Monthly Archives: June 2012

The 6 Awesome Coming of Age Movie with Sexual Identity Themes

Malizzia(1973, Italy) 

I freakin love Malizzia. It is funny, dark, sexy, erotic, a bit of disturbing, inspiring, and witty. It tells us the story about  a young maid, Angela, who works in a house for a widow and his three sons. The father, and the first two sons is attracted to her. However, the one most obsessed with her is the middle son, the teenager Nino. Through some elaborate schemes he manages to blackmails her into eventually tolerating his increasingly aggressive  sexual harassments.  In the end of the movie, Angela will becomes his stepmother, but not before taking away Nino virginity, accidently. Even for today standard, I think the whole idea of Malizzia is still quite preverse and taboo , but it works for this genre, because its comedy. A dark and hilarious one. But still, Malizzia didn’t crossed the line of being vulgar. That’s why I love this movie. Its a classic indeed.

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 Y Tu Mama Tambien(2001, Mexico)

 What I love the most about Y Tu mama Tambien is this is the only movie that successfully shows us how real life step in to artificial life. In other words, how adolescent transform into adult. It tells us the story of two boys in the middle of identity crisis, sexual identity and perhaps orientation, having a road trip with a very determined grown up woman whose trying to find her own “future”. The not so old and young is clashing, through the journey full of lies, honesty, conflicts, and off course, eroticsm. Y Tu mama tambien is the strongest movie in this list. Actually, its more than just a simple coming of age Mexican Journey movies. But I’m not gonna dwelling on that. Because this article is about sexuality, and by gawd, Y Tu Mama Tambien is different and daring enough, especially with that very graphic early orgasm scene. It is so realistic. This is the way every teen movie should be made. No more those random shallowness about boobs and butts. No more those random fake adolescent trail about how to lose your sperm and virginity in 10 days.

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 Lust Och Fägring Stor(1995, Sweden)

This film is telling us the real truth behind real meaning of sex for a boy in their adolescent era. The answer is, nothing. Sex is just sex for them. They doing sex just because they’re curious about how it works, and just following their own hearts, pardon me, I meant dicks. 15 year old boy name Stig, discovers his first female attraction is his own teacher, 37 year old Viola whose already married to a traveling salesman Kjell. The boy manage to capture his teacher attention and libido. They’re having a love affair which is very joyous, fun, lustful without a depth. And the story goes even more interesting when the relationship grows its weary on its own, especially because when Stig realizing, that the more proper attraction for him is a girl in his own age.  For me, Lust Och Fägring Stor is interesting because in a way, I’ve been in the same condition as stig(No, I did not have a sex with my teacher, its just a simple crush and lust), so I kinda understand what it feels like. And Lust Och Fägring Stor perfectly captured that innocence. You can feel the confusion that rise from Stig point of view, and you WILL understand and in the same time growing up with Stig, because what he’s doing is wrong, even though in the first time, it felt right(no pun intended). Find this masterpiece if you can, it’ll teach you that as good as THE GRADUATES are, they are not  Lust Och Fägring Stor.

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Malena(2000, Italy)

Ah, Malena. I’ve got a lot of “good” memories with this movie, if you catch what I meant(LOL).  It tells us the story about a young sexy beautiful elegant lady name Malena. This movie is a journey full of loneliness, bravery, tragedy, sexually, that being experienced by Malena from the eyes of our main character,  Renato, a sweet adolescent boy who understand her more than every single person in that town. At first, Renato’s attraction to Malena is purely carnal and lust. His unhealthy obsession even make both of his parents take him to a hilarious exorcism, and a brothel.  But as the movie planned out, we the audience knows that Renato actually is falling in love at the first time. Love that still have its pureness. Love that is unselfish. And love that is true. Because for Renato, Malena is the only girl that he’s never ever forgotten. Monica Belucci is a Goddess in this movie. She moves, she talked, she acted, she looks, she sway, she dance, like something that only exist in a fairy tale. Malena character really suits Belucci. And gawd, that ending. It is one of the most melancholy ending I’ve ever saw in movie. That alone guarantees a spot in this list.

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 Murmur of the Heart(1971, French)

I already wrote about Murmur of the Heart in this post. Its a great movie. But in terms of coming of age sexual identity themes, Murmur of the Heart is more than great even though the actual story is very simple. or for some people plotless. It tells us about daily life of Laurent, a 15 year old punk who hate everything and only seems to be at ease when in the company of his mother. Yeah, yeah, we can put an easy stamp label in Murmur of the Heart as an Oedipus Complex movie. But I think, the relationship between Laurent and his mother is more than just Oedipus Complex. Like most teenage in his age, Laurent is having a life full of  confusing, awkwardness, curiosity of the world. And Laurent manage to find his answer in his mom. Some people get an answer from music. some people got an answer in movie. But Laurent already knows that his mom is his way to get out of his adolescent and coming out of an age. That what makes Murmur of the Heart is not as dark as every Oedipus theme movies. Murmur of the heart is the kind of movie that needs repeated viewing for us really understand its true meaning and message. Just like sex and everything beneath it.

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 Tomboy(2011, French)

Honestly, Tomboy is a bit of making me uncomfortable in watching it. No, its a good movie, got the same vibe just like LET THE RIGHT ONE IN. But Tomboy touches on more delicate gray matters, a sexual orientation.  Laure is 10 year old girl. She act like a girl in his newly moving house, but she act like a man in her newly neighborhood full of new friends. She even manage to make a clueless girl had a crush on her, and kiss her. But a lies is a lie indeed. You can’t lie to yourself and especially your surrounding about who you really are. The flawless and amazing performance by Zoé Héran makes me think and raise a question in my head, is this how it felt to be someone whose confuse about sexual orientation as a child?

 

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Prometheus *7/10

 

So after all those hype. After all those theories and assumptions. After all those waits since, probably, 2002 right after James Cameron starting to work on the pre-production and decide to abandoned it because of AVP, does Prometheus worth it? Does Prometheus live up to the Hype?

Sadly, no.

Sigh.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Prometheus is a great movie. Prometheus is an awesome movie. But the impact will be lesser than Alien and Blade Runner. Because as much as I want to LOVE this movie, my feeling is never crossing the line of just liking it. Why? Because the main point of making an Alien prequel is to answer the question of who the fuck is space jockey or for casual viewer what in the blue hell is sitting in those derelict in the first Alien? And, sadly, Prometheus answer that question in a worst unimaginative, and sometimes one-liner, explanation and because of that, creating another bigger question ahead just for the sake of franchising out of Prometheus.

Story? This is the real reason why Prometheus becoming my most anticipated movie of all time. I don’t care if Ridley Scott is hiring kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, as long as he answer all the Alien fanboy question in my head. But gawd, there’s nothing more disapointing than the storyline and script  in Prometheus. The plot hole is like a land mine that you can’t avoid. Even a casual inexperienced moviegoers will find a lot of stupid things to point. Things like(SPOILER ALERT): Why the fuck does no one even think about what to do with Shaw’s offspring? Especially David. Because of Weyland? What about Vickers?  Did she never went back to her pod even just for taking a pee? OR OR, things like how in the blue hell that mohawk dude and biologic nerd can get lost in the first place. The freakin Janek can guide them with the all those sophisticated map, and to make things worse that mohawk dude is the one who preparing and mapping the entire site. OR OR, things like how that cardboard box Holloway going THE alcoholic way in a ship in the edge of the universe just because GOD is presumably already DEAD? that doesn’t make sense at all! OR OR, why the fuck Vickers and Shaw is running in a straight line! How stupid are they?  I can go on and on and never stop pointing all the silly and unimportant stuff in the Prometheus if i want to, but its not worth it because probably nobody will read it. In this term, Prometheus felt flat, soulless and rushed in some part, and i don’t even start on the plot hole on Alien mythology yet. Ridley Scott once says that he want to scare the shit out of us, and quite frankly there is no real sense of terror or suspense. We can blame editing, Landelof and Scott’s ambiguity in this area. There’s gotta be a director’s cut coming out a few years from now. Ridley Scott always do that.

But gawd, Prometheus is pretty. This is by far the most sophisticated, beautiful, and epic movie in terms of visualization. From those amazing landscape opening, the interior of pyramids(we can call it that) and Promethus,  to the exterior desert of LV 223, there’s nothing to complain. This is Ridley Scott in his best and probably no single director in this world can touch him in this area. The 3d works flawlessly too. Watching Prometheus in IMAX is worth the money.

Predictably, Fassbender is the acting powerhouse. The script really stay behind him in terms of acting creativity. That scene where he roaming around Prometheus alone is magnificent. His way of walking, or the way he talked is very unique and methodical. Way better than Winona Ryder, in the same league with Henrikssen and Holm, or arguably better. Noomi Rapace? Good. Elba and Theron? Better than I expected, good chemistry, but the script didn’t allow them to soaring away. Guy Pearce? Hideous make up, forgettable character. Others are unimportant cannon fodder. Weak, weak and weak.

The Creatures? I hate that giant squid facehugger. The creatures life cycle didn’t make sense and kinda ruins Xenomorph mythology. I hate the engineer. It ruins the mystical effect of Space Jockey. Its just a giant dude in the suit. Sigh. Although I love the last creature that they showed in the ending scene. The Xenomorph ancestor. Feral and beastly. HR Giger definitely didn’t have a hand in Prometheus creatures department.

Now, for the final words. I do like Prometheus. I will watch it again for the second, third, and countless times more. But not because this is a masterpiece. not because Prometheus is memorable. But because I’m a blind Alien fan. I will support everything with Xenomorph in it, no matter how awful the product. For the casual people who wants to start following Alien franchise or knowing only a little about the franchise here and there, Prometheus can be very hard to swallow because It’s vision and definition is unclear. So just enjoy all those pretty scene.

For the fact, I’m watching it with my girlfriend, and my other two friend. Except for me, the others doesn’t really understand what the heck is Prometheus is all about. My girlfriend is asking me what the hell is that giant dude? what the fuck is he doing in the opening scene? And my two other friend is leaving the IMAX with a huge grin in their forehead.

Now I understand why Ridley want Prometheus to be PG Rating so it could make more money…Sigh..

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Let the Right One In * 9.5/10

 

As you all may know, I’m a “huge” fan of Twilight series. So when another vampire movie arrive, no matter how hard I try, Twilight is the benchmark.

Let the Right One in is a romantic/thriller drama movie about vampire. It’s in the same genre as twilight series. But If Let the Right one in feels like a nice warm once in a decade A-Class poetry slash literature, Twilight feels and smells like chicken shit.

The story is simple and a bit of a cliche, but the execution and script is perfect. Oscar, a 12 year old who is incessantly bullied by his classmates met Eli, a strange vampire girl who moves in to the next door. And the journey began.

When I first heard about “Let the right one in”, I always thought it will be another failed attempt to translate a great vampire story to the screen. With movies like “Twilight” make a pussy out of Vampire myth, or how “I am Legend” ruins one of the greatest ending ever in a novel with that stupid stupid Hollywood style, Let the Right One in feels like cold breeze in your neck. It is different, powerful, memorable and beautiful.

Different because, Let the right one in has all the traditional and conventional vampire myth we’re accustomed to, and at the same time it present in an unconventional, low-key simplistic way which manages to capture me in my seat right from the start. The story felt like a water flowing from the river up to the sea. Very natural, cold and yet ambiguous(freaky gender revelation). As cliche as it is, Let the right one in still manages to blows me away with its predictable twisted brutal plot.

Powerful because of the two main leads acting. You can feel the depth and centuries of blood in Eli’s Eyes. You can feel swallow the pain and yet needing for revenge thought from Oscar smiles and heavy breathing. You can feel the misguidance and hungry for love from Eli. You can feel the error way but still rooting for them both. If all of that wasn’t a powerful acting then maybe Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattison making a cardboard expression is for you.

Memorable because of the chemistry from Eli and Oscar. Its like fate. You just want both of them to be together in the end. Even after the movie ends, I still wondering what’s going to happen between those two. Will Oscar succumbs to the same fate as Eli’s “Father”? Will Eli ever loved someone again? Its been a long time since I felt like knowing and caring the hell out of a fiction character just from two hours journey with them.

Beautiful because of the movie take on cinematography and music. I don’t want to be sounded like a douchbag movie buff, but “Let the Right one In” deserve a hell of a praise in this two category. The shot is as cold as swedish suburban. Empty, deserted, and snowy. Its like the filmmaker transported us directly to the set and brings us the cold atmosphere. And the music, especially every time Eli and Oskar together, is downright sweet and romantic, even with all the blood flying all over the screen. I freakin love it.

What more can I say? Let the right one In is perfect. I can’t think of anything that I didn’t like about this movie. If all the vampire movie is like this, I can’t complain. This is a vampire movie where everybody should’ve seen instead of that “Twilight” shit. This is a Vampire movie which I classified as a masterpiece. This is my number one favorite vampire movie of all time by dethroning Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

Goddamn Sweden. Ingmar Bergman, Lisbeth Salander and now this?

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