Golden Oldie

A few weeks ago, I told my father that for some strange reason, I wanted to watch Troy again. I have no idea how I came up with it, but I just suddenly wanted to see it once more. Two or three weeks later, Troy was broadcasted on tv.

Speaking of coincidence! Maybe someone has taken pity on me for not going to Russia, and maybe he is trying to cheer me up by doing these little things that light up my day. I like it.

It’s not like I haven’t seen Troy before, I have seen it multiple times, but at an age when I couldn’t really enjoy it to the fullest, I believe. Of course I know the story and everything, but there’s more to movies than just the plot line. I wanted to see the images and hear the music and just watch a movie of which I know I will like it. So yesterday we watched it again, and we all enjoyed it here. There are so many stunning one liners, great comebacks and brilliant scenes. For example this quote:

“I’ll tell you a secret. Something they don’t teach you in your temple. The Gods envy us. They envy us because we’re mortal, because any moment might be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we’re doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now. We will never be here again.”

Achilles says this to the Trojan girl he kind of stole and who becomes his lover. She was a servant in a temple.

Achilles is one of those characters who make this movie so great. He is so stubborn and doesn’t want anyone controlling him. He seems so good, but then kills Hector and treats him so badly, and you want to like him still. Then there is also his king, Agamemnon, such an asshole. Oooh, you just hate him for being greedy and brutal. But he’s got some of the best lines from the movie, and the way he says them makes them close to epic. (Then every son of Troy… shall die.)

In the end, they basically all die. Well, almost all of them. This is not exactly how the myth goes, but hey, at least the good guys don’t all survive. Greek mythology isn’t the one inventing the happy end after all!

There are many more examples and an IMDB page full of quotes, which I won’t share here – though I would like to. Let me just tell you that nothing compares to a proper Greek myth. There is barely anything you can’t find in these stories. They are so full of reall humans, real feelings, real reactions. Greek mythology, I think, can teach us way more about human nature than the Bible. I love those stories, and I like this movie a whole lot.

 

Which Golden Oldie do you want to see or read again?

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A few basic movie rules

1. If there’s one woman and one man at least involved, they will have kissed at the end of the movie.

2. However hard they fall, whatever explosion occurs close to them, they will survive. Pretty remarkable, isn’t it?

3. Try guessing who’ll survive and win – yes, it’s always the same thing in those movies.

4. Often there’s this guy with the ultimate pokerface. Almost gets shot? Pokerface. Risky trade? Pokerface. Insults? Pokerface.

5. A man with a Spanish accent is always Banderas. (Must admit the’s a good actor)

6. However many bodies are spread throughout the movie, it doens’t seem to matter at all. No one seems to wonder who’s killed them or something.

7. However much goes wrong, there will be a happy end for our beloved good guys.

These are some things I learned when watching movies, Assassins in particular.

When birds of a different feather flock together…

Spoiler alert!

After having posted my latest post on El Tango de Roxanne, it became clear that there are still lots of movies I have to see. There are so many classic movies, and good movies, and I haven’t seen even half of them! But sometimes, tv will help you out.
A few days ago, namely, The Birds would be on tv. We recorded it, because everyone knows this movie, and well, it’s worth watching it, right? So two days ago, we started watching this recorded movie. But we started watching quite late, so we only saw a part of it, and promised each other to watch the rest the next day. So yesterday, we sat down in front of the tv again, and watched the rest of it.

It’s quite fun to watch a movie that was made when my father was still very, very young. It’s full of dialogues, and special effects that are really fake now. When Melanie drives her car, the background is so obviously fake… Or when the birds attack the children, you can see they don’t really run there. But okay, at that time, it must have been spectacular. And sometimes, we agreed that the tension was built up very well. When Melanie sits on a bench, with a playground behind her, and the birds start collecting… It starts with two or three birds, but it ends up with a massive amount of birds just waiting to attack, and she doesn’t see them.

The same tension was built up when Melanie and the Brenners are at the Brenner’s house, hiding for the birds, and Melanie hears a sounds. Electricity is gone, so it’s all dark. Melanie takes an oil lamp and climbs the stairs…It’s a freaky moment, I was near to frightened. I like this kind of tension more than well, other kinds. I don’t like ‘physical’ horror movies, with limbs cut off and stuff. The psychological terror can be equally or even more frightening, and is less ‘cheap’.

Next to frightening, this movie was also cute. The fake backgrounds, the manners of that time, the fashion, all of that was just plain cute. Props for the actors though, because they were actually great. Somehow, I thought that acting wasn’t nearly as good as it’s supposed to be now, but I was wrong.

But then. We were desperately waiting for an explanation, a plot, while I was saying “Release the love birds! Release them!”, as I believed the birds attacked because of the love birds. All the while, we were scared that the movie would not be fully recorded, because we saw there wasn’t much movie left, and the end wasn’t even near. We believed. So the Brenners and Melanie get into Melanie’s car, they drive off, and then, all of sudden-

Publicity!

The end of the recorded movie!

We were like ‘Noooooo! We want to see the ending! We have to see the ending! Why can’t that stupid thing record the entire movie!’ So today, I desperately searched for the movie on YouTube, on Dailymotion, on Google, because it seemed to be nowhere. We found it on some site, went straight to the end, only to discover that this version stopped at the very same moment. Suspicion was growing. We found another site which offered the movie. According to Wikipedia, it had the right duration, so we went straight to the end once more, only to find out that the end…

… was what we had seen: the Brenners and Melanie driving off. No explanation, now release of the love birds, no solution or whatsoever.

We were terribly disappointed. I mean, you call that an ending? I don’t. I’m still convinced that if they just had released those pokerfacing love birds, everything would have been alright. I’m not pleased to find out that in fact we had seen the entire movie, but I must admit that it left me with an uncomfortable feeling. So somehow, it was well done.

But the ending just sucked.

The taglines to the movie made me laugh…:

Suspense and shock beyond anything you have seen or imagined!
…and remember, the next scream you hear may be your own!
It could be the most terrifying motion picture I have ever made!
Nothing You Have Ever Witnessed Before Has Prepared You for Such Sheer Stabbing Shock!

Dance Day # 4: El Tango de Roxanne

Sometimes you watch a movie when suddenly, there is a scene that won’t let you go, a scene that gives you goosebumps and takes away your ability to talk for a short while. We’re lucky enough to have YouTube these days, so there aren’t many scenes we can’t watch over and over, but some scenes just won’t be ruined, not even when having watched them a thousand times.

For me, El Tango de Roxanne (Moulin Rouge) is such a scene. It’s a great example of a perfect combination between dance, music, light and everything. It’s this combination that struck me when I saw it for the first time. The more you watch it, the more shots you will discover. If you only watch this once, you’ll miss a lot of things. The great amount of shots is what makes this scene so dynamic and powerful. But there are other things too. For those interested, here’s a more technical approach to this scene.

A More Technical Approach

First of all, there are three storylines in this piece: there’s the Argentinian guy who tells the story of ‘a prostitute, and a man who falls in love’. He picks out one of the girls of the Moulin Rouge as the prostitute, Nini. She’s the cheeky one, but as soon as the AG (Argentinian Guy) picks her out, she changes and plays her role.

So, AG tells this story, that is really similar to Christian’s story. He’s a writer who has fallen in love  with Moulin Rouge’s greatest star, Satine.

Last but not least, the third storyline is Satine. She is having dinner with the Duke, who has fallen in love with her. He’s important because of his money, and Satine is forced to do whatever he wants to. But of course, he’s a total asshole, and she is in love with Christian as well.

Our dear AG starts to tell his story and Nini and he dance, so this story isn’t only told by words. The Music also plays a big role: Ag starts singing Roxanne by The Police, but in a slightly adapted version. At 1:20, you can see how Nini’s eyes are illuminated, a great use of light. Many moves during their dance are repeated later on by the group. The kicking leg, the arms spread, this kind of moves. At 1:43, AG has gripped Nini’s wrist (watch her face after he let her go! the cheeky prostitute is replaced by a real actress). At 3:05, the group has a more or less similar move: the men hold the girls by their wrists. Watch their eyes, it’s almost like they’ve been crying. It adds a dramatic feel to this scene, especially combined with that vulnerable move. At 5:22, the Duke has taken Satine by her wrists.

At that moment, Satine and the Duke have seen Christian passing by, and the Duke realises Satine doesn’t love him. He goes mad. Really mad. (He’s freaky guy after all…) The music was gone for a little while, but at 5:22, the violin starts playing again, an Arabic sounding voice appears, and tension’s built up. Then there’s a sort of explosion: all three storylines have come to a point of brutal action, all together. Watch the group at the end of their dance: it’s almost as if they are fighting, just like Satine and the Duke. At the end of the scene, everyone’s shouting and you feel that this can go but in one direction: the end.

During this scene, there are also small moments where the feeling of intimacy is nicely built up. 3:30, 4:12, 4:40 to name a few: moments where we see people of the group as if they don’t know we see them. Vulnerable, intimate moments.

This scene is by far one of the most dynamic, powerful and touching scenes I’ve ever seen. Here’s the best video I could find on YouTube so you can see it again, or for the first time. Enjoy!

 

Dance Day has its own category! Look on the right for more.

Dance Day # 1

Okay, it’s the worst title I could have come up with for this post, but let’s say that it says exactly what it has to say.

I’m starting a new series of posts here. And it will be about… dance! How strange. Guess you’d never have guessed it. So, I’m starting with this series because Internet is full of awesome videos and I want to spread them. It won’t just be about ballet only, if that takes your fear away. To start with, I’ve got a nice little video of Cyd Charisse and Gene Kelly, two great dancers of another time, in Singing in the Rain. Enjoy!

Biutiful Babel

Today, we saw this movie, starring Javier Bardem. If you feel a great need for tragedy and dead people, then go and watch it. If you feel a great need for a movie that isn’t like Hollywood’s movies, then go and watch it. But you have to give it a chance and be patient in order to understand it.

It’s made by (eh-ehm) Alejandro González Iñárritu, the one who also made Babel. I saw that movie when I was younger, but I found it great because of the way of telling the story. You only got to know little pieces untill everything fitted. It had me speechless. I need to see it again, now I’m older and will understand more.