After having a pretty crazy year in 2015, my husband and I decided to take some time off to relax, re-energize and reboot. We booked our tickets the same day the American embassy opened after being closed for years. We wanted to make the most of the fact that the keys are pretty much virgin, something that is likely to change in the next decade. We stayed on the north cost of Cayo Coco and our favorite beach was in the little bay hidden behind our hotel.
The things I read and watch are a huge part of my inspiration and when I work too much on other people's projects or big corporate productions and feel like I'm loosing myself a bit, what I read and watch always brings me back to my core. I don't think I've ever told you this before, but I am a binge watcher. I can watch 6 films in the same day and I can screen the same film dozens of time. I wanted to create a column on the blog about the things I read and watch as I feel like looking back, I'll be able to remember pats of my life by looking at hat inspired me.
These days my husband and I are writing our second feature film, a suspense romance, and I've been obsessed with all things related to serial killers (what was my excuse before?!). I'm also not at the best place in my personal life (I've been debating on wether the blog is the right forum to chat about this or not...) and violent content is my therapy of choice. There is something very cathartic about it. Besides yoga, scary films are the best anxiety reliever I have found. Is that strange? Actually... don't answer that.
I just finished reading Helter Skelter, a book I had first sunk my teeth in when I was 16 years old and baby sitting full time as a summer job. I had found my mother's original edition of Helter Skleter in our basement library and when she told me how scary it was, I had to read it. I recently decided to read it again as it pertains to the type of narrative we are currently writing. The book tells the story of the Charles Manson murders in California of the 1960's. Written by prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi, it takes us through the investigation and the trial of 9 murders committed by the Manson followers in brutal violence. Not only is it a suspenseful read, but it's also a great study of character and psychology. It's also very enigmatic, as Manson is said to have murdered about 20 other people, who have yet to be found to this day.
As I have told you before, I used to be a big television show snob. I agreed to purchase Hannibal Season 1 only bring my husband's attention away from Dexter (which I'm so not into, my snobbism lives on). I have to admit, I wasn't sold at first. The first few episodes seemed over played, over written and over directed. But soon enough, once exposition was set in place, the suspense kicked in and I became addicted! By Season 2 I couln'd get enough and I became mad, then obsessed, with the character of Hannibal. And now I absolutely cannot wait to watch Hannibal Season 3!! Be advised though: there is a great deal of gore and graphic violence.
I told you in my last post I much I adored A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night. No film has inspired me this much in a long long time. So yeah, I've screened it a few times by now and I still think you must check it out.
My husband is a big fan of all things Christopher Nolan and I admit I don't always share his enthusiasm as I am allergic to big amounts of exposition in dialogues. Insomnia being one of his earliest film, it has a much simpler scope narratively and it pleased me greatly. The simple story is a great study of the classic script writing structure and the cast is pretty interesting, with Robin Williams playing the bad guy for once.
Although I live in a remote mountain village with basically no neighbours and have a husband that travels a lot for work, I love home invasion stories! They are THE scariest. Indiewire kept telling me how great You're Next is, so I let myself be convinced into purchasing it. I have to admit, I should have rented it instead. Although the premise has everything to please me (a group of men prey on a family gathering in the country side), the acting is... terrible. As home invasion are all about reality, this one didn't hit the spot for me. The Strangers is a much better home invasion option. I also loved The Purge a lot. Such a cool premise and I can smell
In the trade magazines, I particularly enjoyed this portrait of the Hollywood middle class and I have also been binge reading all the reviews of Assassin's Creed Syndicate as our game only came out a few weeks ago. I love this article, which highlights both the great work of my husband as Cinematic Director and the fantastic work of the cast. I was also so pleased to see a clip from our game on South Park (OMG!!), you can see the episode here and the ACS cameo at about 21 minutes. Don't blink or you'll mis it! It's like 5 seconds but I'm totally geeking out over it.
I'm going on vacation next week and I'm thinking Stephen King novels and... taking a break from watching anything! It probably won't stick do, I can't be away from films very long.
Say Hello to my new favorite film! I fell in love hard with this one and at first screening and it already earned a spot in my top 10 favorite films of all time. Set in Bad City, a fictionnal persian town, this first film from writer director Ana Lily Armirpour tells the story of The Girl, a lonely iranian vampire played by Sheila Vand.
This so-called spaghetti western also introduces us to Arash (oh swoon!), maybe the only gentle heart in Bad City, who dreams of another life. Filmed in black and white, this story shot in persian (english subtitles) is unexpectedly one of the most romantic films I have seen in a long time. This film made my heart go BOOM and in an unexplicable way, if I could BE a film, I would want to be THIS film. Dark and romantic, soft and violent, with a very unique and strong tone. Now I can't wait to see Ana Lily Armirpour's next film, a cannibal love story (!!). A Girl Walks Home Alon at Night premiered at Sundance in 2014 and is now available to purchase in a beautiful boxet that comes with a little graphic novel introducing us to The Girl and to Bad City. A must see in my opinion, and my number one suggestion for Halloween week. Also: if I was dressing up this Halloween, I would have dressed up as The Girl. She's hella bad ass and I love her so!
Looking for other Halloween apropriate films? I recommand House of a Thousand Corpses for the graphic horror fans, Psycho for those who love suspense like me, Strangers if you want to be scared straight and Sleepy Hollow if you are more of a mood/ atmosphere enthusiast. I also always recommand the Scream franchise, my absolute favorite! In my opinion the first and fourth of the instalment are the best, and I would skip the Netflix featured series; I'm the first one disapointed but it's kind of garbage. Happy Halloween week everyone! Virginie XO
Last Friday the Ubisoft studio where I have been working launched it's very first made in Quebec game, Assassin's Creed Syndicate! Set in victorian London, the game introduces the Frye twins Jacob and Evie, making it the first of the franchise with a lead female character. I had the pleasure of being the team's Production Coordinator and it was nothing short of amazing to see what this studio is capable of. After months (and months) of passionate work, the local development team took time to celebrate it's accomplishment with a VIP soirée. Let me tell you : this studio knows how to throw a party! We got to fly over London on a zipline (which I could not resist trying despite the fact I was in a mini skirt), take part in a scotch tasting, play a giant game of chess, feast on fish and chips, sip on spiked teas and dance up a storm. I totally missed the red carpet because I attended the screenwriters pre-party cocktail (DOH!) but made up for it in the victorian buggy photo booth. There are no words to say how proud I am of the team. It was a pleasure working such a talented group as well as with Ubisoft studios from around the word. WE DID IT GUYS! Take a moment to look back on the great memories we made along the way. The launch of the game also means that my contract with them is soon coming to an end and I am looking forward to being 100% focused on film production once again.
If you are a AC fan I hope you have a great time playing our game! For more info about the game, visit the official site. Can't ait to see where Ubisoft will take us next with this franchise but for now, let's liberate London with the Rooks! Virginie XO
photos by Les Festifs
I had heard a lot of buzz around The True Cost, a documentary film directed by filmmaker Andrew Morgan that takes an honest look at the human and environmental cost of the clothes we wear. My relationship with my clothes has changed a lot in the past 10 years. From blogging about personal style (I feel so silly about it when I think back on that!) to becoming a creative consumer and building a wardrobe that is more than half vintage / thrifted / swapped / second hand, it reached a high point recently when I decided to go on a shopping strike. I have been growing increasingly uncomfortable with consuming more than I need and this past June decided to go on a 4 months no shopping time period. Surprisingly, it wasn't quite as challenging as I thought it was and it made me realize I already have more than I need, so I decided to extend the challenge to a full year. Is that something you'd be willing to try too?
The True Cost is available on Netflix and you can learn more about the responsible consumerism on the film's website. No matter your relationship to fashion and your shopping habits, you should watch this documentary, as to make informed choices about the way you consume, but also understand what goes behind what you buy, and how it impacts the world. Knowledge is power and together we can make a big change I am sure! Virginie XO