Monday, October 08, 2007

Film delight

We've been immersed in film-going lately, perhaps to escape the dust and detritus of our home remodel. What wonderful films we've seen in the last few days! It started out with a bang when we finally got to the theater to see "Across the Universe". This film immediately rose right to the top level of my "most loved movies" list (I simply can't put those titles into preferential order - they are all equally beloved. Some of them are Close Encounters, Field of Dreams, West Side Story, Amelie, Moulin Rouge...)

Across the Universe tells a story of the 60s. The bones of the film make up a love story, but there is so much more woven into the plot. Julie Taymor's brilliant visual talent makes this film shine. The costumes, the sets, the colors .. everything takes you on a time trip and puts you into the era. The Beatles music, sung by the cast, is placed so intelligently into the story. Each song's lyrics are used to amplify the story, in a way that you may not have thought of before. The songs are sometimes sung in a different key, or with some chords changed to minor from major, or in a different rhythm - just enough change to keep it interesting, just enough the same to flood you with the feelings you had when you first heard the song.

We also have tickets to some films at the Mill Valley Film Festival. The first one we saw was a documentary about Anita O'Day - the Life of a Jazz Singer. Great stuff! She was a pistol until she died last year at 86.

Last night, we saw Todd Haynes' "I'm Not There", which is a very different kind of film - kind of a mash-up of stories based on the life of Bob Dylan. This film is going to get a lot of press, because there were some amazing performances by the actors involved. I got a bit overwhelmed by it, because of the intercut visuals, the music, and the stories - by the end of two hours, I was just over-stimulated! But it's another take on the 60s.

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