Friday, October 19, 2012

My Movie Biography: 2011 and How I Came to Love Jessica Chastain

(2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010) 2011. The bestest year ever. Well, in my life so far, but it is not like I have that many years to compare it to. It is kinda hard to write about a year so close to this one, but lemme tell ya, tomorrow is going to be even harder. Anyway, hope you're enjoying the series, and mark your calendars for Sunday. Big things are going to be happening!

  • I went down to Wellington for a week with my best bud. It was fun. We went to the cinemas like, four times. I usually never go to the cinemas more than three times on my holidays (I know it is really bad, but hey, I'm in a big city, so how can I refuse that?) We went and saw Tron: Legacy (which we didn't really like), The Social Network (because somehow it was still in cinemas), Morning Glory and Unstoppable. It was so fun!
  • One of the worst experiences I've ever had was watching Eat Pray Love when it was excruciatingly hot. That movie is by no means short. And it just does not stop. Ever. Okay it does, but it literally felt like I'd missed Christmas by the time it ended. 
  • I get very nostalgic over that summer because I spent the entire thing to the tunes of The Social Network's soundtrack. Sometimes I just listen to 'Painted Sun in Abstract' and it takes me back to those happy times. And then I look outside and it has just started hailing for the fifth time (we are supposed to be in spring).
  • That awards season was crazy. It was the first year I really got into it, even managing to watch all of the Best Picture nominees before the show. My love for certain movies changed so much during this awards season. First of all, I kinda resented The Social Network for being more popular than Inception. But what did I really expect? I thought that The Social Network was just gonna sail through and win everything. Then The King's Speech won the PGA. Everyone was now like "The King's Speech for Best Picture!" So I promptly realised that Inception wasn't going to win anything, I went and saw The King's Speech and thought it was pretty average, and then I became team The Social Network. From there on I became the biggest raging The Social Network fan on the planet. Every time I heard The King's Speech mentioned, I would fake gagging reflexes. I knew it was well over when The King's Speech won the SAG, but I refused to let go of the hope that The Social Network might take that award home. My friends and I gathered around the TV and watched The King's Speech win Best Picture. I may have cried.
    Those Oscars tore apart my life, man. Which I realise is pretty silly considering everyone in the blogging world hates the Oscars (seriously, they're still my favourite part of the year). Now I can tolerate The King's Speech, even though I still feel those twangs of pain whenever I hear it mentioned. As I said last night, I still can't decide between Inception and The Social Network being my favourite film of 2010. Ah, to look at things with a clear head...

  • March was a shitty mcshitfest of a month. But I saw The Ghost Writer. I don't know why this is special, but I always get nostalgic over watching this movie. Olivia Williams' performance is still my favourite of 2010.
  • I had the worst cinema experience of my life at the start of June. I went to go and see X-Men: First Class. That was nice enough. I just wanted to go and gaze at Michael Fassbender for two hours. Alas, I had a guy sitting next to me who I'm fairly sure was insane. He talked the entire time. Not to anyone else, but to himself. All about "1 o'clock" and "sandwiches". The entire time. Then he got up to go to the toilet, and he just about broke my toe and kicked my friend's popcorn. I can't even process how strange this experience was.
  • I got my tonsils out that month, too. Which was peachy. The day before we had Stage Challenge, which our school came second in. That all ended at around 11pm, so I had to kinda rush and get some McDonalds as I wasn't allowed to eat past 12am. Then I had to get up at 6am and enjoy those last moments of having a normal throat. The tonsils came out, and I had to go in the children's ward because I was 15 and you had to be 16 to be an adult. I got a lollipop. I'm gonna miss going to that ward. Anyways, I got to go home and stay there for two weeks (I wasn't allowed to go outside for a large portion of that), which was nice because people came and visited and I got to watch a lot of movies. The only ones I really remember watching were There Will Be Blood, Fish Tank and Season of the Witch. But there were a lot. In that time I also won the LAMMY for Best New Lamb, which was right surprising. I did a lot of screaming, which made my throat even worse.
  • During this tonsillectomy recovery I almost died. Okay, that's an exaggeration, but that night was hell. It was a Tuesday night, so I'd had Tuesday Movie Night (Tamara Drewe, Gnomeo & Juliet and The Last Exorcism were the films on tap...such a weird triple feature). Then I proceeded to go to bed, but my throat was hurting too much. So I took some codiene. I took it on an empty stomach, which was the STUPIDEST THING I'VE EVER DONE. Two hours later I got the WORST stomach pains in the world, and they did not give up for the rest of that night. I literally just sat outside, in the freezing cold, crying because I was in so much pain. It was horrid.
  • I stuffed up my reviewing gig with the paper. To be honest, my reviews were getting to long and fancy for that paper. But I look back on that and realise how stupid I was. People still remember those reviews like they were yesterday, though, which is weird.
  • I saw Blue Valentine. It was glorious. I cried so much.
  • My 22 year old horse Sox had to get put down. I remember the day that my Dad rung me and told me that it had to be done. I had come home from school and watched the part of Schindler's List that I missed at school. So I was already feeling pretty depressed. Then he rung me and I knew what he was going to say before he even said it, and I cried for that entire afternoon. The next morning he was put down, and I watched The Devil Wears Prada to make me feel better. Unfortunately, nothing could comfort me at that point. 
  • Speaking of Schindler's List, I became really interested (I really don't know how to put this) in the Holocaust. Which lead me to Night and Fog, which is hands down the scariest, most affecting film I've ever seen. Through this, I started valuing my life a whole lot more and thinking about how I can make the most out of my time here. I'm not an overly philosophical person, but I think I really changed  for the better at this point, and I hope that I can always be the best person I can be. Okay, philosophical muse over.
  • If you feel the need to know ever more about me, here's my 16 Days of Birthday marathon
  • It snowed in Dannevirke. That was so exciting. 
  • Oh yeah, I had my big obsession with Ralph Fiennes! Which stemmed from Schindler's List which makes me feel really bad, but yeah, that guy is awesome. It led me to Quiz Show and Strange Days, which were both awesome films that I probably would have missed out on otherwise. 
  • I finally turned 16 which meant I could watch R16 movies legally! The first R16 movie I legally got out/watched was In Bruges, which I saw on my brand new Blu-Ray player.
  • I saw the strangest double-feature at the cinemas: Crazy Stupid Love, followed by The Tree of Life. I felt so cool going to see The Tree of Life. I actually said at the counter that I was so excited for it because I would finally get to see who this Jessica Chastain person was. Since the 26th of August, I have been in love with her.
  • A week later I saw Melancholia at the New Zealand Film Festival, which was exciting because it was my first festival movie. That ending was the most epic experience I've ever had in cinemas. Afterwards I just felt so depressed. I actually just spotted my mother in a bookstore buying a Lotto ticket and I just gave her this huge hug. And then I vowed that I was going to take it easy on the Lars von Trier films.
  • I wrote that essay on film piracy. It took a lot of researching, a lot of raspberry iced teas and a whole lot of French films (Saturdays were my foreign film nights for a while, so they provided a break). It got an excellence, which I was hoping for. Then, during study leave I decided I wanted to post it on my blog since it was either write a blog post or watch Schindler's List again. A month later I got a call from Paramount about it. It kinda strikes me as a little strange, now...
  • We got our little dog, Indy! I think the first movie we watched together was Bridesmaids. Which I suppose makes me an irresponsible parent.
  • My maths exam was the worst thing ever. For one thing, I was doing a whole level above where I was at. For another thing, that exam was so hard that our maths teacher said that not even the highest level could do it. I felt so depressed afterwards, so I just went home and watched Scott Pilgrim vs the World. It made me infinitely happy.
  • I discovered the awesomeness of Sofia Coppola! I kinda watched her films in backwards order, though: Marie Antoinette, Somewhere, Lost in Translation then The Virgin Suicides.
  • Tyler introduced me to the magic of Krzysztof Kieslowski. I'm forever grateful for that. 
  • I watched Senna, not having a clue about Formula One or Ayrton Senna, and ended up as this huge bawling mess afterwards. I was so surprised at how that movie turned out.
  • I watched all of the Harry Potter movies within six days. That was actually quite fun. I wish I had hopped on that train a long time before then.
  • Guess what I did on my New Years Eve? Watched Inception. And guess what I'll probably do this New Years Eve? Watch Inception. Or maybe I'll change it to The Dark Knight Rises. Who knows...?
Last day tomorrow! What's one of your worst cinema experiences? How long have you been in love with Jessica Chastain?


  1. 2011 was the worst year of my life. Ever. But cinematically, it was pretty cool. Discovered people like Almodovar and PT Anderson. Also the whole world sort of came on par with me in regards to the Ryan Gosling obsession. V. nearly.

    1. Was it? Duuuuuuumb. I discovered PT Anderson too, that was awesome!

  2. Nice marathon, can't wait for Sunday!!
    Oh, and the piracy article I clicked made me sad. I understand everything you're saying and I try to go to the cinema A LOT, but one can't if one does not earn enough money to have those luxuries and so on.
    Yet, I do pay back to the industry by buying original DVD's. I'm close to a hundred and when people ask me "why?" I always say, it's for all those things I got because I was a criminal - or something.

    Gosh. I should really watch The Tree of Life I guess.. and Take Shelter. I have a lot of great movies I haven't seen yet. So weird.

    1. Yes, I know how expensive movies are. I'm kinda an armchair critic because I get all of my movies for free, so it doesn't really affect me. Well, it does in a way because more people pirate than they do rent, which means that I'm very close to losing my job. Which is sad, but oh well.

      You should totally see them!

  3. I love so many things about 2011 as well. Great post!

  4. Hmm, last year pretty much had me turned into a complete analyst when it comes to film. (I thank that film course I took in college.) Oh, and I also saw Shame which also changed the way I looked at film. (Seriously, how the fuck was it not nominated for anything at the Oscars?)

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  6. Great write-up! "The Tree of Life" was my #1 film from last year. "Take Shelter" was #2. I can't express how much I love those films

    1. Thanks! I love those films, too. They are wonderful!

  7. Yay! Kieslowski is one of my favorite directors. :)

    My worst cinematic experience was in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Two little girls in my row kept talking, and the woman in front of me yelled at them a few times. There was even popcorn thrown!


You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.


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