Arts

Wim Wenders Paris, Texas

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Every once in awhile, I can come across a film that is so beautiful that it leaves me effected in one way or another. Wim Wenders Paris, Texas is a film that is worth remembering for the rest of my life. I will forever cherish the first time I watched it; the stunning visuals, the  quirky music and most of all; the words spoken that left me speechless. 

Travis Henderson is a man with nothing left to loose, literally. He abandoned his wife and child for four years, unknowing of the consequences. Found by his brother, stumbling across the dessert and brought back into the real world without a word of where he went, or why. All he had with him was a small picture of a lot in Paris, Texas, claiming that its going to be his home with his wife and child. His brother had been taking care of his son, and his wife is no where to be found. Struggling to connect with his son, he feels guilt for his absence and soon realizes what needs to be done.

The camera captures images of relationships and nature in such a way that displays their true beauty and the secrets that lay beyond. The cinematography is a main contributing factor to my love for this film. Much of the film is told through silence and moments where the viewer is encouraged to just think. Many people grow unruly and impatient with a film like this, but its beauty makes up for its lack of plot. I’m not saying that it isn’t interesting, because some of the best films are the ones that are relatable. I’d much rather watch a film thats boring, but I can relate to, rather than a film thats action packed and completely unrealistic. I love being able to take something away of a film, whether it be factual, or understanding myself as a human being. Either way, any film that leaves an after taste, is a film worth recommending.

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Joel and Ethan Coen’s Inside Llewyn Davis

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A beautiful story, told through not only emotions, but breathtaking songs. Joel and Ethan Coen’s Inside Llewyn Davis is a film whose music guides you more than any other film ever could.

Llewyn Davis is a man that loves folk music more than anything in the world. The movie follows him as he tries to find his way in the music business as well as get over his recent breakup with long time girlfriend, Jean. The story follows him for just a week, in the Greenwich folk music scene. Oscar Isaac does an amazing job of portraying the heartache of folk music. Even at times when all hope is lost, you can still hear so much passion and love in his voice.

I have to admit that the actual story told is very dull, however the music makes everything come to life, much like folk music as a whole. I am not saying that it was completely boring, because to me it wasn’t, but to someone that isn’t used to actually watching a film and taking it all in, it might not suit them so well. Over the years popular films are more fast paced in order to keep the audience interested, which is completely stupid. The best parts of some films are the pauses, silences, and moments of pure bliss, where you can just think about what your watching. The film represents folk music well, and you can’t help but buy the soundtrack within the first ten minutes of it.

As a whole this film made me question why it wasn’t nominated for more oscars. It was nominated for best cinematography, which is well deserved, however it deserves more recognition. In my opinion, its better than many of the films nominated this year, and I hope that more people will watch it and grow to understand its simplistic beauty.

John Wells’ August: Osage County

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Its Meryl Streep’s world, we’re just living in it. John Well’s August: Osage County proves that a story isn’t what drives film, it is the manner in which it is delivered.

Family is one of the most important aspects of life. They can inspire, motivate and nourish a person, or they can knock them down, showing no mercy. August: Osage County tells the story of unconventional family that has been faced with death. They’re all brought back together after years of being separated, and are forced to get along under the circumstances. Violet, the mother who is portrayed by Meryl Streep, is what causes all of the drama. She is an old woman with cancer, who gets through the day by taking hundreds of pills. This leads her to hurt the people around her with her truthful words that they would rather not hear. She tells the truth because everyone else is scared. Scared that it will alter their feelings for one another any more than it already has. When someone points out something that has been ignored for years, its finally seen clear. Its finally something that isn’t just locked up in their minds awaiting assistance. I liked this film because it not only dealt with serious problems that people face on a daily basis, but it is also very funny. Its crude humour makes it enjoyable and adds light to terrible situations. It’s the kind of humour that can only be shared between family members, because they’re the only ones that could possibly understand. They’re the only people that have to understand, its a strange relationship that somehow stays intact over the years of change. Personalities change and circumstances change, but family is always brought together in one way or another.

Life goes on, and family stays together. Its just a cycle of events, that always leads to the same thing. A family reunion, filled with similar faces, but different circumstances. August: Osage County is a film that emphasizes the importance of family in the most beautiful way.

Jean-Luc Godards Pierrot Le Fou

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A world where happiness is encouraged, dancing is mandatory, and emotions aren’t suppressed. I wish more than anything that my life was a Jean-Luc Godard film. I wish that it was nearly as colourful, or spontaneous. That life wasn’t seen as a set of goals, but as an opportunity to be as happy as possible. A persons objective isn’t to get the perfect job, but to love someone more than anything. Pierrot Le Fou tells the story of what life should be.

Pierrot is a man that loves two things in life; literature and Marianne. He runs off with her, abandoning his life in search of happiness. No more conformity, or caring what people think, its just him and Marianne against the world. They’re soon on the run for their reckless behaviour, yet they couldn’t care less. They live in various unconventional places, but all they care about is each others presence. It, however is not a love story. It’s a story of life and how people would do anything to be happy. I don’t care if it sounds stupid or unrealistic, but its something that isn’t seen much in film today. Its a part of old French cinema that I love so much. It’s not the storyline that makes me love them, its the writing and emotions that are examined. It puts all of your emotions into profound words that explain everything that has ever been questioned. It opens your eyes wider than ever before, and changes your perspective forever. I don’t care if I sound insane, or that my words are over exaggerated, but then you clearly have never seen a Godard film.

Jean Luc-Godard is one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, His quirky and unconventional writing style is what sets him apart from the crowd and makes him stand out as a genius in the film industry. I promise that if you were to watch this film, that it will change your perspective on life, love, and happiness. It will open your mind to new thoughts and emotions that you thought were never possible. It is a movie whose effect can last a lifetime, yet it’ll never grow old.

Dennis Hoppers Easy Rider

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Imagine being able to leave your day to day life and travel across the country. No more knowing what the next day will bring, or whether it will be pleasant. Relying solely on instincts and the everlasting urge to live in the moment. Dennis Hoppers Easy Rider is a film that shows what is imagined on a daily basis in cubicles across the country. Freedom, courage, and spontaneous interaction with people of similar interest. It is truly a tale of the American Dream.

Best friends Wyatt and Billy cruise across America, determined to make it to Mardi Gras on time. They find themselves distracted by the people they meet and the opinions of civilians that don’t understand. Shunned like a stray dog in the streets for not conforming to societies expectations. However, they could care less, because they’re the ones that are truly free. They don’t need to be accepted or thought of kindly, they just need to live their lives the way they want, and everyone else can mind their own business. They soon discover that it isn’t about getting to Mardi Gras, its about the journey there and their experiences in-between. This is an extremely important concept for people to grasp. You are not defined by your end result, you are defined by how you get there. Your life would be pointless if you never effected people in some sort of way, and didn’t fight for what you believed in.

Dennis Hopper created a debut film that can define his career. His directing style and choice of music truly sets him apart from other people of that time. In 1969 film was considered sophisticated, and no one wanted to hear a story about hippies. He shows us that he was years ahead of everyone else with his knowledge of life and its importance. He has been, and will continue to be, one of my favourite people in the movie industry, and I hope that more people will go back and enjoy his films, because they are truly a work of art.

Paolo Sorrentino’s La Grande Bellezza

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Paolo Sorrentino’s La Grande Bellezza (The Great Beauty) is a film that truly deserves its title. It’s not only beautiful, but its moving and inspiring to the point of tears. It hooks you right from the beginning and won’t let go until the end. But during that time, you’re forced to deal with various emotions that most would like to ignore.

Jep Gambardella is a burnt out journalist that lives in Rome. He spends his nights partying to compensate for his dark thoughts and fear of growing old. He soon realizes that death is something that can’t be ignored. He, much like every other man his age, must embrace life like its the beginning, but think as if its the end. Its incredibly difficult for him to focus as he becomes unruly and distant from the people around him.  He attempts to continue finding hope and new feelings that haven’t already been experienced in his long life, through art and culture. However, it becomes very draining, seeing all of his friends dreams die and fade away, just like his did 20 years before. I really loved the story because its so simple, allowing for it to be relatable. It’s a point in every persons life that they don’t want to face and isn’t usually told. Most movies focus on a persons prime time, instead of it’s descent. It gives people a sense of belonging, like it isn’t strange to feel a certain way, even if its sad, it should’t be. Everyone dies, it doesn’t matter when or how, it just matters that you lived.

From classical violin, to the steady beats of techno, an array of sounds tells the story almost better than the actors. The music in The Great Beauty played a huge part in my feeling towards it. There was such a wide variety of sounds that I think it described life well. At times it was upbeat and happy, others it was sad. Life tends to be like that. There is no certainty that your day will be happy, or sad, or nothing.  It just depends on the way you look at it.

It is truly a film that I will remember for the rest of my life. I hope to grow old enough to understand this movie better and recognize its true beauty. I will watch it again, and it will inspire me and allow me to leave this world on a positive note, knowing that my life was not wasted, even if it was.

Park Chan-wook’s Stoker

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A visually stunning masterpiece, that proves that in order to beautiful, you don’t have to be pretty. Park Chan-wook’s Stoker is a film with a  morbid and disturbing plot, but the way it is filmed makes it a work of art.

India Stoker is a strange young girl with a curiosity that can’t be tamed. She is no ordinary girl, with an ordinary life. She used to spend her spare time with her father hunting, until the terrible accident. He died, leaving her alone with her mother, whom she can’t possibly relate to. At the funeral, her mother reveals to her that she has an uncle, that they never bothered to mention because of his travels. Right away she realizes that something isn’t right about this man, and his effect on her mother. Theres a growing tension between them, and At first, I thought that it was going to be a contemporary version of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and didn’t expect to like it all, but the cinematography made up for its poor storyline. It progressively gets better throughout the film, but I still didn’t enjoy the plot. It just seems like a really lame TV movie with terrible writers and actors that didn’t fit the part. The characters also were questionable because they have no morals, and completely go against everything they believe in. At the start of the movie they feel one way, and then as it continues they just seem to forget. It’s also supposed to be scary but it seems like the main character couldn’t care less about what was happening around her. This made it very difficult to connect with her and have any sympathy whatsoever.

Cinematography has a lot to do with then quality of a film. If my review was supposed to be based solely on the cinematography, I’d say that its perfect. However, that is not the case. It, as a whole, is a decent film. It is not amazing, nor is it special in any way. I recommend this film to people that don’t mind watching it with the sound turned off. That way you can see how beautiful it is, without being corrupted by the rest of the movie.