28 October 2007

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

Beautiful. But halfway through this movie I wondered why I wasn't enjoying it. Then I remembered, I'm not overly fond of Westerns. - Strangely, it had never occurred to me that this movie about Jesse James would indeed be a Western.

In fact, this is really two movies glommed into one; a movie about Jesse James and an extended dénouement about the life of Robert Ford after the assassination. The first two thirds of this longish movie consisted of a rambling drift through the end of James' life, filled with too many characters and no clear sense of motivation on anyone's part. I often lost track of the relationship between the many men, their feuds and their alliances. By the time things became (somewhat) clearer, I had already begun watching the hands on my watch tick by.

The cinematography was beyond gorgeous, so at least there was something to keep my interest during labyrinthine periods of plot exposition. I love shots of wheatfields in the wind and clouds wafting through the sky as much as the next guy, but it all starts to get a bit taxing when the rest of the movie is dragging.

Yet when the assassination did finally happen, instead of expecting the movie to wrap up, I became increasingly engrossed in the story of Robert Ford. I wanted to know more of his life and what became of him. It seemed that this last third was the movie the director really wanted to make, and the Jesse James story was appended to make the movie sell-able. When the movie did end, I thought it was almost a shame, because Ford was really the much more interesting character of the two.

This movie has Oscar-buzz written all over it. Brad Pitt nomination for sure -since he seems about due- but Casey Affleck is the real star of this show. (Or maybe best supporting actor Oscar to the wheatfields blowing in the wind).

I give the clouded, confusing Assassination of Jesse James two Colt pistols out of five, purely based on the cinematography, whereas The Coward Robert Ford gets five out of five for a complete re-engagement of my interest in this tale of a complicated life.

17 October 2007

Strike while the iron is hip

Today there is a transit strike and the city is half shut down. I'm profiting from my lack of classes and the poor weather to hunt down the full two-hour series premier of Beverley Hills 90210 on Youtube.

Oh the hair, the clothes, the music! 1990 really was the low point in world culture – all the shoulder pads of the 80s with none of the techno and raves of the 90s. (I do like Brenda's vampy cocktail dresses however).


90210 Series Premier

(Follow the links on the right to get to the next segments).

11 October 2007

Fashion Weeks continues

I still have a virus on my computer after taking it to the shop for a third time, which means I still have to troll around internet cafés and try to deal with their maddening French keyboard layouts. (Example: to type a period, you need to hit shift semi-colon. Nonsense!).

So here, in honour of fashion week, is something to tide you over until I can somehow rid myself of this bubonic computer plague. Enjoy!

05 October 2007

No one sent me the memo!

Apparently it is Fashion Week in Paris now. Oh hey look, there's Linda Evangelista (current hair configuration: rusty red, short) walking out of a tent. And -I think- Naomi Campbell, but I couldn't really tell because she was mobbed by the flash-flash-click of paparazzi, and I was a ways away.

C'est la vie parisien!


I Japan went to and now no speaky English can do

I thought this one was especially apropos.

01 October 2007

Classes start tomorrow

And I'd love to tell you all about my foibles with French bureaucracy and my flâneur adventures around Paris — however I currently have a virus on my computer which is defying eradication and threatens to take over my whole life. I've already taken it back to the shop twice to have everything wiped clean and the operating system reinstalled, but to no avail – the virus remains. Not being very technically inclined, I'm not sure how this is possible, but nevertheless.

So for the foreseeable future I am relegated to internet cafés and their incredibly annoying French keyboard layouts.

More as the situation unfolds. In the meantime, just keep watching that M.I.A. video — it's amazing! I'm mesmerised.