Talk on films, TV programmes, and other pretty flashing colours.
Puberty Blues, Australian teen movie from the early 80s. Not a masterpiece by any means, but it's held up quite well and it's an interesting slice of life drama about the toxic surfie culture in South Sydney in the late 70s. It was fairly controversial in its time for its unromantic depiction of teenage sex. Compared to the novel, it's toned down quite a lot - the girls are 16 instead of 13, and they leave out the miscarriage and the discussion of abortion. The acting is pretty average, and not much more was seen of any of the young cast. Jad Capelja had addiction and mental health issues and committed suicide in 2010. The kiwi connection is the theme song, written by Tim Finn and sung by Sharon O'Neill.
Watched "Love Story" mainly for pop cultural education reasons. Hard to believe this turd was a massive hit in 1970, maybe it was the novelty of hearing a girl say 'bullshit" a lot (only 2 years since Steve McQueen uttered this shocking word in Bullitt), and a very tame sex scene. Also hard to believe the writer was a Harvard literature professor. The acting is terrible and the characters are unlikable. They insult each other constantly and don't seem to like each other, but somehow find each other hot. Whatever. The line "Love means never having to say you're sorry" is absolute bullshit, love means saying you're sorry any time you screw up, which you'll do often. Somehow that became a catchphrase in the 70s.
Funny how women fall for these "romantic" movies that aren't romantic at all when you think about it. I guess it's their version of porn.
Found the 1948 Italian movie "Bicycle Thieves" on youtube. It's considered a prime example of the Italian "neorealist" school. It's basically a working class kitchen sink drama about post-war Italy, a time of high unemployment. A working class guy with a wife and 2 kids gets lucky and lands a job hanging posters for Hollywood movies, but one of the job requirements is he must have his own bicycle. He recovers his bike from the pawn shop at great expense, but then his bike gets stolen on his first day on the job....and as usually happens it gets broken up for parts and sold at a local black market.
In the neorealist school of film-making, they used non-actors. No pretty shots of St Peters Square here, just gritty location shots of a working class district of northern Rome. There's a scene where a kid nearly gets hit by a car, twice - apparently that was genuine and unrehearsed. The lead guy was a factory worker, who later got laid off when the company ran into financial problems because the boss figured he must be rich now that he's the star of a hit movie. Of course he didn't have a share of the profits, just his wage for the film worth a few thousand dollars in today's terms. He later said the movie ruined his life.
Anyway... is it a good movie? Yes. Would I recommend it? Yes. Is it one of the top ten greatest films of all time like the film snobs at Sight and Sound say? Probably not. But definitely worth a look.
Got through all 6 seasons of Better Call Saul. It was ok, lots of cool camera tricks and excellent acting and all... but I just didn't find it very involving, mainly cause I didn't like any of the characters. Except maybe Tuco's Abuelita. (never call her biznatch)
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