Monday, February 28, 2011

On the subject of The Academy Awards.

Just because I know that I've been like a machine going on about Oscar noms etc for the past couple of weeks/months.

Putting aside the fact that The Social Network appeals to me personally because of David Fincher (who I love) and Aaron Sorkin (who is a genius), I genuinely think that it deserved more awards from the Academy.

Likewise, 127 Hours, which was enthralling and astoundingly well produced, should have gotten more recognition last night.

The long and short of the situation, in my opinion, is that The King's Speech was kind of a safe choice.
I understand Colin Firth getting the award for best actor, but although his performance in TKS was brilliant, I can't help but feel like the academy were making up for robbing him of the same award last year for his performance in 'A Single Man' (which was, incidentally, pretty much flawless and a film that I would definitely recommend).

I'm just getting sick of the Academy Awards being so predictable. Watching last night, it was difficult to become engrossed in what was happening, because I felt like everyone watching knew where it was going.

I'm not going to get started on the Best Director category result, because it fills me with rage; I will say though, that I think the academy did make a few good decisions.

Christian Bale was brilliant in The Fighter and fully deserved the award for Best Supporting Actor, in the same way that Natalie Portman did for Best Actress. Inception was credited for it's sound production and The Social Network was rewarded for editing and score, and it was good to see that work that could have easily gone unnoticed was thrust into the limelight.

All in all, because I'm aware that I'm ranting again, I'm fairly disappointed that the Academy still haven't found the backbone to go completely out on a limb and challenge the conventions of previous winners. Fingers crossed that next year's contenders push some limits.

Also, so that I can shut up about it, my feelings about The Social Network are, I feel, justified, in this explanation that I came across earlier today:

http://didyoublush.tumblr.com/post/3562210394/david-fincher-through-a-glass-darkly

A snippet:
A movie about Harvard that isn’t filmed at Harvard. A movie about Facebook that isn’t about Facebook. How do you explain the Social Network to people? It doesn’t fit into any box neatly; it isn’t a formula that sets you up to know a familiar story, to see something you’ve seen a hundred times. People who aren’t moved by films that show anything less than idealized versions of humanity have a hard time with it; they don’t admire the Zuckerberg, the Facebook. And the cruel way Zuckerberg moves his chess pieces in order to get out in front of the Winklevoss twins and any potentially competitive dot com turns people off. But those of us that revel in themes like this and humor so blackened you could almost paint the walls with it find the film endlessly fascinating. It’s really the way it defines the way many of us live and our notions of community now, the irony of the person who invented it, how he invented it and how we now think about “friends.”


Anyways, rant over and congratulations to all the winners and blah blah blah etc.
:)




N.B - Aaron Sorkin for King of everything.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Having Been Rubbish (part 3)

Okay, I'm just gonna get straight into this because I know this update is long overdue
(sorry!! RL stuff got in the way.)

Firstly, onto Mark Romanek and his beautiful adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro's novel Never Let Me Go

*no spoilers*




NLMG has been one of my favourite books since I first read it in 2007, although it was first published in 2005.
As cautious as I am of movie adaptations, I've gradually learnt to separate films from books in order to quiet the voice in my head that screams about everything that was altered or eliminated (HELLO, Harry Potter series!)

Critical as I inevitably still am, however, the only thing I can fault Romanek on is that the plot twist is revealed slightly too soon for my liking.
Other than that, this film is beautiful, haunting, emotive and extensively true to the wistfulness of Ishiguro's writing.

The cast includes Andrew Garfield, Carey Mulligan and Kiera Knightley, who all give equally heart-wrenching and charming performances. I think I do have a bit of bias towward's Andrew's role, however, as Tommy was my favourite character in the novel and he plays it so truthfully.

The young actors enlisted to play childhood versions of Cathy, Tommy and Ruth are well deserving of the praise they have received, giving outstanding characterisation to the onscreen versions of their characters.




The score, the writing, the way this film is shot, and in particulr the astounding performances from a note-worthy cast are just some aspects of this film that make it so memorable.

In short, this film did not disappoint and is one that I will most definitely be buying on dvd and watching an excessive amount; even if it does pull at my hearstrings and tearducts.

AWARDS PLEASE, ACADEMY!





Interview with Andrew Garfield from the cast of Never Let Me Go, at cinemas now!


STREAMING LINKS.

I know this post is long overdue, and for that I apologise, I've been quite ill recently.
Anyways, here are some virus-free streaming links for the Oscar Nominated 127 hours, The Social Network and The King's Speech
(they were the only ones I could find online. let me know if there are any that you really desperately want and i'll do my best to hunt for them)

127 Hours:






The Social Network:




The King's Speech:






T'ra!!!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Having been rubbish (part 2)


In my last post, I rambled on about the Oscars in hopes that some of my love of film would rub off onto anyone who happened to read it, although I fear I may have failed on that part.
Either way, I've at least provided a comprehensive list of the key nominees and categories so ho hum.

Moving on to part two of what is essentially a breakdown of things that have taken over my life comes a post that shamelessly shoves two vaguely linked things together in something like internet splicing.


Nerdfighteria

In order to understand what Nerdfighteria is and what Nerdfighers do, I suggest you visit the following websites:

http://nerdfighters.ning.com
http://projectforawesome.com
http://dftba.com
http://www.youtube.com/user/vlogbrothers



Basically, the writer John Green (who is AMAZING – see link at the end of this section.) and his brother, Hank, decided to set aside a year of their respective lives, during which they would only communicate via video blogging, known as Brotherhood 2.0.
Since 2007, their Youtube channels have been increasing in popularity and this means that over the past few years, they've been able to rally their supporters, or Nerdfighters, and really start making changes; contributing to the relief effort in Haiti as well as a number of other charities and organisations.

Observe:


Although what P4A has achieved does make me proud to be a part of Nerdfighteria, I think the thing that makes me appreciate what John and Hank do the most is that I know how many people have gained confidence and self esteem from them.

It may sound a bit far-fetched, but it's easy for people to get lost in the popularity contests that plague the education system, and I think it's pretty awesome that there's this huge outlet for nerdy people; people who have alternative interests to the majority of kids they know, and just people that want to make a difference in the world but don't know how to start.

John and Hank have created a community that's based on focusing on the things we have in common, rather than the things we don't, and on making a conscious effort to make the world a better place.



(Okay, so this video is slightly gratuitous, whatever, it's really interesting.)

I have so much respect for Brotherhood 2.0.

This is some of the merchandise available at dftba.com:


and this is the link to John Green's website: http://johngreenbooks.com
They're quite cheap to buy on amazon ( I bought Paper Towns, Looking for Alaska and An Abundance of Katherines for £8.40 + P&P) and astoundingly emotive and funny.


LiveJournal


Recently, as a result of tumblr…

**Which, incidentally, I update a lot more regularly than I do this, and is therefore probably more interesting, but also more of a window into my obsessive personality. (wecallithistory.tumblr.com)**

…I’ve gotten back into reading and writing fan fiction for the first time since I abandoned my efforts about three years ago.

My work is by no means perfectly written or fantastically enthralling, but I like to think I can write a decent bit of fluff when a fandom calls for such a fill.
Anyway, I’ve been spending a LOT of time reading fics and not so much writing them, which has left me with a couple of recommendations if it’s your kind of thing :)

At the moment, the biggest fandoms I follow are Glee, The Social Network and Doctor Who. I haven’t got a favourite DW fic, because, let’s face it, nobody is going to be able to write as well as Moff does; however, I do have favourites for the other two.


Dalton




This is a Glee fic that focuses on the Dalton Warblers after Kurt’s transfer. The characterisation and incorporation of music is amazing, and the writer, CP Coulter, really puts a lot of work into it. So far, there are 20 chapters, and she’s currently working on the 21st. I am excited.


Here is the link:

http://www.fanfiction.net/s/6515261/1/Dalton


Carry It In My Heart

This is a TSN Jewnicorn fic. If you don’t know what Jewnicorn means, it’s basically the name that the TSN fandom have given to the obvious (b)romance between Jesse Eisenberg and Andrew Garfield – they are jewnicorns.

There’s a general consensus amongst the fandom that if Jesse and Andrew were gay, they would be the perfect couple. As it stands, they are not; so the fandom brings this jewnicorn dream alive by way of fiction.




CIIMH is written by a girl that I follow on tumblr, and it is damn near flawless. The amount of attention to detail is amazing, incorporating scans of notes and doodles supposedly drawn by fic!Andrew and fic!Jesse (see above). The fluidity of Robin’s writing is stunning for the level she’s at, and I am jealous of her.



Here is a link:
http://robin-pulaski.livejournal.com
(maybe don’t read it if you’re not comfortable with slash, but this is definitely not porn.)


So concludes Part 2.

Part three will have the links to some films mentioned in Part 1, a tidbit about Mark Romanek’s latest creation and a rundown of the final thing that has been slowly consuming my life.

Having been rubbish (part 1)

So I logged into blogger again recently to work on my A2 media coursework, and realised how much I've abandoned this blog.
It bothers me.
It's not for any reason other than that I just haven't had time to sit down and write a long post. However, I figure that this time I'm spending in my college library when I should really be in English is as good a time as any. :)
So, here is the first of three updates:


Oscar Nominations


As I'm arrogantly assuming we all know, the Oscars are due to take place on February 27th in LA, and the nominees are basically amazing, without exception.

Over the past few weeks I've been making a conscious effort to sit down and watch each of the films nominated for Best Picture and a select few others from different categories. This is because I feel like in order to have a solid and justified opinion about who or what film 'deserves' (hate that word) the Academy Award they're up for, I really should know what material is included.
As such, here are the nominations for best picture:

“Black Swan”
“The Fighter”
“Inception”
“The Kids Are All Right”

“The King's Speech”
“127 Hours”
“The Social Network”
“Toy Story 3”
“True Grit”
“Winter's Bone"

So far, I've managed to see all but three of these (those being Toy Story 3, Winter's Bone and The Fighter) and in my opinion, the front runners are:

127 Hours
The Social Network
The King's Speech
True Grit


I shall provide online streaming links for some of the films above, if you haven't had a chance to see them yet.

(see part 3 when i get around to putting it up)



In all fairness, there are about five films which appear in at least three categories, but they're equally good, so the competition this year is definitely tough.

Just to give a brief overview, here's how the leading actor/actress categories stand:

Javier Bardem in “Biutiful”
Jeff Bridges in “True Grit”
Jesse Eisenberg in “The Social Network”
Colin Firth in “The King's Speech”
James Franco in “127 Hours”


Annette Bening in “The Kids Are All Right”
Nicole Kidman in “Rabbit Hole”
Jennifer Lawrence in “Winter's Bone”
Natalie Portman in “Black Swan”
Michelle Williams in “Blue Valentine”



Personally, I'm rooting for Colin Firth or Jesse Eisenberg and Natalie Portman or Annette Benning.

Overall, I'd say this year's Academy Awards are going to be majorly interesting to watch, and I will probably be on the edge of my seat because I get over-enthusiastic about arguably trivial things :)

(also, if Aaron Sorkin doesn't get some kind of recognition for the sheer brilliance of The Social Network script, then I will glare at my television for an extended period of time.)


Jesse Eisenberg at the Oscar Nominee's Luncheon on Feb 7th



Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter at the Oscar Nominee's Luncheon on Feb 7th

DONT FORGET TO CHECK PART THREE FOR RECOMMENDED LINKS

SORRY FOR SHOUTING AT YOU ALL.

HAVE A NICE DAY.

:)