Friday, 27 February 2009

Five Things About Me - Part I

Association Meme: Comment to this post and I will give you 5 subjects/things I associate you with. Then post this in your LJ (read: blog) and elaborate on the subjects given.

OK, so I was tagged by - or rather I begged for a tag from - Emma, and she tagged me with five things. Which I will do on seperate posts. Partly to keep you all in suspense (MWAHAHAHA), but mostly so I make more posts and this blog doesn't seem too abandoned. First off:

girly stuff

I was actually quite surprised that I was given this topic, as I don't think of myself as much of a girly girl at all. I try and look nice, and if I remember, I may spritz a bit of perfume or add a few lashings of mascara before I leave the house, but I'm not the type of girl to squeal over the newest foundation, know make up brands off by heart, buy magazines or to paint my nails in the common room. I have other things to do. I would say better, but they probably aren't. My taste in films, TV or music isn't all that girly either, I abhor 99% of chick flicks and teen movies, and the ones I do like, such as Pretty Woman or Devil Wears Prada, are cult classics or are critically acclaimed at least (or maybe this is me jsut trying to inject a lil' more pretension into my life). Favourite TV shows are Friends (yeah OK), Scrubs and House. My music taste is indie rock. I don't feel much of a girly girl at all, although don't get me wrong, I would fail at being a boy too, I cannot kick a ball for the life of me.

There is one girly thing however that I absolutely adore (well, two. One is boys :D) and that is fashion. Whether it is high fashion or normal day-to-day, I just love it. I'm not particularly knowledged about it, and it's not one of my hugest passions, but I do really like it. I think I first became interested in high fashion when I began to watch America's Next Top Model with my parents. Yeah, parents plural. My dad does actually like it lol. I don't really care for the bitchiness and drama, and their constant squealing and screaming gives me a headache, but I love the photo shoots, and I love the critique - learning myself exactly what a good model and a good photo takes. It combines another love of mine: photography, and the finished products are absolutely gorgeous. I realise of course that the clothes that these girls and other high fashion girls model are not at all feasible to wear in real life. What they are in fact is an exaggerated inspiration that will slowly trickle down to the commercial market. A model may walk down the catwalk, absolutely swamped in layers of floral silk, and it'll look a lil' ridiculous, but the point is to illustrate the use of flowers on clothes, not to actually wear that garment. This may seem impratical and a waste of time then for an ordinary un-fashion-world girl like me to look at, but I have always been attracted throughout my life - including in my taste in films, books, TV and music - to that which is unusual, risk taking, and bold. You can tell why I love it then. I especially love the themed shoots, my favourite being the Annie Leibovitz one of Alice in Wonderland. It's a completely new perspective of art.

When it comes to my own fashion, well lol I don't really have any, My clothes are nice, but not particularly stunning or edgy. I attribute this partly to a lack of money (I feel guilty even about Primark - I'm really bad at spending), and also to the, um, house rules. Ok, I don't want to paint my parents as strict narrow-minded typical middle eastern parents, but the truth of the matter is that I'm not allowed to wear a skirt/dress above the knee. Which means I live in my jeans, and there's only so much you can do with those. Don't get me wrong, I don't like mini skirts - I don't have that good a relationship with my legs lol - but well, a long floral skrts looks old fashioned. A shortish one with grey woollen tights, or grey kneesocks that have been shoved accordian-style down around the ankles above a pair of canvas lace ups, is well, just cool. But whatever. I'm due to get a bunch of vouchers from Topshop and H&M for my birthday, which is in May. That, plus the fact that I'm moving out soon (hopefully. Pleaaaase God let Oxford happen!!! I am gonna work my butt off tomorrow doing coursework) should mean that I look, well, more like me next year.
Next excerpt coming up soon, IF I do my work. I really am trying to work harder, I really really wanna get to Oxford. I WILL do maths tomorrow, and German c/w and German speaking questions. And I WILL do French speaking questions and French c/w on Sunday. Yay :D
Current Mood: nervous

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Last Minute Oscar Predictions

will win. If I owned the Academy.

Best Picture: Slumdog Millionaire Slumdog Millionaire
Best Director: Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire Danny Boyle
Best Actor: Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler Leonardo DiCaprio, Revolutionary Road Sean Penn, Milk
Best Actress: Kate Winslet, The Reader Kate Winslet
Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight Heath Ledger
Best Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona Penelope Cruz
Best Adapted Screenplay: Slumdog Millionaire Slumdog Millionaire
Best Original Screenplay: In Bruges Wall-E
Best Editing: Slumdog Millionaire Milk
Best Cinematography: Slumdog Millionaire Slumdog Millionaire
Best Score: Slumdog Millionaire Slumdog Millionaire
Best Song: Jai Ho, Slumdog Millionaire Jai Ho
Best Art Direction: The Duchess The Duchess
Best Costume: The Duchess The Duchess
Best Make-Up: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Best Visual Effects: The Dark Knight The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Best Foreign Film: Waltz in Bashir The Class
Best Animated Feature: Wall-E Wall-E
Best Documentary: Man on Wire Man on Wire

wow, the Oscars may actually go mostly my way this year!!!

Friday, 20 February 2009

55. Adam's Rib (1949)

This film made it on here on the strength of the chemistry between Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn. They may not be the most dazzingly gorgeous, sexy or glamorous couple to hit the big screen, but when they're together they set the place on fire. Watching them act is absolutely spell-binding, and this film is one of their sweetest and funniest.

Monday, 9 February 2009

BAFTAS - what I thought

It was actually a very good night. Although the ceremony felt much smaller and quieter than last year - with an awful lot of people missing - all the right people won, as opposed to poor Atonement and its two pitiful wins, and the whole thing felt a lot more professional than it had last year, with Jonathan Ross making actually funny jokes. My predictions were also not very appalling.

Just to remind you of the good that happened last night:

BEST PICTURE: Slumdog Millionaire
BEST ACTOR: Micky Rourke, The Wrestler
BEST ACTRESS: Kate Winslet, The Reader
SUPPORTING ACTOR: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
BEST DIRECTOR: Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Martin McDonagh, In Bruges
ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Simon Beaufoy, Slumdog Millionaire
SCORE: AR Rahman, Slumdog Millionaire
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Anthony Dod Mantle, Slumdog Millionaire
COSTUMES: The Duchess
PRODUCTION DESIGN: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
EDITING: Slumdog Millionaire
VISUAL EFFECTS: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
MAKEUP and HAIR: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
SOUND: Slumdog Millionaire
CARL FOREMAN AWARD: Steve McQueen, Hunger
RISING STAR: Noel Clarke

Jonathan Ross begins by making me smile over Christian Bale's idiocy and poking light-hearted fun at the gorgeous Kate Winslet. How beautiful does she look? Anyway, lulz at The Weader and Wevolutionary Woad :D Shots of Brad Pitt looking yummy - if he would only shave - and Angelina Jolie looking heavenly.

Nice montage of what the year has brought us. Please note that all of the decent films have been just released in January. The rest of the year was pretty shite.

Anyway, first award, original score. Kylie Minogue presents, A. R Rahman comes on to Mausam and Escape, I bop along. The night has begun well. 1-0 to me :D Sound design next. I zone vaguely out. Slumdog gets it, which regains my attention. Jeez, a lot of guys worked on the sound! Production Design and Make up and Hair...Matthew MacFadyen is a bit nervous and stumbles a bit, but he's so sweet that I don't care. Anyway, CCoBB gets both, which it does deserve, especially make up. 1.5-0 for me.

Cinematography next. Even for such a low-key category, Slumdog gets this huge cheer. It's so loved :D Let Slumdog get it!! And Slumdog gets it!! Dev Patel and Freida Pinto both jump up and beam at Anthony, which is just so cute. O Saya is playing which gets me all hyped up again. It's such a beautiful soundtrack!! 2-0 to me.

Adapted Screenplay is next. Amy Adams you are beautiful. I love her eye make-up. *descends into girlish musings* anyway, I don't expect Slumdog to get it, 'cos it's got almost everything else. But it does get it. Simon Beaufoy and his chocolate Bafta crack me up. He pays appropriate homage to Vikas Swarup, who wrote the book. I glance at my bed where Q and A is lying, still unread. I'll start it tonight. 3-0 to me.

Carl Foreman award. Hunger finally wins something. It's such a British film, I expected it to win more tonight. Anyway, Steve McQueen makes a really really short speech, leaving everyone else slightly taken aback for a second.

OK, then this whole thing about Pinewood and Sheperton studios starts. The montage of films they've made is fun to look at...and Jonathan Ross pokes fun at James Bond's womanising habits, leading to a shot of Daniel Craig looking half amused half awkward. He's so shy, it's adorable. Lucius Malfoy, ahem, Jason Isaacs, make quite a funny speech in a dry way, but everyone seems to take him too seriously and no one laughs. *sigh*

David Frost and Michael Sheen walk on, and have a bit of banter. Lol Frost/Nixon the musical. That would be epic. Anyway, this is for Original Screenplay. In Bruges gets it. which serves me right for being sensible and predicting Milk. 3.5-0 to me.

Costume Design. And more importantly, Dev Patel and Freido Pinto!! Dev Patel's introduction is a lil' stilted but in such a cute way that it just makes it twice as better and oh my gosh I just love him so much. And wow Freida, pretty dress. *sigh* Anyway, The Duchess rightly gets it. I was scared they'd give it to something modern just to prove a point but they didn't. And the guy who receives it seems so bloody nervous!! 4.5-0.

Foreign Film. I've seen only one of these, so I just pay attention to the grammar in the Baader Meinhof excerpt. I've Loved You So Long gets it. That is surprising, I thought the world loves Waltz in Bashir...the winner's daughter seems to be there, and she's so cute I want to eat her right up. 4.5-1

Best British Film - I think everyone is hoping and praying that Slumdog Millionaire doesn't get it, and that it gets the big prize. Man on Wire wins, which shocks me, but I'm also really happy that a documentary's been acknowledged. 4.5-2

Part 2, there's a montage of all the films of for Best Picture. Hmmn, I prefer last year, when it was spread out throughout the ceremony. Best Supporting Actress next. James McAvoy walks on. He's so so yummy!! Please please please let Penelope get it!! And she does!!! Kate Winslet sort of jumps at her and gives her a big kiss which is so so sweet. I love Kate :) It's not the most dazzling acceptance speech I've ever heard, but it's quite heart felt. And the way she says "lunatic" makes me smile. There's quite a few shots of Marisa Tomei, looking genuinely pleased. She's such a goddess, I love her so much too. Shot of Brad looking around himself with a slightly lofty air, and Angelina clapping demurely. For a chick who kicked ass in Tomb Raider, she can be really mild looking when she wants. 5.5-2

Special Visual Effects. Damn I forgot to predict this. Anyway, Emma, look away. Emma Watson comes on. Incidently, wasn't she accepted into Cambridge last year? But anyway, god I want her dress. Darling, you know how to dress yourself, not too above your age, not too childish, just right. It looks so pretty on her, it may actually be my favourite dress of the night. I've also gotten over my amniosity towards her, now that I've come to the realisation that there are actual complete gossip-girl-wannabe bitches in this world, and that as far as I can tell she's quite the opposite :D Anyway, sorry, tangent. She makes a nice introduction, as opposed to costar Daniel Radcliffe last year who fluffed it up a tad. Anyway, CCoBB wins. I didn't expect that, but again, quite deserved. CCoBB was a technically beautiful film. Brad Pitt again has this quizical expression on his face. What is he quizzing here??

Supporting Actor. Seriously, why bother? Goldie Hawn comes on to present, and has everyone in stiches by the end. I now have a craving to watch Overboard. So yeah Heath Ledger gets it. Were any of us surpirsed? Well, actually, I was a bit, not at the win, but at the fact that, well, I was expecting more of a fuss, a standing ovation or something. 6.5-2

Then there's the memorial montage. It's actually really sad, although I haven't seen a lot of the films. I also think it would be appropriate to have had Heath Ledger's photo on there. I know it was on last time, but none of us have actually got over his death - I'm still heart broken - and given the fact he just received a posthumous award, well, I think it would have been nice.

Rising Star Award. Shia LeBoeuf comes on. I am a bit concerned that he's turning into a train wreck and going down the road of Lindsey Lohan. However, he seem alright here, and really really cute. I think it's quite hilarious that when you say his name out loud you're basically saying "Shia the Buff One". Which he is :D Anyway, I voted for Rebecca Hall, But I thought Michael Cera would get it. Noel Clarke does. Oh, cool. He gives the most cool-dude speech ever, with a reference to Barack Obama, which makes it even cooler. The audience explodes at that. Yes. We. Can.

"That Wizard" and "the Bloke from Star Trek" enter. Oh Wossy. You do make me laugh. And Danny Boyle gets it!!! :O wooow!! I sort of thought it would happen, but it seemed too good to be true. But yes!! He did it. Danny Boyle and Dev Patel hug. He's just so so so sweet!!!! It's lovely how unselfishly enthusiastic he is about his film. Jai Ho plays. I love that song, and it's so appropriate here. Anyway, Danny Boyle gives a really sincere and funny speech - going through all the actors names which makes me laugh. Danny Boyle's son leaps up and screams "I love you Dad". It's not sophisticated and it's not appropriate but it's so damn sweet. 7.5-2

Best Actress. I'm hoping that they give it to Kate. She deserves it so so much and she's just so lovely. Angelina Jolie's bit almost makes me cry. It's a shame it's such a strong year this year, 'cos by the looks of it she really deserves an award. But I still want Kate to win :) and yay she wins!! I prefer her Golden Globe speech, cos it was just so impulsive and funny, but hey, she won :) and plus the way that she tackles Daniel Craig with a big hug is just too funny. 8.5-2

Marion Cotillard looks very French. I like her hair, it's a bit straggly and messy, but it's sort of sweet and it suits her. Oooh, and Mickey Rourke gets it. This is really his year, and doesn't he know it!! Best speech of the night - he swears twice, jokingly admits to perving on Marisa Tomei who is in hysterics, and shows himself to be a really genuine guy. And then Jonathan makes one of his best jokes of the night. Well done mate. 9.5-2

I have no idea who Mick Jagger actually is, but hey he makes me laugh. Oh my gosh, OK, it's really tense. If Slumdog doesn't get it the world will explode. Do not let me down Baftas, do not let me down. And the Bafta goes to...


Everyone celebrates, Dev seems choked up. I'm so so so happy. YESS!! Yes we frickin' well can. My ramblings end here on an absolute high :D 10.5-2. Go me :D

Sunday, 8 February 2009

BAFTA predictions

ughh, I feel so ill and so tired. *groans* however, important night tonight, so I am going to force myself to put up predictions before collapsing :)

who will win: Slumdog Millionaire
who might win: Curious Case of Benjamin Button
who should win: Slumdog Millionaire


who will win: In Bruges
who might win: Mamma Mia! (please no)
who should win: Hunger


who will win: Wall-E
who might win: Wall-E
who should win: Wall-E


who will win: Waltz in Bashir
who might win: god, any of them really
who should win: Persepolis


who will win: Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler
who might win: Sean Penn, Milk
who should win: Dev Patel, Slumdog Millionaire


who will win: Kate Winslet, The Reader (this is a gamble)
who might win: Meryl Streep, Doubt
who should win: Kate Winslet, The Reader


who will win: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
who might win: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
who should win: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight


who will win: Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
who might win: Amy Adams, Doubt
who should win: Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona


who will win: Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
who might win: David Fincher, CCoBB
who should win: Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire


who will win: Milk
who might win: In Bruges
who should win: Milk


who will win: Slumdog Millionaire (I'm seriously not giving Slumdog Millionaire all the awards!! it won golden globe and wga and everything!!)
who might win: The Reader
who should win: Slumdog Millionaire


who will win: Slumdog Millionaire
who might win: any of them. But maybe The Dark Knight
who should win: Slumdog Millionaire


who will win: The Dark Knight
who might win: Slumdog Millionaire
who should win: Slumdog Millionaire


who will win: The Duchess
who might win: CCoBB
who should win: The Duchess


who will win: The Dark Knight
who mgiht win: CCoBB
who should win: The Dark Knight

given the fact that most of my "will wins" and "should wins" match up, I maybe haven't been as objective as I would like. still, we shall see tonight!!
Current Mood: sick

Sunday, 1 February 2009

The Day I Almost Lost Faith in Alfred Hitchcock

It is well known (or it should be) that Alfred Hitchcock is my favourite director of all time - a creative genius who has created some of the most daring and shocking works of cinema ever. So what the hell was he thinking when he made Suspicion?

For the first 98 minutes, Suspicion is a first class Hitchcock-thriller. We start off with an absolutely adorable Joan Fontaine meeting a young man in a train and later on at a riding party. It is of course the irrepressible (or as we will come to see, the repressible) Cary Grant, charming as always, and yet also different. From the very beginning we get a funny feeling about him. He's surrounded by squealing girls who constantly fawn over him, he comes as close as you can in 1941 to admitting that he's slept around, and Joan Fontaine's disapproving father lables him as wild from the start. Overall, we get the feeling that this isn't the Cary Grant from His Girl Friday. Anyway, in a slightly unbelievable amount of time, the two of them have fallen in love (at least she has. Has he, is the question that follows us throughout the film) and have gotten hitched. And this is where it turns into a thriller rather than a slightly shmooshy love story. Cary Grant is constantly lying about his job, borrowing money, stealing money and betting at the races. As Joan Fontaine becomes more and more suspicious of him, her thoughts soon turn away from simple lying to murder.

The directing is first class, with the usual detailed shots of the actors faces and background. The suspense is built up, as we begin to fear for Joan Fontaine's life. The two leads are absolutely brilliant, Cary Grant managing to pull off creepy bastard perfectly, while Joan Fontaine is, well, her character's a pathetic little fool, but she plays it to perfection. The music ranges from typical dramatic during the romance, to downright tense, perfectly complimenting Hitchcock's direction.

So what is the matter with this? Well, the last minute, really. Towards the end, Fontaine is absolutely convinced her husband has not only killed his best friend but is now attempting on her life. A wonderful scene where Grant brings up a tray of glowing milk with a shockingly blank face is absolute perfection, and by this time, the audience are in no doubt as to what is actually happening. The final scene where Grant drives Fonataine to her mother's house at breakneck speed is also wonderful - Hitchcock mixes quick shots of a rising speedometer with Fonatine's terrified face, the huge drop at the edge of the road and Grant's hands tensed around the steering wheel. Although I didn't actually give a crap whether Fontaine's character lived or died, because she was an annoying mess who couldn't stand up for herself if she tried, still I was pretty terrified at this scene. But what happens? Um, Cary Grant ends up actually "saving her life" and it turns out that actually he is perfectly innocent of all his crimes, and that she was just being a hysterical woman. She begs him to forgive her (um, what?) and they drive off home together.

OK. What was Alfred Hitchcok thinking? That is the most anti-climactic pathetic cop-out I have ever seen. It ruined a film that was edging on perfection and it left me feeling completely short changed, and wondering whether Hitchcock was the genius I thought him to be. I simply couldn't believe what I'd just seen.

Luckily though, this disbelief actually did me some good. I went to check the film out and it turns out Hitchcock wasn't pleased with this mess of an ending either. He originally wanted her to drink the milk, but not before she has him send a letter to her mother incriminating him of his crimes. The last scene would be of Cary Grant's sinister character posting this letter after having just murdered his own wife, condeming himself to death. I mean wow. Leave a scene like that in Hitchcock's hand and you'd have a masterpiece. But no. The stupid studios had to throw a strop and say no one wanted to see Cary Grant being the bad guy. Um, hello? I would. God, I cannot believe the industry type casted people in such a manner!! It's awful. They ruined a perfectly good film, handicapped a perfectly good director, and wasted this not-so-perfectly-good critic's time. Jeez.

Overall verdict: C. Most of the film was good. But it had a horrendous ending.

Current Mood: listless