Saturday, March 19, 2011

Movies to Take You Through the Night

I am a notorious insomniac. But in the last week, my sleep-goof status has reached all new levels of impressiveness. I usually end up falling asleep at 7 or 8 in the morning, and then, POP. Up at 10:30 like a pop-tart. Brown Cinnamon-Sugar flavored. Then I fall asleep by accident in my warm laundry. I'm also notorious for coming up with new and creative ways to get warm, but that's another story.

LUCKILY, my favorite movies list has also been rocked this week. Two films I've watched in the weeeeee hours of the morning have stolen my heart: In the Mood for Love (2000) and Once (2006). It's a miracle that I hadn't ever seen the latter, since one of my favorite bands, The Swell Season, kind of came out of the film. I discovered their music before I knew about the movie. The song of theirs I love the most, "Falling Slowly" is featured, and won an Oscar for Best Original Song:

I'll admit, if the music's good, I'm probably going to like the movie, so it's no surprise that I loved Once.

In the Mood for Love is something else altogether, although there's a similar wistful parting, and the music was, likewise, unforgettable. In fact, the music grabbed me within the first few minutes. You get these breathtaking montage-style scenes where everything is slowed down a bit, and the haunting, string-heavy theme plays. The main characters hardly touch throughout the film, but it's one of the most romantic stories I've ever seen. The cinematography is also, I think, unparalleled. Here's one of my favorite scenes:

I did complain to a friend about the title, which comes from one of the songs in the movie. He told me that the Chinese translation is something closer to "The Flowery Years" or "The Age of Blossoms," which I like far better. I think that if it hadn't been recommended to me and I'd seen only the title "In the Mood For Love," I would have passed over it. And what a shame that would have been.

Watch In the Mood For Love by yourself. Watch Once...uhhhh, not by yourself.

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