“Friends with Kids doesn’t play like a rom-com or one of those “dramedies” — I hate that word — that give you laughs, a little cry and the occasional shiver of recognition. It has a nervous rhythm and terrific tension, as if the characters’ backs are against the wall and the clock is ticking down.” — David Edelstein
French filmmaker Georges Méliès’sA Trip to the Moon (Le Voyage dans la lune) is widely considered the first ever science fiction movie. It turns 110 years old this year.
It drew inspiration from both H.G. Wells’ The First Men in the Moon and Jules Verne’s From Earth to the Moon, and, though it lacked any coherent plot, Méliès’s innovative special effects were a marvel to its viewers (he also designed the sets, acted in the lead role, produced, and directed). Although the film was a success, Méliès eventually went bankrupt in part because of Thomas Edison and his associates, who, among other American filmmakers, distributed stolen copies of his movies in the United States and reaped enormous profits. This was Méliès’s 400th film (he would go on to make over 500), and it cost 10,000 Francs to produce.
Colored versions of Méliès’s movies were sold alongside black-and-white ones, but hand-colored prints of this particular film, his most famous, were only rediscovered in 1993. The film premiered at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival completely restored with color and a new soundtrack, 109 years after its original release in 1902.
I’ve yet to watch this, but I’ve listened to the new soundtrack and it is stellar.
Release Date: January 20, 2012 (limited) Studio: Roam Films Director: Shimon Dotan Screenwriter: Netaya Anbar, Shimon Dotan Starring: Ryan O’Nan, Gillian Jacobs, Leonardo Nam, James Chen, Keong Sim, Michael Esper, Peter Scanavino
Three Chinese students, Tzu (James Chen), Wa (Keong Sim) and Chen (Leonardo Nam) come to study in America in the summer of 1980. They move into a New York City apartment next door to Dexter (Ryan O’Nan), a graduate student who introduces them to Suzanne (Gillian Jacobs), his occasional girlfriend and to Billy (Michael Esper), a struggling filmmaker. The Chinese find America fascinating. However, their perceptions, based on watching non-stop television, change when one of them is brutally mugged, when Suzanne takes up with Chen behind Dexter’s back, and when Zap (Peter Scanavino), Suzanne’s ex boyfriend, stalks them into a state of terror. When on December 8, 1980 John Lennon is murdered, the Chinese students decide to buy a gun for self-defense.
Finally watched the movie “Love” (trailer is embedded), and I’ll give you my vague opinion in case you watch it sometime. It accidentally starts similarly to “Moon” but eventually veers in a much different direction. I was punished for not paying close enough attention, as I was confused at the end, but now that I understand it, it’s clear that parts of the end were left open for viewer interpretation. But for a movie with minimal dialogue and settings, you have to make sure to catch all the particular visual and explanatory hints.
I read some reviews after watching it that had some minor valid criticism about the plot/concept, but regardless, altogether it’s really deep, like Carl Sagan deep. A great directing/writing debut for William Eubank, and I’ll definitely be keeping my eye out to see if he writes any more screenplays.
My name is Jody Michael, and I am currently an editor and reporter at Journal Publishing in Crosby, North Dakota. I graduated from Kent State University in May 2013 with a News degree in the Broadcast Journalism concentration. I have experience in print, television and radio.