SFC #1: Detectives, Parties, Boyfriends and Camp

SFC stands for “Some-kind-of-Film-Club” and I first introduced it months ago but now it’s the first time I actually make a proper blog post with, you know, films! The way I pick the films is simple and it goes just like a wedding: something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.

Something Old: Sherlock Jr., 1924, Buster Keaton, starring Buster Keaton, Kathryn McGuire, Joe Keaton

sherlockjr

I am a big Buster Keaton fan and I think a Keaton film is the perfect choice for my first film club blog post. Sherlock Jr. is probably on the top of my list. It’s more of a short film since it only has like 40 minutes or so, but it’s a great silent comedy film and one of the funniest. Keaton plays a cinema projectionist who is in love with a girl but he is not the only one. Both of them are penniless and while Keaton manages to find money to buy her a box of chocolate, his rival steals in order to do the same but somehow the blame falls on poor Keaton. And that’s when the detective comes in play… more or less. It’s an adorable and hilarious film and if you are new to silent films this is a great one to start with.

Something New: The Great Gatsby, 2013, Baz Luhrmann, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan

gatsby

Since I have to enjoy this film club by myself (if you didn’t know already I used to have a film club with other people and we met and discuss the films and it was tons of fun, but unfortunately it couldn’t last) I think it’s a good idea to pick the new films from the current year – if I don’t have a film from ’90 to 2012 that I really really want to share with you. This film was like fireworks! It got a lot of critique because of that and because of not capturing the true nature of the book, but since I didn’t do my homework and didn’t read the book I can’t complain about it. I think the director did a great job throwing majestic visual parties and also playing with dramatic elements from time to time. I had moments when I was bored but I knew already that a film about a guy obsessed with a girl won’t keep my eyes on the screen all time.

I still have the novel on my to-read list since everyone keeps talking about how the film was able to expose the plot, but not the essence of the book. But I have a lot of things about the film that I loved (plot not being one of them). I liked the modern music, I loved the 1920’s atmosphere, the mysteries surrounding Gaysby – though I didn’t find Gatsby particularly interesting, Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan and Daisy – even if we have a lot of reasons to hate her, she was very human and that’s something I admire, Leonardo DiCaprio’s acting and the yellow car. But there was lacking… lacking in chemistry more exactly, lacking in keeping me entertained. I also couldn’t connect with Spider-Man… I mean Tobey Maguire and his character Nick Carraway and if you ask me he was the character that was supposed to be closest to us, the viewers, yet something was missing, or more exactly something was there, a wall between us and him. Even so, I do recommend the film for the grandeur of the visual, the crazy parties, the peculiar but great combination between the modern music and the old atmosphere (and awesome dancing moves!)

Something Borrowed: Fish Tank, 2009, Andrea Arnold, starring Katie Jarvis, Michael Fassbender

fish

For my foreign film I had to pick Fish Tank, a British movie who scored the Cannes Jury Prize. I watched it on a night in one of my train rides and it made me feel many different emotions. I always find it hard to write the plot without spoiling anything. Fish Tank is a drama film about Mia, a reckless teenager from a lower-class family, who often fights with her mother and sister and who is attracted to her mom’s new boyfriend. This film feels so unprocessed and Mia’s character – in fact, all the characters – is so real and natural and I no longer felt I was watching a movie… Mia (played by Katie Jarvis) is a strong, complex character so different by the cliche teenager portrayed in so many other films. When I wasn’t busy controlling my emotions (because I was in a train) I spent my time wondering why Michael Fassbender’s face is so familiar to me. He played Connor, the boyfriend, in Fish Tank but he was also Edward Rochester in Jane Eyre (from 2011) and the guy with the wrong “three” in Inglourious Basterds. Anyway, Fish Tank is a strong, yet fragile film and needs to be watched now – not on a train ride, if possible. Oh, also, the images are so clean, almost minimalist really, but full with emotions. Great scenery.

Something Blue: The Parent Trap, 1998, Nancy Meyers, starring Lindsay Lohan, Dennis Quiad, Maggie Wheeler (not leading role, but I had to mention Janice from FRIENDS!)

part

For my random pick this SFC the winner is: The Parent Trap… for various reasons like camps are awesome or Janice or I like funny films with twins (well, this one doesn’t have real twin like the Olsen movies I also adore, but whatever) and did I mention camps? I know that not many people are keen on Lindsay Lohan but I rarely care what an actress is doing in her personal life, I find her funny in movies (Mean Girls is another one of my favorites). In The Parent Trap two twin sisters meet for the first time and they change lives in order to meet the other parent. But things get serious when the father brings home a future mom. Now the twins must attack or they will never ever get back together! It’s a fun movie, guys, maybe a little bit too long and a bit too silly but every time I re-watch it I do it mostly for the camp part.

So this is it, the first SFC blog post with four very distinct films. Hope you like it!

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