Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Paragon Project

This is an updated version of the LuckySeven Cinematheque project, which did not end up happening due to a hideous title and lack of direction. So, I've tweaked the idea a bit and came up with the Paragon Project.

So, what is the Paragon Project?

par·a·gon   (păr'ə-gŏn', -gən)
  • ·      A model of excellence or perfection of a kind
  • ·      Someone or something that is the very best example of something
The aim of the Paragon Project is to see films in a new light, or within a specific frame of thinking.

Each list must meet a certain criteria, for example, a recurring theme, a mutual filmic element, or it can be whatever association that would make for an interesting dialogue between the films. The blog post for each film will contain a general criticism and response while incorporating a discussion based on the specific link between the films. Each list can contain any number of films between three and seven. I will reveal the full list, working my way down, one film at a time.

Oh my, so many rules. I feel so adamant and rigid. Must be the early stages of adulthood.

So to kick start the project let's begin with a list of firsts - a list of a group of directors' first film in colour:

Paragon Project # 1:
Passed with flying colours

 “A select group of master filmmakers and their first full-length feature in colour”

* Akira Kurosawa – Dodesukaden

* Alfred Hitchcock – Rope

* Frederico Fellini – Juliet Of The Spirits

* John Ford – Drums Along The Mohawk

* Jacques Tati – Mon Oncle

* Michaelangelo Antonionini – Red Desert

* Agnes Varda – Le Bonheur

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I just want to be scared out of my wits

This past Halloween, I've started two traditions. The first is to read a Stephen King novel during the month of October and possibly going right through November, depending on whether it is a mammoth of a book, like Under The Dome is - 1,000 pages!

The second is to find little known horror film gems while also trying to eliminate some horror blind spots, so I can finally tick off classic horrors I may have missed.

I watched Kubrick's The Shining and thoroughly enjoyed the visuals, the unsettling score as well as the creepy premise.

But it did not scare me. Not even the Room 237 scene.

I actually found a majority of the moments quite comical and found myself laughing hysterically instead of covering my eyes in fear. I don't know whether to blame it on Kubrick. I noticed that from the two films I've seen him made, The Shining and 2001: A Space Odyssey, he exudes a feeling of distance towards his audience. His films show a level of technical perfection, but, like most perfectionists, he seems to create soulless works I find very hard to access. Granted, I still have to see A Clockwork Orange and Dr Strangelove, and among many others but that's the initial reaction I have of his films. When the credits roll, I'm left with a sense of awe, but never gratitude. For me, I find them great films to discuss and analyse but I would not necessarily call them a personal "favourite".

So my search for truly frightening horror films continue. I was glad to finally see The Shining, but dammit, I want to be scared like a little girl. The last films I can remember being really shaken by were The Ring, The Exorcist and The Orphanage. Not a lot of horror movies really scare me now. Maybe I've become numbed to them.

Any recommendations?

Image Credits:
One Big Ass Book
Room 237

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Things I Love // Lush Baths

This obsession was sparked by a breed of YouTube "haul" videos. They're basically just people talking about things they've bought and talking briefly about them. I was watching a book haul when the procrastination-booster that is the "Related Videos" feature led me to a "Lush Haul" video.

I knew about Lush but I never really bought anything from there. But the person in the video was so enthusiastic I just had to go and buy whatever she was excitedly plucking out from her Lush bag. I couldn't remember who it was, but I'm pretty sure it was Elle Fowler from "allthatglitters21". Don't laugh. I'm sure she has an excuse.

So, I watched more of these "Lush Hauls" which has become a niche on its own, and they are truly addictive and was the sole reason why I ended up spending a hundred or so bucks on a bag full of bath bombs and soaps and bubble bath bars and massage bars and perfumes and bath melts. But Lush makes me happy (Christmas tip!), so I don't care.

I might do some product reviews here or they might come in video form in my sadly desolate YouTube channel.

But the things I love most about Lush products are the scents they have, you can't really find a worthy equivalent anywhere else. I would say their scents are signature and really addictive, so a word of caution. Most of them smell like food - like most Lushies (lol!) I am helplessly addicted to the Honey I Washed The Kids soap which has a delicious scent of caramel/toffee/honey that makes me want to eat my arm off after a shower.

Also, most of the products are vegan (not that I am, but still, all vegan products are automatically better than anything else) and they use (mostly) natural ingredients. So I highly recommend it for people with sensitive skin types.

I know that this is completely off-topic, but if you've read my blog since the beginning, you know I tend to do this a lot. Yes, it's not really anything about the arts but I would argue that a Lush product is a work of art in itself.

That's my excuse.

Note: All photographs were taken by yours truly. I would appreciate it if you inform me if you intend to use any of it. See my contacts for details. Thanks

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Post-Exams Post. You can read this title backwards and forwards. Wow. Ignore the dash.

Well, technically I haven't actually finished my exams yet, I still have my Visual Arts written paper next week, but that's easy peasy so it does not count.

So I haven't been on this for so long. Apologies. But my final high school exams have drained all my motivation and energy to do anything - but I'm back and (hopefully) posting a LOT more soon. I know you've missed me. *silence*

OMG I've been abandoned.

Anyway, a quick update:

- I've recently discovered my love for Criterion DVDs. I love them. I literally worship them despite the fact I don't actually own any of their DVDs. This is because they don't sell them here in Australia so I have to get them online, which I haven't done yet. Plus, I still have to buy a region-free DVD player. If you don't know what a Criterion is, basically, it is a collection of selected films (500 or so films, and counting) that the company have meticulously restored to the most pristine quality possible. Plus they commission writers to compose essays and articles about the film to give it context and a sense of history and compile it into a booklet. They also have designers create a special cover for each of their releases and they look amazing. I could look at these for a really long time without stopping. That's how good they look. Here are examples:

They look amazing, right? How beautiful will they look on the shelf. I cannot wait to get my hands on to one of these. I will worship it forever.

- I've been obsessed with another thing during my absence. Lush. You know that shop that you can smell from a mile away that sell soaps, bath bombs and all these delicious goodies. Well, I worship them too. And my skin is thanking me right now. I'll post up some stuff of my favourite products.

- I graduated high school. A super big YAY for me. And again. YAY.

- You know that LuckySeven Cinematheque project I sneaked peeked a while back? Well I've redone the whole concept and it is being renamed into the Paragon Project. Sounds better doesn't it? More of that soon. 

- I haven't grown, I'm still short. A super big Sad Face. 

So there's a little update for all you kids out there. Please come back, I was just hibernating. I'm not dead. 


Image Credits from the Criterion Website


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