Long time no post!

Hey readers of gold stars. My apologies for not posting here for a while. You may realise there are two possible reasons for an absence of movie reviews/rants here: 1 – Jess hasn’t seen any movies since August Rush and therefore has nothing to say, or 2 – Jess has seen movies but for one reason or another hasn’t had the time to post, or she’s just been super lazy. Well, let me assure you its the latter. I’ve been a bit lazy, its uni going back, its wedding videos, its …. my not being a total computer geek (that would explain the strange format of this post – help …anyone – the wordpress had gone funny on me).  ANYWAY over the next days you’ll be getting some posts on the movies I have seen:Rendition Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street  Run Fatboy Run  Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man Definitely, Maybe  Death Defying Acts Science des réves, La  (The Science of Sleep So look forward to your comments when I eventually get my act together! 

Valentines Day Films

heartAs a happily single girl I kind of see Valentines Day much the same way other “happily single” people see it…as a farce.

Talk to my now un-single friends and they’ll tell you how the day has special meaning. But if you’re un-single for long enough it becomes a farce again. Case in point: Asked dad what he was going to give mum (his wife for almost 28 years) for valentines day and he replied “That’s Sunday, isn’t it?”.

I was checking some emails and I stumbled upon what yahoo’s idea is of perfect valentines day movie fair. Furthermore they had a list of what were the worst valentines day (ie: anti-valentines) movies. Needless to say I was a little disappointed with the lists.

in the “Valentines Day Scrooge’s un-romantic Movie Guide” we have:

Closer – haven’t seen it…yet. Been thinking about it but yeah, also heard that its pretty full-on crude.
The Break-Up – well dah! I think the title would suggest that this film is not one to pick up to what with your honey unless you wanted to tell them something… Actually the film isn’t really un-romantic at all. In fact I give it gold stars for trying to hit some version of reality. Nice ending too – as expected but not saccharine.
unromanticFatal Attraction – haven’t seen it, and its from that era of decidedly bad American cinema so it is likely to remain unseen by me. If you liked it let me know! – Also the title doesn’t exactly scream “For richer or poorer” (more “Til Death” but we won’t go there).
The Shape of Things – haven’t seen it, although with Paul Rudd in it I may have to put it on my list of things to see.
Single White Female – Hey that’s me! – I already don’t like it. And haven’t seen it. The sequels called Single White Female 2: The Psycho.
The Opposite of Sex – haven’t seen it. Feel free to comment, infact DO comment if you think anything about any of these films.
Waiting to Exhale – haven’t seen it. Four women of a certain age sitting together laughing – I suppose you can guess why this is unromantic (looks like an African American version of First Wives Club).
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – What tha? Now, while this film isn’t your conventional love story it is definitely a love story – and the best kind of all – quirky, uncool, and unconventional. This is SO going on my romantic list. (I will review this film soon and to spoil the surprise its getting 4.75 Gold Stars).
Alexandra’s Project – never heard of it. Which is rather strange for me. Maybe its before my time. Looks Australian and therefore probably crap.

Now for Yahoo’s Romantic Fodder:
The Notebook – I could actually vomit- but then I’d get gunk all over the mac I’m wanting to sell. Well atleast it did bring two fine actors together and now they’re engaged…WHOOPS……Damn it! -I’ll have to buy a new keyboard.
Pretty Woman – how is this romantic? The acting alone-
Casablanca – as much as I love this super old school classic, its more an German (albeit Nazi) war propaganda film.
Music and Lyrics – I can’t write too much or I’ll vomit all over the-
The Holiday – Hooray for Hollywood! At last a relatively good and smart and well written rom com with the lovely Kate Winslet!
blah blahSleepless in Seattle – My mouth tastes all like salty and icky I’m starting to feel hungry but %$&%*&(* oh there I go again…I should really have a sick bag with me when I think about drivel like this.
The Lake House – okay, I must sadly and shamefully admit I kinda liked this one – no good excuses so I think I might just have to vomit on myself.
Pride and Prejudice (Wright version) – yes it is the Wright version and the right version! – As previously mentioned (a few times) on Gold stars I love this adaption. And when I get around to do a review on it you’ll see I have all the excuses in the world as to why this is worthy of your time (but maybe not on Valentines Day).
An Affair To Remember – Ooooh just the thought of the aging Cary Grant in this old classic and I’m gagging again. Haven’t seen it, although with a title like that, unless you’re up to what you shouldn’t be this valentines day I’d stay away from this one – although its a film from the era where gay meant happy so its probably safe. Then again I doubt my newlywed friends Bec and Geoff would hire out a film entitled A Gay Affair To Remember – no matter how innocent the content would be.

Well, whatever you’re doing tonight……I forgot what is supposed to come next.

Sorry it took so long

logoI hope you all out there will indulge this very Australian-centric post.Today, after decades of waiting Australia’s indigenous population will finally hear an official apology from the current Australian government for previous Australian governments policies of removing aboriginal children from their families. This was government policy and happened for half a century in Australia and was the leading cause of the degradation of their culture.Unlike some commonwealth and colonised countries, Australia shuns its indigenous peoples and has up until now failed to officially acknowledge the irrevocable damage caused by its governmental policies.Today this is changing. Thank God.poster There has been very few Australian films (full stop, but especially) that have dealt with issues of aboriginality. It would seem. not only do we want them ignored in our “multicultural” society but also in our entertainment. However there is one film that comes to mind, by the skilled and experienced Australian director Phillip Noyce: Rabbit Proof Fence.If you haven’t seen this film I encourage you to see it, depending on where you live it may be hard to find it. There are also several clips of the film on youtube.Last year I wrote a paper for my Australian cinema class about how aboriginality has been shown throughout Australia’s film history. Here is an excerpt:”The media is often a reflection of the dominant attitudes and values of a society; the medium of film is no exception. Through looking at Australian films of the last century we are able learn something of the attitudes that existed towards the indigenous population. Firstly it is important to note that it is only recently, in the last twenty years, that indigenous Australians have taken positions behind the camera. poster Since the 1920’s aboriginals have been in front of camera, blatantly portrayed, almost without exception, as savages. Exploitation of indigenous Australians in film was commonplace, further accentuating the belief of the aboriginal as ‘other’. They were either seen as part of the flora and fauna, mysterious forces to overcome, or ‘sub-hominids’. Racial prejudice continued into the 1970’s, perhaps in a more sophisticated fashion than in earlier days but was manifest in the misrepresentation of history, the aboriginal culture and oversimplifying moral and social issues. Indigenous characters were crafted to add to the stereotyped ideas about the aboriginal people rather than the characters being individuals who were also aboriginal. The use of aboriginals in film was never as protagonist, the aboriginal characters were never designed to be understood by the audiences, they served the function of savage, or noble savage.”…girls with neville“Films exploring indigenous issues in Australia do not come more perfectly realised than Phillip Noyce’s Rabbit Proof Fence. Noyce left Hollywood, where he had established himself as a prominent film director, to return to Australia and direct Christine Olsen’s adaptation of Doris Pilkington Garimare’s text Following the Rabbit Proof Fence. The story concerns three young “half-caste” girls, two sisters and their cousin, Molly, Daisy and Gracie (respectively) who were removed from their mothers in 1931 and taken to Moore River Native Settlement under the order of the chief protector of Western Australia A. O. Neville (Kenneth Branagh), 1600 miles from their home in Jigalong. The eldest of the three girls, Molly (played by Everlyn Sampi) convinces her sister and cousin to escape and the three set out on the near impossible journey home. The rabbit-proof fence that stretched from the south of the continent to the north was their guide home. The two sisters made it back to their mother at Jigalong, but Gracie was recaptured and returned to Moore River. the tracker The three girls made their journey with the help of some aboriginals and Europeans along the way, pursued by the police and aboriginal tracker Moodoo played masterfully by David Gulpilil. Noyce says he was attracted to the project because it was an emotional and compelling story, but also because it was a true story and the films central protagonists are alive today. The film concludes with narration from the real Molly, in her native tongue, and footage of Molly and Daisy at Jigalong. The decision to conclude the film in this way was nothing short of inspired. Veteran American film reviewer Roger Ebert revealed that ‘not since the last shots of “Schindler’s List” have I been so overcome with the realization that real people, in recent historical times, had to undergo such inhumanity’. “