man, i've been killing the feature flicks so far this year... between yesterday and today i caught 3 films in the theater, including my first back to back viewing in years. years, i say! that was yesterday when i hooked up w/Kev & Sally for a viewing of Born Into Brothels: Calcutta's Red Light Kids at the Renaissance in Highland Park. when we arrived i noticed that Bride & Prejudice had a showing only minutes after BiB was over so i suggested that we see that as well since we were there... and as i expected, my friends were game. sweet!
Zana Briski's Born Into Brothels was everything you've read about it (assuming you've read about it which you should) and 100% deserving of the Academy Award it won tonight for best documentary. well, i didn't see the other nominees but i'm still happy that BiB won b/c it is an extremely moving and poignant film. wasn't totally perfect (i thought some of the camera effects were pointless and just wasted screen time that could've been used more wisely) but otherwise it was a very good albeit tragic documentary.
in case you're not familiar with it, the movie documents children born to prostitutes in the Calcutta red light district. the filmmaker gave a group of children simple point & shoot cameras and began teaching them about photography. the kids would then hit the streets and their homes to capture their lives in static yet kinetic imagery. the children are wonderful but sadly trapped in these lives with little or no way out. the kids are cute, charming and quite touching w/each having their own unique personality and potential yet confined in this horrible place. definitely a worthy film to see... if nothing else it will sure as hell make you feel a lot better about your own life. Oscar or not, go see it.
Bride & Prejudice, which started about 10 minutes after we walked out of BiB, was the whole other side of the spectrum of living in India. omg, was it the polar opposite of the previous film, and possibly the best way to view this "westernized" Bollywood flick (directly after viewing the poverty and despair in Calcutta). i won't spend a lot of time on B&P other than to say that it too was totally entertaining but for completely different reasons, obviously. sure, Aishwarya Rai is a beautiful woman but her sister, Jaya (Namrata Shirodkar), was super hot. overall, it's a fun flick that also gets Naveen Andrews off the LOST island and back to speaking in his native British accent. not the best Bollywood film i've seen but still decent, humorous and a good viewing despite the wooden non-Indian actors.
after the movies, Sally had already prepared chicken curry which was the perfect way to top off the evening. it was especially nice to take in the day with them since they spent time in both areas of India where the movies were filmed. So besides picking up the tickets for movies despite my insistence on paying for at least one of the viewings, they also offered some insightful commentary from their experiences in India. as close to perfect of day as it gets.
this morning i popped up to catch Constantine over at Village 18, my regular mainstream movie haunt. Constantine wasn't nearly as bad as the reviews made it out to be and even as a slo-burn supernatural thriller adaptation of Ennis & Delano's Hellblazer comic; it kept pace rather well with nary a lull during its 2hr runtime. it won't go down as anything particularly memorable but i enjoyed it nonetheless.
3 movies down this weekend and the Oscars just wrapping up tonight, it's been quite the "movie" weekend without an official movie night. not bad. and hey, "Ryan" won best animated short. woohoo!