Archive for May, 2009

May 27, 2009

>Guess the picture – part 3

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Different films, same actress. If you love her screen presence as much as I do, this is a piece of cake. Tip: These are Marilyn Monroe’s legs.

Answers:


The Misfits (1961) and Some Like It Hot (1959).

May 24, 2009

>Antichrist

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First of all, forget all about this nonsense the press in Cannes has created around Lars von Trier’s newest film. “Love it or hate it”? Not really. I neither loved it nor hated it, I’m more in between, and I humbly say I haven’t truly understood this film, not deep within. But since the director himself has said he doesn’t comprehend some of the images he created, I suppose it’s not a problem… Charlotte Gainsbourg plays a woman, Willem Dafoe, a man. They’re married and now grieve the death of their little boy, although they react differently to the tragedy. The woman can’t accept the lost and sinks into depression whereas the man assists her during her suffering, trying to “cure” her through therapy. As she confesses that the woods is the place she fears the most, feeling powerless and exposed there, they move to their cabin Eden located in the woods, a place in the middle of nowhere. Here her treatment will continue, but not exactly in a progressive manner.
In many of his previous films, Lars von Trier presented women as suffering characters, victims of a man’s world. Fragile in the surface, nevertheless strong deep within. Somehow it always made me see him as a feminist, but in Antichrist, things aren’t quite the same, as he resurrected old religious tabus against the female sex. Perhaps it has nothing to do with the film’s purpose, however it’s impossible to be indifferent to certain lines. What else could justify the insane behaviour of the female in the film’s final moments than a line such as “women have no control over their own bodies”?
The film is neither a thriller nor a horror, and I’d like to believe a certain scene envolving a talking wolf was made as a joke, as I laughed so hard that I almost cried… The images are nevertheless beautifully haunting, especially the ones in the woods, which evoque a dreamlike atmosphere. The forest is so tangible that it becomes a third character, and the gorgeous soundtrack is hypnotic. There are moments of roughess, including a self-mutilation, but I just had to close my eyes for a second. I suppose only moralists would feel disturbed by anything else, and honestly, I don’t know what’s all the fuzz surrounding Antichrist.

Photos found here.

May 12, 2009

>Meeting Anna Karina

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This month the danish film institute celebrates the french new wave, showing a great number of classics directed by Jean-Luc Godard, Claude Chabrol, Jacques Rivette, among others. Two of these films were introduced by the lovely Anna Karina, danish herself, but living in Paris since the age of 18. She introduced Godard’s Une femme est une femme, Rivette’s La religieuse, both starred by her, and the recent Victoria, which she directed and acted.

Anna Karina is as sweet and funny in person as in some of her most famous roles, not to mention her beauty. She’s soon 69, nevertheless, still a very beautiful lady, who speaks danish with a charming accent, forgetting one word or two sometimes, after all, she hasn’t used her mother language in so many years. She spoke about meeting Coco Chanel, who gave the idea of the name Anna Karina (her birth name is Hanne Karen), about working as a photo model in her beggining in Paris, while saving money to take french lessons. She told that Godard didn’t want to give her the role in Une femme est une femme at first (“I can’t imagine you saying those lines”), about the controversy surrounding La religieuse (“It was a subject no one talked about, not even in private”, in reference to the suggestive homosexualism in the film), about Brigitte Bardot (“a very beautiful woman at her time, but I don’t share her political view”), about drinking red wine and smoking cigarettes in her youth (“You can tell by my voice”, she laughs, in reference to the cigarettes).

She gave a lot of attention to us, admirers or fans, signing autographs and posing for pictures. I never got nervous during the few times I approached famous people, but this time, my hands were nearly shaking. I don’t know, it’s just that meeting a true movie legend in person meant so much to me, especially considering the passion I have for films. Truly exciting. When she saw the picture I was holding, she instantly recognized it as a film still from Godard’s Bande à part. Later, she said how happy she was, for the fact people and even young people still appreciate the films they made so long time ago (in reference to those involved in the french new wave). Of course we do, they’re classics, and they’re unique.

In Une femme est une femme, Anna Karina plays Angela, a stripper who shares a small apartment with her boyfriend Émile (Jean-Claude Brialy) . She wants to have a baby, but he doesn’t agree with the idea, throwing Angela in the arms of Émile’s friend Alfred (Jean-Paul Belmondo), who claims to be in love with her. A delicious up-side-down romantic comedy playing constantly with film language, Une femme est une femme is a first class entertainment filled with colour and imagination, as reality and fantasy becomes one.

One of my favourite scenes!