Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Film Review: The Great Gatsby (Baz Luhrmann) 2013

The Great Gatsby

Baz Luhrmann is a director that loves the spectacle of cinema.  From the visual, to the technical, to the audio – it is clear that Baz is a card-carrying cinephile that caught the bug early in his life.  His early postmodern classics Romeo & Juliet and Moulin Rouge were blockbuster events in the cinema calendar and are much loved, yet divisive films.  I have to admit that I am a fan, even of his pretentious perfume adverts.  He also has a healthy 4-5 year gap between his film releases, which to me signifies a craftsman at work.  The news that he was directing the Fitzgerald classic was instantly exciting to me… 
The narrative of the novel has been much discussed as a classic example of an unreliable narrator due to the voice being that of a secondary character and not Gatsby himself.  The film keeps this device and introduces us to Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire), a New York bond trader who has recently moved to the nouveau riche area of Long Island.  He lives next door to the extravagant, yet reclusive J. Gatsby; a man that throws lavish parties but is rarely seen.  Nick gets invited to one of the parties, alongside his flamboyant cousin Daisy Buchanan who is married to the hyper-rich capitalist Tom.  Gatsby takes a liking to Nick and soon persuades him to reintroduce him to Daisy, thus beginning an affair that leads to a confrontation with each of the characters and the unwrapping of Gatsby’s enigmatic past (for more detail, read here).

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Film Review: I'm So Excited (Pedro Almodovar) 2013

I'm So Excited

For his latest gay outing, Almodovar has managed to combine the two elements of his work that I have always been so satisfied with, sexuality and politics, and created a fun, yet intelligent future cult-classic.

The story is almost entirely set within a plane that is flying aimlessly above Spain with a broken landing gear.  The stars of the film are the cabin crew and business class guests, all of which have secrets that will eventually come out.  Due to the trouble with the flight, the crew has drugged the economy class passengers and is left to entertain the quirky bourgeois flyers in the front.  This set up allows for the action to unfold like a play, which descends into drugs, drink and sex in order to kill time as they wait to hear what is to be of their fate from the traffic control below…

Google Doodle for Saul Bass

Whatever people think about Google's business ethics and recent financial hiccups, no-one can deny their visuals aesthetics.  Their slick frontpage has become iconic and synonymous with the web worldwide.  A fairly recent nice touch has been the addition of the 'google doodle', a mini graphic or interactive element that celebrates a moment in history.

Today is a celebration of the legendary graphic designer Saul Bass.  Enjoy...