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Easy A DVD Release

Posted by: Matthew Turner 11/03/2011 @ 12:15
Subject: Film

Films seen so far this year: 85
Films seen in past two weeks: Battle: Los Angeles, Legacy: Black Ops, The Resident, A Turtle's Tale, The Company Men, Norwegian Wood, Countdown to Zero, Country Strong, Limitless, Stakeland

FILM OF THE WEEK: Fair Game (but only just – it's not a good week)

Christian Marclay's The Clock
Last weekend I watched thirteen straight hours (from 7.25pm on Saturday through to 8.25am on Sunday) of Christian Marclay's The Clock at the Purcell Room in the Hayward Gallery. I then slept, on and off, between 8.22 and 11.45 (I saw 10am, for example) because I wanted to see mid-day and I eventually left at 12.15pm on Sunday. I also live-tweeted the experience from 9.39pm until 8.26pm (when my phone battery ran out) and the tweets are archived here. If you somehow missed the publicity about The Clock when it played at The White Cube last year, it's essentially a 24 hour film clip compilation, only each clip coincides to the actual minute of the day (for the entire 24 hours), so the film actually works as a functioning clock (even so, I caught several people looking at their watches before they realised).

It's fair to say that not every single scene contains an image of a clock or someone saying the time, but every minute is accounted for and Marclay fills in the gaps with similarly themed footage (there is a montage of shaving scenes at 7.22am, for example), establishing moods and atmospheres that constantly shift and interact in fascinating ways. The editing is nothing short of astonishing – Marclay often allows the sound to overlap between scenes, so that, for example, during the night-time scenes, characters are often getting woken up by arguments occuring “next door” in a different film. Similarly, many of the phone conversations are cut together and doors often open from one scene into another.

You only need to watch 15 minutes of the film to get a sense of what an astonishing achievement it is (apparently Marclay asked people to send in examples of clocks and times in films) but there were several additional pleasures in watching thirteen straight hours of it, such as: the recurring appearances from characters in films that occur on one night, such as Tom Cruise in Eyes Wide Shut, Griffin Dunne in After Hours, John Cusack in 1408 or Emilio Estevez in Stakeout; recurring appearances of certain actors in different films, e.g. Vincent Price (up to no good pretty much 24/7) and Joan Crawford (always annoyed about SOMETHING, no matter what time of day it is); and several scenes from specific films, most notably Otto Preminger's wonderful film noir Laura and a Twilight Zone episode about, appropriately, an old man obsessed with a clock, which one of my Twitter followers helpfully identified for me.

It was fascinating to see the 2am to 6am scenes too – I loved that at 2am it was mostly characters yelling “What the hell are you doing? IT'S TWO O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING!” which gradually gave way to several dream and nightmare sequences. I also got to watch the sun come up, several times, on screen, which felt really weird. I could have done without the seemingly NON-STOP alarm clock scenes between 6 and 8am though. All in all, The Clock is an extraordinary experience and one I highly recommend – it's playing from 10am to 8pm at the Hayward Gallery until April and I fully intend to catch all the bits I missed.

Trailerwatch: Something Borrowed
I wasn't aware of Something Borrowed until I went trailer-hunting on Google Reader for blog purposes. Apparently the film is based on a best-selling chick-lit novel by Emily Giffin, so I guess it may have a built-in audience of sorts (judging by the comments it has an audience of at least one) but it's not something I'm familiar with. The film stars Ginnifer Goodwin (who I've been a huge fan of ever since she was a supporting character in TV's Ed) and, um, Kate Hudson (not a fan) as best friends who are both in love with the same guy. I had to look up male lead Colin Egglesfield - it turns out he's a TV actor best known for the recent Melrose Place reboot, though to me he looks like an air-brushed Joaquin Phoenix. From the looks of the trailer, Ginnifer loves Colin but they're just friends (though he obviously loves her too) and then bitchy Kate literally steals Colin from under Ginnifer's nose after putting them both on the spot and asking them if they want to go out with each other. Cut to several years later, Kate and Colin about to get married, Ginnifer still in love with Colin, Ginnifer and Colin get drunk, confess their love, have a one-night stand, etc, etc, not too hard to figure out where it goes from there.

What I can't figure out from the trailer is where co-star John Krasinski fits into all this. Is he Ginnifer's boyfriend? Kate's ex-boyfriend? Wise-cracking best friend? Well, that's a given, I suppose – you don't cast Krasinski unless you want wisecracks, though it looks like he has extended his repertoire to include pratfalls and getting hit in the face. The trailer is annoying because it lays out more or less the entire story, including the fact that Kate's not sure she wants to marry Colin either. I will say this for Hudson – she is well suited to playing unsympathetic (translation: bitchy) characters and I have to admit, I'd rather watch her play those roles than endure another one of her terrible “straight” romcoms. Opens 6th May, so only a couple of months to go, Hudson fans!

Top 10 Films On Release This Week (as recommended by me):
It's a pretty mediocre week for new releases this week. As such, none of them make it into this week's top ten, since all the films listed are still playing and every one of them is better than anything out this week. There is one new entry, however: Gore Verbinski's animated western Rango (starring Johnny Depp) makes it into tenth place, partly because Client 9 doesn't seem to be screening anywhere anymore and partly because Rango has gone up in my estimation the more I've thought about it. Interview-wise, we have exclusive interviews with the cast of next week's Chalet Girl (Felicity Jones, Ed Westwick and Tamsin Egerton), exclusive interviews with the star and director of Archipelago (Tom Hiddleston and Joanna Hogg, respectively) and you can still read our round table interview with James Purefoy (for
Ironclad) and semi-exclusive interviews with West Is West stars Om Puri and Aqib Khan.

1. True Grit
2. The King's Speech
3. Animal Kingdom
4. Black Swan
5. Unknown
6. Waste Land
7. Archipelago
8. The Fighter
9. Tangled
10. Rango

DVD of the Week: Easy A (out now, RRP £15.99)
This week's DVD of the Week is teen comedy Easy A, starring Emma Stone as invisible high school student Olive, who tells her best friend an invented story about losing her virginity and accidentally acquires a reputation as a nymphomaniac when she's overheard by gossipy God-botherer Marianne (Amanda Bynes). When her gay classmate Brandon (Dan Byrd) asks her to pretend to sleep with him so he can escape the daily homophobic bullying, Olive agrees and soon the school's outcasts are queueing up for the social prestige her fake sex services can provide. Needless to say, it all spirals quickly out of control, so Olive begins filming a confessional webcast in the hopes of restoring her reputation.

Stone is utterly charming in the lead, even if it's hard to buy the fact that an entire school full of hormone-ravaged teenagers haven't noticed her. The script is extremely witty throughout, throwing in everything from literary references (rather overdoing it in the case of The Scarlet Letter) and deliberate nods to classic John Hughes movies. It also has a superb supporting cast of terrific comic actors that includes Stanley Tucci, Patricia Clarkson, Thomas Haden Church and Lisa Kudrow. That said, it's not perfect – for example, the romance with Penn “Beigely” Badgley's character doesn't work and should have been dropped. It's still well above the usual standard of teen movies though and is definitely worth seeing. Extras include: a five minute gag reel, Emma Stone's webcam audition footage and a commentary with Stone and director Will Gluck.


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