Showing posts with label film adaptations. Show all posts
Showing posts with label film adaptations. Show all posts

Monday, October 13, 2014

The 10 Most 90s Things in Sliver

The more films from the early 1990s that I watch, the more I become convinced that it was just a really weird time period where everything was a little off somehow and it just feels mildly embarrassing 20 years later. Sliver is both a part of the erotic thriller era and the yuppie thriller period (although I guess in general, erotic thrillers are generally a subsect of yuppie thrillers, which are just slasher films with legit actors playing people with legit jobs). The film is a big confused mess about a woman and women in one apartment building that  are basically terrorized by two men who are prototype versions of the both extremes of Dennis Reynolds - one is a voyeur, the other is a murderer. My friend dug up the Entertainment Weekly cover story about the tumultuous making of the film. Multiple endings were shot because no one could agree who should be the worse creepy guy, and producer Robert Evans was hospitalized twice with chest pain. But on with the "true 90s kid"-ness!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Picture of Dorian Gray (2004?)

Repost from 2010, when I was working on my undergrad thesis on the film adaptations of The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Othello (2001)

Repost from 2010.

Dir. Geoffrey Sax || 2001 || UK (made for TV)

The late 90s/early 00s were a time of modern day re-imaginings of William Shakespeare's plays. Hollywood in particular released at least three re-imaginings set in modern-day American high schools (although in the 1996 Romeo + Juliet, they were apparently home schooled). 2001's Othello cannot and should not be confused with O, also released in 2001. O takes place in an American high school and for some unknown reason stars Josh Hartnett in the Iago role, and the film revolves around the politics of high school basketball. 2001's Othello takes place in modern day London, revolves around the politics of Scotland Yard, and stars Christopher Eccleston in the Iago role (here re-christened as "Ben Jago").

Monday, June 9, 2014

Austenland (2013) and Romantic Fantasy vs. Historical Fact vs. the 21st Century

The facial expression of the foot servant on the left...

My name is Sarah and I studied literature in undergrad, particularly 19th-early 20th Century British and American literature, and Southern literature.

Austenland (2013, Dir. Jerusha Hess) is a fun, cute movie that only seems to peripherally deal with fandom, fluctuating Austenmania, theme parks or theme vacation packages, and dating in the 21st century simply because it is trying to shoehorn in all of those subjects in at once. Keri Russell plays a woman in her 30s who has had an obsession with Pride & Prejudice and particularly Mr. Darcy since she was a teenager. This has been to the detriment of forming a real relationship with any man. Under the old “you’re not getting any younger” bit (which is mercifully short), she decides to kill her savings and take a vacation to Austenland in England, which may or may not have been advertised to her as a role-playing game where guests form real relationships by the end.* It is one of the many confusing areas of the film, for both the audience and for Jane, Russell’s character.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Sherlock Holmes (2010...no, not that one, the other one)

Repost from 2011.

a.k.a. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes || Dir. Rachel Lee Goldenberg || 2010 || UK & US

Oh, where to begin? To its merit, the 2010 Sherlock Holmes (released direct-to-DVD approximately a month after the 2009 Sherlock Holmes helmed by Guy Ritchie and starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law) is shorter than the Ritchie version (which was too damn long), has a color scheme, and a tiny T-Rex. It's co-produced by The Asylum, makers of Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus and other cheap quickie cash-ins like the soon-to-be-released Battle of Los Angeles, a response to the new film starring Aaron Eckhart Battle: Los Angeles. The former stars Kel Mitchell (of the 1990s Nickelodeon show Kenan and Kel) and Nia Peeples, in case you were wondering where they went off to.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Tank Girl (1995)

Dir. Rachel Talalay || 1995 || USA

I remember liking Tank Girl as a teen in the 1990s, but looking at it now, it's easy to see what a mess this film is. It's not an odd or even fully enjoyable mess, and it's only occasionally amusing. It can't be chalked up to inexperience or disinterest in the source material, qualities that tend to factor into the better comic book films; because Talalay was an experienced director at this point and did like the material. But by all accounts, there was a lot of studio interference with the film because up until this past decade, very few people knew what to do with comic books or graphic novels as source material. The film is live action, but it also has clips from the comic books and animation sequences.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Flesh for Frankenstein & Blood for Dracula (a.k.a. Andy Warhol's Frankenstein & Andy Warhol's Dracula) (1974)


Dir. Paul Morrissey || 1974 || US-Italy-France & Italy-France  

It is advisable to watch Flesh for Frankenstein and Blood for Dracula back-to-back if possible. It is how they were made and both have the same main three actors (Udo Kier, Joe Dallesandro, Arno Juerging) in similar roles - Kier as Dr. Frankenstein, then Dracula; Dallesandro as the proletariat servant-gigolo, and Juerging as Frankenstein and Dracula's assistants. Although the films appear to take place in different time periods, they also seem to be similar in atmosphere...and that atmosphere is bizarre, trashy, and campy. These are not adaptations to watch if you are looking for faithful adaptations of Frankenstein or Dracula. Both of these films seem to take place in some realm either before or after those stories, or almost a netherworld just outside of the original stories. It is a world that takes some adjustment because while it is laughable in Frankenstein that an actor with an Italian accent and Joe Dallesandro with his heavy New York accent are supposed to be lifelong friends who grew up together in some European countryside; by the time you get to Dracula you just kind of have to accept that Dallesandro is going to stick out like a sore thumb. Udo Kier takes some adjusting as well, although he fits into these films easier than Dallesandro, especially Dracula. For at least the first half-hour of Frankenstein, I could not shake the notion that Tommy Wiseau has been fooling us all along and is just doing a very extended impersonation of a young Udo Kier in Frankenstein. Except Udo Kier actually seems to be mentally present in his scenes, and not in space like Wiseau. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Grad School Residue: Franco Citti wearing hats

In the fall of 2011, a class I TA'ed for basically spent a week-and-a-half watching The Godfather, and in the winter of 2012, I took a class that basically involved watching Pier Paolo Pasolini's entire filmography. So I spent a lengthy amount of time my first year of grad school watching Franco Citti wearing hats of varying degrees of weirdness.