Sunday, July 16, 2006

Alrighty then...

So I've been asked to share. As I type this post, I am watching The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou for the second time and discovering all these excellent one-liners! Be prepared, I dish out spoilers so if you don't want to read on, skip to Part II.

I think it is the type of movie that needs a second chance if your first reaction is: "I do not like this!".
Last night, it was difficult to adjust to its awkward documentary style. Not to mention the film within film elements, including a crew member who videos everything!

So this morning, I settled in to watch the "making of..." documentary, cast home videos, interviews and the like. And then I put the film on again. Now I like it!

1) I also like the stilted little late 70s-early 80s Casio synthesizer ditties. They are supposed to be composed by the physicist-cum-cook crewmember Woladowsky.
2) Not to mention the pleasing sound of a Royal Tennenbaums track played backwards as the background to the also-very-pleasing cross-section tour of the boat The Belafonte.
3) And the quirkiness of the Zissou island facility which feels a cross between a research institute and a summer camp.
4) Plus, all the marine life are fictitious animated things, like a rhinestone bluefin, paisley octupus or rainbow seahorse, and of course the famed jaguar shark which has the same markings as the big cat!
5) I felt sorry for Cody, the three-legged dog that the pirates left on board the Belafonte, when he got left behind during the rescue mission.
Steve: Oh no, we forgot Cody! We gotta go back!...Goodbye, Cody...
6) A haunting track by Icelandic group Sigur Ros during the last shark scenes.

Overall, I see it as a part-homage to the documentaries of Jacques Cousteau, down to the retro feel, the red caps and even the yellow titles used on the Zissou documentaries. There is a little sad tinge to the film, owing to Zissou's awareness that his career is washed-up, his marriage is over, and no one appreciates his research anymore.

The film is shot in Italy and the Mediterranean sea. Still, it is shot a little out of time and place. If you watch it, you will understand.

So, on to the fantastic dialogue, but first the main cast members:

Steve Zissou (Bill Murray) - aging marine documentary maker.

Ned Plimpton aka Kingsley Zissou (Owen Wilson) - Steve's long lost/abandoned illegitimate son, a pilot for Kentucky Air with a courtly southern manner. (Still very Owen!)

Jane Winslett-Richardson
(Cate Blanchett) - safari khaki clad reporter, pregnant by her married editor.

Eleanor Zissou
(Angelica Huston) - Steve's wealthy estranged wife, the brains of Team Zissou.

(Willem Dafoe) - German crewmember who is always in shorts. Even his wet-suit is short. And his red cap has a pom-pom on the top.

Captain Alistair Hennessey
(Jeff Goldblum) - Eleanor's ex-husband and Steve's pretentious, rich nemesis, who heads a shiny modern competing project.

Shooting footage of "electric jellyfish" on the beach at night:
Ned: Steve, what causes this effect of illumination, is it a chemical inside the organism?
Steve: No, Ned. Actually, it's the reflection of the moonlight on their outer membranes.
Steve to Ned: That's a very good ad lib.
A few minutes later:
Ned: I've never seen so many electric jellyfish in all my life!
Jane (arriving from down the beach): Those are Viet Cong Man-of-Wars
[Steve touches one with his toe]
Steve: Oh, shit, she's right. I guess we'll have to loop that line. [To reporter] Where'd you come from? You look pregnant.
Jane: I am pregnant. I'm not even going to ask what you men are doing out here in your matching pyjamas, by the way.

As they are showing Jane to her room:
Jane: How long have you been working with Zissou?
Ned: Uh, approximately...Only ten minutes, actually. I was hired during the scene at the beach.
Klaus: He's Steve's son, supposedly.
Jane: You are? No you're not. He doesn't have one.
Steve: Well, we're not 100% sure about that yet. We just met yesterday.

As Eleanor walks out on Steve, he says, "Who's gonna tell us all the Latin names of the all the fishes and everything? You know I can't remember all that shit."

Steve and Ned chatting on deck:
Steve: Quiet out there tonight. Can you hear the jack whales singing?
[horn sounds]
Ned: Beautiful...Wonder what they're saying...
Steve: Well that was the sludge tanker over there...

After breaking in to Hennessy's state of the art lab, Steve and intern look at a map for a shortcut through to their destination:
Steve: We go your way, that's about...4 inches. We go my way, it's an inch and a half. You wanna pay for the extra gas?

Pirate attack. Hostage Steve knocks on Jane's door:
Steve: Jane, is, uh, Ned in there?
Ned: Stevesie? Stevesie, what's happening? Are those hijackers?
Steve: Well, we call them pirates out here, Ned.

Pirates are gone, and there is a mutiny on the Belafonte:
Steve: Look, if you're not against me, don't cross this line. If yes, do. I love you all.
[Franz crosses line]
Steve: Are you sure?
Franz: Yes, I am.
Steve: I don't understand. Why?
Franz: What do you mean? Wait a second. What are we doing? You said cross the line if...
Steve: Cross the line if you're going to quit.
Franz: Oh...! Do it again, I misunderstood!

Steve and Ned argue over Jane:
Ned: that's it. I'm gonna fight you, Steve.
[Steve punches Ned]
Steve: You never say, "I'm gonna fight you, Steve". You smile and act natural, and then you sucker-punch him.
Ned: You fight your way, and I'll fight mine.
Steve: Oh, listen, Ned Don't you try...
[Ned punches Steve]
Steve: I think your Team Zissou ring might've caught me on the lip.



Yesterday I went to the Walk-In Back Rub at Selfridges and bought a half hour massage. They put you in those ergonomic chairs that place you in a kneeling position with your face resting in a cushion ring. My masseur for the day was a tall Russian guy with really padded hands. He looked like a young Vladimir Putin, actually. He worked out all the hard knots in my right shoulder. Not just the back, they do your hips, arms, neck and head too. He worked so hard my muscles hurt today. But...NO HEADACHE!

However, I have been a bit clumsy lately, and as I was putting away my dishes, one literally flew out of my hands bounced off the bin and into the back porch where it lost a big chip. Tough plate, that. Had it merely fallen on the kitchen floor, it would have bounced, but such is my luck.

I shouted, "Oooh noooo!"
From the back garden my landlady shouted, "Are you alright?"
I replied, "I'm fine, but I've broken one of your plates!"

She wasn't upset and admitted that she's long wanted to replace the "luncheon service". Later on, she and landlord teased me about going to Greece to smash plates. I said, "Welcome to the new clumsy Olivia." I've never broken a plate before.

So much for event 1. Now for event 2:

I opened the washing machine to put in my laundry and as I opened the door there was a flood of water all over the floor and my washing. I shut the door as quickly as possible, but must have lost a gallon. The tub was still half full. I set it to drain, told my landlady, but she herself was in a bit of a present crisis with neighbour's children climbing trees and peeping over the fence, and their young cats coming into the garden and not being able to get out.

What's more, I believe there is a problem with Clogs. The other tenant had a complaint against him, and when I came in the other day, she and landlady were whispering furiously in the kitchen. I was asked if I'd had any problems. No I have not, thankfully. I don't know what's going on, I haven't asked, and probably haven't been told in case I start worrying, I guess.

Well, time for me to head down and prepare some dinner. I will not be touching anything breakable.


tooners said...

ok, ok.. i'm just starting to read this and my first thought is: i think i started watching this movie and didn't like it.

so... i'm gonna continue reading and try watching it again if they have it at the dvd shop the next time i go.

i'm pretty sure this was the movie... cuz i remember bill murray, owen wilson and angelica houston being in it. maybe i fell asleep, not sure. but, now to see if it was indeed this movie or if i'm only dreaming! ;)

but, i'll continue reading. :)

Meander said...

hello dear olivia...just passing through and thought i would stop and say hello. i need to catch up with what is going on in your world. how are you?

tooners said...

well, asked the husband and have indeed seen that movie - or he has. i fell asleep. now i want to see it again. nice commentary on your part! :)

i go thru stages of clumsiness. i haven't broken anything for a while but i tend to hit my legs or thighs on the desk at work. thankfully, haven't done that either. and i trip a lot but that's usually cuz i'm in a hurry and not paying attention to what i'm doing.

who is Clogs? what are the probs w/ him? for a minute i thought you meant drainage clogs! ;) lol

Prerona said...

I like the new word of the day thing. Abt the post, why u giving out spoilers? :)

Olivia said...

Tooners - at least you are willing to give it another try :)

Clogs is the tenant in the room above mine. He is Japanese but the noisiest one who has live here so far. I think sometimes he will fall through the ceiling when he gets out of bed in the morning! (Heavy feet=clogs!) He also leaves a lot of water all over the counters and the floor in the kitchen even though he only heats his food in the microwave.

Meander - hey, nice to see you again! Sorry too, I haven't been over to say hi in a while.

Prerona - haha, that sidebar has been there for months, you know :P
Glad you've discovered it and enjoy.
My attempt at "Educating Readers" boom boom! (Get it???)

Roxandra said...

I break things too. I haven’t in a while now luckily though cause I started out with a service for 6, it now has dwindled down to 4 dinner plates, 2 breakfast plates and only 2 cups. And they don’t do that pattern anymore. Maybe I should get a new service but then I’d probably smash those too sigh.

The Moody Minstrel said...

Hmm...after reading your story and comparing it to my own experiences, I have to wonder if there is a causal relationship between bouts of clumsiness and relaxation.

Olivia said...

Rox - what is your kitchen floor made of?

Minstrel - not for me. Personally the relationship is based decreasing mental acuity, the longer I remain unemployed. Some people would call this relaxation but I can assure you, it is actually quite stressful.

Roxandra said...

I agree Olivia it IS stressful and frustrating and not in the same pleasurable way as golf is for example. My floor is made of Indian slate. But most of the service was smashed on the black and white tiles I had before.

Steliano Ponticos said...

Olive I used to love Cousteau docs when I was a kid, they were one of my first inspirations..and I like bill I should love this film...the conversation sounds like monty python in jaques yves cousteau style...:D

Jia Li said...

maybe clogs has been stealing her internet again, didn't u say she had wireless and he would sit outside her door with his laptop???

well he could always move in with his wife....

Jia Li said...

and I liked this movie the first time I saw it, I like quirky

liv would say I am quirky

Olivia said...

Rox - yes, I know you understand.

Also, I find it frustrating when people tell me to stop trying to get into the rat-race and enjoy my freedom while I have it.

No, I had freedom all through university. It is now my responsibility as a qualified adult to get a job, start saving, be my own person, etc. I am tired of feeling useless and unwanted.

Tile or slate - plates will smash. They have lino (ick!) in this kitchen. At the moment I am totally missing the Italian tiles we had in our Texas house. :(

Olivia said...

Steli - You summed it up perfectly! Now go watch it +) Interesting to know what you think...

I used to watch Cousteau too, but here in England, we also (still) have Richard Attenborough on dry land so I grew up on both. Great men.

Jia Li - hehe, I would say that indeed!

Rebecca said...

HA. Rox if you decide to get a new set can we come over and smash what's remaining of the current one? Last time I broke something was when I burned myself on the coffee maker and that went flying and I knoscked over the cup and it fell to the ground and the coffee flew across the room.
I always say do things in style.

lunaliar said...

Liv! Today's birthday: Hunter S. Thompson! :)

Jia Li said...

oh libbs, where ya going on Vacay?

Leilouta said...

I am so jeoulous about your massage experience. I've been wanting to go for a long time ,but get too comfortable at home and end up going nowhere.I had 3 professional massages in my life and the best one was a 10 mn session at a street fair. The masseuse was great and I felt so good for the next few days...and oh yea, I broke a few plates that day :)

Leilouta said...

I am so jeoulous about your massage experience. I've been wanting to go for a long time ,but get too comfortable at home and end up going nowhere.I had 3 professional massages in my life and the best one was a 10 mn session at a street fair. The masseuse was great and I felt so good for the next few days...and oh yea, I broke a few plates that day :)

Steliano Ponticos said...

i never got a massage so I can't miss having one, I don't know what it's like when you never used a computer

Olivia said...

Rebecca - that should be your middle name. Rebecca Style G.

Luna - I am guessing you very much like Hunter S. Thompson! I saw that film and didn't like it. Don't ask me why I watched it twice, probably to try to figure it out, like Life Aquatic, which I now like.

Leilouta - I have still never had a massage where you lie on the table nekkid. My mother gets them loads and she nearly booked me in for one a few years back. One day, I will...that kind of thing I like to do in pairs, like a girl's day out at the spa.
Massage, pedicure, manicure, facial. Yeah!

Steli - You don't know what you're missing!
You go and have one right now!
*pointing at the door*

Steliano Ponticos said...

the potato famine, that maes me hungry..(inappropriate joke maybe, sorry)

Olivia said...

Steli - hehehe, I got it, finally!

(Do you know how many native english speakers spell "inappropriately" incorrectly? Lots!)

Rebecca said...

HA ha, thanks Liv, if I ever join a gang that will be it!

panda_eyed said...

Yay, glad you took my advice and got the headache massaged out of you! Lol. I've always wanted to try the Selfridges massage but have never plucked up the courage! I've only ever had a professional massage in China, where it cost £10 (including tips!) for a 2 hour full body massage, 1 hour of reflexology, and fresh fruit and drinks! I only wish we had a place like that in London.. :)
Lol at Liv's clumsiness - you're getting like me! Yesterday I was on the phone whilst walking, and when I hung up, found that my dangly mobile strap had tangled itself inextricably in my hair - was v embarrassing..!

Steliano Ponticos said...

Yes but olive I double all the letters and put e at the ends of all words, like in french. this is why i got it right.

the security codes are really challenging my intelligence :D

Steliano Ponticos said...

why is my logo gone..probably the link is music link is down too..i am all down..

Anonymous said...

Noooo, get up, Steli, get up!

lunaliar said...

Liv, you must post again soon! We're crowding this little comment spot too quickly! It feels like ages since you posted last!

Olivia said...

Luna - OK OK! Your turn to ask now!