5 ideas about a movie: The Florida Project

Movie reviews

Hello!

Welcome to the indie of this weekend. This is The Florida Project!

IMDb summary: Set over one summer, the film follows precocious 6-year-old Moonee as she courts mischief and adventure with her ragtag playmates and bonds with her rebellious but caring mother, all while living in the shadows of Disney World.

  1. The Florida Project was written by the director of the film Sean Baker and Chris Bergoch. Baker has previously directed Tangerine (which was co-written and co-produced by Bergoch) – a movie that was both unique in its subject (it focused on a transgender sex worker) and in the way it was filmed (on 3 iPhone 5s). His follow-up picture is also centered around marginalized people, living on the fringes of society (both literally and figuratively – their motel is on the edge of Disney World). This type of social realism filmmaking reminds me of Andrea’s Arnold’s work, especially her last film American Honey, which focused on a traveling sales crew, hopping from motel to motel in the American Midwest.
  2. The Florida Project’s writing elicited mixed feelings out of me, like all films of this kind do. The picture’s message was clear – the society needs to attempt to understand and to help the people, living on its margins. And yet, how can the said help be given when the marginalized individuals don’t even seem to want it, act entitled (when they have no right to do that) or worse, are violent/abusive. What is the solution to this conundrum or the middle ground?
  3. The Florida Project’s story was mostly centered on the little girl and a single summer of her childhood. The movie nicely portrayed the joys of childhood – being wild and free. And yet, it also noted how that freedom of childhood might not be secure or healthy for a child. The mother-daughter relationship on display was also a complex one. While the mother obviously appeared to love her daughter, to love is not enough to be a good mother. The actual physical care and education are as important for the child’s development as the emotional connection. The movie also explored the idea of a community that the individuals on the fringes of society form. The said community was presented as a small society of its own: it had a structure and was held together by the inner relationships of its members.
  4. From the purely visual perspective, The Florida Project looked bright and vibrant. And yet, that was only the surface that hid the underlying problems from view. I loved how the camera juxtaposed the poverty and the prosperity in the wide shots, where the children would be walking past the endless dinners, gifts shops, and billboards. The whole setting was very well realized and was strikingly American. The mobile frame and the pacing were distinctly indie, while the pacing of the film was good too, even if a bit slow. Lastly, the ending sequence of the two girls running through Disney World was interesting. It made the movie seem as if it was pandering to Disney, by showing that the beloved theme park is the true magic kingdom and the land of escapism. But, maybe this positive portrayal was there so that the Mouse House would not sue the whole film, as that sequence was shot without the corporation’s knowledge or consent.
  5. The cast of The Florida Project delivered quite stellar performances. It was great to see Willem Dafoe (What Happened To Monday, Death Note, The Great Wall) in a more sophisticated/non-mainstream project and to witness his full talent on display. The newcomer Brooklynn Prince was delightful as Moonee – the girl at the center of the story. Bria Vinaite starred as Moonee’s mother – the now-actress was actually discovered on Instagram by the director. I really wonder how much of the dialogue between the children actors as well as between the characters of Moonee and her mother was in the script and how much of it was improvised.

In short, The Florida Project is an important piece of social realism that might infuriate or educate its viewers. Or both.

Rate: 4/5

Trailer: The Florida Project trailer

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American Music Awards 2014

Music

Hi!

I have previously covered a few award ceremonies on my blog, like EMAs, VMAs and Movie Awards, and now decided to do the same for AMAs which happened last night.

Let’s start with the host of the show – Pitbull. If I remember correctly, this isn’t a first time that Pitbull is hosting the ceremony and I got to say – he was a safe choice. He even made jokes about being here because music industry needs diversity and he is a white Latina – best of both worlds when it comes to making money. I wish they would have brought a new, fresh face to get the show going.

Back when I discussed EMAs with you, I had a huge problem that a lot of big celebrities weren’t attending that show. Well, this show was pretty start-studded event. Even One Direction finally climbed out of their cage and were attending. JB wasn’t there but that’s no surprise – is he even out of jail yet? Newcomers like Ariana, Iggy, Sam Smith, 5SOS ruled the show, however, the elite artists like Rihanna, Beyonce, Katy Perry, GaGa wasn’t there once again.

There weren’t many surprising wins, I was pleased when 5SOS took home the award for Best New but that was about it. Let’s face it – this award ceremony isn’t about the awards but about the show and the performances. Since I am a pop/rock music fan, most of the performance which I loved were performances by pop artists. (Don’t judge my mainsteam’ness).

I liked theatrical opening act by Taylor Swift because I love her new song Blank Space (video). Plus, the whole tribute to her and the award for excellence was a pretty sweet moment and I believe that she deserves everything she  has achieved.

Taylor’s friend and my other childhood favorite – Selena Gomez – performed her new song The Heart Wants What It Wants (video). She was extremely emotional, real and raw on stage and I was happy to see her back in action once again. There were rumors, or actually even facts, that after Stars Dance album she was going on a break from music and would be focusing on her acting career. But, I guess, since her acting career isn’t working out that succesfully, she decided to continue pursuing music. Actually, her greatest hits album For You which consists of a couple of new song and of a few old ones which were made new (remixed) will be released or might have already been released today (Nov 24th).

Lorde sang the theme song from Mockingjay Part 1 (review of the movie). Her performance was powerful and energetic (video). I loved the first row of girls (Lorde, Taylor, Karlie Kloss and Selena) and how supportive of each other they were. One Direction’s new song was nice but didn’t blew me away, I might have grown out of their music (video).

Jessie J, Nicki and Ariana sang BANG BANG once again (video). I still hate the message of the song but I have no other choice but to enjoy the actual song and the beat of it because you just cannot escape it. It’s everywhere!!! Sam Smith’s performance was also quite nice (video), I am not a fan of his music but I am interested to know more about him.

The artist that grew on me throughout this whole year is Iggy Azalea. I never liked rap music and rapping women seemed a bit odd to me. But I actually am starting to enjoy her music and the way she carries herself and isn’t afraid to speak her mind (I’m talking about Eminem and controversial lyrics of his song and the way Iggy handled the situation). Her style is also quite nice, loved the suit she wore while accepting the awards. I am not her fan yet but I am on a journey to becoming one.

IMG_2470.PNG Iggy performes Fancy: video

Ladies that made my Best Dressed List:

IMG_2467.PNGBecky G

IMG_2463.PNGFergie

IMG_2465.PNGKarlie Kloss and Taylor Swift

IMG_2464.PNGSelena Gomez

IMG_2468.PNG

Zendaya – I love a risk taker who has taste. Her disco style outfit with a touch of Bolivud fashion looked cool to me.

And damn those pants, Ansel Elgort?!?!

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Photos: Getty Images, PopSugar, The Hollywodd Reporter, Perez Hilton