Monday, July 6, 2009

Quick Fassy Bits

More bloggers who attended Cannes are coming up in Fassy searches about their experience there, specifically in reference to the Fish Tank screening. In the image above, this was taken after Fish Tank screened at Cannes and the film and its cast and director, received a standing ovation. You can see Michael and Andrea on the screen. I received an email from a reader who just watched Andrea's Red Road over the weekend, and she enjoyed the film, and it allowed her to have an idea as to the film making style of Andrea and to what to expect. It does take an open and mature mind to handle the theme of under-aged sex and the movie will be warmly received by those who are looking forward to it, and ignored by those who cannot reconcile the artistic endeavor of bringing to life an uncomfortable issue regardless if it is done professionally and responsibly.

Here is what the blogger posted about his Fish Tank screening experience:

The next night we say Andrea Arnold’s Fish Tank. It was great. Arnold’s first film Red Road won the Grand Jury Prize here in 2007. I haven’t seen it, but I’m going to now. Katie Jarvis, the 17 year old star of Fish Tank was the major acting discovery of the festival when the film premiered. Unfortunately, she couldn’t be there because she’d given birth just a few weeks before. Arnold discovered her arguing with her boyfriend on a train platform in London.

Fish Tank tells the story of a teenage girl coping with her lower class ennui with her single mother and younger sister. While the story in lesser hands (i.e. Hollywood) would have careened into some sensationalist tale of either statutory rape or kidnapping, Arnold treats both of the events that could have invited this treatment with appropriately measured care, allowing them to lend the proper amount of suspense and gravity to the story, but preventing them from dominating what is essentially an opportunity to glimpse into a very real but very foreign world. Variety put it well by noting the “lack of sentimentalizing or moralizing”. This is cinema.

In other brief Fassy news, Akiva Goldsman of Entertainment Weekly listed two actors whom he thinks will be the next big thing in 2009:

Akiva Goldsman
A producer of the Valerie Plame drama Fair Game (out late 2009) and Western horror film Jonah Hex ('10); co-wrote the screenplay for Angels & Demons.
Michael Fassbender, actor (Inglourious Basterds, Jonah Hex): ''A teacher told me, 'Before spring you can see the bud before it's about to bloom.' He's like that.''

The image above is a screencap from the Eden Lake DVD interview section. There's Michael wearing his signature color shirt. You know, I watched EL twice during the time I rented it from netflix and I have said this before, but there are some movies that I want to add to my DVD collection, and some I don't want to. Although I thought EL was well made, it just didn't sit well in my stomach, and no matter how good a job Michael did in it, nor how GOOD he looks before horror befalls him, it's not enough for me to want to watch again. Been there, done that.
And I finally found an unwatermarked copy of this image that I really like of Michael taken during the Fish Tank Cannes photocall. I know he looks a little tired, but there's something about his eyes that really draws you in to this picture. Oh, and one more thing, it seems that the latest Inglourious Basterds trailer has Michael featured it in. It's about time, and the trailer looks ok, but I tell ya, if Michael weren't in this movie, I would so not be interested in it. If you go to the link at Awards Daily, you will see the foreign movie poster that has Michael's name in third place, but of the six people on the poster, he ain't one of them. I'm not in the mood to promote artwork that don't have Michael on it.

And as a reminder, this coming Saturday, 11 July, Michael will be at the Galway Fleadh participating in the Masterclass as he is the subject. I can't wait to see how well that programme goes.


Anonymous said...

Just getting in on the Andrea Arnold debate. I watched Red Road at the weekend. I thought it was really good.

I loved the sense of redemption AA depicts around both the central character and her extended family and in relation to the character of Clyde - he turns out to be not what I assumed he was.

The sex scene in Red Road as previously discussed in FF does look very very real. I'm assuming that Andrea Arnold as a responsible film maker working with a 17 year old actress/ 15 year old character has filmed all of the scenes in Fish Tank involving Mia's character very differently.

If Red Road is anything to go by I'm really looking forward to Fish Tank - I think that's what real film-making is about - challenging our belief systems. I'm really looking forward to seeing how AA & Michael work this one and especially how they both handle that sense of redemption which from the reviews I understand is there in Fish Tank as well.

I think Michael is great at moral ambiguity but I can't think of a role I've seen him in where his character has a shot at redemption as well.

Anonymous said...

As Katie Jarvis has only very recently (within the last week or two) turned 18 then she was a very young 17 when filming started on this film. Alot of parents would not be happy to have their 17 year old daughter appear in a film like that. Not liking the subject matter or the age of the main character is nothing to do with being open-minded or anything like that. It's possible to make a point without exploiting women.

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen Fish Tank - not sure if you have Maura? I don't feel I'm in a position to discuss whether or not it exploits women until I have. What I can say now having seen it is that I don't view Red Road as exploitive towards women. I don't see Andrea Arnold as anything other than a responsible film maker. I don't see any director who has won the awards she has as being anything other than responsible and with a duty of care towards their actors.

Other than the sound-bite that AA "discovered" Katie Jarvis on the platform at Tilbury Town station I don't know the process she went through to become signed up for the film. Or for that matter the process any 17 year old goes through to become signed up for a film.

Simone said...

Anon, Maura has not seen Fish Tank yet, she expressed her disinterest in seeing the film in the 'Shhhh' blog article entry.

Andrea does not exploit women in her films - if anything, she empowers them via harsh reality based sagas. And Katie Jarvis obviously had the consent and support of her parents (if in England their permission was even necessary as rules for young actors may be different there), and the mature mindset herself to know the demands of said role and she took it and excelled in the role.

It does take a very open-mind to watch a movie such as this, and part of having an open-mind is not judging an artistic work before even seeing it.