February 22, 2006

Two Views From Our Vacation

danger zone.JPG

As the helicopter piloted out of the Waikaloa heliport this morning at 7:30 pm, the song "Danger Zone" by Kenny Loggins from the Top Gun soundtrack blared in our padded ear phones.


This guy at the Laua fish market probably gutted our dinner.

More images on CC's flickr page.

Posted by karen at 5:20 PM |

February 20, 2006

Cinecultist Goes Hawaiian

Gidget Goes HawaiianFor those who visit this blog as a way not so much to read about film viewing and cinema news but to keep up on the life of one Karen the Cinecultist, you'll be happy to know CC is now on the Big Island of Hawaii enjoying a much needed week long vacation. Escaping the lingering Manhattan slush and stresses of the Day Job, flying over both land mass and ocean expanse, CC finally touched down in Kona yesterday morning -- though this was after delays cross country and an unexpected six hour overnight stay in Waikiki. The weather is a balmy 80 degrees, the sun is shining and we can see the ocean from the backyard of the house where CC is staying with the fam. Very good stuff.

Cinecultist might find some time this week to blog here in between walks on the beach, hours spent devouring novels and meals of fresh fish. Or we might not. We're letting it all flow just like the Hawaiians, kids. Until then Aloha and Mahalo. (That's "so long and thank you" to those of you still on the mainland.)

BTW, the vintage poster above from Gidget Goes Hawaiian is in honor of CC's plan to take a surfing lesson. Don't worry, we'll make sure there is digital proof via Flickr for your amusement next week.

Posted by karen at 4:39 PM |

February 19, 2006

Bring On The Glib and Salacious HBO

HBO's Big LoveWill Big Love with Bill Paxton, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Chloe Sevigny and Ginnifer Goodwin become Cinecultist's new HBO obsession? The preview in today's NY Times certainly has further peaked our interest. Particularly the following telling quote from one of the series' writers:

"The only way this material can truly be handled is to be nonjudgmental,"Mr. [Mark V.] Olsen said. "We're not interested in the glib and salacious. We're interested in universal themes about family and marriage."

But there is plenty of glib and plenty of salacious, and in that sense the material does seem true. A few months ago I asked Ross Chatwin, one of the renegade residents of Colorado City, about what truly motivated the elders of the fundamentalist church to marry so many women — religious calling, or sex?

"It's all about sex," he said.

Posted by karen at 4:13 PM |

February 14, 2006

Bah Humbug to Feb. 14th


Cinecultist had mostly decided to ignore that today is Valentine's Day. After all it's an annoying, consumeristic, excluding holiday that we don't even have time to celebrate even if we wanted to, since things are crazy busy at the Day Job. But everything from girls carrying flowers on the subway this morning to the line of people waiting outside the Godiva chocolates near the office conspired against our fingers in the ears strategy.

If that's the way you're going to be Valentine's Day, fine. We don't like your sneaky proliferation tactics but we accept that people in the world are in love and feel they must celebrate it with blooms and sugar and kissie faces. Blech. If we were going to be cutesy about the "holiday," it would probably include a re-viewing of Amélie. Audrey Tautou plays the titular naif who decides to mend her isolated ways by helping out the lives of people around her with secret good works.

There's so many parts to this completely charming Jean-Pierre Jeunet movie that we love (not least of which involves a traveling garden gnome) but the romance between Amélie and Nino (Mathieu Kassovitz) is surely one of them. The quirky photo-booth picture collections, the motorbike and those brown eyes, sigh. It's enough to make CC all unnecessarily sappy and gooey and we can't have that.

Fight the power this February 14th! Don't let the homogenizing Hallmark celebrations get you down!

Posted by karen at 2:48 PM |

February 9, 2006

My She Was Yar


A long stressful day at the Day Job with many more left until a break has the Cinecultist longing for a nice double feature. As a fan of the comedies of remarriage, we noted with glee Symphony Space's The Awful Truth and The Philadelphia Story match up this weekend. The four blissful hours of Cary Grant goodness begins at 4 pm. Sigh. Witty banter, WASPy accents and Katherine Hepburn in some very chic trousers sounds like the ideal way to spend Sunday.

If you can't make it this weekend darlings, there's also going to be a screening of these two on Tuesday, ie. that most evilest of Hallmark holidays, Valentine's Day. Block out the cooing couples and proliferation of message heart candies with serious contemplation of the most important question ever: if you were Katie Hepburn would you choose Jimmy Stewart or Cary Grant? For the record, CC's a Grant girl but we can see the appeal of Jim.

Posted by karen at 11:11 PM |

February 6, 2006

Separated At Birth: Indie Rock Edition

Last night Cinecultist furthered our rampant girl-crush on singer Jenny Lewis of Rilo Kiley by attending her solo engagement at the Angel Orensanz Foundation performance. The converted church space where she performed -- along with M. Ward and in a one song cameo Conor Oberst -- on Norfolk was totally spectacular looking inside. Though the decrepit baroqueness may have influenced our movie associative thoughts during show.

For some reason, her back up singers the Watson Twins began looking a lot like...

Watson Twins

the ghost girls from Stanley Kubrick's the Shining, though all grown up.


Considering this is one of the scariest parts of that movie for CC (after the cascading blood from the elevator) you can understand our fascination coupled with trepidation seeing them crooning on stage with Jenny.

Do you think maybe their album cover is an allusion to that famous still from the film?

Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins

Our other movie thought during the show: if anyone ever wanted to make another Loretta Lynn movie, they should really cast Jenny in Sissy Spacek's part. She has the look down pat, big hair and wide belts and all.


Maybe Jenny wishes she was a coal miner's daughter instead of being a San Fernando Valley stage mom's daughter. [Thanks again to Jenna for the ticket and Jen for the invite!]

Posted by karen at 5:14 PM |

February 5, 2006

The Dahlia Blooms Again

This article in the New York Times today previewing Brian De Palma's adaptation of James Ellroy's The Black Dahlia has Cinecultist more intrigued than we expected we would be about this project.

Posted by karen at 6:03 PM |

February 1, 2006

This Time The Puppets Get Swords


Probably only Cinecultist and three of our geekiest readers will be excited about this news, but here it is: Jim Henson Co is working on a sequel to the 1982 children's classic, Dark Crystal! This is very cool, but it gets even better. And! It's going to be directed by Genndy Tartakovsky, the brilliant creator behind the animated series Samurai Jack. Everything's going to be puppets but puppets with CGI backgrounds according to an article in Variety today. [subscrip. req.]

Set hundreds of years after the first pic, sequel follows a mysterious girl made of fire who steals a shard of the crystal in hopes of reigniting the dying sun.

"The original 'Dark Crystal' was the pinnacle of puppetry; they created characters that were as believable as the ones you see in animated films," Tartakovsky said. "There is a limited budget here, and this will be more artsy, in a 'Sin City' fashion, with characters performing over greenscreen and great backgrounds behind it," he said.

We never thought we'd be so excited about a movie about a shard. Again. Now if only they'd do something to update the Secret of Nimh...

Posted by karen at 4:11 PM |