WEIRDLAND: January 2008

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Young actors

"In the wake of Heath Ledger’s tragic death, I contend that he was the most promising young actor working today. While we are all eagerly awaiting his portrayal of The Joker in this summer's The Dark Knight, his performances in Brokeback Mountain, Candy, I'm Not There, and Monster's Ball spoke for themselves. Now that he has died, we will never see what he was capable of, but it makes us wonder where he would have fit in. Because of this, here are the most promising actors under the age of 30. You can decide where Heath would have fit into this list, but if he was still living, I would have put him right at the top. He will be missed, but these men will continue on in his absence.
10) Seth Rogen (25)
Both Segel and Rogen first made it big as stars of Judd Apatow’s Freaks and Geeks. I first became aware of Segel as Marshall on How I Met Your Mother, and he has gotten a lot of mainstream attention for his hilarious role as Rogen’s friend in Knocked Up. While Rogen has most of the buzz right now, I think Segel has more promise, which will be demonstrated in the forthcoming Forgetting Sarah Marshall (which he also wrote).9) Michael Cera (19)
The Superbad stars have had a quick rise to stardom over the past couple years with Cera emerging from Arrested Development and Hill starring in several comedies. I don’t know if either of these guys will be able to shake off their early screen personas, but if they can they certainly both have promise.6) Jake Gyllenhaal (27)
From his early films such as October Sky and Donnie Darko, Gyllenhaal has continued to develop towards a promising career. Recently, he has seemingly taken the next step with his roles in Jarhead, Zodiac, and of course his role opposite Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain. With some more supporting roles, he could develop to be great.

5) Shia LaBeouf (21)
Who would have thought eight years ago that Louis Stevens would become a talented star of all genres? LaBeouf has become just that. He showed us in Transformers that he has a way about him that makes a great action star, who can bring humor to his roles. His role in A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints proves that he has the dramatic prowess to do great things really soon.
4) Paul Dano (23)
It only took two films to skyrocket Dano up this list, but his performances in Little Miss Sunshine and There Will Be Blood are so good that his talent can not be denied now. While previous entries are merely promising, Dano has already arrived with these two awesome performances.3) Emile Hirsch (22)
It’s hard not to love The Girl Next Door (I mean, she is Elisha Cuthbert), but since Hirsch broke out with that film (also starring Dano), he has successfully tackled more dramatic fare in Lords of Dogtown (with Heath Ledger) and Into The Wild. Many believe he was snubbed for awards this year, but his time will come, albeit not for next year’s Speed Racer.2) James McAvoy (28)
Like Dano, it didn’t take much for McAvoy to make this list. Not only is he the star of this years Oscar contending Atonement, but he more than held his own opposite Forest Whitaker in The Last King of Scotland. I personally thought he was better than Forest in that film (which is saying quite a lot), and really look forward to his future work.1) Ryan Gosling (27)
While he is probably most known for starring in every girl’s sleepover (a.k.a. his role in The Notebook), he has proved his worth through his Oscar nominated role in Half Nelson and his golden globe nominated performance in Lars and the Real Girl. Gosling, like others on this list doesn’t just have potential, but he has already displayed it. Like Heath Ledger, he has become selective with the roles he chooses, and is even more promising because of it.
Who do you think is today's most promising young actor?
Source: www.saltystix.com
I'd add also to this list at least three young actors I like:
Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
Patrick Fugit.Ben Foster.

Monday, January 28, 2008

14th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards

Ryan Gosling.Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.Kate Hudson.Ellen Page.Ellen Pompeo.Jena Malone.Marion Cotillard.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Kirsten and Ryan Gosling

Kirsten Dunst is in negotiations and Ryan Gosling has signed on for All Good Things, a period love story/murder mystery Andrew Jarecki (Capturing the Friedmans) is directing for Groundswell Prods. Marcus Hinchey, Marc Smerling, and Jarecki wrote the screenplay, which tells the story of a 1980s New York real estate suit (Gosling) who falls for a girl from the wrong side of the tracks (Dunst) who goes missing. When a detective uncovers info on her whereabouts, the political stakes begin to rise and people close to the situation wind up dead. Shooting is set to start in April. Dunst is at Sundance promoting her directorial debut, the short Welcome. She most recently starred in Spider-Man 3 and next appears in How to Lose Friends and Alienate People.Gosling is receiving awards-season recognition for his starring role in Lars and the Real Girl. He recently dropped out of Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones. (Variety) Source: www.ew.com

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Goodbye to Heath Ledger and Brad Renfro

It's terrible for me making this post, this is an increasingly sadder and weirder world which we live in, First the inspiring young actor Brad Renfro died on 15th January, at age 25 -he had starred in "Bully" with Bijou Phillips, now Heath Ledger has been found dead at age 28, due to a overdose of pills, when our memories of him as Ennis del Mar are still so intensely attached to our hearts. He starred with Jake in a classic film, with a memorable last scene we won't ever been able to forget. R.I.P.With her ex-fiancée Michelle Williams.Starring in "Candy" with Abbie Cornish.
BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN VIDEO - THIS LOVE

ANOTHER BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN VIDEO

Monday, January 21, 2008

Thursday, January 10, 2008

One pause in Jake Weird

By now I feel a bit tired and also I am very busy these days, so Jake Weird is going to the "Pause" button, I cannot say how long this pause will take, but I hope the trip has been funny and intense for you so far. Enjoy your movies, embrace your weird inner voice.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Movie Review: "Wristcutters: A Love Story"

"Zia (Patrick Fugit) is a lonely young man who, saddened by his recent breakup with his blonde girlfriend Desiree (Leslie Bibb), decides in a fit of depression after listening to a depressing song, to cut his wrists in the bathroom. As the tile becomes covered with blood, he falls unconscious to the floor, his last moment a flash of a dust bunny in a corner he had missed while cleaning.

"Wristcutters: A Love Story" is the directorial debut of Croatian Goran Dukic, who developed the script at the Sundance Screenwriters Lab in 2004, based on a short story by Israeli writer/actor Etgar Keret titled "Kneller’s Happy Campers". Dukic studied cinema in Zagreb and later at the American Film Institute, specializing in shorts. One of them, "Mirta uci statistiku" (1991), was critically well received, heralded as one of the best Croatian films. Dealing with the controversial subject of suicide, Wristcutters, after being a nominee at Sundance 2006 for the Grand Jury Award, won the best feature award in the Gen Art Film Festival and nominations for best first feature and best script in the Independent Spirit Awards (2007).

Going back to the plot: "I think she cried at my funeral. I don't mean to brag", Zia tell us after dying and being buried, supposing Desiree would have attended his burial throwing flowers on his coffin and crying over his loss. The next morning Zia presents to us the new reality he has to face now in the afterlife, where he works as an employee in the grime "Pizzeria Kamikaze" in the suburbs; every morning he contemplates his unhappy face in a distorting mirror while he's dressing in a dull uniform.

In this somber afterworld, where things are really the same as they were in the living world, only slightly worse, the conversations among the deceased citizens are about the method they chose to "off" themselves. The jukeboxes play Joy Division songs in the bars, as one night a girl named Tania (Azura Skye) confesses to Zia she opted for sticking her head in an oven and writing a suicide note. When Zia sits down with her friend Rachel (Sarah Roemer), a funny Russian ex-rocker approaches Zia and he tells him how he electrocuted himself at a concert by pouring beer over his guitar, angered by an ungrateful audience.

"I was missing Desiree" is the obsessive theme in Zia's mind as he embarks on a trip in the company of this caustic new buddyEugene (Shea Whigham), who is based on the real life rocker Russian-Ukranian Eugene Hütz, leader of the Gypsy punk band "Gogol Bordello", which contributed to the soundtrack with three songs, "Occurances at the Border", "Through the Roof and Underground", and "Huliganjetta". The reason for searching for Desiree is obviously because she has killed herself too and Zia needs to find her at any cost.

As they travel in a tacky orange car through a drab landscape, the men initiate a friendship and a no-return escapist adventure en route to the Eastish zone - hinting at a "de-westernization" - forming a male bond until a young female hitchhiker named Mikal (Shannyn Sossamon) joins them in pursuit of a mistrial. She wants her case to be rejudged by the PIC (People In Charge), which would bring her back to the living land, since she claims she didn't intent to die, she just got a heroin overdose by accident and she hates wandering around this parched monotonous limbo: "Everybody is an asshole", "Who the hell wants to be stuck in a place where you can't even smile?" she whines while both men listen to her rants, progressively seduced by her beauty and her non-comforming spirit.Tom Waits turns up as Kneller, the mysterious angel-prophet of a desert camp where people can learn to perform miracles and he shows great sympathy toward Zia when he gives the insightful warning to him that small miracles are possible if you don't force them. "As long as you want it so bad, it's not going to happen", he says in his usual raspy voice.Zia, the impressionable slacker, and Mikal, the gothic nymph, begin a strange relationship that neither seems to be able to articulate appropriately, although deep down they know they were meant to be, as in the beach scene when Zia tells Mikal he feels happy with her and he'd like to go back to his past life and start anew.The most symbolic shot for me (and which the film's poster is based on), out of all of the symbolic imagery used by Dukic, like flying lit matches, withered flowers or black loopy holes, is when Zia and Mikal wake up surrounded by a sea of condoms and needles, a saturated reminder of an upcoming world inbred by our own societal depression and promiscuity.

Of course, lots of the suicides in the afterlife are now regretful of their actions and wish to escape the bureaucracy in "Offland", some of them using bizarre methods, as trying to separate body and soul which a famous cult leader self-proclaimed the Messiah (Arrested Development's Will Arnot) is preaching to his crowd of desperate followers. His soulmate happens to be Zia's ex-girlfriend Desiree, who lives with him in a fairy tale castle.

There are funny cameos with Eugene's mother (Mary Pat Gleason), Little Kostya (Chase Ellison), Brian (Jake Busey), and Erik (Abraham Benrubi from Parker Lewis series) and the tone is alternately dark and warm, bittersweetness on the road, good-natured antiheroes who deserve a second chance, and the atmosphere of sincere dottiness avoids falling into the trap of excessive "trendy quirks" that plague some low-budget films. "Quirk is odd, but not too odd. That would take us all the way to weird, and there someone might get hurt," is Michael Hirschorn's opinion in his article "Quirked Around".

If that is the case, Wristcutters: A Love Story is definitely located in a fictional Weirdland, where we are mostly shown a real, hurtful, personal aspect to this timeless story".
Published on 6th January in Blogcritics.org.

Watch "Wristcutters: A Love Story" video. Song "Ashes of American Flags" by Wilco.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Maggie in good company

Maggie with Julianne Moore and Kate Winslet.Posing with a puppy for the "Agent Provocateur" campaign.With her fianceé Peter Sarsgaard.With the young actress (the promising star of "Juno") Ellen Page.