Wednesday, July 28, 2010
There sure is a lot of opulent dinner party preparation in this Italian drama. We see servants prepare food, line up plates, arrange seating, etc. under the supervision of Tilda Swinton as a Russian woman who married into the wealthy Recchi family, yet appears to be far from satisfied. Swinton’s husband, Pippo Delbono, is distant and only business minded in the face of his father’s (Gabriele Ferzetti) declaration that he is passing his textile manufacturing enterprise to not only his son, but also his grandson (Flavio Parenti).
This announcement is made, of course, at one of many formal dinner parties that dominate the first half of the film. A chef friend (Edoardo Gabbriellini) to Parenti enters the picture and sweeps Swinton off her feet with a sumptuous dish of prawns. This scene tries to be sublime, but it borders on the ridiculous – a shaft of light falls upon Swinton as she begins to eat, the music swells, and there are extreme close-ups of her face as the taste sensation overwhelms her.
On a trip to Sanremo to visit her art student daughter (Alba Rohrwacher), who her mother knows is a lesbian, but is keeping her secret, Swinton runs into Gabbriellini and they begin an affair. Their budding romance has tragic consequences when it’s revealed at, yep, another fancy dinner gathering. After flirting with the mainstream and winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress (for “Michael Clayton” in 2008) it’s nice to see that Swinton can come back to her art house home turf, but despite her character craft this is a overbearing self consciously artsy film with little soul.
There is a sex scene that about sums it all up – Swinton and Gabbriellini make love in the woods, her pale skin (also surprising to see she will still do nude scenes – most of the time Oscars bring an end to that) intertwining with his as the camera cuts constantly away to the nature surrounding them. Shots of insects and flowers are interspliced between shots of their carnal desires. It’s all a pretentious show-off that has no ambitions beyond empty imagery.
I AM LOVE is sure to delight many lovers of Foreign and indie films for the same reasons it didn’t appeal to this reviewer. Its aesthetics alone will be enough to satisfy some movie goers, but the lack of pure emotional impact will definitely disturb others.
Director Guadagnino made a film that desperately wants us to feel for these people, take in their lush environs, and luxuriate in their passions. Yet after 2 hours of all the luscious shots of well prepared delicacies that these people live off of, it was difficult to relate or empathize – the only real thing I felt was hunger.
Monday, July 26, 2010
Ed Hardy Lower Back Design
Ed Hardy has contributed a lot to the to the world of tattoos and he is well recognized today for his works. His art work have traveled many nations where the designs of Ed Hardy have been inked by many people. In this tattoo, depicted is a popular tattoo that is probably the most famous Ed Hardy Designs, "Love Kills Slowly", which is also a logo that is printed on shirts and clothing line by Christian Audigier, who was granted permission by Ed Hardy to print his designs.
"Jail-fuckin'-bait! Jack-fuckin'-pot!!" - Kim Fowley as played by Michael Shannon.
Not exactly. When this film came out last spring it cherry bombed at the box office.
This absolutely by-the-numbers music biopic only comes alive when Michael Shannon is onscreen. As infamous record producer Kim Fowley, Shannon steals the film away from Kristen Stewart who does a convincing Joan Jett and an all angsty Dakota Fanning as Cherie Currie. Despite the title Stewart and Fanning are the only members of the legendary '70s all girl punk band that the film chooses to focus on - you can count the lines Scout Taylor-Compton as Lita Ford has on one hand and Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development) as Robin the bassist barely registers. Ditto Stella Maeve as drummer Sandy West. West died in 2006, but you wouldn't know that from the film's ending wrap up of only Jett, Currie, and Fowley's fates.
Still it's fast paced and filled with a lot of great music. In the mix of the Runaways greatest hits you get David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Sex Pistols, and weirdly Don McLean blaring throughout the movie. It will most likely be remembered for being the movie that Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning made out in, but if that's what your looking for, those scenes are blurry in a manner mistaken for artsy, and there's little emotional conviction to make anyone care. Overall THE RUNAWAYS resembles the VH1 produced rock biopics that dramatized Behind The Music episodes and rerun constantly on VH1 Classic. That undoubtedly will be where this ends up.
ENTRE NOS (Dirs. Gloria La Morte & Paola Mendoza, 2009) This Spanish drama, produced and distributed by IndiePix Films, was one that didn't visit Triangle area theaters, but is now out on DVD and available for streaming on Netflix Instant. Paola Mendoza plays a Colombian immigrant who in the opening scenes is left by her husband (Andres Munar) to fend for herself and her 2 children in New York City.
All she seems to have going for her is that she can make great empanadas, but she can't seem to sell those on the street corners so she takes up aluminum can recycling. It's a tale of struggle and hardhip loosely based on a true story that has several incredibly moving scenes. The strength of Mendoza's performance creates much empathy for the severe situations she faces. Sebastian Villada Lopez and Laura Montana Cortez as Mendoza's children also register highly. Though some of the suffering may discomfort some folks, this is definitely worth a rental.
MOTHER (Dir. Bong Joon-ho, 2009) This gritty yet crisp looking thriller from South Korean writer/director Joon-ho only came as close as Cary to the Galaxy theater last spring. When she believes that her slow daft son (Won Bin) is innocent of a murder he's accused of, Kim Hye-ja investigates the crime on her own.
The murder is of a school girl (Moon Hee-ra) who as the rumors say was very promiscuous and has a cell phone full of pictures of possible suspects. Hye-ja fiercely fights through the elements and, of course, gets more trouble than she bargained for. “Mother” is immensely entertaining with true feeling for its characters, particularly the admirable lead. It also looks beautiful on Blu ray.
PRODIGAL SONS (Dir. Kimberly Reed, 2010) Another film that didn't play in the Triangle - a documentary about and by transsexual film maker Kimberly Reed (formerly Paul Reed) who returns home to Montana to face family and friends. Adopted brother Marc, who has brain damage from a car accident, is a big obstacle as he's never accepted his sibling's sex change.
"I just wanted us to be able to move on, but before I knew it, we ended up exactly like we used to be." Reed says on her more than abundant narration. For the first 20 minutes or so it feels like a typical fish out of water/culture clash but when Marc finds out that his grand parents are none other than Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth things get considerably more interesting.
The take away amounts to more than that as we see Kimberly deal head on with his/her past rerunning old football footage and facing old photographs. Marc meanwhile has some scary outbursts which results in jail time. Film of Welles, mostly from his last film F FOR FAKE decorates the second half of the film in morbid tribute. A worthwhile yet disconcerting doc - PRODIGAL SONS is available on DVD and streaming from Netflix Instant.
A TOWN CALLED PANIC (Dirs. Stéphane Aubier & Vincent Patar) This French stop motion animation movie only played for a week at the Colony Theater in North Raleigh last spring which is a shame because it’s a fun absurd romp that deserves bigger audiences. Little plastic figurines, simply named for what they are – “Cowboy”, “Indian”, and “Horse” are the protagonists of this beyond silly plot involving 50 million bricks, thieving blue pointy headed fish folks, and a gigantic penguin robot.
As ridiculous animated features go it's way better than DESPICABLE ME.
PANIC has more than enough laughs and ideas in it to be worth and hour and 15 minutes of your time so see what too many people missed last spring theatrically as its now on DVD and also available streaming on Netflix Instant.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Lower Back Butterfly Tribal Tattoo
Butterflies are beautiful creatures of nature, their meanings as a tattoo often symbolizes rebirth or can be a significance symbol that revolves around a new change in life. Butterfly tattoos have always been admired by both women and girls. There are many places to get a butterfly tattoo design. In this picture of a lower back tattoo, the design consist of a butterfly tat with tribal designs that is embellished with a name in black ink.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Baby Wing Tattoo
Winged tattoos are commonly known as a positive symbol that have a connection with heavenly angels. It is a symbol that many people have come to love having as a tattoo design. In this image, it shows a winged tattoo of a memorial or remembrance design that is dedicated to a lost love one, most likely that of a newborn baby or child.
Friday, July 23, 2010
Best Friend Tattoos
Ideas for best friend tattoos can come in many ways and form. Ideas can come from the things you and your friend both have in common or ideas can be keyed to activities you both love to share and enjoy together. Having matching tattoos of a similar design as in this tattoo picture of matching star designs, is something you can relate ideas from. You can also think about tattoos with "half counterparts" such as a half heart tattoo that can be split between you and your friend. Deciding to get a "friendship tattoo", remember a close friendship bond is something that should always be cherished through both the good and bad times. Seriously think about getting a best friend tattoo design, as sometimes friendships our not forever, but tattoos are.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Ace Of Spades Tattoo
Playing card tattoos are sometimes tattooed by individuals that like to gamble. Some of the most popular tattoos of playing cards are the "joker" and those of the hearts and spade suits. The queen, king, jack, and the ace are some of the preferred designs for tattoos. The history of the ace of spades and it's design goes back to its creation. The ace of spades is a known as the death card, the ace is also considered the highest valued card in the deck.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Lower Belly Tattoos
When we think of belly tattoos, one of the most likely area we think about is the navel or belly button. But not all belly or stomach tattoos have to involve around the "belly button". Women and girls thinking of getting a tattoo design on the stomach area might also find the lower belly area of the waist a good spot for a tattoo.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Some of the best places for a tattoo on a woman is the ankle. Tattoo designs for such a spot can be very stylish and fashionable. Women and girls often get their name tattooed on the ankle, but their are other designs of ankle tattoos beside names you could consider. Just to name a few, ankle tattoos of flowers, ankle bracelets, floral vines, stars, beads are great tattoo designs for the ankle.
CYRUS (Dirs. Jay Duplass & Mark Duplass, 2010)
“I’m like Shrek! What are you doing here in the forest with Shrek?” John C. Reilly jokingly asks Marisa Tomei after successfully determining that she’s flirting with him at a party. Although, or maybe because, she walked up on him taking a leak in the bushes it’s definitely a “meet cute.” *
Reilly almost jeopardizes the moment by running back in the house when he hears Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me” come on the stereo, drunkenly yelling “dance party!” Using his beer bottle as a microphone he sings along and tries to get others to join him.
When nobody does, Tomei saves the scene by entering the room singing and dancing along. Before you know it their previously embarrassed and snickering fellow party goers are right there with the couple singing and dancing along with them to the classic ‘80s synth pop song.
See? A meet cute.
Reilly is a divorced lovable lug of a guy who is still close to his ex wife (Catherine Keener) although she is about to get re-married. Reilly hasn’t dated in ages and it’s easy to see why he is instantly smitten with Tomei. The woman of his dreams though has a secret. Thinking she’s married he follows her one night and finds out what it is – she has a grown son (Jonah Hill) who still lives at home.
Their first encounter Hill is polite and though he makes odd awkward jokes (“it’s great to finally have a new dad”) he seems to be cool with Reilly dating his mother. However clues start to form that that’s not the case like when Reilly wakes up the next morning and can’t find his shoes.
Over time more clashing occurs when Hill has panic attacks that Reilly suspects are faked. When Hill moves out then wants to move back in, Reilly confronts him and it’s obvious that the weirdness between them has now become war.
Director brothers Jay and Mark Duplass take another step away from the “mumblecore” movement they helped found (their last one was their entertaining indie thriller “Baghead”) here by using name actors and a more conventional structure. Unfortunately they haven’t left behind sloppy camera work – the zoom ins and outs are overdone and the staging of many shots is shakier than shaky cam should be.
CYRUS has comic moments, but can’t really be considered a comedy.
Reilly and Hill may be Judd Apatow repertory players, but here they’re servicing a story that tries more for tears than laughs. Although it rarely gets either it’s a quirky diversion that may be worth a film goers’ time depending on whether they are a fan of the actors.
* Roger Ebert, who popularized the term, describes a "meet cute" as when "somebody runs into somebody else, and then something falls, and the two people began to talk, and their eyes meet and they realize that they are attracted to one another."
Monday, July 19, 2010
Wooden Cross Tattoo
One of the most significant symbol for many religion's, are the wooden cross. Tattoos of the wooden cross are a common way to express a person's beliefs or faith in God. Crosses can be displayed in almost any form of design or pattern. Some cross tattoos can be that of tribal, Celtic, or other styles that exhibit a shape that is similar to the known design of the cross.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
More ideas for foot tattoos representing different styles of flowers that many women find beautiful and irresistible. All images should be used to gather ideas for your own tattoo. Don't try to duplicate these flower designs in any manner, be creative and design your own tattoo.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Cute tattoo designs can involve lots of things that people find very pretty and attractive. Baby animals such as monkeys, tigers, kittens and this elephant tattoo design fits the category of being a "cute tattoo".
Friday, July 16, 2010
(Dir. Christopher Nolan, 2010)
The buzz has been building for Christopher Nolan's followup to the THE DARK KNIGHT for some time now, and it's certainly going to get bigger as audiences see for themselves what this incredible mind bender of a movie is all about. What it's all about I'm still working out, but I can say that it's a vivid visual feast that's one of the best films of the year so far.
It's a difficult film to describe without giving away some of the pure pleasures of the plot so beware of Spoilers! Leo DiCaprio is a dream extractor - an expert in mind manipulation who deals in the underworld thievery of, well, parts of men's minds when they are asleep and dreaming. DiCaprio works with a team including Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a "point-man" and a dream "architect" played by Lukas Haas. We meet them in the middle of a job inside of the dream state of Saito (Ken Watanabe) - a powerful Japanese business magnate.
Turns out Watanabe is auditioning DiCaprio and his crew for a bigger job involving "inception" -that is the planting of an idea into somebody's head through the dream world. For the job they need a new architect so through DiCaprio's professor father (the always welcome Sir Michael Caine) they are joined by a snark-free Ellen Page. DiCaprio also recruits the slick Tom Hardy to act as "forger" for the team. Dileep Rao rounds out the team as their chemist.
The target for their mind crime caper is Cillian Murphy as Watanabe's corporate rival who has the fate of his family's fortune in his hands upon his father's (Pete Postlethwaite) death. Much like in his last film, Martin Scorsese's SHUTTER ISLAND, DiCaprio is haunted by memories of his dead wife (here Marion Cotillard). Unlike SHUTTER ISLAND however here it's impossible to guess where it's all going.
Despite that it's crammed with a lot of action movie clichés - shoot-outs, automobile crashes, explosions, and there's even a sci-chase with machine guns - it never feels contrived. Its endlessly inventive dream inside of a dream inside of a dream scenarios are spell binding, and genuinely scary at times, and the towering worlds of the CGI crafted dream set pieces are overwhelmingly beautiful. Nolan and cinematographer Wally Pfister really outdid themselves on every frame. Likewise for Hans Zimmer who provides one of his most solid scores, one that swells and swoons at just the right moments.
I'll leave other critics to make comparisons to everything from METROPOLIS to the THE MATRIX because it's obvious that the decade it took to finish the screenplay Nolan has woven many influences and ideas into the framework. What wins out is the film threatens to burst out of the screen into real life - just like the most lucid dreams.
DiCaprio skillfully maneuvers through the action with a layered performance that's nearly as complex as the movie that's surrounding him.. Gordon-Levitt has a lot of screen time in his secondary role and he owns it - especially in the stressful yet seriously fun second half. In one of the best bits of acting I've seen from the actress, Page makes us feel the wonder of being able to create an entire world with intricate acrchitecture and the thrill of manipulating it to your own desires. At one point when she is learning how to structure a cityscape with thought, I really thought she was going to say: "Wow! This is awesome!" Because, well, it really is.
Tribal foot tattoos doesn’t have to be a complicate design to be beautiful. A small simple tribal design can be pleasing just as much as any other design.
Looking at Celtic foot tattoos, they can be symbols commonly used in Celtic tattoos. Knot works can be configured into many shapes and objects. Creating your own interlacing Celtic patterns into a unique design is something to consider also.
Henna foot designs leaves a lasting expression that is very amazing and beautiful. Henna art are very detailed and delicate. Having a great henna design tattooed permanently will have you enjoying the henna tattoo for the rest of your life.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Tattoos of Flowers
Hawaiian Flower Tattoo
The majority of individuals both men and women love "flower tattoos". There are certainly a few men out there that may not consider a flower tattoo as a design, but there are some that do. Besides what is there not to like about a flower tattoo? Flowers are beautiful and very pretty, flowers can symbolize many things in life.
Foot Flower Tattoo
People who love flower tattoos commonly have a spiritual bond with nature. They are not only aware of the beauty that surrounds them but can also see that simple things can lead to happiness just as well. Sometimes you just have to open your eyes to realize, the pleasures of life you been searching for all this time, has always surrounded you.
Waves and Flowers Tattoo
Designs of flowers as tattoo
If you want to express love or something significant in your life flower tattoos can represent these things. Although mostly women get tattoos of flowers, a few men has found the design very meaningful as well. Tattoos of a flower are not set to be tattooed by only one gender, it is a gift from mother earth, a beautiful natural ornament, that is to be shared by both men and women.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Girl Side Tattoo
Having your own name or someone special to you inked on your body has been going on for a long time. The trend of getting your name in tattoo lettering designs are still growing today. These types of tattoos are a favorite among many individuals. Tattoo lettering are available in many different styles of fonts. You can find some font types here Popular Lettering Tattoos that is commonly used in tattooing or visit Script and Tattoo Lettering Designs for more information and where to find "fonts for tattoos". In this picture a name is tattooed along the torso of a girl as a side tattoo. Side tattoos have an area that can compromise large tattoo designs.
- Harvey Pekar as played by Paul Giamatti.
Shortly after hearing the news that cult comic book writer Harvey Pekar passed away yesterday there was a flurry of R.I.P. tweets praising the man, his work, and the 2003 biopic AMERICAN SPLENDOR. Since it's one of my favorite movies of the last decade and I've never written about it on this blog (Film Babble Blog started in 2004) I decided to take the DVD off the shelf and give it a tribute re-whirl.
Taking its name from Pekar's autobiographical comic book series which dates back to 1976, AMERICAN SPLENDOR was a unique biopic in that while the subject is depicted by ace actor Paul Giamatti, Pekar himself appears in documentary style breaks in the storyline.
Husband and wife film making duo Robert Pulcini and Sheri Springer Bergman constructed with care a comic book aesthetic in which both Pekar and his dramatic doppelganger shuffle through animations, recreations of cartoon panels, and old videotape clips mostly from Pekar's infamous appearances on Late Night With David Letterman.
In the comic Pekar would often break the 4th wall and talk directly to us. The film runs with this concept as Pekar's narration enhances the film by adding meta commentary on the movie we're watching like when he says of Giamatti: "Here's me, or the guying playing me anyway, though he don't look nothing like me. But whatever."
Pekar was a longtime file clerk and record collector who by chance befriended revolutionary cartoonist Robert Crumb at a yard sale in 1962. Crumb, meticulously portrayed by James Urbaniak, inspires Pekar to write his own comics. A rarity in a world filled with super heroes, Pekar's "American Splendor" comics centered on Pekar's mundane yet amusingly relatable life and gained a cult following over the years. Crumb and other notable artists illustrated Pekar's writing which made for a pleasing mix up of styles - something the movie adaptation excels at. Though Pekar says Giamatti doesn't look like him - he's as valid an embodiment as any of the comic book depictions.
In one of the most striking scenes Pekar (Giamatti) is taunted by his cartoon alter ego in line behind an old chatty Jewish lady at the grocery store. "You gonna suffer in silence for the rest of your life, or are you gonna make a mark?"
Pekar becomes a folk hero in the '80s largely because of his appearances on Letterman. Over the course of a few years Pekar made 7 appearances on the popular program each time clashing more with the cranky sarcastic host. Pekar finally got kicked off the show because he bad mouthed GE (NBC's parent company) and said Letterman looked like a shill for them. Pekar was allowed back years later in the mid '90s but damage definitely had been done. Although the film shows real bits of Pekar's appearances, the most controversial one is dramatized with an actor (Todd Cummings) stepping in for Letterman. You can see the original clip here.
The film is packed with jazz, soul, and rock which keeps it bopping from frame to frame. Its musical sensibility contributes to the feeling that its simply a riff on the world according to Harvey Pekar. That can be a risky approach but it's not a loose riff; there's not a wasted scene and the well written weight in the non meta portions makes it all fly.
The scenes with Davis as Harvey's 3rd wife Joyce Brabner offset the trickier Pekar monologue material nicely. It's also a treat to see 30 Rock's Judah Friedlander do a pitch perfect impression of Pekar's friend Toby Radloff. Radloff also appears as himself along with the real Brabner - see what I mean about all the meta-ness?
I've seen the movie several times so this latest re-watching wasn't necessarily revelatory, but it was very comforting like spending time with a good old friend again. Pekar was a hero to anyone who ever tried to make art on the side of a dreary existence in a soul deadening job. The movie touchingly captures the begrudging spirit of a man who definitely did make a mark.
In the booklet that comes with the DVD ("My Movie Year") Pekar says of the movie after seeing an early screening: "Wow, that was really innovative...the way they mixed acted portions and documentary footage and animation and cartoons. And double casting some roles. Great! They took a lot of chances and they all worked."
Completely agree with you there Harvey.
R.I.P. Harvey Pekar.
Post note: I also highly recommend Pekar's comics. They are available in sweet anthologies that you can find at Amazon or wherever. "American Splendor: The Life And Times Of Harvey Pekar" and "Our Cancer Year" are essential reads in the world of autobiographical comic books.