Movie Nights 3, 4 & 5

Movie night 3 was my turn, so I picked Enough Said. I’ve already seen it two times, but it’s just one of those movies I can watch any time it’s on and I’ve wanted Morty to see it for a while. There are so many little details I love – Eva’s (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) job, Marianne’s (Catherine Keener) house and her hilarious portrayal of a modern-day hippie poet, Tavi Gevinson as Chloe is adorable, and finally, Albert (James Gandolfini) is just so sweet and perfect in all of his middle-aged bachelorhood. If you haven’t seen this film, I won’t give anything away, but I love watching how the different relationships interact with each other and thinking about how I would’ve handled the same situation. (Morty approved of this film!)

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Morty’s pick for Movie Night 4 was a documentary about the Kuchar brothers called It Came From Kuchar. Mike and George Kuchar are (and were – George died in 2011) twin underground film makers. In the early 1960’s they started making low-budget films that helped shape the underground New York film scene. The documentary shows snippets of those films while also interviewing the brothers and showing them at work. Their short film Wild Night in El Reno opened the door to one of the first conversations Morty and I ever had, so they’ve been on my radar ever since. While I love that film, I have a feeling their other work is a little out there for me. But to true movie buffs, they were pioneers. The sleaze, shaky filming and low-budget feeling of it all is well-loved by their fans.

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Last weeks pick was Under the Skin. I’ve wanted to see this movie for several months when I saw that it was directed by Jonathan Glazer. He’s responsible for my favorite opening film scene ever, so I wanted to see what else he had up his sleeve. To keep it short, this film was weird. Visually, it was interesting, beautiful and surprising, but the story was slightly nonsensical and disturbing. It’s adapted from a novel of the same name by Michel Faber. I’ve learned more about the film from reviews that I’ve since read, so it makes more sense now and I can see more logic and themes to the story. I would definitely watch it again – Glazer has a way with angles and really finding beauty in stillness. Though Under the Skin was more challenging than what I usually enjoy – we both gave it a big thumbs up!

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Movie Nights 1 & 2

Frances_Ha_still_1I returned from Texas two weeks ago to a grey and snowy Oslo. A few nights after my return, I was talking to Morty about what resolutions (if any) I had for this year. He chimed in that he wanted to have a movie night each week, and of course I was on board with that. Last Wednesday the 14th was our first night, and I got first pick. My choice was Frances Ha, a film from 2012 that we had always talked about seeing, but had never gotten around to. It takes place in New York (with a jaunt in Paris!), and is filmed in black and white. I liked it but at times I felt too old for it…sometimes the dialogue between the two female leads was like watching an episode of “Girls,” a show which I detest (yep, I said it). But it was charming and visually beautiful and a very nice initiation into our movie nights.

Last night was Morty’s pick, and he went with Woody Allen’s Manhattan, from 1979. It’s typical self-deprecating and hilarious Woody Allen, whose films I’ve only come to appreciate and “get” in the last ten years. Morty intentionally chose this as the follow up to Frances Ha, as it’s clearly a nod and a bow to Mr. Allen’s work. Besides the black and white similarity, Noah Baumbach (director of Frances Ha) was definitely (it seems) influenced by Manhattan’s themes, styling, and even a gratifying running-through-the-streets scene. I love New York (thank you, Susan!), and was so happy to get acquainted with this film and a black and white Manhattan.

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