Gone With The Wind (1939)

Straight to the point: this movie is almost 4 hours long, but I never get tired of it. Ok, I generally watch it once a year (maybe even less), but that doesn’t matter. Even Australia is that long, but I’ve only seen it once. Pearl Harbor as well, and the list could go on and on. The point is: I like to re-watch Gone With the Wind and every time I enjoy it like the first time. Yeah, it’s kind of racist. Yeah, Melanie is just unbearably corny. But it’s amazing how the movie makes you sit down and enjoy stereotypes. And just when you think you know it all, it surprises you thanks to Scarlett and Rhett. Well, mostly Scarlett, let’s be honest about that. It’s a 1939 film, so Vivien Leigh’s character is definitely unconventional, just like the relationship with Rhett, which does not include the canonical happy ending. You know they’re meant to be together, but they just can’t. Which, to be honest, it’s even worst than any stereotype the film makes us (when I say “us”, I mean “everyone”) enjoy: Scarlett and Rhett relationship make us (when I say “us”, I mean “women”) love bad guys even more. Make us enjoy complicated relationships. In other words, this definitely doesn’t improve an already messed up love life. Anyway, Gone With the Wind: old, yes. But it still kicks ass.

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Hugo Cabret (2011)

Yeah, I do reckon that this post comes a little late. But you know… Italian releases and my dissertation are not helping me out on this one. Anyway, Hugo Cabret has finally come out in here too and I’ve also finished writing my grad thesis, so I’m ready to come back to my blog-life. And yep, I’ve been missing you all, guys!

I saw Hugo Cabret on Valentine’s Day and I must say the timing was perfect. I mean, I spent the night of Love’s Day (which I usually despise, but that’s another story) with Martin Scorsese. I spent the night of Love’s Day with George Méliès. I spent the night of Love’s Day with a little boy who, just like me, is absolutely crazy about movies. Summing it up: I spent the night of Love’s Day with my Love for cinema.
Surely it’s not a flawless film – a little too long, sometimes even to sappy, editing not as perfect as you expect from a Scorsese movie – but overall, I enjoyed it. I felt like a little kid watching The Magic happening on the screen. Yeah, I did feel like Hugo so, dear Mr. Scorsese, mission accomplished: through that kid you perfectly represented all of us film-lovers. You perfectly represented yourself. By the way: not only this movie made me appreciate Valentine’s Day (at least for a little more than a couple of hours), it also made appreciate 3D. It was actually kind of painful because I forgot to wear lenses so I had to wear two pairs of glasses for 137 minutes. But that’s just me to blame. So, do you know why I enjoyed it, nevertheless? Because the film was made for 3D. Apart from the technical perfection, I felt like Mr. Scorsese made us put on our supercool and super-21st century 3D glasses in order to watch the 1930s viewers on the screen watching us back. And, as we viewers watch each other, we feel like two reflections of a mirror. As if to say that, you know, love for films is transcendent, no matter where and when you live.

That’s why Hugo Cabret is a great love movie.

Irma La Douce (1963)

Director: Billy Wilder
Starring: Jack Lemmon, Shirley McLaine

Paris. Nestor (Jack Lemmon) is a  way too honest cop who loses his job and falls in love with a prostitute, Irma (Shirley McLaine). But, because of all her clients, he can’t help being jealous. So he dresses up as a fake british lord and hires her every week, becoming her only client. But it’s hard to pay 500 francs every time…

Ok, not as extraordinary as Some Like it Hot, but definitely on the same page. Fun, rhythm and great talent. Billy Wilder has a staggering skill: telling stories involving topical issues (prostitution, adultery, “transvestite”, murder, sex) in a very light way, but he’s never banal or sappy. Everything becomes just pure entertainment and genuine fun. all the characters, even the secondaries, are so perfectly drawn as to create a complete and functional picture. Every detail is important because it contributes to the general comedy frame: Irma’s green underwear, the bartender’s utterly ridiculous anecdotes (“But that’s another story”), Irma’s heavy drinker dog. It could easily become too much, but under Billy Wilder’s control it never does. His comedies just puts you a good mood, and that’s what the genre is supposed to do. Plus, even in this one the ending is a classic. Long story short: another lecture of good cinema.

“To be overly honest in a dishonest world is like plucking a chicken against the wind… you’ll only wind up with a mouth full of feathers”

TV Newbies 2011/2012 – Four Suggestions

Homeland
This one is based on an israeli series called Hatufim (Prisoner of War) and it’s about the CIA agent Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) who – long story short – believes that an American marine, who has been held captive by Al-Quaeda for 8 years, was turned by the enemy and is now a national threat. It is both a spy movie and a psychological thriller. Not only we are taken into the CIA investigation, we also see how the marine and his family deal with the sudden comeback. Also, we get to know Mathison and her weaknesses. So yes, it’s about terrorism and politics. But it is also about double face and human frailty. Overall, I think it is really well written and never banal. Suprising turning points end each episode, so you (or at least, I), cannot help but getting hooked. On Sundays on Showtime, right after our old friend Dexter.

Pan Am
Multi-strand narration about pilots and stewardesses working for the iconic airline Pan Am during the 60s. Lots of romance and drama… exactly what you expect on ABC right before Desperate Housewives. Is there anything better to watch on Sunday nights? Of course there is, on Showtime, on HBO and on AMC. Do I care about that? Nope, because I’m organized. So I can afford to be a silly romantic girl who watches soap-oper-ish series. Aside from sappy romance, anyway, what I love about this show is the historic background. 60s are so fascinating, so iconic. And sometimes, the stewardesses’ stories mingle with true events, like Kennedy’s visit in Berlin on 1963, or France occupation by the Nazis. Funny, light and easy. But worth watching. BTW, I really hope that it’s going to be renewed. Ratings were not that great, but I heard that DVRs are saving the day… Fingers crossed! PS: girlish moment: who is your favorite character? I LOVE Colette!

American Horror Story

I have to thank Fogs for this one. The story is about a haunted house. Do I need to say more? From here, you can picture all the creepy, scary, gory, even kinky stuff that comes to your mind. Sheer horror… Love it. I mean, the show has its flaws and it is definitely not the best horror thing ever. But until now is not boring and there’s lot of blood. The cast is first class: Dylan McDermott (and his perfectly shaped ass, on the pilot), Connie Britton (from Friday Night Lights), Dennis O’Hare (True Blood‘s beloved Russel Edgington) and oh-so-creepy Jessica Lange and Frances Conroy.  The direction is very disturbing. BTW, one of the creators is Brad Falchuck, from Nip/Tuck and Glee. Wednesdays on FX.

Once Upon a Time

What happens after Snow White and her prince get married? The Evil Queen/Wi

tch takes the fairy-tale world and all its inhabitants to… the real world. Right outside Boston, to be precise. And the baby Snow White and her prince had is Jennifer Morrison, House‘s Cameron. As usual, there’s a lot more going on in the series than in the plot I tried to summarize, but this should be enough to give you an idea. The pilot was aired last Sunday and, as it appears, it was a ratings success. I really enjoyed it… It’s kind of Enchanted-like, but darker. It’s actually early to say anything serious (I haven’t “liked” it on facebook yet!), but I hope that the producers are going to keep up the good work.