gooollysandra

Thoughts on thoughts and images of beautiful things

Tag Archives: movie

The Devil’s Mistress

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The Gene Siskel Film Center is currently running a Czech Film Festival, which is exciting for me because my mom is Czech. The other night I went to see The Devil’s Mistress, which is a true story about a Czech actress who goes to work in Germany and has an affair with Hitler’s right-hand man, Joseph Goebbels. Hitler’s character is, of course, frightening and awkward, but well-played. The movie is melodramatic, but the starlet, played by Tatiana Pauhofová, is stunning and charming. Her flirtatious spirit is disturbing at times, as she knows she can use it to get what she wants, and the way she falls in love with Goebbels is shocking given his political affiliation and stature. I have to say I much prefer the actor she has a passionate affair with who she leaves for Goebbels, but the heart wants what it wants I guess…

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The setting of all the scenes is beautiful, as well as the scenery, especially the modern house Lida buys for her parents. All based on true events, it was an interesting historical lesson for me, in addition to being entertaining and visually engaging. Hearing the Czech language was so nostalgic for me and I was surprised by how many words I could understand based on what I’ve picked up listening to my mom speak to my grandparents over the years. I only wish there had been a little less dialogue in German and a little more in Czech!

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Paris Can Wait

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Can Paris wait? I think most of us would agree it cannot. This consensus that I’m assuming is shared among those in the plot of the new movie starring Diane Lane, Paris Can Wait. Reminiscent of another travelogue starring Lane, the popular Under the Tuscan Sun, this genre really seems to suite her well. She is a classic beauty and there is a carefree, sexy ease about her that makes her the perfect travel companion, even if only through a screen. You hardly see any shots of Paris but at the very end because the movie traces the fragmented journey to Paris, but the places they stop along the way are points of interest in their own right. Lane’s trip to Paris is not with her husband, as one might imagine, but with her husband’s business partner who happens to be a Frenchman, played by Arnaud Viard. Need I say more about the fact that he’s a Frenchman and all the stereotypes that go along with that…he is charming, flirtatious, spontaneous, a womanizer, and let’s just admit, a little selfish. Despite all this, there is a genuine connection between him and Lane, which makes her feel appreciated and desired in a way that she hasn’t felt by her husband in a long time. Classic…

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The movie is full of scenes of delectable food and artistic shots of whatever Lane sees that she’d like to capture with her old school digital camera. She certainly does have an eye for composition of the unique things she comes across on her trip. There are sad moments as you learn more about Lane’s life, and there are funny moments as she saves the day when their car breaks down on the way to Paris. What I particularly liked was her relationship with her daughter (who we never actually see) because it reminds me of my relationship with my parents – we share the same name, we are both only children, and we are both very close to our parents.

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The movie definitely accomplishes evoking travel envy, as I left wanting to take a similar trip, even full of all the obstacles. I also love Lane’s summery linen outfit (seen in all three of these pictures), as well as her seductive evening dresses. Usually Paris can’t wait, but I suppose it can if it means going on a spontaneous adventure like this one.

Equals

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EqualsI just saw the movie Equals, and for me, it was one of those movies that really has an impact on you. It’s a beautiful portrayal of intimacy and the kind of closeness that you can have with someone, but not just with anyone – only the kind of closeness that exists between two people in those rare, lucky circumstances. It’s about the inexplicable that draws two people together. It’s about how vital human touch is for our well-being. It’s about allowing yourself to feel things even if they are contrary to what you believe is right according to a standard that is set either by yourself or by what is constructed around you. It’s about how easy letting go is, even though some make it seem nearly impossible, and even dangerous or harmful to oneself and others. It’s about how beneficial having that kind of closeness with someone is to other parts of your life.

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Based in a utopian society where emotion is not allowed, two people are drawn to each other by forces that are out of their control. It’s cinematically spectacular, with extreme close-ups to highlight the raw emotion and symbolic colored silhouettes, which somehow speak to every sensory perception. I’m not normally a big sci-fi fan, but this movie is definitely something special. For your viewing pleasure, and to hopefully inspire you to see the movie, check out the trailer!

An Eye for Beauty

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You know those movies that just get you and you just get them? Not necessarily because they’re very relatable, but simply because of the way they make you feel and think about things. I recently had such an experience, and I love these experiences, but they seem to be few and far between. I saw the Canadian film, An Eye for Beauty, which I knew would be good after seeing the trailer, but the actual film really blew me away. I’m interested in design, so the discussion about design, although not extensive, definitely caught my attention. More so than that, though, the complicated human characters and relationships were really intriguing; not to mention the French language, which is always alluring. I won’t say much more about it because you should see it rather than just take my word for it.

Reality vs. Story

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I recently saw the new movie, Mr. Holmes, about the one and only Sherlock Holmes and was struck by something Holmes said at one point while talking to a female character. He’s talking to this woman who he’s been hired to investigate, and she confides her unhappiness with her life to him. In response, he contemplates whether it’s better for people to know the truth about things and confront reality, or if it’s better to tell people stories you know they would like to hear. No real conclusion is reached, but putting the question out there got me thinking about my own life. Which would I prefer? And which do I tend to tell other people? Certainly it seems easier to believe in a story and think of it as true, and I’m wondering if perhaps there’s nothing wrong with doing so. Whether one accepts reality or lives within a story, either one becomes reality for that person. So if one does live within a story, what harm does it really do, because it’s still real to that person? As long as doing so doesn’t harm oneself or others, it could be perfectly acceptable. Don’t we all indulge in the in stories anyway? It’s called daydreaming. I myself find myself fluctuating between stories in my head and the reality that I’m confronted with, and it seems to me like we have to reflect on stories to a certain extent just to put up with the reality that surrounds us. So perhaps it’s not either/or, but the necessity for both in order to carry on.

The Woman in Gold

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I recently saw The Woman in Gold, and as I am usually touched by movies, I was particularly touched by this one. I could relate to it because although I am not Jewish, my grandparents are from the Czech Republic and their families had everything taken away from them by the Russians. The scene that particularly touched me was the one where Maria had to say goodbye to her parents before escaping. I couldn’t help but cry. My grandparents left Czechoslovakia separately and they couldn’t even tell their families that they were leaving. My grandmother left on a scholarship to study in Paris with the promise of returning, but of course, she never did. My grandfather hired a spy and left in the middle of the night with only a briefcase in hand. He made his way to a refugee camp in Germany and then eventually to Paris where he rejoined with my grandmother. I can’t imagine leaving my family without saying goodbye and knowing that I would never see them again, which is what transpired with my grandparents. In the movie, Maria and Fritz’s escape was very dramatic and nerveracking. I guess what I liked most was simply how emotional it was. I don’t know if it evoked the same kind of emotion in others, who might not be able to relate to the film at all, but I imagine it was even more touching for those who have a similar story.

Chef

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It’s no secret that food elicits an almost spiritual experience in us because of the fact that it demands the participation of all our senses – sight, smell, taste, hearing, and touch. Chef is a movie that certainly lends itself to our senses. There are beautiful scenes of the chef, Jon Favreau, or his double, cooking exotic-looking dishes, paired with fun music that demonstrates the fluid nature of cooking and how it can turn into an event rather than just a chore. An observation I made, though, was that no one seemed to eat some of the beautiful dishes he made, which didn’t make any sense to me because I wish I could have eaten it! The best part of the movie is when he drives a food truck around the country with his son and sous chef, making stops in New Orleans and Austin, both major food cities in the U.S. It’s also not just about the food; it’s about the way that food brings people together, as those who eat the food admire the ones who made it and as they bond while they share it together. This is a powerful thing that food can do and why something as simple as sharing a meal with someone can mean the world. Of course, it helps when the food is to die for.

If my life was a movie…

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If my life was a movie, it would only be two hours long.

If my life was a movie, I wouldn’t have to do any real work. It would just appear as if I was doing work…my workday would be 1 minute long.

If my life was a movie, my relationships wouldn’t be real; they would just seem effortless and perfect.

If my life was a movie, there would be music playing in the background during happy and sad moments.

If my life was a movie, I would look perfect all of the time.

If my life was a movie, I would be somewhere else in the world besides Indiana.

If my life was a movie, I would have a fantastic wardrobe.

If my life was a movie, money would be no object.