Tuesday, March 18, 2008

About Madrid in holidays

Madrid is the city I was born and where I actually live and work. Madrid is a city of about 5 million people. Ok, may be it is not very big, but it is very crowd and everybody are running from one place to the other all the time. I never realize how fast that is my life until I am on holidays.

For me the best time of the day is breakfast, these relaxing 10 minutes where everything is silent. Once I leave home, I have to run everywhere I go. If I go by car, there is always a traffic-jam, if I decide to take the subway I run as fast I can to catch the next, although I know that if I lose it, the next subway will arrive in the next 2 minutes. These 2 minutes are as a lifetime. I said to myself, ohh shit!, 2 minutes what I am going to do in all this time!! This is a waste of time!! I know it is crazy but you just do not realize.
Sometimes when I return home from work I can not remember all the things I have done during the day.
I don't thing I am special, it is just the city.

For this reason, when I am on holidays I love my city. Madrid is wonderful without hurry.
This week is 'Semana santa', a religius holidays in spain, so madrid is empty, I love when this happen. You can go to cinemas, cafes or just to walk without a lot of people around you.
For example today I took my bike, and I have enjoyed a really nice walk.

So if you want to visit my city I recommend you to come in August, there is not as hot as in July, and there 40% less of population.
Enjoy it!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Death Proof

Some people asked me if I really liked ‘death proof’. I have to think for a while. Fuck!, YES!, just for the second part, but yes, it is increible!!

Death proof is the second film of 'Grindhouse', a project created by Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino. The idea was inspired in the double season, very popular in the 70’s and 80’s. Two films for the price of one. But in Europe this, didn't work. Why to sell one film if you earn twice selling 2 films? $$$$$

Anyway, my brother gave 'death proof' special edition to me. I went to the cinema with him 4 or 5 months ago and I really enjoyed the movie. Seriously. Although we watched it in spanish. Yes, that was the worse part.
But, we were there and it was like, is she(Zoë Bell) really over the hood of the car? Why I am seeing her face all the fucking time? Where is the stuntwoman? These 15 minutes of the film are really exicting. Yes, I really love this part.

The first story, it is a bit silly. 3 women, just talking about guys, sometimes funny, the majority of the times a little bored, because you are waiting for the action once you see Kurt Russell. So you are saying, come on girls, get out of the bar, someone wants to kill all of you... :-)

About the second story. Here, it is a lesson of how to write a script. It is very functional, sometimes too much. You know the film is built around the scene of the car. So Tarantino don't forget any of the elements he needs for that scene. The 3 women are apparently just talking, but from that conversations we know that Zoë is from New Zealand, she wants to test a car and she is the best stuntwoman you ever met. We know too that Kim is another stuntwoman who drive as you never seen before and has a gun. With all of this and a killer that use his car as a weapon, we have built the scene. Easy, or what?

Now let's talk about 'the scene'. Oh god!!!!!!!!! It is increible!!!! Another lesson of how to make an action scene without having the camera out of focus all the time.
Once you know Zoë Bell is a stuntwoman, you realize that Tarantino could work with complete freedom. Yes, but when the car goes 60 km/h, sorry Quentin I don't think the car go faster, how Zoë can keep herself on the hood of the car?,... just with the strength of her arms? too strong or what?... you know there is no place for a cable because the car is in movement.... I really need to know how they did this... oh god!!!!!

I can talk more about 'the scene', but more than one hundred of grammar mistakes per text is enough. So I will finish writing one of my favorite conversations of the film after the 'I'm ok' of Zoë.

Enjoy this!

- Stuntman Mike: Well, Pam, which way you going, left or right?
- Pam: Right
- S. Mike: That' too bad
- Pam: Why?
- S.Mike: it was 50/50 shot on whether you'd be going left or right. You see, we're both going left. You could have just as easily going left too, and if that was the case, it would have been awhile before you started getting scared. But since you're going the other way, I'm afraid you're gonna have to start getting scared immediately.

YES, this time I watched the film in english. :-) cheers!!!


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Vantage Point

Yesterday I watched 'Vantage point' at the cinema. It was my stupid idea of the day. I really wanted to watch the movie but I knew I probably get angry about how US producers and scripts think of spain and spanish people. Let's start!
The president of the united states is shot during a conference about terrorism in Salamanca, Spain.
Dennis Quaid and Mathew Fox are the bodyguards, Eduardo Noriega is the spanish policeman, Forest Whitaker is the lucky fool US tourist and Sigourney Weaver has a little role, but it is always a pleasure to see her in the big screen.
When I saw all these spanish flags in the major square of Salamanca I thought 'ohhh, damm', we usually are not very proud of our flag, so it is a bit strange. But if you can forget all these people with their flags, you can concentrate in the movie. There is action, but nothing new since 'The Bourne Ultimatum'. I liked the idea of a multiple point of view, nothing new again, but the fifth time you see the clock you wants to kill someone.
When the action is outside of the square I was again outside of the movie asking myself how similar is Salamanca to anywhere in Mexico or how many moroccan neighborhoods are in Salamanca.
This reminds me to 'Mission impossible 2', when John Woo decided to change our 'fiestas' of cities. Although I loved the scene of flamenco dancers at slow camera, but this is another tale.

So, if you want to see the movie, you are going to see good performances except for Forest Whitaker, probably because of the role, and a typical action movie in Mexico, sorry in Spain.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

El Mariachi

"The movie made for $7,000". That is how Columbia picture promoted Robert Rodriguez first movie. El Mariachi, originally made for the spanish home-video market, was the first movie filmed in spanish in US. Yes, it is a very low-budget movie, but if you want to enjoy the film you must forget that in both ways. For those people who are thinking how it is possible to make a film just with $7,000 and for those who are waiting for expensive FX scenes and an acceptable photography. After this, you are ready to watch the movie.
El Mariachi is an action movie that surprise you first time you see it. The story is very simple. A good guy in a bad place with bad guys that mistake him for the criminal they are hunting. And, of course there is a woman. El mariachi falls in love with her, a good girl but connected with this criminal circle. Ok, may be it is not the most original script but what I really enjoyed were the shots, the changes of rithmic, the use of fast and slow camera during the film. To sum up the idea of being in a world where Robert Rodriguez show you how easy it is to be caught in his nets. And all of this with a little smile in his face, like saying 'hey I did it!'

If you have the dvd do not forget the special features, the movie commented by Robert Rodriguez. He talk step by step how he made the film. It is really interesting. The first thing he said is 'you know this logo(Columbia's logo) probably cost more than my whole movie. Hello, my name is Robert Rodriguez'... Enjoy it!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

The cinema according to Hitchcock

This is one of my favorite books about the films of the english director, Alfred Hitchcock. The writer, the french director, François Truffaut.
Truffaut was in US in 1962 with the promotion of his movie 'Jules et Jim' and he was asked about why the french critics of 'Cashier du cinema' like hitchcock movies. Truffaut got angry with the journalists and he answered them, Hitchcock made cinema as I knew cinema.
Two years later, Truffaut decided to write a book with conversations with Hitchcock about his own movies. The book is more than a guide about the filmography of Hitchcock, is a gift, is something that you can't miss. Every film that Hitch directed during his entire life are on the book commented by the director and by Truffaut. If you ever had any doubt or question of what Hitch thinks about his movies, or you just wants to know more about him, this is your book.
Enjoy it!