“It’s called a hustle, sweetheart.” The resolutely difficult advice to follow.

To celebrate getting a PhD scholarship, I did what any normal adult would do. I went straight to the movies (one of my favourite things to do) and went to see Zootopia (or Zootropolis as it’s called in the UK).  YOLO.

During the movie, it became clear why I had been patiently awaiting the release of this movie.

The film takes place in the vibrant, diverse world of Zootopia, a place where predators and prey live together in harmony, and are free to be whoever and whatever they want to be. These reasons are precisely why the land attracts Judy Hopps, a small bunny with dreams of being a police officer. Living on a farm, her parents fear this because, not only has a bunny never become a police officer, but they feel Judy should confine her aspirations to selling carrots on the family farm because that’s what is expected of her by society, something Judy has no interest in doing.

After successfully – but through hardship – completing police training, Judy is thrust into the force alongside other, more muscled animals such as rhinoceroses, rams, bulls, and elephants. Oh my.

Judy’s boss, Chief Bogo , a buffalo, forces her to be a “metermaid” while the other animals take on the bigger crimes, specifically a case involving fourteen missing predators. Judy tries to show herself by issuing over two-hundred citations in just a couple of hours, but to no avail, as Chief Bogo wants to make sure she knows her place on the Zootopia police force. When Judy winds up catching a weasel after robbing a store, she is just about to be fired when Chief Bogo tasks her with finding a local otter who has been missing for over a week. If she can find the otter in forty-eight hours or less, she can keep her job, but if she doesn’t, she’ll be forced to resign. Judy enlists in the help of Nick Wilde, a fox, one of the most looked-down-upon predators in Zootopia, who has been doing number of odd jobs since he was young, after blackmailing him in order to get him to cooperate. Together, the two work to find the otter, but in turn, discover something bigger. Oh my.

As you can probably tell, this is a film about both racism and sexism and underlying that – social-class (my favourite chip-on-my shoulder)  & how fear creates hate. Screenwriters Jared Bush and Paul Johnston carefully construct a world, predicated upon a particular dream, and within that world, populate it with a variety of characters, some labeled as normative, others quietly labeled as the enemy that many are waiting to step out of line. Bush and Johnston pen Zootopia carefully, but bluntly, to the point where you can’t ignore its profound, but simple message of inclusion and acceptance of peers. Oh my.

But on top of this, is the message about not giving up on your dreams, pushing boundaries and always attempting – no matter how hard it seems – to make the world a better place, no matter how small that thing is. Don’t let society dictate to you what they think you should be doing, if that’s what you really want. Always fight against the status quo.

I love movies with messages like this. Like Eddie The Eagle, who constantly shows us – it’s not about the triumph in life, it’s about the struggle. It’s about doing what you love, and not giving up in the face of immense adversity. Eddie The Eagle is another movie that shows the  working class character (based on truth this time) stick 2 fingers up (metaphorically, through determination) at the elitism of Great Britain Olympics Committee and whilst doesn’t win any medals, he wins a place in our hearts because he amplifies what it means to keep going.

Part of me sees my life narrative reflected in these hollywood-poetic license stories.  I think sometimes people think I’m exaggerating what I’ve been through in my life. From homelessness, domestic violence, i’ve had to be a carer, i’ve done some amazing travel, endured crazy poverty, the amount of jobs i’ve had to work to make ends meet or to do what others just naturally have the opportunity to do, life-altering (chronic) illness, terrible accidents (mostly on bike), fires, ect, ect. It’s all true. The good shadows the bad, but the bad has been pretty horrific – and I know many people from my background are enduring much worse. And society allows for this to happen, or to continue the unfairness that propels it further, or makes it difficult to get out of.

It gives me this weird -bittersweet – perspective of the world. I have my weight in empathy and in understanding how exploited and unfair and socially unjust our society is & how all the structures are generated to helping middle class and beyond people success, whilst discriminate those with less and working-class & below..  I think this kind of understanding probably only becomes so cemented when you experience life from the other side. Or see how your friends on the other side live.

I’m grateful to be alive,  I’m blessed to have all my friends, I’m just so lucky to have had the opportunities I’ve had and to follow what I love (art) & people pay me to do it for them & for the support I’ve had along the way & currently on this journey. I’ve visited many countries now because my university education allowed me a passport to see the world and work in different cultures.

 And literally, 17 year old smizz, or even current Smizz,  would never ever, ever, ever really  would believe i’d be here.

I’ve always felt a bit kind of behind everyone else, you know – in everything – art, radiotherapy, academia, life. Like a bit of an outsider, and a bit stupid. I’ve always had this chip-on my shoulder about the background I’ve come from & everything I’ve had to do to get where I am compared to a lot of my friends and peers. That i’m not as articulate, as likeable & as quick as others,  and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to compete. The world loves talent – but pays in character. And I kind of have neither.

And so it felt fitting, to celebrate my next chapter watching Zootopia. And Eddie the Eagle.  It reminds me that to “succeed”, we have to take risks.

We have to take bold leaps and move forward, brave and scared shitless at the same time. We will undoubtedly fall flat on our face. It happens. But we learn, make adjustments and not fall as hard or as far the next time.

But when we fail to trust ourselves to take that leap in the first place—that’s the real problem. It becomes an excuse to indulge our fear: to believe that we are not in fact talented or worthy enough— to believe that our crappy yet comfortable circumstances should win. This particular lack of momentum is called “Business As Usual” and it can continually crush our plans for greatness.

We don’t fail by falling. We only fail when we stop taking the leap. The idea is from Rumi’s observation, “Birds make great sky-circles of their freedom. How do they learn it?
They fall and falling, they’re given wings.”

Keep going. Keep jumping, keep falling. Don’t let others, or society imply, what you should be doing and how to do it.

I’ll try and remember this too.

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Smizz’s top movies from 2015

So each year I do my top 10 movies. 2015 has been a great year for females. So many strong female-led movies. And it’s about time!

I love going to the movies, i love the anticipation of waiting to see a movie. However, this year I didn’t get much opportunity to see as many arthouse flicks as I would have liked, and this top 10 list reflects that. Now, each movie in my top 10 has a place – for it’s individual reason. So it might not be the *GREATEST* movie of the year, but it certainly achieved something for me in an area such as character development, or dialogue, or cinematography. ect. Sooo wasting no more time.

 

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10.) Mad Max: Fury Road.  Unhinged, high-octane vehicular mayhem. A tough-as-nails postapocalyptic feminist heroine bitingly portrayed by Charlize Theron. (And hey, Tom Hardy was pretty good too as the titular hero.) A crazed ride into a monumental, lightning-etched storm with the pedal all the way to the metal while a war boy howls “Oh, what a day … what a lovely day!” Unforgettable movie moments are made of this. And to think the picture was made by a director in his late 60s. George Miller, you are the (aged) man for the ages.

 

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9.) Carol. A breath-takingly beautiful cinematic journey of a forbidden love. Filmed as if an Edward Hopper painting had sprung to life, its mood washes over you in an evocative mix of opulence and despair as it dizzyingly dances with the forbidden. Some of the best scenes are filmed from the perspective of a person looking through a car window. 2015’s best romance.

 

 

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8.) Tangerine. This movie feels the most 2015. Shot entirely on iPhones and with a budget that wouldn’t cover cab fares on a blockbuster, Sean S. Baker’s indie dramedy makes virtue of necessity. Compelling filmmaking, too, in this Sundance sensation about transgendered sex workers, a pimp, cabbie and angry mother-in-law in lowdown L.A. Doing whatever it takes to make the invisible, visible.

 

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7.) JOY: Joy can be viewed as a modern day rags-to-riches fairytale. It’s Cinderella without the prince. In a way, that’s part of the film’s charm. Sure, there’s preposterous dialogue, but there are also so many electric sequences that made me lean in, smile, & care about a mop. It does give hope showing that no matter how one does struggle in life miracles of success are possible, so don’t read all the bad reviews and assume otherwise.

 

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6.) Steve Jobs. Side-stepping arguements about the accuracy of the biopic, the real achievement here is making cinema out of material that isn’t even a stage play as much as very expensive radio: a battery of dialogue, unbroken by reflective pauses or even, on occasion, the actors drawing breath. The staginess of the movie is its greatest benefit, allowing the characters and the dialogue to shine. Boyle, however, is not a director to be contained in dry rooms, and he allows this theatrical drama to move, via music and editing, into the realm of real cinema. It may be stagey, but make no mistake, it crackles and moves like a motherfucker.

 

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5.) Spy. Now i love a good comedy, but great comedies are hard to come by these days – and I feel like there’s less and less comedies being made due to their hard task. Spy makes making seemless comedies look super easy to make. Feig keeps his Spy machinery cranking so smoothly that nothing said or done feels as outrageous as, in fact, it is. McCarthy is the star of the film, but her willingness to let her fellow actors shine when an opportunity knocks to give the audience a belly-laugh is clear, and it’s the undeniable strength of the supporting cast that makes Spy a strong a film.

 

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4.) AMY. I was taken aback by how well an thoughtful this documentary was made. Watching Kapadia’s film, it is possible to see how badly she was let down by the male figures closest to her. it’s the music that suddenly feels monumental because somewhere in that dark stream of rolling notes and rumbling minors, we can hear the eternal soul of human sadness turned, for a brief moment, into something undeniably beautiful.

 

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3.) Inside Out. It’s an emotional rollercoaster, and it’s one of pixar’s finest. It takes a long walk down an infinite pier of personal identity in,  an animated tour of developmental psychology that captures the pain of growing up using primary colours and Amy Poehler’s voice.  As for visual style, it’s dazzling, flouting CGI’s tendency to photorealism in favour of overt cartoonishness in a 1950s retro vein, together with a refined exploration of light: the emotions are composed of fibrous bundles of luminescence.

 

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2.) 45 Years. An inner drama, taking place inside the characters. There are no heroes or villains in this film. Shot with loving attention to the silent vistas of the English countryside, 45 Years conveys a sense of isolation, of two people being together yet growing apart, a dream that has been shattered, and a lifetime of security undermined by a moment of doubt. It is a thorny subject but beautifully told with gentleness and love. Plus 2 outstounding performances.

 

 

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1.) The Martian. I actually can’t stop thinking about this movie. A fan of the book, I wasn’t sure how the motion picture would compare, and indeed make the main character-likeable. But yeah, there’s flaws. But there was something about The Martian that captured the 12 year old in me. Damon makes the most of this “me time”, engaging our interest, winning our sympathy and teasing our anxieties about his perilous predicament. Whilst the most surprisingly element about this movie was the screenplay.  What makes the movie unique to me was Watney’s optimistic point of view. He believes that he isn’t going to die on Mars, and this transforms this rather depressing situation into something comical instead, engaging us with many self-help survivalist discoveries. But when you really think about it, this is a very personal film about some people coming together to save somebody. That’s it. And in today’s world, it’s nice to hear an story about people coming together to save one of their own. It might take all the romance out of Mars, but substitutes in its place science, cooperation, and human perseverance. PS: You should read the book too – and check out the author’s videos on how everything is correct including the astrophysics!

Other movies that didn’t make the top 10 list

Other movie’s that didn’t quite make my list but are just as good, and that you should check out if you get the chance!

The King’s Speech

Midnight in Paris
The Fighter

Attack the block

Contagion
Never Let Me Go

True Grit

Hugo

 

Take Shelter

Super 8

One Day

Crazy, Stupid, Love

Friends With Benefits (seriously, surprisingly well written)

Moneyball

The Shame

We Need To Talk About Kevin

Tryanasourus 

The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975

We Are Poets

MELANCHOLIA

TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY

Blue Valentine

Limitless

Source Code

Drive

Leap Year

 

Sorry I missed some.

 

 

Smizz’s top 10 movies from 2011

You know it’s that time of the year, where I share with you my contradictory taste in movies: Some are high-brow, whilst others have amazing elements but with bland under-tones and some are well – just classic-cheese-fests!

Wasting no more time with over-baring introductions:

Number 10:

Submarine

If you’re an Arctic Monkey’s Fan, then you most certainly would love the soundtrack. A not-as-enjoyable-dark-british-remenaistant version of 500 Days of Summer. Loosey based on Joe Dunthorne’s novel, Submarine tells the story of Oliver Tate who is caught at the junction between childhood and adulthood as he struggles with his first feelings of love, desire, heartbreak and must choose what path he wishes to take that’ll define who he is for the rest of his life.

but what makes Submarine so special is Richard Ayoade’s ability to capture the essence of growing up; the joy, the optimism and the tenderness alongside all the angst, confusion and depression too. The ups and downs of this British comedy are mainly due to Ayoade’s wonderful screenplay and direction that are touching yet never slip into sentimentality – he often playfully pokes fun at it in many cases – but what also deserves credit are the poignant score by Arctic Monkey’s singer Alex Turner, the cinematography that effortlessly shifts between comic framing and beautiful imagery and the note-perfect performances by the entire cast.

Rock-on-for independent indie brit movies!  You’ll like it if you like Wes Anderson and Spike Jonze directed movies.

Number 9:

Win Win

Maybe it’s just me, but I’m a sucker for a movie where a kid with no direction who comes from a horrible upbringing, gets sort of ‘saved’ by a stranger.  The difference with this movie compared to the whole archive of Hollywood ‘diamond in the rough’ stories is the plot and characters themselves.

It’s a tragic comedy that comes out on top: like Little Miss Sunshine and Juno. We love those movies because they’re about eccentric, witty people whose foibles are made less than tragic, their dialogue hypnotizes, and their personas seduce. Then comes Win Win, not as ingenious or innovative as those films but a winner in its own right because it embellishes little while it stays real and lovingly humane.

Mike (Paul Giamatti) is approaching a mid-life crisis; the monotony of daily life and money troubles colliding. But this is a well written film and it doesn’t look or feel like a mid-life crisis. Mike starts acting like a sleazy lawyer just to make some easy money, even though he’s anything but a sleazy lawyer. Because he’s a good guy, realities quickly catch up, and he starts taking responsibility for a troubled kid. Mostly trying to assuage his guilt of wrong-doing, but this kid happens to be a wrestling phenom and Mike is a struggling high school wrestling coach. But like i said, the movie is well-written. Producing less of a Underdog Sports kid story, but more  of a movie that reminds us that family goes well beyond blood relatives; family is the constantly evolving circle of people that we love and care about-in a less-cliche way.

Win Win is one of those few comedy’s that actually make sense and has a barbaric touch of honesty, but leaves you feeling better and happier at the end of the movie than when you first started watching!

Number 8:

Page One: Inside the New York Times

Extra, Extra! Tweet all about it!  Was that just a cruel joke i just made? Sure was. As a person who loves journalism of the high-est calibre, real – raw – important in all aspects, thought-provoking and new and old, I was immediately impressed to see that this was showing at Sheffield Doc/Fest this early summer.

Let me start by saying that you need not be a newspaper expert, reporter or reader to appreciate the points discussed in this documentary from Andrew Rossi. These key points include the battle of print vs social media, the need for true reporting, and the sustainability of the venerable institution that is The New York Times.

There is some argument given towards what constitutes journalism, but for me the real guts of the matter boils down to our absolute NEED for investigative reporting. I have always given value to bulldog reporting as a checks and balances for our system. Maybe, just maybe, our public officials and corporate leaders will toe the line if they are being watched. Sure, we can all rattle off a long list of when that hasn’t been the case, but I truly believe, having reporters following and snooping does make a difference in the actions of those in charge … and even if it doesn’t, it certainly makes a difference in the accuracy and depth with which their actions are written about.

The filmmaker has been given substantial access to the media desk inside the newsroom. We even get to sit on a portion of the morning meeting where the senior editors decide what the lead stories will be. Personally, I would have loved a couple more hours of just that! But just as fascinating is how Bruce Headlam manages the media news, and in particular, star reporter David Carr. Mr. Carr is a hardened reporter with the spectacular ability to cut directly through to the important point and focus on the details, verify those details, and then summarize in a concise, understandable manner. We see this in full beauty with his handling of the crisis and scandal at the Chicago Tribune under Sam Zell’s banner.

The bankruptcy trail of so many newspapers is discussed, along with the possibility of this happening at The Times. Personally I wish more detail had been provided on the survival strategy of this institution. Since the release of the film, there has been a change in the Executive Editor position. Bill Keller, who is featured prominently in the morning meetings, has stepped down and been replaced by Jill Abramson.

Gritty, indepth, emotional, relevant and exciting: everything you need from a cool documentary about one of the most iconic newspapers in the world.  It’s not often that one will actively seek out and pay to see a documentary TWICE within one month.  A must see, and documents the feel of 2011 very well. It will make you champion your local/national/international journalists (but not the ones who work for murdock – obvz)!

Number 7:

Bridesmaids

Number 7?! Really? Yeah! Don’t get me wrong, I’m no Judd Apatow Fan, quite the contrary. I know that this movie was a love-hate thing with critics and audiences, but I think a part of it is that people are just stuck up their own ass.

Bridesmaids proves that women can be as raunchy as men releasing the ridiculous upon audiences in original fashion backed by heart. Kristen Wiig has finally proved that she is much more than the goof seen on Saturday Night Live jumping to the top of the comedy genre brining the buddy comedy to the feminine arena.

Bridesmaids differentiates itself from the rom-com stereotype with the clever cliché-free scriptwriting of Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo. No matter how outrageous the jokes become, they are smart, fun and unbelievably believable. Consequently, the film controls the outrage allowing the humor to improve the story and support the almost perfect Apatow cast. For example, Melissa McCarthy acts like a complete idiot racking up the laughs giving male raunch a run for its money. However, the stand out performance and the best performance of an actress this year so far comes from Kristen Wiig’s multidimensional melding of comedy and drama.

How do you complain about a movie as unique as Bridesmaids? Well first audiences expecting to see a chick flick have no idea what they are getting themselves into and if they cannot take the raunch it is going to be a painful two hours. Also, while the film is titled Bridesmaids, viewers may expect a story based around more than one woman, when in actuality it is not. Even so, the only real problem with the film is its song and dance happy ending, undermining what could have been a great finale. But you know. Whatever. Give yourself a  real laugh!

Number 6:

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part Two

Is it too obvious? Yes. Does it deserve a place on ANYONE’s top 10 movies? Probably not, except perhaps a kids? Despite this, we can not allow this moment to pass: An incredible journey that began a decade ago (boy do I feel old!) finally arrives at its close with David Yates’ “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II”, as ‘The Boy Who Lived’ comes face to face with ‘He Who Shall Not Be Named’ in an epic showdown between good and evil. And what a showdown it is- tense, thrilling, breathtaking, and fitting of just about any superlative you can think of.

It’s by far the best in the series (with the exception of Chamber of Secrets), the art-direction superbly done and Daniel Radcliffe has finally sort of learnt how to act so that he is finally likeable! (too late daniel! too late!).

Whereas the first instalment of the ‘Deathly Hallows’ emphasised the profound sense of loss and isolation among Harry, Ron and Hermoine, screenwriter Steve Kloves and director Yates leaves behind the moody atmosphere of the previous movie for newfound immediacy and urgency. This is all about that final battle where only one can live, and from start to finish- for once in a Harry Potter movie- the action is swift and relentless.

Unbelievably there are some scenes that work better than the book (really!) One of course is the horrendous but poetically done angle of Snape’s death. It almost feels like all the good ideas from the series were reserved for  the most emotional moment in the film for Severus Snape’s (Alan Rickman) vindication, long thought to be the Judas Iscariot-equivalent in the Order and the one who pushed Dumbledore to his death. Yates delivers a truly poignant and deeply heartfelt revelation of Snape’s true colours, and it is a farewell that even those who have read the book and can expect what is to come will be overwhelmed by its sheer emotional muscle. While Part II was always meant to be an action-packed spectacle, it is to Yates’ credit that there is still as much heart as before in the storytelling.

We all know how the story ends, and lets face it, we all love that in the last scene – 10 – or however many years later – the way they have made the characters look old is bad stubble, and comb-overs. LOLz!  If Harry Potter – a book and movie series that has grown with me for almost 14 years (I’M OLD!) can’t have a place in the top 10 for its significance than what else can?!

Number 5:

50/50

There seems to be a theme building up here. Tragic-dark-comedies with uplifting outcomes. Also, I’m not saying I love this movie just because I HEART Gordon-Levitt, but it was certainly a factor within.

“50/50” puts an end to all those X-Factor sob-story style half unknowing movies about Cancer. Written semi-autobiographically by cancer survivor Will Reiser, it would seem it takes one to write one. Although cancer drives the entire story, the story doesn’t fixate on cancer or melodramatize the terrible truths we already know about potentially fatal illness.

The acting is superb by both leads, the parents of Adam played by Angelica Houston and Serge Houde are portrayed effectively and in a loving way, and the screenplay and Johnathan Levine’s direction never fails or works against this film in any way. Three years prior he was creating good chemistry between Ben Kingsley and Josh Peck in The Wackness. Now, he’s finally mastered in creating two characters that do nothing but sparkle when on screen together. You can’t really call this a Seth Rogen film because while his comedy is here, his underlying sweetness shows through the cloth of this film more than it has ever done before.

Thanks to a wonderful third act in terms of direction and screenplay, you get an all out emotional breakdown from the characters and yourself. 50/50 has a way with making emotional moments not seemed contrived, but welcomed. A potentially disastrous idea turns out to be both hilarious and poignant.

It turns out, the secret to fantastic film making is, a good script, great actors and balancing act that doesn’t take advantage of an audiences emotional vulnerability. One more thing, did I say  Joseph Gordon-Levitt is in it? 😉

Number 4:

Arthur Christmas

I sort of feel like I’m wasting such a high position to a kids christmas movie: but then I remember that Arthur Christmas deserves this!

There have been many movies over the years where Christmas must be saved from disaster, but Arthur Christmas has a very creative take on it. From the opening scene where it’s established that Santa is really a dynasty through the centuries, a title handed down from father to son, to the paramilitary operation to get millions of presents delivered in one night, to the misadventures of Arthur and his grandsanta as they try to make sure one little girl is not disappointed, Arthur Christmas is fun, creative, and original. Produced by Aardman Animations in association with Sony Pictures Animation, this CGI animated film delivers Aardman’s distinct brand of quirky humor and style.

The moral message may be gooier than the centre of a toasted marshmallow, but the gag rate is high, the animation is perfect and the voice cast of James McAvoy, Jim Broadbent, Bill Nighy, Hugh Laurie and Imelda Staunton are splendid. Mix in a plethora of hidden jokes for the adults and you couldn’t ask for a nicer movie to get the whole family into the Christmas spirit.

Aardman productions totally go nose-to-nose in my mind, and this movie with it’s great brit sense-of-humor is watchable outside of the christmas period!

Number 3:

The Help

So, it turns out that some of this years best movies are adaptions from books. And like every adaption (most recent notably – One Day – it’s hard not to compare against – so I’m not).

Oscar Oscar Oscar – Kathryn Stockett’s beautiful book is Oscar worthy in this film — for editing, screenplay, supporting actress (several deserving) – Emma Stone just shines – at just 22 years old, this film proves she is a force to be reckoned with in Hollywood. There are so few roles written for black women and I was thrilled to see such great roles filled by Viola Davis (Abigail) and Octavia Spencer (Minnie) – both should be nominated for supporting roles although in my opinion, along with Emma Stone, all three share top billing.

The character development in this movie is really outstanding (thanks to the book!) – I hate movies with flat single dimension characters and these from the lowest to those with the most screen time are just remarkably developed – even the newspaper editor, the lines they chose for him to keep gave you enough information that even he is a memorable character with only three scenes, maybe 4 in the entire movie. Same for Stuart, Skeeter’s love interest – you actually like him then hate him and he only has maybe 3 minutes of air time. Great great job.

This movie sets out beautifully a terrible time in our history that unfortunately is not over – it is better, but not over by a long shot. You FEEL the heat, the tension, the pain, the injustice of the time but still you laugh with them even as you cry for them – both races – ignorance is to be wept over. Never dragged once for  a 2.5 hour movie, your last thoughts, there’s a book? I DEFO want to read it now if the movie is THIS good!

Number 2:

The Artist

I got  a chance to see this on one of those SHOWFILMFIRST screenings.  I was tempted by the title – oh The Artist! And remembered that I had heard some talk of it from Cannes. I had no idea it was indeed Black & White AND silent! What a treat to have! A real new black & white movie!

Jean Dujardin deserved his Palme D’or for his captivating and wonderful performance. Where to start…this film is so clever, so beautifully crafted, so mesmerising. The lost art of the silent film is once again brought to life and that era is impressively recreated, whether it be the acting style, the sets, the locations (shot in Hollywood), the shimmering black and white photography. It is obvious to see that the people behind L’artiste respected that era of film making and wanted to recreate the magic with some modern touches ( I won’t spoil them) and totally succeeded.

The Artist asks the question – how does one make that transition from silent to talkie? And then proceeds to answer using the silent/black and white techniques of those first pictures…absolutely brilliantly.

Number 1:

 The Tree of Life

It’s a tough decision. I’m left with the guilt of not putting other movies: worthy of a top 10 place, such as Drive or Super 8 or more independent foreign movies.  But it came down to this:  The Tree of Life.

writer/director Terrence Malick does not play fair. First of all, what director makes five films in 40 years? Who makes a film about CREATION, life, evolution, spirituality, death and existence? What director seems to thrive when no real story is needed to make his points? How can one director so mess with the viewer’s head through visual artistry never before seen on screen? The answer to these questions, of course, is Terrence Malick.

Any attempt to explain this film would be futile. It is so open to interpretation and quite a personal, intimate journey for any viewer who will free themselves for the experience. What I can tell you is that much of the film is focused on a typical family living in small town rural Texas in the early 1950’s. Brad Pitt plays Mr. O’Brien, the stern disciplinarian father and husband to Jessica Chastain’s much softer Mrs. O’Brien.

It really sweeps over and through you, and takes you on a trip of introspection. So many human emotions are touched – the need to be loved, appreciated and respected. It’s a contemplative journey that you can either take part in or fight. My advice is to open up and let this beautiful impression of all life take your mind places it may have never been before.

 

 

MILK and High School Musical ON ICE

Oh yeah! I know what you’re thinking, how does that relate or mix well?

Smizz has had an awesome relaxing – yet rewarding / inspiring day. I always head to the movies for a whole day at the end of the week (about every 2 weeks or so) to get my thoughts into gear – be inspired and put my goals into context. Because I see so many movies as I have an unlimited card (see as many movies for a free – paying just £11 a month) I go and see loads so my friends who dont have a card – don’t come. I go alone. And that’s fine as it offers this undistracted space to think. A dark cinema room – with like 3 people in total (no one really goes to the movies in the afternoon through the week) – no tv, no laptop – no 1 to text really etc. Great!

Anyways as per usual, I’m going off my point. Today I saw the new Will Smith – seven Pounds movie which was pretty good. I’d give it 3.5 stars out of 5.Then I saw MILK and it was AWESOME defo 4.5 sttars out of 5. It made me just wanna get up and fight for peoples rights! My housemate, Richie, is gay and I know he feels the strain of a homopphobic working class background/community where we both come from. And the lack of cultural and supportive facilities within the city of sheffield.

Then my friends called me, said that they had a spare free ticket to see Disney’s High school musical on ice – I was like – yo its free and what else am I gonna do with my evening? So i HEaded out 2 meet them. And it was fun but GOD-AWFUL lol. I think we were the only people there who didn’t have a small child.

So that’s my day. Pictures of High schoolmusical on ice will be coming soon – for a laugh!

Hasta la Victoria Siempre

Tributes.

40 Years this month to the 1968 student French Revolution!

revolution lovers

Why don’t we have balls like that?! Ahh how I am so nostalgic to the 60s and 70s of NYC and Paris.

Robert Rauschenberg died on the 12th May. Long live his work though. I remember my mom being pissed that I made her pay $15 each for us to see his retrospective at the Met in 2006?

Currently I am reading: Deleuze Cinema 1 and The REAL screenwriting tips Book.

I’m going to watch tonight: The Hoax by Hallstrom

Private fears Public Spaces by Resnais

Salo by Pasolini

Regular Lovers by Garrel

and Shadows by Cassavetes

Should be a fun night! :o)

On Friday, I’m going to treat myself to one of the joys of living in Sheffield and being single: going to see a movie by myself. It sounds like it’s not such a joy, but it is–it’s nice to go on your terms, get there when you want, sit where you want, see what you want.