A date with myself

Let me just tell you: it’s been the most lovely spring weather all week. We sat in the sun during our lunch breaks and I actually had a picnic planned this weekend with some of my friends – but when I woke up on Saturday morning the sky was grey and it just started to rain.
But hey, I knew what to do: this kind of weather calls for cinema! Frankly, the timing couldn’t have been better, as two days ago Beauty and the Beast started in cinemas, and I was dying to see it. (I’ve missed a couple of films in cinema recently, but I couldn’t miss this one!)

It’s Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, and even though living and Rome and enjoying the language and all, I absolutely couldn’t bear the thought of seeing it in Italian. Disney films are magical, and everyone knows the song lyrics in their mother tongue – Well, of course! When you’re a child you don’t care about watching a film in English! – But I feel the songs of Beauty and the Beast, along with a couple of others, are amongst the famous ones, the ones that you know even in English. I mean, Tale as old as Time? It’s a classic! Also, the film has some really good actors in it, with very distinguished accents. It would have been a shame to hear Emma Watson’s or Ian McKellen’s perfect British accent dubbed.
So when I proposed to my friends to see La Bella e la Bestia people seemed quite intrigued. When I told them I was going to see it in the original version (with subtitles) the participation quote dropped to zero. Now, I am not judging. If I was home in Austria, I would have probably gone for the German version too. But living in a big city, where selected cinemas actually show it in English, I had no choice but to go for it!!

In fact, I was very excited to go to the cinema by myself. I had conversations about it with Gonzo in the past. He told me that he often went to the cinema alone, but for me cinema is an experience made for sharing. You get there together, decide what sweets to buy, nudge each other during the most beautiful scenes and afterwards discuss it, of course. This perception might also be due to me being from a small village, where the next multiplex was an hour’s drive away. Spontaneously deciding to go to the cinema was never and option for me and my friends. A car had to be organized (in pre-driving license days also a parent willing to drive us), the timetable was checked and the movie chosen, we departed with enough time to find a decent parking spot and usually returned rather late at night.

Anyhow, it felt special. I dressed nicely and had a spring in my step on the way there. I don’t remember when I last was so excited to see a certain film. I arrived at the box office indecently early and had to kill half an hour in the bookstore next door before the movie started (no complaints about that). During the film it happened only twice that I had the urge to nudge someone to make them notice a continuity mistake or a plot hole. Apart form that, I was totally ok with being “alone” in the dark. It actually felt a bit like the movie was only for me.
I don’t think I need to point out how much I loved the film. I laughed and I cried and I was filled with joy when it finished. I love the design and how they added backstories of the characters and little details to the story. There were new songs and of course the classic ones. All in all I think it is a very good combination of a re-creation of the 1991 animated movie and a modern version. Of course my favourite line was in the end, when Belle suggests the prince to grow a beard. 😉

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The only thing I really missed, was the possibility to immediately share my thoughts right after. I would have loved to talk to my sister about the dresses and the songs, or to Gonzo about the the camera movements and the colour correction. On my way home I called my mum to share my joy and childhood memories and I was humming Belle’s Song and Be Our Guest all the way until I arrived home – then I opened the playlist on Spotify and kept waltzing in my room.

XX, Angie

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Here’s to the dreamers

What a better way is there to spend a Saturday afternoon that in the cinema?

I went to see the matinee show of La La Land today – and I’m over the moon! I am completely in love with the movie! The obvious reasons are: it’s a musical, the camerawork is great, it has an amazing and super vibrant colour palette and it stars Ryan Gosling 😉
No, seriously:

Yes, they sing. But I felt like it was never out of context. Singing as a natural way of expressing oneself is established normal right at the beginning of the film. It’s a world where they sing. I think one has to make the effort and see it as kind of a “parallel world” where singing and dancing is normal, and everything makes total sense. –  Does that make sense?

The story itself is rather simple: it’s two artists struggling with life and everything that comes with it. I am far from calling myself an artist, but I think in all the years dealing with directors, actors and producing short films, I got a bit of an insight. Basically, it feels real to me. Of course the drama level is a bit up, otherwise there wouldn’t be a Hollywood movie, but the characters are well developed and the script has some nice “that could happen to us”-moments. And I’m not talking about the scene where they dance a waltz in the clouds…

I liked how despite it begin a colourful musical, it ends on a bittersweet note and makes you think about life and the choices you make. Even though many of my friends hated the ending, I think it’s one of the best bits of the film. And isn’t there anything worse that coming out of a film and going: “meh, it was ok.”? Well, the finale definitely prevents that. And I like myself a proper after-movie discussion!

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Lo Lo Love,
Angie

Happy thoughts

As you may or may not know, Peter Pan is by far one of my favourite stories. And when I learned that this winter a Warner Bros. was to release “Pan”, an epic prequel to the classic tale, I was more than excited!
The film actually came out on the 18th of October, but for some mysterious reasons I didn’t come around to see it until this weekend. (I want to point out that afternoon showtimes and my super grow-up friends or rather the difficulty of finding someone equally childish magic-minded as me didn’t play in my favour.)

Yesterday Isa and me had a gorgeous afternoon tea with loads of clotted cream and gossip in our new favourite café in Camden. Stuffed with cucumber sandwiches and scones we were deciding what to do next and well, it was only 16:30 – the perfect time to fly to Neverland!

I want to say straight away that the weakest point of the film was probably the script. Although it takes a very lovely spin on the original book by J. M. Barrie, creating a prequel to a story that doesn’t need one, is a very daring task. To be fair, to a certain extent it did really well. I very much appreciated the settings in London during he Second World War for instance, or the presentation of Neveland how it was before Peter’s reign. But other aspects, such as the made-up story of Peter’s parents just didn’t come together very well.

Let aside the not-as-smooth-as-could-be storyline, the film was a feast for eyes and mind! Being set in Neverland basically excuses everything; neverbirds, glowing mermaids, Nirvanan-chanting lost boys, a crystal fairy hive and colours – lots of colours!
From the costumes of the pirates and the indians, the ships and mines, tents and war paint, to the Neverforest and the hidden fairy kingdom: the production design is simply amazing. Everything is so rich on details and unique ideas, one can tell that the makers tried really hard to avoid existing “Neverland clichés” and created a fresh perception of this magic space, where logic and physics as we know it don’t apply and everything is possible.

“Pan” is set in a very different Neverland from the one we know from previous screen adaptations. For a start, the “main pirate”, who steals orphans from London to make them mine fairy dust, is Blackbeard. James Hook on the other hand is introduced as a dashing, self-secure lad, trying to escape the mines and most of all as a friend of Peter – leaving a lovely white space for your imagination to go wild (hopefully not for a sequel of the prequel! *fingers crossed*)

Another little easter egg for those familiar with the book, are names and quotes, very carefully woven into the lines of the main characters as they go along, reflecting the original source of the subject on a different level.

Excuse my rambling, but all I want to say: I loved it! And even thought the story has its flaws, its a perfect magical, whimsical, colourful and fantastic movie!

I do believe in bedtime stories.
XX, Angie