“Film as dream, film as music. No form of art goes beyond ordinary consciousness as film does, straight to our emotions, deep into the twilight room of the soul. A little twitch in our optic nerve, a shock effect: twenty-four illuminated frames a second, darkness in between, the optic nerve incapable of registering darkness.”
- Ingmar Bergman.
I wonder why my eyes have not turned into two green-coloured squares yet. It’s just that I have spent such an enormous amount of time in front of various screens in January it’s amazing I still actually look human.
In between working and editing photos and catching up on bookkeeping and backing up files and replying to emails I managed to squeeze in quite a number of movies this month. Every year I start a new “Movies Watched” list that I keep in my phone. It’s rather surprising but by the end of January I have watched eleven (!!!) movies despite being one busy woman. I think my brain goes into some self-preservation mode after reaching a limit of crazy computer hours, and sends me downstairs to sit quietly in front of TV for a little while. Or tells me to go to the cinema under an excuse that we have run out of broccoli, and why not to watch the latest blockbuster since we are already inside the shopping centre.
Nine out of those eleven are really worth the mention:
1. “Your Sister’s Sister” – very raw and real. Quite arthouse-y if you enjoy this kind of stuff. I do, and I loved it. No special effects, no flashy backgrounds (except for the most gorgeous Pacific Northwest greenery), only emotions. A movie about people who are driven by their souls’ deepest desires, loyalty to their siblings, about finding out (sometimes in a rather entertaining for the viewer way) the reason why they are in this strange little mess. A touching story.
2. “The Sapphires” – first, it’s an Australian movie. Second, a very well-made one. Third, the music is amazing. Fourth, the light is gorgeous. Fifth, it’s based on a true story. I can continue counting, but I think it’s the best if we all just watch it. An absolute mood-lifter.
3. “Silver Linings Playbook”. Ok, I was blown away by this movie. It was totally unexpected. I found myself holding my breath many times during those two hours, completely absorbed by what was happening on the big screen. Plus I did not check how long it is till the end even once (which is rare). Bradley Cooper is brilliant as Pat, an ex-teacher, a guy who is trying to navigate his everyday world after being diagnosed with bipolar. One word – Love. It’s about love. And being honest with yourself. My top movie of the month for sure.
4. “Moonrise Kingdom” – another favourite. Came second after “Silver Linings”. Not the most usual Hollywood movie I would say, despite the presence of such heavyweights as Bruce Willis (he’s hilarious in it), Bill Murray, Frances McDormand and Tilda Swinton. But those two kids stole the show. Sam and Suzy know they are made for each other. And they don’t care about all the rules and complications that are threatening to keep them apart. Highly recommend if you want to remember the feeling of being in head-over-heels in love when you were twelve.
5. “Life of Pi”. To be honest I can’t say I enjoyed it that much. Yes, it is VERY impressive. Yes, it is worth watching it in 3D. Yes, the special effects are hard to believe. But in my own personal opinion something was missing, and maybe it was missing for me as I have not read the book, and we all know the movie is never as deep as the book that inspired it. But I can tick the box that I have seen one of the most anticipated movies of the year.
6. “Les Miserables”. I will not say much except for that it is one seriously long movie with lots of singing, and that it is worth seeing for Hugh Jackman’s acting alone. We watched it on Australia day, and it was perfectly complemented by the screening of “Australia” on channel Ten that night. Two epics featuring Hugh Jackman in one day – you cannot have too much of Hugh on your screen.
7.“Hitchcock” – oh what a visual feast! I love the movies that make you feel as you have travelled in time, and this one certainly made me forget about everything except for what was happening on the screen. And again, the acting is brilliant. Pure art.
8. “Beginners” – I love French movies, although this one is not French. But it feels French. I know why – because of Melanie Laurent. Again, I enjoyed the acting probably a just a tiny little bit more than the story, and with Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer both being the leading men you cannot not go wrong when choosing what to watch on a Sunday night. I cried a lot at the end too.
9. “Hope Springs” – all about Meryl Strip. I can just sit and watch her, no major story line necessary.
So naturally this month’s self-portrait would be all about those movie nights (and no movie session is complete without a bowl of freshly popped corn):