Sunday, February 01, 2004

Saturday night we saw The Triplets of Bellville in a tiny theater on the Upper West Side.
The movie is about an orphaned little boy whose grandmother raises him. At first he is very said. His grandmother tries very hard to make him happy again. She gets him a dog that enjoys barking at trains. Then she discovers while cleaning his room that he wants to be a successful cyclist. So his grandmother gets him a tricycle, which he happily rides in their front courtyard. Then we see him as an adult and his grandmother is training him for a race. At the race he is kidnapped along with two other cyclists and taken to another part of France by the mob. Grandma and the trusty dog follow the ship that the grandson is on to Bellville and team up with the Triplets of Bellville to save her grandson. The triplets were these famous singers, who are now old, penniless and forced to eat frogs (which they creatively come up with several recipes to do so). Niel’s favorite was popcorn tadpoles. Although there was virtually no speaking in the cartoon/film I found it very entertaining. The only sounds that did come from the movie were French songs. And although I took four years of French in high school I did not understand a word of it. Yet I couldn’t keep the tunes out of my head. The creators of the film purposefully made the drawings look very old. It was sort of refreshing and a rest on the eyes to see a film where something did not jump out at you. Plus it made me laugh! I need to get the soundtrack and DVD.

We then came home and still were in a movie mood. So we watched Whale Rider on Time Warner Cable on demand.
This movie is an import from New Zealand and dealt with many elements. An old man trying to hold on to tradition, a young girl dealing with sexism while trying to change the old ways, a son who wants to set his own path, a second son who has given up on his own path because he was born second.
The main character of the movie, Pai was raised by her father’s parents after her mother and twin brother died in childbirth. Her father distraught and not wanting to be the next heir to the village leaves to find his own path. Raised by a loving and supportive grandmother and a curmudgeon of a grandfather in rural New Zealand she longs to be what her grandfather wants, someone to be the next leader of the village. However there is one very big problem. She is a girl and all the past heir’s have been men. I am very glad I saw this movie and can honestly back my statement a few entries ago that Keisha Castle-Hughes should win the Oscar. Although I only saw one of the other Oscar nominated films and it is a difficult thing to compare fiver very different movies her acting was truly amazing. I was very surprised that so many "independent" type movies were nominated. Although I think that only Whale Rider and In America are the real independent flicks. And ofcourse the Oscars have to have some main stream movies like Something's Gotta Give, The Last Samurai and Mystic River. I find it funny that popular actors want to be in independent type movies, when most actors who are starting out can only get independent movie roles. Although I mostly see main stream movies that make me laugh or I can get lost in. My favorite movies are independent ones. Although they are depressing because they are the most realistic(come on reality is a bit depressing) they are done so much better!

Niel also found a good pizza/ burger joint while we were on the West Side. It is on the corner of 71st and Colombus. It is right next to a Turkish restauratn(POOOH). I had a gyro platter and Niel had a chili burger. And lo and behold who was eating his lunch behind us but Willem Dafoe. 28 years in NYC and my only actor siting.

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