Liv Tyler: just writing poetry in the bath like we all do
You may remember back when all this started (lo these not-very-many months ago), I said I avoided films by auteurs. Apparently I’m prepared to make an exception when these films bomb horribly, because even if he remains best known to philistines like myself for Marlon Brando’s ‘get the butter’ moment from Last Tango in Paris, Bernardo Bertolucci is definitely an auteur. And Stealing Beauty was definitely a flop.
In 1996 Liv Tyler was almost the next big thing. After a winning turn in Empire Records (Just for you – it’s Rex Manning Day!) she just needed the right vehicle to turn her stellar, and luckily, Bertolucci was in the market for his next muse. Unfortunately for both of them, whatever film they were trying to make, it wasn’t the one fans wanted to watch at the Cannes Film Festival where it was roundly booed. And – whisper it quietly – Liv Tyler never really did break out into superstardom, elf-ears notwithstanding. Continue reading
Surfing in Cornwall. God it looks chilly.
I saw Blue Juice before I had much concept of Cornwall as a semi-independent sovereign state clinging reluctantly on to the tail end of England. But even then (what was it, about 1996? Taped off the telly and one of the only things my older brother and I could agree on to watch, anyway) I could see it was a different kind of place. There were surfers where I came from, sure. But this was surf culture. In the north, anyone who was daft enough to venture into the sea was too busy getting their circulation back and self-treating incipient frost bite to retain the energy to think up new slang and grow their hair long. Quiksilver hoodies, beach raves and flip flops as functional outdoor wear were all exotic concepts of which we could only dream.
The surfing stuff is obviously going to be the draw of this film for some people (extreme sports fans, neoprene enthusiasts), and apparently the actors all had training beforehand. But endearingly they’re pretty obviously all rubbish at it, except for Sean Pertwee’s JD who you barely see in action until the big set piece at the end when he’s obviously being doubled. There might be some token chat about ‘perfect barrels’, ‘six foot and clean’ and the like, but I sort of appreciate the film doesn’t try to cram in too many duplicated scenes of virtuosity to make their point or drag in the enthusiasts. In the end, this is not really a surf film in the same way that Riding Giants is, or that – god help us – Blue Crush tries to be. Continue reading
Keith (Poor Guy) and Watts (Poor Girl)
I’m supposed to like The Breakfast Club. Or Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Pretty in Pink has its charms. I understand the connoisseur’s choice is Sixteen Candles. But I like this one best.
It is not exactly controversial to like a John Hughes film. His Wikipedia page calls him the King of Teen Movies, which (although the source remains woefully unattributed) I am not about to argue with. He made the first film I ever watched in a proper cinema (Home Alone, 1990 in the Coliseum with a packet of mint poppets). And he also made a slew of other stuff I certainly don’t associate him with (he wrote Maid in Manhattan!). But although Some Kind of Wonderful came out in 1987 during his golden era, it’s pretty much the underdog. Continue reading