Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Angels in America

Well, Nathaniel Rogers has selected one of the hardest films to pick a solitary shot from (at least from when I have been able to participate). Mike Nichols' Angels in America is not just large in scope, but it's also just a huge piece of art to select one image from. It's so beautiful and otherwordly and realistic and strange all at once. 

It also doesn't hurt that Nicols' has such great actors assembled, so it's tempting to choose a shot featuring Meryl Streep or Emma Thompson with her wings wide open (that orgasm scene is pretty nifty, if you ask me). I almost selected the image of Emma as the nurse with the halo of light over her head, but I thought it would be too on the nose. 

My favorite shot is kind of fleeting, and it comes from one of the favorite scenes in the entire opus. It goes back and forth from Prior and Louis to Joe and Harper. The scenes feel like they could lay on top of each other, because they are so similar. Louis and Joe announce to their partners that they are leaving them, and the drama unfolds. This is easily a favorite among college students who discover Angels during their first semester acting classes (I did the Joe/Harper dialogue my freshman year).

Prior is in his hospital bed when Louis tells him that Prior's AIDS diagnosis is too much for him to handle, and Prior demands to be left alone. Louis finally leaves when Prior starts screaming at the top of his lungs. His lips are chapped, he's weak, and his heartbreak literally fills the screen when Loius makes his exit. There are a lot of films that feature abandonment as a major theme, but this very brief shot lets us see the bastard slinking off through the hospital room doorway. Prior is left with his acid tongue and his grief, crappy hospital gruel and all. It's the beginning of a very surreal journey for him.

Hit Me with Your Best Shot is currently in its 6th season over at The Film Experience. If you'd like to check out all the past submissions you can do so here!

Monday, August 17, 2015

This 'Carol' Trailer Stopped My Heart

The name Todd Haynes attached to any project will make me stand at attention. And then my eyes will start drooling. Haynes' latest film, Carol, debuted to raves at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year, and we finally got a nice teaser trailer. It only makes me go a little crazier in terms of my own anticipation. 

Cate Blanchett stars as the title character, a married woman who falls in love with a department store shopgirl, played by Rooney Mara. Set in the 1950's, the two women obviously can't express their romance, so there's a lot of longing looks and light touches on the shoulder. It appears that this will be a great companion piece to Haynes' classic, Far From Heaven. You know the movie houses are just pissing themselves to do that double feature. 

Every frame of the trailer needs to be a postcard--obviously. My favorite shot (and there are a lot of them!) has to be of the one of Mara in the backseat of a car. The windows are all fogged up and wet from the snow, and she glances outside. 

It's easily in the top 5 of my most anticipated films of the fall. Duh. It reminds me of the Far From Heaven trailer because of how short it is and from the swelling music in the background. Every time I hunted for a Far From trailer, I could only find the mysterious teaser, but I always found it super effective.