“All boundaries are conventions, waiting to be transcended. One may transcend any convention, if only one can first conceive of doing so. Moments like this, I can feel your heart beating as clearly as I feel my own, and I know that separation is an illusion. My life extends far beyond the limitations of me.”
– Robert Frobisher, Cloud Atlas
Film still © 2012 – Cloud Atlas Productions, X-Filme Creative Pool, Anarchos Pictures
Getting back into writing when you haven’t done it in a while is actually quite hard. I promised myself a while ago that I would keep up with this blog when things in my life calmed down a bit, only to discover that things don’t calm down. That is life. There is not calm. So, I will try and accept that and do my best to do the things I enjoy and not get bogged down with the ‘important’ things that I can’t stand to do (but have to). So, thinking of life, and what you want from it, my first film in ages that I have thought about writing about is “A Liar’s Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman”.
A few months ago I watched “Graham Chapman: Anatomy of a Liar”. I didn’t know anything about it, but being indecisive about what to what while perusing Netflix I saw both “A Liar’s Autobiography” and “Anatomy”. I decided to watch the “Anatomy”. I have always loved Monty Python, so a behind the scenes look interested me. I found it fascinating, and decide at some point I would need to watch the actual “Autobiography”. There were distractions, but I finally watched the “Autobiography”.
“A Liar’s Autobiography” is an animated interpretation of Graham Chapman’s autobiography. Before he died, Chapman had recorded an audio version of his book. The film uses this recording as narration, with additional voices by the rest of Monty Python (minus Eric Idle). Chapman is able to represent himself in his autobiography.
It’s hard to describe this film without actually watching it (as so many are). Although Chapman didn’t stick to the ‘facts’, I believe it was one of the most truthful autobiographies I have seen. The idea of this film is what makes a person isn’t necessarily the events that happen in their life, but instead the emotions and experiences of their life.
Graham Chapman is able to portray this, and the animators who did the film managed to interpret his story wonderfully. Each theme in the story is done in a different style of animation. I cannot imagine doing this any differently, now that I have seen it.
This is an autobiography that entertains and sticks with you. I plan on reading the book as soon as I can (and as soon as I remember).
Additional: I’m not sure there is a book…
Film Stills © 2012 – Brainstorm Media, EPIX, Trinity Film Production
I love Halloween. I love the dressing up, and I love horror movies – good horror movies, not just violence and things jumping out at you to startle you. This Halloween I’ve been thinking about one of my favorite horror movies, “The Haunting” (the 1963 version, not that other one I’ll choose to ignore).
When I was little, this image was terrifying….
I would stare at my ceiling after I went to bed and I could swear I could hear mumbling.
All truly good horror movies don’t just scare you while you’re watching them. The good movies continue to scare you long after you’ve turned the TV off, and you’ve gone on with the rest of your day/week. The good ones don’t need blood, gore, and monsters. For me, horror is banging on the walls, voices, and that feeling of dread. Horror is “The Haunting”.
And, of course, metal spiral staircases.
Film stills © 1963 – Argyle Enterprises, MGM
“Do you still insist that this is all poppycock?”
“That’s not exactly the word I had in mind.”
-“Time After Time”
I love a good time travel movie. As a Sci-Fi fan, it’s hard to go wrong with time-travel (although I’m sure it has been done). So, when I first saw trailers for “Looper” I was excited. “Looper” is about an assassin, living in the year 2044. His targets are sent to him from 30 years in the future, where time travel exists, although it is banned. He kills them, making clean up easy since his targets don’t exist in his time, and there is nothing for the police to find in the future. When his contract is up, his last target sent to him is himself. It becomes even more complicated when Joe (Gordon-Levitt) accidentally lets his future self escape, and has to hunt him down (while also being hunted down by the mob that hired him).
When I first saw the trailer for “Looper”, I was intrigued to see more of the make-up job they did on Joseph Gordon-Levitt to make him look more like Bruce Willis. It was quite bizarre at first to see him with a totally different nose and eyebrows, but after a while I adjusted and it really does help you imagine him to be the character. It makes him look a bit harsher, and you stop seeing the softer face of Gordon-Levitt, and you see the face of a killer (not that Bruce Willis is a killer – I don’t really see Bruce Willis necessarily in the face of Gordon-Levitt, even with the make-up job).
The movie itself has fun with the idea of time-travel, and has a couple new takes on the idea – and originality is always good when it comes to messing with the timeline. As always, I don’t like to give away too much plot. I enjoy seeing movies without knowing too much about them, so I try to stick to that when talking about it. However, there is one amazing scene in the beginning which really plays with the idea of time. Time for one “Spoiler”, even though it takes place in the beginning of the movie – or close to the beginning. After one of Joe’s friends lets his future self escape, the mob needs to hunt him down. Of course, they can’t kill him in the present (that would mess up the timeline too much), so they need to persuade his older self to come to them “willingly”. How do you do that? By chopping of pieces of his younger self of course. The audience gets to watch as this older man watches parts of himself disappear as he tries to stop the mob. By the time he makes it he is missing both legs, most of his arms, his nose…it’s disturbing. But it’s also one of the more original ideas I’ve seen – and by far my favorite part of the movie.
“Looper” does have a lot of action, most of which is gun fights. There is some telekinesis, but I’d rather leave that for those who go watch the movie. Movies like this usually need a lot of action (especially when you have Bruce Willis as one of the primary characters), because you get a larger audience with action.
Thankfully, even with all the action, the plot does not lack. Not that it couldn’t have been better (there are many better time travel movies out there), but it was still a great story. Between the action scenes, the audiences begins to understand, pity, and sometimes even relate to, these two Joes; the same person but so very different. You have the conflict of the younger, who wants to enjoy his wealth and youth, and the older, who is wise because of the past but lost and desperately trying to hold onto it. You understand both of these men, but are torn during the movie by who you think is “right”. A great action movie, but also the potential for an even better movie underneath. “Looper” could have been a much deeper and richer plot, if filmmakers are willing to take risks and have less action.
Although, I have to admit, the action is definetly worth it when Bruce Willis walks into a room presenting P90s, full on Teal’c style from “Stargate: SG1”.
“Looper”: All Film stills © 2012 – DMG Entertainment, Endgame Entertainment
“Captain, Captain, Captain… save your strength. These people have sworn to live and die at my command two hundred years before you were born.”
-Khan, “Wrath of Khan”
Film stills © 1982 – Paramount Pictures
“We didn’t need dialogue. We had faces!”
Film stills © 1950 – Paramount Pictures