagonist appreciates every simple pleasure in life. The world may be so complex and dangerous as it may seem, but if you look at it in a different positive angle… we have something like the world of AMELIE…

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingFILM EDITING - Also called montage, is the connecting of one or more shots together in a sequence. The City of God, Run Lola Run, The Matrix and American Beauty are all perfectly edited but THE SCHINDLER’S LIST astoundingly accomplished better. The result, an accurate and detailed storytelling that will definitely last for the next 100 years or more. THE SCHINDLER’S LIST cared for every beginning and ending of all the transitions of its scenes in order to deliver a heart wrenching tale of the holocaust.

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingACTING ENSEMBLE - An ensemble cast is a cast in which the principal performers are assigned roughly equal amounts of importance in a dramatic production. Good Bye Lenin!, American Beauty, The Schindler’s List, 21 Grams have all top caliber magnificent casting but THE HOURS performances about the lives of three women gave the most remarkable impact to me. Because of the fantastic Nicole Kidman up to Meryll Streep, Julianne Moore, Stephen Dilane and Ed Harris, THE HOURS became so compelling, memorable and gripping drama.

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingSCREENPLAY - Screenwriting refers to the art and craft of writing screenplays. Without a good script, there will be cold performances and bland directing, thus, a really bad film. Amelie, Good Bye Lenin!, The Schindler’s List, The Hours, In America and Cinema Paradiso are all well written films but AMERICAN BEAUTY gave the most impressive written material by tackling the sarcastic, sad, social dark family issues, but enlightening revelations that surround the metropolis everyday. “It is so hard to stay mad when there’s so much beauty in the world.” is a classic liner from the film.

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingANIMATED FILM - Animation is the optical illusion of motion created by the consecutive display of images of static elements. How can big complicated grown-ups appreciate the optical illusions with such kiddy and unrealistic subject matters? I guess it is the heart and the strength of the colorful moving characters in every pictures… Toy Story Part 1 and 2, Land Before Time and Monsters Inc. made me think of my childhood but FINDING NEMO explores the childlike faith in my adulthood. It makes me believe how love, magic and color constituted to enjoy life much better.

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingFOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM - Foreign Films are movies which have a non-English language (at least 90% of the native language) screenplay directly written for the screen. Dealing with foreign films let you explore the different styles in filmmaking from different regions in the world, apart from the stereotypical Hollywood references. Amelie, Cinema Paradiso, Life is Beautiful, Run Lola Run, The Edukators and Tae Guk Gi are all memorable foreign films for me, but the very touching German classic GOOD BYE LENIN! made me realize that an excellent heartfelt human drama can be intelligently funny and wicked at the same time.

Acting is the work of an actor, a person in theatre, film, or any other storytelling medium who tells the story by portraying a character and, usually, speaking or singing the written text or play.

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingPERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS - Naomi Watts in 21 Grams, Annette Bening in American Beauty and Audrey Tautou in Amelie are all my favorite performances by an actress but NICOLE KIDMAN in THE HOURS just captured my heart and whole sympathy for her demented Virginia Woolfe character. I usually hate it when somebody automatically win an award because he/she played a lunatic or his/her character suffered a lot because of a loss of a loved one but Nicole is by far, an exemption to this rule. Her character ‘Virginia’ spoke clearly how is it to live by your choice and to lead ones life by her/his own free will.

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingPERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR - Kevin Spacey in American Beauty, Roberto Benigni in Life is Beautiful and Tom Hanks in Castaway are all my favorite male performances but I choose the simple Berliner role of DANIEL BRüHL as Alex in GOOD BYE LENIN! I really like his emotional charming personality and the way he communicates with his eyes and facial expressions on how much love and lies he is willing to give for his dying mother. Daniel did not need a forceful heavy scene in the film to project his love, hopes and frustrations about his life, but through his simple modest and brave character, we laugh and cry with him at the same time.

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingACHIEVEMENT IN DIRECTION - Generally, a film director is the one controlling the film's artistic and dramatic aspects. Sam Mendes in American Beauty, Peter Jackson in The Lord of the Rings, Jean Pierre Jeunet in Amelie and Wolfgang Becker in Good Bye Lenin! are all first rate directors for creating their own masterpieces. But STEVEN SPIELBERG'S THE SCHINDLER’S LIST is a classic film that deserves to be compared to the works of all time top directors such as Victor Fleming, Fritz Lang, Stanley Kubrick and Alfred Hitchcock. Spielberg’s versatility on his artistic views and rich symbolisms made the images realistic and haunting.

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingMOTION PICTURE - The overall recognition in all aspects of a film constitutes the whole picture. American Beauty, Amelie, The Schindler’s List, The Hours and Life is Beautiful are all great productions. From the script, direction, acting then up to the editing phase, these films have all succeeded. But above all, one film challenged the current trends of mainstream movies. The European box office hit GOOD BYE LENIN! is my all time favorite picture. It is a comedy which revealed the complexity of life amid the weightlessness of freedom, enticement of westernization, and the burden of abrupt change. Set against the historic collapse of the Berlin Wall, the movie pleasantly integrates comedy of situation, irony of fate, and the quarreling alliance between reality and the heart's decree, hence picturing a fundamental tale of being. This is so far the best family drama I have seen and made me realize how human is to surrender to lies and deceit in order to save someone you love from inevitable extinction.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

The World is Their Playground in "Love Me if You Dare" (Jeux d'enfants)

I love this film. It's light, dreamy, and colorful. The movie does not ask you to take it seriously, but simply to watch as Julien and Sophie play with the elements of conventional life. We see Julien and Sophie's games becoming more and more elaborate as they grow up, affecting other lives even. And when they do, you understand at most levels that they do not mean to hurt other people. They just play as the game is supposed to be played.

It is fantasy in that it lets you suspend realism for a moment, and dwell on the things we take for granted many times- laughter, romance, and childlike innocence. This movie made me smile, and I have no need to question motivations etc. It would be absurd to questions things that are meant to be left alone in their wonder.
Plus, the soundtrack is very lovable, “La Vie en Rose” in different beats and versions? Oh it is just so romantic. I’ll never ever forget the magic of this film…