I knew Frances Ha was a coming–of–age black and white shortish film and that it’s good. And frankly, you don’t need to know much more going in: because from minute one, you’re sucked into Frances’s charming world full of quirks. If you’re in your twenties and unsure and haven’t seen this film, I recommend you put this review aside and go watch it – it’s on Netflix and all.
Review contains spoilers! If there’s one film that can restore passion towards cinema, it’s Life of Pi.
It was hard to make difference, for me, if Hannah Arendt – the film – was made about the said woman’s background featuring her philosophy and views or if it was made to show how much one woman could smoke in the 1960s.
Hannah Arendt was a German-Jewish philosopher and journalist who reported on Eichmann’s trial for The New York Times. Eichmann, if you’re not familiar, was a German war criminal, a lunatic and as Arendt said, not a person.1 He served as “an expert on Jewish matters” in the Nazi party and was responsible for a whole lot of Jewish deaths and war crimes. His trial was of great importance, naturally, and its coverage as well. Arendt wrote a book on it and (I fell asleep at one point so I don’t know what happened exactly, my apologies) caused a havoc as she critisised the actions of Jewish leaders – which most people interpreted as Arendt blaming the Jews for the Holocaust.
The second part of the film mainly concentrates on the latter part exactly – the response from others. Not only the general public but also Arendt’s (by then, mostly former) friends and family. Ties broke with some who were closest to her and people who she’d expected to admire her work rejected it – which Arendt, then, referred to as stupidity and ignorance. The story was interesting and I, a history nerd, hadn’t even heard of anyone called Hannah Arendt, yet she was an influential political figure and shouldn’t be overlooked. The story behind the plot, though serves as one of the few good things about the film.
Apart from a few gems – some strong appearances, a couple of witty scenes and the background to it, it’s not a good film (I, for one, as previously mentioned, fell asleep). It lacks visually, the soundtrack is so boring and unremarkable that even I noticed, there is no real connection to the characters and nothing that would actually keep you watching. I went to see it with class and if I hadn’t, I would’ve had walked out on it. The seventy-year-old director Margarethe von Trotta doesn’t make her case here, famous for her feminist touch on films, but rather tries too hard at some places and has it too loose in others. It’s neither compelling nor captivating at most times and is exactly the kind of film that that, shown to school students as compulsory, drives them away from non-Hollywood cinema.
1 roughly. I have a very, very bad memory.
So on one weekend in October 2011, I watched the first two seasons of Glee. I wanted to see something fun and easy and that was just that. I have no idea how did I do that1 but I saw it all and I’m pretty sure I liked it2, too. I haven’t watched any of it since. Because I don’t dig that kind of TV. So I was planning to leave Pitch Perfect3 where it was. And then my (very Glee-watching, I might add) friend asked me to the cinema to see it and I can’t ever resist going there.
Also, there’s this another thing about me – I tend to fall asleep in the cinema when I haven’t slept4 – even had that with the second seeing of Avatar – but I didn’t this time, so I can give Pitch Perfect that. Even though I didn’t like it too much. I’m not much of a music person – I have my indie stuff and I listen to them on my own but otherwise, don’t really keep up with music. I did know some of the songs there because they’re always playing in cafés and shops (but there was also Carry On My Wayward Son, which had me so excited I squealed very loudly). Some of them sucked. Some were good but some just sucked.
The two main emotions I had about Pitch Perfect were that 1) what the actual fuck is going on?5 where I blankly stared at my Glee-watching friend and 2) they started something… and quit. Most scenes felt like this – they were starting some storyline or a relationship dynamic, and then quit – which made for dubious scenes and settings. I loved Jesse (Skylar Astin) and didn’t understand why Beca did (though her watching The Breakfast Club was adorable) most things. The control-freak puking chick felt the same – she should’ve made her mind up earlier or never. The hilarious Asian chick (portrayed by Hana Mae Lee) and Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) who I expected to be terribly lame and one-sided stole the show for me. Jesse’s magician friend would’ve been great, too, if he’d been given more credit (he was still adorable though).
I kind of feel like this is a film made to tickle the senses of top 40-listeners and to make some good gif material for Tumblr. It tries to win the hearts of many different people – they have a 1) sassy fat girl, 2) a lesbian chick, 3) a rebellious eyeliner-wearing almost socially awkward rock chick, 4) the lovely boy out of Tumblr and 5) the bitch whose mutual hatred everybody can bond over. The film has one thing that’s definitely working, though – every scene where there’s Beca and sound or radio devices, is seriously hot.
1 mostly because that is 16 hours of watching per day; and I religiously slept for eight hours every night back then.
2 you would guess that comes naturally but no, it’s not that easy with me. It might’ve merely been an uncontrollable urge to stay in bed.
3 after finding out it wasn’t about baseball, I was very surprised, I might add.
4 the previous night at 1 am I figured it was a perfect time to start another blog for photography and edit a bunch of photos taken that day. God, I’m weird.
5 in example: the puking scenes.