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12/5/16

'Nocturnal Animals' by Tom Ford

(Spoilers)
Tom Ford is back with his second long feature proving that his success with his directorial debut with the exquisite 'A Single Man' was not a one time thing. In fact, he has made a more risky, over the edge movie, so he's becoming a director with an interesting career to follow.

If in his stellar debut Ford explored the solitude and despair of a man who lost his lover and we witness precisely that during one apparently normal but crucial day, in 'Nocturnal Animals' he goes a bit deeper than that. Not that 'A Single Man' is not loaded with emotions, because truly it is, but the cut goes way deeper in his sophomore film.

Starring Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal, it follows the story of lost lovers Tony and Susan and how their decisions in life come back in the shape of a book to haunt them, especially to Susan as Tony writes the novel. This is a movie about heartbreak, about regrets and revenge, mostly that, or at least that's what i got out of it. The story is completely driven by revenge from Tony's part, and sending his book to his ex-wife is like a proof that he's not as sensible as he was with her, which at first was what she liked about him only to despise it at the end. She's both a contradiction and the most absurd cliche, as she comes from a really well established family and she doesn't want to end up like her mother, but she exactly ends up like her, like he told her it would happen. The ending scene is a clear example of Tony's intentions of revenge: standing her up at a restaurant, waiting for him to appear which he never does, as the ultimate step for his vendetta.

When it comes to the parallel story of the film, the one he writes in the novel, i can't really tell what i got out of it. At first it seems that he's narrating something that happened to them when they were together but turns out it's completely fiction, or maybe not, but i'm still figuring that out. I guess the violence and cruelty that he depicts in the story is like him showing to her that he can write about something that hasn't happened to him and that his sensible side is nowhere to be found there. Like he's proving himself to her, after all these years, after all the pain she has caused to him. And that's why i really think all this is driven by revenge.

'Nocturnal Animals' is really a dark and sordid ride, from the credits with all those obese women dancing nude, which is controversial and provocative, all in the sake of "art". That might be a contrast between the own director's designer's world and his career in directing, as he gets the most frivolous part with his career as a designer - and that fits Susan's world in the art gallery, and then there's the most visceral, emotional part that he delivers with his role as a director, which completely falls into Tony's part with his novel. Either way, the movie is really interesting to watch, a dark twisted thriller that goes deep in the characters and the story really gets to you. I personally liked 'A Single Man' better but 'Nocturnal Animals' is not way behind. But i'm completely following Tom Ford's career in the film industry. His career in fashion i can't afford.



12/1/16

Black Mirror (3x01) Nosedive

Ever since last week i started binge-watching the hell out of 'Black Mirror' because you all were drooling about this show, especially after that 'San Junipero' ep that i haven't seen yet, but last night i watched 'Nosedive' and wow.

I remember that when it was aired there was many buzz about it, and as i saw some stills with Bryce Dallas Howard i knew it was this ep when it started but i did not expect what was coming out of this episode. Of course, after watching the first two seasons of the British show i can tell ahead watching a new episode that it's going to be a mess, referring that all stories go wrong in such a detrimental way, but this one has been particularly tough, because in a way it's so much like reality. Just like all the other eps, it depicts a close future where technology really overwhelms us, which i think is already happening through social media, but in the future we see on 'Black Mirror', everything is on the edge.

Directed by the brilliant Joe Wright, the story seems taken straight out of 'The Perfect Housewives Club' but with social media heavily involved, and it actually fits so much our reality nowadays where we are thriving for likes on instagram or nice comments on facebook that it's scary when you see it that way. I, personally, invest a lot on instagram sometimes and that can get to the point of not being fun when a photo is not appreciated enough, but i don't let that change my mood. But it could, and i'm sure it does to some people. That's what i sort of like about 'Black Mirror' even though it's always depressing, that it's a tough picture of what the future might look like soon enough.

Anyway, as i finish this third season i just wanted to reflect on what has been so far, my favorite episode to date. Of course i will comment on them all once i do but in the meantime, check out my pal's Un marino en la orilla blog (in Spanish) about another episode that i also liked a lot, the Christmas special at the end of season 2. But as always, check out some pretty stills of this very bittersweet story below and don't forget to rate me!


sources: krulemoon & seafrothty

11/28/16

The Young Pope Soundtrack

As you can see i'm infatuated with 'The Young Pope' ever since i watched it last week and apart from the amazing photography, the locations, the acting of superb actors and the brilliant direction, the soundtrack really stands out. Obviously there are many instrumental songs meant for a mass, but there are many others that i have discovered and fell in love with. Besides the 'Sexy and I know it' song by LMFAO that hilariously appears in a scene, the rest are quite great so below i'm posting my faves. There are some that are Italian and it's so gorgeous to sing in Italian when you nearly understand everything, it's such a beautiful language.

Enjoy and discover some amazing tracks below that really created amazing music moments and listen to the complete soundtrack here.

Nada - Senza un Perché
This is, as i've already mentioned before, everyone's favorite on the show. And how not, the song is really catchy, the lyrics are somehow sad but it has something really nice about it that i love to sing along. I've added the actual scene where it appears at the end of episode 4 because it's such a nice ending. One of those iconic music moments that Paolo Sorrentino effortlessly creates.

Lotte Kestner - Halo
This song is obviously a cover of the stunning Beyonce ballad, but somehow this version is so beautiful and so heartfelt. You can hear it during one of my fave scenes on the show, when the Pope gives his amazing speech in Africa that i added in the review post, and it's simply such an amazing scene where the song fits perfectly.

Flume feat. Kai - Never Be Like You
And this is the other fave song from mine from the other speech that i posted in the review post, with a scene that melts your heart with every "My love" that Jude Law says. The song is equally great and gives you hope, as the words the young Pope says along in the most beautiful scene of the show.

Levo - Recondite
This instrumental tune plays along the majority of the series' episodes and it's really catchy and cool. It served somehow to conduct many of the scenes in the first half of the season and it can't be listened without thinking about it.

Antonello Venditti - Non Ci Sono Anime
This is another of the soundtrack's Italian songs that i just love to sing out loud. Also, the song is so powerful that i had to add it here.

Devlin - Watchower (instrumental)
And finally how not to add here the song used as a theme song for the show? Not only is a powerful track but serves to get a taste of what's coming, something good, unseen before and revolutionary as the pope himself. Brilliant opening.

There are a bunch of other great songs in the OST like 'Kissing Disease' by Melodium, 'Logan's Loop' by Andrew Bird or Post Pines' 'Simma', along with other more well known songs from Jefferson Airplane or Belle & Sebastian, so give this soundtrack a listen because it's so worth it, like the show.

sources: youtube

11/25/16

The Young Pope by Paolo Sorrentino

(Holy spoilers)
What a marvelous thing Paolo Sorrentino has created with this series, what an absolute work of art. I have to admit that without barely knowing anything from this show –the director was reason enough for me– i expected something totally different. I thought this was going to be a super scandalous series about a corrupt pope and that he would do anything he wanted when it came to women, habits and everything (even though Jude Law's pope smokes) but i was totally wrong and that's the beauty of it, because there's so much more than a simple story of a pope that doesn't follow the established rules of the Church.

For a starter, you don't get to understand the reasons behind Pius XIII's decisions (extraordinarily played by Jude Law). You just don't comprehend his motives, his rebellious attitude and his even mean words to some. It's only when the story goes on and develops that this new pope starts making sense to you. It's like he has ten thousand layers we have to get rid of before getting to the core of it, and even the character gets surprised by himself. It's a beautiful epiphany we witness and that's what makes the the series so great.

With the figure of the pope, or of Lenny,  his real name, we have to take into account that he's a burdened man. He takes the job of being the Holy Father not entirely sure of his beliefs and having a past that haunts him. His biggest weakness is the fact of being an orphan that lost his childhood when he was abandoned by his parents and taken under custody by sister Mary (Diane Keaton). The doubts of why he was rejected by his parents it's something that we see him struggle throughout the whole series. It's only when he decides to face the reality of being denied by his parents that he will finally become an adult and will be able to embrace God and himself, in the precious final scene of the last episode.

Because if there's something that stands out of 'The Young Pope' is the depth of the portrait of Lenny and the beauty of his reflections and speeches. That is what won me over with the show. Sorrentino not only turns to flashbacks of Lennys's childhood to understand him better but also of his dreams and visions that in part torture him. But those oniric images we see helps us to create a bond with a character that we don't like that much at first (or at least i didn't quite much) but through the episodes we get to like more and more.

And what about the beauty of his reflections and speeches? There are two that really stand out for me, the one he gives in Africa about kids and war and the one from his lost love letters that really touched me, especially because Sorrentino creates magic moments with those astonishing words but also with the music used during those two scenes ('Halo' from Lotte Kestner in the first one and 'Never Be Like You' from Flume in the second) which really make you feel everything he's saying as the owner of the absolute truth. Of course there are funny scenes like the one of the Pope getting dressed to LMFAO's 'Sexy and I Know It' but the use of music is really on point. I have to mention Nada's song 'Senza un perchè' as it has become everyone's favorite but practically the whole soundtrack (even though it has a lot of instrumental music) is fantastic.

And when it comes to the other cast apart from the pope, we really encounter a brilliant essemble. From Diane Keaton who's always graceful, to Javier Cámara playing Gutierrez as usual in an excellent way. We also find some others unknown to me like Silvio Orlando who plays Voiello and embodies both a mischievous and a funny character with his passion about footbal and also James Cromwell as the tortured mentor who never became pope or Scott Shepherd as Lenny's orphan pal Dussolier that also stand out.

Even though the subject of the series was not really attractive to me as i'm not really a religious person, this show has really surprised me in such a nice and beautiful way that overwhelms me. Having only watched Sorrentino's last two movies that i absolutely adored ('La Grande Bellezza' and 'Youth') i knew the show was going to be at least interesting but not this great. Being more a spiritual person and finding religions interesting, the series has really won me over in that aspect, as it talks about life and love and faith. And the portray that Jude Law makes is something memorable and probably the performance of his career. I couldn't recommend this show more as it's one of the best ones of the year. And it will have a second season, thank God.

Admire some of the most beautiful stills of the show after the cut, and also the two speeches that i liked most, because they're worth reading and remembering those two scenes have been my favourite part. Image heavy after the cut!

11/24/16

Spice Girls GEM

Spice Girls are back! Well not really. It turns out that since this last July Geri Halliwell, Emma Bunton and Melanie Brown reunited for a spinoff of the band and little did i know about this. They're moving on without band members Melanie Chrisholm and Victoria Beckham because these two don't really need it, Mel C is the Spice Girl with a more solid solo career and Victoria is busy with her fashion industry so why going back. Funnily enough, these two were my fave Spice Girls but i'd rather see them doing their own stuff like they do.

Anyway, their new band is called GEM (after their initials) and their first song has already leaked and it's 'Song for Her', which is an ok track, nothing too catchy and it's not bad, but they're miles away from their original success. Still, i'm going to keep an eye on these three and see what they make because of reasons. I was a huge Spice Girls fan back in the day and i think they could do something nice. In the meantime listen to 'Song for Her' and i just realized that i hadn't done a Top 10 Favourite Spice Girls songs post, so that's coming soon.


sources: aprilsfools & youtube

11/23/16

'Girls HBO' Season 6 Trailer

February 12 marks the beginning of the end for 'Girls' as its final season premieres and it's going to be sooo sad. I can't even begin to process that we're going to live without the stories of Hannah, Marnie, Jessa and Shoshanna and will kiss them farewell this next year. But at the same time i think it's necessary for it to end on a high note, of course we could get a few more seasons but if Lena Dunham is sure to end it after season 6, we know it's because she doesn't want to ruin the show by making it last longer than it should.

In the trailer we don't see much of what's going to happen, we sure see that Jessa and Adam seem to be together after the huge argument they had at the end of season 5 and that's pretty much it, but i like to get surprised so i don't need to know any more details.

So, get ready for this show to end but one thing i know for sure it's that it's going to have a great finale, as the whole show has been and as it has already had fantastic season finales. After all, this is "their last chance to get it almost right."

11/18/16

American Horror Story: Roanoke


(Spoilers!!!)
What a ride this season of 'American Horror Story: Roanoke' has been, what a ride! I really didn't expect much from the show after bailing out on the previous season (as i posted, i recently watched 'Hotel' and it wasn't bad at all), so my expectations were kinda low but damn, i got surprised. And it might be one of the best AHS seasons to date so let's start from the beginning because there's a lot to discuss.

At first, i think everyone got really confused by those first minutes of the show. Like we saw one actor doing the action and another one narrating but when you got the whole thing it was interesting. I have to admit that the first half of the season, where we see the first season of the 'My Roanoke Nightmare' was ok, sure the tale of the events of Matt and Shelby got my attention but i was not that intrigued. But when the show took a turn and for the second season we saw the whole process of the production turning the second season into kind of a reality show mixing both actors of the reenactment and the real life survivors, that was amazing. Because the show turned into a mix of AHS' 'Murder House', 'UnReal' and 'The Blair Witch Project' and that mixture made everything so damn good and so intriguing this time. And also because we got to see more of the actors that were only narrating the whole thing doing some action, like Adina Porter, who was already amazing on 'True Blood' and it would had been a shame only to see her just telling the tale of Roanoke. And sure we got to see more of her, she kinda turned into the star of the show during that second half. As it was great to see the other actors who played Shelby, Matt and Lee of the docu-series appear as the actors themselves alongside the real people who they portrayed. Like a meta meta show. And we even got a crossover with the finale bringing back Lana Winters, the Briarcliff survivor from season 2's 'Asylum' and i love when director Ryan Murphy gives us that. Because in the end Sarah Paulson played Shelby on the show, then she played actress Audrey Tindall and finally iconic journalist Lana Winters and that was superb. Because Murphy always integrates elements from other seasons to make it more full circle and that's so amazing.

As for the finale, i've seen that many people are complaining not only that the season has been a mess - which i really don't understand, and others that have liked the season but haven't quite loved the ending. I have to admit that maybe the resolution of the Lee Harris' plot and her daughter was kind of weak but i actually liked the whole thing and the introduction of the media into the story only made it more real and believable, in this time and age where docu-realities are so hot right now. In my opinion, it has been one of the best seasons, or at least better than 'Freak Show' and especially 'Hotel', so that's a lot.

 I was kinda wondering before 'Hotel' that the show was pretty much done but after this brilliant season, and how Murphy keeps blending seasons and characters, i think the best is yet to come, especially with a crossover season of 'Murder House' and 'Coven' that seems to be happening next season or most likely, in season 8 and i can't wait for that. In the meantime, Ryan Murphy has teased us with this tweet saying "Sweet dreams. The monsters are all gone," which is sure a hint of season 7 but i guess we'll have to wait until the theme it's revealed in Spring but this will keep us wondering.


11/15/16

American Horror Story: Hotel

(Spoilers, obvs)
I know i'm a year late but i finally have watched 'American Horror Story: Hotel' and i have to admit i liked it better than what i expected. The problem was that i felt outraged by the casting of Lady Gaga, supposedly taking the place of Jessica Lange after leaving the show for good, and that still makes no sense.

Anyway, this season might be the saddest, darkest one yet, or at least that's what it made me difficult to watch it sometimes because i didn't want to watch something that lugubrious. And that's the main theme, souls trapped in a hotel full or murder and hate years after years, for eternity. 'Hotel' is like a mixture of 'The Shinning' and 'Seven' and sometimes it looks like a cheap version of the Kubrick's masterpiece but i guess that was kinda the idea to make it all look a lot more sordid. And while at first the plot is not that interesting, slowly you get into things and into the sadness and despair of all of the characters.

'Hotel' is marked by many sad stories, from John Lowe's (Wes Bentley) dramatically losing his son in a fair, and therefore his head after that, to Sally's (Sarah Paulson) addiction to love when everyone always leaves her, the pain of a mother who's son doesn't appreciate her one bit (Kathy Bates), or the remorse of Liz Taylor  (Denis O'Hare) as a father who abandoned his son because it was "complicated", everything cuts deep and ghosts and so not ghosts are living a life (or eternity) in sorrow. The story of the Countess (Lady Gaga) might be the one that didn't get me as much, mainly because it wasn't that relatable and because of her poor acting, but in the end it got interesting as well.

Another thing that i actually liked a lot was the homage that director Ryan Murphy did with some of the most notorious serial killers with the Halloween night episodes, and the stellar portrayal of Lily Rabe as Aileen Wuornos (Charlize Theron won the Oscar after playing her in 'Monster'); i also liked Evan Peter's playing the excentric James March and how crazy his character was, but the Halloween dinner night with all these murderers was a killer thing to see.

Also, the crossovers with other seasons is something that i didn't expect, with Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe) making an appearance at the hotel after 'Coven' and Billie Dean Howard (Sarah Paulson) the medium from 'Murder House' appearing too, this one especially being quite great when it comes to the plot.

I also quite loved Liz Taylor's storyline from the beginning, from his romance with Tristan (Finn Wittrock) finally finding love, to him reconnecting with his son and how he accepted him, that was really sweet. Liz's death, after finding out that he had cancer, wanting to remain at the hotel with her "family" was also super sweet, in a morbid kind of way, but something that made me happy for him. And Sally also finding happiness through social media, connecting with people through the internet and not feeling as alone, was somethig hilarious, but sadly true in a way.

That's one thing i like about 'American Horror Story' that i just noticed while watching this season, is that more or less, everyone always gets a happy ending. It might not be perfect but at least the characters find some sort of peace, and even in 'Scream Queens' with the Chanels living in the asylum happily ever after at the end of season 1, found that sort of calm and peace as well.

Overall, even though the first episodes took me a lot to watch them, i actually ended liking this season much more that i thought, even though i think it might be the show's least good season but not as bad as i expected.

So, as we wait for Thursday's 'Ronaoke' finale, here's a super fab photoshoot with the cast of 'Hotel' for V Magazine photographed by Chadwick Tyler, after the cut!

11/14/16

20 years of Baz Luhrmann's 'Romeo+Juliet'


It seems like it can't be possible but Baz Luhrmann's modern adaptation of Shakespeare's most famous lovestory is turning 20 years old this November. And i'm saying it because the movie doesn't look that old, in fact, you can watch it today and don't think it's older than 10 years, but that's the magic that Luhrmann created with this film.

I remember when i first watched 'Romeo+Juliet' i didn't quite liked it (i was *sigh* 14 at the time) and i found it so bizarre with those fast camera movements, the old English dialogues in a modern setting and everything looked quite excentric but if you think it now, it was a movie totally ahead of its time. The Aussie director was a pioneer into modernizing a period piece, as he would later do in 'Moulin Rouge' or as Sofia Coppola did following his lead with 'Marie Antoinette', and the result is ageless. Not only is to date his best work (i used to think that 'Moulin Rouge' was so much better but time proved me wrong) but it's also his most original and out of the box film and i don't think he has reached this level of perfection with anything else. Because only visually and its whole aesthetic is fascinating and so unique at that time.

Also the cast was so on point with the both very young Leonardo Di Caprio and Claire Danes that you can't think of any other couple portraying the most famous lovebirds in literature, as well as a stellar cast with John Leguizamo, Paul Sorvino, Diane Venora, Pete Postlethwaite, Paul Rudd and Harold Perrineau that all embodied so perfectly their characters. And the soundtrack was so amazing and so fitting with all the scenes (How can anyone forget about the 'Young Hearts Run Free' scene with Mercucio), as well songs by Radiohead, The Cardigans or The Wannadies that you relate instantly to the movie when you hear them.

So, in honor of this iconic masterpiece, i'm adding after the cut some of the images that i love most of the movie including some behind-the-scenes pictures that Baz Luhrmann has just released now, and some amazing posters, enjoy!

11/11/16

Keira Knightley for Harper's Bazaar UK December 2016

Miss Keira Knightley graces the cover of Harper's Bazaar UK December 2016 issue, and the photoshoot, shot by Alexi Lubormirski, is totally gorgeous.

We haven't seen much of Keira lately as she's been working on theatre and focused on being a mom, and sadly, she hasn't lined up any projects in cinema that we know of, but let's hope she films something soon. Her latest movies were 'The Imitation Game' that was really nice and 'Laggies', a totally forgettable film, so i'm hoping for something interesting coming from her.

But anyway, as we wait for her next stellar performance enjoy this photoshoot where she looks totally beautiful. More after the cut!