My Movie Moments of 2013

2013Moments-GirlWalk

.
Though I didn’t keep very good track throughout the past 12 months, I think I’ve cobbled together some of my favourite moments from 2013’s films as well as some older movies I saw for the first time. So here’s a random walk through them…

 

2013 films:

2013Moments-TwentyFeetFromStardom
  • Best spine-tingling, goose-bump raising moment of the year: Merry Clayton’s rendition of “Southern Man” in Twenty Feet From Stardom. You can almost feel the spittle as she tears into the song while her backup band shreds it.
  • The joy of playing music when you’re young in We Are The Best! and Metalhead.
  • Mark Ruffalo’s music producer imagining the instruments and arrangement backing up a solo acoustic performance in Can A Song Save Your Life?.
  • “Who starts a song like that?” – Christian Bale’s American Hustle hustler talking about “Jeep’s Blues” by Duke Ellington.
  • “Five Hundred Miles” performed in Inside Llewyn Davis.
2013Moments-NeighboringSounds
  • The red waterfalls in Byzantium and Neighboring Sounds – one a recurring motif reflecting the “birth” of a vampire and the other a shocking sudden foreshadowing.
  • The effective use of colour in Stoker.
  • The bright colours in Only God Forgives and Trance.
  • All those gorgeous sunsets in Spring Breakers.
  • The opening shot of billows of dirty water cascading down like an avalanche in Watermark.

Would you like to know more…?

Review: Byzantium

Two sisters try to lay low in Dublin while being pursued by long-coated inspectors. Having committed a rather kinetic and conspicuous murder in the opening sequence of the film, the Webb sisters are actually a pair of highland blood suckers, a 200 year old mother and daughter pair of vampires. Possibly the last of their kind, moving from town to town and still working out some serious parent-child issues (not the least of which is their approach to handling their prey) Gemma Arterton literally vamps it up, putting on a prostitute pose to seduce lowlives and cops, while her daughter, plays more school girl, a more subtle and melancholic performance by Saoirse Ronan. The opposite disposition of these ladies (and the secrets they keep) are the engine for a plot that takes its sweet time to get going, but eventually, perhaps too late, pulls the narrative strings together.

Neil Jordan is no stranger to either fairy tales or gothic drama having started his career with Red Ridinghood horror picture, In The Company of Wolves, peaked commercially with the romantic vampire studio picture, Interview With The Vampire, and recently brushed up with Irish folklore in Ondine. Even the directors indie dramas, The Crying Game and The Butcher Boy flirt with gothic and melodramatic stylings. If you want to do a more stately and classical take on the modern vampire (read: no sparkling emo treacle) it would appear that Jordan is your man. Which makes it a bit baffling how Byzantium never really soars, even as it pulls all of its narrative strings together in a somewhat satisfying conclusion. The film tries to establish the contrast between its bodice-ripper (Gemma Arterton’s cleavage upstages her somewhat histrionic performance) segments and stylized urban melancholy. Neither Anne Rice nor Mike Leigh, the film offers some compelling images in an attempt to marry the two, but it is an uncomfortable union.

Would you like to know more…?

Cinecast Episode 273 – It’s TIFF 2012!

Thanks once again to Ryan McNeil of The Matinee for dropping back in for our huge TIFF recap (and almost spoiler-free!). Andrew sits in quiet solitude on the sofa, acting mainly as an audience member (admittedly, mostly fiddling with Pinterest and playing Tiger Woods Golf) with much amusement as Ryan and Kurt recap a large chunk of their TIFF experience. Sadly, due to the late hour of recording, there was no time left for The Watch List. We are happy, hoever to kick of the Fall Semester of homework assignments. The discussion gets pretty spirited where there is agreement and disagreement on many of the films screening at this years festival. Drop in again next week for a return to our usual programming: a lengthy discussion on PT Anderson’s The Master and responses to this first volley of homework assignments.

As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!


 
 

 

To download the show directly, paste the following URL into your favorite downloader:
http://rowthree.com/audio/cinecast_12/episode_273.mp3

 
 
Full show notes are under the seats…
Would you like to know more…?

Mamo’s #TIFF12 Coverage, Part Five: Where Is Here

Special guest star Andrew Robinson joins us on the last day of the Toronto International Film Festival 2012 for our final TIFF ’12 podcast! We wrap up the festival including the audience choice award announcements, and talk To The Wonder, Cloud Atlas, 90 Minutes, Room 237, Reality, Byzantium, Ginger & Rosa, The We and the I, and Everyday. And that’s the end. See you next year!

To download this episode, use this URL: http://rowthree.com/audio/mamo/mamo272.mp3