Welcome to my blog, if you are looking for reviews of the latest releases then I would suggest taking a look at some of the other excellent blogs mentioned to the right of this blog, for I review an eclectic mix of films from any era and any country and have sadly little time for the latest film news.
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Thursday, 17 February 2011

Weekly Collection of Random Film Thoughts

  • I was just listening to the soundtrack to Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai recently, (I think I'll review it sometime soon) and I've decided that it is one of the best I've ever heard, it was done by RZA of the Wu Tang Clan and is absolutely perfect for the film's oriental mixed with black culture mixed with gangster culture atmosphere. Listen to it here!
The RZA, with QT and Eli Roth.
  • While I'm on the subject of RZA, is any one else looking forward to his upcoming film?  Its called The Man With The Iron Fist and will be a retro kung fu film based in China, apparently RZA has an extensive knowledge of Kung Fu films so I'm looking forward to this. It will be his first directional effort and produced by Quentin Tarantino. He currently shooting it now in China which a rather intriguing cast that includes Russel Crowe, Lucy Liu and Pam Grier, that's what I heard anyway...

    • I'll be watching Jean Jacques Beineix's first film (and most acclaimed) "Diva" - 1980, soon. It i considered to be one of the finest feature film debuts so after watching itI think I might put together a list of my favourite film debuts, (expect to see the likes of Reservoir Dogs and Citizen Kane).
    • I was recently reflecting on the importance (or lack thereof) of actors. I came to the conclusion that an actor is a tool that the director puts to use, they get a disproportionate amount of praise, mainly because they are the elements of the film that are the most visible to the average viewer. Let me elaborate, I believe that any actor can give a good performance given the right circumstances, have you never thought an actor was crap but then seen one of his performances and had your opinions changed, this happened to me with Tom Cruise in Born on The Fourth of July and more recently Jean Claude Van Damme in JCVD.Thus I believe there is no such thing as a truly bad actor, they have nearly all had their moments and are nearly all interchangeable. But there are of course exceptions, such as when a part is written with a specific actor in mind, or when an actor so inhabits the role that it would be impossible to imagine any one else in the role, such as De Niro is most of his work, Daniel Day Lewis is much of his as well, Dennis Hopper in Blue Velvet and Klaus Kinski in Aguirre The Wrath Of God. I might elaborate more on this later...

    • I recently watched Stanley Kubrick's masterpiece (one of his many masterpieces) A Clockwork Orange, I think it has an undeservedly bad reputation for despite it's graphic nudity and occasional "ultra-violence" most of which happens in the first 45 minutes or so of the film, it still has something immensely interesting and surprisingly relevant to say, unlike the majority of films these days. It is basically a film about free will, it asks the question, should man be able to choose between Good and Evil or not ?, but if not and Good was enforced and thus universal then there would be no such thing as Good for without Evil Good cannot exist. And if one looses ones ability to make such a choice doesn't one cease being human and become some sort of puppet? Alex Delarge (Malcolm McDowell) chooses Evil (for the sake of making the film a bit more controversial and thought provoking) but when he has Good enforced upon him he looses his love of Music, all that was left of his humanity.
    • Are there really actors that you can watch in literally anything? I know the expression is thrown around a lot but I wonder if in some cases it might be true, personnally I find it harder to watch an actor who's work I usually admire in a downright terrible film, for I know they can and have done better, whereas a, actor who has always been in average films and probably will always be in much less of a disappointment, thus I don't try and watch every single film starring my preferred actors, only their best.
    • Here's a list of my favourite actors, I'll do the list of actresses another week:
    1. Robert De Niro, yes he's the king, the absolute best even despite his recent work, but I believe he'll do a comeback, or at least I wish he would...
    2. Toshiro Mifune, he has the most exceptional screen presence, so charismatic.
    3. Klaus Kinski, I know he was insane (and that's not a figure of speech) but he was great, I would even go so far as saying he was mesmerising!
    4. Vincent Cassel, I don't know why I like this guy so much, but I do...Check out "Mesrine" to see why!
    5. Nic Cage, yes I've got a soft spot for this eccentrci actor, he's born the same day as me for as start and I guess I like his individuality.... "and his belief in personal freedom" (Wild At Heart reference for those that haven't seen it...)
    6. Daniel Day Lewis, the new De Niro, a dedicated and almost (damn you "Nine"!) always exceptional actor.
    7. There are loads more, such as Richard Burton, Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Tony Leung, Marcello Mastrionni, Tatsuya Nakadai, Gerard Depardieu, Robert Carlyle...etc but I'll leave it at that for today.
    • And now for something I hate, dubbing. I live in France, which happens to be one of the countries that makes the most use of dubbing. This renders Hollywood films easily accessible for the general French public thus causing them to often overlook there own Cinema. And naturally the "foreign films" suffer even more as people become so used to dubbing that subtitles are not an option to them.I personally believe strongly in the merits of sub-titles. Some say they detract from the viewing experience as one has to read them. I would say that it only takes a split second the read them and properly comprehend the scene, but with dubbing even if one has greater leisure to observe the scene it's effect is always diminished through translation. Take for example the famous "Royale with Cheese" dialogue from Pulp Fiction, and imagine watching it dubbed into French, it is just insulting and takes out all the humour. The same goes for the Pink Panther films starring Peter Sellers, but naturally it works both ways, I wouldn't consider watching a French comedy dubbed into English either.

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