Sunday, November 18, 2012
Catching Up with Quelle (8)
Anna Karenina (2012) - While I love classic movies, what you may not know about me is that I also have a deep love for period films, especially adaptations of classic novels. Anna Karenina is one of my favorite books and I was excited to see that a new adaptation was being released into theaters. For some reason I became absolutely determined to win advance screening tickets to this film and I entered every online contest I could. I ended up winning a couple tickets from a local Whole Foods for an advance screening last Wednesday. (They ended up being two tickets for four instead of two tickets for two, oops!). I got a gorgeous pass and when we left the movie they handed out these great tri-fold double-sided posters (see above).
It was a really good film despite Keira Knightley being in it. One of the reasons I don't watch as many period films as I used to is that she seems to be in a lot of them. If Zooey Deschanel ever decides to do Period Films I will have to give up the genre entirely.
It's good to note that Anna Karenina (2012) is partly choreographed and a lot of the sets are on stages that change and open up into other sets. If you don't know this up front or if you are not okay with this, the movie might not be as enjoyable. This reminded me of an adaptation of Shakespeare's As You Like it from 2006 in which you got glimpses of a real contemporary audience which reminded you that this is a performance. I loved the blending of reality with fantasy. With Anna Karenina, the stages remind you that this is a production and it also gave the filmmakers more liberty to be visually expressive with history and fantasy.
It's a beautiful film and I thought it was well-executed. I don't understand why they didn't just put Jude Law in the role of Vronsky instead of an unknown. Besides Keira Knightley, Jude Law and I'll make the case also for Emma Watson because I love her, everyone else in the film are minor actors or up-and-coming ones. I think the two major roles should have gone to the two major actors. Downton Abbey fans will recognize the familiar faces of Michelle Dockery (who looks just like my friend Haze who went to the movie with me!) and Thomas Howes who have minor roles in the movie.
One thing I have to say is that there is a gory scene in the beginning of the film which I thought they could have done away with. When I left the film, it's the one scene that stuck in my head. And that should not have been the case.
Will you see Anna Karenina (2012)?
Period Films - Do you like period films? If so, which ones? I have to say that I do not enjoy historical classic films as I do contemporary ones. I feel like todays film makers have a lot more pressure on them to be historically accurate whereas using Victorian style clothing in Pride & Prejudice (1940) (it's Regency not Victorian!). Also because of Hays Code and heavy-handed movie studios, film makers often had to change major plot points or characters in order to please the big bosses. Personally, I would like to know more about the decision behind making Lady Catherine de Bourgh a nice character at the end of the P&P 1940 adaptation (sorry for the spoiler!).
Advance Screenings - I have only been to one other advance screening and that was in 2004. A lot has changed since that time and I noticed while watching Anna Karenina that there were several guards at the theater waving some sort of laser thing over the audience. Also, they checked our bags for recording devices. Someone told me that at some advance screenings they'll take your cell phone and only give it back when the movie is over!
2013 Turner Classic Movies Festival - For those of you who have gone to this festival in the past, what advice do you have for those of us who are going or who are contemplating going in 2013? Cinematically Insane has a nice post detailing the differences between passes from 2012 and 2013 and offers some advice on what to invest your money in and Laura from Laura's Miscellaneous Musings gave me a good tip about standby lines for evening shows ($20 to get in if there are open spots). Any other advice?
Have a good week!