Wow, in the span of 18 hours, I saw not one, not two, but three 10 out 10 films. Each totally different from the other. Two of the three proving – yet again – the best film making in the world ain’t happening in Hollywood!
Colma: The Musical
G and I met eggyplant and San Francisco singer/songwriter Goh Nakamura on Friday night at Innis Town Hall to see Colma: The Musical. Colma, directed by first time director, Richard Wong (who was in the house on Friday), tells the story of Rodal, Billy and Maribel as they grow-up in the graveyard town that is Colma (just outside of San Francisco).
It is a musical coming-of-age story: fresh, funny, tender and worth whatever effort you may have to make to see it. There is love and partying and sex and struggle; the struggle being the central focus. Billy struggles to deal with the feelings he still has for his ex; Rodel struggles with his poetic voice and his homosexuality; Maribel struggles with her constant desire for sex and partying and keeping the two best friends, friends.
H.P. Mendoza, who plays Rodel, wrote the music and the screenplay, and, if this first effort is any indication, should go far. Well done mate. The direction is spot on, fresh (split screen use is great); funny (cartwheeling extras appear in one song; the beerhall inspired scene and song are fantastic); and tender (the song where Maribel and Rodel walk through the graveyard as ‘ghosts’ dance is so utterly tragic). You can sample some of the music here.
This is a rare find; a gem. Heavens, even Rotten Tomatoes has it sitting at a 100% fresh rating! GO SEE IT! It will play brilliantly as a musical on stage as well: David Mirvish, are you listening? My rating 10 out 10.
G and I watched “the greatest Hollywood film of all time” on Saturday afternoon as research for Tennis Star Suzie’s upcoming “Christmas in Casablanca” party. I could not offer anything more enlightening to say on this utter classic bit of film making so I won’t even bother trying. My rating 10 out of 10.
The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover
Oh my gawd, could any film ever be as audacious, as brutal, as mean, and as utterly gorgeous as Peter Greenaway’s 1989 The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover? I don’t even know where to start describing this feast for the eyes and mind. Our cook prepares sumptuous meals for the brutal, animalistic restaurant owner thief while his wife (played by Helen Mirren) carries on an affair under his nose (and in his restroom and kitchen) with her lover.
This film was hard to watch and even harder to rate. It is avant garde, it is an art house piece, it is beautiful (thanks to costumes by Jean-Paul Gaultier), it is unlike anything you’ll ever see. It is in a category unto itself.
Say what you will about this film … its use of colour, that it’s a modern fable, that it’s a allegory for Thatcherism … the fact is, retribution has never been captured so perfectly on film. Sickeningly so. My rating 10 out of 10.
Food & Drink
On a completely separate note, Friday was Beaujolais Nouveau release day. We picked up a couple bottles, a classic beaujolais from Mommessin, which I thought was very good (noting, of course, that beaujolais nouveaus are more hype than hits) and a nouveau syrah, which I’ve yet to try.
This morning found G and I back at our Sunday haunt, Pearl Garden, in Chinatown East for this yummy spread.