Archive for the ‘Emma Thompson’ Tag

Brave – Signaturely Pixar   Leave a comment

Brave, is 13th full feature-length motion picture of Pixar studios, its first fairy tale film, its first film featuring a female lead, and its first film co-directed by a woman. “This is our first period piece. This is our first female main character. This is Brave.” says John Lasseter. Brave is directed by Mark Andrews (Pixar short: One Man Band) and Brenda Chapman (The Prince of Egypt).

La Luna which was the only pixar’s nomination for 2011-12 Oscars, precedes the full length feature. Written and directed by Enrico Casarosa, it tells a story of a young boy Bambino, who is caught in the middle of two personalities (grandfather, father). Their family job is to sweep stars on the moon and on a fine evening both of them introduces Bambino to their line of work. Both the grandfather and father exert control over him and want him to try to be like their own. Amidst conflicting opinions, Bambino somehow manages to finds his own voice which is also the central theme of Brave.

Merida (Kelly Macdonald) is the young princess of a Scottish kingdom- DunBroch that is ruled by King Fergus (Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson), just like Princess Zelda she is a skilled archer and with her pet friend Angus the Horse, she fearlessly wanders in the forests that hide dark secrets. Free-spirited, Impulsive, Rebellious, tangle-haired Merdia is a tomboy. Always up for an adventure, she wants to live her life, but her mother relentlessly attempts to turn her into a perfect princess.

Elinor summons for the clans and wants Merida to get married into one of three Lords families. Lord Macintosh, Lord MacGuffin, Lord Dingwall each of the lords are determined to have his own son win princess Merida’s hand, but Merida intensely desires for freedom and King Fergus in a candid conversation with her queen pretty much sums up her daughters yearning “I only want to stay single and let my hair flow in the wind as I ride through the glen firing arrows into the sunset”.

Merida humiliates the three clans and escapes into the deep forests where she follows a trail of wisps that lead her to the home of a witch. She asks witch to help her to change her mother. The witch puts a terrible curse and literally changes her mother into a bear. Merida feels regret over taking the unconventional path and has to set things right before the curse remains as permanent.

The film successfully throws light on the sensitive topic i.e relationship between parents and their children, the effects of a strict parenting, the conflicting emotions that arise due to difference in interests and perceptions. Despite the fact that Merida and Elinor, are proud, independent and headstrong, they have their own different views but they never converge to a point and interact with their respective discrepancies. It is only when Elinor turns into a bear, that specific event triggers both of them to grow closer.

Although Brave is very different,plainly whimsical, not so imaginative, ingenious than its other predecessors, the core-essential elements remain very Pixarish. The Characters, landscape is just incredibly detailed esp the Physics on Merida’s hair, it is so fascinating and magical in the way it moves. It has more than 1500 individually sculpted, curly red strands that generate about 111,700 total hairs. The only complaint : Wish I had watched this movie in 2D  because all too often, most of the 3D frames looked too dark, murky and lifeless. The whole point of watching a movie in 3D is to experience the depth of an image that is realistic, larger than life. However, the 3D images  completely removed the great exuberant aesthetic details for which Pixar is normally famous for.

References:
http://www.fxguide.com/featured/brave-new-hair/
http://blog.thewisdomofpixar.com/2012/06/review-bravo-for-brave.html
http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/Princess_M%C3%A9rida
http://gnawseah.blogspot.in/2012/06/3d-rant-in-e-minor.html

The song of lunch – A Poem   Leave a comment

The Song of lunch is dramatic realization of Christopher Reid’s narrative poem. Adapted for Television and directed by Niall MacCormick stars Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson. It is story of a book editor (Alan Rickman) who, 15 years after their break-up, meets his ex love (Emma Thompson) for lunch at a restaurant they used to hang out frequent.

The film is 47 minutes long, very impressive, brilliant and flows like a wine. It is very different from the other mainstream short films, has very little spoken dialogue and mainly driven by Rickman’s sharp poignant interior monologues.

Rickman, a book editor in London leaves his office for lunch. He is in constantly touch with his own poetic imagery and while walking on the street imagines ‘leafy Literary-Land’. “And there goes TS Eliot, bound for his first Martini of the day, with his gig-lamps and his immaculate sheen.” He reveals that he is going out for a date with an ‘old flame’. Restaurant name: Zanzotti’s -unreformed Soho Italian, in which they used to hang out regularly when they were together but Soho has changed into ‘Cultureless, fly-by-night’. It’s been 15 years since he paid a visit to the restaurant and now it is under a new management. “The very table linen has lost its patriotism. Plain white. We surrender. And this menu – this twanging laminated card – big as a riot policeman’s shield.”

He meets his ex and after “Familiar collision of pout against pout” questions start to breed in his mind, “Though there’s something different, too. A new…what? Fragrance? Aura, Hint of carefree expenditure? Waft of wealth?” . The restaurant has lost its old charm and along with its famous cuisine, He is very much dejected. While, on the other hand, she is really happy and admires the new look of it. “And I’m quite glad to see a menu that doesn’t make a fetish of stracciatella and pollo sorpreso”. They announce truce and agree to talk about anything and everything that has happened so far with their personal lives.

Confessions Of A Copy Editor, chapter 93.

It’s an ordinary day in a publishing house of ill repute. Another moronic manuscript comes crashing down the chute to be turned into art. This morning it was Wayne Wanker’s latest dog’s dinner of sex, teenage philosophy and writing-course prose. Abracadabra, kick it up the arse and out it goes to be Book Of The Week or some other bollocks. What a fraud. What a farce. And tomorrow, which of our geniuses will escape from the zoo and head straight for us with a new masterpiece lifeless in his jaws? That’s about the size of it. What about you?

After such a rant, he finds it difficult to look her in the eye, “which is bright, amused, searching, pitiless,” he used to call them ‘Oracle eyes’.

The harder you looked,
the more sublime and unreadable they became.
But have they lost their old force?
The heretical question strengthen his own stare
Gaze meets gaze, revealing,as ever
everything and nothing there.

She is now living a glamorous life in Paris, a good wife and a loving mother and has no complaints.  She is married to a renowned writer “The ubiquitous jacket photo, the wintry smirk that stole her from him.” and he questions his own decision to let her go “And how could he have been so abject as to let it happen?”.

With comparisons and compliments with respect to the food, they have a pleasant time. He empties bottle of wine all by himself and orders another one, falls in and out of consciousness, retrieving the good times that they had spent together.

Slender fingers,
once so intimate
and versatile and tender.

Old times, bedtimes,
between-times,any-times,
of a startling impromptu innocent lasciviousness
that he’ll never know again?
Sleep-musky kisses that roused him in the small hours,
peremptory custody of light,
firm limbs, the polyrhythmic riding
he’ll never know again.
Caught a fish and let it go. Woe, woe, woe, woe…


His conscience repeatedly tells him not to think about the past and with the infinitesimal details that he still remembers, enters into an ever-ending conversation with himself.

Found a treasure and threw it away.
Figure of folly and pathos.
Voyeur of the past, and of the present.
He steals a peep.
Every movement has elegance and economy, is swift and deft.
The jut of her wristbone,
marvel of engineering,
holds the secret,
and as a connoisseur,
he yearns to inspect it at closer quarters,
by eye and by touch.
But how can he catch it?
Like a butterfly hunter,
he ponders the problem.

She tells him that she read his book and liked it, but finds all mythical stuff relating to it to be uninteresting, to which he points out that the mythical stuff was the whole point in the book which made sense i.e: Orpheus who attempts to bring back his dead wife to life. This is exactly the reason why she detests the book. She considers his truth to be trivial and metaphorical. “The analogy, the whole preposterous contrivance falls apart.”

He again goes into self-talk mode and watching this she bursts into anger and explains she had to make loads of amendments just to see him, meet him for lunch and also complains of his lack of attention. “You’re out to lunch at your own lunch.”

And who’s also to blame for your present state of emotional arrest,
infantile truculence and drunken flippancy.
It’s not just that you’re stuck in the past.
You’re stuck in your poems.
Which have their merits.
They’re nicely written,
they’re clever and so on.
But they’re misconceived,
false, hollow, wrong.
You should never have gone there.
Yet you did.
That… That’s the catastrophe.
That’s the disaster.


He accepts that his book was full of shite and goes to the rest room “the jabbing kidney reek that proclaims all men brothers.” and to terrace, he “cannot decide whether to weep or sleep.” Stays on the terrace for sometime and suddenly realizes that he has to go back to the table. Now, the restaurant is empty and she has left the place. He bids adieu but finds an old man who is seated by the window and “As he turns to go, the recognition… pierces him. Massimo!”

Phew! What a journey. Poetry translated into sublime drama with Outstanding performances from Rickman and Mrs.Thompson. At times you can feel severus snape’s tone in one or many inherent conversations. I did relate some of the scenes to Paris je t’ aime: Quartier Latin: A separated couple (Ben Gazzara and Gena Rowlands) meet at a bar for one last drink before the two officially divorce and also with Richard Linklater’s: Before Sunrise/Sunset.

It is one of the rare movies that I find intellectually stimulating, not just it but the whole process of thought transmission, narration, the facial expressions; that mean much more than the words itself.

Come drown into a sea of words: hear them, taste them, smell them.

More Reading:

http://debatinghouseofthemind.blogspot.com/2010/10/song-of-lunch-on-bbc-two.html

http://www.heraldscotland.com/arts-ents/film-tv-reviews/the-song-of-lunch-bbc-two-friday-1.1059238

%d bloggers like this: