Marie Antoinette, review

This just in: From my favorite critic at Stephanie Zacharek always gets it.

No one-time teenager has suffered more from the cruelty of history’s gossip mill than Marie Antoinette. When she was told the peasants were starving for lack of bread, the Marie Antoinette of lore shot back, “Let them eat cake!” — a great line, straight out of “Mean Girls,” except that the real Marie Antoinette never said it. Imported to France from her native Austria at age 14, she was the brokered bride of a future king, a bargaining chip with a womb. Her purpose was to cement peace between, and solidify the power of, the two nations. Marie Antoinette landed in a country, and a court, that eyed her with suspicion and contempt: She was a callow, uneducated foreigner, barely worth the disdain of oh-so-civilized France, and the fact that she couldn’t immediately produce an heir didn’t help. But because she was a future queen, she had access to — and availed herself of — the grand and costly buffet of opulence that had been the norm in Versailles long before she arrived. To paraphrase a lyric from another Lesley Gore song: You would shop, too, if it happened to you.
There is shopping in Sofia Coppola’s buoyant, passionately sympathetic dream-bio “Marie Antoinette” (which plays the New York Film Festival Friday night, and opens in New York and other cities on Oct. 20). But this is not — as you might have believed if you trusted the reviews out of Cannes, scrawled by critics from the garretlike confines of their hotel rooms as they clutched their Mao jackets tighter to protect themselves from the threat of beauty, pleasure and decadence — a movie about shopping. Nor is it a straightforward biopic or a history of the French Revolution (it never purports to be either of those things).
“Marie Antoinette” is Coppola’s silk-embroidered fantasy sampler of the inner life of a queen we can never really know: It’s a humanist comedy-drama decked out not in sackcloth but in ribbons — instead of flattering our ideas of our own virtuousness, it asks our sympathy for this doomed queen even as we can’t help envying her privilege.

Read on…

The Tudors

I don’t know how I feel about this. Article at New York Times.

I just don’t know why they can’t do something more rock ‘n’ roll and keep the costumes more traditional. Or something. I’m not that stuffy, I’ve loved some non-traditional adaptations. But they have to be good. Like “Titus.” Yarm, yarm!
But I really haven’t liked much of the recent Tudor pix or series, and one of the reasons is their modernist approach and all that “must get the ignorant masses to relate to crazy tudor england” stuff. I love Jonathon Rhys Meyers though. And Jonathon Rhys Meyers in gold lame even better.
I guess after Anne of the Thousand Days it is all downhill.
Also, why “The Tudors”? Looks like it is just one Tudor to me. Meh.

“Shock It To Me” Horrorfest 2006

We go to The City infrequently. So it is always the awesome to run into someone unexpectedly. This time it was Augie! We were picking up a wee blobpi for Mr. Kallisti’s birthday (mwah!) at Super 7. And in walks Augie with flyers/posters for his latest: “Shock It To Me” Halloween Horrorfest at the Castro. I jumped all over him and whisked him off to din-din around the corner at that really good ramen place that we hadn’t been to yet. Yay!

We were friends when I was in HS. And roommates briefly when I first moved to The City. Last time I saw him he was putting on Godzilla fest. He’s just written a book (editing) and got bitten by a brown recluse earlier this year… eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek! For real.
So yeah, the fest is the same weekend as the Volks party, but we’ll try to make the Friday night Hammer fest. Aaaaah!
I also brought up the Cerrito Theater happening a couple blocks away, since it will be run by the folks at the Parkway in Oakland. He says they currently have plans to move Thrillville to El Cerrito! Swoon & die! Totally stumbling distance from our house.

Marie Antoinette

EDIT: Read my review here ^_^
Ok, I’ve waited to watch the trailer til just now. I love suspense. Like pretending Christmas isn’t next week.
And I have to admit I got shivers. Opens October 20th. I am a-quiver.
My passion for history and rococo in general, and the French Revolution in particular, need not be explained. I really adore Sofia. I super crush on Dunst and the little spaces between her teeth (boing!). And I really love the 80’s. If it doesn’t suck, I will so win.
*flutter* Shirley Hendersen, Marianne Faithful, Judy Davis… wah!
And this is as good a time as any to make the announcement official: Décolleté 2.0 is up! The Severed Head Gallery is TEN YEARS OLD! Can you stand it? It originally went up in the winter of 1996, when I was under-employed and living in New Orleans. I’ve now officially moved it from Chapel Perilous to Home is where the heart is, eh?
Check out the Marie Antoinette galleries. And the Guillotine Galleries too! I will need to add an entry for Coppola’s film I’m sure… unless I hate it. Which I hope I don’t. Woo!
Warning: Working out some display issues in Firefox! I’m still working on expanding the galleries, links, and references. I have so, SO much material that is not posted. Hence my whinging about movable type and photogalleries the other week. Well, I’ve made it work, for the nonce. Feedback, corrections and suggestions very much welcomed! Just don’t tell me it sucks in Firefox. I know…

The Illusionist

Egads, had a bad day. Going to soothe the savage soul by seeing The Illusionist. 1) It happens to be playing down the street, and 2) they have killer autentico mexican across the street, and nothing says “soothing” like a big plate of carnitas. Haven’t heard anything about it, but my favorite critic is sold, so I’m giving it a go.
This is to keep me from sitting down with a bucket of fried chicken and six hours of the third season of “24.” Which is very sadly my instinct under stress. *stab*

Sometimes you can be perfectly aware of everything that’s wrong with a movie as you’re watching it only to discover, minutes or hours or days later, that the look and the mood of the thing have flooded in and blurred all its flaws. Neil Burger’s somber fairy-tale romance “The Illusionist,” adapted from a short story by Steven Millhauser, is an extremely self-conscious picture: It moves along with the utmost certainty that we’ll be dazzled by it, as if enchantment were a thing that could be enforced. But in the end, “The Illusionist” got me. The picture, set in fin de siècle Vienna, Austria (and filmed in Prague, Czech Republic), is so beautiful to look at that it practically feels like a drug, a little something that you might sip from a miniature crystal glass. I have vague recollections of some of the actors’ trying too hard, and of places where the story dragged like a tired peacock’s tail. But ultimately, by God, I succumbed to the picture’s faux-laudanum haze.

And, wtf, Marie Antoinette isn’t released until October 20th!?!?! I thought with all the reviews, the Vogue cover, the world going Rococo MAD that surely opening night was nigh. But no… I am punished for another two months. Ugh!


Apparently last month was Waugh Month in the UK, and I’m missing it! *cry!*
I’ll be stalking the following programs, that’s for sure. Mr. Loveday’s Little Outing. Meh. Please note the delicious David Warner. Is there a fan club? He vies for my heart with the likes of Oliver Reed.
Dude, wtf, they redid the Quatermass series??? My inner Hammer Whore might just have to order that. I’ve been watching Viva Blackpool. Not sure if I’ve warmed up to the karaoke numbers yet. But it is otherwise fun/creepy mystery drama.
We also have upcoming BBC drama Beau Brummel, let’s see if James Purefoy can out beau 1954’s Stewart Granger. Mwowr.
For the Victorian how-to enthusiast we have The Life of Mrs. Beeton.
And holy cow! Another Jane Eyre! Whodda thunk it. This feisty young Victorian heroine looks fun too.
Aw, and just when you thought they’d do Mansfield Park or Northanger Abbey we get another Sense & Sensibility instead. Not that I mind, mind you. Just thought there was territory less explored.