Star of the week: Xavier Dolan

Because I am a pure laziest, I have failed to write up on MANY films I have seen these past months. Sorry for this. And to catch up I will be doing some quick fire reviews and some central ones, aswell as these type of these posts, star of the week to help cover many films and people. I introduce Xavier Dolan. A VERY young Canadian actor and filmmaker, i simply ADORE. As well as being pretty he is also hugely talented. I had heard about his debut film I killed my Mother for some time now, and had been meaning to watch it (as per usual). However thanks to Netflix I was able to watch Dolan’s later film Laurence Anyways, this was due to my recent fascination with the subject of trans characters in films, me simply wanting to learn more about a subject I really have no face to face experience with, Something film allows an audience to gain;knowledge.

Dolan’s Laurence Anyways, is 168 min film that blew me away and hooked me throughout and introduced me to some amazing music. The soundtrack was very memorising, a soundtrack can really give a film an edge for me. After watching the character driven, study of a film I was highly motivated to finally watch I killed My Mother. One of the interesting things in watching a directors filmography backwards, is seeing their trademarks and unique style being planted, but also stripped back the more the go back, watching Laurence Anyways I saw how Dolan had really come into his own craft, and how his latter film was a slow step but also the MAKING of what he is today. I am yet to see his other films but I will be keeping an eye out for his future releases. I want to watch Tom at the Farm very much!

On Dolans directing style, I love his blend of pop culture, using it almost like a fantasy world to capture the realism of everyday life. It’s interesting to see how his first film was autobiographical, a very intimate personal story is here and its refreshing to see as it is so honest and it is easy to see how every choice comes from the directors own life. Dolan also manages to flesh out his characters very much, showing both sides of their personalities, showing they are simply human, I love these types of films, they always draw you closer to the film, enabling you to really feel for the characters.

Dolan reminds me of James Dean. I feel like if Dean had been a director which I think is not a stretch to imagine, he would be as honest in his filmmaking as Dolan. They are rebellious and outside of the norm of film at this moment, Dolan is a rarity in the film industry, so young, has much creative control and is openly gay, which he channels this into his films, which is great and refreshing to see!

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Films for Jalleh – Week 1

This week the spotlight is on the classic hollywood director BILLY WILDER. A very influential director who you SHOULD KNOW. He directed some of the most well loved, most cultrually referenced films to this day!

He was an Austrian-born American filmmaker, screenwriter, producer, artist and journalist, whose career spanned more than 50 years and 60 films. He is regarded as one of the most brilliant and versatile filmmakers of Hollywood’s golden age

And I have chosen to choose his best 3 films, In my opinion, to get you into his style of filmography.  So starting with his earliest out of the 3: 

DOUBLE INDEMNITY:

Wilder’s first thriller and a classic film noir from the 40’s. What makes this film for me is the brilliant performance by Barabra Stanwyck whose iconic image and character is today emulated and referenced in popular culture, and there is a reason why this is. GO WATCH.

SUNSET BLVD:

Possibly my favourite, and the only one so far i own on DVD, this film is so important in that it tells the story of an even older hollywood before the one you will be watching with this film! if you don’t believe me when i say important read this from its wiki page:

Praised by many critics when first released, Sunset Boulevard was nominated for eleven Academy Awards (including nominations in all four acting categories) and won three. It is widely accepted as a classic, often cited as one of the greatest films of American cinema. Deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the U.S. Library of Congress in 1989, Sunset Boulevard was included in the first group of films selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. In 1998, it was ranked number twelve on the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 best American films of the 20th century, and in 2007 it was 16th on their 10th Anniversary list.

This film is both entertaining but educational to the film industry, particularly hollywood and the transition to talkies which was a huge corner stone in film HISTORY. It is ICONIC, it is the only word that springs to mind. Again the leading lady performance is what people remember, Wilder could direct his leading ladies. Again this film is referenced so so much. But now i’m ready for my close up 😉 GO WATCH!

Last but not least:

SOME LIKE IT HOT:

A COMEDY CLASSIC!, A WILDER CLASSIC. AND A MARILYN MONROE CLASSIC. three in one, you can’t go wrong! things to know before you watch this film. It is SET in the 1920’s but made in 1959. It is shot in black and white on purpose, despite colour being increasingly popular, this was due to the actors makeup not translating well in colour.This film is fun and all round entertaining with a very, now, familiar formula.. ever wondered where it started.. look no further. Marilyn Monroe is electric in this film, she thrives in comedic performances where her acting really shone. GO WATCH!!

IF YOU LIKED – BONUS!

you liked any of these films? or seen one of them and maybe need another Wilder film to take its place, go on to check these out, also directed by him:

The Seven Year Itch (MORE MARILYN MAGIC)

Sabrina (NO NOT THE WITCH. I personally love audrey hepburn and this role she shines bright as ever, with the addition to legend humphrey bogart, who may have been miscast, but is still an enjoyable watch)

The Apartment (HIGHLY rated)

Star of the Week!: Lon Chaney

I have recently watched a documentary about the life and work of Chaney, an interesting character of the silent era that isn’t really mentioned today. It’s a shame but it seems his successor Boris Karloff is more remembered! While chaney will be most known for playing the Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera, and advancing makeup(special effects) Chaney also played complex characters that were more interesting then some of the roles of the 1930’s. Sadly Chaneys life ended too soon(aged 47) he still had a lot of steam left in him and was even going to play Dracula, after his death it was took over by Bela Lugosi. In addition to watching the documentary i also watched The Penalty which is only free to watch to the public (i HIGHLY recommend) Lastly for anyone whose interested in the silent era, do check out the documentary or even the film, which showcases the dedication and revolutionary actions of Chaney in becoming his characters.

Clark Gable – Revisiting old Hollywood

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What i would also like to bring to this blog is once a week a post about a star or director of old hollywood, last year i become hooked on the era, glamour and personalities that embodied old hollywood, the greatest icons such as Marlon Brando, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor and many many more

One hollywood star i took a shine to was Clark Gable also known as ‘the king’. For me clark is handsome and an original leading man in the movies i love Gone with the Wind and It Happened Last Night! I also am intrigued in his private life and his love with Carole lombard. He was also an icon to the icon Marilyn monroe who is still a present icon today. All this leads me to buy his biography which came the other day and i am yet to read but am excited to. Not always praised for his acting skills this man had the charisma that many didn’t and i feel like he is an endearing man that needs to be remembered 🙂 TTFN x

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