Nada Mucho

Moving Pictures – January 2006

Posted by January 10th, 2006 No Comments »

She's outta your league, mister.

There I am, sitting comfortably in my theater seat. A warm, triple-shot vanilla latte in the cup holder (Look, I know it’s not what one traditionally finds in the drink holder at a movie, but this is Seattle, and I’m a coffee junkie, so moving on…), I wait for my movie to begin watching ad after ad and those ridiculous Hollywood trivia questions that interest me not in the least.

Then the lights dim and the previews finally start…wait, no. The COMMERCIALS finally start? More commercials? I find myself wondering at what point I began enjoying the pleasure of paying The Man to allow me watch his advertisements. I mean, really, did I not just pay my over-inflated $7 (and that’s just the matinee) fee to get in here and see a film? Not to see a montage of all that I could buy in this capitalist society to make me whole.

Once upon a time the only commercials you might see at the movies were those darling little dancing goodies. You know the ones. Ads for the benefit of the theater you were actually sitting in. To sell you some munchies and maybe a Coke. No problem, I can deal with that. But when did they start trying to sell me

She's outta your league, mister.

There I am, sitting comfortably in my theater seat. A warm, triple-shot vanilla latte in the cup holder. (Look, I know it’s not what one traditionally finds in the drink holder at a movie, but this is Seattle, and I’m a coffee junkie, so moving on…) I wait for my movie to begin watching ad after ad and those ridiculous Hollywood trivia questions that interest me not in the least.

Then the lights dim and the previews finally start…wait, no. The COMMERCIALS finally start? More commercials? I find myself wondering at what point I began enjoying the pleasure of paying The Man to allow me watch his advertisements. I mean, really, did I not just pay my over-inflated $7 (and that’s just the matinee) fee to get in here and see a film? Not to see a montage of all that I could buy in this capitalist society to make me whole.

Once upon a time the only commercials you might see at the movies were those darling little dancing goodies. You know the ones. Ads for the benefit of the theater you were actually sitting in. To sell you some munchies and maybe a Coke. No problem, I can deal with that. But when did they start trying to sell me jeans and cell phones before I even get to the freakin’ previews? I think it was around the same time the shysters at the cable company started slipping them into their programming. I once thought the whole point of cable and the fact that I pay monthly, was so that I could avoid commercials. So now I pay monthly, way too much, I might add, AND they make money hand over fist for roughly 20-plus minutes of advertising every hour.

Seriously, I think that if I’m paying with my hard-earned, yet meager wages to come to the picture show, I should be left the hell alone, commercially speaking. However, if they want to force me to watch commercials while I’m there, I should receive a 50 cent ticket discount for each and every commercial that I have to sit through.

Thank you for tuning in…

“Memoirs of a Geisha”
Cast: Suzuka Ohgo, Ziyi Zhang, Michelle Yeoh, Li Gong,Togo Igawa,Ken Watanabe, Mako, Samantha Futerman, Elizabeth Sung, Thomas Ikeda, Tsai Chin, Kaori Momoi, Zoe Weizenbaum and more
Director: Rob Marshall

Some years ago I was working as a receptionist at an advertising agency to remain unnamed. One day I found this book someone had mistakenly left it behind. I stored it neatly in the drawer of my desk to give back to whoever came looking. Months later I had a ferry ride after work and no book to read. No one had inquired after the lost book residing in my drawer, so I took it with me. That book, as you may have guessed, was “Memoirs of a Geisha”.

I of course ended up loving the book, but had never considered the idea it would one day be a film. I was delighted to see the trailer and salivated until the film’s release.

Beauty, mystery, tradition, discipline, art, intrigue, rivalry, this is the world of the geisha and it comes to life in this film. Stunning! Absolutely stunning! Rob Marshall beautifully captures a time and a place that is now long lost to us; a time and place that we will never see. The time of the geisha.

This was the last time that true geisha flourished in Kyoto’s Gion district.

The story begins in 1929 when nine-year-old Chiyo and her sister are sold by their father, as their mother is too ill to care for them any longer. Once in Gion, the two girls are separated. Chiyo is sold to a geisha house where her young beauty and water-colored eyes attract the jealousy of the house’s head geisha, Hatsumomo. Eventually Chiyo is taken under the wing of Hatsumomo’s rival. Chiyo enters the world of the Geisha seeking her destiny and her dream.

This is a breathtaking film.

“King Kong”

The only thing bigger than the special effects in this Hollywood blockbuster is the amount of press its already had, so I’m gonna leave it to the others.

“Brokeback Mountain”
Cast: Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Williams, Anne Hathaway, Kate Mara,
Director: Ang Lee

Going to see this movie was a three-fold payoff for me.

One: I was delighted to see a mainstream movie with big name actors that tackled a male homosexual relationship.

Two: I think Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal are both rising stars with a great deal of potential and even more talent.

Three: It did look like a great movie.

In actually seeing this film, I found that it rose high above my expectations (which were, on their own rather high to begin with). This was not Hollywood’s stereotypical flouncy version of flaming, homos. These are real men. Strong, hard-working, manly men. In a time and place that forced them to hide the feelings they found they had for one another. Forced to struggle with and against their happiness.

Nor did this film tip toe around the subject, just hinting at it gently, as not to offend. This film places it all out there without apology, without a soap-box and without shame. These two actors took my breath away. I will have to see it again to be certain, but I would go so far as to say that these performances were possibly flawless.

In a society as homophobic as ours sadly still is it’s a relief for me to see this film made. To see it marketed to a mainstream audience. To see these actors take part in it’s making. This is a painfully beautiful film worth seeing.

“Casanova”
Cast: Heath Ledger, Sienna Miller, Jeremy Irons, Oliver Plat, Lena Olin, Charlie Cox
Director: Lasse Hallstrom

Well, this is not exactly a cinematic triumph that will go down in history. A classic to be studied and admired by generations of filmgoers and filmmakers to come. But it does happen to be a darn good romantic cheese fest. With beautiful scenery, lush costumes, witty dialog and an amazing cast; an aged cheddar instead of a cheap, spray-on Velveeta.

It’s a superbly written farce, not meant to be all that historically accurate.

Heath Ledger is wonderful in the role of the romantic and witty Casanova. Sienna Miller delivers a delightful performance, and Jeremy Irons, Lena Olin and Oliver Platt all add to the melty, cheesy goodness of the humor and storyline.Hooray for gay!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyright © 2017 Nada Mucho