Friday, December 4, 2015

Gabriele Ferzetti.

17 March 1925 – 2 December 2015

Gabriele Ferzetti, the man who single-handedly got high school Millie to watch '60s Italian cinema. 

(I actually have a distinct memory of sitting and waiting for my driver's ed class to start, while screen-shoting Le Amiche on my laptop.)

As a repeat collaborator with Michelangelo Antonioni, he starred in one of the most iconic films of Italian cinema (and a genuine classic): L'Avventura. Rereading my earlier review of the film has me both chuckling and shaking my head, oh millie

What does stand out to me, however, then, as well as now, is that Gabriele Ferzetti is captivating, charismatic, and so wonderfully fluid and natural in his work. 

Oddly, he is perhaps most compelling when playing depressed, unsuccessful, and unfulfilled men. His performances of quiet desperation are impossible to look away from, but he was not a showy actor by any means. Instead, he relied on a gravitas of charm and giving character's unexplained personal depth. This is likely what makes each of his characters so indelible. They appear to function and exist naturally within each narrative's world.  

However, just as he compelled in existential roles, he could also be legitimately fun and light. 

NOTE: This is definitely serious stuff in a serious movie, but I can't help but cackle at the delivery.

In fact, the first thing I ever saw him in was Jessica. It is, well, not a great movie--BY ANY STANDARD. But, I was so charmed by Gabriele and his interactions with Angie Dickinson that is has lived on in my memory for far longer than I could have expected (it is the definition of forgettable). This is directly tied to his natural and fluid acting: even in the the slightest of films, he brings character.

On a similar note of fun, I just adore him in On Her Majesty's Secret Service. It is routinely considered to be one of the best James Bond films (albeit with the least favorite James Bond actor), and his performance is vital. Commanding and witty and just a little bit on the sketchy side, he enlivens the film considerably. 

And, perhaps, that is the key to Gabriele Ferzetti's acting greatness: life. In every role, no matter how bleak or how ridiculous, he portrayed life. The quietest of performances still spoke of the rolling and moving eccentricities of human existence. He gave particular perspectives, and for that he will be missed.

This screencap is everything to me.

Saturday, August 15, 2015


Yes. Just, yes.

Despite my noted hatred for literally every film version of '60s television (Wild, Wild West '99--MY EYES! MY EYES!), I have been quite looking forward to this film. It was the only summer blockbuster that I was looking forward to (although, I did end up enjoying Jurassic World and Mad Max: Fury Road was basically life-changing). Sadly, I don't think it's gonna be quite a blockbuster (DARN YOU, TOM CRUISE STEALING ALL THE SPY AUDIENCE WITH YOUR M:I NONSENSE! I DON'T FORGIVE YOU! YOU KNOW WHAT YOU DID TO JIM PHELPS!), but I desperately need it to be, so that I can have many sequels, and enjoy the wonderful world built just for my pure enjoyment.

Anyway. (I promise to stop abusing the parentheses for the rest of this post.)

I don't know why I was quite so excited for this film. But, somehow I just knew that it was gonna turn out okay. I just knew that Sean Connery would not be talking to people in a giant teddy bear costume. And Simon Templar would not just hang around being depressed.

No, this was gonna have style and, hopefully, absolutely no substance.

I also, for some crazy reason, really want Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer to succeed in life, because they just seem like delightful people who keep appearing in failures (or just being Superman)--and I just want them to be loved. I'm not even a particular fan of either; I just feel bad for some actors. (I still believe in you, Taylor Kitsch!)

Also, Alicia Vikander is hardcore cool, so yeah.

And, finally, although I was raised on a steady diet of '60s spies. Man From U.N.C.L.E. was not ever really introduced to me. I knew of it, and I've now seen episodes here and there, but unlike literally every other '60s spy program--it is not something that is intrinsically familiar to me. AKA, there was no nostalgia for Guy Ritchie to destroy.

So, when the trailer was released, I was FULLY on board. It was stylish  and colorful and awesome and there were terrible Russian accents, and everything was right with the world.

I waited and waited for this movie to arrive. My soul was parched and desperate for a cool drink of '60s spy ridiculousness. < --I reread this statement and utterly stand by it. I need to not write posts at 2AM.

Excitedly, I noted that it was playing at the Cinerama here in Seattle. I got my ticket. I got a friend a ticket. It was a noteworthy occasion.

At last, Friday arrived. It was a perfect August day here in Washington. Even nature conspired for greatness--with heavy downpours and regular intervals of thunder and lightening. My kind of day.

When I got off work, I popped over to my place to make some dinner (we had tickets for the 8PM screening). I also ended up changing into a mostly socially-acceptable version (I looked sorta like an idiot) of a '60s spy outfit (there was pleather). Some people dress up for superhero movies. I DRESS UP FOR MY SPIES.

My friend and I caught the bus (don't you love all this important information). There was a some delay, because the Seahawks were playing and that was important or something. BUT, WE MADE IT. And, we got our chocolate popcorn and root beer and we settled into the majestic Cinerama and prepared for greatness.

Note: before this film began, my friend said, "Wait. What is this about again."

There was greatness.

There was pure joy and energy and style and delightfulness.

Man From U.N.C.L.E. is formulaic for sure. But, the formula is a wonderful one. The greatest praise I could give it is that is perfectly reminded me a '60s spy television show. Like a bigger-budgeted episode where they can afford to drive on-location and not with rear-projection.

Not without its flaws (there are a few editing choices that can come off as repetitive), nevertheless, I literally smiled the whole time.

The entire cast was extraordinary: great chemistry. It was also quite enjoyable to note all the cast-members using fake accents (some more accurately than others).

Also, fun fact, David Beckham has a 2-second cameo that I only recognized because I follow the Becks on Instagram (obviously, why wouldn't I? [side-note: the only non-friends I follow on Insta are Becks, Lupita Nyong'o, Jonny Lee Miller, Propaganda, Propaganda's wife (I'm supes creeps) and Tavi Gevinson--so, who even knows why?!]).

Guys, I'm rambling. I can't stop. Of course, I haven't blogged in 8 million decades, and my return is a ridiculously effusive post about a Hollywood wanna-be-franchise-starter that's just a remake of something else.

But, really, if the thought of a bunch of ridiculously attractive people being stylish in stylish settings and doing cool things while talking about it and being clever and witty in the 1960s at all appeals to you--YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS.

Preferably, at the Seattle Cinerama, but, you know, whatever works.

*post literally just ends because I suddenly crash from my chocolate popcorn high and fall asleep mid-sentence*

The Millie will return!

Oh, also, my friend ADORED it. This person is not really a movie person overall, but she literally said, "I'm gonna need to see this one again." I HAVE NEVER HEARD HER SAY THAT. IT WAS MAGICAL.

Oh, and I legit cackled at subtitle of a Russian yelling about  "A GIANT WITH A FIREARM" when referring to Armie.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Good Ol' Boy (2015)

Just got back from the world premiere of Good Ol' Boy at the Seattle International Film Festival (with the director, cast, and crew attending).

This is the only response I really have.

It was a brilliant film with wonderful performances. It was chill and happy, but included realistic tension. Honestly, I would have loved it even if it was formulaic, because there was so much charm and style. However, I actually found it (especially the ending) to be a real subversion of expectations; especially those that might be had by a non-immigrant American audience.

The film takes place in 1979, and is centered around an Indian family living in an American suburb. The parents are deeply tied to their Indian culture, but their teenage daughter and ten-year-old son are much more interested in American everything. The tension of balancing life as a third-culture kid is what creates the root of the story.

The performances are uniformly good, but, unsurprisingly, Roni Akurati as the protagonist, Smith (a good American name), takes the entire movie away with him. It is a role of pure energy: in the joy and the pain, he is effervescent.

Anyway, it is late, and I don't really have all of my thoughts gathered. Expect more tomorrow (and coverage of the other films I've seen at the fest [honestly, you should just be glad you aren't Sarah, and stuck with the crazytalk play-by-play texts of my entire SIFF experience]).

I will say that if you get a chance to see Good Ol' Boy--and I really hope it gets a wider release--THEN YOU MUST SEE IT.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Photo of the Day!

It's dead week (the week before finals) over here. But, no big deal; I am cool, calm, and collected--just like Donna Loren.*


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Happy Earth Day!

Don't make Bruce Dern break out the crazy eyes! Save the trees!

P.S. Watch Silent Running. Be inspired. Don't murder people though. Maybe. Unless, they are killing the trees.

Monday, March 9, 2015


*college; sunshine; spring break; EVERYTHING IN THIS WORLD

First official day of Spring Break as a senior. The sun is shining here in Seattle. THE MOUNTAIN IS OUT. People are happy.


I have been trying to write this since last night. I have about three sentences. And, some super-profesh looking subheaders, guys. Never forget the subheaders. \

I took a short break for sleep (actually like 8 hours---SPRING BREAK! GOING WILD!). And then went to work. But, otherwise, I have been sitting for five or so hours. Staring at the sunshine and unable to join in the happiness that is all around me.

Even now, I am writing this post. NOT the first post I had planned for my return (I have long-waiting post almost ready). But, nonetheless, procrastination is all I have to offer my life.

Cry for me, Argentina.

P.S. I'm ALL caught up on random celebrities being interviewed on talk shows that have clips on YouTube. Please do ask for recommendations.

Also, I can confirm that there is such a thing as TOO much iced Passion Tea. 

Also, also, I am super well-informed about a bunch of random actors' upcoming projects as posted on IMDb.

Which raises the point: Why does every hate Sam Worthington? That guy is awesome. Stop the hate.

Alright. I really am gonna go write this paper now. I could have finished it last night if I didn't have a literal inability to do anything without an immediately looming deadline.


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