Monday, 31 January 2011

A-Z #23: Billy Elliot

You can pick up hundreds of DVD's for a buck each - it doesn't matter. Its never about quantity, its about quality. A-Z is my way of going through my collection, from A-Z, and justifying why I own the films...



#23 - Billy Elliot 

Why did I buy it?

I bought this film twice actually. The single-disc on its first release - and the special edition later on. I watched it at the cinema at the tender age of 17 and simply adored it. As lame as it is, there was a point during University whereby I sold off a bunch of older copies of DVD's only to purchase them for a very small amount as special editions. It didn't take long before I realised how truly crap some 'second' discs are. If I'm honest, this 'special edition' only has a couple of 10-minute featurettes on the musical - hardly a worthwhile swap.

Why do I still own it?

I have the intention of writing a post comparing the film with the musical - I hope to do the same with Sister Act, The Lion King and Chicago. But, alas, this is the first post I write regarding the film and it is still in the collection because it is incredible. The soundtrack features The Jam and lots of T-Rex whilst the film presents outstanding performances from Julie Walters, Jamie Bell and that dude from Byker Grove in a minor role as the piano-player ("if you want my opinion, I think you look like a right wanker"). Stephen Daldry (The Hours, The Reader) directs and the writing of Lee Hall (currently writing the film-adaptation of War Horse) pefectly balances the frustrations and anger of the miners strikes during the eighties with a coming-of-age tale as young Billy ("Go-o-o-o Billy!") realises he is a flawless dancer.

Every time I watch the film, as the film ends and the Swan Lake ballet picks up pace, gathering momentum, only to freeze as the now-older Billy balances perfectly in the air mid-performance. It brings emotion to my face every time.

Remember - you can always email The Simon and Jo Film Show directly using this email: simonandjoshow@gmail.com
We are also on Twitter  and Facebook.

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Sunday, 30 January 2011

TSAJFS: 30/01/2011 Black Swan/Barney's Version/NEDS

Blimey Charlie! This week sees the release of Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan and both Simon & Jo get stuck right into the film with a discussion of its story, style and themes. They've also managed to check out a couple more new releases this week, Simon gives his frank views on Barney's Version while Jo holds court on NEDS, directed by Peter Mullan.


Some exciting films to consider, plus the usual assortment of movie news stories, featuring an initial reaction to the Oscar Nominations and rumours about Annie, the Matrix saga and Tron: The Next One. There's plenty of lively debate and some interesting insights, tune in for a week of angry ballet, grumpy men growing old and violent Scottish teenagers.

Links

Facebook-er of the Week is Scott from the Frankly My Dear podcast and blog He Shot Cyrus.


Blog of the Week is by Nick Jobe, Random Ramblings of a Demented Doorknob, with his awesome vlogging skills.

Music

Music is taken from Clint Mansell's Black Swan soundtrack, available on Amazon and itunes.

Remember - you can always email The Simon and Jo Film Show directly using this email: simonandjoshow@gmail.com











We are also on Twitter  and Facebook.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Saturday, 29 January 2011

A-Z #22: The Bicycle Thieves

You can pick up hundreds of DVD's for a buck each - it doesn't matter. Its never about quantity, its about quality. A-Z is my way of going through my collection, from A-Z, and justifying why I own the films...




#22 - The Bicycle Thieves 

Why did I buy it?

Again, this was an 'important' film. A film that started the neo-realism movement in Italy. I can't tell you how many 'lists' this film has come up on as a film everyone must see. Outside of this film, I wouldn't know any other Italian Neo-Realists but this would inevitably be a starting point...
Why do I still own it?

Because, ultimately, I do love realist cinema - Shane Meadows movies This is England and Dead Mans Shoes, Blue Valentine (recently) - these films are all about exploring whats real. The Bicycle Thieves show, bit-by-bit, how a decent, hard-working man eventually cracks. Its not shown in a huge, explosive manner, just a subtle exploration of how people try and do so much but if they are beaten down, eventually they cave.

It is restrained and it has a profound message - an incredible starting point to a style of cinema that has become a staple of indie-cinema.   

Remember - you can always email The Simon and Jo Film Show directly using this email: simonandjoshow@gmail.com
We are also on Twitter  and Facebook.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Friday, 28 January 2011

A-Z #21: Ben-Hur

You can pick up hundreds of DVD's for a round-pound each - it doesn't matter. Its never about quantity, its about quality. A-Z is my way of going through my collection, from A-Z, and justifying why I own the films... or you can tell me whether I should sell 'em...


#21 - Ben-Hur 

Why did I buy it?

A few reasons which, if you are reading these points, no doubt you will gather - first up, the most successful Best Picture Oscar winner. It won 11 Academy Awards and was only matched 48 years later by Titanic and then a few years after that by The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. Fact is, it has never been topped.

Secondly, my brother - the Bangor/Bath Rep - and I have always joked about this film. It felt like, when we were younger, our Saturday and Sunday afternoons were plagued by this film taking over the family TV. Unlike the kids of today, we had our NES set-up in the lounge so everything had to be shared ... but ultimately Dad chose what was on TV and, if Ben-Hur was on, there was no way we would sit there for four-hours until he was finished. We would simply remain gutted and leave the room - potentially setting up our NES with the crappy black-and-white TV. Duck Hunt was no fun on the blac-and-white TV. [Second] Fact is, I never sat and watched the whole thing - though we would mock my Dad endlessly for it - so I knew I had to at some point... and by purchasing this sweet, 4-DVD boxset, I knew that I would eventually watch it...

Why do I still own it?

The Best Picture point still stands. Sarah and I watched it over a weekend - 2-hours Sunday and 2-hours Saturday - when we lived in Finchley, North London. Personally, I love the Jesus Christ parrallel story - how, rather than seeing God-as-man, we see, just a man who is broken down to nothing - ut is forced to stand up. The chariot-race is the stuff of legend and, I think there truly is something incredible about such a huge, epic story - I mean, I don't even think Gladiator is on such a huge scale: does Gladiator take on God himself? without even showing his face?

But you may disagree - shall I throw Ben-Hur to the lions?

Remember - you can always email The Simon and Jo Film Show directly using this email: simonandjoshow@gmail.com
We are also on Twitter  and Facebook.

Large Association of Movie Blogs


Thursday, 27 January 2011

A-Z #20: A Beautiful Mind

You can pick up hundreds of DVD's for a round-pound each - it doesn't matter. Its never about quantity, its about quality. A-Z is my way of going through my collection, from A-Z, and justifying why I own the films... or you can tell me whether I should sell 'em...






#20 - A Beautiful Mind 

Why did I buy it?

I was - and ultimately still am - attempting to watch all the Best Picture winners and I found this cheap enough to purchase it. I vividly remember buying it at the Aberystwyth Woolworths and, as I walked home, I was dubious about whether it would be any good... would I find it long and boring ...

Why do I still own it?

In the first instance I do like it and, back when I first bought it, I watched it many times because I enjoyed it so much. I even watched it with young Jo and this brought about an epic debate: the focus of the film felt a little unclear - the romance between Nash and his wife should have been the centre-point of the film ... but it actually didn't feel important in A Beautiful Mind, hence the almost-unneccessary feel of the romance story - we were all rooting for Nash (Crowe) to simply get over his (without giving anything away) problems.

The epic debate was how I used Titanic as an example of a film that, although about the disaster and showing great sub-stories about class in 1912, the film was rooted in the romance between Jack and Rose, hence why it was so good - Titanic is, before anything else, a Romance. Jo disagreed - Titanic is a disaster movie according to him.

This incredible argument raged on all night and A Beautiful Mind is what started it all. This may be part of the reason I still own it because, capturing the frame from the film above made me give it a slight re-analysis and, having watched many Oscar contenders and Best Picture winners since this film, it does seem quite by-the-numbers so...

Should I sell it?

Remember - you can always email The Simon and Jo Film Show directly using this email: simonandjoshow@gmail.com
We are also on Twitter  and Facebook.

Large Association of Movie Blogs


Wednesday, 26 January 2011

A-Z #19: The Beach

You can pick up hundreds of DVD's for a buck each - it doesn't matter. Its never about quantity, its about quality. A-Z is my way of going through my collection, from A-Z, and justifying why I own the films...


#19 - The Beach 

Why did I buy it?

Again, we have the inevitable Danny Boyle answer. Alongside the Leonardo DiCaprio answer. And the interest in Alex Garland.

Why do I still own it?

Ever the completist, The Beach goes with all the other Danny Boyle movies, but I am not ashamed of this film. I think it seems to capture such a beauty about the islands they visit - really filling you with a desperation to get to such an isolated location. This in itself is a selfish thought and so, the destruction of this perfect world is even more tragic but neccessary. Then there is the use of the track '8 Ball' by Underworld ... such joy!
Remember - you can always email The Simon and Jo Film Show directly using this email: simonandjoshow@gmail.com
We are also on Twitter  and Facebook.

Large Association of Movie Blogs


Tuesday, 25 January 2011

A-Z #18: Bande à part

You can pick up hundreds of DVD's for a buck each - it doesn't matter. Its never about quantity, its about quality. A-Z is my way of going through my collection, from A-Z, and justifying why I own the films...




#18 - Bande à part 

Why did I buy it?

Keen to understand my French New-Wave, I decided to purchase Bande à part as it was, additionally, the name of Tarantino's production company - so it must be pretty good to have his stamp of approval. Additionally, Bande à part seems to garner much love from the critics in Sight and Sound.  

Why do I still own it?

I watched it a few years ago and can vividly remember the dance (the picture selected above is from that very dance). Upon re-watching the clip, I was transfixed - the voiceover commenting whilst the music cuts away whilst all you can hear behind the narration are the feet tapping the ground in unison, before the music begins again and the narration continues. I still cannot be Mr. French New Wave - I have yet to see any Truffaut and, of Godard's back catalogue, I have only seen Bande à part and À bout de souffle - aka Band of Outsiders and Breathless. Whatever the case, there really is something hypnotic about the air of cool these films seem to emit - the cigarettes dangling from the mouth, the casual and smooth dances and the deep, male voiceovers - memorable and, inevitably perhaps, it began a revolution... 

Remember - you can always email The Simon and Jo Film Show directly using this email: simonandjoshow@gmail.com
We are also on Twitter  and Facebook.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Monday, 24 January 2011

A-Z #17: Atonement

You can pick up hundreds of DVD's for a buck each - it doesn't matter. Its never about quantity, its about quality. A-Z is my way of going through my collection, from A-Z, and justifying why I own the films...




#17 - Atonement 

Why did I buy it?

Well, I didn't. Its not mine. It's Sarah's. Now - here are the ground rules on these posts:

1) Boxsets don't get discussed, which means that we shall inevitably get to a heated dicussion on Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull because thats sits next to the boxset. It also makes it abundently clear that Alien and American Pie boxsets are yet to be discussed ... opposed to being completely ignored.

2) DVD's which are unopened and/or unwatched for the first time are not discussed. That means I had to skip over The Age of Innocence as, though I own it, I have yet to watch it. The question about whether it is good or not shall be post-viewing.

3) Sarah's DVD's are counted. We have combined our collection and, as she doesn't own many, I shall attempt to justify why I am content - or not - about her films. But, as Rule 2. dictates, if I haven't seen it, I cannot pass judgement. So poor Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth shall get no mention because I ain't seen it (and don't care to either).

Why do I/Sarah still own it?

I can appreciate the skill in the film. Joe Wright became 'who he is' through this Oscar-nominated film. The film won its accolades in England at the BAFTA's and it was great to see James McAvoy continue his ascent into stardom - whilst Saorsie Ronan began hers. Having only seen the film once, Sarah loves to watch the film when she has the chance as a great, sweeping romance to enjoy. I think it has a great touch upon the war to show the masculine angle on the same story. And I still love the dichotomy between story and truth that finishes the film.

Remember - you can always email The Simon and Jo Film Show directly using this email: simonandjoshow@gmail.com
We are also on Twitter  and Facebook.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Sunday, 23 January 2011

TSAJFS: 23/11/2011 Blue Valentine/Badlands/Jonah Hex


We begin this podcast from outside The Comedy Theatre as Simon watched The Children's Hour starring Kiera Knightley, Elisabeth Moss and Ellen Burstyn.

Following the much-discussed award-savvy performances by Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, Simon manages to watch Blue Valentine at the Clapham Picturehouse.

We discuss the news, London Box-Office and much more before cotninuing Simons focus on the 1001 Films He Must See Before He Die by watching Terrence Malicks Badlands as preparation for Malicks up-and-coming film Tree of Life. Jo, on the other hand, catchs up on the films he missed in 2010 by watching the critically-panned Jonah Hex.


Links

Facebook-er of the Week is Luke Owen, of The Collectors Room and Flickering Myth.
Twitter-er of the Week is Natasha Saxby of EchboxFilms
Blog of the Week is Anomalous Materials by Castor due to his incredible post on the LAMB about utilising statistics for your blog.

Music

All music is taken from the soundtrack to Blue Valentine and is available on itunes.

Remember - you can always email The Simon and Jo Film Show directly using this email: simonandjoshow@gmail.com
We are also on Twitter  and Facebook.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Saturday, 22 January 2011

The Critical Introduction to Film ...

I am currently reading Film: A Critical Introduction by Tom Wallis and Maria Pramaggiore. As I read each chapter, I shall write the few thoughts I have...

Chapter 1/Chapter 2: An Approach to Film Analysis

The purpose of these posts is to reflect on the chapter recently read. I think by writing my thoughts, it may just sink in deep enough to then affect my writing and criticism.

The initial two chapters attempts to focus upon film analysis from the outset. To first break down a film as a film critic would you would be expected to focus on the following facets: story coherance, technicial innovations and notable performances.

Though Film critics would analyse film in this way - this is not how we all analyse film. Our expectations of what is and is not a film is judged differently depending on our expectations. Finding meaning in a film depends on our backgrounds - our knowledge, cultural experiences, preferences, formal training and expectations.

Films use patterns to reach many expectations. Take genre- a clear example of a style of film that requires specific codes and conventions - patterns - to reach the expectations of the audience. Horror films expect a kill at the start of the film - and so the pattern is set-up. As film fans, we understand these patterns and appreciate how filmmakers either exploit these codes and conventions - Scream, Pulp Fiction - or how filmmakers deviate from these patterns to present something that is new and, potentially, innovative.

Expectations are different between narrative cinema and documentary filmmaking. Documentaries present a film whereby viewers are either shown something persuasive (Michael Moore...) or a film that observes a theme (March of the Penguins). Though these are very simplistic, it is clear that all these expectations can be combined. Documentaries can often have a narrative running through (Catfish) whilst some cinematic endeavours feature a more observant-approach. Personally, Blade Runner, is an incredible film because you can observe a detailed and fully-realised world - the story is less interesting than the context it is filmed within.
This concludes todays lesson ... Feel free to comment about the issues discussed - is this what film criticism is?

Remember - you can always email The Simon and Jo Film Show directly using this email: simonandjoshow@gmail.com
We are also on Twitter  and Facebook.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Friday, 21 January 2011

A-Z #16: Armageddon

You can pick up hundreds of DVD's for a buck each - it doesn't matter. Its never about quantity, its about quality. A-Z is my way of going through my collection, from A-Z, and justifying why I own the films...




#16 - Armageddon 

Why did I buy it?

Now this gets tough. I bought it partly because I liked it a little ... but moreso because, at the time, it was a sweet special edition. This is not such a big factor anymore. I remember Armageddon being one of the first films out on DVD and, more importantly, it was released months before anyone could get it on video. In hindsight, not the best purchase.

Why do I still own it?

A combination of things. Firstly, I always worry that my film collection is elitest - ignoring the big-budget blockbusters and this is an example of a blockbuster that I appreciated and hold in my collection... with some small quantity of pride (not much). Secondly, Andrew Collins of the Radio Times, back in 2006, put together a list of 25 film all film buffs should have watched. I recall the 9-hour holocaust film Shoah was on the list alongside some more dubious films... one of which was Armageddon. The list was choosing the prime examples of cinema and Armageddon is an example of ridiulous, pro-America, completely-unrealistic but completely high budget blockbuster filmmaking ... that succeeded. It is definately a film that is close to being sold on... but those two points keep it hangin' on.

Remember - you can always email The Simon and Jo Film Show directly using this email: simonandjoshow@gmail.com
We are also on Twitter  and Facebook.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Thursday, 20 January 2011

A-Z #15: Apocalypto

You can pick up hundreds of DVD's for a buck each - it doesn't matter. Its never about quantity, its about quality. A-Z is my way of going through my collection, from A-Z, and justifying why I own the films...




#15 - Apocalypto 

Why did I buy it?

This was a present. This is not to devalue it, because I do rate Mel Gibson as a director (not so much loving the racist, sexist religious freak side-affect) and I thoroughly enjoyed the huge, epic nature of Apocalypto. I watched the film at the cinema and I enjoyed it...

Why do I still own it?

I do believe Apocalypto is an incredibly unique film rooted in history and culture. Now, I know there are a bunch of historical inaccuracies - but this aggressive and animalistic attitude to faith and life was real - you could argue, to some extent it still exits - and it is to be commended that Mel Gibson has captured this human trait in this film. We live in a very different world - but the idea that entire worlds existed before us that valued life so little - yet valued God so much - is something that is fascinating to see.
  
Remember - you can always email The Simon and Jo Film Show directly using this email: simonandjoshow@gmail.com
We are also on Twitter  and Facebook.

Large Association of Movie Blogs


Wednesday, 19 January 2011

A-Z #14: Apocalypse Now

You can pick up hundreds of DVD's for a buck each - it doesn't matter. Its never about quantity, its about quality. A-Z is my way of going through my collection, from A-Z, and justifying why I own the films...


#14 - Apocalypse Now 

Why did I buy it?

I held back on this for multiple reasons. I watched it back in my Uni days whereby Jo and I shared a flat. Jo had the film - the redux - and I borrowed and watched it. It was a long film. I fell asleep and watched the second half the following day. I always thought it was surely better than I recalled... so it was only a matter of time before I would watch the theatrical cut. Years later, that sweet tin-edition fell down in price to something like £7 and I was sold. The perfect opportunity to watch the film a second time.
Why do I still own it?

Because that second viewing was much better. I didn't fall asleep and I could appreciate the incredible images every frame offered. Even catching the shot I chose from this post was tough - the silhouetted 'copters with a burning-backdrop, each shot could be framed. Martin Sheen is incredible in his role and the gritty truth of war is highlighted in a tasteful and expressive way. I see now the masterpiece that Apocalypse Now is.

I know I shall watch this many, many more times in the future...
  
Remember - you can always email The Simon and Jo Film Show directly using this email: simonandjoshow@gmail.com
We are also on Twitter  and Facebook.

Large Association of Movie Blogs


Tuesday, 18 January 2011

A-Z #13: The Apartment

You can pick up hundreds of DVD's for a buck each - it doesn't matter. Its never about quantity, its about quality. A-Z is my way of going through my collection, from A-Z, and justifying why I own the films...




#13 - The Apartment

Why did I buy it?

It is constantly on those 'Best Film of All Time' lists and Adam Kempenaar constantly raves about it on Filmspotting. Had to be done... it was just a matter of time before I snapped it up for a fiver. From Fopp.
Why do I still own it?

Because it is a great film, with a brilliant character in Jack Lemmon. I personally seemed to fall into that category whereby my friends-who-are-hot-girls turned out to be girls-I-fancied and, inevitably, this generally ruined the friendship. The Apartment shows a situation whereby the 'nice-guy' gets the girl. Happy days indeed.

Remember - you can always email The Simon and Jo Film Show directly using this email: simonandjoshow@gmail.com
We are also on Twitter  and Facebook.

Large Association of Movie Blogs


Monday, 17 January 2011

A-Z #12: Any Given Sunday

You can pick up hundreds of DVD's for a buck each - it doesn't matter. Its never about quantity, its about quality. A-Z is my way of going through my collection, from A-Z, and justifying why I own the films...




#12 - Any Given Sunday

Why did I buy it?

Again, back in the DVD hey-day, Any Given Sunday  was a sweet edition. In the classic Warner Bros packaging, the second disc slid in behind chapter selection. It was a nightmare in the shop - so many staff forgetting about that all important second disc. I think I saw the DVD so often that I eventually cracked and bought it.

Why do I still own it?

Because of many factors - first off, it is a great example of fantastic editing and use of sound. The initial football match makes you feel like you are in the middle of the match itself. Secondly, I have a certain amount of respect for Oliver Stone and, though I wouldn't neccessarily want his entire collection the mix of Oliver Stone and Al Pacino is too epic to sell-off. Finally, the cast - Jamie Foxx in his break-out role, Cameron Diaz playing a role which shows her 'chops' as an actor whilst Al Pacino in that powerful, team-leader role gives him the opportunity to give multiple solo-dialogues to 'pump' up the team. LL Cool J, James Woods, etc, etc.

Since writing this and getting the screen-grab, I am really keen to watch the film again...
Remember - you can always email The Simon and Jo Film Show directly using this email: simonandjoshow@gmail.com
We are also on Twitter  and Facebook.

Large Association of Movie Blogs


Sunday, 16 January 2011

TSAJFS: 16/01/2011 127 Hours/Easy A/Dirty Harry

From the Prince of Wales pub in Clapham - though this pub is based in the 'Old Town' part of Clapham, we move on with films which will inevitably make an impression during awards season with Danny Boyle's 127 Hours. This week, we even get an opinion from Sarah! We cover the usual movie news, UK Box-Office and New Releases whilst additionally visiting the club to see our social networking-films.

Then, to finish, JO watches another film of 2010 that he managed to watch in the closing few days of the year, Easy A - is it the next Mean Girls and Clueless?

Simon on the other hand, continues his 1001 Films to See before he Dies with Don Siegels Dirty Harry!



Links

Facebook-er of the Week is Tom Everson! Well done to you sir for you Brideshead Revisited knowledge!

Twitter-er of the week is Paul Parry, aka @parryphernalia, just click on the link and you will see the fella you should follow!

Finally, Blogger of the week is the Movie Moxie - who emailed in (you should do the same!) and who has a great blog! The piece of work (ho ho!) about Joan Rivers which perked my interest to her site this week is here.

Music

The break-music is from the soundtrack to 127 Hours. The score is by AR Rahman, but obviously there is the use of the fantastic Bill Withers track 'Lovely Day' to kick-off the show.

The last track is from the incredibly funky music from Dirty Harry by Lalo Schifrin.

Remember - you can always email The Simon and Jo Film Show directly using this email: simonandjoshow@gmail.com
We are also on Twitter  and Facebook.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

A-Z #11: Angela's Ashes

You can pick up hundreds of DVD's for a buck each - it doesn't matter. Its never about quantity, its about quality. A-Z is my way of going through my collection, from A-Z, and justifying why I own the films...




#11 - Angela's Ashes

Why did I buy it?

One Christmas my Mum and Dad had recently moved back to Limerick and explained to me how Angela's Ashes was set and filmed on location in Limerick. Strangely enough, Frank McCourt has written two books Sarah absolutely adored - Angela's Ashes and 'Tis - whilst I had read, while training to be a teacher - Teacher Man. Because Sarah and I enjoyed his prose and my parents lived where it was located, it seemed appropriate to purchase the film and actually know how how good it was.

Why do I still own it?

Good question. I think there is something heritage-ish about it. I am Irish born and ... well, not really bred, because we moved when I was two. Thus, no Irish accent and only family members to remind me of the Irish heritage I possess. Nevertheless, though my Mum was never the child in the street collecting coal, she was in Limerick within 30 years of the events depicted in Angela's Ashes so I am sure there is some link there - and I think, this film holds this little key to a world I wish I knew so much more about.
Remember - you can always email The Simon and Jo Film Show directly using this email: simonandjoshow@gmail.com
We are also on Twitter  and Facebook.

Large Association of Movie Blogs


Saturday, 15 January 2011

A-Z #10: American Graffiti

You can pick up hundreds of DVD's for a buck each - it doesn't matter. Its never about quantity, its about quality. A-Z is my way of going through my collection, from A-Z, and justifying why I own the films...




#10 - American Graffiti 

Why did I buy it?

I heard alot of good things about it, I thought it'd be interesting to see a pre-Star Wars George Lucas film and - at the time - I was reading Peter Biskind's Easy Riders, Raging Bulls...

Why do I still own it?

Because, as a fan of American Pie and such, I felt that American Graffiti was the film that preceded it and paved the way for the group-of-guys, end-of-school prom film. I mean, its alot of fun and the fifties nostalgia additionally makes a great context for the teen-comedy. Harrison Fords small role is funny and, most importantly, Ron Howard is the lead actor...  

Remember - you can always email The Simon and Jo Film Show directly using this email: simonandjoshow@gmail.com
We are also on Twitter  and Facebook.

Large Association of Movie Blogs


Friday, 14 January 2011

A-Z #9: American Beauty

You can pick up hundreds of DVD's for a buck each - it doesn't matter. Its never about quantity, its about quality. A-Z is my way of going through my collection, from A-Z, and justifying why I own the films...




#9 - American Beauty

Why did I buy it?

The first time I watched this was when babysitting my niece (at the time she was a 1-year old ... now she is 10! That is nuts!) at my sisters house and she had this on her shelf. I knew very little about Oscar's but I think, as a teenage boy, a cover design with girl-from-American-Pie's belly button is always going to attract my attention. I watched it, nearly cried ("and my grandma's skin ... like paper..." sob sob) and could not believe how involved I got. I think, indirectly, my sister Helen's vague interest in film actually built up my own interest to some small extent.

Why do I still own it?

Because it is constantly rewatchable. Its not very long and the soundtrack is awesome (I additionally have both soundtracks - Thomas Newman's score alongside the pop tracks used - such as 'The Seeker' by The Who and 'All Right Now' by Free). I heard, on Filmspotting, a discussion about 'What Film Changed Your Life' and I think, having chosen this one, I think this is where my taste in film graduated from 'like' to 'love'. Not only was I so emotionally invested in the film by the closing credits - but I also thought it was so cool and yet profound. To be profound does not mean you have to be Plato - if you want Plato, go to The Matrix trilogy.

The simplicity of motif's in American Beauty roots it in a classical art form - the symbolism of youth in the rose petals is akin to the use of flowers in Botticelli's La Primavera.

Foolishly, this passion and enjoyment of the film spilled over into recommendation and my Mum - though fantastic, she is indeed Catholic - watched the film and felt otherwise. Some middle-aged man fantasizing about a school-girl is never going to be (a) profound or (b) artistic. It is merely seedy and immoral.
Remember - you can always email The Simon and Jo Film Show directly using this email: simonandjoshow@gmail.com
We are also on Twitter  and Facebook.

Large Association of Movie Blogs


A-Z #8: Amélie

You can pick up hundreds of DVD's for a buck each - it doesn't matter. Its never about quantity, its about quality. A-Z is my way of going through my collection, from A-Z, and justifying why I own the films...




#8 - Amelie 

Why did I buy it?

I bought this after watching the film but I recall the DVD release. I worked in Woolworths on the 'entertainment' counter and, upon its release, a ridiculous amount of people purchased the film and - the ignorant 16-year old that I was - meant that, I probably bought something like Deep Blue Sea instead. Fact is, I watched the film on a rental and fell in love with it within 10 minutes. One of those films that, if you're watching it on your own, after 5-minutes, you are desperate to find someone to share the experience with.

Why do I still own it?

Because it is the film to convert others into enjoying international cinema. People who don't watch films - stating "I don't like films with subtitles" - are missing out so much. Amélie could not be remade - the french-ness to it is what makes it fascinating (cultural moments throughout the film). Once someone has watched this, they will appreciate internaional cinema and, potentially, once their eyes are open to non-Hollywood movies, a whole new perspective on cinema will begin.
  
Remember - you can always email The Simon and Jo Film Show directly using this email: simonandjoshow@gmail.com
We are also on Twitter  and Facebook.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Thursday, 13 January 2011

A-Z #7: Amadeus

You can pick up hundreds of DVD's for a buck each - it doesn't matter. Its never about quantity, its about quality. A-Z is my way of going through my collection, from A-Z, and justifying why I own the films...




#7 - Amadeus

Why did I buy it?

Best Picture-a-thon as I have every intention of watching every Best Picture Oscar Winner ... ever. That really is about it.

Why do I still own it?

Because, despite the epic nature of the story, I think there is something fascinating about the envy, greed and friendship between the two composers - Salieri and Mozart. Don't get me wrong, maybe one day this will be moved out for a different period-biopic, but currently, this interesting biopic of Amadeus Mozart is a great insight into the madness, desire and personality (his bloody laugh) of an artist.

Additionally, though I have no intention of having all of Milos Formans films, it is nice that I have more than one - and Forman is one of those directors very few people know about (Well, maybe us Film Obsessives do - but Formans name is not up there with Scorsese, Coppola and Spielberg, despite some incredible films). So, with a certain air of arrogance, I can say things like "oh, well, if you like One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest then you'll love something he made a short while after ... " and know what I'm talking about when I pull out Amadeus...
  
Remember - you can always email The Simon and Jo Film Show directly using this email: simonandjoshow@gmail.com
We are also on Twitter  and Facebook.

Large Association of Movie Blogs


Wednesday, 12 January 2011

A-Z #6: All About Lily Chou-Chou

You can pick up hundreds of DVD's for a buck each - it doesn't matter. Its never about quantity, its about quality. A-Z is my way of going through my collection, from A-Z, and justifying why I own the films...


#6 - All About Lily Chou-Chou

Why did I buy it?
Initially, I watched this at the Aberystwyth Arts Centre back in my Uni Days of 2002. It was a random film that I was recommended and advised to watch at the cinema and after I watched it a close friend told me how he absolutely adored it. He truly thought it was incredible. At the time, I thought very little - I was not really aquainted with international cinema - let alone Japanese cinema but something stuck. Moreso, it stuck when I watched Kill Bill Vol. 1 and, as The Bride runs her hands across the samurai swords the incredible song by Lily Chou-Chou plays. I remembered the track vividly from the film and reawakened my interest. I bought the film from Fopp and watched it a few months later and realised how great it was.

Why do I still own it?

This is, on one-side a story about teenagers; the bullying and love-life that accompnaies a teenagers life. But, more interestingly, on the other-side, it is about music and the escapism of music. The almost spiritual experience when a song seems to pull out emotion from deep down. That buzz you get when a crescendo peaks, the warm feeling when a chord shifts - and your praying for it to be a satisfying move - and it really is - your tempted to raise your hands to some sort of spiritual plain. When you see your favourite band and they play the one track you have heard hundreds of times in the quiet of your bedroom ...

All About Lily Chou-Chou captures and explores that - and this is why it shall stay in the collection.  

Remember - you can always email The Simon and Jo Film Show directly using this email: simonandjoshow@gmail.com
We are also on Twitter  and Facebook.

Large Association of Movie Blogs