A Cinematographic History Of The Last Week

Hooray for bombastic titles!

Anyway. Firstly, I have watched Casino Royale, Closer, Sweeney Todd, Layer Cake, The Holiday, 27 DressesWithnail & I and Pride and Prejudice (the Knightley/MacFadyen one) all in the last week. Some of them (Layer Cake and Casino Royale) more than once. Which is highly unusual for me.

In this time I have fallen in love (or lust, I’m genuinely unsure which) with Daniel Craig. Not only for his looks (which are not, you’ll have to admit, utterly godlike) but for the power he exudes onscreen in Layer Cake and Casino Royale. Neither of these are otherwise remarkable films, although the way Layer Cake was filmed is incredibly clever, lots of beautiful and interesting shots and angles and lighting used and a nice twisty plot. Not ground-breaking, but good enough to watch more than once (and to own, if I find it at a good price somewhere). And the reviewers are right – Casino Royale is grittier than any Bond film to have gone before that I can remember (not that that exactly takes it into the realm of hard-hitting, gritty drama…).

Closer would, I was reliably informed by the guy at The Games Cabin in Llandudno, tell me ‘everything you ever wanted to know about relationships’. It doesn’t, of course, but it’s unusual in that none of the characters is exactly a shining example of how one should behave. They are a pretty flawed bunch. You think it’s going to be a fairly standard romcom, but actually no-one gets a happy ending, nothing is black and white, there is no knight in shining armour. They don’t all have fantastically glamourous jobs or lives, either. For that, it’s good. It deserves recognition. I liked it a lot – but it’s not your average pint-of-ice-cream-and-a-duvet fare. The Holiday was. Everyone is beautiful, everyone gets their happy ending, everyone ends up with the right person in the right place in the right way at the right time. Perfect. 27 Dresses isn’t so saccharine, but again, happy endings all round. It’s a hilarious concept, this idea of this girl who becomes the bridesmaid of just about everyone, but it makes a semi-serious point about said girl, who never takes any time out for herself, and the pressure that inevitably has on her. Her sister is ugly, though…!

Meanwhile, Sweeney Todd is grimy, unhappy, tragic, and absolutely filled with gore. It is also a musical. And the score is fantastic, and the whole thing is somehow fascinating. I wouldn’t say I exactly enjoyed it, but it was good, and I would choose to watch it again.

Withnail & I is a favourite of mine – it’s hilarious and more than a little bizarre. I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before, if not in this blog then in my old one.

And finally, Pride and Prejudice. Beautifully shot, well acted, and another of my favourite films. The script could be better and it’s worth having a working knowledge of Regency society to really get the nuances of the things that happen, but basically, I love it. It’s a film I watch almost like a security blanket – it almost never fails to make me feel better. Even today, of all days.

Aside from watching films, what have I been doing? Today, tidying my room. Before that, I helped organise a surprise party, remotely from Wales. I attended said party, and it went very well for everyone bar me and a couple of others. I did enjoy most of it, but some of it was just horribly awkward and hellish. But it’s over now, and with it has left the girl whose goodbye party it was – she will be missed, at least until Christmas! Anyway, that’s by the bye. I’ve had a good week, film-wise, at least. Today might not be so good. And I’ve finally posted again – it’s been a while!



Filed under Film

7 responses to “A Cinematographic History Of The Last Week

  1. Lucy

    Attend the tale of Sweeney Todd!
    His skin was pale and his eye was odd.
    He shaved the faces of gentlemen
    who never thereafter were heard of again..
    He trod a path that few have trod
    did Sweeney Todd..
    The demon barber of Fleet Street!

    Haven’t seen the film, but the DULOG (the musical theatre group at university) did a live production which was pretty damn awesome and terrifying and terrifyingly awesome! And I will look out for Closer, sounds good…

  2. Adam

    I really liked Closer – and it’s not entirely because of Natalie Portman lap-dancing…

  3. I have seen 2.5 of those films.

    Casino Royale. Great film, nice change from the 1 dimensional Bond character from the last few films. And yes, Daniel Craig is pretty damn good (not just in Bond, too).

    Pride and Prejudice. Yeah, I completely agree (and Keira Knightley is just a lovely bonus in that film…)

  4. Casino Royale – Only Bond I’ve seen. Worth one watch, possibly another at some point.

    Closer – Weird first time ’round. Better second time ’round. Thought provoking stuff.

    Sweeney Todd – No thank you. But hell do I know the songs, I spent half the summer with someone who is slightly obessive about it.

    Withnail & I – almost bought this on the cheap for one reason only. I hoped that I’d find another in watching it, yet decided against actually purchasing it in case I didn’t and was buying it for silly reason.

    and Pride and Prejudice – never seen a version, never read a version. Would like to change this at some point.

  5. Lucy

    Flix, I’d recommend reading P&P before you watch it. The televised drama may have Colin Firth (/ Keira Knightly, depending on version/ preferences) but it doesn’t have the wit or the warmth of the original written version.

    Then again, I always prefer reading things first, ‘cos you get to imagine them your own way!

  6. I do prefer reading avant watching, it’s been on my “to read” list since about 2001 Several people have told me Pride and Prejudice is their favourite book, and there are a few based upon/related books I’d also like to read that you kind of need the inside knowledge of the original to appreciate the story.

  7. standingonthebrink

    I always try to read before watching anything – although weirdly enough I think Pride and Prejudice may have been an exception to that, years back now – I think my mother decided to buy the BBC version (Firth/Ehle) before I got round to reading it. But then I read everything Jane Austen ever wrote, even things like Lady Susan that never got published. (I didn’t like it).

    For some reason we have them all in a Collected Works book the size of a telephone directory – I have P&P separately but I need to buy the rest before I leave for university! And yes, I’d definitely recommend them – the stories are great, the characters are brilliant, the wit is subtle and perfectly done. I’ve even got some pretty macho guys reading and appreciating Austen. I guarantee you’ll love them.

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