Monday, January 16, 2006

Books & Film - Thank you Annie Proulx

I read Annie Proulx's short story Brokeback Mountain yesterday.
I got teary at the end - this is highly unusual. Sad endings in books generally just make me sad. They don't normally make me cry.
There are lots of sad gay novels & short stories written by gay folks (generic plot 1 guy gets AIDS; generic plot 2 guy gets gay-bashed; generic plot 3 guy is disowned by his uptight family; generic plot 4 guy can't accept his sexuality and throws away what would have been the love of his life etc etc). I've read them all! So it was quite surprising to read a story which (though still sad and with a basic plot which isn't anything new) was both as moving and emotionally believable as this one. And it wasn't even written by a gay guy. Go Annie!
Read the comments to this post for discussion on whether the film is HOT or simply luke warm (but not until after you've seen the picture).

Why Brokeback Mountain isn't a great first date movie.

I made this picture up to put on flickr.
That's Guy Madison and Robert Mitchum in the original photo.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Film - 2005 Movie Wrap-Up

Here's my End Of 2005 Movie Wrap-Up.
Movie of the Year
KING KONG. This seemed to divide audiences who were new to the story, but for long-time fans of the previous movies, the new Kong was a beautiful tribute to the 1933 original, and dumped all over the silly 70's version.
Escapist movies that were fun and worthy
Wallace & Gromit; Harry Potter 4; War of the Worlds;
with lesser nods to Madagascar; Corpse Bride; Revenge of the Sith; and Batman Begins
Big Budget Theme of the Year
Dark endings, and the deflation of human egotism.
Tom Cruise was powerless against an alien invasion. Hayden Christensen got burnt to a crisp and turned into Lord Vader. We killed Kong.
Biggest piece of crap
I walked out of a piece of french garbage at the Sydney Film Festival, but nothing came close to being as stunningly stupid and funny as Alexander.
Best Non-Hollywood films
The docos Inside Deep Throat (pornography, censorship & the mob); The Parrots of Telegraph Hill (simple and sweet story of one guy and a couple of parrots); Enron: Smartest Guys In The Room (big business and extreme greed).
Me, You and Everyone We Know (quirky/funny little drama with great dialogue and characters)
The House of Flying Daggers (Zhang Yimou's martial arts spectacle)
Mysterious Skin (two teenagers not coping with the lasting effects of childhood molestation)
Pride & Prejudice (beautiful adaptation of the novel)
Best opportunity for a good cry
King Kong (I saw the film alone and got to a cry in private, but then I saw it again with Cade who had to borrow a tissue)
Song of the Year
The crazy little dolphin song in Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy. Here's a sample:
"Despite those nets of tuna fleets
We thought that most of you were sweet
Especially tiny tots and your
pregnant women".
Best use of nudity
Gael Garcia Marquez in Bad Education (less nudity than the documentary Inside Deep Throat, but saucy all the way)
Most inappropriate use of nudity
Alexander was full of guys giving each other the eye (lots of lusting, lots of yearning), but the one sex scene involved Colin Farrell getting it on with a woman who hardly featured in the rest of the film. Weird.
Worst performances (or miscasting if you're being kind)
Colin Farrell, hilarious as a bisexual (more in thought than in deed) greek warrior (make that a very wimpy and non-greek looking warrior) with blonde curls, little white skirt and Irish accent (Alexander)
Val Kilmer, over-acting AND bad make-up (Alexander)
Jessica Alba, showing all the personality of a Stepford Wife (Fantastic Four)
Memorable performances
Andy Serkis (digitally transformed into King Kong)
Naomi Watts, who managed to give a great Fay Wray scream as well as create a believable relationship with the big ape (King Kong)
Cate Blanchett (As Kate Hepburn in The Aviator)
Monica Bellucci and Tilda Swinton as queens of the beautiful and evil kind (The Brothers Grimm and Narnia)
Johnny Depp (very odd in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)
Jake Gyllenhaal (actually, I haven't seen him in anything this year, but he's lovely)
Worst dialogue
"Noooooooooooooooo!!!!!!" (Revenge of the Sith)