Movie meme

May. 14th, 2014 02:46 pm
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
Meme! Anyone who feels like it should post their ten most CRUCIAL CRUCIAl CRUCIAL-ASS movies, like the movies that explain everything about yourselves in your current incarnations (not necessarily your ten favorite movies but the ten movies that you, as a person existing currently, feel would help people get to know you) (they can change later on obviously).

I don't know how to separate favorites from essentials, and I can think of a number of movies that would have been essential had I seen them early enough in life to be shaped by them, but here goes:

Lawrence of Arabia
Branagh's Much Ado About Nothing
Wings of Desire
O Brother, Where Art Thou?
The Big Chill
Bless the Beasts and The Children (I was 15, okay?)
Star Wars. You know, the first one, in 1977
Big Night

As several other meme-doers on my flist have mentioned, I feel more connected to television than to movies. Also, I just saw a photograph of a first hardcover edition of The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe and got to thinking about how much more I was originally shaped by books than by movies.

But, there you go. Ten movies that slotted into my consciousness well enough to make me see them more than once, buy when they came out on DVD, learn lines from, or be influenced by in life (e.g.: I took Arabic in college because of Lawrence.)
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
Listening to fiction )

Listening to nonfiction )

Watching TV )

Watching a movie )

Reading things )

And, a propos of very little:

My fellow Fanmericans - The State of Our Union is...#SuperSleepy is canon! May God ship you & may God ship the United States of Fanmerica

(@TheOrlandoJones tonight on Twitter)


Jul. 15th, 2013 08:10 pm
darkemeralds: Manga-style avatar of DarkEm with caption Hee (cartoony me)
I'm finally getting around to "Sharknado" and it is so irredeemably, horrifically, unabashedly bad that it's awesome.
darkemeralds: Screencap from Where The Hell Is Matt (joy)
Just got in from the late showing of Much Ado. It's playing at Cinema 21, an unapologetically crappy old movie house in a neighborhood that was hip when I lived there in, like, the Reagan era, and seems, after a period where it started to feel a bit corporate, to have been re-hippified.

I picked up my ticket, wandered across the street to a bar I'd never heard of, and had a mojito and a really good spinach, strawberry, goat cheese and hazelnut salad. Since I almost never drink, I was a wee bit tipsy when I crossed back over at showtime.

I honestly don't think the rum was solely responsible for my delight. )
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
Missed a day. Darn! Only a quarter of the way into posting, reading, and commenting every day for a month, and I completely forgot yesterday. Never even opened my computer.

I saw "The Internship" on Friday after work. Considering that I've missed every major movie of the past two years except "The Avengers", spending the admission price to see a predictable underdog buddy-comedy is kind of a questionable choice. But, you know, Dylan O'Brien.

The movie was better than I expected. Once the cringeworthy oblivous-people-embarrassing-themselves part was done (the first 15 minutes or so--and yes, that's a thing of mine, not a criticism of the movie), it became kind of charming.

What made it the most fun of all was that [personal profile] vampirefan, who lives two time zones away, wanted to see it too. Neither of us had anyone to go with, so we went together! She went to a 6:30 showing, I went to a 4:30 showing, and we texted each other at key points from our respective cinema back row seats.

Here's a frame from my favorite scene:

darkemeralds: Photo of a microphone with caption Read Me a Story. (Podfic)
In the last few days I've been indulging what seems to have been a pent-up appetite for mainstream media.

Books, shows, movies... )
darkemeralds: Screencap from "Atonement (Two Women)
...I'm now all wrung out and limp-rag. The music in this movie is so gorgeously calculated to evoke emotion! And the helmets too! I could live without the half-dozen endings, but while the absolutely endless credits roll, I'm letting the music play and kind of coming back from Middle Earth. A hell of a good movie. It's a mystery to me that I have no LOTR icons.

*Sigh* That felt good! Just to sit on the couch and watch a great favorite movie and be moved by it.

I've been swapping brains with [personal profile] ravurian for the last several days in a remarkable exchange of magic and ideas that's causing a ferment in my mind. For one thing, he gave me the structuring idea for my next novel. It was gonna be a spinoff of Restraint, but now...well, it's coalescing around the Order of the Golden Dawn (a hundred years later than the period of Restraint), and whoa, the research I will have to do! It's going to star Colin Morgan and Bradley James. Or possibly Merlin and Arthur. I'm not sure yet. There will be magic.

In the (totally random) meantime, I would love to have these shoes. Fluevog is about to open a store here, and it's probably just as well that they don't make my size.
darkemeralds: Manga-style avatar of DarkEm with caption Hee (cartoony me)
I have had the most splendid day!

First of all, I slept a long time. Second of all, when I woke, there was SUNSHINE! Real sunshine, through real gaps in the Venusian cloud cover. It was gorgeous.

And third of all, I had a terrific online chat with [personal profile] ravurian, and it has left me with that unique, specific good feeling that comes from a long and engaged conversation with a new friend.

The sun, astonishingly, continued to shine, so fourth of all, I went out on Eleanor O, and determined that as long as I don't exert myself into actually-aerobic levels of pedaling, this lung condition is almost sort of not a problem.

A few errands and a visit to my mom later, I came home and, fifth of all, finished sleeve number one of a positively ancient WIP cardigan, while watching The Two Towers and Return of the King. (Note: you may keep your Viggo and your Orli and even your Karl Urban, and just leave me with David Wenham.)

And then, even though it clouded up and rained some more, the clouds parted to reveal SUPER MOON, and it is lovely. Sixth of all.

Oh, and I've lost 42 pounds. \o/
darkemeralds: Photo of Downtown Portland, Oregon USA in twilight (Portland)
Oh, this is so cool and weird!

On advice from my body, I called in sick today; therefore, I was home when the location scout from Gone, a film by Heitor Dhalia, knocked at my door.

My house, apparently, is just the sort of place they're looking for as the residence of the movie's main character--old, cute, modest, and small, with a big yard and a scary basement.

If the director likes it and they decide to use it, they'd shoot both interiors and exteriors here. The "Key Assistant Location Manager" (according to her business card) took photos inside and out, described the movie's plot in detail, said she was originally from here, and named the other Portland neighborhoods they'd searched so far in vain.

There would be payment involved, and insurance, and relocation (for me). And my little house would be in the movies! Wouldn't that be cool?
darkemeralds: Baby picture of DarkEm with title 'Interstellar Losers Club' and caption 'Proud Member' (Geekery)
I cut off my Netflix-by-mail because I've been in a long phase where I just don't have the attention span to sit and watch something on my TV.

That phase may be ending, and now I'm considering going to a streaming-only plan. Since I run Linux at home, I don't believe I can use my computer as the vessel for channeling Netflix. So I'm thinking of getting a Roku (or variant, if such a thing exists)--a Netflix box.

Does anyone have this? Can you tell me what's it's like? How you like it? Whether you think it's worth the cost? Any insight would be helpful. TIA!


Oct. 1st, 2010 08:35 pm
darkemeralds: Hellfire and tormented faces with caption Yay Hell (Yay)
While I await SPN 6.2, I'm watching The Call of Cthulhu, a 2005 film of the Lovecraft story by the same name, made in the style (and with the cameras and film) of a 1925 silent movie.

It's fantastic! The music is brilliant. I don't know a damn thing about Lovecraft or Cthulhu except what I've gathered by osmosis from the internets, but this story seems perfect for the silent genre, and the filmmakers and actors have done a great job of using an anachronistic medium to make the story thrilling.

If you get a chance, I recommend it. It's less than an hour long and it's well worth your time.

(If that link comes up locked for you, I also warmly recommend joining [community profile] thevault.)
darkemeralds: Photo of fingers on a computer keyboard. (Writing)
I just finished watching Lars and the Real Girl, a strange little 2007 movie about family and community, with the unlikely premise of a socially-backward man who buys a life-size sex doll on the internet and introduces her as his girlfriend.

You wouldn't think it would work--or you'd think it would be some kind of fratboy farce, or else some weird Oliver Sachs-based tale of psychosis, but it's not. It's lighthanded and gentle, and it dances on the edge of magical realism without quite crossing the line.

It has two remarkable performances, by Ryan Gosling as Lars and Patricia Clarkson as Dagmar, the family doctor who works with him in his delusion.

There's a scene between them that was hard for me to watch because it hit a little close to home. Lars, talking to Dagmar in her clinic, says that he doesn't like to be hugged.

"But it's such a comfort sometimes, just to have somebody's arms around you, don't you think?" Dagmar asks.

"No!" Lars says. "It doesn't feel good. It hurts."

This surprises Dagmar, but she covers it and says, "Like a cut or a bruise?"

"Like a burn," Lars says. "Like you go outside and your feet freeze, and then you come back in and they thaw out? It's almost exactly like that."

So Dagmar puts a finger on the back of his hand, and he says, "No, that's okay, that's not too bad." She puts all four fingers there and he becomes uncomfortable, but he can still handle it. She moves her hand to his neck, and he completely freaks out.

I have that symptom, and I've never seen or heard so clearly described. I can almost not bear to be touched either, and I associate with a pain very similar to what Lars describes in this scene.

The movie was gentle-spirited enough that I was able to watch it all the way through despite the too-close-for-comfort "untouchable" scene. It has an unsurprising ending; there's nothing incredibly brilliant about it, but it's well written and charming, and I'm kind of glad I saw it.

It made a nice antidote to the the one I watched last night: Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay. Talk about a contrast.
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
"Il y a longtemps que je t'aime" means "I've loved you so long".

As the title of the 2008 film by Philippe Claudel, it seems a little random unless you understand that "Il y a longtemps que je t'aime" is the refrain of a French folk song so basic that you learn it in French 101, called "À la claire fontaine."

"At the clear fountain, as I was out strolling along, the water was so beautiful that I went in for a swim. I've loved you so long, I will never forget you."

Then, as you watch this stunningly well-written and gorgeously filmed movie starring Kristin Scott-Thomas (speaking not a single word of English), and realize that her character's name is Fontaine, and watch the theme of springs, and rivers, and pools, and rain, unfold in the subtext, the title all starts to make sense.

I can't say a single other thing about the movie without spoiling it--it's the kind of story where "what happens" has already happened, and the whole movie is about revealing what that was.

But I can tell you this: I just finished watching I've Loved You So Long, and I feel like I've just now, finally, understood the art of storytelling.


Aug. 27th, 2008 09:28 pm
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
It seems that when they put you on an extended work schedule, you get used to it.

I've been getting home one, two, sometimes three hours late almost every workday for three weeks now, and it doesn't seem so trying anymore. Somehow I still manage to get to the grocery store, fix food for myself, and put on clean clothes every day.

Summer's slipping away into fall, and a little part of me thinks, damn, I hate to miss that, while the rest of me attends the endless meetings and does the software testing and rewrites training documents and generally puts her nose to the grindstone.

It's about 9:30 and I'm home, a late dinner settling in my stomach, I just watched Kung Fu Hustle at the recommendation of [ profile] owzers (good flick, pretty odd), and now the TV is silent and the living room is dark, and all I can hear is crickets outside in the late-summer night air.

We hit 54 percent of goal today at 56 percent of our scheduled time. We might make our deadline, and if we don't, it won't be because I didn't spend enough time at the office.
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
In the Twelve Step programs, they talk about "the progressive nature of our disease," suggesting that alcoholism or addiction keeps operating in our lives and getting worse, even though we're not drinking or using.

The X-Files movie is like that. In the years since the show was finally put out of our misery after its ninth season, the X-Files concept has just gone on getting worse and worse, seen by no one, untreated, unrecovered, and this movie is like the bender it finally went on.

Spoilers if you care. )

To say, "Well, that was two hours of my life I'll never get back," however, would be misstating the case. My niece and my mom and I had loads of fun laughing about the movie's delirious badness all the way home. My hope is that the X-Files gets the help it needs, and stops making movies, one day at a time, forever.
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
Today I pruned some shrubs, cleared a patch of ground for future vegetable gardening, planted an apple tree, baked bread, helped [ profile] avventura1234 build a raised bed, bought a cabbage to make my own sauerkraut (per instructions from the class I took at Preserve last week), and bought some organic raw milk to make my own yogurt. And a jar to make my own kombucha.

I'm turning into some kind of...hippie. Or pioneer. Or something. It's very weird.

So anyway, my reward for a day of urban farming-related busyness was a long cool shower, followed by hot bread with more melty butter than is strictly consistent with best dietary practices, and some Due South. (I still don't have the whatever to watch the very last episode, though.)

Tomorrow: gonna make manapua, start the yogurt and the sauerkraut, and go see the new Callum Keith Rennie movie X-Files movie with my mom and my niece, three generations of X-Philes whether Chris Carter deserves us or not.

Little Ado

Jul. 11th, 2008 03:53 pm
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
Upon re-upping the Shakespeare in my Netflix queue after enjoying "Slings & Arrows" for the third time, I came across some one-star reviews of Kenneth Branagh's "Much Ado About Nothing".

(Disclaimer: I love this movie way more than I should.)

We couldn't sit through the first 10 contrived minutes, and decided not to watch this film. It is a very artificial-feeling scene of pastoral merry making on a hillside en plein air against real Tuscan scenery, but characters speaking in poetic verse and theatrical voices (why use a theatre voice outdoors in such place of terrific honest beauty?). i.e. "Hey nonny nonny". This is not for everyone.

a) if you didn't watch it, don't review it.
b) Yes, Shakespeare's characters speak in poetic verse and theatrical voices, and say "hey nonny nonny."
c) if you're going to throw around terms like "en plein air", well...just don't.

And here's another one:

This movie is boring. I couldnt even watch 10 minutes of it. It is hard to understand because they use old renesance talk.

darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
Netflix, Netflix, how I love thee. Not only do you recommend movies you think I'll enjoy, and not only are these recs pretty accurate, but you provide me with the wildy-varied and entertaining opinions of hundreds of fellow Netflix subscribers.

Today, you recommended The Passion of Joan of Arc. I clicked through to learn more about it, maybe add it to my queue.

You let me know right up front that this movie is dated 1928. "Filmed in black and white, silent with English intertitles," you further tell me, because you are helpful and informative, Netflix my friend.

My favorite user reviews? Two stars: "The film attempts to create an intellectual thriller without sound." (And without color! Couldn't they just have waited ten years?)

Three stars: "The movie was so-so it would have been better if it was a talkey not a doctormentry."

And the ever-popular, daring and iconoclastic one-star review: "You people are hard up for entertainment. You are the same folks that could play with a ball of string for hours. This movie stunk!" (Well, now I know why I should rent The Da Vinci Code instead.)

Don't ever stop being Netflix, Netflix.

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