It is time to test your film knowledge with the June edition of I Have Scene It Before. Last month 15 of the 21 films were identified. The six films that stumped people were Detroit 9000 (#6), Running Scared (#8), Capturing the Friedmans (#10), Barfly (#14), Tokyo Story (#16) and Ginger Snaps (#18). Here is this month’s selection of film scenes. How many can you identify?
Monday, June 17, 2013
There are some stories that will always stick with us. Tales told to us when we were young that we will in turn pass on to our children. Though certain details will no doubt change, or extra emphasis added at particular points, the overall heart of the story will remain the same. No matter how many times we have either told or heard the story, we can still be blown away when presented with a new interpretation that causes us to ponder why no one thought to do this before.
Pablo Berger achieves such a feat with his stunning and inspired film Blancanieves. A modern silent film that feels perfectly at home with the classics of the medium, Blancanieves is a treat from a visual and storytelling standpoint. Berger creates a truly magical cinematic experience by offering a new take on The Brothers Grimm famous Snow White fairy tale. The film is no children’s tale mind you. Berger takes great pleasure in slipping adult themes, such as sadomasochism and adultery, into his film. There is a giddiness to Berger’s playful approach throughout the film that is simply infectious.
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Moving with speed, grace, and precision they work through each round in hopes of knocking out their competition. The pressure nears its boiling point as the judges take note of each jab and the zealous crowd cheers for their favourite combatant. The two individuals in the ring have spent hours rigorously training for this exact moment. Each one aware that one mistake could cost them the match. The fire in their eyes is a mixture of confidence and hunger as they know their time in the square ring, while brief, could make them legends. While the chance at nabbing the title would be nice, leaving a legacy is the ultimate goal.
Though this may sound like a recount of a Pay-Per-View boxing match featuring Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, it is actually a fight of a different sort. This is the world of B-boying, a style of street dancing that was commonly referred to as “breakdancing” or “breaking” in the 70s and 80s. Considered to be one of the four key elements to hip hop, along with the MC, the DJ and the Graffiti artist, B-boying has evolved into an art form that, thanks to Youtube, youth worldwide participate in. It is not only a way to express and showcase dance abilities, but also a non-violent tool to settle disputes (a.k.a.“beefs”).
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
It is this personal soundtrack that we subconsciously create that is at the heart of Courtney James’ film The Global Groove Network. The film examines the rise of dance music from its early disco roots in the 70s all the way to the mainstream success that it receives today. The Global Groove Network consists of three facets that work together in unison: the promoters, the party goers, and most importantly the DJs. As electronic music and the dance culture evolves and grows in popularity, a new form of celebrity is born. The architects behind the unique and captivating sound, the DJs, have become household names.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Such is the dilemma that aspiring filmmaker Tom Berninger found himself in. Tom's brother just so happens to be Matt Berninger, the lead singer of The National. Considered one of the hottest indie rock bands working today, The National have amassed quite a following in the past ten years. Routinely playing sold out shows to crowds of thousands, and having the likes of Emily Blunt, Will Arnett and Werner Herzog amongst their fans, The National star status continues to grow. Matt's growing success is in stark contrast to Tom’s whose own career rather stagnant.
Monday, June 10, 2013
There is also a cultural relevance that comedians must also take into account when performing. While there are basic human traits that we all subscribe to, there are many things that only specific groups will identify with. For example, a joke about a mayor’s alleged drug use will play far better in Toronto than parts of the Middle East. However, this is not to say that comedians will back away from attempting these jokes regardless. In fact most see it as a challenge. As the quote from legendary comedian George Carlin, referenced at the beginning of Igal Hecht’s documentary A Universal Language, states “it’s the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately.” If there is one thing to be said about the comedians featured in Hecht’s film, it is that they bravely cross that line on numerous occasions.