MovieMan and More

I was watching a number of films these few days (making full use of the holidays.. haha) when I came across new actors and actresses and filmmakers that i admire.

First of, there are the actors. I mean, other then their way-too-charming looks, there are their talents as well.

Introducing Jim Sturgess!

He is this Brit actor I noticed while watching 21. Didn’t watch the film particularly for the actors, but because I read about the film in American Cinematographer magazine. It was photographed by cinematographer Russell Carpenter, one DP I admire. So anyway, Jim Sturgess was so cute and charming in 21 that I went to look up on him and watch other of his films, Across the Universe. Being a Brit, his British accent there was so so cute! Haha! And of course, his acting was good too.


I’m thinking Vanessa Heng will like him too. Haha.

And I also watched The Grifters (1990) because of director Stephen Frears, a British director I learnt about in Film History class. Then, ta-da! I came across actor John Cusack. He’s about 20 years older now, but he was handsome back then. Haha. I mean, I watched a more recent movie of his, Being John Malkovich (1999), and he look totally different, make up and stuff! But his acting was amazing there.

In a way ‘like’ Johnny Depp, he choose to act in more ‘unconventional’ films, not those mainstream ones. At least that’s what I read about him so far. And he likes his privacy, not trying to draw too much attention to himself, which is really unlike may actors/actresses now, who will do anything to get some attention. He used to be a teen idol (i can understand why, lol), but he said he hates it, according to imdb.

Anyway, here’s his younger photos.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t like to go crazy over cute movie stars, but here, I admire them for their talents and of course, their looks do add in to the interest. ehhh…. Hah.

Although I normally watch films mainly for the directing, story and cinematography, I’m trying to look into more aspects of filmmaking, like editing, soundtrack, acting etc. Like in the film There Will be Blood, I found the music particularly interesting. I mean, all cast and crew all work towards 1 goal and dream isn’t? Cheesy, but it makes sense to me.

And I found another DP who I thought did a relatively good job in The Grifters. Introducing….. Oliver Stapleton, B.S.C. He’s not a particularly famous DP, but I thought he did a great job in the lighting for The Grifters. He did a great job in making the film have this visual depth in terms in lighting the subject. I just didn’t like it that he added too much eye light to actress Annette Bening in the restaurant. It look a little too fake and over-glamorizing. Well, perhaps the studio wanted him to make her look as good as possible to sell their stars to the audiences.

If I’m not wrong, pardon me if I am (I shall go check it out though), one of my favourite DP, Conrad L. Hall was mad because an actress and the studio wanted him to light the actress to make her look very very good onscreen, even though it looked fake and did not support the storytelling fully. In my own opinion, Conrad L Hall didn’t want to ‘betray’ the art of cinematography just to make people look overly good for the sake of making them look terrific. I think he did say something like, it was his job to make the talents look presentable and pleasant, but not so ‘fakely’ beautiful. I really respect this man. His works are great too! My favourite DP Emmanuel Lubezki and him are friends, and Lubezki once said that every time he went to Conrad Hall’s movie set, his lighting plan always amazes Lubezki. What a great man Conrad Hall is. Wow.

This is my post of random thoughts. Never really had anything I planned to write here. Hah.



2 thoughts on “MovieMan and More

  1. Hi Pamela,
    So glad you liked The Grifters – it’s one of my favorite films of all those I have shot.
    Just wanted to say that the “glamour” of Annette Benning in that scene in the restaurant was very deliberate on my part and not at all a “studio” requirement since there was no “studio” – it was an independent film. Because so much of the scene consisted of her telling stories of her “glamorous” past (as perceived by her), I wanted the look of that scene to be different to the rest of the film: I also wanted to see her trying to seduce the John Cusack character with her wit, charm and looks… of course she was fake all along and perhaps that was part of it too.
    Thanks for being so perceptive.
    Oliver Stapleton.

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