Archive for January, 2009

Still Alive

I don’t know if anyone actually reads this blog, but I am still alive and will be writing more soon. I’ve seen The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and The Wrestler in theaters recently, so I have full reviews of each of those coming, and then also I thought you might want to see this:

Glowing Cities Under a Nighttime Sky

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My Top 5 Movies about Love

The other night my wife and I settled in for a movie night and she chose “High Fidelity,” one of my all time favorite love songs. That’s one reason I married her; her good movie taste. So we watched it and when it was over I was in the mood to make a top 5 list (since that’s what the characters in them record store do all day), and this morning on my way to work I did. 

So here they are, my top five movies about love (not necessarily Romantic Movies)

1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
(Written by Charlie Kaufman, directed by Michel Gondry)

What can I say; this movie is not only top 5 movies about love, it is a top 5 movie for me period. The screenplay is brilliant, the directing is wonderful, but what gets me is after all that the two characters put themselves through; their moment of grace (and “true” love) is at the end, when they stand in the hallway and look at each other and say “Ok.” Right then and there, they grasp that love isn’t about being happy, it’s about so many deeper things that they won’t have unless they love each other for their worst parts.

2. The Princess Bride
(Written by William Goldman, Directed by Rob Reiner)

The best fairy tale ever told on film; it promises to have everything and it fulfills. This movie somehow rises above the cheesiness it could have to stand the test of time and age; making it somehow a film that feels as old as Casablanca and as new as last weeks’ big release. Sure, it doesn’t wrestle with the complexities of love, but there’s no better classic romance on film that I know of.

3. Annie Hall
(Written and Directed by Woody Allen)

This is another film about love, but it takes it from the angle of why didn’t it work out. Woody Allen uses all tricks and gimmicks available; from thought subtitles and animated sequences to breaking the fourth wall by dragging in Marshall McCluhan to bring depth to the characters and weight to the questions that he raises in his opening monologue. This film deftly explores the myriad of issues that lead to displeasure, unhappiness and ultimately the breakdown of relationships we go through.

4. High Fidelity
(Written by D.V. DeVicentis, based on a novel by Nick Hornby, directed by Stephen Frears)

This film gets me for the scene where Rob asks Laura to marry him; as he rambles about liking other girls and how he is “tired of the fantasy” but he “never seems to grow tired of her.” It’s not exactly the most romantic scene in the world, but it is a humble admission from a jackass that he needs to grow up, and he can’t see himself doing that without her around. This film also features Jack Black in one of the few roles that makes it seem like he’s acting, and a strong appreciation for the power of music.

5. 10 Things I Hate About You
(Written by Karen McCullah-Lutz & Kirsten Smith, directed by Gil Junger)

There are probably better films out there about love; maybe something by Krystof Kieslowski or another foreign film, but I couldn’t think of any of them and this film is just a personal favorite. It’s been a long time since teen movies didn’t equate sex with love, but I guess the Shakespearean roots of this film helped it along (It is based on the Taming of the Shrew). Yes, it is set in a high-school and yes the characters are all clearly high-schoolers, but somehow this  movie reminds us that love is often about sacrifice and forgiveness, and it has a rollicking good time reminding us of that.  

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500 Days of Summer

This film looks to be my most anticipated thus far coming out of Sundance. It premiered Friday night and thus far is getting really good reviews.

But we didn’t have to worry about that because it has Joseph Gordon Levitt and Zooey Deschanel, so obviously the film is going to be amazing.

The preview can be found here:


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A Tip for those Engaged

Yeah I know, this is a tip to you who are engaged from a man. Obviously it’s going to be about sex or something.


So, while you’re all coming to my wall to write me birthday wishes you might as well hear something interesting from me. 

When you get to the part of wedding planning where you choose your music; CHOOSE WISELY.

Eschew the standard and go for the personal. 

Freya and I had Kelley sing Over the Rhine’s I Want you to Be My Love for the Processional, then we played Devotchka’s “How it Ends” for Freya’s entrance, and then we left to Sigur Ros’s Hoppippolla.

Not only did we get lots of compliments for good music choices; which they were, but we also will ALWAYS think of our wedding when we hear these songs.

This morning on our way to work I put on Sigur Ros’s album Takk, and when Hoppippolla came on we looked at each other, as we do every time we hear the song, and said “WE’RE MARRIED!”

It was a beautiful moment to us, and cheesy I’m sure to the rest of the world.

So, my argument is, if you pick a song that is a favorite, but one that will be a long-time favorite (not your flavour of the week), then from that moment on whenever you hear that song you’ll think about that glorious day.

And honestly, I’ll go ahead and say it, steal Sigur Ros’s hoppippolla for your wedding because it’s one of the most glorious, heavenly songs ever. It’s short, right around 4 minutes, but it starts with a lone piano and crescendos with what sounds like a full string section. 

Here, just watch the video and agree:

Hoppipolla from ESLA on Vimeo.

(One of my most favorite music videos ever also)

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