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NEWS! Meryl Streep wins her eighth Golden Globe

January 16, 2012

Although this biopic has not had good reviews, the fantastic Margareth Thatcher’s characterization has become one of the topics of the moment. The great actress has been nominated twenty-eight times. The Iron Lady was our cinematographic recommendation  last week.

This ceremony is a preview of the Oscars, so the excellent Iranian film Nader and Simin. A separation, which was wone the Best Foreingn Film Prize, is going to be the favorite for the Oscars and the main rival of the Spanish movie chosen, Agustí Villaronga’s Black bread (Pa Negre).

The Artist, a movie about Hollywood, that has been filmed imitating silent movies (without dialogues, in black and white…) it is an excersice of nostalgia for the past times. Although, it is a French movie but, I think, the intertitles must be in English, so it can be a recommendation (but only to improve our reading skills, not listening).

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33 comments

  1. Good nigth:

    It is fantastic to have this blog working again. I don’t know who has done it (well, in fact, I think is a student called Antonio, but I don’t know him…), but be whoever it be, thank you very much.

    I don’t know I am willing to watch The Iron Lady, because I think it’s problematic to do a biopic about a character who is still alive, and is very controversial, and I have heard that this one is very pollitically correct, but I agree that Meryl Streep is one of the best actresses alive.

    The Artist, I would like very much to watch it, because I absolutely adore silent filmes. Among my favorite films of all the times, there are several silent filmes, and I think I must be the only person in Spain who likes this kind of films, which can be extremely difficult to find on DVD. You can currently find only the Chaplin filmes, two or three Griffith filmes, the three or four German films most famous, like Nosferatu or Metropolis, and, perhaps, one or two Einsenstein films. I have like fifteen or twenty dvds of silent films and it took me years to do the collection, and even so, there are missing several important films (Waxworks, Destiny, Orlac’s Hands, The Saga of Gosta Berling, the 1913 version of The Student of Prague, The Unknown, Raskolnikow and many others). I think that actors and filmakers had a special sensibility which are totally lacking of in our days, and they could do moving stories with very few things.

    I hope to coment new entries in this blog very soon.

    Thank you, again, and good nigth.


  2. Thanks, Rosa! It is a surprise to find silent movies’ lovers. I love them, there are a lot of amazing movies during the three first decades of the Twentieh Century. You can found many of them in Internet (classics by Murnau, Lubitsch, Hitchcock’s British stage, Lang, Vertov…) or in Cine Doré (Filmoteca Española). This week there are not British releases so I will recommend an american classic in this screen.
    Thank you, again.


  3. Good morning:

    In fact, I have watched several of the filmes that I mentioned on the YouTube, but, you see, when you really love those filmes you want to have it on DVD, and treasure them. In good versions and editions, because I had bought editions that were a piece of junk (Paul Leni’s The Man who Laughs, and it’s a real pity, because this is one of my favourite silent films) and were not cheap at all. In other countries, they have them. In the other hand, there are some very good editions (like Jean Epstein’s La chute de la Maison Usher). This Christmas I have got as a prsent Victor Sjostrom’s Korkalen (The Phantom Carriage, a Swedish film), which was a film that I wanted to have since a long time ago.

    Good bye, I expect to write more soon.


  4. By the way, do you know that the main actress of the Iranian film has been imprisoned in her country, and they want to beat her with a lash?


  5. It does not surprise me because the great Iranian director, Jafar Panahi, has been jailed for making films that mades.

    I have watch it in Festival de San Sebastian and is a superb film.


  6. I have heard many stories about Jafar Panahi, including the one concerning to his imprisonment. And nobody knows what has it been of him! What a shame! I mean, Iran is not Afganisthan, they behave like if they were in the Middle Age, but they live in the XXI th century, they are not iletrates, they go to the university, they have social networks, they have teachers, doctors, even good filmakers. Altough I haven’t seen any Iranian film. Are them so good? Could you recommend me one or two?

    You know, I think there is a very curious think about these films. I think that nowadays Iranian films have became very fashionable. It is the same thing that happened with Italian and Japanese films during the fifties and sixties, and German films during the twenties. I think that I was, not only because they were good, but because those films came from countries which have lots of troubles, as they said once in the Garci TV program.

    Have a good day!


  7. Hi!
    I want to say something about Meryl Streep. There are actors that are good, others that are talented. A few are genious and after that…there is Meryl Streep. She is awesome. Not only she imitates Thatchers perfectly (the way she moves, she looks, she speaks…the make up is brilliant), she transmits her soul. It was such a dramatical recital. Very interesting.

    However, I think that the script don’t make any justice to this great actress and it is a pity, it seems that it is written only for Streep’s bigs moments and that is great mistake. I don’t know, the story hasn’t click on me. I left the cinema with a mixture of deception and admiration.


  8. Good nigth:

    Laura, nice to meet you. Do you know something. Today there was a review in the newspaper about this film, and they said more or less the same thing that you have said. Which is more, they said that Meryl Streep is, in the last years, choosing to appear in not very good films, so, she would be the best in the film. And they say that this is a very becoming and simplistic portrait of Margaret Thatcher, perhaps because she is still alive, and to do other thing could have been very risky. It’s the problem whith the biopics. I do not know if they are right, but probably she is the best actress alive.

    Good nigth.


  9. Rosa what you say about cinema and trouble is really interesting. i wonder that we have hardly ever shone in this field given that the Spanish are artistic, perhaps it is due to the fact that our actors and actresses are “tolerable” only and then some.


  10. In my opinion the iron lady is not a good portrait of mrs thatcher, she comes off as very housewify (just coined a new word!!) very simple, she must have been very powerful and people must have felt frightened of her…too soft, I hardly think she could have been thus, it doesn´t manage to put her across, her character.


  11. Good nigth:

    Spanish cinema has real troubles, but to put the blame of the people who download all the films, it’s simplistic, in my opinion.
    No, I think that the problem is that the filmakers only make the films that they like, and not the films who could be interesting for the people. Sadly, in Spain, everybody wants to make “author’s cinema”, “cinéma d’ auteur”, and not everybody can do this, because you have to have talent, and most of them don’t have, or tell all the time the same story. Audiences are fed up of fims about Civil War, or mistreated women, or homosexuals, or prostitutes, or drug adicts. If I want to watch stories about that, I watch the Telediario, or a docummentary. I think that we have an aditional problem with our tastes, or what is considered “good”. El Quijote could be a very good book from the pont of view of the history of literature, or just history, but it has been terrible for the tastes of the Spanish, because we only apreciate, or considered good realistic stories. In Spain we don’t have fantastic genre, like in Great Britain or Germany, we think about fantastic stories as a minor genre. I put the blame in the influence of the religion in the Spanish life, during many centuries. Catholic Church seemed to have the monopoly of the supernatural. This has made us terribly uncreative and lacking of imagination.
    The other thing is that we have very mediocre actors today, and specially actresses, as you pointed. I was talking about that the other day with one of my aunts. During the fifties and sixties we have some very good actors (altough we had, like today, very few good films, but we had Bardem, Berlanga…and people who perhaps were not very creative, but who knew their jobs… ) And all what we have today is actresses who can not act, who can not declaime, sing or dance or even speak (I am not going to provide any name). All what they can do is to show their boobs…what’s the merit of that? I can do that myself, but the diference between them and me is that I am not going to do that. It’s a pity, because we have a great theatrical tradition in Spain and I think we are losing it. We need a Kenneth Branagh or something of the sort to bring Calderón, Lope, Tirso…back to life.


  12. After my super long post on Tinker tailor I will only say here that I am struck by Rosa´s comment. I wouldn´t have ever come up with the conclusion that Spanish directors´ lack of creativity is due to religion´s monopoly of the supernatural. I should think that religion could be “the source” rather than “the impediment” as the Bible abounds in sublime ideas and forms of expression. For instance, some critics assert that Shakespeare is a reflection of the Bible and unless Christianity had come first, his plays would have never followed.
    I think that the problem is in the audience. Spanish audience likes rubbish stuff. There is not a lack of creativity, I think, but lack of good taste.


  13. as to carmen´s comments that the film doesn´t manage to put her across, I think we are supposed to know Thatcher as the politician, as the powerful woman she was; so the film tries to depict her other side… showing her as… any other aging woman whose life is vanishing. She´s been humanized.

    Do you really think that Meryl Streep is given prizes because she surrounds herself with bad cast? Well, it is a very way of standing out! However, do you really think she needs to do that? Which examples provides the article you read, Rosa? The doubt, Devil wears Prada, Julie and Julia… cannot be examples!

    By the way, did you hear her speech? It was awful! But she was lucky… she kissed Colin Firth!!! Much better prize than the Golden Globe!


  14. Good nigth:

    I think I have not been clear about my last post. I didn’t say that Spanish directors lack of imagination because of the religion, It’s Spanish tastes (in films, literature, art…) which are influenced by religion. And it comes from a long time ago, when cinema doesn’t exist, during the XV th century, when the Inquisition started in Spain. Spanish writers and artists didn’t want to deal whith the supernatural, because it could be a source of troubles. Therefore, they made realistic works, and, therefore, people started to think that the only words which deserved admiration were the ones about realistic issues. A tradition was set, a tradition which lasts till today.

    Tell me: Do we have in Spain something comparable to Dracula, or
    Frankenstein (both British novels, before they were made into films), or comparable to Edgar Allan Poe’s or Henry James novels. No, we don’t have. Do we have in Spain something something like Das Kabinett des Doktor Caligari, or Nosferatu ( classic horror German films)? No, we haven’t. Germany, United States and United Kingdom were mainly protestant countries. In Spain we have La Celestina, El Quijote, El Lazarillo, Miau, Fortunata y Jacinta… when we have something conected with the supernatural, is generallly a religious thing, like in Don Juan Tenorio. Our main artists, Velázquez, Murillo, Zurbarán…takes their styles and themes from the actual life. And in films we have Muerte de un ciclista, Surcos, El Verdugo, Plácido, El pisito…films about the problems of contemporary people. The only fantastic Spanish writers that I can think are Emilio Carrere and Bécquer. And Bécquer was not apreaciated in his time, because they said he was very unrealistic.
    And it’s true that Spanish audiences are very tacky. All what they want to watch is Pajares y Esteso, Paco Martínez Soria, Torrente, and in general any movie whith boobs and asses.


  15. Well, María, I didn’t tell it, it was the paper which told that.

    Perhaps this is a bit true, precisely Julie and Julia and Devil wears Prada were two of the examples of bad films in which she was that the paper provided (but they also said Krammer against Krammer and The Madison Bridges, which are not, in my opinion, bad films at all). I cannot tell, because I have not watched those films, but, for me, Devil wears Prada sounds terrible! Just like any other “film for girls (Pretty Woman, Bridget Jone’s Diary, Steel Magnolias and this kind of tearjeaker stuff… I am sorry, but I can not bear this kind of movies)”.

    I haven’t hear her speech, I’ll try to find it.


  16. And it’s the same thing that I have told before. Shakespeare was not Catholic, he was Protestant, and in the Catholic countries, like Spain, the Bible didn’t have anything to do with religion. It was even forbidden to translate it, it had to be read in Latin. And the only people who knew Latin were the priests. Do you see? Emperor Charles I had tho ask permission to the Pope to read a French translation of the Bible when he was in Yuste, because if you read the Bible, you could have serious problems. Protestants did read the Bible, not Catholics. If you started of talking about ghosts, or vampires, or fairies, you could have been put into an exorcism, or something worse. Even Saint Theresa of Avila was considered suspicious of being posesed by the devil, and she was imprisoned, and several of her books, were forbidden by the Inquisition. If you told something which was not matched whit the Catholic Church theories, you could be put in prison, or you could even been sentenced to die. And, certainly, they were not fond of vampires, witches, fairies, ghosts or things of the sort.

    I hope I have been more clear this time.


  17. but they were not fond of boops and asses either and that is what we have in films!

    I know it was an article and not your opinion. In my opinion, not all “girly”, “cheesy” films are bad. There are bad films, of course, mainly those made for teenagers. But not all romantic films are bad. I don´t think that The devil wears Prada and julie and julia are not bad films. Neither are Bridget Jones´ diary or Pretty woman. They tell nice stories and there are feelings involved… But that is only my opinion. Jane Austen wrote “girly” novels with happy endings and lots of romance which were so much entertaining! Seing Bridget Jones is like seeing a modern version of Miss Bennett!


  18. I don´t think that The devil wears Prada and julie and julia are bad films, I meant


  19. Well, I don’t know. As I told, I haven’t watched. I am sorry for my very long messages, I am going to give it up because I think we are going too far from the original subject.

    Have a nice day!


  20. But you have said that already! We have those things in films because people is tacky, and the filmakers think that they have to put that in the movie in order to sell it! It’s a shame, people is still behaving themselves like if we were in the sixties, when you couldn’t see that on a movie, and to put that was modern, and original, and had certain taste of forbidden thing. I think that, then, people wanted to watched that because they never have been alowed of watched that…and now, they are still behaving like this.

    Well, have a nice day.


  21. http://www.goldenglobes.org/blog/2012/01/youtu-benbb2ewerre8/

    “more than human and less than human”


  22. Thank you very much for posting this link!

    Good night.


  23. well, I have been very much interested in reading this discussion, but, Rosa I´m afraid that you are putting a little too much on the Bilble and the Catholic Church..why is it that we find anything right where the Church is concerned and put all our evils on its head???I view it more as María, a source of..whatever, not a handicap!!


  24. Good nigth:

    I thougth I have had explained that. It’s the tradition, not as much as Catholic Church in our days. The cultivated people only want to watch stories about Civil War, or mistreatened women… and the rest of the people (who sadly are the vast majority) want to watch Torrente. Our all classic films are about real stories, or stories that could be real.

    I think I shouldn’t talk about this, because is a French (French are not genial, in my opinion, and they are not perfect in anything, but they are skillful and they can do good things in many fields, not excelent, good, if you see my point, and, specially, they usually do very careful done films) film and a silent film, but I have just watched The Artist. I have liked very much, and, usually I don’t like the films that I watch at cinemas. Of course, there are some things that I have not like: the dog (I am like Hitchcock, I can’t bear films with dogs and children), they make a very simplistic portrait of silent cinema (not all silent cinema were Harold Lloyd and Douglas Fairbanks films), and the twenties, they abuse of certain clichés and topics… but, in general, I have like it very much. The acting is fantastic, the photography, amazing, the music, absolutely enjoyable… and it would let the young people who never have bothered themselves in watching a silent film, to star to take an interest in them, because it recalls the looks of these films. It’s is not trully a very innovative one, but it’s carefully done, and tells a simple story with great sensibility. It’s a film about feelings, like the great silent films were. You don’t have to understand it, just feel it. Without 3-D, digital effects and those kind of thinks that have made the films of our days boring, noisy and annoying, just technical achievements, and any other think else. Far much better than any other films whith great pretensions, and which are only pieces of junk. You know what? I think it is not going to win any Oscar, in spite of all the things that they are saying. First, because is an European film. Second, because it’s a good film. Good films usually don’t win Oscar, a sickness which has became more acute in the last years.

    Forgive me for these really long and sometimes dull posts. I hope they have been usefull to you.

    (P.S.: I think that the next film that I am going to watch is this one in which Glenn Close impersonates a man, I have not decided yet.)

    Good nigth.


  25. Sorry, I meant “start” and “nothing else”.


  26. Dear folks,

    I don’t usually write all that I want because I fell ashamed of my grammar. I have to study more and more.

    First of all I want to recommend you THE ARTIST. I wached it last week, and it is amazing. I specially like the 20s cinema, so I was excited about the film. THE ARTIST shows, without doubt, that it is possible to transmit emotions, and a complex history without dialogues.

    Secondly I want to say that in my opinion in Spain there are a very good cinema. The problem there are not the directors, actors, plots or anything like that. There are a very interesting films with great plots, talented filmmakers, great – and non famous – actors and actress, etc.
    From my point of view, the problem is that many times, this kind of films are not a highly comercial, and sometimes is quite dificult to watch it.
    So the problem is the distribution ways. I’ve been watching great spanish – independent – films for years in Films Festivals, and very small and non famous cinemas, and unfortunately many times this films are not released in comercial cinemas, and of course, other times, the filmmakers doesn’t have money for publicity. So, in my opinion, if we want to watch good cinema or a diferent cinema, we must to be actives spectators, search another ways like Festivals or small cinemas. It doesn’t matter if the director and actors are non famous because if we go to watch this sort of films, possibly we will be wonder. Moreover, Festivals are ausually cheap.


  27. Welcome, Amanda! Do you like the cinema of the twenties? So do I!

    Of course, there are some good films in the independant circuits, but, as you say, is hard to watch them. They could release some on TV broadcastings (several years ago, they put some in La Dos, in that TV program presented by Cayetana Guillén), because they have a purpose of public service, or that is what they say (I am fed up of docummentaries about nature, or physics, or WWII, in the past, they put classic filmes, now, if you want to watch classic filmes you only have La Sexta 3, and not all the days, and not all the types of classic films), or they even put some of them in the Internet for downloading. Not only filmakers, but also other kind of artistic creator (like writers) are in our days puting their work in the Internet, so the public can directly enjoy it. It doesn’t have to be free, not necesarily, they could be payed for registry or amount of dowloads. And you are quite rigth in the rest of the things that you say.

    Have a nice day.


  28. I´ve seen The Artist and liked it… I seem to be saying this all the time! I´ve seen it and liked it. The Iron Lady, The Descendants..All are fine, but they don´t stand out, do they? I haven´t liked any as much as I liked The King Speech last year! (Though Tinker Tailor is very good too). I guess it was the story itself that I liked best, their performances, their friendship…

    The Artist is fine… The story is nice and it is a very good idea the way they did it. But I don´t think it is a memorable film…And there are no quotes to remember! I missed some more sense of humour… I remember I laughed my head off watching Chaplin´s films. Is it Modern Times then one in the factory? Oh, that was hilarious!

    The one I liked last year too was Hereafter, I always like Eastwood´s films, so I very much look forward to seeing Edgar Hoover! Antonio, thanks for all your recommendations. It is actually very helpful to “know” what to see, not to spend time deciding!


  29. Good morning:

    I agree with you. I have liked very much The Artist, altough, perhaps is nothing but a style exercise. But even so, I have liked it, most, given the horrible and repetitive films that are made today.

    That there is not memorable quotes? What do you say me about “I won’t speak, I won’t speak!”? It is very important to understand the film. And also, it’s a silent film. Silent filmes are not about quotes, but about images (I have seen a lot of silent films, and the only really memorable quote that I think I can remember is “Du musst Caligari Werden” -You must become Caligari- which told like this is not very impressive, but which makes a lot of sense in the context of the film, The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari).

    You didn’t laugh? There were some very funny moments in the film, but I remember you that not all the silent filmes, as I said, are Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd. There were the Lon Chaney films, like The Phantom of the Opera (the only accurate adaptation of the book that I have watched), which were horror films, and some quite creepy German films. There were historic filmes, like Griffith’s Intolerance or the silent version of Ben Hur, social dramas, like Murnau’s Der Letze Mann (The Last Laugh), films about spies and secret agents, like Fritz Lang’s Der Spione (The Spies) or Doctor Mabuse, and films about fantastic adventures, like The Thief of Baghdad, or The Zorro’s Mask, both whith Douglas Fairbanks… Well, it’s true that there is a problem with silent films, and there is a lot of people only asociate them whith comedies. Yes, it was Modern Times, by the way, a quite good film.

    I haven’t seen the film about Hoover, but it seems quite interesting, and I think that there are several important films which haven’t been nominated, but I think that this normal with the Oscars, they only think in the films whith more commercial potential.


  30. Gosh, you are an expert, Rosa! I see what you mean. When I said memorable quotes I meant quotes which could be related to our lives, beyond the context and symbolism of the film itself, such as “We´ll always have Paris” or “I´ll never be hungry again”, which have lots of meaning not only within the plot of the story.

    I laughed with the dog though… I am not a fan of silent movies because I haven´t seen many! However, I am a fan of words…, I want to hear their voice. Perhaps too superficial of me!


  31. No, no superficial at all. Words are worth for some things, sometimes. And images are for others. Silent films are not about words, but images. Chaplin’s tramp going down the lonely street, the female robot of Metropolis with her malevolent glare, Nosferatu’s shadow sprending on a wall, Caligari’s sleepwalker sliding quietly in the darkness, the crowds in Intolerance, Harold Lloyd hanging from the big clock…that’s is silent films, not “Nobody is perfect”, “Toto. I think we are not in Kansas anymore”, “I do not drink…wine”, “Hasta la vista, baby”…and such thinks, which are not bad, by the way, I like ingenious sentences in the films. I am not an expert, but I have seen some films, that’s all.
    If you like words, you surely would like books, literature, and, in my opinion, this is not to be superficial at all


  32. Thanks… I should watch a silent movie. Which one do you recommend? Which is the best, unmissable, in your opinion?


  33. Ufff… let’s see, this is very, very difficult to decide, in my opinion, because, you see, I have my own personal tastes, and I am not going to be impartial. And, also, there are lots that I think you should watch…not only you, all the people who loves cinema, and loves culture, in general…And it is not easy to come into them…the first time that you try to watch a silent film it can be an ordeal…I’ll try to tell wich, in my opinion, are the best, or the “must watch”: I think you should watch a Griffith’s film (like Intolerance of The Birth of a Nation, I recommend you the first, but it lasts almost four hours), a Einsenstein film (Battleship Potemkim or October, and I warn you, Einsentein films are my less favourite, they have grew very bad and most of them are very dated today and seem dull, but he revolutioned the editing technique), a Chaplin film (The Golden, Rush, Modern Times or City Ligths), perhaps a film of Douglas Fairbanks (The Thief of Baghdad), a Buster Keaton (The Machinist), a Harold Lloyd, a Lon Chaney film (like the Hunchback of Notre Dame or The Phantom of the Opera, Chaney was the Chaplin of the horror films, he did always all his makeups, no other guy made him up) and some of the German classics, and it comes the most difficult, because the twenties were the golden age of the German cinema, and I like very much almost all of them (all the films that I have watched). And you have all kind of films among them, horror films, filmes of adventures, about spies, social drama, light comedies, Sci-fi films…I think you should watch Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, a real masterpiece, and one of the first sci-films. During the eighties, it became very fashionable, and they made color versions with pop music as BSO (I can’t help, but I am a big fan of Frtiz Lang’s filmes). If you like spies stories, you have Spione and Doctor Mabuse, of the same filmaker, but they are very long (Mabuse runs about four hours). You should see a film from Murnau (Nosferatu, if you like horror films…this is the first adaptation of Dracula, and, altough is very old is really, really terrifying) or Die Letze Mann (a social drama about the old janitor of a fancy hotel, in English is known as The Last Laugh, in Spain as El último). Much less known is Paul Leni, other director that I like very much, and who ever made some filmes in Hollywood, like The Cat and the Canary (one of the first filmes about haunted houses), and The Man who Laugh, another of my favourite silents. This film inspired the Joker character in the Batman comics. I think that Pabst is only for “completers”, but some of his films, like Pandora’s Box (whith Louise Brooks one of the great stars of silent films), and The street without joy were very celebrated. If you can take an avant-garde film, indeed you should watch The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari, by Robert Wiene. This one is not only one of my favourite silents, but one of my favourite films of all the times. Every time that I wach it, I discover something new. And only runs about seventy minutes. You must be thinking that this list is very short, and I didn’t mention French films, nor Danish films, nor Swedish films. Look for a good book, a guide about films, and check it, its advices surely would be more accurate than mine. Most of the films that I mentioned are relatively easy to find, and some of them are even in the public domain, so there are some websites in which you can watch it for free and in a legal way. Try in the webpage Archive:

    http://www.archive.org/

    I am sorry for this really long post, but I was talking about something that I love very much. Was it noticeable?



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