Thursday, May 26, 2011

Was Ingmar Bergman a Changeling?

They should have suspected something. He has a huge wart on his cheek, his mother didn't.

[Warning: I was so eager to get this blog post out there that I haven't reeaally checked all sources. Do it yourself if you don't believe me. But believe everything I say, my Messiah complex tells me that I am indeed correct.]

I was going to trash the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean film to pieces (I won't even link to its IMDb page), but it's not really necessary. It's shit. I will make a one-sentence-review: The mermaids were cool and should have been a short film on it's own, while the rest was tired recycled-predictable-once-successful bullshit. Don't see it. Don't give Disney the money. Don't let Johnny Depp disappoint you this way any more. And don't f*cking watch 3D movies, it's shit.

Now to the real subject of this blog post. It does not seem to have hit the international news yet (but the Swedish, so use Google Translate on this article if you're obsessed), but apparently... Ingmar Bergman's mother was not his biological mother! He was a bastard!

At least according to a DNA analysis. Well, I can't argue with science, can I? No, but I can argue with the sources of the DNA samples, which were two stamps that Bergman may have licked in the 1950's. And the world is flat, because it looks that way.

But - so what if he was a bastard child? Unfortunate for him, in that case, since he had to grow up in a strict and mentally disturbed pastor family without really having to. BUT. Artists go nuts, totally bananas. They think we will have to reinterpret all Bergman's films now, since most of his films had strong ties to his personal life and his upbringing.

I don't think that's necessary. I will explain why, referring to that Swedish news article that you can't read. The reporter has contacted a scholar (oh yeah, a scholar) called Jan Holmberg, and asked him how the these news about Bergman's biological heritage is going to affect the director's creations.

- I would say nothing. But I am not very naive. When it comes to Swedish artists such as Bergman, one is interested in his works mostly from a biographical perspective. He has repeatedly said that childhood is the key to his artistry," says Jan Holmberg.

On the other hand, Jan Holmberg thinks that researchers, critics and journalists have been somewhat uncritical when it comes to the analysis of Bergman's films.

- You should remember that Bergman was amazingly good at convincing. He was also terribly sneaky. Just because Bergman said that something was in a certain way, it need not necessarily mean that it was like that," said Jan Holmberg.

And, of course, Bergman was not aware that his mother wasn't his biological mother (if she wasn't, but she probably was), so how the hell could that affect his work?

But then again, as an arguing friend of mine teased me with: he may have KNOWN, but didn't TELL...

I had to argue that Bergman was a narcissist and liked to share his private life. He would have let us know about it. Then again, probably not truthfully. He liked to spice up the stories of his life, add a few "dämons" and canted camera angles. (He did not say "demons" like normal people, he had "dämons". Then again, he was far too different from ordinary people to have ordinary demons.) But he would NOT have kept quite about being a bastard child, it would have been too good and scandalous story at the time and the context of a strictly religious home.

So if anyone thinks that these news are a reason to revalue all of Bergman's films, that person is no better than the idiot that thought Hitchcock was adding poop and rectums in all his film. (Read another blog post of mine.)

This angel can't be a bastard, can he?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

"I understand Hitler, I do."

"But come on, I'm not for the Second World War! And I'm not against Jews. Well, Susanne Bier is... No, no, even Susanne Bier. Ehm... that was also a joke. I am of course, ehm... very much for Jews. No, not too much, because Israel is a pain in the ass, but... eh, still, ehm... how can I get out of this sentence?"

Sweet honey darling... Just stop talking...

Article in New York Times:

Entire press conference:

Update: Just heard an interview with Lars von Trier after he had been banned from Cannes: "Oh, so you heard that I have become a persona non grata? Yeah, my parents would be proud of me..."

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Ranking List of Woody Allen's Movies (Not By Me)

I thought it was a fun idea, and I'm busy with my essay. So eat it up.

"Woody Allen has written and directed forty-one films in the last forty-five years, making him one of our most prolific auteurs. He's also run the gamut between great and awful more perhaps than any other director. With his latest, Midnight In Paris, out this Friday, I sized up the man's formidable body of work, listed here from worst to best." by Zachary Wigon.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Philadelphia Story and an Impending Doom

I'm so hyped! There is no secret that I adore the deeply disturbed Danish doomsday-filmmaker (alliteration for the win) Lars von Trier, so of course I look forward to his next film Melancholia (2011). But there is more!

The latest edition of the Swedish movie magazine Cinema just arrived to a thankful Lolita, and isn't there one of those strange, surreal interviews with Lars von Trier about his latest film in it? Of course there is! There is a reason for my strange blog title, so listen up: The film Melancholia is inspired by The Philadelphia Story (1940).

I will repeat that. In this interview Lars von Trier says that his latest film, the one that succeeds Antichrist (the film with a stillborn deer, an evil fox that proclaims "Chaos REIGNS" and Willem Defoe ejaculating blood), is inspired by the Cary Grant/Katharine Hepburn/James Stewart screwball comedy The Philadelphia Story. Suck on that!

So if you can imagine the hilarious wedding chaos of Tracy Lord with a planet ten times bigger than Earth that soon will collide with our dear Tellus, you seem to have gotten the gist of Melancholia. This sounds so awesome that I don't know what to do of myself. I think I will jump off the balcony and try to fly away with anticipation. (No, I haven't taken any drugs that I don't already take regularly. I'm just psyched about this.)

It's alright, Alexander. I won't kick you out of bed. Non! maintenant...! viens...

Now the cast. It's awesome! Surprisingly enough Kirsten Dunst - I have high expectations for her. Do this right, woman! Then we have one of my favorite actresses of this day and age, Charlotte Gainsbourg (yep, the daughter of the man that so sexily sings Je t'aime moi non plus with Jane Birkin). She was fantastic in Antichrist, I don't doubt that she will match that performance. Then there is Kiefer Sutherland (another surprise), Charlotte Rampling (yay! a favorite superbitch of mine), John Hurt and scary Udo Kier. (See him in Blood for Dracula from 1974, if you have no self respect. Like me.) Among the Swedish cast we have father and son Stellan Skarsgård and Alexander Skarsgård - known in great, big, amazing America for the tentacle monster in Pirates of the Caribbean respectively a sexy vampire in the True Blood series. And a Lady Gaga video, in which he is called "Alejandro", for some reason. (Crikey, why do I know that?)

[Lot's of vampire actors/actresses, when I think about it... Kirsten Dunst in Interview with the Vampire (1994), Kiefer Sutherland in The Lost Boys (1987), Udo Kier as Count Dracula and Alexander Skarsgård as Eric Northman in True Blood. There is a vampire inflation going on. Be ware. Pull the strings!]

Now watch the damn trailer. It really is The Philadelphia Story - Lars von Trier style! Sometimes I'm so proud of Scandinavia! *happy sigh* Who wants to buy me movie tickets?

Note: it's filmed in Trollywood, Sweden. Woo-hoo! (No, Denmark and Sweden are in fact not the same country.)

[Update May 11: I'll just copy-paste what dear Tim Williams e-mailed me.

Just read your blog post for "Melancholia"--nice as always; however, I felt bound to point out that in the Pirates of the Caribbean milieu, Stellan Skarsgaard in fact plays Orlando Bloom's cursed father ("Bootstrap Bill") and not the "tentacle monster" ("Davy Jones") who is played by Bill Nighy. Small faux-pas, probably insignificant, but I thought I would tell you that privately before anyone else did publicly.

Keep 'em flying!

Sorry for the error, but in my humble opinion bad movies don't need any serious research before being mentioned. Like the first Pirates of the Caribbean, though. And obviously, the Skarsgård/Skarsgaard family.]

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Dead Snow (2009)

Død snø aka Dead Snow
Director: Tommy Wirkola
Norway 2009
91 min
Tagline: Ein! Zwei! Die!

Double April Fools Day on you all! First I make a bad joke about the subject for my essay, then I disappear for more than a month - surprise! I will say only this: I was gone, bin Laden died, and now I'm back again. You may draw your own conclusions. (But please build your conspiracy theories around something Mata Hari like, so I may feel a little flattered.)

The other day I watched this film Dead Snow, which I had bought on DVD for my brother as a Christmas gift (with accompanying Merry Christmas card with Joseph Goebbels on it, as is mandatory). I had not seen it, but a film that claims to be "the best Norweigan Nazi-Zombie-splatter film that has ever been made" just has to be good. Not only do I think that Dead Snow is the best Norweigan Nazi-Zombie-splatter film that has ever been made - I suspect that it is the only Norweigan Nazi-Zombie-splatter film that has ever been made. And hopefully it will not spawn an army of cheap copies.

Just the idea of Dead Snow is pretty mind blowing. I watched the trailer on a pretty wild (read: "lots-of-liquor") party about a year ago, and it is but now that I have been able to still my hunger for it. Now, this is a tongue-in-cheek film, as many zombie films are. But it is unique, oh, it is unique! You may first watch the trailer and get an idea of what we are talking about here. Count the film references - which film are you for instance thinking about when the youngsters open the box with Nazi gold? (I know, quiz for 7-year olds. I just want my readers to feel a little smart once in a while. Altruism for the win.)

If the plot isn't obvious from the trailer, it is just as simple and cliché as a gang of stupid/horny teenagers getting the brilliant idea to live in a filthy cabin far up in the Norweigan mountains. Of course only one knows how to find the way back to the car/civilization, and he is also the only one with a snowmobile. One girl is supposed to meet up with the others at the cabin, but is viciously hunted down and eaten by (what we suspect is) a Nazi zombie in the very first scene of the film. Of course the guy with the only snowmobile and the only sense of direction goes off to look for her, when the rest of the gang are attacked by... well, a pretty dead, rotten and angry Nazi army that want their Leprechaun gold back.

Aside from just being a wonderfully entertaining film, perfect to watch with a few cans of beer and a loved one by your side that can alternate between laughter and horror to your privilege (I advise both men and women to use each other in these kind of situations), Dead Snow is also an intelligent parody of the zombie film genre. They don't give a damn about ridiculous plot holes (why would a teenage girl get the idea to walk across the mountains by herself? what is that old man doing in the mountains, and why does he just invite himself into the cabin to tell them the history of the Nazi occupation and that their coffee tastes awful? why would a hot girl want to fuck with a guy taking a shit? and so on), and the blood and gore is wonderfully entertaining.

It could happen... if you are insanely disturbed and grotesque. Guys, don't get your hopes up.

One of my favorite scenes is when that Rastafari chick is chased by zombies and manages to hide in a tree, just to have a fucking crow making noises and draw attention to her hiding spot. In desperation she grabs the crow around the neck and bangs it against the tree until it dies. (Haha. Macabre and humorous. I'm sick, I know.) She looks down to see if the zombies have gone. Two uniformed zombies stand still under the tree, looking up on her. There is silence and stillness. The zombies start to climb the tree and the Rastafari chick throws the dead crow at them. It doesn't help.

Anti-humor is the shit. Watch this film now! And then you can brag about you being so cultural, having seen a Norweigan (or was it Swedish? maybe it was from Switzerland...?) movie, and therefore may get laid if you play your cards right. Thank me for that. My pleasure.