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Showing posts from December, 2010

Empire List #482: Scream

In the late 1990s the American movie machine was producing movies aimed at the MTV generation starring the latest crop of young actors in their 20s who were playing characters in their late teens. Such movies included “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” “American Pie,” and “Scream.” I missed most of these movies because at the time I was either too young, too shy to have any friends with whom I could go out with, or I just thought they didn’t look good enough. Back then I was living in South America and I was a long way from the United-States so there was somewhat of a disconnect between the MTV generation and I.

Still, when you’re spending your summer at your mom’s place while waiting for your next college semester and you’re saving every dollar you have just like I was last summer in Quebec City, if Wes Craven’s “Scream” is playing on TV, you may as well enjoy it while you have access to a movie channel. Plus it doesn’t hurt that the movie is actually quite good at what it tries to b…

Empire List #485: The Wicker Man

Yet another film seen at the residences of UBC in the summer of 2009 thanks to the iTunes movie library. When you are far from your home and your movie collection, it helps to be able to rent a classic for a relatively low price off the Internet. In this particular context I was living on the campus of the University of British Columbia studying German, Drama, and History of Cinema for the summer. I didn’t know a lot of people, so I had some pretty quiet evenings, sometimes spent renting movies such as the 1973 British cult film “The Wicker Man.”

This movie is a lot of things: a horror film, a mystery movie, the tale of a missing person, and a statement about religious extremism. Nicolas Cage starred in a remake, which I haven’t seen but the highlights on YouTube are hilarious. I do believe there is also an homage to it in an episode of The Simpsons, a proof of being culturally relevant if there ever was one.

It begins with British police sergeant Howie (Edward Woodward) arriving at t…

Empire List #486: Breakfast at Tiffany's

The great thing about a TV channel where they only show movies 24/7 is that eventually, you just might run into a classic. I do not currently even own a TV, but fortunately during the fall of 2009 I was spending my week off at my mother’s place in Quebec City where she does have the Movie Network. This allowed me to watch “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” a classic from 1961.

I didn’t know much about this movie except that it stars Audrey Hepburn, a giant of the screen in her days. I was familiar with the work of the director, Blake Edwards and his composer Henry Mancini. If you haven’t seen the original “Pink Panther” films, which are ten times better than the remakes, then you definitely must have heard its iconic theme at some point. With talent like that in front of and behind the screen I felt pretty confident this was a film worth watching.

Audrey Hepburn plays Holly Golightly, a firecracker of a character who owns every room she walks into. Her name sounds like that of a Bond girl fro…