Month: December 2013

Kevin Smith’s Clerks

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Kevin Smith’s Clerks is a film that changed comedies as a whole. It was the rude awakening of a genre that was long forgotten in the shadow of stupid teen movies and raunchy soft porn comedies. It’s smart and witty humour is the reason for its huge following of fans and spin-offs that are consistantly perfect.

Dante Hicks is a clerk at the local convenience store who  gets called in on his much needed day off. Suddenly, he is bombarded with problems that are so obscure and irritating that it’s one of the worst days of his uneventful life. He, like most people, suffers from the feeling of being insignificant. Every day is the same, go to work, stare at the clock for a few hours, go home, repeat. Its mentally and physically draining to sit around all day and slowly watch life pass by as if it wasn’t something of significance. This is a concept that is relatable to any person of any culture around the world and thats why it got so much praise. Unlike other movies at the time, where the story lines were extremely unlikely and ridiculous, this one is real. It’s a real story, about a real guy, with real problems. It doesn’t bullshit the audience with a flashy lights and attractive celebrities. It’s an independent film that lives up to its expectations without losing its realistic feeling. Film, unlike art or sculpture, is a portal that looks into reality with a different angle, revealing the truth behind its lens, and that is exactly what Clerks achieved.

This film is also the beginning of my favourite characters of all time, Jay and Silent Bob. They were automatically a classic duo that can be defined as the ultimate stoners of the decade. In the likes of Jeff Spicoli, Cheech and Chong, and The Dude, Jay and Silent Bob’s fun-loving demise will go down in history as some of the best stoners, and a pretty bitchin’ halloween costume. 

 Overall Clerks is a classic story that sums up life as a whole; unpredictable, meaningless and if you sit back and relax, enjoyable. 

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Rodney Ascher’s Room 237

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Unravelling one of the most intellectually driven films of all time, Room 237 is a documentary that will change your perspective on film as a whole.

Stanley Kubrick is a groundbreaking  film maker whose unique style has allowed him to stand out as a genius among mere amateurs of film. His remarkable intelligence shines through in his movies to create an art that will be studied for decades. He has the tendency to make his films that include more than just an amazing story, if you look a little closer it could shock you. His placement of objects, subliminal messages, and overall feel takes people into a trance that allows them to watch over and over. I personally love The Shining, as well as his enthralling film; A Clockwork Orange. I remember the first time I watched it, being so young and not exposed to such heavy context, it opened my eyes to the wonderful world of horror films. His films are similar in their beauty and underlying symbolism that sends shivers down my spine and clears me of all stress. His movies made a large impact on film lovers throughout the globe, thus creating Room 237. 

Rodney Ascher’s Room 237 is a compilation of clips from the legendary film the Shining, with various opinions and arguments surrounding it. Its incredibly interesting and mind-boggling to see how much of the film you miss when you just watch it. The narrators opinions are so raw and heartfelt that its as if  you’re having a intellectual conversation with friends. They truly study Kubrick’s films as if it’s they’re a religion, yet it makes so much sense. Spiritually and mentally it keeps them sane and allows for them to love something more than life itself, so why not call it religion?

This film is perfect for anyone that is interested in Kubrick’s work, or even film as a whole. You learn to question the deeper meaning of film, instead of something you just enjoy to watch once in a while. It can change your perspective on everything and you might not even notice it. It can hit you like a ton of bricks, yet you keep going as if it were a mere particle of dust. Overall, in the end, you will be moved in the most unlikely way that will reflect in your reality.

Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha

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In a world filled with unrealistic fantasies of life, Frances Ha stands out as a refreshing look at what really happens after college.

Foreshadowing my life to the point of terrible realization, Frances Ha is a movie that will not disappoint. It shows the life of a dancer trying to make it big in New York, and find herself along the way. Everyone around her has found their path, whether it be marriage or a perfect job, but she’s still unable to reach maturity at 27. Like many people, she feels as though  her life has passed her by, and has nothing to show for it. Her boyfriend left her, her best friend moved out of their apartment, and she’s left alone to contemplate about what to do next.

Noah Baumbach‘s does an amazing job of showing her descent into the depths of boredom. His choice to use a black and white colour scheme shows his intelligence towards the genre, and it gives the film an extra edge that has been forgotten throughout the years of vibrant colour patterns that distract from the actual content of the story. It’s refreshing to know that people still enjoy movies that aren’t out shined by explosions or car chases. You can enjoy a movie by actually taking the time to think about it, and you’ll find that it’ll change your life. If it seems as though the entire world is against you, and there no one could possibly understand, film will. Sometimes people need to take a step back, sit in their room and indulge into a film that takes everything away. It’s a magical entity that can fill the void in your life that couldn’t possibly be filled by reality.

I would recommend this film to literally anyone. Every single person has felt this way at one point in time. It doesn’t matter if life was handed to you on a fancy platter, awaiting greatness, or you were born unknowing what life would bring. At one point you will question your purpose, and it might seem as though nothing is going right, but it will. 

Luc Besson’s Leon: The Professional

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You never know who might ring the doorbell, and whether its worth answering. Leon: The Professional is a wonderful movie about the consequences of said actions.

Luc Besson tells the story of Leon, a professional assassin, who is forced to take care of Matilda; a young girl who is on the search for revenge. Through her, he learns to forget about his troubled past and discovers what was long forgotten. They team up to take down some of the biggest drug dealers in New York, and find out that vengeance isn’t as sweet as one would expect. They grow together, not only through their indescribable need to fill a void through murder, but through friendship. Its a truly touching story that will make you laugh, cry, and shriek with jaw dropping intensity.

More than anything, this movie made me wonder why Gary Oldman didn’t win an Oscar. He plays the two-faced asshole of a cop, that ruins everything, but I can’t help to love. He completely stole the show from his fellow actors, Natalie Portman and Jean Reno, and delivers a performance that you both love and hate. He’s the perfect bad guy. He dominates the screen with his flamboyant movements and forceful demeanour, but somehow manages to be the most beloved character, in my opinion. I am aware that he is supposed to this terrible person, but he adds humour to the film and allows for you to laugh at an otherwise terrible situation.

Overall this film was simply perfect. I am not saying that it was the best movie of all time, or it completely changed my life, but it was just perfect. Perfect in the most unexplainable way. It wasn’t overly cheesy, or violent, or action packed. It’s a perfect mix that creates a film that you can watch a hundred times without getting bored and will be remembered as one of the most underrated films of the 90’s.

Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window

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We live in a world filled with peeping toms. Everyone is guilty of gazing out the window and absorbing the lifestyles of the people that pass. It’s a way to bring yourself to reality and understand that everyone is just as real as you and have the exact same struggles , however it does have its consequences. Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window is a classic film about curiosity, revenge, and understanding ones place in life.

Jeff Jefferies  is a photographer that is forced to sulk at home because of his broken leg. He has nothing to do, no where to go, and no one to talk to. The only thing that fills his days is pondering out the window at his neighbours, who’s lives are much more interesting. He finds beauty in their individuality and can relate to their struggles in the most profound way.  After absorbing their daily life, he came across a neighbour with who’s peculiar behaviour lead him to believe that he was a murderer. The mystery begins to unravel as he becomes obsessed with the mans suspicious demeanour, until he learns what is truly important.

Alfred Hitchcock is an amazing writer and film director who’s distinct style has completely morphed films into what they are today. His work with suspense and mystery truly makes him a living legend who’s uniqueness can never be exaggerated.  Rear Window is not only one of his greatest films, but also one of the best films of all time. It has received high praise and will go down in history as a film that changed the genre, as well as my perspective on it. I have to admit that I’m not a fan of mystery films, or have really had any feelings for them other than appreciation for their cliche endings. This one was completely different. It didn’t just focus on the one mans bad intentions, it also showed that life is different behind closed doors. Everyone is human, everyone makes mistakes, and everyone gets lonely sometimes. It’s a movie that allows for you to feel more real as a person, and that is a difficult task to achieve nowadays.

I would recommend this film to any person that loves classic films. Even if you don’t, and believe in the terrible misconception that their boring and uneventful, this one will not be a disappointment.

Sofia Coppola’s Lost In Translation

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Sofia Coppola‘s Lost In Translation is as real as a story can get without becoming reality. At least once in a persons lifetime, they come across a person who connects with them on almost every level. Whether they’re 10, or even 50 years older, it doesn’t make a difference. All that matters is that the connection is made, and you’re life will never seem so real.

Charlotte is a newly wed, who’s husband couldn’t care less about her dreams. He takes her on a trip to Tokyo so that he can establish his photography career, as she patiently waits in the hotel like a puppy. Left alone with her thoughts, she eventually grows restless and finds herself questioning her purpose in life. At her lowest point, she meets Bob. Bob is a movie star who peaked in the 70’s and has been trying to maintain some of his dignity. They automatically relate in a way that seemed out of reach at a time of uninspiring lifelessness. This is not a romantic story, nor is it one of lust, it doesn’t always have to be that way. They’re friends who love and understand each other in a way that is inexplainable to the point of pure bliss.

Coppola does an amazing job of emphasizing their pain in the most sincere way. You can feel their sadness, even though its not in an obvious manner. If you’re a person that can relate, its extremely life changing.

Lost In Translation is a fantastic film that will allow you to grow as a person. It teaches you to not assume that you know someone because of their past, or even current situation. You never know who is suffering, and whether it could be solved with a simple kind-hearted smile. If you learn to love someone at their worst, you will love them forever.