When in Doubt, Shop!

Yesterday, I met up with willariah for lunch at one of most favourite haunts, Chaife, in Yorkville. We chowed-down on great sandwiches and did our best to gossip-up the joint with talk of:

  • Will’s pending CD release (shameless plug below);
  • G’s adventures in China;
  • the adventures and challenges of gay singlehoodness; and,
  • the adult film industry (i.e., porn). Will, I checked my XXX 30 Porn-Star Protraits book and Seymour Butts does do films not simply direct.

I’m sure we had Chaife owner, DaDa, blushing behind the counter. Eek!

check Will’s new CD out!

From there, we headed to Holt’s and Zara to shop. At 2:30, we connected with Rock Star Cathy Dennis and Denyse and saw Notes on a Scandal, which I’ve reviewed below with a couple other films I’ve watched over the past two days – in between college football bowl games, which has been great fun. One bonus of G’s absence has been that I can watch NFL and College Football to my heart’s content.

Notes on a Scandal
This is an eerie and creepy film … and fabulous. Based on the novel by Zoe Heller and directed by Richard Eyre (who also did the wonderful film, Iris), this film stars the incomparable Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett. The story revolves around Babs, a 60-something no-nonesense school teacher, and closet lesbian, who falls for the new teacher on the block, the very married with two kids, Cate Blanchett. The plot turns when Cate is witnessed by Babs in a tryst with her 15 year-old student. Things move to the creepy edge very quickly after this with Babs using the power she now wields over Cate in a sick attempt to move Cate away from her paramor (and husband) into her own arms. It all ends rather poorly for everyone involved but damn, is it ever a thrilling journey to watch.

Bravo for this wonderfully written drama! There will be something very rotten in the state of Denmark if this film doesn’t garner a few Oscars: Dame Judi, Cate and supporting actor Bill Nighy (who plays Cate’s husband), the screenplay by Patrick Marber and the music by the one-and-only Philip Glass are all brilliant. My rating 9 out of 10.


Curse of the Golden Flower
Well, where to start with this latest effort byYimou Zhang (Hero, House of Flying Daggers, Happy Times)? …

Ok, probably with the two best parts: 1) Ye Liu stars as the Crown Prince Xiang. I can sit and look at Ye Liu with uninterrupted ease for hours on end; and 2) Gong Li’s boobs. All the ladies in this film are corseted so you couldn’t slide a dime between their breasts! How do they breathe?

Sure, this film looks splendid and spectacular as all Zhang’s films do. The story? … oh, a piddling tale of intrigue in the chinese court worthy of Shakespeare yes. Unfortunately, it weaves itself too slowly and then unravels completely into a gory, violent blood bath that left me bored senseless. Boo Zhang! Let’s get you moving onwards from these chinese epics and back to things like Happy Times. My rating 3 out of 10.


8½ Women
This is another of director Peter Greenaway’s works, released in 1999. Just mentioning his name ought to be enough to suggest this film was very theatrical, bizarre and beautiful, much l
ike his film The Cook, The Theif, His Wife and Her Lover (reviewed earlier here). Set in Tokyo and Geneva it revolves around a 55-year-old father (played by John Standing) and his son (Matthew Delamere) who wander down some rather unorthodox paths on the death of their wife/mother. Essentially, the father/son wander around their palatial villa in Geneva nude bemoaning the death of their wife/mother. Then after watching Fellini’s 8½, they turn the villa into a brothel, populated with 8½ concubines.

Various twists and turns ensue as the concubines maneuver and plot for favoritism before each departs and the movie ends. It’s all truly bizarre and surreal in an art-house sort of way. Surely though, from the ‘art’ of film-making it is quite astonishing. Greenaway is a master when it comes to film-making and his skill in framing shots is bang-on. Each is visually mesmerizing, however, the story – decadent as it is – doesn’t hold together very well. Worth a rent if you’re feeling artsy or randy yes. My rating 5 out of 10.


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7 Responses to When in Doubt, Shop!

  1. brooklyn2028 says:

    Happy New Year Brent. Too bad you hated “Curse of the Golden Flower” cause I really wanted to see that although I’ve heard others who like it. Since you didn’t open up comments on your other entry, I agree that “Big Bang Love: Juvenile A” was an awesome movie.RYC: Hehe, don’t worry we’ll schedule some baking lessons soon enough. And thanks about the love part, hehe, I’m happy. ^^;

  2. YNOTswim says:

    hehehe… I am more merciful to “Curse of Golden Flowers” than you… try to find a copy of the original play (which also has a film version) called “Thunderstorm” Happy New Year!

  3. Haha! Even though the countdown passed an hour agoHAPPY NEW YEARS! I hope this year will bring you more adventures and wonderful experiences

  4. orchidgrass says:

    happy new year.
    i don’t think i’ll watch zhang yimou again

  5. Fatcat723 says:

    I agree when in doubt SHOP! However I am running out of money and payday is not until Friday!! Notes on a Scandal sounds terrific – put in my must see list. Thanks for being nice to Fat Kitten. HAPPY AND PEACE-FILLED NEW YEAR!!

  6. willariah says:

    aww happy new year hun. thanks for the plug!! my album is hot and we know it!! on fire! hot!!!! i was so disappointed with “curse of the golden flower”. oh well, next time yimou, next time! :) wasn’t notes on a scandal fabulous?!!?!… i want the o.s.t…. and… i love ur purple dress shirt. v. cute. almost as cute as my cowboy/lumberjack top. hahaha xoxo.

  7. ryc:  sounds like i gotta read em forster now, haha.
    happy new year
    ps–talking about the “adult film industry” is always fun.

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