5 Things They Didn’t Want to Tell You…(5)

Some trivia…

(All the trivia is from www.imdb.com)

1) Dawn of the Dead (1978) – The MPAA had threatened to impose the X rating if George A. Romero didn’t make cuts. Romero did not want to cut the film, and he was adamant against an X rating, due to its stigma of hard-core pornography. In the end, Romero was able to persuade his distributors to release the film with no rating, although on all advertising and trailers, there was a disclaimer that in effect read that while there was no explicit sex in the film, the movie was of such a violent nature that no one under 17 would be admitted

ZOMBIES!

ZOMBIES!

2) Ghostbusters – The original script had a budding romance between the cynical receptionist Janine and the blissfully out of it Egon, but most of it was edited out of the film. The special edition DVD features a deleted scene of Janine giving Egon a coin for luck before he goes off with the other Ghostbusters to fight Gozer; they are interrupted by Venkman. The relationship between Janine and Egon was explored more in the animated series that followed.

Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters

3) Sex, Lies, and Videotape – On the first day of production, the producers sent a telegram to Steven Soderbergh; they teased him good-naturedly, telling him they’d heard reports that he couldn’t direct traffic. Twelve years later, Soderbergh won an Oscar for directing Traffic.

Classic Soderbergh

Classic Soderbergh

4) Rebel Without a Cause – All three lead actors, James Dean, Sal Mineo, and Natalie Wood, died young under tragic circumstances: Dean died in a car accident, Mineo was stabbed, and Wood drowned. In addition, Edward Platt committed suicide in 1974

James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause

James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause

5) Chronicle – The pink haired girl played by Anna Wood whom Andrew was making out with is actually the real life girlfriend of Dane DeHaan (Andrew)

Catchy tag-line?...

Catchy tag-line?...

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GREAT MOVIES ESSAY: Trainspotting (1996)

***CONTAINS  SPOILERS***

One of the best British Films of the 90s: Trainspotting

One of the best British Films of the 90s: Trainspotting

Multiply the best orgasm you’ve ever had by 1000 and you still wouldn’t get anywhere near the intense pleasure that you’d get from a shot of heroine…

…well, according to junk-addict, Renton, anyway.

The year is 1996, and the media has caused shock-controversy by claiming that Danny Boyle’s masterwork glamorises drugs. A bold statement considering the fact in Trainspotting the following happens:

A drug-addict’s relationship is ruined and eventually dies, another addict drops a literal ‘bomb shell’ in a one-night-stand’s bed, a 14 year-old girl has sex with an adult, a baby dies due to being neglected, several punch-ups occur, a girl is glassed in the face with a pint-glass, men are hit with pool cues, people experience frightening hallucinations, and even after the baby dies, the addicts have to cope with the pain by shooting up again because they’re so dependent on heroine.

The power of Trainspotting is its ability to blend the darkly comic with the darkly disturbing – unfortunately for Danny Boyle, newspapers such as The Daily Mail latched on to the humour aspect of the film and sensationalised it in such a way as if to suggest that the film made heroine a laughing matter. Yet, the humour is there for a reason – not just to provide the light and dark shades of the film, but to give the piece a subtle satirical impact. The opening speech for example, Renton talks about all of the mundane aspects of life in an acidically funny list: “Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television…” – and at the end of the speech he juxtaposes all of this with: “Why would I want to do a thing like that. I chose not to choose life, but chose something else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you’ve got heroine?” Here is the crux of the film: choose life or choose heroine? Which one can you get the most amount of pleasure from? And which one gives you more harm? The film refuses to answer, and merely presents the viewer with the situation. The beginning section of the movie uses fast paced camera movements and slick and inventive editing (“the worst toilet in Scotland” is dubbed over the toilet door) to match the indescribable, hyper-orgasmic feeling of being high on heroine. We are essentially posed the question of whether we would choose heroine, and the “choose life” monologue is directly asked to us, the viewer.

The worst toilet in Scotland...

The worst toilet in Scotland...

Another interesting aspect of Trainspotting is its love for pop-culture – and humorously blending pop-culture-induced dialogue in scenes where characters are injecting themselves with the hyper-orgasm-inducing drug known as heroine – Sick Boy discusses which Bond girl he prefers:

“Ursula Andress, the quintessential Bond girl. That’s what everyone says. The embodiment of his superiority over us. Beautiful, exotic, highly sexual and totally unavaiable to anyone apart from him. Shite. Let’s face it. She can shag one punter from Edinburgh, she’d shag the whole lot of us.”

Here we see some of the beautifully sharp dialogue in Trainspotting. Some would call it ‘Tarantino-esque’ as it isn’t related to the plot in any way, it is oozing with pop-culture, and is there for entertainment purposes rather than one of narrative purposes. This is what I like about Trainspotting. It never comes across as forcing its subject matter in our faces due to the fact that it can spend time referencing Bond films to develop characters, create realism, and to obviously entertain. This is played throughout the film, especially with Sick boy, most notably the section where Sick boy and Renton are out in the park, and Sick boy shoots a dog (which then proceeds to attack the owner quite viciously). As utterly irrelevant as some sections might be, this is part of the charm, of the film. Most films are very much narrative-driven based, and therefore come across as unrealistic, contrived or just plain cliche. Trainspotting will momentarily pause from the drugs and the violence to make a James Bond reference or an innuendo, if anything, that’s not just funny, but utterly refreshing.

The park scene in Trainspotting

The park scene in Trainspotting

As the film progresses, the humour is still there, but slowly deteriorates, to match the feelings of Renton. The most disturbing section of the film is when Renton is locked in his room. He has intensely surreal hallucinations: his room becomes narrower and keeps on stretching out He hides under the duvet, but doing so, the duvet turns into an endless cave, and to add to the disorientation and sheer confusion, he sees the baby that died near the beginning of the film climbing on the ceiling towards him. Disorientating music, slick visuals (and Dale Winton’s voice) are used in an oddly inventive manner to disturb us as an audience.

Trainspotting makes you terrified of babies...

Trainspotting makes you terrified of babies...

The great thing about Trainspotting is the sheer sense of speed it has, its narrative drives forward at a rapid pace – the opening sequence is a great example of this, as is the section where each individual character goes out looking for a one-night-stand: we intercut from one couple to the next, and so on – all of the dialogue links up in a slickly stylish manner. For example, Spud is talking about how his balls ‘feel like watermelons’, and we intercut between that and a bathroom scene with his girlfriend where she discusses how hilarious it is to her to starve her husband of sex. To add to this, when the girls and the boys meet up and they tell each other what they’ve been talking about they lie with stereotypical answers (“football!” and “shopping”) – here we see how the film is subtly mocking societies obsession with male/female roles and stereotypes in and out of relationships.

Overall, Trainspotting presents heroine as it is. It’s not for or against it, as Trainspotting – in my opinion – is about choosing life or not choosing life…

5 Things They Didn’t Want to Tell You…(4)

Some Trivia…

(Trivia is from www.imdb.com)

1) Burn After Reading

Incorrectly regarded as goofs: Katie reports that it’s 5.2 miles on the odometer from the Cox residence on Olive St. NW to West Potomac Park just off the Lincoln Memorial. It’s actually no more than about two miles. This may be deliberate however. Harry often lies to try to impress his dates. Perhaps he had Katie go the long away around to the park so he could take the shortcut back that his about two miles, but implying that it is 5 miles to Katie.

2) The Dictator

The language that Aladeen and Nadal speak on the helicopter tour is actually Hebrew, and not Arabic.

3) Barefoot in the Park

The film role of ‘Corie Bratter’ was originally offered to actress Natalie Wood who had already played opposite Robert Redford in two movies. Wood declined the offer though, because she wanted to take time off.

4) Juno

When searching for potential parents for her baby, Juno says she’s looking for someone cool “like a graphic designer.” In real life, both star Ellen Page’s father and Diablo Cody’s ex-husband are graphic designers.

5) The Killing Fields

At the Oscar’s, when Haing S. Ngor won the Oscar for best supporting actor, he walked onto the stage with his 15-year-old niece. Upon walking up to the stage, John Malkovich jokingly shouted something in Cambodian to him which shocked his niece and made Haing Ngor laugh. He shouted, “The award’s mine, asshole!” In Haing Ngor’s autobiography, he describes John Malkovich’s keen interest in learning Cambodian swear words.

The Top 50 List…

My list of favourite films is forever changing…here it is as it stands now…

1.    A Clockwork Orange                                                                 

2.    2001: A Space Odyssey                                                             

3.    Monty Python and the Holy Grail                                           

4.    The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

5.    Scott Pilgrim vs the World                                                          

6.    The Shawshank Redemption                                                   

7.    Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

8.    Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Arc

9.    The Social Network

10. The Color Purple

11. The Rocky Horror Picture Show

12. Before Sunrise

13. Fight Club

14. The Shining

15. Eyes Wide Shut

16. Full Metal Jacket

17. Reservoir Dogs

18. Boogie Nights

19. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

20. The Green Mile

21. Back to the Future

22. The Karate Kid

23. Pulp Fiction

24. The Truman Show

25. Bedknobs and Broomsticks

26. 1984

27. 12 Angry Men

28. The Deer Hunter

29. Toy Story 2

30. Trainspotting

31. Live and Let Die

32. Halloween

33. The Man with the Golden Gun

34. Toy Story

35. Taxi Driver

36. Inception

37. Brokeback Mountain

38. The Silence of the Lambs

39. Die Hard

40. Die Hard 3

41. Mulholland Drive

42. Johnny English Reborn

43. Freedom Writers

44. Memento

45. Airplane!

46. Commando

47. The Matrix

48. Donnie Darko

49. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

50.  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (David Fincher version

Top 5 Movie Mind-fucks

There is a ‘genre’ of movie which main concern is to mess with your mind and make you leave a cinema with that beautiful emotion known only as: ‘whatthefuckisgoingon?‘ I am indeed talking about the ‘cinematic mind-fuck’. From Terry Gilliam, to David Lynch and the influential Luis Bunuel, there are directors out there who delve into our minds and distort reality and unreality so much that we don’t know what the hell is going on. Below is my top 5.

In no particular order.

1) Un Chien Andalou – Luis Bunuel

Nothing makes sense in this surrealistic nightmare, and indeed it’s not supposed to. Severed hands are hit with sticks, books turn to shotguns, clothes disappear and reappear, and near the end, there’s a random shot of a butterfly. It’ll frustrate you, anger you, and fuck with your mind.

The infamous eye-slitting scene

The infamous eye-slitting scene

2) A Clockwork Orange – Stanley Kubrick

Masterpiece of satire, yet unbelievably weird. A woman is killed with a giant sculpture of a penis, there are random pieces of pop-art with naked people on, there’s a fast-motion sex scene, and none of the characters speak what we’d call ‘English’. And all of the main characters where jock-straps on top of white trousers. Psychadelic, or what?

PENIS WEAPON!

PENIS WEAPON!

3) Mulholland Drive – David Lynch

David Lynch’s movie is just about comprehensible as it nears its end, yet the rug is pulled from under the carpet in the last thirty minutes. People randomly turn smaller, dreams become reality and reality becomes dreams, and…oh I don’t know what’s going on. I imagine Lynch himself doesn’t know what the hell is going on…

Mulholland Drive - David Lynch's dark nightmare

Mulholland Drive - David Lynch's dark nightmare

4) Memento – Christopher Nolan

One of the best thrillers ever made. A man investigates who raped and murdered his wife…yet, it’s all told backwards. Yes, backwards.

Memento

Memento

5) The Alphabet 1, 2 and 3 – David Lynch

An oddly disturbing set of films consisting of random images and clips. It’s also a bit silly as a story is told through different letters of the alphabet. It’ll probably ruin your memories of learning the alphabet as a child forever.

David Lynch's film has managed to ruin the alphabet...

David Lynch's film has managed to ruin the alphabet...

Un Chien Andalou (1929)

“An Andalousian Dog”

5 STARS

General Information:

Information below is taken from the following link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0020530/

15  16 min  –  Short | Fantasy   –  6 June 1929 (France)

YouTube link to short film: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9zhKuV86NA

Director

Luis Buñuel

Writer

Salvador Dalí; Luis Buñuel

Stars

Pierre Batcheff; Simone Mareuil

Plot:

An eye is slit, a woman falls off of a bicycle, a man has ants crawling on his hands, books turn into shotguns and many more surreal events occur.

Review

Un Chien Andalou is the greatest prank in cinema history. It’s an attack on the mainstream, it’s an unorthodox cinemagoers’ wet-dream, it’s a shockingly pointless nightmare.

Those who waste their time by attempting to find meaning in this are the main target audience of this film. Not only that, but they are the people with the mindsets that this film targets in the first place. To attempt to describe its ‘plot’ is merely listing its shots. In fact, the irony of writing this review was writing something in the ‘plot’ section in the first place.

Un Chien Andalou was made by the great surrealists: Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali – who is mainly known for his paintings. The point of Un Chien Andalou is to attack society and  its norms through the meaning of cinema.

Salvador Dali - a surrealist painter

Salvador Dali - a surrealist painter

When we watch a film, we unconsciously apply logic to it: one event will trigger another event, which in turn, triggers another, and so on…Yet, in Un Chien Andalou, the events are completely unconnected, and we are lead into a false sense of security by believing this when we are told time differences occasionally between shots, for example: “Sixteen years before”. The time differences in this film are utterly irrelevant to the narrative, in the same way that each individual ‘sub-plot’ serves no use in driving the narrative any further. This is what makes the film utterly frustrating.

SIXTEEN YEARS BEFORE

SIXTEEN YEARS BEFORE

The film also attempts to shock us, not just by its use of ‘anti-narrative’, but by what we’re shown. Many critics have commented on the first shots being a woman’s eye being slit with a razor, but there are other sequences to.

The infamous eye-slitting scene

The infamous eye-slitting scene

A woman is sexually harassed by a man, he fondles her and when he touches her, she suddenly has no clothes, and then seconds later, she has clothes. Later on, she’s in the corner of a room, and the same man traps her in that corner whilst dragging a piano holding dead donkeys on it. I have frequently heard that this film has ‘dream  logic’, yet in my opinion, it doesn’t. After all, dreams have more logic than this film, and this film doesn’t have any form of ‘logic’.

Everything in this film is random and illogical. Even the title, which translates as “An Andalousian Dog”. The title isn’t related to the film at all, there is no dog in this film, let alone an ‘andalousian’ one.

It was somewhat difficult to come up with a star rating for this film. The fundamental basis of criticism is: “did the film do what it intended to do?” I was frustrated by this film, I hated it, it annoyed me and dare I say, it irritated me. Yet I suppose, that was how I was meant to feel, and in an odd way, that makes it a masterpiece.

Verdict:

You’ll be utterly frustrated by watching this 16 minute anti-narrative film. It won’t make you feel happy, sad or any emotion like conventional cinema, apart from one: frustration.