Okay, okay, so it’s not like we think there are legions of fans out there waiting with baited breath for the forth installment of our 100 movie quotes endeavor (see parts one, two, and three for a refresher), but still: we apologize for the fact that we are delaying the post for another week. Hanna has been working industriously all week transcribing the terrible handwriting of ninteenth-century medical photographers and her wrist has become (as they would have said back then) overstrained. It needs bedrest and a cold compress. And a day or two away from typing — even fun typing.
So instead I bring you a few movie-related links that will hopefully brighten your weekend, and Hanna has volunteered to augment my ramblings with some deftly-chosen youtube clips (minimal typing required). So here we go.
If you’re looking for list-type things to read, wander on over to debontherocks @ Blogher, who put up a post this week of her nominations for “the Opposite Oscars,” where “we could call out the performances and films that aspired for greatness, but turned out to not even be worth the popcorn required to survive them.” While I am not particularly partisan in terms of the films she nominates (most of which I have not seen), I enjoyed this description of the ceremony:
Nominees could attend in their jeans or yoga pants, grab a boxed lunch from the folding table by the door, and wait expectantly to see who was dubbed worst. The loser could then tell off the people who led them to that bad performance, they could nurse their wounds, or just apologize. “I needed the money to pay a bad IRS debt/lift-tuck the twins after breastfeeding the real twins/buy back a digital video camera I inadvertently left in a South Beach hotel room,” they would say. And we might understand, or we might cluck and boo, but at least we’d have resolution.
debontherocks would probably appreciate (if she has not already read) what might just be the best movie review of the year, to date. Actually, I’m quite sure it’s the best movie review I’ve read several years running. Although I feel a bit diminished, as a human being, for writing that since it’s a total pan of a film that I haven’t even seen, the romantic comedy Valentine’s Day. Sady Doyle @ The Guardian writes:
The cumulative effect of Valentine’s Day is to make you feel that all human emotions are shameful. Have you ever been sad about a break-up? Had a crush on someone? Wanted your ex-lover back? Been happy to meet somebody promising? Wanted to have sex? You are terrible. You are feeling the same emotions portrayed in the movie Valentine’s Day. And these emotions, Valentine’s Day confirms, are cheap, and disgusting. For they make you like the characters in this movie.
I mean, wow. That’s quality panning.
If this is really the effect of Valentine’s Day then it deserves to be panned. Because, you know what? Human emotions aren’t shameful. And any movie that makes us feel they are is a disservice to the craft. In fact, I’m a firm believer in movies doing quite the opposite: giving us space in which to witness and experience human emotions (light, dark, and all the shades between) without embarrassment. For example, here’s some quality romance, brought to you by the team who were also responsible for that near-perfection of a film, Love Actually.
(Hanna says I am required to warn you that tissues will be needed to watch this scene.)
I will love John Hannah forever for this scene (well, and for his character in The Mummy, but this primarily since it was the first role I ever saw him in, and he made me cry).
Speaking of things that have made me cry recently (I didn’t realize this post was going to be so teary, but there we are — I promise to end with something more ebullient!), Terry Gross recently interviewed Colin Firth about his Oscar-nominated role in A Single Man.
This, like Valentine’s Day, is a film which I have neither seen nor heard very much about, but which after listening to said interview I fear I might never be able to watch. Not, however, because I fear it sucks, but because I fear it does not. In fact, I fear it is brilliant. It is the story of a professor who, in the opening scenes of the film, loses his lover in a car accident, and who struggles to go on living in the aftermath of that loss. Terry Gross plays, toward the beginning of the Fresh Air interview, the scene in which Firth’s character recieves word that his lover is dead. The audio alone was enough to make me tear up, sitting there at my desk at work.
Firth, in the interview, likens the story to Joan Didion’s memoir describing the loss of her husband, The Year of Magical Thinking, which I likewise know I would love and also know I may never have the strength to read. (For those of you who are tempted to think there’s some enobling purpose to suffering, go read Jonathan Romain’s recent commentary at the Guardian: “Let’s be very clear: there is no divine purpose in suffering whatsoever.”)
And because I can’t possibly leave you all on a note of such existential despair, here’s Colin the Sex God from the aforementioned Love Actually exploring the wilds of Milwaukee with a blackpack full of condoms and an openness to cross-cultural experiences.
Hanna reports there is an urban legend that Kris Marshall refused his paycheck for filming this scene on the grounds that it was just too much fun to count as actual work. I leave it to y’all to decide whether that’s true or not.
Have a good weekend. We’ll be back next Saturday with more movie fun (and possibly even some movie quotes!)