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Movie Memories

32 Performances

This is a variation of the previous 32 Films as Birthday Candles post.

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2016 Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic)
2015 Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies)*
2014 Ralph Fiennes (Grand Budapest Hotel)
2013 Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)*
2012 Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
2011 Viola Davis (The Help)
2010 Andrew Garfield (The Social Network)

2009 Carey Mulligan (An Education)
2008 Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight)*
2007 Amy Adams (Enchanted)
2006 Penelope Cruz (Volver)
2005 Heath Ledger (Brokeback Mountain)
2004 Gael Garcia Bernal (Bad Education)
2003 Uma Thurman (Kill Bill Volume 1)
2002 Julianne Moore (Far From Heaven)
2001 Nicole Kidman (Moulin Rouge and The Others)

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32 Films as Birthday Candles

The meme is simple. List down your favorite movie for each year you are alive.

2016 Captain Fantastic(dir Matt Ross)
2015 Carol (dir Todd Haynes)
2014 Nightcrawler (dir Dan Gilroy)
2013 Her (dir Spike Jonze)
2012 Magic Mike (dir Steven Soderbergh)
2011 Beginners(dir Mike Mills)
2010 The Social Network (dir David Fincher)

Continue reading “32 Films as Birthday Candles”

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On philosopher kings and deer-killing

Captain Fantastic (Ross, 2016) is wonderfully amusing and poignant. It also forces viewers to confront and own up to their limits on parenting and tolerance of counterculture. How open-minded are you about six children being raised in the wild, isolated and constantly drilled on survival skills, political theory, world literature and the arts by their strong-willed father? Would  you inform the social services of this mad man, save his children from danger? The movie raises these thought-provoking questions, although it does not attempt to conceal its biases. There is a niche audience targeted and even among them, anticipates varying degrees of appreciation.

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Viggo Mortensen delivers a stellar performance as Ben Cash. His commitment to the character is evident in bold physical displays (including full-frontal nudity) and in more subtle gestures: a smirk here, a sigh there, a weary look at a distance. He easily conveys Ben’s grief, self-doubt and undeniable love for his children and his late wife. He effortlessly portrays Ben as a noble polymath not devoid of actual flaws. It is difficult imagining another actor taking the material to the heights that Mortensen has scaled.

In Memoriam

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death, thou shalt die.
David Bowie. Leonard Cohen. Natalie Cole. Glenn Frey (Eagles). Prince. Gary Marshall. Leonard Nimoy. Alan Rickman. Anton Yelchin.

Edit: George Michael

Edit 2: Carrie Fisher

Edit 3: Debbie Reynolds

Rogue One (Edwards, 2016)*

Date: December 21, 2016

Location: Newport Cinema 4, Resorts World Manila, Philippines

Snack: Cheddar cheese-flavored popcorn, Maltesers and root beer

Backstory: My flight just got cancelled. Traveling by bus was not an option because securing a last-minute reservation was not going to happen. Truth be told, I was not looking forward to twelve grueling hours on the road. I was not in the mood to interact with airline employees, who have mastered the art of further frustrating already irate guests. Either I cancel my plans of going home for the holidays or join the other complaining guests in the ticketing office and attempt to book a flight for the following day. I managed to secure a seat but by then, I was starving.  I would really hate to get stuck in the nightmarish Manila traffic en route to my flat in the metro. On a whim, I booked for an overnight stay at the Remington Hotel while waiting for my first meal for the day to be served– banana caramel walnut pancakes at one in the afternoon. Barely an hour later, I checked in to my room and set to forget the hassles of the day  by heading to the cinema. Rogue One surely made up for what could have been a truly dreadful day. (The fluffy  pancakes helped a great deal, too.)

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Harry Hawkes: Prime Ralph Fiennes at 54

A Bigger Splash’s (Guadangino, 2015) coked-up anti-hero, Harry Hawkes was too loud, too obnoxious, and too obscene for the picturesque tranquility of the Italian volcanic island of Pantelleria. As his rival Paul De Smedt noted, the world was not ready for Harry’s honesty. He craved to be the center of attention. He loathed to be merely tolerated; he himself admitted. His idea of dancing was graceless and uncoordinated limb-flapping to The Rolling Stones’ “Emotional Rescue”. He was the most conceited, the most possessive, and the most obsessive in a band of self-indulgent, privileged brats. He was narcissism personified. For all his faults, however,  he was the embodiment of Ralph Fienne’s outstanding achievement in acting this year. It is mind-boggling that commendations are not coming in droves.

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