Thursday, 31 March 2016

Film Review: Talk To Her.

FILM REVIEW: Talk To Her (Pedro Almodovar, 2002).

Originally titled, Hable Con Ella, I am currently studying this film for my A2 Film Studies exam and felt that reviewing it would help gather clear thoughts on the film in terms of 'empowered women in world cinema', and be used as a revision technique.

When first watching the film I got the impression that I should have been bored from the start, but I actually got really interested almost instantly, with the character of Benigno definitely intriguing to me from the start, and finding Lydia empowering one minute, then disempowered the next, I just wanted to keep watching to try and make sense of the film. 

It's definitely a good film to use as a counter argument for Empowered Women in my exam, but there is some points that could be used supporting empowerment; Lydia's multi faceted lifestyle and personality, being portrayed as a beautiful, popular woman, who also takes on a typically masculine role as a bullfighter makes her extremely enigmatic and empowered. However, spoiler alert, when she let's the bull put her into a coma purely for El Nino, I felt like her empowerment went straight out of the window. Earlier in the film El Nino's friend said "She'd let the bull tear her apart if it meant you'd see", and that's exactly what she did.

Benigno and Marco's friendship is so disempowering for the women on screen, as they both have full control of Alicia and Lydia and both, especially Benigno sexual and take advantage of the powerless women. The use of the friendship also results in a warmer feel for Benigno, as we associate ourselves with Marco and eventually start to feel sorry for Benigno before we take the time to real how twisted he actually is.

The cross cutting and non-chronological order of the film definitely makes it a more intriguing viewing experience, as you're not entirely sure of any character until you're pretty far into the film. Despite the dark themes in the storyline,the empowering references to Franco's era in Spain via the Opera and Alicia's fighting nature, with Lydia's powerful lifestyle, the women in the film can be seen as mostly empowered, except when they're given passive roles, which eventually do lead to them being empowered, most of the time. This film is definitely half and half in terms of empowered women, and I can see why some people didn't enjoy it, but personally I did.

TOP FIVE: Favourite Songs.

Another Top Five, this time favourite songs.

Again, in no particular order because that would be practically impossible.

1. Pixies - Where Is My Mind.

I remember hearing this song for the first time by just stumbling across it on Youtube probably over a couple of years ago, and despite listening to it hundreds of times and driving my family and friends crazy with it, I still absolutely adore it. I wasn't particularly in the best place when first hearing this, and despite not having what most would see as heartfelt lyrics, it definitely spoke to me. It also lead me to finding the film Fight Club, which would have made it onto my Top Five films if I had watched it enough times to warrant it's place on the list. Placebo's cover of this song would also be on this list if it wasn't the same song, if that makes any sense at all, but it's also just absolute perfection. Since hearing this song an obsession with the Pixies definitely blossomed, and other songs of theirs would make it on this list if I didn't feel so repetitive doing so. 

2. Arctic Monkeys - Only Ones Who Know.

Not a particularly well known song from the band. but in my opinion, it's one of their best. It's not their typical upbeat song, but the slow rhythm and romantic lyrics are definitely different to their usual themes. There isn't really any significance in the lyrics to me, I just genuinely like the song and love to sing along to it.

3. Radiohead - Creep.

I absolutely adore this song! As melancholic as it is, it just speaks to me, especially when I was in my strange 'finding myself' stage at thirteen, but ever since then it's just stook. The lyrics are pretty relatable for someone with low self esteem, and even though I've changed a lot and I'm a much more confident person, the song itself is still pure brilliance. Most would disagree because of it being so slow and "mopey", but I love it so much it's made it onto my Top 25 Most Played on my iTunes, which says something due to how much music I have on there and how often I just let it shuffle.

4. Bright Eyes - First Day Of My Life.

This song is one of those songs that every couple has, and that's probably about as much detail as I'll go into for this. I absolutely adore it and it really means a lot to me. The video is also worth a watch too, absolutely adorable.

5. Beyonce - Pretty Hurts.

Another, meaningful when lacking self esteem song, which is a regular theme in my confidence lacking days which are fairly common. This is different to all the others on the list, but I do love to listen to similar artists regularly, it's just that this one has meaning and I listen to just as much as other songs on the list. 

TOP FIVE: Favourite Films of All Time.

As one of my first posts I felt like it would be necessary to do a couple "Top Five" posts to give a sense of what I like and what sort of things I will be posting, so I thought I'd start with my 'Top Five Favourite Films of All Time."

(IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER, that's just too difficult.)

1. Pretty Woman (Garry Marshall, 1990)

Pretty Woman has to be my all time favourite 'typical girly film', and I'm not particularly a massive fan of chick flicks or rom-coms, but this is definitely an exception. I watched it for the first time when I was pretty young, and got fairly obsessed with it, then last year I studied it in AS Film and really got to know the film inside and out. It is definitely a very predictable storyline, but Julia Roberts and Richard Gere really play the parts perfectly, and provide audiences with romance, comedy and a pleasant viewing experience. The whole lacking of independence and reliance on men theme does bug me slightly, but despite this it's just a great film, especially if you're looking for a typical cliche filled girly film without cringing at today's romcom cinema.

2. Donnie Darko (Richard Kelly2001)

I remember in my early teens I used to see gifs of this on Tumblr alllll the time, and one day I decided I needed to watch it, and when I did I'm pretty sure I ended up watching it multiple times the same week. I absolutely fell in love with it, which was strange at the time because I had never really been into 'indie' films. The peculiar storyline, dark themes and soundtrack all intrigued me and stole my attention away; I ended up googling the meanings behind the story line, downloading the soundtrack and watching youtube videos to explain the film to me, I was hooked. The film was also a shared interest between myself and my boyfriend when we first met, being one of his favourite films too it created so much more interest in the film and resulted in me watching it an unbelievable amount of times since discovering it a few years ago.

3. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Jim Sharman, 1975)

Watching this film for the first time as a young child I remember thinking how strange it was, and it wasn't until I was in my teens that I actually began to appreciate how fantastic it actually is. If I could see any movie in an actual theatre, it would definitely be this one, because on screen it's definitely a one of a kind film, so to see it live would more than likely be unbelievable. The acting, mise en scene, and soundtrack absolutely make the film, and I couldn't think of any ways in which they could be improved. Tim Curry played an absolutely incredible Frank-N-Furter, a part that I could never believed would be played by him until I saw it. Curry, Sarandon and Bostwick played the lead roles like you wouldn't believe and they definitely made the film so spectacularly unique that it made it into my all time favourites.

4. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)

Another film that I first watched at a young age and absolutely loved, this has to be my all time favourite horror film. From being a child my dad introduced me to various different horror films, varying from Hammer Horror to Stephen King, and this just so happens to be one that I loved more than the others. I read multiple King books throughout my teens, Carrie being my favourite, but the film, neither the original or the multiple remakes, really did it for me, but The Shining is a film I could watch hundreds of times over. This was my first time seeing Nicholson on screen too, and he was what really sold the film to me; Jack Nicholson's portrayal of Jack Torrance was perfection, creating such suspense and was definitely Oscar worthy in my opinion.

5. Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, 1994)

I absolutely adore Tarantino, so this film being in my top five is no surprise to most, but I just had to put it in this list because of how many times I've seen it, and still continue to watch it. The multitude of fantastic actors, the film making and mise en scene make the film so much more watchable, as the storyline alone could be seen as not particularly enigmatic. Nonetheless, I still love the film, and the viewing experience is almost unique, as a film like this is so hard to find, with action, humour and sophisticated performances from all the cast.

Film Review: Deadpool.

I went to see Deadpool with extremely high expectations, after patiently awaiting for it to be released since it was announced. At first, I thought all of the teaser trailers and posters released before the film would ruin the film for me, however before the opening credits of the film were finished I was already laughing. 
The humour, breaking of fourth wall and intertextual references throughout the movie, alongside Reynold's acting made the film absolutely perfect. It's fair to say that Ryan Reynold's was made for the role, and it was an immense step up from the X Men Origins weak portrayal of Deadpool, or his role of Green Lantern, which made it hilarious when both were mentioned during the movie. 

Despite the fairly predictable ending, where he gets the girl, the film was absolutely fantastic. The obvious fairytale-esque love story plot line was a useful plot device in order to introduce Deadpool's character, by giving him means to create his first onscreen appearance to it's full potential besides purely beating a bad guy. So, the storyline was just like any other superhero film, but the introducing of the character and portrayal were top class and hilarious, it's definitely a film I could watch over and over.