Thursday, December 31, 2009

In the blink of an eye

First, I'd like to explain why, unlike my fellow cinephiles, I have not been busying myself writing end of the decade lists. The 2000s have come and gone and now is the time we look back fondly (or not) on what happened over the last ten years. And while I find these efforts to sum up the Oughts in clever lists and articles a fun and perhaps even necessary exercise, I will not take part in them.

The reason I'll abstain from such things is my birth-date. I was born on January, 1992; on the same day as my sister's birthday. I grew up a child of the 90s and when the new millennium rolled around I was still a little boy. So, while I was alive throughout all the 2000s, I was much too young to see the majority of the films that came out in the first half of the decade. Yes, I have seen films from years past to fill the gaps in my film education, but I still think I am not qualified to provide an adequate review of the entire decade.

So, what is left for me to do, my dear readers? Well, one thing I am prepared to review is 2009. And on this last day of the year, as you uncork the champagne and count down the seconds to a bright new beginning, I'm prepared to entertain you with one last bit of my opinion.

I raise my glass today to this past decade, and for all it has brought. Bonne année, mes petits.

Au revoir,
M. Cinema

P.S. And for those of you interested in such lists, there's a fantastic group of them over at Cinematical.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Alice in Wonderland

A new trailer for Tim Burton's upcoming Alice in Wonderland has been making the rounds and I thought I'd share it with you. The film looks wonderfully Burton-esque. I specially love Helena Bonham Carter's Red Queen. Do you love it? Do you hate it? Do you cover your ears at the Queen's insane scream (love!)? Let me know in the comments.

Au revoir,
M. Cinema

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Portrait of the Ad as a Short Film

You may have noticed a trend that high-end ads are following these days. The thing nowadays is to turn ads into short films that happen to showcase the product in one way or the other. This type of advertising, where the line between an ad and entertainment gets blurred, is technically knows as branded content. The first of these commercials I remember watching is No. 5 The Film, a Chanel advertisement for the legendary perfume of the same name directed by Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge!). Featuring Nicole Kidman and Rodrigo Santoro in a simple, star-crossed-love story, the commercial raised the bar for advertisement everywhere (in my mind, at least).

This year, Chanel released a new ad for No. 5, this time a short film directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Amélie), where he once again worked with Audrey Tautou. And although it's not as glitzy as the first one, it still is miles above what most fashion commercials are doing these days.

However, competition being what it is, rival fashion house Dior has released it's own contribution to this emerging genre. The Olivier Dahan-directed The Lady Noire Affair features a gorgeous Marion Cotillard and a dark color palette to go with the noir mood, along with the promise of Cotillard returning for the sequel, The Lady Rouge. Not only this, David Lynch is set to direct. Now, don't get me wrong, I find the Chanel ads much more charming than this one, but the thought of Lynch directing Cotillard in a John Galliano-styled short film is pretty interesting to me.

All of this leads me to the question; are these any good? Are these competently made short films? Or are they just above-average, different advertisements that grab my attention due to their originality? And if they are, are they an indication of what advertisement can aspire to be? Are these lofty aspirations even accomplishable? Let me know what you think in the comments.

Au revoir,
M. Cinema