Cinema Gems

For the film lovers…

An extension of this site entirely dedicated to cinema, filmmaking, screenwriting, directing, acting, and producting is being created!

Whether you’re passionate about movies, or you just want to read anecdotes about movies, directors and actors, this website will fulfill your questions and ideas.

For a fresh new take on cinema, check out beautifulfilmstills.wordpress.com !

Enjoy, and bonne lecture!

Pour les amoureux du cinéma…

Une extension de ce site entièrement dédiée au cinéma, scénarios, réalisation, montage, production, et jeu d’acteur est en train de voir le jour!

Que vous soyez passionné(e) de films, ou que vous vouliez juste avoir accès à des anecdotes à propos de longs ou courts métrages, de réalisateurs et acteurs, ce site répondra à toutes vos questions et idées.

Pour une bouffée d’air frais sur le cinéma, venez visiter beautifulfilmstills.wordpress.com !

 

Whiplash and La La Land: Chazelle’s obsession with ambition

Damien Chazelle, a young movie director who studied at Harvard University and made his first short movie in 2009 (“Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench“) received many awards for his first movie “Whiplash” (2014) and his very recent “La La Land” (2016).

His two movies gathered widespread praise from critics; while Whiplash depicts a tyrannical music teacher (J.K. Simmons) and his treatment of Andrew, and young musician (Miles Teller), La La Land is a musical set in LA, where a young aspiring actress (Emma Stone) meets Sebastian, a jazz-obsessed musician.

The two movies have striking similarities. Jazz is central to the plot, given that Whiplash’s entire soundtrack is composed of different jazz classics, and the story revolves around Andrew trying to better himself at performing those classics. Jazz also has a major role in La La Land, associated with Sebastian. This struggling musician dreams of opening his own jazz club and idolizes old jazz icons from LA. Music is undeniably present in Chazelle’s universe (his 2009 short movie also boasts spectacular music and dancing scenes), and his two movies are an ode to music, jazz and the skill of mastering an instrument. Take those impressive drum scenes in Whiplash, for example, or Gosling’s moves on the piano in La La Land.

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In Whiplash, a spectacular scene depicts Andrew playing so intensely that he has to immerge his entire bloody hand in a bucket of ice.

Both movies also have a peculiar take on success.

In Whiplash, Andrew is so obsessed with his music and his practice, he becomes blinded by it quickly. He breaks up with his girlfriend to focus on the drums, and ends up alone, abused by his music teacher. The difficulties make him want to push people away, instead of getting closer to them. In the end, the audience and his teachers celebrate and congratulate him, and even though he achieved the success he always wanted, he jeopardized his relationships (as well as his health).

In La La Land, both protagonists have different dreams. Mia balances being a barrista and her auditions, while Sebastian dreams of re-opening a mythical jazz club. As the movie progresses, their relationship struggles through their respective careers; Mia’s one-woman show flops, while Sebastian, who didn’t have a steady income, accepted a contract with a pop band. In the end, the ellipse gives us a glimpse of their life 5 years later. In it, we discover that Mia achieved her dream of being a famous actress, and Sebastian has finally opened his club. Only thing though, they achieved their dreams, but not together. Separately, they went on with their lives. Just like in Whiplash, the romantically-involved characters grew together, shared their dreams, built their ambitions together, but ended up achieving them on their own.

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In order to portray jazz-obsessed Sebastian, Ryan Gosling learnt the piano for 4 months. The takes where we see him play are not edited; Gosling is playing everything.

In his works, Damien Chazelle raises the question: should these characters be obsessed by their careers and dreams to the detriment of their romantic relationships?

At the very end of La La Land, there is a scene when Mia and Sebastian see each other again. What would have happened had they stayed together? Several scenes pass before our eyes; them getting married, having a child. In it, they don’t achieve their dreams of acting nor opening a jazz club. They do achieve their dream of being together though. In reality, without Seb, Mia wouldn’t have gone to the audition that allowed her to break through and become famous. Without Mia, Seb wouldn’t have gotten a steady job, which then allowed him to open his club. Each of them contributed to the ambitions of the other.

In today’s world, where people strives for success, fame and wealth, Chazelle shows the issues that come up, by covering them with aesthetic colors, lively music and endearing characters.

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While the endings may seem bittersweet, they actually challenge the typical “Hollywood” happy endings. In Whiplash, even if Andrew had to overcome emotional and physical abuse he finally gets his great standing ovation, as well as the esteem of his professor. As for La La Land, even if Sebastian and Mia are no longer together, they’ve achieved everything they’ve ever wanted in their life. Hunter Harris sums it up beautifully; “La La Land ultimately is not about Mia and Sebastian’s romance. The real romance was with the shimmer of dreams.”.

Cure for boredom

If you want to check out awesome movies ….

– Pulp Fiction, by Quentin Tarantino, with Samuel Lee Jackson, John Travolta, and Uma Thurman, blood and violence, the Tarantino way

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– Rear Window, by Alfred Hitchcock, with James Stewart and Grace Kelly, the ultimate thriller

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– Stand By Me, by Rob Reiner, with River Phoenix, Wil Wheaton, and Kiefer Sutherland, a perfect coming of age movie

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– Footloose, by Herbert Ross, with Kevin Bacon, and John Lithgow, a must-see musical drama from the 80s

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– Super 8, by J.J. Abrahams, with Joel Courtney, Elle Fanning and Kyle Chandler, also a coming of age movie, with a hint of action and frights

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Enjoy !! xx

To remember

 

“If any one faculty of our nature may be called more wonderful than the rest, I do think it is memory. There seems something more speakingly incomprehensible in the powers, the failures, the inequalities of memory, than in any other of our intelligences. The memory is sometimes so retentive, so serviceable, so obedient; at others, so bewildered and so weak; and at others again, so tyrannic, so beyond control! We are, to be sure, a miracle every way; but our powers of recollecting and of forgetting do seem peculiarly past finding out.”

– Jane Austen

 

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DiCaprio Madness !!!!

Cutie LeoOne of the most famous and most lovable actors, the heartthrob of entire generations; this post is dedicated to the wonderful Leonardo DiCaprio (hiiiiii).

Having seen the majority of his numerous movies, here are some of them, worth the watch !

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The Beach, with Tilda Swinton and Guillaume Canet. An island where life is supposed to be perfect, but when Leonardo arrives he realizes quickly that it’s not. Adapted from the famous novel, this movie is frightening as well as marvelous. A must if you’re craving vacation and palm trees.

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– The Great Gatsby, again, a movie adapted from a famous novel. The story is beautifully adapted, mixing nowadays musics with parties from the twenties. Leonardo, as well as Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan embody perfectly the Fitzgerald’s universe.

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– Django Unchained, one of the few roles of his career where he played an awful character. A freed slave (Jamie Foxx) try to free his wife from a plantation owner (Leo). As flawless as usual.

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– Romeo + Juliet, a wonderfully beautiful, magic and romantic movie, without being too cheesy. Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes share the most famous love story of all time, and we can’t help but fall in love with them. Don’t forget tissues.

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– What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, a very young Leo, as well as Johnny Depp and Juliette Lewis embody characters from a small town in the american countryside. Leonardo DiCaprio plays an autistic kid and Johnny Depp his big brother. This beautiful movie is perfect on a warm summer night with an open window and an old vinyl disc playing…

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Well, here were some of his movies worth seeing (not always his most famous ones), but let’s not forget Titanic Leonardo, because we can !

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Enjoy, xx

Fashionable !

Hey everyone ! Today, let’s talk fashion, collections, brands, and especially websites with which you can discover all of that !

One of my favorite website is the Teen Vogue Magazine website.

It is full of good ideas, adresses, products to try, celebrities beauty secrets and very convenient tips !

Hello tout le monde, aujourd’hui, place à la mode, aux collections, aux marques, et surtout, aux sites qui vous permettent de voir tout cela !!

L’un de mes sites de mode préféré, est (bien entendu) le site des Magazines Teen Vogue.

Ce site est plein de supers idées, de bonnes adresses, de produits à essayer, de secrets beauté de star, d’astuces mode très pratiques et très bien trouvées !!

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Another very good website if you want to be fully updated about the runway shows, collections and creators, Style.com is a real wonder !!

Whether it is new trends, fashion shows, or new outfits, this website is a fashion bible !

Une autre très bonne trouvaille si vous voulez vraiment être à jour sur vos collections, défilés, et créateurs, le site Style.com est un vrai trésor !!

Que se soit les nouvelles tendances, les runway, les nouvelles pièces de créateur, ce site est la bible de la mode !!

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www.style.com

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Vous aimez les beignets?

Ce magnifique film qui a plus de 20 ans est vraiment très émouvant, et parle de deux femmes dans les années 30 dans le Sud des Etats-Unis. Elles sont radicalement différentes (l’une est plus du genre aventurière, tandis que l’autre est très sage), mais leur amitié est sans pareil.

Une vieille dame de nos jours en Alabama (Ninny) raconte l’histoire de ces deux meilleures amies à une autre dame nommée Evelyn, qui se sent inutile dans cette société où elle passe ses journées à manger et à faire des courses. Elle décide de prendre pour modèle la plus aventurière des deux amies, et de changer.

Bon, je ne vous ai bien sûr pas tout dit: il faut garder un peu de suspense pour le film, mais il est vraiment très beau et je vous le conseille ; )

Je vous met le résumé qui est au dos du DVD c’est un peu plus clair quand même…

“De nos jours, en Alabama, Evelyn Couch, femme au foyer, mène une existence monotone jusqu’à ce qu’elle rencontre Ninny Threadgood, une vieille dame extraordinaire, qui va lui redonner goût à la vie.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Celle-ci lui raconte sa jeunesse, 60 ans plus tôt, à Whistle Stop, petite bourgade du sud des Etats-Unis. L’histoire que raconte Ninny est celle de l’amitié entre deux femmes : Idgie, forte tête, véritable garçon manqué, et Ruth, douce et remarquable cuisinière. Mariée à Franck Bennett, un homme violent, Ruth finit par appeler Idgie au secours, et s’enfuit avec elle. Les deux femmes décident d’ouvrir un restaurant.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Mais Bennett n’a pas dit son dernier mot…”

J’espère que vous allez aimer!!

Nancy Drew

Ce film très frais et très sympa raconte l’histoire d’une jeune détective qui habite dans une petite bourgade des États Unis nommée River Heights, et qui doit déménager a Los Angeles a cause du travail de son père . Elle ne “rentre pas dans le moule” par rapport aux californiennes, elle qui aime les mocassins et les old-fashionned clothes !!
Elle va emménager dans la maison d’une actrice célèbre disparue il y a 50 ans et va essayer de lever le voile sur sa mort …
Ce film est vraiment cool et je vous le conseille si vous aimez les histoires sympas (sachant que l’héroïne est très drôle 🙂

Best of British #2

La suite de nos folles aventures a Londres …

#4 ; Chinatown

Comme la nuit commençait à tomber, nous avons décidé d’aller dîner à Chinatown, dans un restaurant un peu plein à craquer… J’ai donc découvert des espèces de tortillas que l’on fourrait avec des crudités et du canard laqué (délicieux! Je me suis resservie 8 fois) et en rentrant, nous avons croisé un enterrement de vie de garçon, avec des hommes qui dansaient la salsa en robes indiennes…

# 5 ; Camden Market

Hé oui, bien entendu, impossible de rater le must du punk, et tout ça réuni en un seul endroit, fourré de pleins de boutiques déjantées! Après avoir vu des tee-shirt qui réagissaient à la musique, toutes les lunettes de soleil inimaginables, des bottes tellement bizarres qu’elles auraient pu appartenir à un rocker des années 80, nous sommes allés dans une petite galerie, qui n’avait RIEN à voir! Des petits bracelets super mignons, des tableaux poétiques… Bref, que vous soyez plutôt rock ou gotique, ou alors romantique, vous allez adorer Camden Market !

# 6 ; Tate Modern

Un petit passage a ce super musée pour profiter de l’exposition de Roy Lichtenstein, un peintre très sympa ( j’ai reproduit l’un de ses tableaux sur la photo) et un flot de culture, une nuée de superbes tableaux nous sont apparus 🙂

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