trois films
three written pieces translated into film. syriana from a book, innocence and brokeback mountain from short stories.

please be advised these reviews are personal and include spoilers. ;-)

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what i REALLY like about this movie are the desert scenes. i am so curious about the book - it's based on a true story.

there's one moment in the film that summarizes the entire three-hour experience - when george clooney's character was suddenly lost in a clash of unnamed highways in the middle of the iranian desert. he is trying to intercept the iranian prince's entourage to warn him about sinister plans. his character had to make a u-turn and is seen driving full speed away to another place that looks exactly like the intersection he had just left, exactly like the direction he had just come from.

this is another important film that everyone has to see. absolutely recommend it, without any of the apprehensive BUTS that i bumped against when talking about michael moore's films. yuck. i'm a tad disappointed in moore.

this film leaves moore's methods in the dust.

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based on the novella, "mine-haha, ou l’éducation corporelle des jeunes filles," i mean, "mine-haha, or the corporeal education of young girls," by german symbolist playwright franz wedekind. director lucile hadzihalilovic said in an interview that she took pains not to explain too much in the film. so imma be brief. or at least try to. coz i really like this film.

i want to read the novella. ahahaha. in an interview with the director (the web site where i found this is down) wedekind showed the passage of time by using one girl to tell his story. hadzihalilovic used three. i think wedekind wanted to show the growing up process by using one girl, and if so, this was a little hard to follow in hadzihalilovic's film because at first it was only clear to me that hadzihalilovic just wanted to tell iris' story.

it was easy to overlook this fault, if it is one, because there was the unifying theme of how a girl grows and changes. it's around this time that girls get their periods, and it's a change that only other girls can understand - how's that for exclusivity and secrets, ahahaha. i like how one writer says that there's always something wrong with girls' bodies - if you don't get your period, there's something wrong with you, if you do but irregularly, there's still something wrong. ahahahaha. but i can't remember who she is. i'm sad. anyways.

many critics say that the movie is about girls maturing into womanhood, but i say that's making her grow up way too fast.

this movie reminds you of all those years you thought the world can't run around any more slow than it already does. i remembered every swish of heavy grey private school uniform skirt, how you'd compare it to the other girls, every wound and scratch magically materializing at night before bed. how you're taught to always follow the line, or with the case in this film, the lamps. it tells you that utopia can't contain curiosity, no matter how high the school walls are.

and then the final main character actually meets an alien species: a boy. you're disappointed that the film ends its storytelling there. you finally understand why the interminable credits were placed in the beginning. hehehehe. not just coz it wanted to build tension.

unlike many films, this movie is to be savored at every frame, not gulped all in one go. if you like photography, colors, poetry, dance, nature, biology, symbolism, mystery, dark corners, points of light, the tension of growing up, perfect worlds, majestic old houses, secret passages, water, leaf and rock, see this movie. it heightens the experience of the world the way a girl would see it, and leaves much to the imagination. if i were to choose one perfect movie for this quarter, it would be this one.

c'est film est superb! heehee. blush it was released 2004. i can't wait for the DVD. and... ahem... christmas is coming soon. ...

brokeback mountain
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heath... heath... sometimes, yanno... i can't understand what you just said.

"yer fergit sumtaymes wut itz layke ta be dffzkt ol the tayme."


"yer fergit sumtaymes wut itz layke ta be BROKE ol the tayme."

oh! ahahahaha...

i was extremely embarrassed for the scriptwriters, ahahahaha. poor souls hadta translate entire lyrical paragraphs into dialogue that made me groan, laugh out loud or groan and laugh out loud. it reminded me how guys by themselves, if you give them a videogame and they like it, can go at it for hours and hours without food or water. like lizards sunning themselves on a rock. ahahahaha.

but that's the case for every book - or in this case, short story - made into film, i suppose. i mean, they added, "you've captured me, body and soul," in pride and prejudice, but managed to skillfully insert the scene where you use the line "sometimes i miss you so much, i can't take it," smoothly after a trip with a popular mountain range in the background whose name escapes me right now (yes, shame on me).

the part that i liked the best is "it's nobody's business but ours." it's celebratory even if it's just the two of them who knows. but it's also devastating when you realize that it really is just the two of you who knows - there was a scene in the short story where ennis del mar drives past jack twist's family's cemetery, and it was described as run-down, obscure, and neglected. of course you don't want someone you love forgotten in that plot.

ennis in the short story shoves the image from his mind. this is where i think the movie deviates a lot from the short story. the movie didn't address this because it ends with ennis still alive, in solitude with his memories, in a highland prairie. unlike the short story, he's sticking numbers in his mailbox, which tells me that he's finally settled on a place of his own. in the short story, he needed to get up early to move again because the farm his trailer is parked is being sold.

in the film, his daughter visits him and tells him she's getting married soon. he looks at her pointedly and knowingly; what a great reminder about honesty and risks.

the short story offers the idea of change - it was first published in the late 1990s, perhaps ennis' moving is a premise that things should still change. in the 2005 movie, ennis is settling down, maybe because, like all great stories, his is one that will endure.

at a speech at the 2005 chicago humanities festival, writer annie proulx said that one should always visit the place you are writing about. i'm not sure what proulx was doing in wyoming of all places, but her prose in this story is sensitive and beautiful. the movie's photography is breathtaking, and sometimes steals the show. the writing still played centerstage for me - i found myself watching out for the "dirty water" that proulx said flowed between the hills.
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