vineri, 24 februarie 2023

The Nightingale (2018)

Due to her episode The Murmuring in Guillermo del Toro's anthology The Cabinet of Curiosities for Netflix, I checked Jennifer Kent's filmography. And saw her follow-up to The Babadook (my review here), her debut feature in 2014 (and horror movie of that year) is The Nightingale (2018), a gritty but also poetical feminine revenge period thriller set in Tasmania in 1825 which she wrote as well. A very intense but slow moving (especially the first half hour) film, it runs 2h 16 min.  Irish actress Aisling Franciosi (Clare) holds the film in a very powerful performance.  Brit Sam Clafin is the good looking but mega evil baddie lieutenant Hawkins.

Shades of recent  mini-series The English came to my mind, but this was way before that. 

Special Price of the Jury in Venice 2018.  And Marcello Mastroianni award for best actor to aboriginal Baykali Ganambarr (Billy). Plus a ton of awards, at home in Australia and ww. 

Supporting rogue, Damon Herriman as Ruse, he is Charles Manson in Once Upon a Time in...Hollywood and Mindhunter series, also at home in Oz in the series Mr. Inbetween and the mini-series The Tourist.

Clare is the Nightingale because she sings with a golden voice. The end credits feature 1988 The Chieftains song, The Strayaway Child, featuring a performing didgeridoo. 

3 1/2 out if 5 / 7 out of 10 

joi, 16 februarie 2023

RIP Raquel Welch

Also this day has come...(15 Feb. 2023) one of the most beautiful women that walked the planet into the screen is gone. A real Goddess! Unbelievable, Raquel Welch was 82 now...She as born Jo Raquel Tejada in Chicago on September 5th 1940, her father Bolivian, her mother Irish-American. Her first job was on TV as a weatherwoman! She had four husbands and two daughters. 
During the "pandemic" in 2020 I caught up with some of her films, the excellent Hannie Caulder (1971), a revenge western that has a touch s feminism in in. Then saw again the whodunnit The Last of Sheila (1973, a model for the new Glass Onion mystery). About her his co-star James Mason said infamously, that she was "the most selfish, ill-mannered, inconsiderate actress that I have ever had the displeasure of working with."..)  Why he said that, beats me. It's the only bad thing I heard about her really.
Then saw the spaghetti interracial western 100 Rifles (1969), where she made love with/to Jim Brown. Also I saw a lot of documentary stuff and interviews on youtube. I was still mesmerized by mrs. Welch.
And I still am. She is immortal, you know? 
But the first time I saw her on the big screen as a child was not as Luana in One Million Years B.C. (1966), that ran in Romania under her name title-Luana and that I caught up at Cinema Popular in the early Eighties. No, it was as Constance de Bonacieux in Richard Lester's Three Musketeers (part one & two 1973/74). She won a Golden Globe for that part. The film played around 1976/77 in Cluj, where I was in primary school. 

And she was in the posters of Romanian Cinema magazine, the Cinemas postcard and a lot of photos in the mag. The film I mostly wanted to see with her those days was Fantastic Voyage (1966), her breakthrough role, which I finally saw on TV only in the early 90's and I taped it on VHS...til the DVD...
Also in Romanian theaters was L'animal, the Claude Zidi comedy from 1977 with her and Jean-Paul Belmondo. Which was kinda her last important part. In 1982 she was fired from the set of Cannery Row (that was meant to be her comeback and her first nudity role!) and successfully sued the studio earning a reported 15 million $!!! She went on TV movies, Fitness and yoga programs, and playing herself (in Seinfeld in 1997).  Wrote her biography, "Beyond the Cleavage" in 2000. She was on Broadway, the lead on Victor/Victoria. She even danced with a fluffy spider in The Muppets Show!
Running the Cinemateca Patria in Brasov (2014-2020) I always showed her films on her anniversary (5 September ), Fantastic Voyage, Bedazzled and 100 Rifles. One of my favorites was Fathom (1967). Great cameo in The Magic Christian (1969) as "The Princess of the whip", and the title role in Myra Breckinridge (1970, based on a novel by Gore Vidal), where she plays a transsexual and she clashed with legendary Mae West on the set. Her bit in the far-out Bluebeard (1972) as a sexy nympho nun is also a cool one.

Well, here she is to be remembered singing the aptly titled "I am a Woman", with Cher in 1975, in a very tongue-in-cheek appearance. We'll miss you all, Raquel...

marți, 14 februarie 2023

RIP Hugh Hudson

Found out after  a few days, that Hugh Hudson, the director of Chariots of Fire and Greystoke had passed away at 86. Oh, and Revolution (1985), which was a flop as big as they got those days.  It was David Puttnam, the golden British producer who put Hudson on the map. He's kind of the only debuting director (at 50 years of age!!!) to have a a film with SEVEN Oscar nods (and four wins), took home the BEST film of the year (1981 that is), well, Hudson didn't win an Oscar (Warren Beatty won for Reds!), but the movie is legendary and immortal! It was one of my father's favorite films, as he did get to meet the original Harold Abrahams -played by Ben Cross in the film-in London in 1967 part of the first Romanian Olympic delegation there).  He was super impressed by that meet and I grew up with that story, then later when I had a film show at the local television station P+ I went with my dad on a show in which he told that story live. Well, the film is famous for the Vangelis score (Vangelis won an Oscar in absentia) and the slow-motion montage, all imitated and parodied, but very original then. All the other projects Hudson was involved afterwards went astray, though I loved Greystoke -The Legend Of Tarzan, Lord Of The Apes-then (1984) it was a mixed bag, but Revolution was the one that iced the cake.        

His debut feature was at the age of 50, but Hudson was a well known and respected director, top of the advertising world. He is part of the so-called "rennaissance gang", the Brits that made Hollywood look cool, Alan Parker, Ridley and Tony Scott, and Adrian Lyne.  All had their background in Advertising, in the late 60's and the '70's. Here's a TV profile on Hudson, entitled King of Ads, which features one of the legendary Guinness commercials with Rutger Hauer ('Pure Genius'). 

He directed also Lost Angels (1989), which was in the Cannes official competition, and I Dreamed of Africa (2000, in competition in Un Certain Regard in Cannes). His last film was Finding Altamira (2016), with Antonio Banderas. 

In his personal life Hudson was blessed with a special encounter, Maryam d'Abo, the beautiful Bond cellist Kara Milovy from The Living Daylights (1987), became his second wife in 1993. Interestingly enough, he met d'Abo 20 years before, while casting Greystoke for the part of Jane. 

“His passing, coming on the heels of the loss of Vangelis and the film’s screenwriter, Colin Welland, offer a moment to reflect on how incredibly fortunate I was, maybe we all were, to work together at a very particular point in our careers.”              David Puttnam

sâmbătă, 11 februarie 2023

RIP Burt Bacharach

Raindrops Keep Falling...Burt Bacharach is no more, he was 94... Three-times Oscar winner, six-times Grammy winner and One-time Emmy winner, he is considered the most perfect Pop composer of the XXth Century.

What's New Pussycat (Tom Jones)?, The Look of Love (Dusty Springfield) from Casino Royale, and his cameo in Austin Powers, together with Elvis Costello...

His partner lyricist Hal David died in 2012...

miercuri, 1 februarie 2023

Top Soundtracks 2022

new composers (Michael Abels, Colin Stetson), as the old Usual Suspects :)-Burwell, Zimmer, Pemberton, Desplat, Holkenborg, Elfman, Reznor/ the order is not ascending or descending...

The Top of the 2022 Films is here.

The Top of the 2022 music albums is here.

Babylon-Justin Horwitz

Elvis -VA

Nope-Michael Abels

Top Gun: Maverick -Va incl. Harold Faltemeyer, Hans Zimmer 

Bones and All-Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross

The Menu-Colin Stetson

See How They Run-Daniel Pemberton (sounding like Desplat for Wes Anderson's GBH)

Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio-Alexandre Desplat

3000 years of Longing-Tom Holkenborg (very unusual and elegiac underscore for TH)

Slow Horses(TV)  w Mick Jagger/Daniel Pemberton's song Strange Game

no Nick Cave & Warren Ellis for Blonde- too hard to digest score and film...I wouldn't have recognised ever it's Cave...