The Dreamy and Erotic Relationship in ‘The Lover’

By Olivia Norwood, Edited by Anthony Peyton

The ‘dreamy’ look is the cinematography that filmmakers such as Sofia Coppola and Bernardo Bertolucci have adopted and incorporated consistently throughout their films. This look is hard to summarize but in a word it would be ‘ethereal’ and usually the central or reoccuring theme of those films is ‘love’ and can be used to capture the feeling of love or falling in love.

These types of films, such as Call Me By Your Name or Her, have been successful in using this but none have ever accomplished it quite like Jean-Jacques Annaud’s 1992 film The Lover.

Set in the beautiful landscape of 1920’s Saigon, Vietnam, a young French girl (Jane March) from a broken, loveless home begins an affair with a wealthy Chinese bachelor (Tony Kai Fai Leung). Separated by class and race, they struggle to find acceptance amongst their families as The Chinaman (yes, that is his name) is arranged to traditionally marry a Chinese woman and The Young Girl’s family mocks the affair and call her a whore for her provocative behavior.

So they spend their days in a “Bachelor’s Suite” in the slums of Vietnam where they are hidden away from the European and Eastern societies.

We see these two worlds meshing together through the cinematography, which Robert Fraisse was nominated for at The 65th Academy Awards in 1993. The French/European elements play out more in the romantic scenes where it gives off a fragility with the lack of contrast while the Asian/Eastern elements appear in moments of stress and during their love scenes where the contrast of the Saigon sunlight reflecting off of their bare bodies and the dark, humid room create intimacy.

Though very different, it accomplished combining these two lovely and rich cultures/influences in a romantic way; which is what the story is about. We know what their love felt like because of the surreal way it was shown to us. We also gather the state of their own relationship and what exactly it meant to them both. In the case of The Chinaman, he was completely enamoured with The Young Girl while she convinced him and herself that she had no real feelings for him and was just using him for his money. No love and commitment, just lust and materialism.

The Young Girl, in the end, is finally able to come to terms with her immense love for The Chinaman and the two go on living apart for the rest of their days.

The darker contrasts are all in her perspective and are used for lustful scenes while the lighter, no contrast look belongs to his perspective where the scenes are more amorous and “rose-colored” than hers. Their relationship knows no middle ground therefore the cinematography knows no middle ground. They both exist individually while somehow remaining in a relationship with each other.

The Lover uncovers the inner journey of accepting love while also giving it. The bond between the two characters is not only sensual but sensitive and goes without saying that it is one of the most visually appealing films and one of the saddest love stories ever told.

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Basement Talk 006: Movie Conspiracies

Welcome back to Basement Talk hosted by Olivia Norwood and Anthony Peyton. In our sixth episode, we will be discussing a variety of movie conspiracies. Some of these include dark industry secrets like Shirley Temple’s childhood and Mark Salling’s pedophilia. Aside from that, we have interesting theories involving the true mastermind of the Scream franchise and who the real chosen one is in the Harry Potter series.

WARNING: Extremely dark subject matter, including pedophilia and sexual aggression.

Episode Length: 32 minutes

Intro & Outro Song: “Funhouse” by John Treash

 

‘Heathers’: F*ck Me Gently With A Chainsaw

By Anthony Peyton, Edited by Olivia Norwood

It’s time for another Time Warp Tuesday, folks! This time we’ve got the brilliance of the 1988 cult classic, Heathers.

That’s right, I’m talking the iconic original teen bitch dark comedy that has influenced more movies than Meryl Streep has acted in. That’s a lot, if you weren’t aware.

Heathers is basically one of the best movies any teen could watch and I highly recommend. It’s absolutely not one of good influence, but it’s a fun one. A movie from the 80s doesn’t get a 96% on Rotten Tomatoes for being “alright”.

First of all, we have the stunning Winona Ryder as Veronica Sawyer and all the talent that that beautiful woman delivers. Following her we have Christian Slater as JD, Veronica’s insane – no, like literally insane – love interest who likes explosives a little more than a person should.

Beyond that we have the beautiful title characters Heather Chandler, Heather McNamara, and Heather Duke played by Kim Walker, Lisanne Falk, and Shannen Doherty, respectively.

One of my favorite parts about this classic other than the unforgettable quotes (check the title real quick because that’s a quote) was the fact that there was not a single weak actor in this cast. They all had talents beyond their ages and their wasn’t anyone I got bored watching.

More than that was the stunning color pallete that this movie crew decided would fit best for the Heathers respective personality – head bitch Heather was red, Duke was green, and McNamara was yellow. The decision to have them visually separated added to the memorable scenes and ability to see a group of friends that were very clearly on different pedestals.

Heathers went on to influence such movies as Mean Girls, Clueless, Jawbreakers, and dozens of others. I don’t blame them, if I were a filmmaker I’d want to follow the footsteps of this cult phenomenon, too.

Aside from all the praise, Heathers unfortunately did not have – just kidding, trying to find reasons to not like this movie is next to impossible. Obviously, I love Heathers. I think it just did so much right and cultivated a culture. Even if nowadays the subject matter is a lot more touchy, Heathers is still appealing to everyone who wants a dark teen girl trope comedy.

‘A Simple Favor’: The Perfect Dark Comedy Thriller

By Olivia Norwood, Edited by Anthony Peyton

Is it a mystery? Is it a comedy? Or is it both? The new Blake Lively film A Simple Favor is more than what it appears to be in the trailers. In all of their promos and previews, the film is sold as a murder mystery with Anna Kendrick being her awkward self. It’s safe to assume that this was where the comedy was going to come from.

But, Kendrick wasn’t the only one contributing to the comedy. Lively, Henry Golding, and other cast members were pretty much funny the entire time which is why I am deeming this a dark comedy.

When single, crafty mom Stephanie (Kendrick) meets the enigmatic Emily (Lively) through a play date, she becomes wrapped up in the drama and mystery of her disappearance. Emily’s character, being brash and self-centered, completely counters cautious Stephanie which makes for an interesting dynamic when Emily uses the words ‘fuck’ regularly in front of her kid and Stephanie feeds her child meatless Swedish meatballs.

Kendrick usually gives us the clumsy girl performance but in this she evolves from it and becomes the cunning Nancy Drew type (because we all know that Nancy Drew deserves more credit).

While Kendrick gave us the brains, Lively gave us the bitch. Not only a bitch, but stone cold and evil bitch. Her character takes what she wants and never apologizes (this was a huge point in the movie). It was reminiscent of her role in Derek Martini’s 2012 film Hick where she played a street smart grifter. These two roles are very different from the same old ones that she’s used to portraying in Gossip Girl, The Age of Adeline, and All I See Is You (characters with no real backbone).

All in all, it was refreshing to see these two actresses portray something a little different from themselves and see that A Simple Favor was able to surprise us all when seeing it for the first time.


My Rating: 93%

Acting: 3.7/4

Cinematography: 3.5/4

Story: 3.7/4

Enjoyability: 4/4

Film Forecast Friday: September 14

No podcast this week for the Film Forecast, but we do got a post for ya! September 14, 2018 has some very interesting movies coming out.

We have…

  1. A Simple Favor
  2. The Predator
  3. Unbroken: Path to Redemption
  4. White Boy Rick
  5. Lizzie

Anthony’s Opinion:

I think this week has some good movies that have been talked about pretty often lately. Specifically The Predator and A Simple Favor. The Predator is a highly anticipated remake/sequel (?) to the classic franchise. Chances are, it’ll make the most at the box office this weekend. This doesn’t mean it’s going to be the best movie, but it will probably make the most money.

A Simple Favor is a movie I’ve been looking forward to for ages now. It’s starring Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively as two very different woman, but it has a very intriguing plotline I’m excited to see pan out. It’ll make the second most at box this week, behind The Predator.

The next three movies (Unbroken: Path to Redemption, White Boy Rick, and Lizzie) won’t make big – if any – impressions at box his weekend. However, I will say I’m incredibly excited for White Boy Rick, as it looks like it has potential to be a good movie. Lizzie is starring Chloe Sevigny and Kristen Stewart and tells yet another story of the infamous Lizzie Borden.

Olivia’s Opinion:

Listen. The Predator looks like crap. Will it stop people from seeing it? Unfortunately, no. I want it to tank but it won’t so that is the reality that we (mostly me) are living through.

The new Blake Lively film A Simple Favor is one film that I am excited to see. With costars such as Anna Kendrick and Henry Golding, I expect a huge turnout for this sexy mystery and I expect to see Henry Golding shirtless again. So, that’s a big thumbs up from me.

As for the lesbian drama that no one expected Lizzie, I think this might garner a lot of attention from the indie following. It stars Chloe Sevigny and Kristen Stewart and maybe their acting will finally be seen as serious with this new thriller after their past few unnoticed films.

As for Matthew McConaughey’s White Boy Rick (which reminds me a lot of Johnny Depp’s Blow), I think this will be a box office hit. Not necessarily as big as other films like A Simple Favor or The Predator. More on the box office status of other 2018 films like BlacKkKlansman or Eighth Grade. 

Overall, The Predator is taking home big money this weekend. Big money from a big YIKES movie. Let’s go shirtless Henry Golding for A Simple Favor!

Surviving ‘Apocalypse’: Top Ten ‘American Horror Story: Murder House’ and ‘Coven’ Characters

American Horror Story: Apocalypse only aired last night and it’s setting us all on edge. Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk are obviously going back to their roots with this sinister, almost comical representation of the apocalypse. While we endure the agonizing wait until next Wednesday, we’ve put together a list of the top 10 Murder House and Coven characters.

Moira American Horror Story

10. Moira

Murder House‘s Moira made #10 on this list for being such an anchor point of her season. I can’t imagine Murder House without picturing Young Moira being murdered by the beloved Constance, or without picturing Ben seeing Young Moira in several, uh, compromising positions. Beyond that, what would season 1 have been in Frances Conroy’s Moira wasn’t bonding over Vivien and protecting the house from all evil – in or outside the boundaries.

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9. Vivien

Vivien was another anchor of the first season of American Horror Story. Granted, she was also the one with the most issues. I mean, she *SPOILER* (but if you haven’t seen Murder House, then get to it) gave birth to the damn antichrist and was raped by an angry spirit. Now THAT’S some emotional baggage. Vivien was someone who I loved watching on screen, no matter what storyline she was stuck in. I’m serious, the number of happy moments that woman has is, like, zero.

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8. Zoe

Seeing Taissa Farmiga for the first time since Murder House was absolutely life-changing the first time I saw her as Zoe. Zoe Benson was one of the several coven witches from Coven that we very quickly came to love. She was a powerful witch, even if she didn’t always look it at times. We loved watching her bond with the rest of the coven and her franken-boyfriend Kyle. Zoe proved to be a kindred soul that only wants the best for her coven and the people who care most about her. Who cares if that means having several threesomes with a boyfriend stealing b*tch?

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7. Marie

Based on the real life “Voodoo Queen of New Orleans”, Marie Laveau added a touch of history to the third installment, Coven, as well as a new fanbase for the legend. Portrayed by Angela Bassett, we introduced to a new story and a new persona that many in New Orleans would question if it weren’t done so eloquently. Not only is Marie the Queen of Voodoo but she’s also an immortal bad bitch hair stylist who got reparations by giving her racist enemy, Delphine, an immortal life- in a coffin below the city of New Orleans. She gets revenge in the sweetest way and never gives pity apologies to the ones she’s hurt (let’s be honest, they probably deserve it). A Queen in her own right.

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6. Constance

Constance from Murder House snagged the #6 on the list for proving that as long as you’re confident enough, you don’t need to be scared of no ghost. Although most of her children are suffering very severe consequences for their actions, Constance remains strong. She has moments of fragility, which are usually cleared up pretty fast by medium Billie Dean Howard and her spiritual guidance. She is the mother of Tate and knows about every single spirit in Murder House. Even with this overwhelming knowledge, she survives and remain the one that all the spirits are scared of. Mess with her and you’ll suffer the same consequences as those before.

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5. Cordelia

This whole paragraph is about to be spoilers, so avoid reading this one unless you’ve watched the almighty season of Coven. When we meet Cordelia, she is quite fragile while being one of the strongest witches in the coven. She’s a mentor and a guide, and keeps her calm at all times. She literally blinds herself just because she cares more about the coven than she cares about herself, just to find out she’s a little more powerful than she imagined. When I think about the fact that this queen is about to be in Apocalypse, I internally scream. Cordelia is a witch of power and a witch of ultimate love and gratification, the supreme anchor of the coven. Screw top 10 of Murder House and Coven, she’s in the top ten of all time.

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4. Violet

What would Murder House be if Violet, the moody teenager, wasn’t there to fall in and out of love with the ghost of a mass murderer? Well, we would have to find a love story in Ben and Vivien because Violet and Tate were the original OTP (one true pairing) of American Horror Story. Not only is Violet lovestruck but she’s also the slightly gothic character in all of us. As a teenaged viewer, you could relate to Violet’s inner struggles which included depression and thoughts of suicide. She’s goes through all of the things that teenagers go through with the added bonus of living in a haunted house inhabiting ghosts that want you dead like them while your parents are on the verge of divorce. Despite her unfortunate ending, I think we can all give Violet a medal for putting up with that much trauma and drama at 16 years old.

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3. Misty

The Swamp Witch who’s a mega-fan of the infamous White Witch Stevie Nicks. Misty is second to Cordelia as the sweetest and most morally disciplined character in Coven. This is due to the fact that her special power is bringing people and animals back to life. She has a love and appreciation for life and nature that can sometimes get in the way of her progression in magic but, she’d rather die before killing another living things. Which is admirable and melancholic at the same time. Aside from having an interesting hippie style, Misty is one of those characters that we love for her heart and not just her icon status.

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2. Tate

Look, people have very mixed opinions about Tate. Let me get this out of the way right now and say that I definitely think Tate is an awful person. It’s not a debate whether or not he was a good person when he shot up a school, but from a character standpoint, he’s splendid. So splendid, in fact, that he made #2 on this list. Tate Langdon is a classic American Horror Story character for all sorts of reasons. First of all, him and Violet’s relationship was one of the first couples in the series that I actually wanted to happen. Even if they do seem slightly – very – toxic. They were still cute. There were also times in season 1 where you really just felt for Tate. The times when he forgot he was a mass shooter and a total serial killer and just surfaced the fragile loving side of himself. If you want to push it even further, his son just so happens to be one of the main characters of Apocalypse

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1. Fiona

All hail the Supreme. Don’t disrespect her, don’t try to dismiss her, only love her with your entire being. If you don’t, she will gladly kill you and destroy your body. Fiona Goode is the definition of iconic. She has some of the MOST quotable lines in the series and some of the most memorable moments. Most people, if they were given the honor of becoming the Supreme, would end up just like Fiona. She cared purely for herself, not for anyone else. So much so that she actually did end up killing someone out of fear that she was being run out. She barely cared about her daughter, but occasionally you would see that side poke through. She absolutely never gave up on anything, not until her dying breath. She became the queen of AHS, and even in a world of amazing Jessica Lange characters, Fiona Goode remains at the top of the list. Power is a dream that most can never receive, but Fiona Goode remains the baddest witch in town.

Basement Talk 005: The Magical Impact of Harry Potter

For the 5th episode of Basement Talk, hosts Anthony and Olivia (and guest Julia) fangirl over Harry Potter, their favorite characters, books/movies, and the impact it had on an entire generation.

Episode Length: 37 minutes

Intro & Outro Song: “funhouse” by John Treash