Monday, January 31, 2011

4


Looks familiar. Now bring on the cast poster!

Review: Smash His Camera

Smash His Camera
Dir. Leon Gast
Year: 2010
Rating: PG
Running Time: 87mins

Ron Galella made a name for himself by taking photographs of celebrities when they didn’t want them to be taken. He is a paparazzo and, like the literal Italian translation for the word, he buzzes around his subjects like a mosquito. Leon Gast’s (When We Were Kings) documentary Smash His Camera charts the 80-year-old’s career, which has seen him taken to court by Jackie Onassis in 1972, get punched in the face by Marlon Brando in 1973 and exhibited in the New York City’s prestigious Museum of Modern Art in 2007. He’s a man that looks incredibly feeble, but once on a footpath with a celebrity he’s quick as a whip. His storage room is filled with boxes and boxes of photographs of every celebrity imaginable; there’s an entire box dedicated to photos of “Jackie Onassis with windswept hair”.

Read the rest at Trespass


Smash His Camera has a very limited season at Melbourne's ACMI theatre, in Federation Square. They've been on a role lately with exclusive titles like this, White Material (season ending tomorrow) and Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (which begins its season in a couple of weeks), yet again confirming that they are one of Melbourne's true treasures. But you knew that already, didn't you?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Scream to Scream, Scene by Scene: SCENE 7 of Scream 2 (0:25:59-0:27:59)

In this project I attempt to review the entire Scream trilogy scene by scene in chronological order. Heavy spoilers and gore throughout!



SCENE 7 of Scream 2
Length: 2mins
Primary Characters: Dewey Riley and Gale Weathers
Pop Culture References:
  • Barnie Fife (Gale referenced him and Dewey in her book)


A nice little scene we have here that is used as the bridge to get Gale and Dewey - ahem, Dwight - back together again. I like the makers new that audiences still wanted the adult relationships just as much as the teenage ones.


I tend to skip this scene when I watch Scream 2, although watching it just now reminds me that there's some fun stuff going on. I like the way Marco Beltrami's music is almost reminiscent of a western, and how these two clearly have a lot of chemistry.


Either Gale is checking out Dewey's acquired limp or she's checking out his arse. Although, I notice she does an upwards scan so maybe she's doing both.


"'Deputy Dewey filled the room with his Barnie Fife-ish presence.'"
"You read my book."
"Yes, I do read, Ms Weathers."
"Oh Dewey, don't take it so seriously."

I personally love that Gale has already reverted back to calling him "Dewey" after he was explicit reference to the fact that his name is not Dewey, but Dwight. She used "Dwight" once in a sentence and already gave up. That's our Gale!


"How do you know my dimwitted inexperience isn't merely a subtle form of manipulation used to lower people's expectations, thereby enhancing my ability to effectively manoeuvre within any given situation."

Good point, although I think he demonstrates multiple times throughout the trilogy that he is indeed quite dimwitted from time to time, no?


"One more thing... nice streaks!"

Scream:
Intro, Scene 1 Scene 2, Scene 3, Scene 4, Scene 5, Scene 6, Scene 7, Scene 8, Scene 9, Scene 10, Scene 11, Scene 12, Scene 13, Scene 14, Scene 15, Scene 16, Scene 17, Scene 18, Scene 19, Scene 20, Scene 21, Scene 22, Scene 23, Scene 24, Scene 25, Scene 26, Scene 27, Scene 28, Scene 29, Scene 30, Scene 31 Scene 32, Scene 33, End Credits

Scream 2
Scene 1, Scene 2, Scene 3, Scene 4, Scene 5, Scene 6

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Scream to Scream, Scene by Scene: SCENE 6 of Scream 2 (0:22:14-0:25:58)

In this project I attempt to review the entire Scream trilogy scene by scene in chronological order. Heavy spoilers and gore throughout!



SCENE 6 of Scream 2
Length: 3mins 36secs
Primary Characters: Sidney Prescott, Dewey nee Deputy Dewey (David Arquette), Randy Meeks, Derek, Mickey, Hallie, Gale Weathers, Joel the Cameraman & Cotton Weary (Liev Shreiber)
Pop Culture References:
  • None


I think this scene we're about to look at is a perfect one in showing off the differences between the first and second film. I wrote in an earlier scene that Scream 2 (and, for that matter, Scream 3, but less successfully) is a much bigger enterprise than the first. The original is more intimiate, whereas the sequel is like the filmmaking team finally got enough money to amp everything up a few notches.

Take, for instance, this scene - and the one just before it, but I had too much other stuff to discuss there - where Kevin Williamson and Wes Craven somehow manage to juggle all these characters, all of whom get "a moment", and yet the movie doesn't feel crammed or fussy at all. Gene Siskel praised Scream 2 over Scream for this very reason. In many ways it's a more impressive directorial job by Craven since there's so much more going on. In this scene alone we have the introduction of old characters as well as new characters all interacting with one another, referencing the earlier film and, while they're at it, furthering the plot in multiple ways that doesn't feel clunky. It's a shame the video of their review has been taken down, I would have loved to included for you guys.


"I'm seeing someone. Nice guy, pre-med, no apparent psychotic tendencies."

Oh Sidney, isn't that what you thought about Billy Loomis, too!


"I just worry. Look, Sid, if there is some freaked out psycho trying to follow in Billy Loomis's footsteps you probably already know him. Or her. Or them."

I love this line. Or, more specifically, I love this line as spoken by Dewey. I like that he gets "him", "her" and "them" all correct!


Uh-oh!



One thing I'd never noticed before is the look on Mickey's face when Cotton Weary appears out from behind Gale and Joel. I think at this stage of filming Craven and Williamson were still very much on the Hallie/Derek/Debbie trio so I'm probably giving this moment too much worth than it warrants, but I love Mickey's smile. It's like he always can't contain himself knowing that, with the new murders as Cotton is in town, so much focus will be on him.


"You bitch!"


Ooh, bitch *nearly* went down.


"Oh Sidney, won't you share with us, please!"








"I'll share with you!"


"Did you get that on film?"


"Yes I got that on film."

Bitch went down!

Look, there's no skirting around the issue here... Hallie's "Did you get that on film?" is just not as amazing as Tatum's "BAM, bitch went down. BAM! Sid! Super-bitch!" I like that they continue that structural link to the original, although you can already sense it starting to deviate.

TATUM 4EVA!


"Hey, you need to check your conscience at the door, Sweetie. We're not here to be loved."

I hate this line of dialogue?! I hate it. I hate it so much I want to forget it exists and just end this scene right now, which is what I will do. Because it's over. No, really, that's it. See you next time!

Scream:
Intro, Scene 1 Scene 2, Scene 3, Scene 4, Scene 5, Scene 6, Scene 7, Scene 8, Scene 9, Scene 10, Scene 11, Scene 12, Scene 13, Scene 14, Scene 15, Scene 16, Scene 17, Scene 18, Scene 19, Scene 20, Scene 21, Scene 22, Scene 23, Scene 24, Scene 25, Scene 26, Scene 27, Scene 28, Scene 29, Scene 30, Scene 31 Scene 32, Scene 33, End Credits

Scream 2
Scene 1, Scene 2, Scene 3, Scene 4, Scene 5

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Jacki Weaver, Academy Award Nominee.

I think I predicted this back in March.


While I didn't do all that well with my Oscar predictions, I did foresee a couple of the notable things. How about Javier Bardem and I was so happy to see The Illusionist get the leg-up over Tangled and *shudder at the the thought* Despicable Me. Although I wish I'd kept Another Year in my original screenplay predictions instead of swapping it out for Blue Valentine. Meanwhile, in the Best Director category I correctly predicting a big omission, I just went in the wrong direction.

I thought Darren Aronofsky would miss out ala Baz Luhrmann in 2002 when everyone thought there was no way the branch could look at it and not recognise the direction. It was not Aronofsky though, but Christopher Nolan. I must say, I let out a laugh when his name was not read because, as a cinephile I was very distinctly in the minority in thinking that The Reader was the best film nominated in 2009 - give or take a Milk. Hearing all of Nolan's "fanboys" all but shit over that film and it's director Stephen Daldry for "stealing" Nolan's nomination. I am anticipating who these people will claim "stole" Nolan's nomination.

I find it incredibly insulting to throw around this "Inception directed itself?" line because, well, the five nominees all did fine work and earned their nominations. And then there's the issue of the four other directors who didn't get nomination alongside their movies in the Best Picture category. I feel a bit bad for the likes of Debra Granik and Lisa Cholodenko who have to listen to these people yammer on about Nolan being "snubbed" and yet there they are, also having directed Best Picture nominees and... well, I just think it's really poor form. Nevertheless, next year Christopher Nolan has a film in contention will we be seeing 10 nominees for Best Director? Hmmm...

One last word: Burlesque?

Okay, more than one last word. I can live with Burlesque not being nominated, but not nominated against *that* line-up? Or, more specifically, *that* song from 127 Hours? It's fitting that it's played during a shot that just hangs in the sky because it's the musical equivalent of air. It barely exists! I'm not even sure how it qualifies as a song to be perfectly honest with you. Add in the two animated tunes and it's one of the dullest lineups in that category's history. And that's from someone who tends to defend that category more than others. What a load of rubbish!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

20 Amazing Moments with Emma Stone in Easy A

Up until today I had been quite adamant that the best female lead performance that I saw for a 2010 film was not Natalie Portman, Annette Bening or Christina Aguilera, but actually Robin McLeavy in The Loved One. That's truly a performance that will become an iconic one for the ages... once people actually see it, that is. People - well, horror aficionados, anyway - will be talking about that one for a long, long time. That's the trouble with horror flops, they're rarely given much credence until people later down the line get to watch it without the stigma attached.

Unfortunately for McLeavy, I can't say she's my no. 1 anymore because I just watched Emma Stone blow every other actress of 2010 out of the water with her performance in Easy A. She has a way with a zinger - a cleverly written one or not - and a perfect balance of flamboyance and holding back. She never verges fully into caricature territory, but remains suitably bubbly and active throughout the film's entirety. She's like the Energizer Bunny's sexy, throaty voiced cousin. Plus, she has a veritable closet full of faces and expressions at her disposable - she's like a perkier Laura Dern. She gives a better performance in the blooper reel than most others gave in their completed films! I know I'm not the only one, and I can only hope more are willing to come out of the proverbial closet as time wears on.

I'm not sure if the movie is completely up to the task of supporting Ms Stone, but it does a fairly good job of it. Sure, the romantic interest played by Penn Bagdley is curiously under-developed, the religious subplot isn't taken far enough and comes off as a lesser Saved!, while I wish Dan Byrd - so fabulous on Cougar Town - had stayed around for longer. Easy A wears it's John Hughes influence like a badge of honour, although I could have done without the obviousness of it. I mean, for a film that wants to say something about teenagers it sure does assume a lot of them are idiots. Nevertheless, Emma Stone (and the fantastic adult cast) are always there to keep the film going strong. B+

Anyway, because she's so great, here are just some of my favourite Emma Stone moments from Easy A. And trust me, there were so many more that I could have included, but I had to draw the line somewhere, and screencapping every single face she made felt slightly excessive. Slightly.


"Tom Cruise?"


"Thank you. They're Costco!"


"Isn't that always the way? The books you read in class always seem to have some strong connection with whatever angsty adolescent drama is going on. Except for Huckleberry Finn, 'cause I don't know any teenage boys who have ever run away with a big, hulking black guy."


"Perhaps you should get a wardrobe, you abominable twat!"


"I will take that challenge!"


"What?"


"What the hell is a lemon squeeze?"



"I hope you don't mind, but we had a few pre-cocktail party cocktails. Like, before the cocktail party. With cocktails."


"What do you think I have down there? A gnome?"


"Put it in the pile of gifts from my other suitors."


"What's your problem?"


"You wanna know what my problem is?"
"No, that was a rhetorical question. I don't wanna know anything from you."




"Oh rats!"


"He got a Coke Zero again? Oh that Roman. Incorrigible!"


"A is for 'awesome'"


"Sharpening you pencils? Getting them nice and sharp? Hmm? Sharpenin' 'em up? Look at you! Look at you! *gasp* So sharp! *gasp* Sharpening those pencils! Sharp, sharp, sharp, sharp! Ooh, god they're sharp!"


"So I guess I shouldn't be too shocked that these people wanted my diseased ass outta there. The funny this is, the whole time this all was going down I couldn't help but think I could have come up with better signs.


"Not now, Quiznos!"


"Ugh, YUM!"


"You're funny."



"Knock, knock, knock on wood..."


"I know it interferes with the basketball game, but, come on, would you rather be here cheering on the Woodchucks or watch me do one?"

I don't particularly have the time nor the inclination to do what I just did but for all of the wonderful moments the rest of the cast have, like Lisa Kudrow's "I'm the guidance counselor, I should know all the students. Especially the ones that dress like prostitutes", but I wanted to single out the fabulous Patricia Clarkson. Isn't she just magical? She and Stanley Tucci ("It sounds like you're having sex up here, which I know can't be true due to the fact that you have a homosexual boyfriend",) work wonders together. I particularly got a ridiculous amount of chuckles out of this sparkly moment, but then there's also the "spell check" line, the talk about homosexuals ("he seemed a little... incredibly gay",) and the car bonnet sequence late in the film. She's a treasure, I tellsya! A treasure!


"Is there an Olive here?"
"There's a whole jar of them in the fridge!"