Part of any long weekend must involve laying on the couch watching a movie. Lately, my cinematic choices have been of the musical variety. Pitch Perfect, anyone? Stop pretending you don’t love coming of age comedies, an acapella No Diggity riff-off and the comedic stylings of Rebel Wilson. But I majorly digress…
A few months ago, I went to the movies with my good friend J and we were going to spontaneously choose a film upon arrival. She felt too guilty to watch the new Batman without her husband (such loyalty!), Katy Perry Part of Me was on too late (teenage hearts), so we opted for the reboot of Total Recall (last resort). A complete waste of Colin Farrell and 2 hours of my life, which I will never, ever get back, ever (to the tune of a Taylor Swift breakup song). Another digression…
So now that Katy Perry: Part of Me is available to watch from the comfort of my living room, I decided to continue on this musical love affair. First I would like to say, I am not a die-hard Katy Perry fan. I think she’s quite likeable, she has a Betty Boop thing going and I think she has a unique voice. Nonetheless, I found myself shedding a few tears watching this documentary shot during her 2011 World Tour.
The film is a revealing portrait of a singer who struggled to find her place in pop music and ultimately became hugely success. The movie also shows very personal moments as Katy spends time with her family, has professional high’s achieving many #1 singles, she also goes through depression with the breakup of her marriage to Russell Brand. Music and drrrrrama! Whoa, it was more teardrop than I expected.
My final tangent…I like singing Wide Awake in the car. Excellent driving tune. THE END.
October 7, 2012 No Comments
I have always been a lover of the art-house, tiny cinema genre of film. The kind of movies that rarely make it into the mainstream and are rented at the independent local video store. This afternoon, as a guilty pleasure, mini popcorn in hand, I took in a matinee screening of Bill Cunningham New York, the documentary about the famed eccentric New York Times photographer and fashion columnist.
The film observes the 80+ year old Cunningham as he navigates New York on his bicycle, shooting street fashion in the mornings, editing his images, writing his columns and photographing society events in the evenings. It is a character study of a humble, hard-working and unassuming city anthropologist; his passion has not waned over the years, his enthusiasm for discovering trends and capturing fashion in real life still all consuming. Through candid interviews with his many muses and industry contemporaries, you are able to understand why over the span of his career, he is respected for his vision, integrity and kindness. Truly a MUST SEE.
“A lot of people have taste but very few are daring to be creative.” – Bill Cunningham Watch the trailer here
June 19, 2011 No Comments
Hallowe’en rivals Christmas as my favourite celebration of the year. When else is it encouraged to parade in the streets in a ridiculous costume? The mood is always light-hearted and playful. You can’t help but feel kinship and camraderie with a fellow stranger who is dressed in a spandex outfit as Borat. “Great costume dude!”
While there are obvious selections (vampire, fright mask, slutty maid) found at the local party store, I think the best OMG moments are when you see someone who has gone the extra mile in giving thought and effort to their alter ego choice. I once attended a party where a gentleman was Pinhead (the villain from the horror movie Hellraiser); with pins stickout out from the perimeter of his head and special effects makeup so convincing, I circled around him to avoid his path. Freaky!
Personally, I think the elements of authenticity and comedy are what bring the best costumes to life. Some ideas if you are stuck in the brainstorming department:
October 18, 2010 No Comments
Women, all ages, love teen movies. It’s a fact. We will never, ever give them up. Even when I have daughters, I will ask them to scoot over on the sofa to make room for my leisure outfit clad butt while they hostess their first coming-of-age ritual sleepover. They will whine, “Stop embarrassing me!” to which I will defiantly ask them to pass the popcorn.
This week, I caught a matinee of Easy A with my partner in crime J. We couldn’t score prime tickets to a TIFF premiere but we both could handle a few days wait. Plus, who doesn’t die for Emma Stone? Admit it, you loved her as the nerdy sorority girl in The House Bunny (a movie my mother loved and confusingly called Bunny House) and the gun-toting street smart in Zombieland.
Easy A tells the story of Olive, a highschool gal who has zero profile but gains a reputation after being overheard in the washroom telling her bestie about a faked loss of her v-card. The rumour spreads like wildfire and Olive, in a rebellion to her classmates begins wearing Agent Provocateur lingerie to school, pinned with a giant A to her chest in a mock homage to The Scarlet Letter. Emma Stone is brilliant in her role, her hippie parents are played by the wonderful Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson and Penn Badgley is super-cute as her real crush. There was something extra appealing about him – perhaps his tan and his cheekbones seemed more chiselled. No wonder Blake Lively dates him! I finally get it.
Back to Emma Stone and reasons why she’s my girl crush…
She’s kind of quirky, always believable as an actress, makes interesting movies and she has a really great stylist. What’s not to love? And if you think I’m waxing poetic, you will love her after you watch this clip from Easy A: Pocket Full of Sunshine – Emma Stone
September 21, 2010 No Comments
When I was in highschool, I used to volunteer at the Toronto International Film Festival. At Roy Thompson Hall, I used to count people in the lineups and give out tickets to patrons. A lover of film and socializing, it was a great opportunity to watch free movies and meet new people. Back then, you could easily watch films and tackle a few celebrities if you so wished. I mean, the after-party was held at The Bamboo (currently Ultra). These days, it’s a much more glamourous affair, with a red carpet rolled out and legions of fans lining the block to catch a glimpse of their favourite star. Securi-tay!!
I kind of casually hinted to the universe that I wanted to watch a few films during TIFF but negotiating a ticket is a Mission: Impossible sort of task, particularly to those screenings with early Oscar buzz. To my delight, my PR friend A was wardrobe styling a few personalities and messaged me with a last-minute proposition to catch Black Swan. Of course, I agreed (thanks universe!).
Black Swan, directed by Darren Aronofsky is a psychological thriller starring Natalie Portman as ballerina Nina Sayers, a dancer relegated to the corps until the artistic director, superbly played by Vincent Cassel, forces the aging prima ballerina, Winona Ryder into retirement. Faced with the stress of taking on the lead in Swan Lake, Portman’s fragile character succumbs to pressure and paranoia. I don’t want to give away any additional spoilers only my take on the film. The best word to describe the movie is intense (it is a thriller after all). Set in the backdrop of ballet, the art direction is beautiful, the characters layered and ensemble performances strong. While the film overall has moments that are a bit cliche, the audience loved it. Aronofsky and cast received a standing ovation.
- Dance Sequences – I admit it. I am a sucker for dance sequences and any kind of choreography. The rigours of ballet though, are on another level. The strength, persevere and pain that these dancers endure is to be admired. Natalie Portmand and Mila Kunis seemed to do quite a bit of their own dancing. Method. Ouch.
- Costumes by Rodarte – Those talented Mulleavy sisters created floaty costumes and open-weave gauzy knits for Black Swan. My prediction: a return of the legwarmer and resurgence of the bodysuit (this trend has been simmering with Ke$ha and American Apparel lovers, but I think it’s going to go full tilt again). Watch out for it.
- Winona Ryder – I should actually devote a whole post to Winona because I adore her. Aronofsky introduced her as ‘the icon’ and admitted there wasn’t enough of her in the movie.
September 14, 2010 No Comments
The change in weather has put a serious damp on my inclination for socializing. In the mood for nesting, I will periodically stay indoors in lieu of venturing out to the all-night dance party. I had been putting off watching the Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire for some time (confession: the trailer made me cry). Once, coming home on a long-haul flight from London, I was suddenly woken from my slumber by the gentleman seated to my right. A seemingly cool guy in his 40’s, clad in a black leather jacket, he was sobbing uncontrollably to the tune of A.R. Rahman’s Jai Ho (far superior to the Pussycat Doll collaboration). He hurried to the washroom. I assumed to dab his eyes and compose himself.
The story set in Mumbai, India weaves the tale of poor chaiwallah (tea server) Jamal who emerges from the impoverished city slums to compete on the television show ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire?’ Directed by Danny Boyle, the film is a gritty depiction of the hardships of the slums as well as an inspired love story. I enjoyed it and somehow I managed to keep the teardrop tsunami at bay. The film ends with a Bollywood style dance sequence – I would like to learn this choreography one day (just in case).
Watch it: Slumdog Millionaire – Jai Ho Music Video
September 12, 2010 No Comments