Monday, March 20, 2017

Theme Reveal: Food in Film

I am a sugarholic in recovery (16 years), but still a food addict. I eat healthy foods, but too much and too often. Several months ago, I came across this statement in a blogger's profile: "I love food…a little too much, and it led to obesity."

At first I thought I love food, too. But then I took pause.  Do I really? Do I really love food?

I pondered on the word love. If I love something, I take care of it, cherish it, notice it, feel gratitude for it...

In the animated film Ratatouille (2007) when chef Linguini (voice of Lou Romano) meets food critic Anton Ego (voice of Peter O'Toole), they exchange the following:

You're... Anton Ego.

Anton Ego
You're slow for someone in the fast lane.

And you're... thin, for someone who likes food.

Anton Ego
I don't like food; I LOVE it.  
If I don't love it, I don't swallow.

Let's see... I stuff my face, hardly taste the food, and rarely feel satisfied with what I eat... so I keep eating. I use and abuse food, and that does not equate to love.

In reality, I need to learn to love food.

So, with that in mind, and since this is a movie blog, I'll consider my relationship with food--from Apples to Zagnut--referencing specific movies and scenes.

Join me... let's savor Food in Film!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Movie trailers.

Friday: Comic Relief

My husband and I saw a trailer for a movie we'd never heard of and it looked hilarious, so we rented it from Redbox. Then... we watched it. And discovered the only funny parts in the movie were ones we'd already seen in the trailer.

Yep, sometimes the trailer is better than the movie.

Sometimes the trailer misleads the film's theme (fyi... My Girl 1991, is not a fun kid's movie!).

And sometimes the trailer reveals too much. Which leads me to this humorous Studio C video: Movie Trailer That Spoils Everything. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Friendly Movie Characters

Writing Prompt: Write a blog post inspired by the word: friendly.

Friendly encounters with strangers lift my spirits. Such as when a woman in Italy showed me how to work the laundromat washer, and a gentleman who observed me gazing at a scenic landscape, stood beside me and expressed, "Bellissimo. Bellissimo."

I am grateful for friendly tall grocery shoppers who hand me items from the top shelf. And for the woman on the hospital elevator who held the door for me, suspecting, in my distraught state, I had gotten off on the wrong floor. She was right. And kind.

So, I feel a tender spot for friendly movie characters who reach out to strangers in their time of need. Often, their kindness has far reaching effects like when little Jenny offers Forrest a seat next to her on the school bus (Forrest Gump, 1994), or when Sister Husband (Stockard Channing) invites Novalee (Natalie Portman), a teenager with a newborn, to stay with her (Where the Heart Is, 2000).

But not all friendliness or kindness are the grand acts. Sometimes there's a friendly character in a minor role, like Marshall (Ossie Davis), a chauffeur who helps Joe (Tom Hanks) select clothes (Joe Versus the Volcano, 1990), or Sara's (Eva Mendes) nice boss, Max (Adam Arkin) in Hitch (2005).

Let's not forget the background extras, either... the waitress, cab driver, doorman, passenger on the train, pedestrian. Since the camera's focus is on the main action, it's easy to overlook what's going on around the main characters.

And therein lies the challenge. As I tried to think of specific examples to include in this post, I came up blank. So I've challenged myself to look for friendly acts in the background of the movies I watch in the next few weeks, and report back to this blog post.

Can you recall friendly background character action? Please share!

Writing prompt from:

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Take 34: 12 Angry Men

Tuesday: My "take" on a film.

12 Angry Men (1957)

"Life is in their hands--death is on their minds!"

An 18-year old boy is accused of murdering his father. The trial is over, the jury sent to deliberate. A "guilty" verdict would sentence him to death.

The initial vote: 11 (guilty) to 1 (not guilty). That one vote weighs heavily since the verdict must be unanimous. Thus proceeds arguments and re-hashed evidence as the jurors uncover (sometimes unwittingly) flaws in the prosecution's supposed open-shut case. 

Almost the entire film takes place in the juror's room, but you put 12 men in a hot stuffy room and add personality clashes, prejudices, differing backgrounds, and you get plenty of conflict. 

Juror #8 (Henry Fonda) does not claim the defendant is innocent, but insists there is reasonable doubt to his guilt. One person giving someone the benefit of the doubt can go a long way. I want him in my corner!

Notes on content:
  • Infrequent mild swearing
  • No nudity or sexual situations
  • Heated debate, arguments, contention

(Roger Ebert listed this film in 33 Movies To Restore Your Faith in Humanity. I posted about the book here.)

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Goodness of characters and people.

Disappointment and frustration with the film industry made it difficult to post anything on this blog for the past several months, but I recently purchased Ebert's Essentials: 33 Movies to Restore Your Faith in Humanity, and feel hope again.

In the introduction to his book, Roger Ebert states that he rarely cries at the movies, but when he does, "it's almost always because of the goodness of a character."

All of the films listed in the book "have one thing in common--the goodness of people."
"They are very different people and good in many different ways, but all of them, whatever the place in life that fate has led them to, try to do the best they can with their opportunities. Yes, that can restore your faith in humanity. We need more of these films and fewer weekend blockbusters entertaining young people with the slaughter and suffering of anonymous victims in action pictures."
More goodness of people and less slaughter... I wholeheartedly agree!

Of the 33 movies listed in the book, I've seen eight:
Apollo 13
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
The King's Speech
Lawrence of Arabia
October Sky
12 Angry Men

The remaining 25 have been added to my list of films I want to see.

He writes about movies that can restore faith in humanity, but his book also restored my faith in filmmakers. Thank you Roger Ebert.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Comic Relief: Home Alone Parody

Friday: Comic Relief

I love this Studio C sketch. Never leave Kevin home alone this time of year!

Kevin Defends the Apartment

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Take 33: Silent Night

My "take" on a film.

Silent Night (2012)

"The powerful true story behind the most
popular Christmas carol of all time."

As a new assistant priest, Joseph Mohr (Carsten Clemens) wants the church to connect with the common people of Austria with sermon and song in German (instead of Latin). He wants people to understand the services, but his methods, which include allowing a female in the church choir, lead him to the verge of disciplinary action. 

Early in his ministry, a religious leader counseled, "If you want to keep hope alive, you must never lose hope yourself." Yet, the night before Christmas, Mohr struggles with possible defeat, and as he walks through the snow, wondering about his future, he feels inspired to put one of his poems to music. 

Enlisting the help of musician and church organist, Franz Gruber (Markus von Lingen), they combine talents to create--in one night--a lullaby to perform for the upcoming Midnight Mass. Mohr hopes the people "will remember this Christmas for years to come."

Thank you, Joseph and Franz, for my favorite Christmas hymn, Silent Night.

And thank you, Christian Vuissa for the beautiful film. 

I met Christian, an Austrian filmmaker, several years ago. He was passionate about the history behind the beloved hymn and it shows in the film. The stunning Austrian location, beautifully composed shots, and the editing pace--never lingering too long on one scene--move the fascinating story.

This film will air on BYU-TV (Mountain Standard Time)
December 11, 7:00 p.m.
December 12, 12:00 a.m.
December 12, 12:00 p.m.

Or watch it now on (link): Silent Night (2012).