Saturday, January 16, 2010

Miss G:What is the most important thing in life? Radfield:Desire...Miss G

I recently watched 'Cracks' at Prince Charles Cinema(It used to be my favorite cinema before they refurbished it upstairs and increased the ticket prices).I was very impressed by the cinematography(especially the scenes under the water and the secret party on the roof)and the performances by Eva Green,Juno Temple and Maria ValverdeHowever,the film moves too slow and towards the middle I kind of lost interest and thought I could predict what's gonna happen but the end took me by surprise.Cracks is based on the novel by Sheila Kohler and it's directed by Jordan Scott(daughter of Ridley Scott). It's set in a 1930's boarding school and the plot revolves around the school's swiming team and their eccentric swimming instructor Miss G (Eva Green).Miss G is more like their cool,bohemian older sister than just another teacher in the school.She talks to them about things they've never heard before,places they've never been,she wakes them up in the middle of the night to go swimming and organises secret tea parties with them.Of course the girls are fascinated by her and and idolise her. Di(Juno Temple)seems to have a crush on Miss G.Di is the leader of the group.She gives orders and decides everything.She's also a  perfect swimmer and Miss G's favourite.Their lives quickly change by the arrival of the exotic Spanish student Fiamma( Maria Valverde).Fiamma is beautiful and has travelled a lot,read a lot and knows uch more about life than the other girls do.Miss G,gets obsessed with Fiamma and her interesting life.She steals her letters her and her things and also develops a crush on her.It is obvious that Miss G hasn't really left this school since she was a student there herself and is mostly living in her imagination.It's easy to fascinate inexpierenced young girls but when it's time to go outside in the real world Miss G becomes a weak,insecure woman who can't even look anyone in the eyes and can't wait to go back to the place she's been hiding all these years.Miss G's obsession with Fiamma makes Di and the rest of her students jealous.They try to throw her out of the school and send her back to her country.
                                                                                                                                                                 A lot of people compare this film to "The Lord of the Flies".I actually thought of that the same thing while I was watching the film.The isolation of the girls from the outside world,the feeling  abandonment by their parents,increase their need for love and attention and can make them behave like animals in order to have something lke that.

I was very impressed by the costume design by Alison Byrne who was nominated for an IFTA Award for her work in Cracks.According to Alison Byrne,most of the costumes came from 'Angels' where she worked with the costumiers to put the overall look together.Apparently some of the costumes Eva Green is wearing in the film, were original 1930's pieces.Alison Byrne also borrowed some incredibly beautiful knitwear from John Galliano's Studio in Paris where they have Vintage Collections from the last 5 years that some of them were inspired from the 1930's.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Art,childhood and school

While I was home for Christmas, I found some old drawings I did from the age of 5 until the age of 13.I always found children's drawings very interesting because they don't try to make them perfect they just draw whatever they feel like.They write random words on them and then smudge them all over and then sign their names and they're very happy about their little pieces of art.
I wish I'd taken painting and drawing lessons when I was a kid because we had nothing like that at school.In public schools in Greece, Art is not an important subject(at least it wasn't when I was a kid in the 1990's).In primary school we usually had art on Fridays at the last hour of a school day so the teachers always told us to draw whatever we want while they were correcting our homework or something.We used to call it 'fun hour'because nobody really sat there drawing.At the first ten minutes there was an attempt to draw something but after a while everyone was running around,playing,shouting at each other,smudging each other's faces with colour pens.At the end when the teacher used to have enough he'd tell us to pack our stuff and go home.
When I went to Middle School or Junior High or whatever they call it,we had about 10 art lessons.Our teacher was pregnant and had to leave and of course nobody ever replaced her.Instead we had two hours of wandering around at school doing nothing once a week.
In High School,there was no Art.There was no time for that.There were so many important subjects to prepare us for our 'future' and Art wasn't that important.There was Art History in the final year of High School as an elective but the only problem was..there was no teacher.Well there was a teacher but she had been very ill the whole year and she only showed up the last month of the school year.
Anyway,there are so many unemployed people(including me)with useless degrees so why should schools in Greece or anywhere take Art or Drama(which we didn't have either despite the fact that it comes from Greece)or Music(and no Music of course)more seriously???
Well,in my opinion even if someone doesn't want to have a career in any of those things it's nice to study something different between all those hours of Maths,Physics,Chemistry,Ancient Greek and Latin.Even if it's not going to help him/her to find a good job when he/she is older.

Lick the Star

Is that all there is?