Thursday, January 22, 2015
Thursday Movie Picks: Movies With (a) Colour in the Title
Written for the blogathon hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves. Play Along!
If I'm being honest, I kind of wanted to be really super obvious with this week's stated theme of Movies With (a) Colour in the Title and just go with the individual pieces of Kieslowski's Trois Couleurs trilogy here, but, dammit today is my birthday and I shan't take the obvious path! It is simply not in my nature! And so, without further ado...
Red Eye (2005, Wes Craven) Ladies and gentlemen, the greatest trailer EVER. Okay, maybe not EVER, but definitely one of them (why yes, I do love a good trailer, thanks for asking!). Craven's actually-not-at-all-supernatural thriller isn't quite the mindfuck the trailer seemingly sells, but somehow that works in the movie's favor. Everything feels fresh and surprising, despite us having seen it all before, precisely because of that feeling that there's something lurking just around the corner, outside the frame. Craven, liberated from slashers and monsters and confining himself to one claustrophobic set for most of the (relatively short) running time, is at the peak of his powers here, as are stars Rachel McAdams and Cillian Murphy. Red Eye is a nasty, tight little thriller, perfectly paced and with zero fat. It's the kind of mid-range B-movie you wish Hollywood would make more of, until you realize there's no way they could all possibly be this good.
Touch of Pink (2004, Ian Iqbal Rashid) Alim, a young-ish gay Canadian (of Indian heritage), is happily living in London with his long-term boyfriend Giles, but is so repressed that he still talks to his imaginary friend: a version of in-the-closet Old Hollywood movie star Cary Grant, played with just the right amount of flair by Kyle MacLachlan. Touch of Pink (playing off the title of one of Grant's films, That Touch of Mink) is not a great film, but it's definitely one of my favorite gay films. Taking its cue from MacLachlan's delightful performance, it has just the right lightness of touch. The script is pretty standard-issue gay rom-com stuff (Alim's mom comes to visit, he panics and at the urging of Cary Grant, pushes himself back into the closet), but the actors all know how to make it sing, giving this puffball of a movie a sprightly, enjoyable bounce.
The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985, Woody Allen) Simply put, a must for anyone who loves movies. Who among us hasn't wanted to live in a movie, or to have one of our favorite characters as a friend? I'll have more to say on this one soon (it's a Blind Spot), but for now I'll just say that what I love most about Woody Allen's scrumptious film is how absolutely seriously it takes its fantastical premise.
BONUS SHORT FILMS: The House is Black (1963, Forugh Farrokhzad) If you haven't seen this masterful short, just go to YouTube and do it now. Contrasting powerful, haunting images of an Iranian leper colony and Farrokhzad's readings of the Bible, the Koran, and her own beautiful poetry, The House is Black is twenty minutes of stunning, unforgettable cinema.
The Red Balloon (1956, Albert Lamorisse) One of my all-time favorites, this sweet short is perfect. This is childhood, pure and simple.