Posted Oct 16, 2010 in Arts | 0 Comments

Birthday Movie

Watching a movie for my birthday is a tradition I’ve kept for two of the past four years, every October 22nd. The other two, I stayed home, watched TCM and/or replied to my birthday greetings on Facebook. It took me two years to realize that the latter made me a loser. Anyway, living in a city like Toronto means that I have a lot of choices.

For some reason, I kinda wanna watch The Exorcist since it’s on at the Bloor Cinema. I have lots of reservations about director William Friedkin, especially with his portrayal of homosexuality in The Boys in the Band and Cruising. But the man has been responsible for the Oscar-winning The French Connection. I also wanna see a younger Ellen Burstyn playing a single mom and actress, intelligent yet out of her element in an imperfect temporary home in Georgetown, DC. Like most mothers she thinks that the threat is from the outside but instead she’s dealing with a normal daughter (Linda Blair) who turns into hell’s spawn. Her characters always get the worst children. Besides, I love horror movies and it’s sort of my preparation for Halloween. I don’t care if they show the director’s cut or not.

Bell Lightbox has an Essential Cinema series, and for one day, my birthday, they’re showing Viridiana by director Luis Bunuel. The film is an interesting choice for the list because he has two other, more well-known films. There’s Un Chien Andalou, seen by everyone who’s been to college, and Belle du Jour, which, despite Catherine Deneuve’s great work, is still overrated. TIFF’s website writes up the Vatican and Fascist Spain’s reaction to the film. Viridiana’s titular character plans to take up a vow of celibacy and you know what happens to vows like that. The two films I’ve seen of Bunuel’s don’t knock it out of the park for me, but Viridiana‘s premise and Bunuel’s reputation for the surreal and sensual still whets my appetite.

How about recent releases, anyone remember those? Instead of damsels in distress, I could watch protagonists kick ass. There’s the brash The Girl Who Played with Fire playing at the Fox. In this second installment of the Salander series, she becomes a prime suspect when her past probation officer is found dead, and her fingerprints just happen to be on a gun that killed him. How’s she going to huff and puff herself outta there this time? There’s also the martial arts sequel Ip Man 2 getting its first run at the Toronto. The latter sounds like a good adventure.

Coming out on October 22nd are Paranormal Activity 2, Stone and Score: A Hockey Musical, which, yeah right. Although I do have reservations with Matt Damon looking slightly creepy on his character’s own website, I am looking forward to his collaboration with Clint Eastwood in a film called Hereafter. It’s very high concept, Eastwood trying new things by tackling the paranormal and… The hereafter. Matt Damon plays a retired psychic who’s recalled to duty by two separate people, a French woman and an English boy. Eastwood also incorporates the 2004 tsunami and terrorists attacks in this story, in a way reflecting how life can be lost so easily and the ones who survive treasure their lives. This film was also selected by the Toronto International Film Festival. I was tempted to see it so I could tell you more about it, but I was saving it for my birthday.

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