Archive for September, 2011

Guilty of Romance

September 30th, 2011 - admin

The concluding part of the “Hate” trilogy opens promisingly enough but self-indulgence hinders filmmaker, Sion Sono in fully realising some interesting and relevant themes.

 

Originally screened in the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes in a two and half hour version, Sono has slimmed it down to a more manageable 112 mins for the international market.

 

A bored housewife, married to a famous writer of erotica, embarks on a path of sexual discovery that gravitates towards soft core porn performance + extras for her own gratification and prostitution at bargain basement prices in seedy dilapidated urban locations.

 

The early scenes in the rich marital apartment are the best in the film.  Avoiding obvious cliché traps, there is an amusing updating of the Japanese wife as servant theme but falling short of parody.

 

There is also a neat play on post feminist absurdity with a literature professor exercising some ‘girl power’ with depraved sex for hire at night whilst teaching the bored housewife the ropes.  It is all fine she seems to advocate as long as the prostitute turns the tables and exploits the client.

 

All of this is intercut with a related parallel story of a police investigation into a gruesome murder, which in reality would require a powerful chain-saw, two female dummies and a few tins of pink paint.  There are some impressive aesthetics for the horrific crime scene, a kind of Chapman Bros meets Damien Hirst with a touch of Jackson Pollock for good measure, but Sono’s handling of the rest of this storyline is as clumsy as the police investigation itself.generic levitra dapoxetinedapoxetine without prescription

 

Also disappointing is the abrupt transition from naive housewife to sex crazed prostitute, a tendency to drift towards excessive caricature and an inevitable and a rather silly sexed up Merry Widow style set-up with different consequences.

 

What could and should have been a sophisticated Godardian look at prostitution and capitalism in modern day Japan becomes a little close for comfort to falling into the world that it is attacking.buy motilium tabletsorder domperidone from canadawhere to buy motilium in the usbuy domperidone from canada
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Green Wave, The

September 30th, 2011 - admin

Who could forget the secretly shot footage of a desperate woman shouting at a makeshift grave, unable to find the words of sufficient potency to express an uncontrollable rage following the politically expedient slaughter of her son?

 

What are we to make of a young woman’s account of her brother’s extraordinary guilt-ridden confession of savagely battering an innocent youth to death as part of a barbaric street militia and now fearing God’s terrible judgement?

 

And how can we respond to those who accuse the international community of hypocritically turning a political blind eye in the wake of a blatant genocide of the kind that has triggered a NATO backed intervention and regime change elsewhere?

 

These are just some of the many questions that arise from Ali Samadi Ahadi’s imaginative quasi-documentary with a difference that captures something of the green movement’s challenge to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Iranian dictatorship and the ruling party’s ruthless crackdown after apparently rigging the 2009 general election.

 

An abridgement of social network messages and internet blogs provides two fictional students with elegant and insightful voiceovers, which Ali Reza Darvish skilfully visualises in the form of Waltz with Bashir style animation.  They combine as a substitute for ground level film journalism in a devastating depiction of the rise and fall of a collective spirit in a country where the filmmaker does not have access.

 

Cell-phone films and overseas interviews ground it with two very different realities; one instant evidence and the other considered reflections from a distance.  An Iranian in exile breaks down contemplating the acute desperation of those left behind, epitomising a recognition that there are no internal means for overcoming the atrocities, extraordinary secrecy and institutional complexity that has a very firm hold on his homeland.

 

And shocking TV footage of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei wholeheartedly embracing Ahmadinejad in public reveals him to be the kind of so-called moderate power broker who will compromise in circumstances that are wholly unacceptable.cheap priligy dapoxetinedapoxetine orderbuy female cialis vs female viagra does female cialis work female cialis australia cialis for female

 

Ahadi’s inventive use of multimedia, with appropriate rough edges, draws us close to the false hope and callous reprisals in ways that would not have been otherwise possible. https://www.pro-essay-writer.com

Tyrannosaur

September 24th, 2011 - admin

One actor turned filmmaker, Paddy Considine directs another, Peter Mullan as the lead in a feature version of an earlier short and provides the same hard edged realism with which Mullan made his name in the director’s chair, but still imposes his own personal mark in an impressive debut.

 

Mullan is on home territory as the permanently seething boozer without hope on a rundown council estate, looking for half an excuse to beat the crap out of any younger version of himself in a kind of deflected self-loathing.

 

Olivia Coleman is on less familiar ground as the genial Christian volunteer at a charity shop concealing the most appalling and depraved sexual abuse at the hands of a nondescript looking other half, and delivers the kind of subtle and layered performance that would place her into serious contention during the awards season if merit was the only criterion.

 

These two very broken souls come together as strangers searching for an elusive redemption, but neither is forthcoming; hiding instead behind half-truths and fallacies, unable to face the full glare of their wretched reality.

 

Realistic are the permanent scars of a dysfunctional past, which will always restrict their future.

 

Strong is the sense of entrapment within their vicious cycle of violence that transcends class borders.

 

And painfully sad is the price they have to pay for an act of desperation, which the judiciary is woefully ill-equipped to assess.

 

The violence is extreme in a truly shocking opening scene and a superb Eddie Marsan pushes the husband’s debased cruelty to depths unimaginable but none of this is gratuitous, never straying from the point, always justified within the overall context.

 

We feel the impact of the protagonists’ plight all the more for Erik Wilson’s cinematography, which gets in close but never feels unduly claustrophobic.dapoxetine online kaufenfemale cialis side effects female cialis cheap female cialis for sale female use of cialis

 

And there is a truth here, a sincerity, a strong sense that Considine knows his subject and it is not surprising that he bagged the World Cinema Dramatic Directing Award at Sundance for what is far more than simply an assured debut. https://order-essay-online.net

Drive

September 23rd, 2011 - admin

Mega-slick, shiny and retro lying somewhere between post modern pastiche and parody, Nicolas Winding Refn’s latest feature retains a surprising sense of depth notwithstanding its emphatic insistence on surface.

 

Rooted firmly in film noir, it is stylistically akin to the later sub-genre colour variants but there is a hopelessness and deeply embedded alienation here that returns us to the classic period.

 

Ryan Gosling plays the super-cool driver with no name, a partial throwback to the anonymous Western heroes with tyre screeching from very fast cars replacing the pounding of horses hooves.  Complete with a toothpick and a brooding watchful eye, Gosling has an impassive quality of the James Dean kind but his undoubted charisma and star quality defy a slightly unconventional appearance that neatly grounds his performance in a recognisable reality.

 

There are three male car fantasies for the price of one.  Hollywood stuntman turns getaway driver to make a quick buck on the side with the option of racing for a couple of ruthless mafia hoods, superbly played by Albert Brooks and Ron Perlman, who are lower down the pecking order than their self-important posturing would indicate.

 

Carey Mulligan provides the love interest; a much more rounded character than the usual femme fatale but she has an old man whose release from the pen places her at risk from debt collectors of the baseball bat carrying sort.  Our driver had shown admirable constraint, respectful of her position, happy with friendship, showing her son some dazzling manoeuvres behind the wheel.  And then, protective instincts kick in, the inner psycho emerges, and with it, an explosion of ultra-violence way beyond anything that could be regarded as reasonable self-defence.  Neatly framed as caricature, up to a point, and accompanied by occasional laughter in the audience, it saves the footage from the censors cutting room table.

 

This is very much the flawed hero, and just like his counterparts sixty years ago, he is the product of a new crisis, one of gender and beyond; a very uncertain future where the assumptions of the old Cold War no longer apply, hidden dangers lurk and the alpha male is powerless to respond.buy dapoxetine canadafemale cialis uk buy female cialis pills female cialis 20mg female cialis dosage

 

Refn cleverly moulds these desperate elements into a compelling whole and bagged the best director prize at Cannes.  Newton Thomas Sigel provides outstanding  cinematography constructing impressive colour schemes from the murky surroundings.  And there is a pulsating Eighties electro new wave soundtrack that becomes the film’s heartbeat.  Very smart. college essay writing service

Page One: A Year Inside The New York Times

September 23rd, 2011 - admin

A must see for anybody who cares about access to news and the quality and accuracy of the journalism that reports it.

 

The New York Times granted filmmaker, Andrew Rossi unlimited access to its media desk for a year as its team grappled with the crisis in print journalism following the avalanche of free internet alternatives.

 

Not concerned with providing much by way of background, this is a film about now, documenting developments in the same manner that information hits the media desk hot line.  We piece it together with a journalist’s mind’s eye, getting very close to the stories and reflecting on them later at a distance as more stories unfold.  It is a roller-coaster of a view, one for the intellectually agile but hugely rewarding.

 

Reformed drug addict, David Carr, is the star of the show, a hugely charismatic old pro with a journalist’s penetrating eye that can bore through surface bullshit to see the truth, the real story.  An intolerant man, prone to dishing out on-the-spot bollockings to any sham imposter or charlatan that comes his way, this a hero for our time, a throwback to the days when we did things judiciously, when perception did not equal reality, a return to Kant, an acknowledgement of the authentic.

 

And then there is the intriguing Brian Stelter, perhaps more than simply the exception that proves the rule, every bit the complete newsman but taken into the Times’s fold from the – well, yes – blogging world.  We realise that Carr & Stelter are not incompatible and it is good journalism rather than its source that is at stake in today’s presentation based careless society.

 

This neatly leads us to a trap for the imprudent; print journalists shooting themselves in the foot trying to compete with their online rivals, playing by rules that they fail to understand and where contraventions have far greater ramifications.  Rossi could and should have probed far deeper here into the hugely damagng Jayson Blair scandal where the Times man took concoction and plagiarism to new heights on an extraordinary scale.

 

This blip aside, our instincts remain with the Times, which, rightly or wrongly, still retains an air of reliability, a sense that it is a custodian of solid reporting.  We admire the ruthless integrity lying behind Carr’s total demolition job on Sam Zell’s shambolic management of the Chicago Tribune and look on with reassuring hope as the Times newsmen expose TV coverage falsely heralding the end of the US occupation in Iraq.  And there lies today’s battleground, the challenge for other Brian Stelters that may be out there, blogging away to an uncertain, invisible and often fickle or non-existent audience, to lay claim to the same territory of dependability, morality and persistence.  Top marks to Rossi who makes the point very clearly; it would take a huge shift in public opinion for this to occur and although newspapers may be in decline as a whole, there is not yet a credible, or should I say perceptible, threat to top-end ethical print journalism.generic viagra with dapoxetine 160 mgdapoxetine buy online usabuy female cialis wiki female cialis canada buy female cialis online cialis female libido

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Troubadours

September 20th, 2011 - admin

Experienced music doc filmmaker, Morgan Neville returns with an affectionate look at the Troubadours’ club, a musical home to many of the singer-songwriters that came to the fore in West Hollywood as the youth revolution faded at the end of the Sixties.

 

Neville dedicates much screen time to James Taylor & Carol King, who returned to the Troubadours in 2007 for a reunion concert.  Modern day talking heads have interesting things to say about their friendship and there is some well selected archive footage particularly of King but the extensive material often drifts off topic at the expense of time for other performers.  One clip of Joni Mitchell, a fraction more for Kris Kristofferson and nothing of Gram Parsons (with or without the Flying Burrito Brothers) was disappointing.  And anybody unfamiliar with this period is unlikely to have gained a true sense of Jackson Browne’s artistic style and motivation.

 

The film does a solid enough job dispelling the prevailing view that some of the performers had sold out with a tame version of edgy indie alternatives; their more reflective response to a very uncertain future seems wholly appropriate.  But the tendency to treat the disparate group as forming a single movement is unhelpful.  And there is some very confused thinking on alternative country, which is a progression from earlier generations of country renegades sitting outside Nashville rather than something new that came into being at the Troubadour.

 

The film scores higher in painting a portrait of the club’s eccentric owner, Doug Weston who self destructed on his own failed ambition in 1975.  Largely pieced together from scraps, there is a strong sense of the flamboyant showman losing his way in a sea of endless self-promotion.

 

There is some judiciously chosen footage of the Eagles whose commercialised take on various strains of the Troubadours’ performers seemed to mark the end of an era.

 

And watch out for of an early Steve Martin doing a mighty impressive bluegrass turn on his banjo and for footage of the Troubadours’ concert that launched the career of Elton John.buy cheap dapoxetine onlinecfemale cialis online female cialis does it work female taking cialis female cialis tadalafil

 

Not one to attract the interest of festival juries but it is enjoyable enough and there is plenty of nostalgic material for fans of the singer-songwriter scene. over at the company

Kosmos

September 15th, 2011 - admin

A deeply personal work set in his native Turkey but with a vision that is genuinely universal in its ambition, Reha Erdem’s latest film is another welcome addition to the increasingly impressive Turkish New Wave.  Co-winner of the top prize at the Antalya Golden Orange International Film Festival and screened in the Panorama section at last year’s Berlin, it is still doing the festival rounds but deserves a wider release.

 

The film’s title has multiple meanings referencing the self-contained and archaic Turkish border town where the action unfolds, the larger world and universal systems of which it forms part and the nickname of the film’s unique principal protagonist.

 

Kosmos is a mysterious outsider who disrupts the established and almost medieval customs and traditions in ways that the locals would not normally tolerate but his apparent healing properties lead to a stay of social execution.

 

Looking decidedly Christ-like emerging from the desert, he utters profound edicts of a Biblical gravitas but he is advocating an altogether different kind of love seemingly with its origins in hippy counterculture.  A wild almost demented ‘rabbit in the headlights’ stare reveals a tortured soul, a permanent lament for a mankind that has lost its way, one that has succumbed to the temptations of a metaphorical Satan with a difference.

 

The town is at war; we see the soldiers and hear the bombs but no more.  Locals argue as to whether to open the borders and increase trade.

 

A strange object, possibly from outer space, lands in a field.  They view it as significant and try to lend it meaning; it might be the start of a myth of the kind that could influence their thinking for years.

 

There is clash of economic systems.  Kosmos has no notion of ownership, wreaking havoc taking monies and goods at will and giving them away randomly.  They construe it as stealing in this low crime culture as his utopian sense of community collides with an early Feudal form of capitalism.

 

And there is plea for animal liberation in the form of Kosmos’ mutterings that deny a hierarchy of species as the camera cuts to close- ups of animals eyes suddenly looking disconcertingly wise. Their subsequent slaughter at the hands of the villagers takes on the appearance of a murder scene.

 

Yeşil Sermet gives a terrific performance as the lead, ably supported by the remainder of the cast; particularly Türkü Turan as a village girl with whom he engages in an bizarre courtship of bird like cries and squeals and Hakan Altuntas who plays her conflicted father torn between competing moral obligations.

 

The cinematography of Florent Herry and the sound design of Erdem in conjunction with Herve Guyader combine effectively to bring us a strong sense of the alienated and harsh winter landscape and continues their collaboration on the filmmaker’s earlier works.

 

And Erdem’s screenplay neatly roots the universal themes at a personal and meaningful level.

 

This is a bagful of ideas contained within a whole that conveys a multiple threat to stability and leaves the viewer to reflect on the alternative left-field philosophies that emerge along the way.female cialis tadalafil female cialis wiki female cialis canada buy female cialis online

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Toronto International Film Festival 2011(8-18 September)

September 7th, 2011 - admin

Davis Guggenheim’s From The Sky Down is the first ever documentary to open the festival and it takes an in-depth look at the music and political activities of supergroup, U2.

 

New films from leading Canadian filmmakers Sarah Poley & Guy Maddin are amongst the most keenly anticipated on the programme.  There are 123 world premieres in total with Alexander Payne’s latest feature, The Descendants likely to attract wide media attention.

 

Various high profile Venice titles arrive including Steve McQueen’s sex obsession drama, Shame, George Clooney’s US election thriller, The Ides of March and David Cronenberg’s love triangle with a difference, A Dangerous Mind involving Carl Jung, Sigmund Freud and an impossible client.

 

Other festival favourites include Berlin’s Golden Lion winner, A Separation (Asghar Farhadi) & Cannes’ silent movie hit, The Artist (Michael Hazanavicius).

 

Luc Besson will close the festival with his portrayal of the Burmese oppressed pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi.

 

Selected world premieres:

 

Peace, Love & Misunderstanding

D. Bruce Beresford

 

A mainstream v counterculture clash as a mother & daughter reunite for the first time in twenty years.  It is well trodden territory but Jane Fonda’s appearance as the mother will provide additional interest.

 

 

The Lady

D. Luc Besson

 

The festival closes with one of most intriguing films in the programme.  Luc Besson moves into unchartered territory with his portrayal of the oppressed Burmese pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi.

 

 

Twixt

D. Francis Ford Coppola

 

Coppola’s switch from his recent art house material to gothic mystery seems likely to be a light excursion rather than that elusive late masterpiece.

 

 

The Deep Blue Sea

D. Terence Davies

 

Davies adapts Terence Rattigan’s controversial 1950’s play of the same name, which depicts one of the filmmakers central themes, the cruelty of social exclusion.  It is the follow-up to his innovative documentary, Of Time & The City and provides a timely reminder of the destructive nature of prejudicial judgements in all their forms.

 

 

Machine Gun Preacher

D. Marc Forster

 

The true story of a former drug dealer who devotes his time to saving children in war torn Sudan provides plenty of scope for Marc Foster to explore some of today’s most pressing humanitarian issues.

 

 

From The Sky Down

D. Davis Guggenheim

 

This year’s opening film provides an in-depth look at the music and political activities of supergroup, U2.  It is Davis Guggenheim’s second excursion into the music business having filmed leading guitarists Jimmy Page, The Edge, and Jack White in Might Get Loud.

 

 

A Better Life

D. Cédric Kahn

 

Guillaume Canet stars in the latest feature from the sometimes unfairly overlooked Cédric Kahn.  Potential here for some interesting ideological observations as banks and other creditors hound a struggling restaurant.

 

 

50/50

D. Jonathan Levine

 

A brave follow-up to The Wackness that combines cancer and comedy and stars

Joseph Gordon-Levitt & Seth Rogen.  A tough balance to achieve and avoiding sentimentality is a must.

 

 

Keyhole

D. Guy Maddin

 

There are high expectations for Guy Maddin’s idiosyncratic take on married life as a man embarks upon a surreal journey to join his wife upstairs.  The protagonist’s name, Ulysses provides a clue as to the kind of territory that Maddin is likely to explore.

 

 

360

D. Fernando Meirelles

 

Sexual relationships break down social barriers in parallel stories across different continents in an intriguing look at globalisation and class as an extension of Arthur Schnitzler’s controversial play, La Ronde for the 21st century

 

 

Moneyball

D. Bennett Miller

 

A baseball manager compiles a team based on statistical analysis in another real life drama.  With Bennett Miller (Capote) directing, Steven Zaillian (Schindler’s List) & Aaron Sorkin (Social Network) writing the screenplay and Brad Pitt in the lead, it has the look of a carefully compiled award season package.

 

 

Rampart

D. Oren Moverman

 

Scriptwriter turned filmmaker, Oren Moverman made an accomplished debut feature with The Messenger, a war film that looked beyond direct enemy confrontation.  Moverman now turns his attention to police corruption and Woody Harrelson and Steve Buscemi return alongside Sigourney Weaver.

 

 

Woman in the Fifth

D. Pawel Pawlikowski

 

Pawlikowski adapts Douglas Kennedy’s novel of the same name for his first film in seven years.  Ethan Hawke plays the US writer struggling to distinguish between paranoia and intrigue in the back streets of Paris.

 

 

The Descendants

D. Alexander Payne

 

This is another one that smacks of an award season campaign with George Clooney starring in Alexander Payne’s first film since Sideways seven years ago.  It is a matter of opinion whether Payne has an independent spirit with a wide appeal or a compromised vision.

 

 

Take This Waltz

D. Sarah Poley

 

One of the most keenly awaited films of the festival, Sarah Poley’s follow-up to Away From Her explores the impact of a compulsive passion that falls outside of a married women’s moral code.  In demand Michelle Williams plays the lead.

 

 

Trishna

D. Michael Winterbottom

 

It will be interesting to see how Winterbottom tackles a contemporary version of

Tess Of The D’Urbervilles set in India.  Rising stars, Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire) & Riz Ahmed (Shifty, Four Lions) play the leads.female cialis dosage female cialis side effects female cialis cheap female cialis for sale

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