Big Screen, Little Screen

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I’ve been watching more than my regular share of movies lately, both at home and in the theater. Scenes from each of them, and the impressions they’ve left behind, stick with me.  It is both what makes a great move, and what can leave me feeling a bit heavy after taking in too many stories.

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The Talented Mr. Ripley – I had never seen this movie before.  Its all star cast, which also includes Philip Seymour Hoffman and Cate Blanchett, and stunning visuals alone make this movie quite pleasant to watch.  It was much more intense than I expected, being a psychological thriller and all, but I really liked it.  Gotta love a good Netflix Watch Instantly selection.

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Blue Is the Warmest Color –  This film won a number of awards at last year’s Cannes Festival and I completely understand why.  I didn’t know much about it before watching it, other than having heard some buzz around the full on sex scenes.  The story spans several formative years of its main character, Adele, and her personal development relating to relationships, sexuality and career.  I thought it was very tender and powerful.

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Somewhere – Dakota Fanning plays an 11-year old girl who spends an unexpectedly lengthy amount of time with her California actor dad.  The movie, directed by Sofia Coppola, is similar to some of her other work in its feel (i.e. slow moving, melancholy characters in high-end settings). Despite there being things about the film that might be easy to hate on, I enjoyed it and thought Fanning really made the movie.

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The Dance of Reality – I wasn’t familiar with filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky before seeing this but a friend of mine sent a link to a screening of The Dance of Reality at MoMA and it seemed like a fun thing to go to.  The film is about Jodorowsky’s childhood.  His real life grandson plays him as a child; his real life son plays his father.  Jodorowsky was at the screening and spoke after the film, which definitely upped my appreciation for the whole thing.  He talked about how he used the film to recreate much of his life, and the lives of his parents, as he’d want them to be and as a way to heal actual realities.  It was interesting.

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The Grand Budapest Hotel – Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums is quite possibly my favorite movie so I’m always up to see the films he makes.  If you’ve seen more than one of his films, you know that he has a very particular style with many repeating themes and similarities.  Visually, I love what he does.  Sometimes I find the quirkiness fantastic and other times trite.  I liked The Grand Budapest Hotel more than his last full-length movie, Moonrise Kingdom, but still prefer The Royal Tenenbaums to anything else of his that I’ve seen.  And for better or for worse, that’s always the lenses from which I watch Wes Anderson movies.

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