Top Ripples 2015

Here are the books and movies, experiences and encounters that I’d rated 4 Ripples this year. Click on the links to read my reviews.

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~ ~ ~ ~ Ripples 2015 Movies

The Assassin 

Brooklyn 

Clouds of Sils Maria

Ex Machina

Mustang (Review upcoming)

Spotlight

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Worthy mentions  ~ ~ ~ 1/2 Ripples

Bridge of Spies

The End of the Tour

Jafar Panahi’s Taxi

Leviathan

The Martian

Room 

Suffragette

Testament of Youth

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At the Cineplex, I’d also enjoyed four National Theatre Live performances on screen direct from the London stage. All of these are memorable. CLICK HERE to read my post on the first three, and HERE for Hamlet:

The Hard Problem by Tom Stoppard

The View from the Bridge by Arthur Miller

Man and Superman by Bernard Shaw

Hamlet by William Shakespeare (with Benedict Cumberbatch)

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As in years past, the number of books I’ve read is only about half of the films I’ve seen, a stat that I’d like to improve in the future. Here are the Top Ripples in books I’ve read in 2015, not all published in this year obviously.

Nora Webster by Colm Tóibín

Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín

Satin Island by Tom McCarthy

The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

Beware of Pity by Stefan Zweig

The Post Office Girl by Stefan Zweig

Terrapin: Poems by Wendell Berry

Leavings by Wendell Berry

Slouching Towards Bethlehem: Essays by Joan Didion

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Here, I must mention my 4 Ripple Experience: Fall Foliage Road Trip across four New England States two weeks in Sept/Oct., prompting me to write 10 blog posts when I came back. Starting here.

Kancamagus Hwy

Another 4 Ripple Encounter is attending the Merchant Ivory Retrospective in December. I’d never thought I could actually see director James Ivory in person. And so I did. It was fascinating listening to the 87 year-old, legendary director who’d brought us A Room with a View (1985), Howards End (1992), The Remains of the Day (1993), and many other literary to film adaptations talk about the working dynamics of Ismael Merchant, writer Ruth Prawer Jhabvala and himself in the creative process.

Here’s a photo of the occasion, a Q & A session with film critic Katherine Monk after the screening of Heat and Dust, adaptation of the Man Booker winning novel (1983) by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala:

James Ivory1

 

And that’s a wrap for 2015.

 

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Related posts you might like to read:

Howards End by E. M. Forster

The Merchant Ivory Dialogues 

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala: A Tribute to Rootlessness

Can a Movie Adaptation Ever be as Good as the Book

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Top Ripples 2014

This year, I’ve watched over 100 films and in a much smaller proportion, read forty some books. Been to the Toronto International Film Festival, and attended a memorable session ‘Conversation with Juliette Binoche.’ That would be one of the Top Ripples for me.

The following list represents the most resonance I’ve had with the films that come out this year. As a stringent marker, I’ve only given one movie 4 Ripples, and that’s Boyhood back in August when I first saw the film. All the others earn at least 3.5 Ripples.

I’d not written a review for every film I’d seen, obviously. But even for those I did not post, I ensure you if you find them on this list, they are at least 3.5 to 4 Ripples in my mind, like Calvary, and Citizenfour. Of course, there are those that I’m still waiting to come out in the next two weeks. (Click on the links in the following titles to read my review.)

As you can see, other than films and books, I’ve also included some other memorable 2014 experiences.

Films

Boyhood

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Calvary

Citizenfour

Clouds of Sils Maria

Foreign Language Films

Ida

Force Majeure

Books – Fiction

Lila by Marilynne Robinson
(2014 National Book Award Finalist, Fiction)

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
(2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction Winner)

Books – Nonfiction

Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, & Faith in the New China by Evan Osnos
(2014 National Book Awards Winner for Nonfiction)

Birding with Yeats: A Memoir by Lynn Thomson

Gallery Visits

Alex Colville and the Movies (AGO)

Nature Sightings: (rare or first time sighting for me):

The Monarch Butterfly

The Barred Owl

Porky and Wess

Best Search Engine Terms to come to Ripple Effects:

Is Downton Abbey fiction?

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There are also books and films from previous years that I’ve had the pleasure to experience in 2014. Here are the Top Ripples:

Books:

12 Years A Slave by Solomon Northup (1853)

Joseph Anton by Salman Rushdie (2012)

A House In The Sky by Amanda Lindhout (2013)

Silence by Shûsaku Endô (1966)

The Dinner by Herman Koch (2013)

Films: 

The Lunchbox (2013)

Like Father, Like Son (2013)

Charade (1963)

I Confess (1953)

Shadow of a Doubt (1943)

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86th Academy Awards Made History

Oscar Selfie

The following is a partial list of last night’s 86th Academy Awards winners. I’ve included Production Budget from Box Office Mojo, just for comparison:

Gravity: 7 Wins

Best Directing, Cinematography, Film Editing, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, Visual Effects, Music (Original Score).

Production Budget: $100 Million

12 Years A Slave: 3 Wins

Best Picture, Supporting Actress, Adapted Screenplay

Production Budget: $20 Million

Dallas Buyers Club: 3 Wins

Best Actor, Supporting Actor, Make-up and Hairstyling

Production Budget: $5 Million

The Great Gatsby: 2 Wins

Best Costume Design, Production Design

Production Budget: $105 Million

Blue Jasmine: 1 Win

Best Actress

Production Budget: N/A

Her: 1 Win

Best Original Screenplay

Production Budget: $23 Million

12 Years A Slave Poster copy

The Oscars last night made history in two categories… and I don’t mean Ellen Degeneres’ star-studded group selfie setting retweeting record. First, there was Gravity’s director Alfonso Cuarón as the first Latin American to win the Best Directing Oscar. Gravity seemed to be the major winner last night with seven Oscars. Basically the 3D, sic-fi movie had snatched all technical wins, as predicted by many.

But in every Academy Awards, the top prize is Best Picture, here we see 12 Years A Slave make history with Steve McQueen becoming the first black director to garner the Best Picture Oscar honour. Lupita Lyong’o also came out victorious as this is her first feature film. I’m happy to see too that John Ridley win the Best Adapted Screenplay, the second black winner to fetch a writing Oscar, after Geoffrey Fletcher for Precious in 2009. Ridley has turned Solomon Northup’s poignant memoir into a script for an impressive visual testament. Because of the film, this eye-witness narrative of Solomon Northup hopefully will find its way into school curricula soon. This is the power of cinema in transforming society.

Cate Blanchet‘s win for her role in Blue Jasmine gives her a chance to counter a misconception: “… and perhaps, those of us in the industry who are still foolishly clinging to the idea that female films, with women at the centre, are niche experiences. They are not. Audiences want to see them, and in fact, they earn money.”

Hopefully after all the ‘history’ being made, one day we won’t have to identify the colour, ethnicity, or gender of winners in saying so-and-so is the first black, or hispanic, or woman to win this or do that.

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The reason I’ve included the Production Budget in the above list is that I remember the ‘implosion’ of the movie industry‘ Steven Spielberg had predicted a year ago as he cited productions getting more and more costly, aiming at mega, iron-man effects to please the general public. While Gravity might fit that category with its 3D, high-tech, CGI-driven grandiosity and out-of-this-world spectacle, there are also worthy, smaller productions that cost only a fraction of a colossal budget, but still can move audiences and touch the human heart.

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Related Posts on Ripple Effects:

History Made At The Oscars: Kathryn Bigelow Wins Best Director

Our Mega Culture

12 Years A Slave: Beauty and Sadness (Movie Review)

Narrative of Solomon Northup: A Voice that Must Be Heard (Book Review)

Nebraska: Color is Superfluous (Movie Review)

The Great Gatsby Movie Review

Blue Jasmine: Homage & Re-imagining

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Books to Movie Adaptations Updates

Here are some updates that look promising, books that are in various stages of development into movies. For yourself or your book group, should make a good reading list:

East of Eden Book CoverEast of Eden — This just came out two days ago, Hunger Games director Gary Ross will write the screenplay of this new adaptation of John Steinbeck’s classic, with Jennifer Lawrence to star. For J. Law fans, this is good news. But for devotees of the original 1955 movie adaptation directed by the legendary Elia Kazan with the debut breakout role for James Dean, this modern version definitely is uncalled for, a rebel without a cause.

An Object of BeautyAn Object of Beauty — The movie version of Steve Martin’s novel about the NYC art gallery scene is now a project of Amy Adams’, with Ned Benson writing the screenplay. I have high expectation of this one, having seen Benson’s wonderful works The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him and Her last year at TIFF. The cast has not been announced but Amy Adams will be the producer and actor in her new project.

A Walk In the WoodsA Walk In The Woods — from the vast open sea in All Is Lost to the Appalachian Trail, Robert Redford will appear in this adaptation of the 1998 personal memoir by Bill Bryson, a walk on the Appalachian Trail to ‘rediscover America.’ Nick Nolte is also reported to be in the cast. Screenplay by Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine, Toy Story 3, The Hunger Games), directed by Ken Kwapis (The Office). The movie is scheduled to come out in 2015. Enough time to read or reread, or even walk the Trail yourself. Who knows, you might see the film crew while there.

Beautiful RuinsBeautiful Ruins Author Jess Walter of this popular novel will co-write the screenplay with writer/director Todd Field. I’ve seen Field’s Oscar nominated adaptation of Little Children (2006 with Kate Winslet nom. for Best Actress), a haunting film. I trust his talents with Beautiful Ruins. Considering the Italian coastal setting of the book, the movie would likely offer some beautiful cinematography. Imogen Poots is on board, so far.

The Dinner The Dinner — Dutch author Herman Koch’s novel is like a dynamite. I’m half way through the lighted fuse as I type this post, so it’s not full-blown yet, but I’m totally engrossed in this book based on a real-life crime. The dinner menu in an elegant restaurant ingeniously parallels the plot development. I missed it at TIFF last year. And since, I’m not aware that it has made its presence on the big screens here in North America. But hopefully this year we will have the chance to see it. Even if it doesn’t show in your city, read the book still. (Update: to read my book review on Goodreads CLICK HERE.)

Hundred Foot JourneyThe Hundred-foot JourneyAnother culinary movie. This one is much lighter than the above, based on Richard C. Morais’s novel. Story is about a family from India moves to France, opening an Indian restaurant across from a Michelin-starred fine French restaurant. Cultural clashes, the reverse of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. The book is quite entertaining, the movie comes with some big names. Producers Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey, Helen Mirren to star, and directed by the prolific Lasse Hallström (Chocolat, 2000; The Shipping News, 2001; Salmon Fishing In the Yemen, 2011)

The GiverThe Giver – The highly popular young adult book by Lois Lowry finally gets a movie appearance, over twenty years after its publication in 1993. Utopia turned bad, ideals and reality. With so many movies on a dystopia, will this still look fresh? Cast include Jeff Bridges as The Giver, and look here, Meryle Streep, Taylor Swift, Alexander Skarsgard, Philip Noyce directs. One of Noyce’s previous works is the adaptation of Graham Greene’s novel The Quiet American (2002). Many may have read this title in school. Time to reread.

The Little PrinceThe Little PrinceLots of talents are behind this newest animation based on the beloved story by French author and pilot Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Those lending a voice include: Rachel McAdams, James Franco, Marion Cotillard, Jeff Bridges, Paul Giamatti. While I love the earlier musical version (1974, with Gene Wilder as The Fox), I welcome a new adaptation, for I know this will bring the book to the limelight for a new generation. Making a movie nowadays looks to be the most effective way to introduce literature to a younger generation (or whatever generations).

Secret ScriptureThe Secret Scripture — By the Booker Prize short-listed Irish author Sebastian Barry. The novel is an internal dialogue of a close to 100 years-old patient in a mental hospital, Roseanne McNulty, reminiscing her younger days. The older character will be played by the brilliant Vanessa Redgrave, her younger self by the talented Jessica Chastain. I last see them together in a film was in Ralph Fiennes’s directorial debut, the modern version of Shakespear’s Coriolanus. Don’t think these two ladies will appear in the same scene in The Secret Scripture since they are of different time periods, but good to know that the roles are being played by two wonderful actors.

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Previous Books to Movies Lists:

2014 Book To Movie Adaptations

Upcoming Book to Movie Adaptations

Great Movies Expectations

Related Posts:

My book review of The Dinner posted on Goodreads

Book Review of The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais

Do We Need Another Rebecca Remake? Another Grapes of Wrath?

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Top Ripples of 2013

It’s not easy to rate a whole year’s experience by Ripples, unlike a two-hour movie. However, here are some stats I’ve compiled for my own records.

Ripple Effects is all about books and movies. For me, watching a movie definitely is a much easier activity than finishing a book. So far this year, my movie number is around 100, almost three times as many as books I’ve read. They include movies I’ve watched on the big screen in theatres, at TIFF, and on DVD and Blu-ray formats at home. But I’m sure there are still a few I’d forgotten to jot down.

I’ve written 16 movie reviews on Ripple Effects this year, and they are not all 2013 releases. This number represents only a dearth of my film experience. From this small collection, there are two that I’ve given 4/4 Ripples (I’m sure I’ll add some more in this Award Season):

Nebraska 
12 Years A Slave

These two came close, with 3½ Ripples:

Before Midnight
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Her (TIFF 13)

And several more with 3 Ripples. Click here to my review list.

For my trip to Toronto to attend TIFF in September, definitely a 4-Ripple experience.

Many of the movies I watched this year are “catch-up’s”. They are cinema classics I’d missed over the past decades. These are films that I’d long wanted to see but had not the time or the chance to. Yes, this ‘catching-up’ activity is a most enjoyable time for me. They don’t make movies like these anymore. No CGI, no colours even, yet we can see a kaleidoscope of characters, fantastic scenes and poignant human conditions. So, Top Ripples go to:

Federico Fellini’s I Vitelloni (1953), La Dolce Vita (1960), 8½ (1963)
Victorio De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves (1948)
Robert Bresson’s Au Hasard Balthazar (1966)
Akira Kurosawa’s Ikiru (1952), Rashomon (1950)
Sidney Lumet’s 12 Angry Men (1957)

Some others are book-related. Before the newest remakes come into being, I’d like to experience the original version, like:

Hitchcock’s Rebecca (1940)
Elia Kazan’s East of Eden (1955)
John Ford’s The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

Still other films I watched and/or rewatched to prepare for or just to go together with what looks like is their latest version, or homage, if you will, like the following to coincide with Before Midnight (2013):

Ingmar Bergman’s Scenes from a Marriage (1973)
Woody Allen’s Husbands and Wives (1992)

Or Elia Kazan’s A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) to go with Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine (2013)

Along the way during this rewarding movie-watching year, I’ve discovered some foreign language films, two in particular stand out: Korean director Chang-dong Lee’s Poetry (2010) and Secret Sunshine (2007)

As a freelance reviewer, I continue to be a contributor to Asian American Press as their film and arts guest columnist. Further, and this I’m really excited about, my feature article on the Canadian-Korean playwright/actor Ins Choi was published on the December 4th issue of Curator Magazine.

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Even though I’ve only read a small number of books compared to movies watched, I’m glad I’d completed a major challenge, and that’s reading Proust. It’s definitely a 4-Ripple experience for me, despite having had to slash my way through thickets and at times, find my way out of a literary labyrinth. My post on this first taste of Proust was featured on WordPress’s ‘Freshly Pressed’. Now that’s the bonus madeleines on top of an already savory meal.

Another book I hold high esteem is Eric Metaxas’s Bonhoeffer, a Read-Along I hosted earlier in 2013. I’d enjoyed the camaraderie of reading the same book with others, and the discussion of ideas. Finishing a book or not is not as important as taking part in the journey, even for a little while, as we share our thoughts. 4 Ripples.

For old acquaintances and new friends I’ve made in the blogging world this year, I must give another 4 Ripples. This is the major reward of blogging. To all the new blogs and sites I’ve discovered, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed our mutual visits.

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As for posts, looks like my “Quotable Quotes from Downton Abbey” has taken over “Memorable Movie Love Quotes” as the most popular these days. And I can understand why. Let’s get ready for Downton Season 4, coming up in just a few days.

And for my adventures as a nature paparazzo and bird-stalker, I give them nothing less than Top Ripples.

To 2014, I have a few ideas. This may involve a bit more individual studies, and researching into topics that have interested me for some time. Yes, films and their influence in our postmodern culture, into that topic I will continue to delve. So there you have it, more books and movies to share with you all. As always, I invite you to come by the pond and throw in your two pebbles. I cling on to my motto: “Serenity is golden, but sometimes a few ripples are needed as proof of life.”

To All, a Four-Ripple 2014!

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Summer Viewing List

Summer Reading Lists have begun to sprout everywhere. Some prefer lighter beach reads, and others use this time to catch up on heavier non-fiction works.

While I love book lists and recommendations, as a cinephile, I also have my list… films to be watched, those I highly anticipate to come around hopefully soon to my city. Here’s my TBV (To Be Viewed) list for this summer on the big screen:

Frances Ha – A NYC set black and white film in 2013? The trailer evokes Woody Allen’s Manhattan. I know Noah Baumbach has his own style, considering some of my favourite films are his works, The Squid and the Whale, Fantastic Mr. Fox. Co-writer and star Greta Gerwig, who is a good balance to Ben Stiller in Greenberg and distinctive in To Rome With Love albeit in a minor role, should be a delight. This I highly anticipate.

Before Midnight – The third and final instalment of Richard Linklater’s chance encounters of Before Sunrise, and Before Sunset. Real time, dialogue driven films almost created a genre of their own in the first two instalments. Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy regroup nine years later in Greece. Whatever had happened in their lives between years?

Summer breeze, makes me feel fine…

Before Midnight

Much Ado About Nothing – Shakespeare and summer go hand-in-hand. Not in the park, this one’s shot right in director/screenwriter, of Avengers’ fame Joss Whedon’s own backyard in Santa Monica, CA. A postmodern take, and … black and white? Keeping the original work handy can help to reveal what’s Shakespeare’s and what’s Whedon’s.

Blue Jasmine – Woody Allen has been bringing us a new film a year over the past four decades. Can you not admire the stamina and creativity of this man, now 78. Allen’s 2013 instalment brings him home to NY and CA. Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin, Peter Sarsgaard star. I highly anticipate his 2014 work though, already announced and in pre-production. This time, back to France with Colin Firth. Yes folks, just another year.

Blowing through the jasmine in my mind…

Jasmine

Gambit – scheduled to come out later this year, Colin Firth and Cameron Diaz reprise the 1966 British comedy that starred Michael Caine and Shirley MacLaine. Alan Rickman also in this new remake. Much ado about a fake Monet painting. Should be another breezy flick but probably after summer, if it ever comes this way.

To The Wonder – Terrence Malick’s 2012 work just one year after The Tree of Life still hasn’t arrived here, albeit screened months ago in other more major cities. Not as highly acclaimed as the mesmerizing Tree of Life, To The Wonder is still alluring for me, a Malick fan. Good to see that the reclusive director seems to be busier now so we don’t have to wait for a decade to see his next work.

What Maisie Knew – Again, still not here albeit has been screened in other more major cities. Just rubs it in once more as to where I’m living. Julianne Moore and Alexander Skarsgård lead the cast in this newest Henry James adaptation. I’ve enjoyed previous James’ work on screen like The Wings of the Dove, The Golden Bowl, and The Portrait of a Lady. What Maisie Knew seems like a smaller work, looking at the novel. So would like to read that before seeing the film.

Summer in February – After Downton Abbey, Dan Steven’s new film … looks like an artsy romance. Alas, don’t think it will come to North America though. But hopefully PBS or HBO or the Movie Channel will one day pick it up. Dominic Cooper and Dan Stevens fall for the same girl in an Edwardian artist colony in Cornwall. From the trailer, looks very artsy and Downtony.

Inside Llewyn Davies – Coen Brothers’ newest film on 1960’s NY folk music scene. Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake star. And they all sing… Music and singing play a key role in many Coen films. Now this one focuses on a musical period I love, and follows the erratic life of a fictional folk singer/songwriter. Just found out it is scheduled to be released in December. Long wait, but considering the timing, this one is bound to show up as a contender comes next Award Season.

And, while waiting for all these to come on the big screen (yes, I still feel movies ought to be viewed on the big screen, at least the first time), summer is also the best time to catch up on some classics I’ve missed in past years/decades. This list can be unending. Another post.

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Related posts you might like:

Upcoming Books to Movie Adaptations

Woody Allen’s Midnight In Paris movie review

Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life movie review

True Grit: A Cool Summer Read and Movie

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Jasmine photo from Wikipedia Commons, Movie Poster original source unknown

All The Year’s Best

All the year’s best are coming out now: Best books, best movies, best… whatever. And I admit, I’m one who’s always on the look-out for such lists. Hundreds of books and movies in a year reduced to a list of 10, definitely makes one convenient Christmas shopping list.

Here are some of the best book lists:

Publishers Weekly Top 10 Books of 2011

NPR 10 Best Novels of 2011

New York Times 10 Best Books of 2011

Best Fiction 2011 from “The World’s Toughest Book Critics”

The Globe 100 Best Books of 2011 shopping list

Books of the Year 2011 The Telegraph

A list of indispensable books from Harvard Gazette, not your usual best-sellers

And here’s a one-stop shopping lists for The Top 10 Everything of 2011 from TIME Magazine.

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Movies? Year’s best lists are everywhere. Of course, all lead to the ultimate finale of the Award Season: The Oscars. But for Christmas shopping suggestions, here are several lists, albeit some of the current releases may not have come out in DVD or Blu-ray yet:

American Film Institute’s Best Films 2011

Critics Awards for 2011 Best Films

Roger Ebert’s Best Films of 2011

NYT Stephen Holden Best Films 2011

NYT A. O. Scott’s & Manohla Dargis’s lists

Metacritic’s Best Films 2011

Toronto Film Critics’ Picks

Time-Out London

And more lists are coming out even as I type.

But of course, the most important to readers/movie viewers is whether they agree or not, whether what the critics say happen to be their own favorites. If not, there’s really not much relevance to all these lists, is there? No? I’d like to hear from you… Do you read movie reviews first before heading out to the theatre? Do you depend more on film critics or ‘user-reviewers’? Herein lies another subtle (or not so subtle) battle between the critics vs. the reader/movie watcher, and… alright, the blogger.

So, from one POV, here’s Arti’s year-end tally. Yes, I happen to have written down, if I remembered to do so, all the movie titles I’ve watched this year. There are about 90 that I’ve got down, not including those I previewed for a film festival.

If I’m to choose the best film of this year from all that I’ve watched, I’ll have to say The Tree Of Life by Terrence Malick. It’s a film by far the most unique, cinematically gratifying, cerebral, transcendent, and a showcase of excellent talents. I hope the young actor Hunter McCracken can get some recognition for his sensitive and intelligent performance.

Other titles I should mention for my list of best 2011 films include The Artist, Midnight In Paris, Drive, Cave of Forgotten Dreams, My Week With Marilyn, and The Descendants. I’m still waiting for the screening in our city of some titles which I highly anticipate, including A Dangerous Method, Carnage, Take Shelter, Tomboy, and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, and We Need to Talk About Kevin.

And for older films I’ve seen this year, some I rewatched, others are my catch-up on acclaimed titles I’ve missed in the past. I’ve a few favorites (in no particular order):

Animal Kingdom, My Life As A Dog, Truly, Madly, Deeply, Autumn Sonata, Play It Again Sam, Interiors, Marvin’s Room, Shine, Badlands, Days of Heaven, Fargo, The Makioka Sisters, Radio Days, Anne Hall, Manhattan, Match Point, Pickpocket, Howards End, The Third Man.

As a slow reader, much slower than my movie-watching speed, the ratio of film to book for me this year is about 2:1. My picks for my favorite reads this year (not all published in 2011), and in no particular order:

Then Again by Diane Keaton, The Sense of An Ending by Julian Barnes, Blue Nights by Joan Didion, Let The Great World Spin by Colum McCann, The Paris Wife by Paula McLain, A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway, The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh, True Grit by Charles Portis, Howards End by E. M. Forster, The Cat’s Table by Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje, Diary of a Country Priest by Georges Bernanos.

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What about you? What are your year’s best in books and movies?

More Upcoming Books into Movies

Wondering what to read in the fall? Here are some books being adapted into movies at various stages of development. Some may come out later this year, most in 2012, and others may materialize even further. Your book group may be interested to look at the following titles. Some are bound to generate lively discussions. Consider this a sequel to my earlier list which you can find by clicking here.

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Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (Can’t resist mentioning this again. Joe Wright of ‘Atonement’ directing, Tom Stoppard screenplay, and an excellent British cast)

As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner (James Franco directing)

Austenland by Shannon Hale (Keri Russell)

The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill

Coriolanus by William Shakespeare (Ralph Fiennes directs and stars)

Crooked House by Agatha Christie (Gemma Arterton)

Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes)

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (Kenneth Branagh directing)

The Humbling by Philip Roth

The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler

Italian Shoes by Henning Mankell (Kenneth Branagh directing Anthony Hopkins)

Ivan the Fool by Leo Tolstoy

King Lear by William Shakespeare (Al Pacino)

Let The Great World Spin by Colum McCann

The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson

Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie

Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones (Hugh Laurie)

Paradise Lost by John Milton (Bradley Cooper as Lucifer)

Romeo and Juliet by WIlliam Shakespeare (Hailee Steinfeld)

What Maisie Knew by Henry James (Julianne Moore)

The Winter Queen by Boris Akunin

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I know many book lovers are usually hesitant to see their beloved stories and fictional characters transposed on screen. But just imagine for a moment a best-case scenario, which book would you like to see adapted into a movie? And, who do you have in mind as the ideal cast?

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CLICK HERE to read related posts:

“Can a Movie Adaptation Ever be as Good as the Book?”

“Upcoming Books Into Movies — List 3”

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2010: Another Year of Books and Films

The discussion of movies is frequently more interesting than the movies themselves.

——   A. O Scott, NYT Movie Critic

Thanks to A. O. Scott, in his recent article on Films, Themes, and Trends, he has spelt out for me the raison d’etre of Ripple Effects.  As I always say, I’m just throwing a pebble into the pond.  It’s watching the splash and the out-reaching ripples that makes it so gratifying.  Thanks to all your responses, the discussions following the posts have made it all worthwhile.

2010 is my record year for movies watched. As a previewer for an international film festival, I’ve had the experience of viewing over 50 features, docs, and shorts in one month.  As a film lover, I’ve seen another 50 more of my own choice in the other months.  They are not all 2010 productions.  The oldest film for me this year is a silent black and white Ozu work, A Story of Floating Weeds (1934).  I’ve also discovered Robert Bresson.  His Diary of a Country Priest (1950) is probably one of the best Book Into Film adaptations I have encountered.

But, to remain timely, and we all like lists, here are Arti’s favourite movies released in 2010 (in no particular order).  Click on link to read my review:

  1. The King’s Speech (review coming up)
  2. The Secret In Their Eyes
  3. Another Year
  4. Nowhere Boy
  5. Never Let Me Go

Is it coincidental that all of the above except one are from the UK?  The Secret In Their Eyes is Argentinian.  It won the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar for 2010.

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Favourite books read in 2010 (again, in no particular order):

  1. Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata
  2. Diary of a Country Priest by Georges Bernanos
  3. The Music of Chance by Paul Auster
  4. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
  5. Theatre by William Somerset Maugham

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Favourite Interesting Search Engine Terms (words people use to arrive at Ripple Effects this year):

  • elegance of the hedghog movie restroom music
  • banksy telephone booth
  • bird front view
  • darcy wet shirt
  • colin firth wet darcy
  • wet colin firth
  • colin fith
  • darcy kiss amanda in lost austen
  • little miss sunshine van
  • free great gatsby iphone
  • imprisonment in snow country
  • revolutionary road insane son controlling mother
  • to see the lost cattails soft winds and roses
  • what color are pussy willows?
  • virginia woolf’s crusading novel a room of one’s own
  • pregnant man giving birth
  • giving birth naturally
  • noomi rapace piercings
  • vw van
  • flotsam? i’ve gotsam
  • funny things inside mad magazine
  • the girl with the dragon typo
  • stranger
  • lust

Just a sampler showing you how eclectic Ripple Effects can be.

I look forward to throwing more pebbles in the coming year.  Again, a hearty thank-you to all my regular readers and occasional visitors.  Thank you for taking the time to comment.  You are the fuel for this journey called blogging, and without your responses and discussions, there’s simply no raison d’etre for Arti to press forward another year.

 

To All, A Happy New Year!

Dive in, make waves… it’s warmer than you think.

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Upcoming Books Into Films

Looking for book suggestions for yourself or your book group in the coming year? The following is a list of books being planned for a movie adaptation. Books turning into movies always generate a lot of debates and discussions.  Better still, read the book then watch the movie together… I’m sure more debates will ensue.

Hope the following list can furnish you or your group with some ideas. Do note that these titles are in various stages of development, meaning some may come out in the next year or two, some may take longer if they get started at all.  Click on titles (links) for more details.

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1984 by George Orwell

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

The Adjustment Team (short story) by Philip K. Dick (Film: The Adjustment Bureau)

The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn by Hergé

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque (Daniel Radcliffe)

American Pastoral by Philip Roth

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (Keira Knightly)

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Bel Ami by Guy de Maupassant (short story)

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair by C. S. Lewis

The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

East of Eden by John Steinbeck

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer (Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock)

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (Carey Mulligan, Leonardo DiCaprio)

Hamlet by William Shakespeare

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

Ivan the Fool by Leo Tolstoy

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly

Middlemarch by George Eliot

On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan

On the Road by Jack Kerouac

One Day by David Nicholls

One for the Money by Janet Evanovich

Paradise Lost by John Milton

The Piano Tuner by Daniel Mason

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (A new take: Jane Austen Handheld)

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith

Pygmalion by Bernard Shaw (My Fair Lady, Carey Mulligan, Emma Thompson script)

The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (A Latina spin: From Prada to Nada)

Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald (Matt Damon, Keira Knightly)

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

The Tiger by John Vaillant

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John Le Carré (Colin Firth)

Water for Elephant by Sara Gruen

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

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For a more updated list, click here to “More Upcoming Books Into Movies”.

If you know of any other titles, you are welcome to add to this list by leaving the info in the comment section.

CLICK HERE for WordPress Tag: Book Into Film.


Top 20 Under 40

The New Yorker has released the anticipated list of top 20 fiction writers under 40, kicking off their summer fiction issue. It’s been eleven years now since the last list.

I’ve no trouble with the number 20, but I admit the number 40 does pose a problem.  If these figures represent the ‘defining voices’ of contemporary fiction, the stars to watch, is there still a future for those who by chance happen to be on the other side of that magic number?

Why should age be a demarkation when it comes to creative writing?  And, why 40? Why not 32 or 46?  It sounds arbitrary doesn’t it.  I know, we’re a lists-obsessed people.  Even the New Yorker editors admit that.  It’s funny that they seem to justify their act by citing The Ten Commandments, the twelve disciples, the seven deadly sins, the Fantastic Four.  Wow, do we ever need to elevate literary stardom to epic proportion… we have fierce competitions in 3-D movies, ‘Dancing with the Stars” and interactive video games, just to name a few.

Writers on their previous list include Jonathan Franzen, Jhumpa Lahiri, Michael Chabon and David Foster Wallace.  So, it’s a highly anticipated star roster.   As well, other magazines have published similar recognition.  Granta has its “Top 21 Under 35” twice a few years ago.  Sounds like a well-established marketing strategy.

Fine.  That is certainly understandable in a time when so many alternatives are competing with reading a short story or a novel. But still, the number 40 troubles me.  My sympathy goes to those who are no less promising but alas, have shot further than the 40 mark.  Without being recognized as ‘young’ anymore, will they still have a future?  Further, is there hope for those who might choose to pursue a passion that comes late in life?  I can see the futility if that dream is to be a concert pianist if one hadn’t taken up the instrument by the ripe old age of 12.  But, what about writing?  Is starting at 40, or 50, or even 60 too late?  Is the term ‘late bloomer’ a misguided notion offering false hope?

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Oh… the promise and glamour of youth.  And woe to us who are beyond rescue in a society that’s obsessed with popularity and rankings, youthful looks and prodigious fame.

To soothe the wounded spirit, and keep the creative fire burning, Ripple Effects would like to propose the following iconoclastic list in this day ruled by ageism:

  • Top 50 over 53:  To honor the best 50 unpublished writers over 53
  • Top 100 under 67:  To seek out the best 100 blog writers under 67 in lieu of being published in the real world.  Why 100?  I’m sure this is just a minuscule sample of the tens of thousands possible candidates out there in the blogosphere.
  • Top 15 over 74:  To encourage the best 15 yet-to-be literary stars over 74, just to give hope to those still pursuing their life-long dream.
  • Top 3 over 82:  To celebrate the late-bloomers who have finally made it, actually publishing their debut novel after 82.  Why 3?  That’s obvious.

Sour grape?  No, that would be immature.  Let’s just say, virtual tasting of the elusive grape.  Never underestimate the power of hope and the freedom of casting aside the burden of age.

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You can still see the ripples at eventide.   — Arti

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Photo taken by Arti at The Inside Passage to Alaska,  September, 2009.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

New York Times: Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made

Here’s the link to the list of 1,000 Best Movies Ever Made according to New York Times movie critics. The list is based on the book The New York Times Guide to the Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made, second edition, published 2004.

Do you find your favorites here? If not, which movies do you think should be on the list? Which should not be? A list of 1,000 movies spanning almost a century, you might think there should be a lot of choices, right?

My view:

  • I agree maybe Bambi (1942) should be there, but no Out of Africa (1985) or Shawshank Redemption (1994)?
  • Ok, so Bull Durham (1988 ) is in, but where are Field of Dreams (1989) and Dances With Wolves (1990)?
  • I regret to see The Last Temptation of Christ (1988 ) is on the list but not The Passion of the Christ (2004).
  • So they have The Pianist (2002) but ignore Sophie’s Choice (1982) and Life is Beautiful (1997).
  • I see that Chicken Run (2000) gets to rub shoulders with Ben-Hur (1959)….ookay….and, if Working Girl (1988 ) can get a nod, then where’s my Bridget Jones’ Diary?

… and so on and so forth…

Your view?