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All the reasons you too should see La La Land

Here's to the ones
who dream
Foolish, as they may seem
Here's to the hearts
that break
Here's to the mess
we make

You should see it because …

  • Hey girl, Ryan Gosling is in it.
    Not enough? OK – Ryan Gosling dancing? And singing. And playing the piano? I mean – come on! (It took Ryan Gosling 3 months to play the piano like this, as it is really him playing it in the movie).
  • Oh and Emma Stone. She is fantastic and sings great too. And they have great chemistry together.
  • Yes it is a musical. I don’t like musicals either. But there is less singing in it than you would expect. And the singing that is in it is so beautiful and touching that you forget you’re actually watching a musical.
  • The colours used in this film are wonderful, it’s a visual feast for the eyes.
  • Have a look at those (fairly long but wonderful) one take shots in this film. Some of them took 3 months(!) of rehearsing just to make sure get them right when the outdoor light of the sunset was perfect for the scene.
  • The soundtrack is just perfect.
  • Because they don’t make films like these anymore. (Well appararently they do, but you know what I mean)
  • Like John Legend? He is in it!
  • Because it takes you away from the messed up world we live in for 2 hours of so.
  • And the story (set in modern times) make you think. Which for me is normally the most important thing about a film. (even though there are people who say I think too much …)
  • And last but not least: for the sheer amount of courage it takes to make a movie like this in times when films only seem to care about which special powers the next superhero has.

Plot: “LA-LA Land” is a riveting and uncensored look at Hollywood. It is a story that reveals how friendships sustain us and keep us going. It is a tale that reflects our celebrity-obsessed culture. It is a revealing look at some people’s desire to be loved, adored, and adulated at any cost.

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Film: Nocturnal Animals – (8/10)

This second film from Tom Ford is a bit of a slow starter but don’t worry about that, it will quickly grab you by your shirt and won’t let you go until you have left the cinema. This is one very beautifully shot and stylish (of course) film that is going to stay with you for a while.
I highly recommend you to watch it, if only for great performances from Amy Adams and Jack Gyllenhaal and the beautiful stylistic scenes.

Oh and nocturnal, I had to look it up!

Plot: An art gallery owner is haunted by her ex-husband’s novel, a violent thriller she interprets as a veiled threat and a symbolic revenge tale.

Nocturnal Animals has an IMDB Rating of 8, which is exactly what I would rate it too.

Nocturnal Animals trailer

Read more about Nocturnal Animals on IMDB »

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Where The Wild Things Are

If you are young at heart, go see this film. It is wonderful. If you have children (not to young though) take them too. And the music is absolutely awesome too.

Official website

I am not back yet, I am still running around on the island with Max and Carol and KW. If you are as tired of everything as Max and me, I can recommend you to join us and be king for a day or two.

I will return soon (ish).

Did I tell you that you should go and see this film? Really you should.

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Michael Jackson – This Is It

I am from the generation where Thriller was a must have item in your LP collection. And even though I won’t consider myself a hardcore fan, I think Michael Jackson has made some fantastic music.

I saw This Is It , not because I am a huge fan still but more because I was interested to see what it was all about. The film has been compiled from footage that has been shot at rehearsals in the O2 in London and gives a fairly complete view of what kind of concert could have been expected. It luckily steers clear from over the top sentiment.

A couple of observations:

  • Wow, that concert would have been a huge production. The film showed footage where they were filming new versions of the Thriller and Smooth Criminal videos and on budgets that would make any film maker dribble.
  • MJ seemed a happy man in the rehearsals. And he seemed surprisingly fit too. He had no trouble doing all his classic dance moves, nor had he any trouble singing. (He did mention several times that he wasn’t singing full out in the rehearsals though). It really makes you wonder if what the press has been reporting (that he was a wreck basically) was true, and even more so – how he could have died the way he did.
  • If you have enjoyed his music you might want to go and see this film. As Andrew Pulver writes in the Guardian, it’s a fitting tribute to a bittersweet legacy. However the tagline of the film “discover the man we never knew” is a bit misleading, as you don’t really get close to MJ at all for the simple reason that he talks very little in the film. So it’s basically a concert film, and not much more than that.

Of course I needed to dig up my Michael Jackson albums after having seen this film.
Here are my 5 favourite MJ songs (in no particular order):

  • Black or White (I still love the video of this song and who can forget Macaulay Culkin rapping).
  • Wanna be startin Something
  • Man in the Mirror
  • Earth Song
  • The way you make me feel

What are yours? (If any?) Will you go and see the film?

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Confessions of a stressoholic

  • Confessions of a shopaholic wasn’t the best rom-com ever (it’s Sex in the City meet Devil wears Prada), but I laughed quite a lot at Isla Fisher. She has great comic talent, and she is worth watching the film for. She and Hugh Dancy.
  • I saw A View from the Bridge last week, and wow, Ken Stott blew me away. A must see if you happen to be in London before the 16th of May. Great acting work, also from Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (she was Lady Marianne in Kevin Costner’s Robin Hood!). Don’t miss it!
  • And then my flatmate is leaving. And I have two seperate lines of thoughts about this.

    Line 1:

    I need to find a new flatmate. I know our rent is not the highest, definitely not for the area in London where the flat is based, but loads of people are leaving London because it is so expensive. My worries:
    Will I find a new friendly, funny and reliable flatmate?

    Line 2:
    In American movies like the above Shopaholic they always show flatshares where people are the best of friends and where things just seem to work. I want that too. Which is why I probably need to find another place to live. My current flat does not have a shared living room, so it’s natural to retreat in your own room.
    And if my current flatmate and me have spoken more than 100 words to each other the last 2.5 years I will be surprised.

    So my current dream scenario is finding some really nice people I click with and rent and nice house somewhere in London where there is space for privacy (I still want to be able to sit in my room and read or write or watch a Bill film on my own) but also space for socialness. But where to find the people, and where to find the place to live! It is probably pathetically ignorant to think that that is possible. I must think about this.

  • I am going to tick the lighthouse in Plymouth off my list on Saturday. And will stay with the lovely dogs and my good friend in Devon for the weekend. Here is to good weather for everyone, to sea views, beach walks and Devon creamcakes with tea.
  • It’s Pancake day today.

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Tea time

After 4 hours in the Electric House I got send off with some home work and now I have the rest of the weekend off. Nice. The home work consists of compiling a list of festivals I am going to submit the film to. At this moment Cannes and the UK Raindance festival are the two major ones we have in mind but I will have to do some research. Yes M is taking all this very seriously, I better start to do that too.

Oh festivals by the way, here is how it works: you send your film, you pay them a fee (Cannes f.ex. was 75 Euros last year), they will look at your film, you cross your fingers and hope they decide it is good enough to be shown. So it has to be pretty good.
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Brideshead Revisited – premiere Chelsea

or How not to attend a film premiere (More at Empire).

Now it wasn’t Leicester Square okay and thank goodness for that. As Leicester Square is normally packed with hundreds of people and the red carpet is really long. No this was Chelsea which posh level suited a Brideshead premiere better.

I was there in good time and found the man who was going to hand me the ticket. He was standing opposite the cinema and handed me a golden envelope. There were some policemen in front of the cinema and there were a lot of press mosquitos. I opened the enveloper, checked my ticket (front row seats – wow) and read the letter that accompanied it. Welcome to the premiere yada yada – Dress code: lounge suits.

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Noted

  • I saw My Zinc Bed on BBC2. It was originally a play by David Hare, who now adapted it for television.

    The problem with theatre plays being adapted for telly is that there is so much talk in them. My Zinc Bed was no exception. And despite an interesting cast (Paddy Considine, Jonathan Pryce and Uma Thurman) it did not manage to pull me in. I made it to the end, but didn’t feel touched. I think they should have left it as a play. And I also felt that Paddy Considine was completely wrongly casted.

    Clearly my interest for David Hare plays have been awakened by both The Vertical Hour (Nighy) and Amy’s View (Felicity Kendall), which I both saw and loved.

  • I saw Get Smart with the lovely Steve Carell. He is a master of dead pan comedy and great to watch, but the rest of the film was a bit, ehrm, predictable. Let’s have Steve do a rom-com again, as he does that so well.
    [rating:3/5]
  • I still have problems sitting. The stitches will be removed on Monday, so hopefully things will improve after that. And I also might get rid of my new nickname then: Frankenstein
  • The Portobello Filmfestival starts tonight. A big part of it is held in Westbourne Studios, which is where I work. I am not planning to see much, but will for sure try to get a ticket to Hammer&Tongs, an evening about the work of the geniuses behind both the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy film and Son of Rambow. Wicked.
  • Only 16 nights until my holiday. You so don’t care about hearing that, but it’s what keeps me going.

And yes I am still working on my film.

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What have you seen?

Entertainment weekly has published a list with 100 new classic movies, and it did not take long before that was turned into a meme. I could not not do this one, especially because there are so many movies I have seen on this list. So here we go, the bold ones I have seen. And feel free to copy!

1. Pulp Fiction (1994)
2. The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-03)
3. Titanic (1997)
4. Blue Velvet (1986)
5. Toy Story (1995)
6. Saving Private Ryan (1998 ) (Have seen bits of it, but find it too hard to watch)
7. Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)
8. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
9. Die Hard (1988 )
10. Moulin Rouge (2001)

90 More to go! »

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122 long days before the Quantum of Solace

Seeing as this is a year without any Bill Nighy films hitting the cinema (So tough! But next year there will be five!), we have to make the best of what we do get. That is not too hard really, as in 122 days we will get Daniel Craig in the new Quantum of Solace Bond film.

It is great to see that Danish actor Jesper Christensen is returning (QOS being the follow up to Casino Royale) in this new Bond. So after running the trailer for a couple of times, and having a look at the poster, I must conclude the following:

  • Awesome trailer (they will show it before Hancock (the new Will Smith anti superhero flick) which is the only reason I will go and see Hancock)
  • Awesome poster. (I think this qualifies for me as the coolest Bond poster ever. Simple yet effective).
  • Awesome visuals shots. (I love James walking up the hill, and also like the reference shot to Casino Royale, the one where you can see Daniel Craig half in the shade in the beginning)
  • Awesome music.
  • Awesome tuxedo.
  • Awesome blue eyes.
  • Awesome, ehrm, chest.

Yep.

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Three to watch: The Waiting Room, Caramel and Gone Baby Gone

Caramel
Something as unusual as a Lebanese Rom-com. IMDB quotes it as a oriental “Sex in the City”. I wouldn’t go that far, but the 4 women who work in the hairdresser, which is the centre of the film, are as different as the SATC women, and their problems are universal. It’s a great film, it is very sweet and lovely, and there are 2 wonderful old ladies in it, and one of them, the woman called Lily, will for sure, steal your heart.
[rating:4.5/5]

It’s a very small film, but should it come to a cinema near you – go see it.

The Waiting Room
This warm hearted British rom is also not a blockbuster, but if you believe in love at first sight then you should go and see it. And if you don’t, you might after watching it. Also here lovely performances from older actors (some of the film is situated in a care home). Go see this one too.
[rating:4/5]

Gone Baby Gone
The story of this film does have some resemblance with the Madeleine McCann case which is why the release of this film got postponed for a year, and finally now it has arrived in the UK. This is one of the best films I have seen this year. I already liked Casey Affleck in the Jesse James film but in this one he has established himself as one of the most interesting American actors around. And let his brother Ben stay behind the camera, he did a great job directing this one, and to be honest, his acting skills at not something to write home about.
[rating:5/5]

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To climb a mountain


Last Monday I put my teeth in it, it was quite heavy to chew and it took a couple of days to get back into the writing groove. But I am in it, and spend most of the weekend in a cafe in Fulham, together with Billy, Milky Way Tea, the soundtrack of DIRL and the will power and persistence to finish this script.

I had several problems to solve in the script and it felt like an impossible task, something like climbing the Mt. Everest. This weekend I was relaxed enough to take one step at the time, and it is very close now, actually, it is so close that I dare to say that it will be finished this week.

Now “finished” sounds very final but scripts never are. With finished I mean that it will be in a state of which I am happy enough to send it to some friends to read. To get some comments from the real world.

So that’s how I have spend my weekend: writing in a cafe. There isn’t much I’d rather do.

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Son of Rambow – review (10/10)


First – this is what the Everyman Cinema in Hampstead looks like. And this is what cinema’s should be like: fantastic chairs (2 seaters if you bring along a friend, one seaters if you don’t), some cushions, a small (close to) heart shaped table beside you, and on the table, a button to press if you want to order a drink. (Not during the film though). Pure indulgence. I can recommend a visit, should you be in London.

And Son of Rambow? Yep, this is one of my favourite films of 2008. No doubt.

[rating:10/10]

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Son of Rambow

No I haven’t seen it yet, but honestly how can a film fail when you have casted fantastic actors like these. I will be very surprised if this is not going to be one of my favourite films of 2008.

Tonight I will attend a preview of it with a Q&A with director Garth Jennings after the film. Garth Jennings is one of my director heroes as he is the man who directed The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, and yes I happen to like that film a lot. And not only because of the excellent casting of Slartibartfast.

I have been banging my head for forgetting to take my copy of The Guide with me today. It would have been awesome to have his signature beside the one from Slartibartfast. I might have a go at buying a copy in my lunch time here in Notting Hill.

Son of Rambow trailer
Official site

I have seen some more films recently, and you can find them here. There haven’t been any great ones since Juno.

I know it is kind of on the low site, the writing here, but honestly there is not that much to write about. I guess today’s horoscope (do I believe that crap? No! But sometimes they are just very accurate) is very true:

You’re not sorry to be seeing the back of March. You’ve got a nagging feeling that you haven’t done your best this last month. You’re right. But you know you’ll do better in April. Think ahead, positively.

So I picked up my script yesterday, felt completely alienated from it, but will put my teeth back in it and finish it. There.

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