Scraps: “My Beautiful Laundrette”

Director: Stephen Frears

  • Didn’t expect the film to have the tone that it does. In an interview with Criterion, the screenwriter (Hanif Kureishi) refers to Frears’ style to be ‘operatic.’
  • Mirrors used as a way to reveal and hide at the same time.
    • Tana showing Omar her breasts during the scene where all the men were drinking and smoking in Nasar’s bedroom. They were oblivious to her.
    • Omar looking at Johnny during the opening day of the laundrette – their faces superimposed at each other’s.
    • Rachel walking away from Nasar – at the end of their affair. She walks through a small wall of mirrors.
  • The camera floats, and often brings us through spaces in a way that feels supernatural.
  • Shot on 16mm.
  • The last scene with the breaking of the glass of at the laundrette – feels like a reveal, especially considering the use of mirrors in the film. The secret is out.

Notable Shots

  • The first kissing scene – which starts in an alleyway, but then the camera moves while the lights shift and turns it into a rather dreamlike moment.
    • The kiss is interrupted by the skinheads, and then we see the front of the laundrette again.
  • Right before Salim gets beaten up – we start with Johnny arriving, then the camera floats to reveal the punks hidden around the laundrette building (by the brick wall, in the foreground, on the roof, and by the front of the building.)

Scraps: “Nervous Translation”

Director & Writer: Shireen Seno
Cinematography: Albert Banzon, Jippy Pascua and Dennese Victoria

  • A film about the anxieties, curiosity and boredom of childhood.
  • Love the effort to emulate the unnerving, disjointed feeling of remembering your time as a child. Very expressionistic and modern in its approach.
  • The crispness of the cinematography feels distracting from the feeling that the film is trying to accomplish.
  • The miniature use is lovely.
  • Didn’t expect to see a lot of familiar occurrences in the film: Tropical floods, stretches of quiet time that are punctuated by big gatherings of family members, parental struggle to provide, political uncertainties.
  • Reminds me of Michel Gondry’s work.

Scraps: “Call Me by Your Name”

Director: Luca Guadagnino
Cinematographer: Sayombhu Mukdeeprom
Writers: James Ivory (screenplay by), André Aciman (based on the novel by)

  • Surprised that this movie somehow is still echoing at the back of my mind long after I’ve seen it.
  • The music in the film definitely helps engrain it into my head further. Sufjan Stevens did a wonderful job.
  • Timothée Chalamet is very alluring and charismatic. Definitely stole the show, despite all the “buzz” over Arnie Hammer.
  • For the first time in a while, noticed the blocking in a film. Guadagnino and Mukdeeprom created a very hypnotic dance between the actors and the camera that helped create a sense of dizzying romanticism and tension.
  • Walked in with heavy skepticism and very low expectations but definitely seduced by the end of the film. Appreciated how internal the film felt, despite it being set against a setting that I am lately very cautious/ apprehensive of.

Scraps: “Only Yesterday”

Director: Isao Takahata

  • Mellow, understated but very poignant.
  • Feels very simple but with a quivering sincerity that still feels very relevant.
  • Looks at urban life with a sense of apathy, but not hatred – while it faces quiet rural life with empathy, romanticism but also caution.
  • Beautiful animation, naturally. The contrast of the fuzzy, vignetted watercolors in the flashbacks and the crisp, vibrant colors from the present time work wonderfully.
  • The narrative maintains a sense of struggle without having a villain or antagonist that is a person, but instead it’s this ever present sense of dissatisfaction and anxieties that can’t easily be resolved.