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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Film Forecast Friday: September 21

Welcome back to another Film Forecast episode of Basement Talk with your hosts Olivia Norwood and Anthony Peyton. This week we talk about all kinds of things, including new music being released (From artists Lana Del Rey and the collaboration between X and Lil Peep), new movies (who will take home the most money this week), and movies in the news, where we talk about what’s new in the industry.

Episode Length: 23 Minutes

Intro & Outro Song: “Funhouse” by John Treash

TV Talk: Who Will Be Final 3 in Big Brother 20 ?

By Olivia Norwood, Edited by Anthony Peyton

In honor of final 3 being solidified after tonight’s live eviction, we’ll be discussing our thoughts on Big Brother 20 nearing the finale night on Wednesday.

Our second TV Talk, was about my own thoughts on the beginning of the season and the show all together as it was my first time watching it. I had listed my top 5 favorite houseguests and as crazy as it is, those people became final 5. Sam, Tyler, JC, Kaycee, and Angela. My thoughts, of course, have changed on certain houseguests but, nonetheless they made it to final 5. So they must have done something right.

As fate would have it, Sam was evicted last night with JC winning his first HOH (Head of Household). This left the Level 6 alliance (Tyler, Kaycee, and Angela) fighting for their chance to stay. JC made his nominations for eviction with Angela and Kaycee on the block. Being the Comp Beast that Kaycee is, she won the Power of Veto to take herself off of the block, putting up Tyler next to Angela. Kaycee joins alumni Janelle, Dani, and Paul in winning the most consecutive vetoes with 5 wins.

Tonight, the budding showmance “Tangela” will be sitting side-by-side on the chopping block. Who will be making their way to the jury house? Will Angela or Tyler face the wrath of “The Hive/FOUTE”? Let’s make a prediction: Kaycee is in a final 2 with Tyler but there is a chance that she could pick Angela to stay because of the irrational fear that she couldn’t win against the Puppetmaster. Either way, the showmance has done nothing to maintain good graces with the jury.

Either way, Kaycee will be the winner of Big Brother 20.

Onto something non-houseguest related. On the Thursday, September 13th live eviction, Julie Chen made the shocking statement of ending the show with “Outside of the Big Brother house, I’m Julie Chen Moonves”. What made this so scandalous was ‘Moonves’ as it is her husband Les’, the former CEO of CBS, last name. This was done intentionally as her husband recently resigned from his position after the reporting of four allegations of sexual harassment. Using her married name was a small, yet impactful defiance against CBS and Chen has already resigned from her spot on ‘The Talk’. Whether or not Chen will continue her career on Big Brother is still unanswered but, she will likely be leaving.

This may be Julie Chen’s last season, but this will not be the last of Big Brother. With the speculation of next season being the second ‘All Stars’ season, I am confident that BBUS will be back next summer for another 90 days of backdoors, betrayals, and blindsides.

‘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.

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!

‘The Room’: The Best Worst Movie Ever

By Julia Wilson, Edited by Therese Gardner

The Room is infamous for many reasons. Its strange origins, how absolutely terrible it is, and the cult following it has developed.

The man, the myth, the legend, Tommy Wiseau, wrote, directed, and starred in this film. Even those closest to him are unsure how he got the money to make this film which cost roughly $6 million to make which, if you’ve seen it, is quite hard to believe.

But Wiseau’s money isn’t the only thing that’s mysterious about him. For the longest time no one knew exactly how old he was, but after a quick internet search it seems we may have finally settled on 63. People also aren’t sure exactly where he’s from as he used to claim he was from New Orleans, but his accent told a different story.

The mystique surrounding Wiseau and The Room was a large contributor to its cult following. However, that isn’t the only factor. It also helps that it’s so bad that it makes you actually want to watch it. While most bad movies make you want to turn them off, The Room somehow has you coming back for more.

Although not very popular at the time of its release in 2003, it has now grown to cult status with regular midnight showings across the country that Wiseau himself will often show up to and sign stuff for fans.

The intrigue surrounding this film even sparked a movie, The Disaster Artist, which stars James Franco and is based off the book by Greg Sestero who co-starred in The Room. The Disaster Artist gives a detailed look into how this strange film came to be.

All in all, The Room definitely made an impression on the film community. It’s hard to pinpoint what about it makes it so watchable despite how bad it is, but to be so widely talked about 15 years after its release is quite impressive for any movie. Especially for one known as the worst movie ever made.

 

‘BlacKkKlansman’ Is The Wake Up Call We Need

By Julia Wilson, Edited by Anthony Peyton

BlacKkKlansman tells the true story of Ron Stallworth (John David Washington), the first African American to serve in the Colorado Springs Police Department. Shortly after joining the department, Stallworth decides to go undercover and infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan.

While Stallworth connects with the KKK members over the phone, white police officer Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver) interacts with them in person. Together they are able to gather valuable intel on the KKK and anticipate some of their attacks.

This movie does an excellent job at showing the ugly truth of the hate that is just as present in America today as it was in the early 70’s when this story took place. It makes you uncomfortable and angry, especially with all its reminders that this kind of hate is still heavily prevalent today.

The film definitely does not shy away from its fair share of references to Trump. One such reference is when the Grand Wizard of the KKK, David Duke (Topher Grace), says to Stallworth that we need someone in office who will help America achieve greatness again.

Being produced by the same team that made Get Out, I had high expectations for this film and I was not disappointed. Everything about it was superb and aided its message.

I was especially impressed by the acting in this film. These were all very heavy roles to play considering not only the fact that it was based on a true story, but also that the story surrounds such sensitive subject matter. But every single person in this film was brilliant, and you know they were doing a good job based on the fact that the film was so hard to watch at times.

Overall, BlacKkKlansman forces you to see the hate and racism that lies within America. It even ends by showing clips of the violent protests that took place in Charlottesville, VA exactly one year ago, killing 3 people and injuring many others. It also shows clips of Trump, and clips of the real David Duke still doing hateful talks to this day. These serve to remind us that even though the story the film tells took place in the early 70’s, it is just as relevant today as it was then.


My Rating: 91%

Acting: 3.7/4

Cinematography: 3.6/4

Story: 3.8/4

Enjoyability: 3.5/4