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Bataclan 12 Novembre 2016

Or how a place of death becomes a place filled with life again:





Well done, Gordon!

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I saw The Handmaiden (which is called Mademoiselle in France, an interesting choice because it actually switches things) yesterday evening. I really enjoyed it. It's a pecculiar film, because it sometimes verges on ridiculouness and burlesque, or just indulges in them. It is beautifully shot and rather cleverly written, hiding genre within genre. It's visually stunning, but also gripping. The film lasted 2: 30 hours but never felt long. And it was actullay funny in places. I laughed many times.

An intelligent and neat piece of escapism.

The film is based on a Victorian England-set novel (The fingersmith)...but it takes place in Japan-occupied Korea and Japan in the 1930's, which makes the "adaptation" quite refreshing!

The story begins with the arrival of a new handmaiden in a big house that looks partly English, partly Japanese. She's Korean and there to serve a Japanese heiress. Soon enough we learn that there's a con behind her presence there. Then things get more complicated.

It's a cautionary tale about greedy (vicious) men using women – or, shall we say, a feminist film –, or maybe a pastiche of erotica, or maybe it's a thriller about a con job (or rather a scam within a scam), or maybe a scorching lesbian love story, or maybe a hall of mirrors where the question of identity is challenged, or perhaps all of that! But it never seems all over the place. Very well made and masterfully directed by Park Chan-Wook.

The Handmaiden pays tribute to its Victorian(and even Gothic) roots, but also to History, to Japanese culture, to litterature (Sade's Juliette) and to several movies. There are shades of Rashômon in it, for instance.

Oh well, even though I'm just talking with myself, I need to write a few thoughts down. Last week's episode was pretty great. I didn't find the time to write a review but I really, really,  liked it.

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This week's episode was less engrossing, but I'm still intrigued by the show.

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Also, here is something I've been meaning to say, for a while, about a certain fan theory:
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Westworld

So, who else has watched the premiere of Westworld?

I mean, western setting, robots and Ed Harris (the rest of the cast is great too, but I have always been a fan of Ed Harris)!!!!! How could I not watch it?!

I had been craving for a good robot show since BSG and  Terminator The Sarah Connor Chronicles ended. I was so excited and Westworld didn't disappoint.

Evan Rachel Wood was good but it's Louis Herthum who delivered the best performance of the episode.

Here he is, facing Sir Anthony Hopkins, in a scene that was kind of a tribute to Blade Runner:



And there was this iconic moment, on the instrumental version of "Paint It Black"



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 ETA: Apparently some things have already been addressed and answered HERE.

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The time of the goddesses

Yesterday, I had a drink with one of the few friends who are still in Paris and we went to the cinema to see a film that is flawed and yet necessary.

It isn't easy to be a woman, but it can be extremely in hard in many parts of this world, even in the largest democracy of the world: India.

Last year, the news kept mentioning instances of Indian women being raped or gang raped, and often beaten or killed in the process.It is a big issue over there. "Rape culture" is a plague in that country.  I've been in India three times, nothing happened to me there, but I remember too well the concupiscent looks in many male gazes and the wandering hands, as if almost all men were sex crazed and obsessed.

So Angry Indian Goddesses is far from being perfect (the writing is sometimes very cliché, some scenes are  abit too Bollywood-style and the ending is problematic) – and to tell the truth I' ve never seen women like those during my stays in India (even in Kerala, not far from Goa wherein the film mostly takes place) – but, still, it's great that this a movie was made and it must be seen, if only for its message and the beautiful women (each in their own way) in it.



When the males of the world are all about violence and destruction, let's channel our inner Kali!


Still raining, so I'm watching tv shows

I've started binge-watching the new season of Orange Is The New Black. Poussey remains my favourite!

I also watched Game of Thrones and Penny Dreadful. Writing isn't both shows' forte (GoT is all about the visuals, the action and the spectacle; PD is all about the atmosphere and Eva Green's performances) and I would even say that they suck at plotting, but the latest episode of Game of Thrones couldn't have been more cliché, predictable and telegraphed...while I really didn't expect that finale from Penny Dreadful!

The PD finale was definitely a surprise but it was also so rushed...and filled with new timeline nonsense – in one scene it seemed that a few weeks had passed from the previous week's episode, which would make sense in terms of travel logistics, but then another scene seemed to happen only a few minutes after! – and laughable convenient stuff. Oh well, there were still some great shots of Timothy Dalton's green eyes.

Now I'm hoping for a good second season of Mr Robot.

When is RECTIFY coming back?

ETA:Spoiler under the cut if you haven"t seen the last episode of PDCollapse )
 

Look at me show....

You know I love you, but hear me...

Persona non grataCollapse )


The show outdid itself with the soundtrack, especially when using this great song by Leonard Cohen during the montage sequence that encapsulated so much despair.

Gimme Jimmy

When the BrBa spin-off was announced, everybody expected a Saul Goodman show, but with BCS, Vince Gilligan & Co gave us something else, something we didn't know we needed or even wanted to see: Jimmy McGill.

I'm so happy it went that way.  And when season 1 ran its course, the viewers and the writers were all saying "Gimme Jimmy".


That commercial was so tacky and corny, so over-the-top and colourful, quite announcing the flamboyant and shameless Saul Goodman...and yet the sequence itself was pure BSC, with Kim looking up, still hopeful and charmed by Jimmy's magic, and Jimmy being there next to her, watching his work, far from his commercial persona, and feeling upset and ashamed.

"Klick" was a fantastic finale for a brillant second season. Almost perfect.

Long and spoilery reviewCollapse )

BCS has become such a wonderful tv show. It's simply among the best. It is also, officially, my favourite spin-off in the history of spin-off shows. Yes I think it's superior to both Angel and Caprica.

ETA: I love this bit from an interview Sepinwall had with both Gould and Gilligan:

"VG: I love that humanity, and I miss that in Saul Goodman. It's going to be a tragedy, ultimately, that this man will inevitably calcify into Saul Goodman."

Clark's place

Here is a short review but still important because Arkady Ivanovich was actually in this episode!
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As promised...The Americans!

Spring break has begun, and I'm enjoying a lazy Sunday before resuming my thesis work and before entering Marking Hell. So here are my reviews of both "Chloramphenicol" and "Clark's Place", two terrific episodes of The Americans, which is still my favourite tv show, even though Better Call Saul is definitley becoming a serious challenger.

The Americans is so good in terms of writing, directing and acting...and "Chloramphenicol" was one of the best episodes the series had delievered. It deserves its own entry so I shall make a second post for "Clark's Place".
ChloramphenicolCollapse )

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