This weekend (specifically November 10th) marked the 2nd year anniversary of Life Between Films! That’s right. I have been maintaining this blog, posting trailers of films I’m most excited about, perspectives on movie recommendations, experiences at film festivals, and ramblings about who and what I think makes the film (especially independent film) industry an exciting industry to follow.
I have accomplished some great things since my 1 year anniversary. One of the big things is adding almost 450 followers/subscribers. Thanks to you all (approximately 750 through various social networking sites - Bloglovin’, Twitter, and Tumblr!). I seriously appreciate each and every one of you. I would love to interact with you guys so continue to email, tweet, comment, and contact me through Tumblr. If you ever want to ad swap or promote your (music, fashion, film) projects on my site, just let me know! I’m also always looking for guest bloggers.
In addition to continuing on as a film festival contributor for the Large Association of Movie Blogs (LAMB) this last year, I have joined the team at Blerdnation as blog contributor and the movie site Filmophilia as a film writer. I also received my first press credentials to the 2013 New York Film Festival! I love that I have so many outlets to writing about what I am most passionate about and meeting others with the same passion.
Read on to see some of my favorite posts from around my blog this last year…
Based on the true life of Dido Elizabeth Belle, the illegitimate mixed–race daughter of a British Naval officer and an African woman. the story tracks Dido as she is raised by her father’s aristocratic uncle. Though she is raised in privilege alongside her cousin Elizabeth, she must contend with classism and a society that still views her as inferior.
Wow. I briefly heard of this film when it set to premiere at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, but I glossed over it in favor of the high profile 12 Years a Slave since it dealt with similar themes of black freedom/privilege of a real historical character in society amidst the dark cloud of slavery. However, seeing the trailer, I think this one has its own distinct message. While 12 Years a Slave is very much an American story, Belle affords a look into both the perspective of slavery in England and the perspective of a female caught between two extreme social standings. As I think alot of people missed out on hearing about this movie, I wanted to share the trailer. The trailer gives us an indication of just how great the lead actress, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, must be in this. Belle will be released in US theaters May 2nd.
The film, which tells the story of a Nigerian family that must deal with the realization they may not be able to have children.
Beautiful, just beautiful. I can see why this was buzzed about at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. The film stars Danai Gurira (The Walking Dead, The Visitor) and Isaach De Bankolé (White Material, Night on Earth) as well as Yaya Decosta Alafia (America’s Next Top Model, The Kids are Alright) and Tony Okungbowa (The Ellen Degeneres Show). Mother George will be released in limited theaters on September 13 (US).
I offered you part 1… and part 2 of my top picks of movies showing in Toronto next month. Here are a couple more from the latest TIFF announcement:
"The F World"
When Wallace meets Chantry, it could be love at first sight… except she lives with her long-term boyfriend. And so Wallace, acting with both best intentions — and maybe a little denial — discovers the dirtiest word in romance: friends. Why I’m interested: How awesome is Zoe Kazan? She has left to the top of the list of my favorite indie actresses, a new interpretation of the adorably quirk vibe. She is so great in playing off of leading men in indie romances. I loved her screenwriting debut Ruby Sparks (opposite real-life beau Paul Dano), and she is so great in the Tribeca film The Pretty One(opposite the increasingly great Jake Johnson). I’m really interested in seeing if she has chemistry with Daniel Radcliffe. Will he sport his British accent in this? I’m curious. I also hear Adam Driver in this…
Based on ‘The Double’ by Nobel Laureate José Saramago, this film explores the troubled psyche of a man who is torn between his mistress and his wife. Jake Gyllenhaal gives a brilliant performance as both Adam and Anthony — a man and his double — engaged in a lethal and erotic battle. Why I’m interested: I have been waiting for this to since I read Gyllenhaal’s interview in GQ some months back where it was discussed. The premise of the story was so dark, thrilling, and exciting, I even bought the book (which I have yet to read…). Portraying dual characters and playing up their personality differences really test you as an actor so I’m interested to see if he brings it in these roles.
What TIFF 2013 films would you be interested in seeing?
A lonely writer develops an unlikely relationship with his newly-purchased artifical intelligence operating system that’s designed to meet his every need.
Being John Malkovich. Adaptation. Where the Wild Things Are (haven’t seen this one… never read the book… and I’m kinda not into movies that focus on kids… but the lead kid, how great a name is Max Records? okay, I’m getting off topic). And now Her. You can’t say director Spike Jonzes doesn’t have imagination and a quirkness to construct films that people still delve into and cherish for years on end. I really cherish this trailer which gives me an indication that I will feel the same about the movie. Don’t think I ever knew Joaquin Phoenix could smile… or look happy.. .or be playful… so this is kinda a brilliant performance already. Yes, that is Scarlett Johansson who is voicing the AI, Amy Adams looking really homely, and Rooney Mara who seems kinda too young to be his former wife. All in all, I’m really really digging the emotional tenderness of it but at the same time having a slight edge of tension and creepiness (another commonality between Jonze’s works).. ‘cuz, you know.. he’s falling in love with AI, which then probably opens him up to a relationship with a real woman (Amy Adams, I presume). It’s very Lars and the Real Girl of him.
It was recently announced that Her will be the closing night selection for the 2013 New York Film Festival. All the mere mortals who can’t attend will have to wait for the schedule theatrical release November 20th (US).
Last evening I head to the theater to finally see The Bling Ring, director Sophia Coppola’s take on the true-story of the group of high school kids who was successful in breaking into and stealing property from a number of Hollywood celebrities back in 2008/2009. The trailer gave an indication that this would be a role for Emma Watson as you have never seen her. Can’t say that I have seen her work outside of The Perks of Being a Wallflowerand the ridiculous cameo in The is the End (yes, there are people in the world who have never seen Harry Potter) but I was interested in seeing what all the hype was about…
…and I can’t I still understand it. Emma Watson did a good job as the epotime of a valley girl/fame-whore with a love for the club and shaking her ass on the dance floor. As for everyone else in her crew, they were all just giving me blank, empty faces and even emptier performances save the blonde chick who apparently like to play with guns (I’ll let you discover that little nugget for yourself). What I did learn from the movie is that Hollywood elite don’t ever lock up their cars or homes (really, people?), and that Google is dangerous in the hands of bored teenagers with parents in denial.
Gotta say that The Bling Ring does have banging music (Kanye West, 2 Chainz, Lil’ Wayne, Frank Ocean), the apparent soundtrack of petty theft, discovered infamy, and the quest for a lavish lifestyle. In my opinion, the pinnacle of the song list is this club banger by M.I.A., who always seems to deliver greatness in my ears… “Live fast, die young, bad girls do it well”.
Happy 4th of July! July is going to be a slow month with only two movies in my top picks of movies to see and both of them being ones I have seen at festivals in the last year. But that’s ok because I have alot of catch up to do with movies released in the last couple of months (See: Must Watch List (April - June)). Feel free to check out what I thought for these two great movies - one being a light comedy from one of the best comedic actresses today and the other the frontrunner for my best movie of 2013.
Girl Most Likely (formerly Imogene): What does a Kristen Wiig film project post-Bridesmaids look like? This. Here she plays a woman failing in her professional life who stages a suicide attempt to get alittle attention from her ex only to have it put her on track to confront everything she has avoided and to regain her life back. Sounds serious but don’t worry, it’s not. And Annette Bening who plays her gambling-addicted mother is so funny.
Luke and Kate are co-workers at a Chicago brewery, where they spend their days drinking and flirting. They’re perfect for each other, except that they’re both in relationships. Luke is in the midst of marriage talks with his girlfriend of six years, Kate is playing it cool with her music producer boyfriend Chris. But you know what makes the line between “friends” and “more than friends” really blurry? Beer.
I love me some Jake Johnson and Ron Livingston so I’m so in (side note: If you do too, definitely keep the official Tribeca Film festival selection The Pretty One on your radar when it is (hopefully) released soon; both of these guys are also in it, and they are great). The trailer isn’t doing much for me but this movie was a huge hit when it screened at this year’s SxSW festival so I’m hopeful. Drinking Buddies will have its theatrical debut August 23rd but you can catch it even earlier on VOD July 25th.