Limitless Cinema in Broken English

March 30, 2009

POLL 51: DIVINE COMEDIENNES

Filed under: Uncategorized — celinejulie @ 10:34 pm

This is about a poll in my bilingual blog at http://celinejulie.blogspot.com

 

My poll 51 is inspired by Zachary Campbell’s article in Rouge—ANNA FARIS, SERIOUS RESPECT FOR THE UNSERIOUS.
http://www.rouge.com.au/13/faris.html
This article reminds me that my blog hasn’t paid enough attention to comedies, comedians, and comediennes, though in fact I think effective comedic performances are as extremely difficult as effective dramatic performances. I think some greatest dramatic performances require the performers to truly understand the characters they play, while some effective comedic performances require the performers to truly understand how to manipulate the audience.

Zach’s article also made me realize that there are very few sexy comediennes like Anna Faris.

This poll focuses on the comediennes, not on the films/plays/TV series listed here. So if you love Akeera Modesakul as the horny ghost in WHERE SHOULD I LAY MY SOUL? (2007, Nikorn Saetang, A+), or if you love Parnrut Kritcharnchai in THE 24 (2008, Sonthaya Sukchada, A+), you can also vote for them here.

THESE ACTRESSES GAVE ME A LOT OF LAUGHS. WHICH ACTRESSES DO YOU LIKE? (You can also consider their performances which are not listed here)

1.Akeera Modesakul (aka Dia) – BABYMIME SHOW VOL.1 (2008, Thai play)
http://www.theatre8x8.com/about_us.htm

2.Anna Faris – JUST FRIENDS (2005, Roger Kumble)
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3426/3398071131_dfba8d2c1f_b.jpg


3.Bette Midler – BIG BUSINESS (1988, Jim Abrahams)
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51SRZZ76C3L._SS500_.jpg


4.Carmen Maura – PEPI, LUCI, BOM (1980, Pedro Almodovar, Spain)
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3567/3398071139_d05e91605b_o.jpg


5.Christine Baranski – MAMMA MIA! (2008, Phyllida Lloyd)


http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3612/3398071135_4d6d41dd3c_o.jpg
Actually I think Baranski’s performance in MAMMA MIA! is not special, but I like her very much in CRUEL INTENTIONS (1999, Roger Kumble) and CHICAGO, and I think there’s something very funny about her, so I’d like to include her in this poll. Since this poll is about comedic performances, I decided to put MAMMA MIA! in the list here, because I’m not sure if I can call her performances in CRUEL INTENTIONS and CHICAGO as comedic performances or not.

6.Elaine May – SMALL TIME CROOKS (2000, Woody Allen)
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3456/3398078531_376249188a_o.jpg


7.Jennifer Coolidge – LEGALLY BLONDE (2001, Robert Luketic)
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3630/3398071149_300d60b78a_o.jpg


8.Jerrica Lai – SELL OUT (2008, Yeo Joon Han, Malaysia)
http://thaifilmjournal.blogspot.com/2008/11/6th-world-film-festival-of-bangkok.html

9.Kanokwan Buranon – 3 KON OLAWENG (Thai TV series in early 1990’s)
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3475/3398078537_3d7bee16ee_o.jpg


10.Lily Tomlin – ALL OF ME (1984, Carl Reiner)
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51VwfWJqGnL._SS500_.jpg


11.Linda Hunt – IF LOOKS COULD KILL (1991, William Dear)
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3447/3398078539_90a6287e8d_o.jpg


12.Naowarat Yuktanun – GHOST-IN-LAW (2008, Seree Phongnithi + Tanit Jitnukul, Thailand)
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3447/3398078543_3f16ee85f1_o.jpg


13.Nina Hagen – TICKET OF NO RETURN (1979, Ulrike Ottinger, West Germany)
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3475/3398078549_e137d08ca9_o.jpg
http://filmsick.exteen.com/20090326/ticket-of-no-return-ulrike-ottinger-1979-german

14.Parnrut Kritcharnchai – MAHANAKORN 2009 (Taweewat Kamnerdpetch + Paiboon Soponsuwaparp, Thai play)
http://crescentmoonspace.blogspot.com/2009_01_01_archive.html

15.Roseanne – SHE-DEVIL (1989, Susan Seidelman)
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51kOxsdeDtL._SS500_.jpg


16.Sabine Azema – SMOKING/NO SMOKING (1993, Alain Resnais, France)
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3447/3398078555_f28528c52d_o.jpg


17.Sununta Naksompop – KOON YING BAO TUNG (A SELF-APPOINTED LADY) (Thai TV series in early 1990’s)
This TV series is referred to in the film SAYEW (2003, Kongdej Jaturanrasamee + Kiat Songsanant, A+). Her performance in KOON YING BAO TUNG can be considered one of the most unnaturalistic, unconvincing performances I have ever seen in my whole life. And that’s why watching her extremely awkward performance in this TV series is one of the greatest joys I have ever experienced.

18.Selma Blair – THE SWEETEST THING (2002, Roger Kumble)
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3034/3398080269_612bab9266_o.jpg


19.Valerie Lemercier – LE DERRIERE (1999, Valerie Lemercier, France)
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3452/3398080273_05338227a7_o.jpg


20.Warapan Nguitrakool – LOOG KOON LUANG (2007, Pa-oon Chantornsiri, Thai play)
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3586/3398080277_d6a446c719_o.jpg


You can cast multiple votes.

I also love the comedic performances of these actresses very much:

21.Amanda Bynes – SHE’S THE MAN (2006, Andy Fickman)
22.Anne Ramsey – THROW MOMMA FROM THE TRAIN (1987, Danny DeVito)
23.Charisma Carpenter – BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER (1997-1999, US TV series)
24.Cloris Leachman – SPANGLISH (2004, James L. Brooks)
25.Eileen Essel – DUPLEX (2003, Danny DeVito)
26.Jennifer Tilly – SEED OF CHUCKY (2004, Don Mancini)
27.Kathy Kinney – THE DREW CAREY SHOW (1995-2004, US TV series)
I only watched several episodes of this TV series, but the character Mimi is very memorable.
28.Mayura Tanaboot – SECRETARIES GOSSIP ABOUT THEIR BOSSES (1987, Suprawat Patamasoot, Thai TV series)
29.Panissara Phimpru – DEAR DAKANDA (2005, Komgrit Triwimol, Thailand)
30.Sally Field – SOAPDISH (1991, Michael Hoffman)
31.Tori Spelling – TRICK (2000, Jim Fall)

–After making this list, I noticed that the name Roger Kumble came up three times as the director of CRUEL INTENTIONS (B-), THE SWEETEST THING (B), and JUST FRIENDS (A-). I think his films are pretty bad, but there are some elements in his films that I love or think are very memorable. The performances of Anna Faris and Selma Blair in his two films are unforgettable. And there are some kind of pleasures to see Sarah Michelle Gellar as Kathryn Merteuil in CRUEL INTENTIONS and dream that I could be like this character in my next life. The scene in which Cameron Diaz complains about her breasts in THE SWEETEST THING is very memorable, too. In Zach’s article, he mentioned something about “the virtues of mass genres”. And I think his article may also inspire me to think about some mainstream films in a new way.

–Talking about Roger Kumble makes me think about three different types of directors who make films which look “bad”:

1.Directors who make really bad films: Uwe Boll
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0093051/

2.Directors who make generally bad films, but they have something I love very much in them.

2.1 Roger Kumble

2.2 Poj Arnon
http://riverdale-dreams.blogspot.com/2009/03/short-replay.html

2.3 Sununta Naksompop – She produced “bad” TV series which may have no aesthetic values at all, but I much prefer her “bad” TV series to most expensively-produced Thai TV series. There are some kinds of extreme pleasures I only get from watching her TV series, and I can’t find these pleasures anywhere else. If anybody knows where I can buy a set of DVD/VCDs of the TV series PLEARNG PAI and KOON YING BAO TUNG, please tell me. I think these two TV series are unique.

2.4 Sukit Narin, who directed SIN SISTERS (2002, B)

3.Cult film directors, and directors who can aestheticize bad tastes.

3.1 Weerasak Suyala
3.2 Peter Jackson
3.3 John Waters
3.4 Bruce La Bruce

FAVORITE DOCUMENTARIES OF THIS DECADE

Filed under: Uncategorized — celinejulie @ 10:19 pm

This is my comment in Kevin Lee’s blog:
http://alsolikelife.com/shooting/

These are my favorite documentaries of this decade. I just think they are wonderful. 🙂

1.MODERN LIFE (2008, Raymond Depardon, France)

2.THE HALFMOON FILES (2007, Phillip Scheffner, Germany)

3.1/3 OF THE EYES (2004, Olivier Zabat, France)

4.FINAL SOLUTION (2004, Rakesh Sharma, India)

5.A WEDDING IN RAMALLAH (2002, Sherine Salama, Palestine)

6.ALEXEI AND THE SPRING (2002, Motohashi Seiichi, Belarus)

7.SOMETHING MORE THAN NIGHT (2003, Daniel Eisenberg, USA)

8.UN ABOLITIONNISTE (2001, Joel Calmettes, France)

9.TREES (2002, Sophie Bruneau + Marc-Antoine Roudil, France)

10.DUTCH LIGHT (2003, Pieter-Rim de Kroon, Netherlands)

March 28, 2009

JULIA JENTSCH IS THE WINNER

Filed under: Uncategorized — celinejulie @ 12:28 am

My poll 50 ended with 7 votes. Thanks to everyone who participated in it. Here is the result:

I LOVE THESE ACTRESSES IN RECENT (GERMAN) FILMS. WHICH ACTRESSES DO YOU LIKE?

1.Julia Jentsch (SOPHIE SCHOLL: THE FINAL DAYS, THE EDUCATORS, GETTING MY BROTHER LAID)
She got 5 votes, or 71 %.

2.Alexandra Maria Lara (Romanian) (THE BAADER MEINHOF COMPLEX, CRAZY, THE READER, CONTROL)
+Martina Gedeck (THE BAADER MEINHOF COMPLEX, THE LIVES OF OTHERS)
+Sabine Timoteo (Swiss) (GESPENSTER, A FRIEND OF MINE)
+Sandra Hueller (REQUIEM)
Each of them got 3 votes, or 42 %.

6.Franka Potente (RUN LOLA RUN, IT’S A JUNGLE OUT THERE, AM I BEAUTIFUL?)
+Hannelore Elsner (NO PLACE TO GO, GO FOR ZUCKER!, CHERRY BLOSSOMS – HANAMI)
+Julia Hummer (GESPENSTER, THE STATE I AM IN, GIGANTIC)
+Juliane Koehler (NOWHERE IN AFRICA, ANNALUISE & ANTON)
+Lena Stolze (THE NASTY GIRL, AND ALONG COME TOURISTS, FORGIVENESS)
+Nina Hoss (YELLA, THE WHITE MASSAI)
Each of them got 2 votes, or 28 %.

12.Birgit Minichmayr (Austrian) (THE FAREWELL: BERTOLT BRECHT’S LAST SUMMER, CHERRY BLOSSOMS – HANAMI, YOU BET YOUR LIFE)
+Hannah Herzsprung (FOUR MINUTES, THE BAADER MEINHOF COMPLEX, THE READER)
+Johanna Wokalek (THE BAADER MEINHOF COMPLEX, BAREFOOT)
+Marie-Luise Schramm (GETTING MY BROTHER LAID)
+Marion Mitterhammer (Austrian) (PINGPONG, FREE RADICALS)
+Monica Bleibtreu (THE FAREWELL: BERTOLT BRECHT’S LAST SUMMER, FOUR MINUTES, AMEN)
+Nina Petri (AM I BEAUTIFUL?, RUN LOLA RUN, EMMA’S BLISS)
Each of them got 1 vote, or 14 %

19.Joerdis Triebel (EMMA’S BLISS)
+Nadja Uhl (THE BAADER MEINHOF COMPLEX, CHERRY BLOSSOMS – HANAMI, FOUR MINUTES)
Each of them got 0 vote.

–I like these actresses very much, so I voted for 16 of them, excluding Franka Potente, Joerdis Triebel, Julia Jentsch, and Nadja Uhl. I didn’t vote for Potente and Jentsch because they are famous. I didn’t vote for Joerdis Triebel, because I’m not sure if I love her performance in EMMA’S BLISS or not, but I’m sure I love “what her character does” in EMMA’S BLISS. And that means I’m more impressed by the screenplay of EMMA’S BLISS than by her performance.

–I didn’t vote for Nadja Uhl, because I think I haven’t seen her full potential yet. I only saw her in small roles in THE BAADER MEINHOF COMPLEX and CHERRY BLOSSOMS-HANAMI. I saw FOUR MINUTES, but I have forgotten about her role in this film. I think her acting is great in CHERRY BLOSSOMS-HANAMI, and her character in THE BAADER MEINHOF COMPLEX is very interesting. I want to call her “la belle dame sans merci” (the beautiful lady without pity) for her role as Brigitte Mohnhaupt in that film.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brigitte_Mohnhaupt

Before I saw THE BAADER MEINHOF COMPLEX, I hadn’t heard of Brigitte Mohnhaupt. I found this character very interesting because I think Thailand is full of people like her—people who believe they are doing the right things or doing the good things for mankind, but they use extremely wrong means to achieve their ends. Think about those Thai terrorists/fascists called PAD who seized the airports last year.

Somehow I think Sophie Scholl and Brigitte Mohnhaupt may be two sides of the same coin. They thought they devoted their lives for the right things or for the benefits of other people. But Sophie Scholl used the right means to achieve the right ends, while Brigitte Mohnhaupt used extremely wrong means. It’s extremely sad that Thailand is full of people like Brigitte Mohnhaupt, but lacks people like Sophie Scholl. But that’s very understandable. Thailand is a country which has no freedom of speech. If you speak what you really think about some topics, you will be imprisoned.

I am not Sophie Scholl. I’m the opposite of her, because I am a very coward person. I dare not speak the truth like her. I think what I’m doing now is just like those characters in THE PARTY AND THE GUESTS (1966, Jan Nemec) who try to survive by obeying the fascist regime.

March 26, 2009

CUTE ACTOR: THANATHORN UTSAHAKUL

Filed under: Uncategorized — celinejulie @ 10:30 pm

I like MEAT GRINDER (2009, Tiwa Moeithaisong, A+/A) very much. The only reason why I don’t give it A+ is just because I don’t like the gore in this film. It is too much for me.

MEAT GRINDER stars Rattanaballang Tohssawat, who looks much more handsome in this film than in BANGKOK LOVE STORY (2007, Poj Arnon, A-). Another handsome actor in this film is Thanathorn Utsahakul, who plays a police officer in this film. He also has a small role in COMING SOON (2008, Sopon Sakdapisit, A-).

This is the HI5 of Thanathorn
http://arttnt.hi5.com

Thanathorn plays in some commercials, including this one for Leo Beer
http://www.kosanathai.com/tvcupdated/view_tvc.asp?GID=1&TVCID=28798

He also stars in the music video THE ONLY THING I CAN’T GIVE (เรื่องเดียวที่ให้ไม่ได้) for the band Hyper:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chopJwjjqlk

However, after talking with Wiwat Lertwiwatwongsa (aka Filmsick), I think I may give MEAT GRINDER “A+” in the future. It depends on how much longer this film will stick in my mind.

Filmsick talked about a very convincing theory that actually MEAT GRINDER may talk about the same subject as THE MOONHUNTER (2001, Bhandit Rittakol, A). MEAT GRINDER may actually be a symbolic film. The real subject of it may be the struggle of the Thai communists and the conflict among the Thai communists in the late 1970’s. MEAT GRINDER just presents this subject by using symbols, while THE MOONHUNTER tackles this subject straightforwardly.

I don’t know what Tiwa thinks, but I like what Filmsick thinks very much. It is very suspicious that this film chooses to open with the event very similar to the Bangkok massacre in October 6, 1976. And it is very suspicious that this film emphasizes its period settings. Actually, the story of the serial killer in this film doesn’t need to be set in the past at all. But this film emphasizes all the time via its set decorations that the story happened about 30-40 years ago.

There are many details about the symbols in this film, about which thing actually stands for which thing. I think Filmsick may write about it in Thai in the future. Maybe MEAT GRINDER is like FIREBALL (2009, Thanakorn Pongsuwan, A+), WOR (2008, Banjong Sinthanamongkolgul, A+), and BUS LANE (2007, Kittikorn Leosirikul, A-). All of them are Thai political films which disguise themselves.

Here is my conversation with Filmsick in Facebook:

Filmsick: MEAT GRINDER – When communists’ fleeing to the forest = cooking food using human flesh

Celinejulie: “I didn’t think about this symbolic level when I was watching it. But after you told me about it on Saturday night, I thought about it on Sunday, and I really agree with you.”

“The keypoint is the scene in which the hero told the mother of the dead student about what he had just done. Then we see the flashback that he went to visit the heroine and he also went to visit a group of students who will flee to the forests. That student group scene is not quite connected to the main story. So there must be a reason why it is put there.”

Filmsick: “yes i thnik so. I think the scene in which he met his friends before they go out to the woods is the key point . actually he goes to the woods too but in surrealistic way”

“and more for that the first victim we’ve seen is the student before it flashbacks to the capitalist (Somlek) and yes the people eating each other , so the commie was just a hysterical woman eating student’s flesh”

Celinejulie: “I also think there is an interesting comparison between the body of the dead student which is hidden in the food stall, and the body of that character which is hidden in the earthen jar. The hero searches for the body of his friend, while the heroine is haunted by the body in the jar.”

Filmsick: “yeah yeah it was very interesting. Actually those are the only two bodies that the heroine doesn’t kill”

Celinejulie: “Maybe the ending scene is not so bad, hahaha. The ending scene says that the violence to women and children will lead to something really really bad. But if “women and children” in this film can be referred to “people who oppose fascist system”, the real message may be “the violence done to people who oppose fascist system will be repaid in the future.””

Filmsick: “i totally agree with you now haha”

After talking with Filmsick about MEAT GRINDER, I realized I have no knowledge about the communist struggle in Thailand. I searched in the internet and found a very interesting article called MURDER AND PROGRESS IN MODERN SIAM, written by Benedict Anderson. You can read this great article in Midnight University’s website:
http://www.midnightuniv.org/forum/index.php?topic=10188.0

Here are some excerpts from the article:

“The Collapse of Rural Insurgency

Now it has been plausibly argued that Siam, Thai parliamentary democracy, and/or the Thai middle class benefited from an extraordinary stroke of luck in the collapse of the cpt’s rural insurgency as a result of the triangular Cambodia–Vietnam–China war that opened in December 1978. It is true that the Party was gravely damaged by its leadership’s decision to remain wholly loyal to Peking’s positions. It thereby lost its secure retreats in Laos and Cambodia, its opportunities for training cadres in Vietnam, and even its powerful radio-transmitter in Yunnan. (Prime Minister [General] Kriangsak Chomanan was shrewd enough to see the advantages of cementing close ties with ‘Little Bottle’ and his henchmen.) [24] But it can also be argued that the damage was especially severe because the Party was already struggling with the problem of what to do with the hundreds of middle-class youthful activists who fled to its jungle protection in the wake of the bloody 6 October 1976 coup. From a much younger generation, from comfortable homes, well-read and articulate, and with some real experience in national-level legal politics, these activists found it hard to accept many cpt positions automatically; the Party’s obtuse response to the crisis of 1978–79 made it almost impossible. Prime Minister Kriangsak was shrewd enough to offer a general amnesty, enabling the activists to come safely home. It is significant that the cpt made little effort to stop them, even though the spectacle of ‘massive defections’ compounded the severe political damage it had already suffered. All in all, there can be no doubt that the cpt’s decline, caused not by the Thai military’s battlefield successes, but by international political developments and its own internal haemorrhage, redounded principally to the benefit of the new Thai bourgeoisie. After 1978–79, it faced no serious threats from the left, or from below. By then it was also no longer much alarmed by the presence of Vietnamese troops on the country’s eastern border, though the military tried hard to make it so. The bourgeoisie recognized the real limits of Vietnam’s power, and Siam’s advantages in having the us–China–Japan axis ranged firmly behind it.But the Cambodia–Vietnam–China fighting erupted well after the fall of the post-6 October 1976 right-wing regime of Justice Thanin Kraiwichian, and it is his rise and fall that are really instructive for understanding the changing dynamic of Thai politics in the bourgeois era.”

Is the heroine of MEAT GRINDER the representative of rural communists? Is the hero of MEAT GRINDER the representative of urban intellectual communists who fled to forest at that period? I don’t know.

Talking about the communist struggle in Thailand, one incident in which I’m very interested is the Red Drum Massacre. I don’t know if any films have talked about this incident or not.

From Benedict Anderson’s article:

“The appearance of a mass-media audience for which political murders needed to be staged also meant that certain other political killings had to be kept secret from that audience. A good example of this paradox is the case of the Red Drum (Tang Daeng) slayings in Patthalung province in 1971–72. [9] These murders, designed to terrorize a local peasant population suspected of Communist sympathies, were not acceptable to a national audience which even the military regime of Sarit’s successors felt somewhat constrained to respect. Similarly, in the immediate aftermath of the fall of the military regime in October 1973 (see below), student activists were able to expose the locally public, nationally secret Ban Na Sai affair to undermine severely the state security apparatus’s legitimacy. [10] A conspicuous gap was opening up between the state as law and the state as apparatus.”

“[9] The victims, some dead, most still alive, were incinerated by the security forces in gasoline-filled, used oil drums. See Norman Peagam, ‘Probing the “Red Drum” Atrocities’, Far Eastern Economic Review, 14 March 1975.”

This is a Thai article about the Red Drum Massacre:
http://www.thaingo.org/story3/red_tang.htm

March 18, 2009

POLL 50: ACTRESSES IN RECENT GERMAN FILMS

Filed under: Uncategorized — celinejulie @ 11:15 pm

This is about a poll in my bilingual blog at http://celinejulie.blogspot.com

 

 

POLL 50: ACTRESSES IN RECENT GERMAN FILMS

My poll 50 is inspired by THE BAADER MEINHOF COMPLEX (2008, Uli Edel, A+), which stars Martina Gedeck (Ulrike Meinhof), Johanna Wokalek (Gudrun Ensslin), Alexandra Maria Lara (Petra Schelm), Nadja Uhl (Brigitte Mohnhaupt), and Hannah Herzsprung (Susanne Albrecht). Seeing these five actressses in the same film is such a great experience, and it reminds me that I like many actresses in recent German films that I saw, though I have seen very few German films lately.

During the past 5-6 years, the Goethe Institute in Bangkok has shown German films only 3 months a year, instead of 12 months a year like in the past. That means I get to see very few German films now. I can only read about films from the Berlin School, but almost have no chance to see them. If I am going to make a wish list of recent German films that I would like to see, the list may include not less than 100 films.

Though now I can watch only 2-3 new German films a year, I’m still impressed by them and by the actresses in them. I hope my list will inspire other people to watch more German films, so that German films will become more famous. Then some DVD distributors will buy the rights of many German films and release them with English subtitles.

The films in the brackets are the films that I saw, though some of them are not German films, and some of them are the films I don’t like.

You can vote for the actresses you like, though the films are not listed here. If you love Sabine Timoteo in THE FREE WILL, love Martina Gedeck in SUMMER’O4 (2004, Stefan Krohmer), love Nadja Uhl in THE LEGENDS OF RITA (2000, Volker Schlondorff), or love Alexandra Maria Lara in DER FISCHER UND SEINE FRAU (2005, Doris Doerrie), please vote for them.

I LOVE THESE ACTRESSES IN RECENT (GERMAN) FILMS. WHICH ACTRESSES DO YOU LIKE?

1.Alexandra Maria Lara (Romanian) (THE BAADER MEINHOF COMPLEX, CRAZY, THE READER, CONTROL)
Actually I don’t like THE READER (B+), and I hate CRAZY (C+).
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3603/3364952933_4f284fdbed_b.jpg


2.Birgit Minichmayr (Austrian) (THE FAREWELL: BERTOLT BRECHT’S LAST SUMMER, CHERRY BLOSSOMS – HANAMI, YOU BET YOUR LIFE)
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3588/3364952941_1d8d6d748e_o.jpg


3.Franka Potente (RUN LOLA RUN, IT’S A JUNGLE OUT THERE, AM I BEAUTIFUL?)
I give IT’S A JUNGLE OUT THERE only “B”.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3591/3364952949_a5f2e80d07_o.jpg


4.Hannah Herzsprung (FOUR MINUTES, THE BAADER MEINHOF COMPLEX, THE READER)
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3632/3364952955_e9d29a9717_o.jpg


5.Hannelore Elsner (NO PLACE TO GO, GO FOR ZUCKER!, CHERRY BLOSSOMS – HANAMI)
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3567/3364952957_11f813b3b3_o.jpg


6.Julia Hummer (GESPENSTER, THE STATE I AM IN, GIGANTIC)
I give GIGANTIC only “B+”.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3543/3364959849_9c1ef4fc75.jpg


7.Joerdis Triebel (EMMA’S BLISS)
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3631/3364959829_fc4b7b3805_o.jpg


8.Johanna Wokalek (THE BAADER MEINHOF COMPLEX, BAREFOOT)
Johanna is amazing. I can’t believe that the same actress plays in the two films above, because she is mesmerizing in THE BAADER MEINHOF COMPLEX, and she looks so stupid in BAREFOOT (C+).
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3537/3364959835_f857b9a859_o.jpg


9.Julia Jentsch (SOPHIE SCHOLL: THE FINAL DAYS, THE EDUCATORS, GETTING MY BROTHER LAID)
I don’t like THE EDUCATORS (B).
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3445/3364959843_5c54018036_o.jpg


10.Juliane Koehler (NOWHERE IN AFRICA, ANNALUISE & ANTON)
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3443/3364959857_e8c7f58d95_o.jpg


11.Lena Stolze (THE NASTY GIRL, AND ALONG COME TOURISTS, FORGIVENESS)
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3537/3364959865_bcae517629_o.jpg


12.Marie-Luise Schramm (GETTING MY BROTHER LAID)
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3564/3365805740_91d5fa73c5_o.jpg


13.Marion Mitterhammer (Austrian) (PINGPONG, FREE RADICALS)
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3456/3364978375_42b4f6595d_o.jpg


14.Martina Gedeck (THE BAADER MEINHOF COMPLEX, THE LIVES OF OTHERS)
Is she the new Angela Winkler?
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3469/3365007875_af90358c1e_o.jpg


15.Monica Bleibtreu (THE FAREWELL: BERTOLT BRECHT’S LAST SUMMER, FOUR MINUTES, AMEN)
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3661/3364978381_0c8ab58fbc_o.jpg


16.Nadja Uhl (THE BAADER MEINHOF COMPLEX, CHERRY BLOSSOMS – HANAMI, FOUR MINUTES)
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3634/3364978383_a0314e172b_o.jpg


17.Nina Hoss (YELLA, THE WHITE MASSAI)
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3454/3364978385_970bb56c97_o.jpg


18.Nina Petri (AM I BEAUTIFUL?, RUN LOLA RUN, EMMA’S BLISS)
She usually plays a supporting character, but I like her very much.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3446/3364978391_7b03fe88c6_o.jpg


19.Sabine Timoteo (Swiss) (GESPENSTER, A FRIEND OF MINE)
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3553/3365805744_99102e6981_o.jpg


20.Sandra Hueller (REQUIEM)
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3640/3364978395_c9d141e995_o.jpg


You can cast multiple votes.

Recommended Reading:

1.Andrew Tracy on films from the Berlin School
http://www.theauteurs.com/notebook/posts/569

2.Peter Nellhaus on THE FREE WILL
http://www.coffeecoffeeandmorecoffee.com/archives/2008/07/the_free_will.html

–I just realized that I messed up about the alphabetical order of the names. The name of Julia Hummer should have come after Joerdis Triebel and Johanna Wokalek.

–I like some actresses very much, but I exclude them from the list because they haven’t played in many films. They are Verana Jasch (NIGHTFALL), Isa Hochgerner (NIGHTFALL), Anna Schmidt (FROST), and Sophie Kempe (SCHOOL TRIP).

SOME JAPANESE FANTASY GHOST FILMS

Filed under: Uncategorized — celinejulie @ 10:40 pm

This is my comment in Peter Nellhaus’ blog:
http://www.coffeecoffeeandmorecoffee.com/archives/2009/03/crouching_tiger.html

You wrote that “Nothing I saw would have made me predict that Takita would even be a nominee.”

I totally agree with you. I haven’t seen DEPARTURES, but I think WHEN THE LAST SWORD IS DRAWN (2003, A-) is just a good film, but not an outstanding one. I like some ideas in ASHURA (2005, B-) and THE YIN YANG MASTER (2001, Yojiro Takita, B), but they are not as exciting as I wish they would be.

I nearly forgot everything about ASHURA after I had seen it. I had already forgotten about the devil girl with the ball before I read your review. I think FEARDOTCOM (2002, William Malone, C) also has the devil girl with the ball, but the film is extremely bad.

I think KOKKURI (1997, Takahisa Zeze, A+) also has the ghost of a little girl and a haunted ball in the film, but maybe KOKKURI is not related to KILL BABY, KILL, because the ghost girl and the haunted ball may not appear together. (I saw this film many years ago, so I can’t remember its details.) I just checked its information in IMDB, and it says that the haunted ball in KOKKURI refers to THE CHANGELING (1980, Peter Medak, A-).

Though I don’t like ASHURA, I still like some fantasy ghost films from Japan, such as KITARO AND THE MILLENNIUM CURSE (2008, Katsuhide Motoki, A+/A), KITARO (2007, Katsuhide Motoki, A), and DORORO (2007, Akihiko Shiota, A-).

IN THE REALM OF THE SENSES IS THE WINNER

Filed under: Uncategorized — celinejulie @ 9:23 pm

My poll 49 ended with 11 votes. Wow! Thanks to everyone who participated in it. Here is the result:
THESE FILMS PORTRAY INTERESTING FEMALE CHARACTERS WITH DESIRE. WHICH FILMS DO YOU LIKE?

1.IN THE REALM OF THE SENSES (1976, Nagisa Oshima, Japan)
It got 6 votes, or 54%.

2.BLISSFULLY YOURS (2002, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand)
It got 5 votes, or 45%.

3.SEX AND THE CITY (1998-2004, USA, TV series)
It got 4 votes, or 36 %.

4. FOREVER YOURS (CHUA FAR DIN SALAI) (1955, Tawee na Bangchang, Thailand)
+A GOOD LAWYER’S WIFE (2003, Im Sang-soo, South Korea)
+JE TU IL ELLE (1974, Chantal Akerman, Belgium)
+UNPRONOUNCABLE IN THE LINGUISTIC IMPERIALISM OF YOURS (2008, Ratchapoom Boonbunchachoke, Thailand)
Each of them got 3 votes, or 27 %.

8. AN AUTUMN TALE (1998, Eric Rohmer, France)
+FRIDAY NIGHT (2002, Claire Denis, France)
+JUNO (2007, Jason Reitman, USA)
+LOST IN EMOTION (ความรู้สึกที่หายไป) (2007, Soraya Duangtape, Thailand)
+A MOMENT IN JUNE (2008, O Nathapon, Thailand)
Each of them got 2 votes, or 18 %.

13.LES AUTRES FILLES (2000, Caroline Vignal, France)
+BEWARE OF MY LOVE (1998, Jeanne Labrune, France)
+BLIND (ธรรมดาสู่สามัญ) (2008, Kanjana Akasin, Thailand)
+GETTING MY BROTHER LAID (2001, Sven Taddicken, Germany)
+THE LAST MISTRESS (2007, Catherine Breillat, France)
+WINGS OF BLUE ANGELS (2007, Tongpong Chantarangkul, Thailand)
Each of them got 1 vote, or 9 %.

19.A HELL OF A DAY (2001, Marion Vernoux, France)
+MOTHER (1963, Kaneto Shindo, Japan)
Each of them got 0 vote.

–My own vote is for LES AUTRES FILLES, AN AUTUMN TALE, BEWARE OF MY LOVE, FOREVER YOURS (CHUA FAR DIN SALAI), GETTING MY BROTHER LAID, IN THE REALM OF THE SENSES, JE TU IL ELLE, LOST IN EMOTION, SEX AND THE CITY, and UNPRONOUNCABLE IN THE LINGUISTIC IMPERIALISM OF YOURS.

–I’m glad that IN THE REALM OF THE SENSES is the winner. I like some women in Oshima’s films, especially the two leading characters in VIOLENCE AT NOON.

–Though I like films with sexually expressive female characters like Samantha in SEX AND THE CITY, films which I worship are usually films with a female character who abandons her husband/lover, such as LE BLEU DES VILLES (1999, Stephane Brize), THE GREATEST THING (2001,Thomas Robsahm), SHIRLEY VALENTINE, and VALERIE FLAKE.

–I also like some films in which bad girls win, though the word “bad girls” here doesn’t necessarily mean “villainesses”, but means “female characters who behave very differently from most heroines”. The examples include the only victim who can escape from the serial killers in MUANG NAI MORK (1978, Permpol Choei-arun). This lone surviving victim is a very promiscuous woman. In PLEARNG PRANANG, a period Thai TV-series about the wars between Burmese queens, some virtuous queens are murdered, while the surviving queens are very bad. Many films by Claude Chabrol seem to obey this logic. The surviving women in LES BONNES FEMMES, COP AU VIN, and LA CEREMONIE seem to behave more badly than the murdered women in the same films. The reason why I like films like this is not because I believe in evil, but because I’m very sick and tired with the narrow-mindedness and the extreme morality in other films.

Opening Title of PLEARNG PRANANG
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntgMHb7-YEs

–Another female character with desire that I like very much is the heroine in THE LOVERS (1958, Louis Malle). Jesse just wrote about this film here:
http://memoriesofthefuture.wordpress.com/2009/03/15/154/

March 14, 2009

CUTE ACTOR: PRAJANPON WONGDONTREE

Filed under: Uncategorized — celinejulie @ 12:07 am

I don’t know if I am the only person who feels like this or not. In ANUENG KID TUENG PEN YANG YING (2009, Bhandit Rittakol, B+ ), I feel uncomfortable watching all the boys and girls playing pranks on the laborers. It’s not a harmless prank, but their pranks can cause serious damages on the laborers’ personal lives. And this film is not just a comedy in which we should not be serious too much about things happening. Since this film seems to make the viewers care for the boys and girls’ feelings for their school, why does the film ignore the laborers’ feelings?

I also have this kind of problem with BOONCHU 9 (2008, Bhandit Rittakol, B+/B). There’s a long fight scene in this film in which the hero’s group fight with the street kids/criminal gangs in order to save a criminal girl from being beaten up by this gang. This long fighting scene seems to make a lot of fun out of hurting these street kids. But I feel a little bit uncomfortable watching it. Somehow I wonder if it is fair or not that the film treats these street kids like this. Surely, we should fight these street kids to save the criminal girl, but does the film go too far? Is this the right attitude? Do these street kids get punished because they really did very bad things? Or do they get punished partly because they are just “supporting characters”, not “main characters” like the criminal girl? Or partly because they are not as beautiful as the criminal girl? Or partly because they are not as lucky as the criminal girl to become friend with the hero’s group?

The laborers and the street kids in these two films seem to be the opponents or the obstacles to the hero’s groups. But are these opponents also human beings? And they are opponents to the hero’s groups not because they are really bad persons, but just because they have to earn their living. Do the films present the right attitude towards these supporting characters?

If I remember it correctly, in ANUENG KID TUENG PEN YANG YING, the hero seems to say something which indicates that he does not understand the existence of homosexuality. Is this just an opinion of “a character”?

Anyway, I give this film B+, instead of B, because many actors in this film are cute, including:
http://www.nangdee.com/title/?movie_id=1835

Prajanpon Wongdontree
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3653/3351065053_da2b19c737_o.jpg


Pichet Pradubchananurat
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3583/3351065049_6965fca539_o.jpg


Tibadin Suntudkar
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3600/3351065057_c0b73e35a4_o.jpg

March 13, 2009

LOVE AND MONEY (Adjjima Na Patalung, A+++++++++)

Filed under: Uncategorized — celinejulie @ 10:32 pm

LOVE AND MONEY (2009, Adjjima Na Patalung, A++++++++++)

You can find information about this play’s schedule here:
http://www.siamdemocrazy.com/news05.html

SPOILERS ALERT

I went to see LOVE AND MONEY (2009, Adjjima Na Patalung, Thai play, A++++++++++) on Friday, March 6. I love it a lot. It’s much better than I expected. I hadn’t had any expectations for this play at all before I went to see them, because this play bills itself as an anti-capitalist play. And I have lost my interest in anything “anti-capitalist” in Thailand, because the recent events in Thailand show us that the “anti-capitalists” here are “the fascists”, not “the socialists”. That’s why I doubted that this play would be just a very didactic play which teaches us everything we already know, such as “money is evil”, “don’t spend too much money”, “don’t be too greedy”, or “you can’t buy happiness or love”. I would be bored to death to watch a play which teaches us things like this, because I think I have seen 1,000 films which teach us these same things.

However, LOVE AND MONEY is much more than all these boring moral lessons. This play makes me think about the unexplainable mysteries of human being. I love every act in this play. If I remember it correctly, the first act is about a confident businesswoman who starts a relationship with a man who used to help his wife commit suicide. The second act is about a middle-class couple who hurt a richer man indirectly without any appropriate reasons. The couple seems to regard “the richer” as “an enemy”, ignoring the fact that “the richer” is also a human being. The third act is about a man who faces extreme pressure from his ex-lover during his job interview. The fourth act is about a credit card company which views its customers as “numbers” or “amount of money”, not as “human beings” who can suffer. The fifth act is about a fetishistic man and a female employee who loves to causes trouble to her own company. The sixth act is about a senseless killing, a woman who buys too many CDs and her husband who pays more attention to his money than to his wife’s feelings. The seventh act is about a woman who seems to understand the universe and our unimportance to the universe, but she can’t escape the vicious circle of suffering in this world when she starts to raise a family.

I think this play goes far beyond morality, psychology, religion, science, and simplistic lessons about materiality vs spirituality. I think this play is about life and some mysteries of life. It seems to touch something very deep in my heart, but I can’t understand it, explain it, or verbalize it. It’s about the void in our hearts. It’s about the emptiness of our souls, and this emptiness is something which can never be replaced by money or by blind religious faith.This play also reminds me of some absurd theatre + the reverse structure of 5X2 (2004, Francois Ozon, A+) + the topic of CRIMSON GOLD (2003, Jafar Panahi, A+) + the feelings in THE SEVENTH CONTINENT (Michael Haneke, A+). This play is narrative, but I think it is very poetic, especially its lighting. I think this play may be one of my most favorite plays of all time.

One of the most important things why I love this play is because it directly speaks to me. Though I’m very poor and rarely uses my credit card, I have bought too many magazines, books, tapes, videotapes, CDs, VCDs, and DVDs. Why have I bought all these unnecessary things? Why don’t I donate all these money to the poor instead? Watching Rivette’s DVDs make me extremely blissful, but are they really necessary for my life? No. The necessary things for my life and my happiness are good health, enough money, freedom, and being far from the persons who hurt me in the past. Not films, not books, not various kinds of entertainment, not internet.

Somehow LOVE AND MONEY makes me question myself. Are my film-watching, blog-writing, and facebook-using ways to fill the void inside myself? However, though the answer is yes, I still believe it is not wrong to do these activities, as long as I do them moderately and as long as I’m not too much addicted to them.

Things I like in this play include:

1.The husband feels as if there is a stamp on his forehead which indicates that he is POOR, and some luxury shop attendants can see this stamp and look down on him. I also feel like this in my everyday life.

2.The play doesn’t portray only greedy people, but it also portrays some people who may be still far from finding true happiness, no matter whether they are greedy or not.

3.The play seems to allow a lot of space for the viewers to think, or allow the viewers to fill in the narrative blanks by themselves. The play doesn’t answer every question.

The questions I have in my mind include all the reasons why the wife commits suicide. Surely she commits suicide to escape her tremendous amount of debts. But is she or her mental state also severely affected by the senseless killing she witnesses and by her husband’s ignorance of her feelings? Is her shopaholism the result of being brought up by middle-class parents who extremely envy the rich?

The hero’s ex-lover is a very interesing character. She looks like a real mean woman. But is she mean to the hero because her nature is evil? Or is she mean because the hero and his friends did bad things to her in the past? Did they start to hate her after she had been mean? Or did she become a mean person after they had hated her for her religious belief?

4.The various aspects of characters. Some characters may look bad, but they are morally “grey”, not totally evil. The husband may look like a bad person because he ignores his wife’s feelings, but I think he is forgivable because he suffers a lot in order to earn a living. The credit card company employees may look bad for enticing people to buy too many things, but I think these employees are like many of us who try to earn a living by persuading customers to buy unnecessary things from us. We don’t only have voids inside ourselves, but we also try to create voids inside other people too, so that they will keep on buying things from us to fill the voids inside themselves. We tell ourselves that we don’t have to care for other people’s ways of spending money, because they should be responsible for themselves. We tell ourselves that we should not worry too much about our customers’ lives or other people’s lives, because what is important is only our own lives and our own income. But in the end, will we be really happy? Will our conscience let us be really happy?

–LOVE AND MONEY indirectly reminds me of a character in LANDSCAPE AFTER THE BATTLE (1970, Andrzej Wajda, A+). In this film, there is an intellectual character who survives the Holocaust and tries to carry many books with him. But maybe his book-loving is just his excuse to use the books to fill the void inside himself.

March 10, 2009

POLL 49: WOMEN WITH DESIRE

Filed under: Uncategorized — celinejulie @ 11:23 pm

This is about a poll in my bilingual blog at http://celinejulie.blogspot.com

 

POLL 49: WOMEN WITH DESIRE

My poll 49 is inspired by LES AUTRES FILLES, which is about a young girl who wants to have some sexual experiences, partly because of curiosity, partly because of peer pressure, partly because of her sexual desire. In the end, she is sexually fulfilled, very happy, and isn’t punished.

LES AUTRES FILLES is an ideal film for me, partly because I am very sick and tired of watching many recent Thai films of which the heroines look squeaky-clean or look like a virgin. One Thai film which I hates very much is THE LETTER (JOD MAI RAK) (2004, directed by Pa-oon Jantarasiri, written by Kongdej Jaturanrasamee), because the heroine’s female friend, who loves the nightlife, is killed, while the heroine who looks squeaky-clean finds true love. This film seems to imply that women who love the nightlife will be punished, while the other kind of women will be rewarded.

Having said that, I don’t mean to say that Thai films which have squeaky-clean heroines are bad films. My intention is just to encourage some filmmakers to make films like LES AUTRES FILLES to satisfy me and any audience like me. I think everybody has the right to make films which have squeaky-clean heroines to satisfy a target group, and I believe everybody also has the right to make films which have long-….. heroes to satisfy another target group. When I say I hate something, that doesn’t mean I say it is a bad thing. I just mean I am not its target group.

However, there are also some recent Thai films which satisfy me in this aspect, such as THE HOUSE (2007, Monthon Arayangkoon). The heroine in THE HOUSE is a married woman with a handsome husband, and I like their love scene very much.

There are also some exceptions. GOOD MORNING, LUANG PRABANG may have a clean-looking heroine, but I still love this film a lot. I think it is partly because the filmmakers can make the heroine of this film look like “a real human being” in my point of view, not just a beautiful, virtuous object of desire for straight male viewers. And I think the heroine of this film obviously shows her yearning for the handsome hero. Thus, I can still identify my feelings with this heroine.

THESE FILMS PORTRAY INTERESTING FEMALE CHARACTERS WITH DESIRE. WHICH FILMS DO YOU LIKE?

1.LES AUTRES FILLES (2000, Caroline Vignal, France)

2.AN AUTUMN TALE (1998, Eric Rohmer, France)

3.BEWARE OF MY LOVE (1998, Jeanne Labrune, France)

4.BLIND (ธรรมดาสู่สามัญ) (2008, Kanjana Akasin, Thailand)

5.BLISSFULLY YOURS (2002, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand)

6.FOREVER YOURS (CHUA FAR DIN SALAI) (1955, Tawee na Bangchang, Thailand)
http://thaifilmjournal.blogspot.com/2008/05/review-forever-yours.html

7.FRIDAY NIGHT (2002, Claire Denis, France)

8.GETTING MY BROTHER LAID (2001, Sven Taddicken, Germany)

9.A GOOD LAWYER’S WIFE (2003, Im Sang-soo, South Korea)

10.A HELL OF A DAY (2001, Marion Vernoux, France)

11.IN THE REALM OF THE SENSES (1976, Nagisa Oshima, Japan)

12.JE TU IL ELLE (1974, Chantal Akerman, Belgium)
http://filmsick.exteen.com/20080715/je-tu-il-elle-chantal-akerman-1974

13.JUNO (2007, Jason Reitman, USA)
I like it very much that Michael Cera seems to have two functions in this film: being an erotic object of Juno and being an erotic object of some viewers. One of my most favorite moments in JUNO is when Juno said, “Nice legs” when she saw Cera’s legs after she had given birth to her child. In this special moment, the erotic gaze of Juno and the erotic gaze of the viewers are neatly combined. (Yes, I copied some words from Laura Mulvey. Hahaha.)

14.THE LAST MISTRESS (2007, Catherine Breillat, France)

15.LOST IN EMOTION (ความรู้สึกที่หายไป) (2007, Soraya Duangtape, Thailand)

16.A MOMENT IN JUNE (2008, O Nathapon, Thailand)

17.MOTHER (1963, Kaneto Shindo, Japan)

18.SEX AND THE CITY (1998-2004, USA, TV series)

19.UNPRONOUNCABLE IN THE LINGUISTIC IMPERIALISM OF YOURS (2008, Ratchapoom Boonbunchachoke, Thailand)

20.WINGS OF BLUE ANGELS (2007, Tongpong Chantarangkul, Thailand)
I like it very much that the prostitute in this film seems to turn from an object of desire into a subject of desire near the end of this film.

–There is another subgroup of films in this category: films about older heroines and their younger lovers or younger objects of desire, such as LADIES IN LAVENDER (2004, Charles Dance, A+), in which Judi Dench yearns for Daniel Bruehl. But I think there are many great films dealing with this issue, so I think I should make another poll about this subgroup in the future.

–I have to confess that I feel very frustrated or annoyed with the decisions of the heroines of YEARNING (1964, Mikio Naruse, A+) and WHEN A WOMAN ASCENDS THE STAIRS (1960, Mikio Naruse, A+). These heroines seem to suppress their desire for handsome men who also love them in return. Why do these heroines suppress their desire? Are they plain stupid? Do they victimize themselves? Are they the victims of society? Or maybe these heroines have considered carefully what they will gain and will lose if they follow their desire. My feeling of frustration and annoyance in this case doesn’t mean I think they are bad films. I think they are great films. They are realistic films which show very interesting things about society and human beings. But somehow I wish they were not realistic films. I wish they were romantic films of which the heroines dare to follow their own sexual desire. My feelings of frustration and annoyance are just the result of the fact that the heroines don’t act out my own desire for the handsome actors in these films.

However, I don’t feel frustrated at all that the heroine of THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY (A+) doesn’t follow her own desire. It is partly because the situation of the heroine in THE BRIDGES is very different from in Naruse’s films. The heroine in THE BRIDGES is married with children. When the heroine of THE BRIDGES doesn’t follow her own desire, I feel so great and cry a lot. When the heroines of YEARNING and WHEN A WOMAN ASCENDS THE STAIRS don’t follow her own desire, I feel so bad. Maybe the real reason why I feel very different for these films is just because the male objects of desire in these Japanese films are much more desirable than Clint Eastwood. Hahaha

–The theme songs for this poll are:

1.I WANT THAT MAN – Deborah Harry
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nw5VbDX7L9g

2.SEXUAL – Amber
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9ebS85Kfyw

3.I TOUCH MYSELF – Divinyls
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FGk63Fv7t4

Older Posts »

Blog at WordPress.com.