Δευτέρα, 24 Μαρτίου 2014

Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Writer: Jim Jarmusch (screenplay)
With: Tom Hiddleston, Tilda Swinton, Mia Wasikowska, John Hurt
Production: UK, Germany, France, Cyprus, USA
Duration: 123'

And here lies a vampire world so much different than the one we are used to. Two lonely creatures, drifting through the years, through the centuries. They share a deep love for each other and a deep respect for the world they live in. Their names? Adam and Eve, in an ironic reference in religion, one of the few that follow. 

They are in this world for centuries, they have met historic personalities, they have influenced some of them, they are no random souls. They are maybe the last - or the first - of their kind, lost and drifted in a world where everywhere is constant danger. Through many references in literature, science, history, music and film those creatures make a meaning out of themselves. 

It is such a poetically beautiful movie. The harmony that flows within, the deep and unspoken love it vibrates. Those melancholic creatures face the same - almost - problems with any other human being. She is a unique optimist with features 'out of this world'(how beautiful Tilda is) and He is a talented creature, tired of his own self and solitude and blessed with a deep view for the world of music. 

You will not see many characters in this story. Adam and Eve meet with one of their mentors, Marlowe, an old figure (based on the true Christopher Marlowe who is considered to have written some of Shakespeare works according to historian James S. Shapiro) who eventually will drift away. Eve's younger sister, Ava, will disturb their peace by invading in their world, something that is obvious she does once in a century (which is often). Their relationship will be tested as Adam in not a big fan of Ava, while Eve loves and appreciates her little sister, even if she is over the top. 

The truth is that this story doesn't have a beginning or an end. It catches a part of those creatures' lives into this world. They are both a bit retired from life and don't have so much contact with humans as they used to. Adam has given up hope on the human race and his suicidal attitude worries Eve deeply. 

Written and directed by Jim Jarmusch, the talented independent American filmmaker who has a devoted cinephile audience whatever he does, "Only Lovers Left Alive" is a poetic story of two vampires. The melodic, psychedelic music in the scenes and the slow sequences reveal an auteur with artistic depth and a will to create everything ritually. From how they drink blood (never violently taken anymore), how they make love, how they walk and behave, how they see the world. The time he gives to its characters to evolve, to express their true feelings, works soothingly in the course of the story. 

"Only Lovers Left Alive" is a genuine art film that shows us where the true meaning of life is, even if you are immortal. This movie has created a constant discussion about the melancholic nature of every human walking in this world, having already a truthful attitude towards everything it deals with. In its fiction is utterly genuine

Δευτέρα, 3 Μαρτίου 2014

All is lost (2013)

After a collision with a shipping container at sea, a resourceful sailor finds himself, despite all efforts to the contrary, staring his mortality in the face.

This sailor, whose name and origin we know nothing about, wakes up in his ship, only to realize that it has been wounded by a big floating cargo container. The film starts with us knowing nothing but this sailor's current state. No past or future. Only present. A peaceful present that seems to have been disturbed by an unfortunate accident. The sailor is trying, and after a lot of work manages, to fix his ship, to patch up the big hole in its side and take out the extra water from the inside. But before he even realizes his small success another disaster hits in. 

Through all these tests the sailor has to get through, we experience his deep connection with his ship. It is his friend, his companion. They help each other it seems, he gets hurt when it does. All those feelings are obvious through the sailor's body language. 

He doesn't say much, he doesn't need to say much and so he shows his every feeling and emotion through his rough body. His random gazes, his nods, his head, all shout out what he cannot spell. Through the course of this unending trip, we see him go through various of states; the peaceful, the nervous, the persistent, the satisfied, the angry, the desperate. 

The direction follows patiently the sailor's trip in the sea, his adventure that begins and ends on water. Out in the open ocean where the only things between him are Nature and sea. He, as an experienced captain and used to accidents and misfortunes as this, he tries to replace the damages and go on. His stoicism is unique. 

He never complains and doesn't give up. He is such a force of hope that it is almost too much to bare. His strength and health are being tested all the time. He is alone against nature with a broken ship. But his attitude is the one that keeps him alive. It reminded me the short story of Hemingway "The old man and the sea". Where being alone in the sea and fighting against all those obstacles can only make you stronger, better and wiser. 

It's poetic essence, the contact with Nature and its rage are shown with such enormously amounts of respect and gratitude. Gratitude towards these powers for teaching men, and this man in particular, to face themselves, to embrace their humanity and to accept their faith. 

It is a movie of great importance and emotion. Perseverance and strength, the boldness of battling with nature, the greatness of man's mind and soul. They are all here, allowing so much more to intervene, to mingle, to settle, to absorb through this movie. Redford is astonishing with his performance as the sailor he represents. He is giving an amazing one man show, proving his worth as an actor. He takes all the burden of any small imperfections on his shoulders, that's how good he is. 

'All is lost' is definitely underestimated. But this does not diminish its worth and its value into the cinematic, anthropological world. The sailor and Redford himself are icons, legends of courage and wisdom, faces of everyone who ever doubted themselves. 

Everything you see looks back at you and your mind just settles peacefully in the unsettling world you live in. The anonymous sailor represents all those things you keep hiding from yourself. Like him, you need to face the facts, you need to keep on trying, to survive, you need to make the necessary reflections in order to be a winner in your own game, a winner in life

Σάββατο, 1 Μαρτίου 2014

#Blogoscars - Best Film

20. August: Osage County

19. American Hustle

18. Behind the Candelabra

17. Captain Phillips

16. Rhino Season

15. Rush

14. Stoker

13. The Hunt

12. Prisoners

11. All is lost

10. Fruitvale Station

9. Her

8. Inside Llewyn Davis

7. Only Lovers Left Alive

6. Stories We Tell

5. La Grande Bellezza

4. Blue Jasmine

3. 12 Years A Slave

2. Gravity

1. Frances Ha

Why you gotta love and hate “The Wolf of the Wall Street”

  • Leonardo DiCaprio's performance. Is dramatic, hilarious when needed and absolutely challenging for your eyes. And because you know there should be a special award category only for him.
  • The absence of any particular meaningful point. Or maybe that's the point. Nothingness.
  • The seductive energy of the movie, the money, the drugs, the sex, everything. It just justifies everything, ignoring any potential consequences.
  • The non-judgmental view of Scorsese's direction, his recklessness, his euphoria and impulse like his is still 20 years old.
  • The disturbingly hilarious sequence with the expired pills. 
  • The addictive feeling of this materialistic universe, the porn, the drugs, the excess in money and in living.
  • Because it showed how Wall Street really is.
  • The fact that at the end you feel completely empty and numb. Some thoughts of how you would live this life are running in your brain for at least 30 seconds.
  • The greedy need to see this guy failing completely, not just talking to seemingly untalented people. Now he probably earned a lot of money through this film.
  • The over the top characters, the scary moment when you realize they were/are all real people.
  • When DiCaprio talks to you in the camera. You feel like you can be a part of all this extravaganza.

And after all this I have to admit that unlike everybody else I will never watch this movie again. I appreciate its honesty and I salute Scorsese with respect, but no thanks. No hard feelings.