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I now know the price of fame

It's £10.31 + VAT. (how much the extra bandwidth will cost us this month)

I was miserable yesterday, so went to see Lost in Translation on my own. It was pretty much what I expected -- beautifully shot, a good representation of the dislocation, boredom and odd surges of excitement that characterise business trips, especially other peoples' business trips. It held up well to the old romances it was referencing; and Murray and Johansson (unsurprisingly) were pretty good at being an aging actor and a young woman. Murray's faint resemblance to John Wayne helped me forget who he was ...

Oscar material? Sure, why not. Slice o' life stories where not much happen makes a nice change. But, but, right now, small independent filmmakers across the world are grinding their teeth and looking at it and grizzling to themselves, what's this film got that my film hasn't? and they have a point -- because this sort of film is just the sort of small, incidental, focus-on-the-beauty-of-the-details sort of thing that they do all the time. I've several on my shelf -- what was it, Wonderland was the London one a few years back? Beautifully, beautifully shot. Fantastic performances. But not helmed by Hollywood royalty*, nor distractingly cluttered by a big-name star cast boldly against type and the latest hot young thing. Hm. Am I making a point here? Probably not. Cities are beautiful, hotels in different countries are a bit strange, karaoke can be oddly moving ... come on, something I don't know already? Anything?

Also, the chick-flick trailer set led me to discovering that you can put your fingers in your ears and close your eyes, but you still cannot shut out the sheer monstrosity of Mona Lisa Smile.

*Although Tilda Swinton was in it, who's royalty of a sort.

Comments

( 15 worms — Feed the birds )
(Deleted comment)
cleanskies
17th Feb, 2004 04:10 (UTC)
I don't know enough about the funding thing
to really know, but I imagine I'd actually find that kind of irritating if I were a European film-maker.

> you can't deny people like this movie
Nor would I try to. It's a very likeable movie. Heck, even I like it.

But, over the past couple of weeks I have been listening to people RAVE about this movie, about how amazing the acting is, how awesome Bill Murray is, how no-one but him could have played that role, how the scene with the prostitute is the funniest thing they've ever seen ...

and, eh, um. *shrug* It's pretty good.
marstokyo
17th Feb, 2004 05:57 (UTC)
Re: I don't know enough about the funding thing
I thought it was mildly entertaining, in the ways you mentioned, but the next day-- POOF! it was gone like cigarette smoke. I don't think it deserves awards or nominations because it wasn't outstanding. It didn't leave me thinking *WOW, THAT was really great!* ---it was more of a *shrug* It's pretty good I guess. -- American Splendor was far better in the *small movie* category.
cleanskies
17th Feb, 2004 06:16 (UTC)
American Splendor
... hope to be seeing that later on this week.

No, I did quite like it, it just ... well, it nearly matched my mood, but it didn't come anywhere near lifting me out of it.
marstokyo
17th Feb, 2004 06:47 (UTC)
Re: American Splendor
I predict you'll like that far better.
concourse
17th Feb, 2004 07:58 (UTC)
Yes. It's a good little film, but a little film nevertheless.
badasstronaut
17th Feb, 2004 11:27 (UTC)
I think you're right,
but I think maybe I especially like little films. It's somehow managed to achieve failing to encompass the worst generalising effects a larger film has in trying to meet the needs of a prospective large audience. And yet lots of people seem to like it a lot.
green_amber
17th Feb, 2004 16:25 (UTC)
Re: I don't know enough about the funding thing
I felt exactly the same way.

But you know that already..:Ñ-)
mockduck
17th Feb, 2004 04:25 (UTC)
Yes, you're right.
"Wonderland" - I kind of half-remember that film. Is it set in London and there's a plot strand about a father who's meant to babysit but leaves the kid alone because he has a date, and maybe something about a blind date that turns out to be two ex-lovers meeting?
Or am I thinking of another film all together?
cleanskies
17th Feb, 2004 06:11 (UTC)
that sounds about right
... the bit that reminded me of Lost in Translation was that there was quite a lot of wandering around in glittering cityscapes feeling alienated while music played -- cities are pretty, music is nice, relationships won't do what you want them to ...
applez
17th Feb, 2004 06:09 (UTC)
...what's this film got that my film hasn't?...
A marketing budget? ;-)
cleanskies
17th Feb, 2004 06:12 (UTC)
oops, sorry
-- missed that off the list!
phlebas
17th Feb, 2004 06:17 (UTC)
Re: ...what's this film got that my film hasn't?...
Or possibly less the active marketing budget than the fact that it has major studio backing and hence people get to see it without having to hunt for it in arthouse listings, go into London etc.
applez
17th Feb, 2004 09:00 (UTC)
Re: ...what's this film got that my film hasn't?...
I'm not convinced that makes much difference in cinema-intense cities as London (or Los Angeles, or New York, or San Francisco) for that matter.

The likes of Sundance have really propelled small indie films onto big screens in festival (and other) settings in such cities.

Where big studio backing does make a difference is the expensive TV advertising, DVD sales/ads/distribution, and in making the mark in the vast cultural wastelands of suburban America (where the big moolah is made, unfortunately - it is probably that cultural hunger that leads to obsessive multiple viewings of shyte) - people watch what they're told to watch and what is supplied to them.
phlebas
17th Feb, 2004 09:10 (UTC)
Re: ...what's this film got that my film hasn't?...
True. But I was meaning more just that in order to see Lost in Translation I only needed an afternoon trip to Reading rather than a day out in London, which often makes the difference between getting to see something in the cinema and not.
applez
17th Feb, 2004 10:08 (UTC)
Re: ...what's this film got that my film hasn't?...
Fair point ... but I think the depends largely on how the cinemas have bought rights to various films or not. Sadly, the independent cinema is largely nonexistant in most places (like the free pub), and are chained to studios.
( 15 worms — Feed the birds )