Friday, June 21, 2013

Pick O' the Week - June 21

Happy Birthday to my loving father!

This week for your viewing pleasure, I offer the trailer for Bong Joon-ho's (Mother) Korean science fiction thriller Snowpiercer. The film features CineCritical favourite Tilda Swinton! Based on the French graphic novel Le Transperceneige, it tells the story of a futuristic world where life exists solely on a train that travels around the planet.

Perhaps more exciting was the recent release of the trailer for the newest Woody Allen film, Blue Jasmine. Cate Blanchett looks like she is going to offer us quite the wild ride!

I may have only spent a few weeks in the summer of 2009 watching all six seasons (and 86 episodes) of David Chase's The Sopranos, but I was immediately struck by James Gandolfini's presence. It was with a heavy heart that I learned of his death, at age 51. He was visiting Italy to receive and award with his teenage son.

There is also a great article on the death of the movie star era.

In Theatres: Despite a lackluster reception after its premiere at Cannes last month, Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring is still anticipated viewing for me. Based on the non-fiction book The Suspects Wore Louboutins, it tells the true story of a group of teenagers who used social media websites to track celebrities whereabouts in order to rob them.

At Home: In honour of the grand Tony Soprano, I offer one of Gandolfini's grandest performances: Lieutenant General Miller in Armando Iannucci's 2009 comedy In the Loop. I have talked at length about my love of this film, which tells the story of American and British politicians working to either prevent or promote a war in the Middle East. Hilarious and bold, In the Loop inspired Iannucci's current HBO series Veep. It is available on Netflix.

On TV: Inspired by The Sopranos, I offer HBO's under-appreciated series (and personal favourite), The Wire. More sprawling in depth than its award-hoarding brother, Davis Simon's series was also dwarfed by its success and accolades. I find it to be one of the most cohesive and symbolic series to ever air on television. A man's gotta have a code.

Retro Re-watch: I have seen Andrew Niccol's 1997 film Gattaca many times. It is a science fiction thriller starring Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman. It is a futuristic film centering around eugenics and DNA-driven social classism. Vincent (Hawke) was born naturally and he has always been inferior to his genetically enhanced brother. He chooses to impersonate a "valid," which forces him to meticulously groom his body to achieve his dream of entering space. Thurman plays Irene Cassini, a "valid" who becomes close to Vincent.

Have a great weekend!

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