Bunny Waffles

Films I Can Watch Over and Over (Because I Have To)

So the thing about OCPD- the thing that makes me want to run naked through rainbows and stab myself in the face in equal measure- is the schedules. By the very nature of OCPD, I should have made my way through my collection of films, alphabetically of course, about four years ago- but as my brain sporadically enjoys exploding and telling me that I’ve done something wrong, I always find myself restarting, back at the beginning. Same pyjamas; same shampoo; same marshmallow breakfast cereal; same films. So these are the films that I can watch over and over again… not because I have an intense and unnatural film-based craving for French noir, chilly vampires and floppy loincloths, but because my brain melts when I accidentally sleep on the wrong side of my face. These are the films that I can watch over and over, simply… because I have to.

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13 (Tzameti)

13 is the story of a Georgian immigrant working to support his family in France, any promise of a more beautiful life steadily being lost to the daily toil for the purpose of sustaining a meagre existence.  Shot entirely in black and white, this wonderful French film follows the story of Sebastien as he overhears one of his customers discussing a forthcoming invitation to play a game, to win a great deal of money. Following his customer’s timely death: a bitterly dark, yet somehow humorous end to the cochon whose life by the sea delves repeatedly into drug-induced escape- Sebastien steals the invitation and follows the instructions, not quite sure what to expect, but knowing that at the end of it lies the promise of a better quality of life.

The story becomes unbearably tense oh-so-quickly, the grim tone of the film is emphasised by the common, relatable action the character takes; he moves away from the impolite gentleman on the train, he unbuttons his trousers to nap in the hotel room. The sheer monotony of his journey is undoubtedly significant, and is a great strength of the film, but it is his unknown destination which keeps us fascinated. As his journey progresses, he finds a trail of directions which he continues to follow, eventually finding himself in the company of men who break his shoes, and drive him to a remote destination.

From here the sweat fills my palms from sheer anticipation every time. Having seen this film repeatedly, I know what is to come, but it never loses its impact. The noticeable lack of any particular music, coupled with the visual lack of colour allows the viewer to fall deeper into the mindset of the characters we are soon to meet. The men at the house seem accustomed to their surroundings, and are surprised by Sebastien’s arrival. Having informed these men that their previous participant had passed away, he asks if he may be excused should the game not suit him. The men do not change their expression.

‘You gotta play now’

From here the sheer dreary tone of the film serves to heighten the most subtle of nuances; for the participants of the game you can see every tremor, feel every flick of the light bulb. The game is revealed in simple terms, a twisted version of Russian Roulette, the starting signal ironically a bulb being brought to life. The tension simply pours from the room, the silence as the players wait grows longer every time I watch the film. Ah! The anticipation, the intrigue. Our film is suddenly not a story of a character chasing an elusive dream, but a highly distressed representation of desperation and inescapable pressure, ‘A filthy business of murder’. The sheer apathy of those betting, set against the mindset of the players is wholly unique, and creates a sense whereby we come to understand the characters because of absolute under representation of them. The subtle nature of the entire film is where it finds its utmost power; the understated sense of pressure is present within the viewer and keeps the anxiety at hand right until the very end. The emotion of the actors is purely incredible, and above all else, this strength of this film lies within its pure realism, its pure tension; not created by the rambunctious drama of Hollywood, but by the simple waiting for the flick of a light bulb.

Remake

This is absolutely one of my favourite films and even though I come to watch it via my self-induced indoctrination, I can never tire of it. As a result of this I nearly put my fist through the screen of my laptop when I read that this film was due for a remake, and will star the likes of 50 Cent and Ray Winstone as main characters. I’m trying very hard, but I can hardly think of two actors who are less subtle in presence and acting ability- even if I scanned the entire breadth of the world and used digestive biscuits as bait. And that’s some serious searching. The beauty of the original is in its subtlety, and the originality of the idea. A real connection to the story is made without an unnecessary amount of emphasis, and I dread to think how many explosions the remake is going to have in it. I can only hope that people who go to see the new film will have the intelligence to also check out the original, but then again they might have too much trouble working out how to turn on the DVD player, or how to open a tin of beans.

Rating

10/10 – I’ve seen this film a hundred times and I still love to watch it. It’s going to take a whole lot of cocaine for me to willingly accept it any other way.

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30 Days of Night

As I seem to have splurged my love for 13 over several long paragraphs, I will keep the following two film reviews short and sweet. Short, as 30 Days of Night is not, and sweet like watching blood soak into snow is… at least for the first 20 times. The film shows the story of Barrow, Alaska which every year is submerged into 30 Days of Night due to its extreme location in the North of America. This year several terrifying and unexplainable events begin to take place… all communication to the outside world is cut off, any method of transportation is mysteriously destroyed. And the source of it all? Vampires, of course!

At first watch, the use of magnificently vicious vampires was genuinely refreshing, and I still get a little shiver from the first shot of their messenger, highlighted against the grey background of the forthcoming darkness. I put this down to my love of general freakiness, but find the parts in-between the vampires ripping people’s throats out to have just become so tedious to watch. It’s snowing and the main characters have a ‘plan’? Wonderful! Wake me up when Josh Hartnett starts to dissolve.

Rating

6/10 – I enjoy Josh Hartnett turning into a pile of ashes, but also have to go and slow roast the carcass of a walrus for about two thirds of the film, just to have something better to do.

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300

300 is an epic (and I don’t use that word lightly) – epic – tale of the Spartan 300 led by King Leonidas, who ‘take a stroll’ against the powerful Xerxes who threatens to control all of the known land. The most beautiful backgrounds envelop every scene- every shot is literally like viewing an ancient painting. The story line is powerful and engaging, and the deeply moving musical score cradles this visual spectacular, and in very simple terms creates a very, very exciting movie.

The film is essentially a visual masterpiece, and prevents you from looking away even from a tiny television screen covered in Shaun the Sheep trinkets. I still love to watch this movie, the story is pulsating and incredible to watch. The battle scenes are particularly wonderful; watching severed limbs float through the air in slow motion is just genuinely something I can never get bored of.

Rating

9/10 – A great, epic movie. Fantastic with popcorn, it just swallows you whole.

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This entry was published on May 30, 2012 at 00:01. It’s filed under Films/TV and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

8 thoughts on “Films I Can Watch Over and Over (Because I Have To)

  1. I haven’t watched 13 but the way you describe it makes me want to download it and give it a go 🙂 300 is one of my favourite films too, the classic line:
    “Our arrows will blot out the sun…”
    “Then we will fight in the shade.”

    Epic! And when that boy got decapitated, the raw emotion his father released was beautiful “I have filled my heart with hate” BOOM!

    Like

    • Do eeeeeeettttt!

      And that is an excellent line. Actually, most of them are quite epic. Suddenly I have a huge craving to watch it again… either that or Stroszek. I feel like today could do with some dancing chickens.

      Like

  2. Great Reviews… I’m not sure My Nerves could Take “13”, Lol… Wow, I was stressed just watching the Preview… The Light Bulb thing is Genius, and Terrifying… I’m curious about “30 Days of Night”, I Love Vampires, and have actually begun a Vampire Based Storyline (Hey have you Watched My Short Film Yet? It’s very rough, Filmed in an Hour and a Half, but it’s Black & White, Woo Hoo, Lol)

    “300” is Phenomenal, and like you say, Like a “Moving” Painting… Simply Miraculous… And you’re right about the Battle Scenes, that Scene when they’re Charging Forward, and they Film the Whole Thing in Slow Motion, but Speed it up during Parts of it, is Simply Amazing… Butler is Friggen Awesome, and I, like you, can watch it over and over and over again… Basically every time it happens to be on.

    Great Reviews Anna

    You are a Gifted One

    DarkJade-

    Like

    • Thanks DarkJade! I would thoroughly recommend 13, not so much 30 Days of Night, but it was pretty good the first time, I seem to remember. Just not so much the twentieth 😀

      And I haven’t seen your short film, link me and I shall have a watch 🙂

      Like

  3. I Shall Put The Description Here;

    If Not Now is a Short Film I got into a New York Film and Video Festival in 2002… It’s basically about two Brothers who had wanted to Make Films together, but one of them has a Wife and Kids, and just doesn’t have time…

    Due to My Brother’s Time Constraints, I basically Filmed it in just over an hour, as you can tell with some of the Shots, lol My Brother had never seen, and didn’t know anything about the Script… I just fed him lines before every shot.

    Written, Directed, Produced, Edited by James Mahoney

    Staring Don Mahoney, James Mahoney, Willow Mahoney, Una Irelight, Hallie Drake, Sequoia Mahoney and Cedar Mahoney

    Filmed by James Mahoney, Hallie Drake and Don Mahoney

    Assistant Editor Hallie Drake

    DarkJade-

    Like

    • I really liked this, it was very engaging and had plenty of little bits of humour sprinkled throughout. I also really, really loved the ending! Did not see that coming at all. I have to say I totally empathised with Taylor, but then at the end everything was twisted round and it made me smile a little dementedly 🙂 How did it get on at the film festival?

      Like

    • Truth be known, I empathize with “Taylor” in the Film, and My Brother in Real Life, as well… He’s a Great Father… I was just a bit frustrated at the time because he talked me into moving out there to work on Films, and he had no time to. It was complicated, but in the end, the Frustration lead to doing this Film… So I’m glad. Ironically, I ended up in the Hospital at the end of the year.

      Which is why The Following year, partially due to health, I switched to Writing… So “If Not Now…” ended up being even more relevant…

      My Health did improve the following year though, but I had become a bit Addicted to Writing, Lol… And “Un-Enamored” with Hollywood, and thus stayed with Screenplay Writing.

      But now Film Making is starting to Draw me again, and I’ve decided that I might Pursue some Film Making for “YouTube”, not necessarily as a Career… I’m Considering doing some “Shakespeare” Plays on YouTube Actually… Starting with Our Favorite, “HAMLET!!”, Lol

      Shakespeare is My All Time Favorite Writer, and “Hamlet” My Favorite of his Pieces, as I believe I’ve told you… I have a Lot of Artists in My Family, so I think I could get enough support on the Productions of the Plays… At this moment, I’m looking to maybe just start out with “Hamlet – Act I – Scene 1″… I figure Hamlet’s not in that Scene, so I don’t have to deal with the Very Difficult Task of Casting Him (Or Her Depending, Hee Hee… Girls can play Guys Quite Well) Quite Yet.

      So we shall see…

      As far as how My Short Film was Received, My Dad and My Brother’s Wife’s Grandma, who Lived in Manattan at the time so joined us, said it was the Best one in that particular batch that was showed.

      I seem to recall one other one that was good, but other than that, I think they were right… I believe it was Received well… I think the Ending Really Surprised and Impressed People… I really Lul People into a Relaxed State (on purpose), to set them up for the Shock/Jolt… I’m glad that, that came across.

      Thanks for Checking it out Anna

      DarkJade-

      Like

  4. Oops, it Added it to The Comment, Lol… Weird, all I did was put the Link, sorry about that, you can Remove it

    DarkJade-

    Like

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