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Archive for the ‘author Jaime Grijalba’ Category

donnie

by Jaimie Grijalba

Note: This is my last essay for the Sci-Fi Countdown of Wonders in the Dark on the first film directed by Richard Kelly. I’m very grateful for the opportunity that I’ve had to write about the three films of one of my favorite directors of all time, and may this be a testament that I want a new film by him. Any film. Thanks to those that took the time to read these essays, which are more and more personal, and may we have a wonderful top 50 Science Fiction films of all time.

Another note: This Might Contain Spoilers.

I think one of the hardest things that someone can do is trying to write about your favorite film of all time… and, yes, Donnie Darko is still my favorite film of all time at my 26 years old. It might seem childish to some, but it’s one that feels the closest to my heart in many ways, and while I’ll try to attempt to explain why, I honestly don’t want to expose myself that much, so maybe I’ll focus as much as I can in the science fiction aspects of the film, mainly because I think that it’s why it had so many votes… or is it?

For al the science and the fiction that matters, the film portrays one element that would relate directly to it: a time travel towards the end, where the main character jumps back to the moment where a jet engine is about to fall onto his room, but instead of jumping out and meeting with Frank, he laughs and stays, thus changing the future and “correcting” history, becoming a super hero and some sort of Christ like figure that sacrifices itself to save the rest from the sins of humanity, that are thoroughly dissected and exposed in the film that we just saw. That, just on the surface level, and that is if you actually think he travelled back in time, instead of “dreaming it all”, like many theories support. (more…)

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thebox2

by Jaimie Grijalba

First, I am extremely glad that I’ve had the chance to write about the films of Richard Kelly for the science fiction countdown, and I hope that this doesn’t come as a surprise when I say that his three features are in this list and they’ll come up as we go up on the list. So, without much else to add, I give you the first of my three collaborations to Wonders in the Dark for this countdown.

People can get furious when they try to come to terms with something they can’t fully understand, and sometimes that derives into violence and overall nastiness, something that is a matter of moral discussion, especially when we’re speaking about the nature of human nature when contrasted to the danger of the unknown. What I just said could be applied to both the protagonists of the last directed film of Richard Kelly (please, make more) and to the vitriolic and almost incomprehensible negative reactions that some viewers had when confronted with this work. It is, ultimately, its opaque and almost hidden continuity of events that make it fascinating and at the same time subject of the most polarizing views that I had the chance to enjoy reading at the time of its release.

But honestly, who cares about the reaction of audiences back then in its release, when all that matters now is how I saw it then and how I think of it now. If there wasn’t already another movie where I plan to use this statement, I’d probably say that this is one of the most underrated films of the last decade, mainly because it was taken for granted due to everything that seemed to surround it. It was a Richard Matheson adaptation, an adaptation that some had already seen in an episode of the 1980’s Twilight Zone, with the acting of Richard Marsden and Cameron Diaz, among many others, and marketed as if it were some sort of thriller about the idea behind what happened with a box that had a button and a question behind it: would you press it if it gave you a million dollars but it killed a man you didn’t know? (more…)

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Nobody_Knows_movie2

by Jaimie Grijalba

While based on an impactful true story that happened in Japan during the twilight years of the 1980’s, the film quickly comes forward and presents itself as based on those events but entirely fictionalizing what was already an unbelievable, and much more grimmer story. A family arrives to an apartment complex: a mother and his 12-year old son arrive to present themselves to the tenants, and later their luggage and furniture is put in place inside their new apartment, but along comes the surprise and trick that three other kids are hidden inside big luggage cases, the other kids of this woman who have to hide themselves from the tenants that don’t like children nor allow to that many people to live in them. The film quickly presents us with the oldest kid as the most mature person in the entire place, as he is the one that takes care of his brother and sisters, as well as the mother being introduced as entirely useless in the context of nourishment and upbringing, as well as being a complete immature by the way she laughs it up any serious situation, or anything that requires her complete attention is put aside (just like how just a little later into the film abandons her kids) so she can have fun.

The title of the film is an indictment as well as a statement of what the kids are in the reality that they have to live day to day: nobody knows about them, nobody must know if they want to survive, and here is the strangest element of the whole situation that is carefully presented by the masterful director Hirokazu Koreeda… The mother leaves them alone but still instills them with rules about their behavior if they want to stay in the apartment: they must not leave the place, not even come close to the door nor close to the veranda, and they have to stay quiet so the neighbors don’t suspect a thing… yet even after all those practical advices, she leaves them alone and the issue is how that immature and even potentially chaotic system that is left to its devices manages to survive with the same rules being applied, and with the older kid instituting his legitimate use of force and enforcing of the rules that his mother taught him. If they roamed around they’d probably be left in an orphanage and her mother would have trouble if she ever was caught… but then if she is that quick to abandon them yet still has the precaution so “nobody knows”, what is the true motivation here? Is that love? Care? Does it even count? (more…)

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Eternal3

by Jaimie Grijalba

When I first saw this film, directed by Michel Gondry, I thought that it was an ok film, as I was influenced by some other people who knew it and loved it. Those people hyped it beyond any reasoning and made me weary of liking it, as they were so obsessed with it, that they thought the message of the film was something completely different than was originally intended.

People obsessed with film are all over the world, and they are kind folk, the internet community can come together to honor a filmmaker, an actor, cry and laugh together. Like Wonders, a gorgeous community of people obsessed with film, that talk through comments and pieces about every element of films, and maybe this romantic countdown has been one of the most impressive in regards of participation and how passionate people have been defending the films they like. (more…)

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by Jaime Grijalba.

Just like Emmanuelle Riva in ‘Hiroshima mon amour’ (1959), I could swear that I knew Hiroshima, I say that I saw it, I saw Hiroshima, I saw this movie, but then along comes my mind, and like Eiji Okada in the same movie comes and tells me that I know nothing, nothing about this movie. I wanted to do something special for the review of this movie, so I turned to my girlfriend, since this is a romance countdown, and asked if she’d be willing to be in a video for a review for Wonders in the Dark, the conversation went as follows.

Gabriela (My girlfriend): A video? No.

Jaime: But, why not?

G: What do I need to do? My voice is cringe-worthy, do I need to speak in English? My English is awful, you know that, I went to the American British School but I know shit about how to speak it.

J: No, no, no. Look, you’d speak in Spanish, and I’ll put subtitles, and…

G: But I don’t want to speak!

J: But why not? Your voice is beautiful!

G: No, it’s not and you know it! (more…)

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by Jaime Grijalba.

The first minutes of this German film directed by R.W. Fassbinder are among the most perfect representations of instant attraction that have ever made their way into a film, just by a simple succession of elements that on top of each other mean something deep and really important towards the multi-cultural and heavily sentimental aspects that the rest of the film will then explore. Just as the title announces, it is a movie about fear, about what people might say about you, and the fear of what you think about yourself, the fear of how much of that will actually destroy you, the fear of how much it would affect you, how much damage will that make to your personal life in the end, no matter how much you don’t actually care about what people are saying about you, it’s a movie that is bleak in the way that portrays the reprobation of the majority towards a subject, it’s a mean movie towards its protagonists, as it doesn’t leave them an easy way out, as it presents by itself when the fear has already run through the bodies of those who understand and lived it. (more…)

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by Jaime Grijalba.

I just recently finished re-watching this movie. I am in complete awe. For most of the film I was wondering and trying to remember the reasoning that I had and that I think everyone else had to put this movie in their own lists. I mean, this is a romantic/romance countdown and I’ve been two for two when it comes to the percentage of the element of romance in the final film. But then, after an hour and twenty minutes had passed, the first elements and bits of romance appear here and there, as the composer and the ballerina start talking in a balcony with an incredible landscape behind them, it may be a cliché, but the fact that those moments are played so grounded in terms of dialogue and advancement of the romance, that it seems as if every other element of the frame is screaming love, but it’s not yet really developed in the characters yet. It’s a clue, a mystery, because the whereabouts of when it really started, how it started or how deep their love is is also a hidden element of us, as we shift our focus to the one of the administration of the ballet company, specially under the strict and caring eyes of Lermontov.

It is not much a movie about the romance of the composer, Julian, and the dancer, Vicky, because you could compile every scene with the two of them together and it won’t really amount to more than twenty minutes, though it is their love that drives most of the last hour of the film, once Lermontov realizes the affair that is going between the two of them. The film is more interesting because it represents the themes of the ballet into the life of Vicky, as the girl with the red shoes can’t fight the urge of dancing that will lead her to death, and at the same time can’t love her own boyfriend, because she can’t stop dancing. In the end the film is a struggle of those two loves, the love of dancing by Vicky and the love she feels for Julian, and Lermontov knows that she struggles, he knows the character and the attitude of her, he knows that she needs to dance, she even told him that it was what made her live. That’s when the other interesting concept of the film comes through: how the jealous love of Lermontov is what practically makes this movie a complete romantic film in terms that it creates a love triangle. A strange and tragic love triangle. (more…)

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