2012 was a much better year in terms of movies than the one that came before.
My favorites as follows, in no particular order:
- The Secret World of Arrietty: An excellent Studio Ghibli animated film based on the book The Borrowers. A good watch if you, like me, are someone who likes imagining what you would do if you were very very tiny. I blame a childhood spent watching George Shrinks.
- 21 Jump Street: I don’t usually enjoy modern comedies, but this is one of the few exceptions. Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill are great together, the premise is good, and performances are good all around.
- Moonrise Kingdom: Moonrise Kingdom was my first Wes Anderson movie and one of the first movies where I really realized how amazing the theater experience can be. It’s an aesthetically beautiful movie, a musically beautiful movie, and my enjoyment of it was certainly aided by the freshness of never before having seen Anderson’s particular style of quirk. That all said, it’s one of his best and is probably one of the more important films in my movie-viewing history.
- Rise of the Guardians: This is an underseen, under-rated animated Christmas film that takes place around Easter. Long story short, a group of magical mythical heroes (The Tooth Fairy, Santa, the Easter Bunny, Sandman, and Jack Frost) must team up to protect the children and the hopes and the dreams from Pitch Black/The Bogeyman. The Easter Bunny is Hugh Jackman. Santa/North looks like a very Daddy version of Auguste Rodin. Jack Frost is also hot. Wholesome content.
- Skyfall: I very much like Daniel Craig James Bond and this is one of his better ones (Second to Casino Royale).
- Django Unchained: I used to think I couldn’t stand Quentin Tarantino but have come to a change of opinion, largely through Inglourious Bastards and Django Unchained. I was thinking recently about how some of Tarantino’s movies seem to show a desire to retcon history, to take injustices and rewrite them. I like him best when he plays in this sandbox.
I didn’t see: Monsieur Lazhar, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Magic Mike, Samsara, The Master, Looper, A Late Quartet, or Amour.
It’s been a weird weekend. And it’s only Saturday. Hopefully grocery shopping is uneventful tomorrow. One minute you’re sitting on the train and the next you’re disembarking and for some reason your right hip isn’t letting you walk?
Pretty sure I’m too young for hip replacement.
SO I was talking to some friends yesterday and said I would send along a list of recommended French films. And SO I figured I would post it since it’s a list.
That said, full disclosure: I haven’t seen every French film ever so this is a superbly and spectacularly incomplete list.
Let’s Start with animated:
- Ernest and Celestine: Bears and mice and based on a lovely children’s book series that I want to buy for my potential offspring.
- Nocturna: Amazing world building. So much imagination. Cats.
- The Boy with the Cuckoo Clock Heart: I walked in on dad playing music from this. He’s never seen it.
- A Monster in Paris: There’s a giant bug and it’s a beautiful heartwarming story. Also beautiful music.
Also kid-focused but not animated:
- Le Petit Nicolas: This is what being a child is like. But kind of more so.
I’ struggling with categorizing all the rest so I’m just going to throw them at you in one big lump:
- Belle de Jour: Catherine Deneuve is bored and fantasizes about BDSM so she decides to be a prostitute. Also her name is Severine, which is an excellent name.
- La Vie en Rose: Marion Cotillard is Edith Piaf and it’s as amazing as it sounds.
- Les Trois Couleurs: Three movies which you can kind of trace from the Nouvelle Vague style. Loosely connected, all individually perfect as stand-alones. I think Blue was my favorite.
- La Double Vie de Veronique: For some reason this hangs out with Les Trois Couleurs in my mind. Some lovely music.
- Huit Femmes: A Christmas musical murder mystery with a who’s who cast of great French actresses.
- Les Choristes: A teacher positively affects students lives through music. But it’s actually a good film.
- Bonjour, Tristesse: The book is better but this is nice and light and summery. Still not a huge Jean Seberg fan.
- The Intouchables: I always confuse this with The Untouchables, a film about taking down Al Capone. This is great too.
- Elle: Isabelle Huppert is bae and this Oscar nominee (did it win? I don’t remember) from last year is fantastic.
- Tous Les Matins du Monde: Music again. But also period drama stuff and sex.
- La Pianiste: Isabelle Huppert being sexy again. But this time even more mentally off-kilter.
- La Piscine: Romy Schneider and Jane Birkin and Alain Delon are all fabulously attractive people. And the film is suitably sexy.
- Les Enfants du Paradis: A long film that flew by. It’s actually a work of art and quite possibly one of the best films I watched last year. It is inspiring me to fall in love with a mime.
- Eyes Without a Face: French New Wave does Hitchcock. I am obviously a fan.
- Diabolique: More Hitchcockian stuff. A wife and mistress conspire to kill the guy. Then come strange events.
Weird stuff that I’m not sure I can recommend:
- Last Year at Marienbad: I will never forget the word ‘couloir’.
- Triplets of Belleville: What…?
Have you ever heard it said that the gifts given by the three wisemen are representative of perfume? Or is it only perfume people who start making connections like that?
Frankincense and myrrh are both heavily fragranced incenses, and the third gift was the gift of gold (given by Caliban? I have no idea), signifying the flacon, or the vessel for the perfume.
I am very much not a Christ child, but scented gifts do tend to figure prominently in my Christmas wish list.
I haven’t tried any of the following, but here’s an inventory of what I received (you’ll be happy to hear that it involves a lot of DSH and Zoologist, two brands that I’ve been meaning to explore and have a tendency to go on about).
- Tsukimi, Foxy, Au Lait, Musc al Madina, Indus, La Belle Saison, Reveries de Paris, April, Poppy, Peony, Habibi (I want to name my next pet Habibi or Rasputin), Chinchilla, L‘Etole de vison, Chataignes du bois, Arabesque, Rendezvous, Une Robe de Zibeline, and Mirabella.
- As well as a few exciting extras, Dawn is super generous with samples!
From Annick Goutal:
- A mini bottle of Hummingbird ( ❤ ), having drained my previous decant
- Camel, Elephant, Civet, Dragonfly, Nightingale
Everything is a sample size unless otherwise stated. So excited to play with these ^.^
Featuring movies I both have and haven’t seen.
Let’s say you’re the kind of person who prefers their Christmas light on the Christ. And also light on the mas(s). Thankfully some parts of the world have accepted Christmas as part of the non-denominational holiday season- a time when we celebrate not the mis-dated birth of our Lord Jesus, but rather our love for one another. Our family, our friends, cozy nights, festive lights, and a rapacious culture of consumerism.
One of my favorite traditions for holiday togetherness is the Christmas movie, whether it’s on in the evening while I’m curled up on the couch or its just on in the background while I decorate the tree (just kidding, you have to play the Nutcracker Suite while you decorate the tree. It is written).
While I’m usually all ready for a trite and sentimental holiday story, sometimes you just need something a little more subversive. If that’s you, here’s your list.
Films I’ve Seen:
- In Bruges: I honestly love In Bruges, a black comedy-crime featuring Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson (my real Santa Claus) spewing a never-ending stream of swears and spirit.
- Edward Scissorhands: This just treads the line with being actually Christmas-y, with the heartfelt themes of family, community, belonging, and the harm of isolation. But Johnny Depp has scissors for hands and Winona’s awesome.
- The Life of Brian: Biggus Dickus. ‘Nuff said.
- The Lord of the Rings Trilogy: There are a lot of families for which LOTR is a real Christmas tradition, given that the films were released around the holidays. For me it’s because I found the box set under the tree as a child after Dad and I read the series together. An Ent is the only real Christmas tree I need.
- The Harry Potter Series: Actually tender and fuzzy feelings with delightful magic and Christmas scenes. But because evangelicals like to burn the books, the series gets a spot on this list. *Christmassiness declines as the series progresses.
- The Nightmare Before Christmas: Multiple songs with references to murdering Santa.
Films I’ve Yet To See:
- Eyes Wide Shut: Tom Cruise on a harrowing and dangerous night-long odyssey of sexual and moral discovery. Kay.
- Gremlins: My plan is to get this one watched this year.
- Die Hard: I didn’t finish this movie. I just don’t find it very interesting, mostly because of Bruce Willis. But if you can hang in there for Alan Rickman, do it.
- The French Connection: There are a few more Christmas-adjacent gang/crime films (Blast of Silence is another), but I’ll put this one on as the representative. But watch In Bruges first. I vouch for it.
Look at me doing two posts two days in a row like I don’t currently have 134 raw materials to study and an illness to recover from! 😀
No excuses, I have reaped enough links from the inter webs now to share them and I’m missing sharing my thoughts more often, so I’m going to work on making time for this blog/diary/list compendium more of a priority.
For the children, you know.
- Pixar’s released a TEASER TRAILER FOR INCREDIBLES 2! I’ve been waiting so long. And I am so ready for destructive apocalyptic Jack Jack and stay-at-home Mr. Incredible. (And Edna Mode. Please, Edna Mode).
- One of my favorite makeup artists (Violette, check out her youtube channel) has released a trio of lip colors with Estee Lauder. I’m sorely tempted.
- A scholarly discussion of Rankin & Bass Christmas specials; the good, the bad, and the ugly. Finally convinced me to finally watch Jack Frost, which I had somehow missed during all of my childhood ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas. Here are some highlights.
- A program to help you find the word that’s just on the tip of your tongue.
- Guys, there’s a new horse movie coming out, Lean on Pete.
- The American Film Institute has released their list of top 10 films of 2017. It’s a pretty good list. I’ve seen 4/10 so far, time to get cracking.
- Yale’s released a new admissions video, “That’s Why I Toured Yale”, replacing cult icon “That’s Why I Chose Yale”. The weirdest thing? I recognize people in the video. (I see you at 9:26-9:33, ballroom team!)
- NPR’s guide to the best books of 2017. Be right back, adding about 20 to my list. have you read any?
- New York Times film critics on the best movie performances of 2017. So much agreement and so much anticipation for films I haven’t seen yet (like Ladybird, The Shape of Water, and Call Me By Your Name).
- The magic of big cities, an illustration.
I changed my desktop background (finally!). I was feeling the need for something pink and fluffy with unrealistic eyelashes.
No preamble. Down and dirty style.