Category Archives: film

and cut…..

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 in honor of the 10th anniversary of this film, made here in ann arbor, i’m reposting this blog from my past.

ever had one of those days? the ones that take a funny turn?

i picked up a movie from the library recently, ‘the five year engagement,’ and when i saw the cover, i remembered that i had almost been in it. by accident. really.

it was the summer and i’d walked downtown to meet my date. when i got to one of my favorite local townie spots where we’d planned to meet, i noticed there was a barricade, some roadie types, a sound system and all sorts of equipment set up outside. having lived here for more than a decade, i knew there was always a festival, parade or protest popping up, so none of this surprised me. it  could easily have been for a street dance, a car show, or god knows what else, so i simply stepped over and around everything, and walked on in.

once inside, i looked around, it was a bit dark and hazy and didn’t see him there yet, so i sat down at an open table. while waiting, i noticed that something about the place looked different than it normally did, but i couldn’t quite put my finger on it. i then got a phone call from my date, asking where i was, and when i told him i was already where we’d planned to meet, he said he’d arrived, but couldn’t get in because it was closed off to the public, as they were shooting a movie there. and he wondered how i had gotten in.

ah – that’s when it all made sense and it dawned on me. i had unwittingly walked right into the middle of a movie set. i thought it was awfully dark for being the daytime, and things were moved around, and i heard someone yelling out something, but figured it was a bartender, and thought maybe they’d redone the place, trying to go a bit more upscale. i loved it just the way it had been though, a cozy, casual, old-school, welcoming place. all this went through my mind quickly and then i remembered, they’d been shooting in various locations around town for some weeks now, but it never occurred to me that i had crashed their party. i was suddenly an accidental extra.

i’m sure the only reason they let me on set in the first place, was because i’d ambled on into it like i was supposed to be there, (and i thought i was), so no one stopped me. and i was dressed like a townie, (since i was a real one), so i fit right in.

we laughed out loud on each end of the phone as i shared my revelation, and i casually got up and walked off the set and into the daylight once more, as if i was walking to my personal production trailer, only to find my date waiting in another location. where they were NOT in the middle of shooting a scene for a movie.

when i picked up the dvd at the library, a part of me somehow hoped to see myself in that scene, but not surprisingly, i was nowhere to be found, other than somewhere on the cutting room floor, perhaps.

“acting in’Star Wars’ I felt like a raisin in a giant fruit salad,

and I didn’t even know who the cantaloupes were.”

– Mark Hamill

image credits: universal studios, old town bar

 

50 years of love and tears.

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hard to believe

it’s the 50th anniversary 

of this movie’s opening

 everyone i knew

rushed to the theater

swoon-worthy *ryan o’neal and beautiful ali macgraw

over-emoted their way through it

it was everything we expected

and more

a dramatic, tragic, ill-fated romance

a love story for the ages

 inspiring endless tears and endless post-viewing talk 

going to see it again and again

somehow hoping for a different ending. 

” love means never having to say you’re sorry”

– jennifer cavalleiri (ali macgraw in love story)

(we loved this famous confusing quote from the movie, and had deep discussions about what it meant)

*interesting tidbit –

writer erich segal, based ryan o’neal’s character on a hybrid of his college housemates at harvard:

Tommy Lee Jones and Al Gore

image credit: paramount pictures

 

enthusiasm 2.

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free movie night at campus martius park in detroit

safe, distanced, well-planned

the little one soon had her own plan

 drawn in

she moved right up front by the screen

enthralled

 laughing, dancing, twirling

throwing spells along with elsa from ‘frozen 2’

until she became a part of the movie. 

 

“true enthusiasm is a fine feeling whose flash I admire wherever I see it.”

-charlotte bronte

light workout.

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going to a movie theater counts as a light workout.

count me in.

If your New Year’s resolution is to exercise more, your goal just got a lot easier.

Sitting through a film at the cinema could be considered light exercise, according to researchers at the University College London (UCL), who found that movie-goers often experienced heart rate increases equal to about 40 minutes of low-impact cardio.

The trip to the movie theater makes all the difference, scientists believe. Whereas film fans are easily distracted while watching at home, the unbroken concentration involved in seeing a movie at the cinema is the key to their finding.

“Cultural experiences like going to the cinema provide opportunities to devote our undivided attention for sustained periods of time,” writes UCL neuroscientist Joseph Devlin in the report. “In the cinema, however, there is nothing else you can do except immerse yourself.”

This means a movie night could be good for our minds, too.

“Our ability to work through problems without distraction makes us better able to solve problems and be productive,” he says.

The study, paid for by UK-based Vue Cinemas, observed 51 participants as they watched the 2019 live-action remake of “Aladdin,” with sensors tracking their heart rates and skin reactions during the film. Their results were compared to a group of 26 others who spent that same amount of time reading.

A normal resting heart rate is between 60 and 100 beats per minute. The results showed that those who spent 40 minutes in a movie theater reached a “healthy heart zone,” with rates landing somewhere between 40% to 80% of its maximum rate — about 95 and 160 beats per minute for an average middle-aged adult. This level of heart activity could be compared to brisk walking or gardening, researchers say.

Study authors also noted that moviegoers’ heart beats began to synchronize during the film, which may contribute to “a positive effect on our overall social connectedness.”

“A shared social focus not only has a proven link to greater bonding and empathy with others,” they write, “but also has been proven to reduce symptoms of loneliness and depression.”

According to Devlin, this sort of prolonged concentration could be a boon to anyone, especially those who feel constantly distracted by smartphones, tablets and social media.

“In a world where it is increasingly difficult to step away from our devices, this level of sustained focus is good for us,” he writes.

 

‘cinema is a great binding force for a nation.’

-judith kumar

 

 

 

credits: hannah sparks, ny post

once. again.

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Once_(2006_film)poster

one of my all time favorites

‘once’

an indy film

shot in ireland

in just a few weeks

for only 150,00 usd

with real people

and real music

and

love and heart and soul

and the stars/musicians were shocked

when they won an academy award

for their song

and they fell in love in real life

and they made music together

and then

they broke up in real life

and stayed friends

and still make music together

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and the movie was remembered

then made into a broadway play

and i was lucky enough

 to see it

when it was on tour here

 the stage

 was an irish pub

the audience was invited up

to have a drink on stage

while the cast fiddled away

then the play began

and it was

all beautiful music and love and heartbreak and ireland

and i loved every minute of it

once.

again.

if music be the food of love, play on. –

william shakespeare

——–

movie credit: fox searchlight features

I’m in competition with myself and I’m losing. – Roger Waters

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picturehouse dendy cinemas

what do you get when you combine the 1980s, video arcades, the guinness book of world records, human drama, sabotage, corruption, power, cheating, trash-talking, genius, ego, and insanity?

why, you get ‘the king of kong: a fistful of quarters’ of course. one of my all-time favorite documentaries. this eccentric film, released in 2007, features ‘self-proclaimed legend’ in the world of video arcade games, billy mitchell, florida hot sauce magnate and the holder of the ‘donkey kong champion of the world high scoring’ record for 25 years, and the first perfect game scorer in the history of pac-man, as he is challenged by quiet and brilliant unemployed aerospace engineer/now science teacher from washington,  steve wiebe, who has never won a thing in his life.

in this film, their long distance rivalry and ultimate challenge is played out right before our eyes and under the careful watch of walter day, creator of twin galaxies, and online gaming website gatekeeper. what follows is a classic tale of good vs. evil, davy and goliath, sheer will and karma, and the suspense never stops right up until the very last second.

watching this, i spent 79 fascinating minutes glued to the screen, laughing, crying, cheering and yelling, right along with it. and most of all,  i love that it was categorized under ‘sports’ in the documentary world.

film quotes:

Walter Day: This rivalry is among the greatest: the Yankees and Red Sox… Hekyll and Jekyll.

“I wanted to be a hero. I wanted to be the center of attention. I wanted the glory, I wanted the fame. I wanted the pretty girls to come up and say, “Hi, I see that you’re good at Centipede.”

Jillian Wiebe (Steve’s wife) : Work is for people who can’t play video games.

image credit: picturehouse/dendy cinema