on our paris to-do-list was an unusual task, to visit the place where woody allen shot midnight in paris, particularly the scene where owen wilson took the old peugeot and traveled back in time to the 1920's.
so one night, i took my son to see the place and we planned to reach there by midnight, however the complication of the metro & rer in paris delayed our trip and we reached our destination 15 minutes late - by the way the address is rue de la montagne sainte genevieve, and the place is a church called saint etienne du mont, very close to the pantheon.
the scene above where owen wilson approaches the church is a bit different, obviously the lights behind him have been added as props, they don't exist in real life.
and here are the churches back door stairs where he sat waiting for the car to come take him back in time, i didn't find any clock on that church, maybe it's hidden somewhere..
finally, above is the street where the old peugeot showed up, the street is almost the same, though woody darkened the edges especially at the other end as it has many pubs - the bistro on the left has undergone some retouching but overall the street is still amazing.
if you love paris and if you have watched midnight in paris, i advise you to go visit that street, unfortunately i didn't bump into that car, it would have been awesome to go back to the 20's :)
i've been watching some weird movies lately, all classic, old and highly rated as masterpieces and hailed by critics - these movies can either blow your mind away, or bore you to death like this supposedly "most influential movie ever made" called "last year at marienbad".
the story is ridiculous, imagine that it is about a guy who is trying to convince a woman that he had seen her last year at the same castle, marienbad! but you can't imagine the agony you have to go through this movie as it is mostly narrative, in black and white, though in 61 they could have simply made it in color - but alain resnais, the director, wanted to experiment with this one so he goes wild into a non linear story where imagination and reality become hard to define.
the best review i've read goes something like that: I think everyone should see this film. I don't know why. I have seen it numerous times. No, I have never seen it. Yes, I saw it last year! No, last year I did not see it. Yes, I saw it here, with me. Wait, I'm alone. Who am I talking to?
the lead actress in this movie is delphine seyrig, she died back in 1990, while checking her profile i discovered that she was actually born in beirut!
anyways, if you ever come across this movie i advise you not to see an hour and a half of your life go to waste!
the guardian has published a report on the 10 best arab films of the past 50 years and kuwait had its share with "the cruel sea" (bass ya bahar) produced back in 1972 - i haven't seen that movie, or any of the above movies for that matter, though i watch at least 1 movie per day!
such a shame the arab world is so busy with war and not art, arabic movies used to be big in the past but their heydays are over - not only production is scarce, but there's not enough information on what's good, what's bad and what's ugly - i wish there was an arabic imdb, it would have been perfect!
the summary of this movie on imdb.com starts with a few words: the trouble with harry is that he is dead... a fantastic description for a fantastic hitchcock movie that i had missed to see - what is special about this hitchcock is the humor, it is quite a funny movie with suspense, but zero horror - the best part of the movie is a dialogue between captain albert wise, the guy with the riffle, and sam - the captain was off in the wild shooting rabbits where he accidentally shoots a guy and kills him, or at least thought he had killed him, here's the insightful dialogue where sam tries to ease the captain's gilt:
sam: it was accidental, an act of god perhaps. In a way you should be grateful that you were able to do your share, accomplishing the destiny of a fellow being - suppose for instance it was written in the book of heaven that this man was supposed to die in this particular time in this particular place - let’s suppose for a moment that the actual accomplishing of his departure has been bungled, something gone wrong, perhaps there was meant to be a thunderbolt and there was no thunder available say, then you come along you shoot him and heaven’s will is done and destiny fulfilled - your conscience is quite clear you have nothing to worry about.
captain: sammy, i haven’t got a conscience..
what a brilliant script! if you have some free time to watch a classic, this one is a must see, you'll enjoy the humor.
my son was telling me the other day that it has been a while since we posted about movies - so while i was telling him about this lovely movie called midnight in paris, and how owen wilson goes back in time to meet picasso, dali and luis buñuel, he mentioned an old movie that i had seen in university called "un chien andalou", written by salvador dali & buñuel and directed by the latter.
i downloaded the movie and watched it once again, it is a 17 minutes surrealistic silent movie with scenes that may or may not have a link or mean anything - the movie starts with this bizarre scene of a straight razor placed on a woman's eye, a small cloud formation obscures the moon, a cow's eye is slit open - there's also this other weird scene of a woman poking at a chopped hand in the street with her cane - then a man drags two grand pianos containing dead and rotting donkeys and live priests - buñuel had a fascination with insects and ants, and this is translated into a scene where a man's hand has a hole in the palm from which ants emerge!
what a surrealistic movie, buñuel & dali had quite a fertile imagination which makes this movie a big classic!
we watched skyfall over the weekend at grand cinema, so here's our take on our experience from a to z - first, we tried to book online, so we went to the site, picked the day and the time - we reached knet payment, entered the card number and pressed pay, but there was an error, we tried a few more times but reached to the same conclusion.
we ditched that idea and went to al hamra mall, booked the tickets in person as it turned out that the website is not working - we had lunch at hanhum, and around 4 we headed to the movies - the snacks corner is nothing major, except for the absence of caramel popcorn! is it so difficult to source them?
we went in, and the first thing that caught our attention is that naked screen - it was standing at the front of the theater with out curtains or a stage to hide its steal legs - the exposed structure gives you a very negative feeling, it feels so unprofessional and so weak!
the size of the theater is rather small, the seats are not that comfortable, but the drama lies in the AC! dude the room is freezing cold can someone turn the temperature down for god sake!!
anyways, once the lights are off you don't really see the naked structure of the screen and you get into the movie mood, actually the projector resolution seemed better & sharper than cinescape.
verdict: we prefer cinescape by far, not only for the convenient locations but for the overall experience.
update: we tried to access the website again but it seems it is now under maintenance, you can check it out here - i think this is better than being online without the possibility of making any bookings.
hitchcock movie is one i will surely not miss, the trailer is out and now i am restless! the master of suspense had a very lonely life, he was also sexually impotent.. but if you really want to know why he is so special, read the below links:
the above are just a few reasons why hitchcock is the best, i don't think the world will ever witness such a romantic, macabre, sexually obsessed, obsessive, provocateur, trickster and ingenious craftsman.
family's back, so we took the kids to the movies and watched the most boring bourne movie ever! not sure what is the reason behind this complex, non-coherent and pointless film - now i understand why matt damon declined, wise decision.
it all begins in some remote snowy mountains in nowhere's-land, and after almost 30 minutes of cold boring action, jeremy renner manages to shove a beacon device down a wild wolf's throat in a desperate camouflage tactic to avoid being hit by a tracking missile - i really didn't get this idiot wolf, he was tracking renner for a few days, and just when he found him bleeding on the snow-ground, here on a silver plate, he lets his ass get kicked, his throat raped, then instead of running after the guy who just pissed on his pride, he decides to run away from an incoming missile and get a bomb up his ass, saving the life of the man he was about to devour!! dude! that was hard to swallow!
then renner manages to sneak into mainland, just in time to save a research scientist, rachel weisz, from being killed by government authorities - he accidentally shows up at the decisive moment, kills a team of skilled cia agents only because he wants some blue pills from rachel.. yes, believe it or not, this whole movie is about a blue pill, and it's not even viagara - kind of a of jack and the giant bean movie, minus the imagination!
so rachel and renner manage to escape to the philippines to get viraled-out (yes, new term) in the company's labs - thank god joseph was there to let them into this cutting-edge facility where no one has ever heard of the word security before - security passes where forged with amazing laminated finish aboard the plane, in the tiny half-meter-wide bathroom.
viraling-out took just enough time to let renner back on his feet and into fighting mode - it took him a wink to recover as he jumped straight into this very long action loaded, physically intense chase scene, a redundant re-shoot of bourne ultimatum's moroccan rooftop pursuit, but longer... much longer..
and while we waited for some kind of a brutal fight between renner and this dangerous, emotionless, recently activated cia mofo assassin, the director chose to end the fight with a deadly motorcycle accident, where the assassin is kicked in the head by rachel, as she swings behind a fainting renner on the leading bike.. wth??
as for the film's legacy, i guess it laid in edward norton's role - he played such an insignificant character which brought nothing to the table, or his career - this was certainly not his most brilliant choice! if i were him i'd kick my agent in the head, just to borrow from rachel..
our verdict? if you love the bourne series, do not waste your time on this one, it was most disappointing and a big fail!
husband is back!! excuse the borrowed line arnold! 2 movies in 2 days, and it seems he's planning for more...
the expendables 2 is quite fun, what the kids liked is the new special effects borrowed from playstation games - usually when a guy gets punched in the face or shot from a distance you don't see the special effects details, but in this movie, everything shows... a bullet hits a guy and he looses his head, he gets punched in the face and blood splashes out! the details are so real and so playstation like it makes it a bit violent for kids - lots of funny lines though and hilarious situations, my favorite was a guy getting shot at the airport scanner, you basically see his scanned body getting shot and killed as his rifle triggers the machine's alarm - you have to watch that scene, it is very funny - jet li has a small role, while arnold schwarzenegger has got a bigger and funnier one in the second part of warner bros franchise.
as for batman the dark night rises, i think it was a great finale - a bit slow in the beginning, but action and suspense kick in towards the middle and the ending leaves a few surprises too - though bane is considered to be the strongest villain batman has ever faced, i still think that ducard (ra's al ghul played by liam neeson) was much stronger and more dangerous in batman begins - the only reason why bane is so strong is because batman has become sloppy!
so two good movies to watch, the expendables is more on the light side, whilst batman has much more substance - on the other hand, i think that as a director christopher nolan is simply amazing, and much more creative than simon west, what he's done in inception is still engraved in my memory till today! by the way, 2 actors are borrowed from inception, tom hardy (bane) and marion cotillard (miranda).
i was invited to the avant premiere of the imax 3d movie "to the arctic" - the movie is really beautiful and a true wake-up call on global warming and its effect on the north pole - it tells the story of a mother's polar bear and her journey to save her cubs from hunger, as well as the attacks of the male polar bears - the crew followed the bear for 5 full days, the longest bear stalking in teh history of cinema :)
the scenes are really captivating with beautiful footage of the freezing north pole, the music is composed by famous rock star paul mccartney and the voice over narrated by academy award winner meryl streep, dubbed to arabic by iman ahmed alshehab.
the documentary is a real eye opener - if you have kids, i strongly suggest you let them watch it so they become aware of this global environmental challenge.
to the arctic was launched in the states back in april, whilst in kuwait the scientific center imax theater will be ready for the launch over eid.
thanks to nawaf al-rudaini for the invite,i really enjoyed the imax experience - 15 x 10 meter screen and 8,000 watts speakers will make anyone rejoice!
though i should be taking a break from the blog during my vacation with the kids, i received this complaint from a friend of mine who is failing to book cinema tickets through kncc online - she followed the necessary steps and registered to the site, then got this message saying a verification code has been emailed to you and sent via sms to your mobile number, however, the sms never reached and the email below doesn't really show any verification code!
my friend tried to open a second account, but the problem persisted, she tried to call the hot line on several occasions and no one answered - can anyone suggest a solution?
i received this story from nader which i would like to share:
i decided to go to the cinema with my friends, although some were against the idea because of the censorship, however we all agreed to give it a shot since the movie we picked to watch was for a change, an arabic one - after all arabic movies are conservative & self-censored so we weren't expecting much to be cut
here's what happened - we booked a movie called "helm aziz" starring 2 main egyptian actors "ahmed ezz" and "shereef mounir" but throughout the whole movie we didn't even see shereef mounir!! supposedly every time ahmed ezz goes to sleeps, his father (shereef mounir) visits him in his dreams and makes pranks on him, but every time we reach to that part, the scene is cut until ahmed ezz wakes up! so basically, we haven't seen shereef mounir in the whole movie, who is what the movie is all about!!
we didn't understand anything because the movie was about what is happening in the dreams - it ended in like 1 hour and 20 minutes and lately all egyptian movies are within 2 hours so we are looking into 40 minutes of censorship!! SO WHY SHOW THE MOVIE IN THE FIRST PLACE?? we got really frustrated and decided not to watch movies in kuwait again..
same thing had happened when i watched pirates of the caribbean part 4 where they removed the mermaid scenes which were also important, but at least that might be a bit justifiable because of the partial nudity, however this is an arabic movie.. what's wrong with the dreams scenes??
all i can think of right now is why don't cinescape mention on every movie poster the amount of minutes removed from the movie, and it's up to the us to watch the movie or not, because seriously such decisions really ruined our night..
thanks for the story nader, i guess mentioning censorship time on movie posters is a great idea, but cinescape will never agree to it as this will discourage a lot of people from watching certain movies.