Friday, June 10, 2011

Death at the Movies - Gone With the Wind

Today I'm feeling under the weather, so I decided to make a post about Death at the Movies (and not Death as a character, as in The Seventh Seal, Meet Joe Black or Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey).  I am talking about characters dying.  The compilation that will result from this little experiment is not a list of best of, or even my favorites.  It is just a list of the ones that have stuck in my memory.

Let's begin at the very beginning (a very good place to start).

Melanie (Olivia de Havilland) in Gone With the Wind

Gone With the Wind is one of my favorite movies.  I love the costumes, the photography, the story, the characters, the actors.  It also succeeds in developing the multiple characters that move in and out of the story.  This is specially true of Melanie, Ashley's wife and Scarlett's "rival".  Melanie's death precipitates Scarlett's understanding of their relationship, as well as her relationship with Ashley and Rhett Butler.  Sometimes we have the best things in front of us, but we do not realize it.

This is the most tragic part of the movie (give or take Bonnie Blue's death).  All of Scarlett's monsters have come to participate in this ball.  And she has to confront them all, including Rhett's departure.

De Havilland suffused Melanie with quiet stoicism, maturity, strength in her illness, loyalty, but not naivete.  Truly remarkable.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Insidious is....

...some good scares at the beginning of the movie that regrettably don't hold in its second part.

Where is Zelda Rubinstein when you need her?
The movie's premise is a haunting, but with the twist that it occurs not to a house but to a boy.  The first few scares are really good, but once Barbara Hershey enters the picture, it goes downhill.  It has nothing to do with Ms. Hershey, but with an evident lack of focus.  On this same note, the make-up and special effects are sub-par, causing the viewer to get out of the movie.  It tries to be a modern day Poltergeist, but that picture is leap and bounds better than Insidious.  

Four out of ten stars.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Yes, we can cancan!

This is part of the series Hit Me With Your Best Shot at The Film Experience.

The first time I saw Moulin Rouge, I did not like it.  But on repeat viewings, boy was I blown away.  Give me pretty, give me excess and I am content.

My favorite shot is actually the entire movie (few movies are so compelling visually as this one).  It is so full of images, colors, beauty, costumes, with excellent visuals and amazing editing that complement the whole movie.

Due to the fact that I have to choose a shot, I think that Satine and her beauty (at the beginning with her naivete as to become an actress and later on with the knowledge of her demise) fully summarize the messages of Moulin Rouge.  Perfect complements for her character and its development throughout the movie.


Freedom, Beauty, Truth and Love... come what may.