Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for the ‘Movies’

To mark the opening of P.T. Anderson’s Inherent Vice, we’re going to read Thomas Pynchon

December 11, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Movies No Comments →

Oops, put the wrong video earlier.

But not Inherent Vice, The Crying of Lot 49. It’s short.

And sorry if you got all excited, we don’t know whether Inherent Vice will open in Philippine theatres at all.

Maybe Pynchon has a cameo in Inherent Vice. They can claim he’s in it, after all no one knows what he looks like.

Last week we had our annual viewing of Magnolia. One way to look at Magnolia is to see it as a musical by Aimee Mann and P.T. Anderson. There’s even group singing with Tom Cruise.

It’s P.T.A. Week at Grantland.

The Theory of Everything: Lovingly Yours, Stephen Hawking

December 11, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Design, Movies, Places, Science No Comments →




The Spiral Staircases of Budapest

These images would’ve come in handy in James Marsh’s melodramatic Stephen Hawking biopic, The Theory of Everything. Read our review at

Which book should be made into a movie? Tell us and win the new Murakami novel

December 09, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Contest, Movies 27 Comments →


Post your answers in Comments. The winner will be announced on 12 December.

Books we’d like to see on the big screen
The Patrick Melrose novels by Edward St Aubyn
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
How To Be Both by Ali Smith

This contest is brought to you by National Bookstore.

Museums in the movies 3

December 08, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Art, Movies No Comments →

We just realized that we never finished this series, which we started over a year ago. (Some of the links no longer work; we’ve updated them.)

Part 1
Part 2

7. The International by Tom Tykwer

Shootout at the Guggenheim New York. The movie stars Clive Owen and Naomi Watts and is about shenanigans in big finance. There’s also a big chase scene on the rooftops of–was it Istanbul, or are we confusing it with one of the Taken flicks? Anyway, good set pieces, timely plot, wish we could remember more.

8. Ghostbusters by Ivan Reitman

Photo from the Ghostbusters wikia.

Paranormal activity should emanate from museums, they’re only full of dead people’s things.

Our friend Chook has an interesting theory. According to the local superstition, you can’t go straight home from a wake because the dead person’s spirit will go with you. (How do the spirits know which person to go with? Or being dead do they now have the power to be in many places at once?) So coming from the wake, you’re supposed to drop by a restaurant to make “pagpag”. People usually go to wakes late at night, what’s still open at that time? Therefore Chook thinks all Starbucks are haunted.

9. Batman (1989) by Tim Burton

Photo from the Batman wikia.

“Gentlemen, let’s broaden our minds.” Hey, Michael Keaton might get an Oscar nomination for playing an actor who used to play a superhero in Birdman. We’re just happy to see Michael Keaton again.

10. The Wings of the Dove by Iain Softley

There’s the museum in London, then all of Venice is a museum. Pruned of his tendentious, exasperating prose, Henry James novels make wonderful movies.

11. A Room With A View by Merchant-Ivory

Photo from Slow Italy

All of Florence is a museum. There’s an excuse for the Italian economy: How to achieve progress when you live in a museum.

12. Dressed to Kill by Brian De Palma

In which the Philadelphia Museum of Art stands in for the Metropolitan Museum of New York. We love Brian De Palma, he’s the lewd Hitchcock. In this retread of Psycho, sexually frustrated mom Angie Dickinson (When we were kids she starred in a cop show called Policewoman and supposedly her legs were insured for a million bucks. Should’ve been more. We wonder how much Kim Kardashian’s ass is insured for.) goes to the museum and tries to pick up this guy, who gives her the runaround.

Dressed To Kill also has a great elevator scene, right up there with the fight scene in Captain America: Winter Soldier.

Every movie we see #123: Eyes Without A Face is the most gorgeous horror film

December 08, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Movies No Comments →

119. Playing It Cool. We’ll assume Chris Evans (Captain America) had a huge personal debt of gratitude to the filmmakers, which is why he agreed to star in this romcom. It’s not terrible, but there is no particular reason it must exist. The movie’s conceit is that it is an anti-romcom. If it’s anti-romcom you want, then the movie you should see is…

120. They Came Together. Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd mess with the tropes of the romantic comedy with varying levels of success, but the parts that worked left us howling with laughter.

121. Paris vu par. Six episodes that take place in six different parts of the city by six directors of the French New Wave, including Eric Rohmer, Claude Chabrol and Jean-Luc Godard. In the Godard, a young woman sends two love letters to her two lovers, but unfortunately switches them. In the Chabrol, a boy plots against his parents, and in the Rohmer a prissy store clerk thinks he has killed a thug on the street.

122. Les Visiteurs du Soir. Are the words “Criterion Collection” enough to make you watch a DVD? In our case, it’s a ringing endorsement. In this medieval fantasy by Marcel Carne, shot during the German Occupation, two minstrels appear at a castle and start interfering with everyone’s love life. They turn out to be the Devil’s emissaries, and they discover that their boss has some serious competition.

Police are baffled by a string of disappearances in Paris. The missing are all young women of a certain physical type, in their early 20s. They turn out to be the materials in a surgeon’s experiment to reconstruct the face of his beautiful daughter, disfigured in a car accident.

This horror movie isn’t scary at all, but it is eerie and strangely lyrical. (Presumably it was the inspiration for the Billy Idol song.) Though it has a recognizable 20th century setting, it seems to happen outside of time. And for a movie built around horrible disfigurement, it’s gorgeous.

Yes, it’s another version of the mad doctor story, and the plot is ludicrous but we take it seriously (Unlike that action howler, Face-Off). Eyes Without A Face is like those fairy tales we heard as children that kept us awake at night because we knew those characters couldn’t possibly live happily ever after.

Chris Rock gives the best interview of the year

December 02, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Movies 2 Comments →

chris rock

What would you do in Ferguson that a standard reporter wouldn’t?

I’d do a special on race, but I’d have no black people.

Well, that would be much more revealing.

Yes, that would be an event. Here’s the thing. When we talk about race relations in America or racial progress, it’s all nonsense. There are no race relations. White people were crazy. Now they’re not as crazy. To say that black people have made progress would be to say they deserve what happened to them before.

Right. It’s ridiculous.

So, to say Obama is progress is saying that he’s the first black person that is qualified to be president. That’s not black progress. That’s white progress. There’s been black people qualified to be president for hundreds of years. If you saw Tina Turner and Ike having a lovely breakfast over there, would you say their relationship’s improved? Some people would. But a smart person would go, “Oh, he stopped punching her in the face.” It’s not up to her. Ike and Tina Turner’s relationship has nothing to do with Tina Turner. Nothing. It just doesn’t. The question is, you know, my kids are smart, educated, beautiful, polite children. There have been smart, educated, beautiful, polite black children for hundreds of years. The advantage that my children have is that my children are encountering the nicest white people that America has ever produced. Let’s hope America keeps producing nicer white people.

It’s about white people adjusting to a new reality?

Owning their actions. Not even their actions. The actions of your dad. Yeah, it’s unfair that you can get judged by something you didn’t do, but it’s also unfair that you can inherit money that you didn’t work for.

Read his conversation with Frank Rich at Vulture.

Anyone else love his TV series about his teen years Everybody Hate Chris?