861 posts categorized "Women's Cinema"

July 07, 2024

FEUD: CAPOTE VS. THE SWANS

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ColeSmithey.com

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does. This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel. Punk heart still beating.

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ColeSmithey.comTruman Capote gets a proper roasting in this television series adaptation of Laurence Leamer's book "Capote's Women: A True Story of Love, Betrayal, and a Swan Song for an Era."

Mired in the cruelty of its real-life characters, the series starts off bumpy. If you can make it past the first three episodes, you'll likely make it to the end, but it won't be a pleasant experience.

Nonetheless, Tom Hollander gives a tour de force portrayal of Truman Capote, whose once vaunted reputation the author dismantled with a vengeance as a result of his alcoholism, drug use, and insatiable narcissism. 

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Ever the social butterfly/interloper, Truman Capote famously boxed outside of his weight class when he bit the hands that fed him by publishing an excerpt from his unfinished novel, "Answered Prayers" in Esquire Magazine.

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The chapter, entitled "La Côte Basque, 1965," included rumors and lies about the society women whose trust Capote had forced upon them, if not earned. Love is a cold glass of water in these Carnegie Hill social circles.

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Naomi Watts give a reliably solid performance as Babe Paley, Capote's favorite "swan."

"Feud: Capote vs. The Swans" shares a simile with the recent Bratpack movie "Brats," inasmuch as the Swans' reaction to a nasty take-down magazine article only exacerbated their problems.

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The story reflects epochal social changes that hang the inflexible out to dry. Knowing the rules of the game will only get you so far, regardless of your social standing.

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Truman Capote was in inveterate back-stabber, with the audacity to return to the scene of his crime. Needless to say, it didn't prove to be a sustainable practice. Truman Capote died at the age of 59.

Footnote: the filmmakers' decision to not include Capote's pet cats as an integral part of his domestic life, does a disservice to Capote and to the audience

Not Rated. Eight Episodes.

4 Stars

Cozy Cole

ColeSmithey.com

July 01, 2024

THE OLD OAK — CANNES 2023

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ColeSmithey.com

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does. This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel. Punk heart still beating.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon.

Thanks a lot acorns!

Your kind generosity keeps the reviews coming!

ColeSmithey.com

 

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ColeSmithey.comCurrently at age 88, Ken Loach is a senior statesman of Socialist Cinema. It's questionable as to whether or not "The Old Oak" will be his final film.

As such, "The Old Oak" arrives with a palpable sense of import.

Working with his longtime screenwriter Paul Laverty, Ken Loach gives us a great litmus test of a movie to guide minds toward communal understanding and mutual support.

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Still, "The Old Oak" will not do much for the tourism trade in North East England's County Durham.

Bitter and nasty right-wingers openly attack Syrian refugees brought by social workers into their neighborhood.

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Scripted with Paul Laverty's reliable ear for accurate dialogue, "The Old Oak" is special film that fits well beside other Ken Loach/Paul Laverty masterpieces as "Carla's Song," "Ae Fond Kiss," and "The Wind That Shakes The Barley."

Communities are only as good as their infrastructure.

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Socialism is everywhere you look.

Paved streets, street lights, sidewalks, bridges, plumbing and running water, are all socialist constructs.

Getting your head out of your ass is just the first step toward a better world.

"The Old Oak" is a fine place to start.

Not Rated. 113 mins.

5 Stars

Cozy Cole

ColeSmithey.com

IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE — CANNES 2000

ColeSmithey.com Welcome!  

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does. Punk heart still beating.

This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon.

Thanks a lot acorns!

Your kind generosity keeps the reviews coming!

ColeSmithey.com

 

ColeSmithey.com

Where Secrets Are Kept

Wong Kar Wai Tells All

By Cole Smithey

ColeSmithey.com"That era has passed. Nothing that belonged to it exists anymore."

Wong Kar Wai's masterpiece of romantic longing, emotional expression, unrequited love, and unresolved jealousy, is a cinematic poem that stretches across time and Asian social barriers.

The film's indisputable beauty radiates with a burning glow that emanates from its charismatic lead actors, Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung. 

Set in Hong Kong, circa 1962, shared experience of wounded romantic repression plays out between neighbors whose spouses are sharing an affair.

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The Korean War rages distant to our would-be lovers. Love is always an escape from loneliness.

A mutual decision to play out an imagined version of their spouse's affair, gives way to a simmering erotic tension barely masked by gesture, habit, and style.

Formality, dignity, and respect are unwritten rules of the couple's sexless romantic game of curiosity.

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Every atmosphere is furtive.

Secrets are kept.

Erotically tinged gemstone colors explode in carefully crafted set designs and wardrobe elements that bleed off smoke from the burning chemistry between Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung.

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Hollywood should be jealous, very jealous.

By this standard, Hollywood knows nothing of nuance.

The early '60s political and economic atmosphere of Hong Kong informs the way that Wong Kar Wai's iconic couple interact.

Public appearances are kept up.

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Erotic sparks can ignite from a spoonful of mustard shared at a restaurant table.

Lust is secondary, but just barely.

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The intimate negotiation that transpires between our star-crossed lovers takes place in an aura of negative space where things such as wallpaper designs and dress patterns set boundaries of sexual restraint.

There is a BDSM undertow to the couple's interactions. Theirs is a private code told in silences, and muted responses that no lie detector could catch.

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Although the film's ending feels rushed, it speaks to the audience as a cauterizing effort at mirroring the disjointed fragmentation of quickly passing time and far lost promise.

Epochal change has come.

Memories are lasting, especially when the romantic stakes are so deep.

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The film's impeccable soundtrack places the characters in an era of Big Band music whose standards fueled a utopic atmosphere of charm, class, and romantic connection.

You'll be humming Nat King Cole's version of "

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"In The Mood For Love" was an instant classic when it premiered at Cannes in 2000. It remains Wong Kar Wai's finest cinematic achievement.

In the words of Lou Reed, "you're over the hill, right now."

Relax, the romantic pressure is over.

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Memories are all that's left in a lover's memory box.

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Tear up the letters; they don't prove anything.

Keep your secrets.

Rated PG. 98 mins.

5 Stars

Cozy Cole

ColeSmithey.com

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