Archives for posts with tag: Martin Scorsese

Hola a todos:

Estos días dejo que los pensamientos  y conexiones que me vienen a la mente y no se quieren ir dicten el contenido de mis posts. En las dos últimas semanas he visto tres películas, que aunque muy diferentes, no pude dejar de notar tienen algo en común: los personajes principales van por el mundo con enormes fajos de dinero. Lo que intentan conseguir con el dinero es muy distinto.

Only Lovers Left Alive

Only Lovers Left Alive

En el film de Jim Jarmusch Only Lovers Left Alive (al final pongo un breve sumario e información sobre las películas, obtenidos de www.imdb.com y como comento allí no sé qué nombre le darán cuando la estrenen en países de habla Hispana), Adán y Eva (la película se basa libremente en un libro de Mark Twain, Los diarios de Adán y Eva. Si queréis leer una versión electrónica gratuita, aquí os dejo un enlace, aunque seguro que hay otras: http://www.amazon.es/dp/B006EA7RQ0/) son dos vampiros que llevan vivos (o muertos, ya me entendéis) muchos siglos y siguen enamorados al cabo de todo este tiempo. Tienen una educación exquisita (me encanta la escena en que Eva está haciendo el equipaje para visitar a Adán, ya que ella vive en Tánger y él está en Detroit, y llena dos maletas de libros [una mujer/vampira con la que tengo mucho en común] después de leer a gran velocidad un montón de clásicos en varias lenguas, incluyendo Campoamor), viven vidas aisladas, y se alimentan comprando sangre a doctores bien conectados y bancos de sangre. A pesar de sus vidas tan peculiares, su existencia es como un diamante pulido, brillante y resplandeciente comparado con los seres humanos que les rodean, ya que aprecian las cosas bellas de la vida, la música, la literatura, el amor. Adam no llama ‘zombies’ a los seres humanos sin motivos. Él es músico y parece un romántico a la deriva en el mundo moderno, con ideas suicidas incluidas. Eva le recuerda que había pasado por experiencias similares cuando se asociaba con Lord Byron y su círculo. La película es increíblemente bella. Incluso un dilapidado Detroit aparece triste pero ofrece un marco adecuado.

John Hurt, que hace el papel de Christopher Marlowe, el famoso escritor inglés, lanzándole dardos a un retrato de Shakespeare (su contemporáneo), es maravilloso, como siempre. Desgraciadamente se queda sin reservas de “la sangre buena” y acaba muerto por consumir sangre contaminada.

Aquí hace su entrada:

Dallas Buyers Club

Dallas Buyers Club

El club de los desahuciados/Dallas Buyers Club, basada en una historia real, donde el personaje central, Ron Woodroof, interpretado por Matthew McConaughey que se merece su Oscar, es un electricista de Dallas, que no es ni bien educado ni sofisticado. Parece que solo le interesan las drogas (principalmente cocaína) y las mujeres (seguiremos con estos temas más tarde) y como descubrimos cuando debido a un accidente de trabajo le diagnostican el SIDA, también odia a los gays. Cuando le diagnosticaron la enfermedad se conocía poco sobre los métodos de transmisión y la mayoría de la gente creía que si no era a través de transfusiones, el uso intravenoso de drogas o relaciones homosexuales eran las causas más probables. Después de un breve período en que se niega a aceptar el diagnóstico, descubre que el sexo heterosexual sin protección, que es uno de sus placeres habituales, también puede transmitirla. Le dan 30 días de vida. Su personaje no es nada agradable. Es machista, no le gustan los gays, y parece vivir solo para gozar el momento.  Pero no abandona nunca. Está decidido a vivir tanto tiempo como pueda, y se enfrentará a quienes se interpongan en su camino, sea la FDA (Federal Drugs Admininistration, la agencia que aprueba los fármacos en los Estados Unidos), el hospital, los médicos o el gobierno. No es totalmente altruista (cuando empieza a “importar” drogas de México y después de dondequiera que las pueda conseguir, le cobra a los enfermos y uno tiene la impresión de que gana dinero con la transacción), pero no es un desalmado y se esfuerza por compartir la información que consigue, hasta el punto de enviarle medicamentos a un policía amigo suyo, para su padre que tiene demencia. Y después de que lo diagnostican se abstiene sexualmente hasta que ve a una chica que viene a por tratamiento (¡y anda que no es feliz ni nada!). También llega a aceptar la homosexualidad y defiende a su amigo  y asociado transexual, Rayon, una interpretación muy emotiva de Jared Leto (que también se merece el Oscar). Durante la película, vemos como Ron cambia y su experiencia le transforma.

Hay escenas cortas que nos permiten vislumbrar a la persona real que se esconde detrás de su fachada (como cuando va a cenar con su doctora y amiga, y hablan sobre su madre, que era pintora y le abandonó cuando era muy joven) y a mí me gustó especialmente la escena donde Rayon, vestido con traje de hombre, va a visitar a su padre, banquero, que en un momento de la conversación exclama ‘Ayúdame Dios’ y Rayon dice: ‘Ya lo ha hecho. Tengo el SIDA.’

La película no presume de florituras estilísticas. Está filmada como un documental, y la forma está al servicio de la historia. Las interpretaciones de los dos actores principales son extraordinarias.

The Wolf of Wall Street

The Wolf of Wall Street

Ya había comentado que al principio de la película a Ron solo le interesan las mujeres y las drogas. Comparte estos intereses con Jordan Belfort, el protagonista de otra historia basada en hechos reales El lobo de Wall Street de Martin Scorsese. Su otro interés es ganar dinero. La película tiene ritmo rápido (aunque es larga), bellamente filmada, las interpretaciones son fantásticas, a ratos es muy divertida (cuando Jordan y su amigo y asociado acaban paralíticos debido a una sobredosis la película se convierte en puro slapstick) pero es aterradora. Cuando hace unas semanas escribí sobre American Hustle (La gran estafa americana) discutí su posible falta de moralidad, pero aquí no hay duda alguna; esta película es una celebración de las estafas, corrupción y fraude a gran escala. El dinero lo justifica todo, la avaricia y el egoísmo no tienen límites, y cuando finalmente llega el castigo, es muy poco y demasiado tarde. Matthew McConaughey tiene un papel corto pero simbólico (que me recordó al de Alec Baldwin en la versión fílmica de la obra de Mamet Glengarry Glen Ross) ofreciéndole a Jordan su propia versión de la ética (o falta de ella) de la profesión de agente de bolsa.

¿Las recomiendo? Todas son buenas películas, aunque muy diferentes. El club de los desahuciados/Dallas Buyers Club es una película bien hecha con grandes actuaciones, y una historia sobre la voluntad y el empeño humano, que no conoce fronteras. El lobo de Wall Street es como la historia del Rey Midas para nuestra época, pero sin castigo final. Si odiáis a los banqueros y agentes de bolsa y os sentís ofendidos por al crisis económica en la que vivimos no os la recomiendo ya que conseguirá que os hierva la sangre. Creo que Only Lovers Left Alive se convertirá en una película de culto, y yo he decido comprarla en cuanto pueda y verla varias veces. Es una de esas películas (come Blade Runner e incluso Wall-E) donde los no-humanos entienden y aprecian mucho más la belleza y la grandeza de la vida que lo hacen los humanos. Quizás tendríamos que hacerles caso.

Only Lovers Left Alive (2013) (No sé cómo se llamará la película en español. No he encontrado información. La traducción sería algo así como Los únicos amantes que quedan vivos o Los únicos amantes que sobreviven. ¿Los único amantes vivos?)

Una historia que se centra en dos vampiros que siguen enamorados después de varios siglos.

Director:

Jim Jarmusch

Guionista:

Jim Jarmusch (screenplay)

Actores:

Tom Hiddleston, Tilda Swinton, Mia Wasikowska, John Hurt

Enlace a la página de imdb (inglés)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1714915/

El club de los desahuciados/Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

En 1985 en Dallas, electricista y timador Ron Woodroof busca formas de ayudar a que los enfermos de SIDA consigan la medicación que necesitan después de que le diagnostiquen a él mismo la enfermedad.

Director:

Jean-Marc Vallée

Guionistas:

Craig Borten, Melisa Wallack

Actoress:

Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Jared Leto

Enlace a la página de imdb (inglés)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0790636/

El lobo de Wall Street (The Wolf of Wall Street) (2013)

Basada en la historia real de Jordan Belfort, desde su subida meteórica a agente de bolsa millonario viviendo una vida regalada a su caída cuando el gobierno federal consigue probar sus crímenes y corrupción.

Director:

Martin Scorsese

Guionistas:

Terence Winter (screenplay), Jordan Belfort (book)

Actores:

Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie

Enlace a la página de imdb (inglés)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0993846/

Gracias por leer, y si os  ha gustado, ya sabéis, dadle al like, comentad, compartid y animaos a ir al cine!

Hi all:

These days I let the content of my posts be dictated by those thoughts or connections that keep popping up in my mind and refuse to go. In the last couple of weeks I’ve watched three movies, and although they are very different, I couldn’t help but notice that they have something in common: the main characters wave wads of money around. What they are trying to achieve couldn’t be further apart.

Only Lovers Left Alive

Only Lovers Left Alive

In Jim Jarmusch’s film Only Lovers Left Alive  (I give a brief summary and more details of the movies at the end obtained from www.imdb.com ), Adam and Eve (the film is loosely based in a book by Mark Twain , The Diaries of Adam and Eve. If you want a free e-version go here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0195101529/ although others are available) are two vampires who’ve lived (or been undead) for centuries and have been in love it seems for as long. They are exquisitely well educated (I love the scene where Eve is packing to go and visit Adam, as she lives in Tangiers and he is in Detroit, and she packs two suitcases full of books [a woman/vampire after my own heart] after speedreading classics in many languages), live pretty isolated lives, and feed themselves by buying blood from well-connected doctors and blood-banks.  Despite their peculiar lives, their existence is like a shining diamond compared to that of the human being around them because they appreciate the beautiful things around him, literature, music and love. Adam doesn’t call humans ‘zombies’ for nothing. He is a musician and seems a romantic lost in the modern world, with suicidal ideation and all. Eve reminds him that he has lived through similar experiences when he was associating with Lord Byron and his circle. The film is astonishingly beautiful. Even a dilapidated Detroit looks sad but fitting.

John Hurt, who plays Christopher Marlowe, throwing darts with a painting of Shakespeare as target, is wonderful, as always. Unfortunately, he runs out of supply of “the good stuff” and ends up dying because of contaminated blood.

Enter:

Dallas Buyers Club

Dallas Buyers Club

Dallas Buyers Club, based on a true story, where the main character, Ron Woodroof, played in a well-deserved Oscar winning performance by Matthew McConaughey, is a Dallas electrician who is neither educated not sophisticated. He seems to be only interested in drugs (cocaine mostly) and women (more about that later) and as we discover when he is diagnosed with AIDS due to an accident at work, he’s homophobic too. At the time of his diagnosis the illness was very poorly understood and most people thought transfusions, IV drug use or homosexual relations were the likely culprits. After a brief period of denial he discovers that unprotected sex, that he has plenty of, can also be a mode of transmission. They give him 30 days to live. His character is not likeable. He’s sexist, homophobic, and seems to live only for the moment. But he won’t quit. He’s determined to live for as long as he can, and he will confront whoever gets in his way, be the FDA, hospital, doctors, the government. He is not completely altruistic (when he starts bringing drugs from Mexico and later on from wherever he can get them, he charges people and you have the sense that he is making money out of it), but he is not heartless and he goes out of his way to share the information he finds, including sending medication to a policeman friend, for his father who suffers dementia. And he seems to abstain sexually until he finds a girl who comes to the clinic seeking treatment (and boy, is he happy about that!). He also gets to accept homosexuality and defends his transgender friend and associate Rayon, a deeply touching Jared Leto (who again deserves the oscar). Throughout the movie we see Ron change and be transformed by his experience

There are brief scenes where you get to sense the real person behind the bravado (like when Ron goes for dinner with his female doctor and friend, and they talk about his mother, who was a painter but abandoned him when he was very young) and I particularly liked the scene when Rayon, dressed in a man’s suit, goes to visit his father, a banker, who at some point says ‘God help me’ and Rayon says: ‘He is. I got AIDS.’

The film is not one for great stylistics. It does have the look of a documentary, and the form is at the service of telling the story. The performances of the two main male actors are outstanding.

The Wolf of Wall Street

The Wolf of Wall Street

I mentioned how Ron is mostly interested in drugs and women. He shares these interests with Jordan Belfort, the protagonist of another story based on real events Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street. His other interest being making money. The film is fast paced (although it’s quite long), beautifully filmed, has fantastic performances, it is really funny at times (when both Jordan and his best friend and associate end up legless due to a drug overdose the movie becomes pure slapstick) but it is horrifying. When I talked about American Hustle a few weeks ago I discussed the possible amorality of the film, here there is no doubt; this is a celebration of trickstery, corruption and fraud in the grand scale. Money is justified by itself, there are no limits to greed and selfishness, and when punishment finally arrives, it is too little, too late. And judging by the seminars the character is offering at the end, he has learned nothing in the process. Matthew McConaughey plays a small but powerful part (reminiscent of Alec Baldwin’s bit-part in the film version of Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross) giving Jordan his own version of the ethics (or lack of) of being a stockbroker.

Would I recommend them? They are all good films, although very different. Dallas Buyers Club is a solid movie with great performances, and a history of the human spirit and human resilience. The Wolf of Wall Street is like King Midas’s story in modern times, but with no punishment. If you hate bankers and financiers and feel aggrieved by the current economic situation I don’t recommend it as it will make your blood boil. I think that Only Lovers Left Alive will become a cult-film, and I’m intending to buy it and watch it more than once. It is one of those movies (like Blade Runner or even Wall-E) where the non-humans have more appreciation and understanding of the beauty and greatness of life than humans do. Maybe we should take heed.

 

Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)

A story centered on two vampires who have been in love for centuries.

Director:

Jim Jarmusch

Writer:

Jim Jarmusch (screenplay)

Stars:

Tom Hiddleston, Tilda Swinton, Mia Wasikowska, John Hurt

Direct link to imdb page:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1714915/

Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

In 1985 Dallas, electrician and hustler Ron Woodroof works around the system to help AIDS patients get the medication they need after he is himself diagnosed with the disease.

Director:

Jean-Marc Vallée

Writers:

Craig Borten, Melisa Wallack

Stars:

Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Jared Leto

Direct link to imdb page:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0790636/

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

Based on the true story of Jordan Belfort, from his rise to a wealthy stockbroker living the high life to his fall involving crime, corruption and the federal government.

Director:

Martin Scorsese

Writers:

Terence Winter (screenplay), Jordan Belfort (book)

Stars:

Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie |

Direct link to imdb page with trailers, etc.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0993846/

Thanks for reading, and you know what to do if you’ve enjoyed it, like, comment, share and get watching!

 

1848 Daguerreotype of Edgar Allan Poe at 39, a...

1848 Daguerreotype of Edgar Allan Poe at 39, a year before his death (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s Friday and again I decided to bring you one of my favourite classic authors. If you remember when I wrote the post on Oscar Wilde I told you that one of my friends was very keen on Edgar Allan Poe when we were at school. Margarita. As a consequence I read plenty of Poe at the time, and really enjoyed it. He had a penchant for mystery and horror stories (master of Gothic style), according to some he was the inventor of the detective story, and his poems remain popular to this day. I can say that stories like his ‘The Tell-tale Heart’ will always remain with me.

Biography:

He was born 19th January 1809 in Boston, Massachusetts. He was the son of actors but never knew his parents (father left and mother died when he was only 3). He was separated from his siblings and adopted by the Allan family (tobacco merchants) from Richmond, Virginia. It seems he never got on with John, his adoptive father.

He went to the University of Virginia but did not get enough money and turned to gambling ending up in debt.

He started publishing in 1827 (Tamerlane and Other Poems) and at same time went to West Point. Although he excelled at his studies he was not interested in the duties and was asked to leave. In 1829 he published a second collection of Poems (Al Aaraaf, Tamberlane, and Minor Poems),

He focused on his writing and moved, living in New York, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Richmond. From 1831 to 1835 he stayed in Baltimore with his aunt Maria Clemm and her daughter Virginia, whom he ended up marrying in 1836 (when she was 13 or 14).

Back in Richmond he started working for a magazine: Southern Literary Messenger and became well know as a fierce critic. Due to difficulties he only worked there for two years and he only briefly worked for two other magazines. During this period he published The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym.

In late 1830s he published Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque (includingThe Fall of the House of Usher’, ‘Ligeia’ and ‘William Wilson’). The Murders in the Rue Morgue in 1841 has been described as the first story of a new genre, the detective novel. He won a literary award for The Gold Bug.

His fame reached its peak with his publication of the poem The Raven in 1845. Many consider it one of his best works.

He also wrote a series of essays, poems and The Cask of Amontillado.

His wife Virginia died in 1847 and it seems he never fully recovered. His health was poor and he had financial difficulties. His death is surrounded by mystery, and it’s still unclear what he died of on October 7th 1849 in Baltimore.

He suffered from bad press following his death and another writer, Rufus Griswold (fame has not treated him kindly, but what goes around…) spread rumours about Poe being mentally unwell, an alcoholic and womaniser.  Despite of all that, his stories are still as shocking, if not more, than at the time of their publication.

Link to free e-books: 

The Works of Edgar Allan Poe Volume 1 (this is under review currently)

http://www.amazon.com/The-Works-Edgar-Allan-ebook/dp/B0082YWACM/

The Works of Edgar Allan Poe Volume 2

http://www.amazon.com/The-Works-Edgar-Allan-ebook/dp/B0082YW9JG/

The Works of Edgar Allan Poe Volume 3

http://www.amazon.com/The-Works-Edgar-Allan-ebook/dp/B0082YWAAY/

The Works of Edgar Allan Poe Volume 4

http://www.amazon.com/The-Works-Edgar-Allan-ebook/dp/B0082YW9B4/

The Works of Edgar Allan Poe Volume 5

http://www.amazon.com/The-Works-Edgar-Allan-ebook/dp/B0082YW9EG/

Edgar Allan Poe’s Complete Poetical Works

http://www.amazon.com/The-Works-Edgar-Allan-ebook/dp/B0082YW9EG/

The Raven

http://www.amazon.com/The-Raven-ebook/dp/B0084B68X0/

There are also free versions in French and Spanish (and I’m sure in other languages).

Links:

The Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore:

http://eapoe.org/

Biography:

http://www.biography.com/people/edgar-allan-poe-9443160

Link to a page with many of his short stories:

http://www.poestories.com/

The Literature network site:

http://www.online-literature.com/poe/

Edgard Allan Poe’s museum in Virginia:

http://www.poemuseum.org/index.php

If you enjoy movies I leave you with the IMDB page on Poe. There’ve been many film versions of his stories, and he’s even recently appeared as a character in his own right (I haven’t watched the movie though…). I love Roger Corman’s versions of some of his stories (actually I love Roger Corman, great filmmaker, distributor of some of the best filmmakers, great eye for talent and has discovered so many great people, from actors: Jack Nicholson, Sandra Bullock, Robert De Niro, to filmmakers: Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Joe Dante, James Cameron, Peter Bognadovich…And if you’re a filmmaker his 1990 biography “How I Made A Hundred Movies in Hollywood And Never Lost A Dime” is highly recommended).

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000590/

I leave you with this quote because it feels so…up-to-date still:

“We should bear in mind that, in general, it is the object of our newspapers rather to create a sensation – to make a point – than to further the cause of truth.”

– from “The Mystery of Marie Roget”

English: Signature of writer Edgar Allan Poe.

And of course, thanks for reading, and if you enjoyed it share and of course, CLICK!

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