No-mush quickie romances

Do you roll your eyes at true love’s kiss? Do Nicholas Sparks adaptations make you cringe? Refuse to watch The Titanic? Or refuse to admit that you have?

If you answered yes to any of the above…these short films are for you:

 APRICOT by Ben Briand.

 

What does it feel like to be in love? It feels like a dimly lit coffee shop. Shadows and sunspots. Magic tricks. Birthday parties. Tinsel. It makes you scribble notes from conversations so you don’t forget. It tastes like apricots. It turns you into an obsessive creeper.

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CASINO MOON by Gia Coppola

Love makes wild and reckless bandits of us all. Premiering at the Shanghai Film Festival in 2012, this short film captures the chaos of love and Las Vegas.

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“When you fall in love you kind of build your own little world together and lose touch of the other world,” says Robert Schwartzman, who plays the protagonist. Robert just so happens to be related to the director Gia Coppola, one of my favorite actors Jason Schwartzman, and most notably, the devilishly dashing Nicolas Cage

Back in the early 2000’s Robert played Anne Hathaway’s lover boy, Michael, in The Princess Diaries. Mia fantasized about sitting in his garage, crashing his band practice. In real life, Robert fronts the band Rooney. The dreamy background song in Casino Moon is actually from his solo album Double Capricorn. If you don’t have 14 minutes to spare, check out the 3 minute music video, which uses splices of the Coppola film.

If you can think of any other no-mush romances, post a suggestion on IV TV Girls’ Facebook wall. 

Stay tuned,

Angelica

A Prescription of Short Poppies

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If you need a pick me up, it should be the 20 minute series Short Poppies. Seriously. I was in some sort of mood and feeling all sorts of ways, so I streamed an episode (or four) on Netflix, and had my woes banished by Rhys tumblr_n59kbht5U91rb5wuyo1_540Darby’s sexy suncreeny lifeguard legs, Rhys Darby in normcore drag, Rhys Darby as a very professional UFOlogist.

The series is a mockumentary that follows filmmaker and journalist David Farrier as he interviews extraordinary residents of a beachy town in New Zealand. Each episode focuses on an oddball character, all of which are played by the talented Rhys Darby. If you’ve ever watched Flight of the Concords, you’ll maybe recognize Darby as the band manager, Murray Hewitt.

In the first episode, Darby plays Terry Pole, an optimistic lifeguard, whose catchphrase  is “only the pos!” (as in positive). You just really cannot be anything but smiley when there is a sexy legs competition happening before your very eyes.

Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 11.27.11 PMOne episode will have you reevaluating your relationship goals. Like… is your significant other someone you can be your oddest possible self with? Do you support each others’ passions? Would you overcome your greatest phobias for your special friend? Could you see yourself blissfuly starting a support group together for survivors of alien abductions that meets at the local library weekly? Because really, a successful relationship is overcoming your agoraphobia to tell your UFOlogist boyfriend that you love him before he sacrifices himself for an alien abduction.

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But the real reason I enjoy Short Poppies is David Farrier, the journalist who plays himself. He’s the quietest character, but his facial expressions speak volumes. AND HE IS SUCH A GEEKY DREAMBOAT.

And also Karl Urban as the sassiest, gayest hairdresser there ever was.

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Watch this is if you like: Summer Heights High, Flight of the Concords, the Office, Parks and Rec

Stay tuned,

Angelica

Cuban jazz for the soul

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Chico & Rita (2010) is a subtitled Spanish love story set in Cuba, New York, Hollywood, and Paris in the swanky 1940’s and early 50’s, and it is probably the most sensual animated film I’ve ever watched. It’s a bit sentimental because of the whole unrequited love plot line BUT between all that mushy stuff (be warned of a short and steamy scene with animated nudity) there is an ace soundtrack of Cuban jazz, New York be bop, and sultry blues. Watch for appearances from Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and Chano Pozo. Watch this because it will break your heart but make your soul happy.

Both Chico and Rita are jazz artists trying to create better lives for themselves through their music. This complicates things for them because, as we’ve learned from numerous movies, fame is not always fun and glamorous– especially if you are a person of color and treated mostly as an investment. The strongest scenes in the movie involve Rita openly addressing issues of race, class, and gender divides. Historically, we know that things usually don’t go well for vocal females so there’s also that complication.

The animation alone is one reason to watch the movie. Spanish artist Javier Mariscal took a research trip to Cuba and dug up city government archives of pre-revolutionary Havana. The cityscapes in the film are detailed down to the words of store signs. Marsical creates a vision of historical moments and deep emotions that are more sparkling and colorful than a live action film would have been.

Listen to the Chico & Rita Soundtrack on Spotify by clicking here or on youtube by clicking here. DO IT. Then stream the film instantly on Netflix.

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If jazz makes your soul happy, so will these three documentaries.

1. Calle 54 (2000) is made by the same director as Chico & Rita and celebrates Latin Jazz with minimal voiceovers and mostly studio performances. Watch instantly on Netflix. Listen to the soundtrack here.

2. Icons Among Us (2009) features interviews and performances by 75 jazz artists in the here and now. Divided into four sections, the film challenges perceptions of what jazz is, explores the social aspects of the jazz community, and showcases jazz from around the world. Watch instantly on Hulu here.

3. Jazz: A film by Ken Burns (2001) is a PBS series revisiting the history of jazz over 10 episodes. Watch instantly on Netflix. Listen to the soundtrack here.

Stay tuned,

– Angelica

For the love of street haunting and cinema

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 10.53.18 PM“What is this film called Love?” is a poetic travelogue of filmmaker Mark Cousins’ three-day layover in Mexico City. But it’s so much more than that. As Cousins treks through the city streets, he carries out an imaginary conversation with his laminated 8.5″x11″ photo of Sergio Eisenstein, moving the documentary beyond the notion of travel to contemplate memory, solitude, landscape and ultimately the nature of happiness.

Who is Sergio Eisenstein and why does he warrant such a grand gesture? In short, he was a Soviet Russian filmmaker and theorist. He pioneered the montage, adding a level of complexity to the medium of film that revolved around the theory of visual metaphor– combining images and symbolic meanings to provoke a certain effect in viewers. He made films that are political and poetic. He loved Mexico City, and referred to it as a geography upon which his entire being was stretched across.

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The voice-over narration is rich with allusions to literature and poetry. This made the English Major in me feel like tap dancing. If you love reading, you will love this film. Your ears will perk up at references to Jane Austen and Virginia Woolf on the pleasures of street haunting, to Robert Frost and apple picking, to Joan Didion and her tear-jerking essay on leaving New York City, to Ralph Waldo Emerson and the myth of permanence.

What I found most appealing about this documentary was its exploration of the word “ecstasy”. Cousins turns his wandering into a quest by challenging himself to find 5 things that make him feel ecstatic. He finds hints of ecstasy in certain camera angles, in revolutions, in architecture that makes your eyes dazzle, in the brilliance of bodies. But most simply, there is ecstasy in movement.

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Before this documentary, Cousins made serious films including “The Story of Film: An Odyssey”, a 15 episode series (available on Netflix!) that is an extended love letter/history lesson about cinema.

This is not a serious documentary, it’s pretty silly. But it’s insightful. It shows you that films can make you see the world differently. It challenges you create and explore things you don’t know about. It celebrates change. One of the final lines asks “If you could turn into something else, what could it be”?

Watch this if you can handle metaphors.

What is This Film Called Love? – Trailer from BerwickFilmFest on Vimeo.

Stay tuned,

Angelica.