Archive for October, 2011

Ides of March, The

October 28th, 2011 - admin

Be careful with this one.  A casual glance at a sketchy trailer or a quick read of the synopsis over coffee and you are likely to come away with the distinct impression that Clooney is reinventing the political wheel.  After all, it does sound rather familiar in a Robert Redford sort of way; a worldly mega rich Democrat makes a film about an apparent young idealist learning, from hard experience, that his political heroes are not all they seem.  First impressions of this film, though, are as deceptive as the political system that it deconstructs and Clooney’s cynical take on the ‘cynical’ has two feet firmly on the ground in ways that were almost lost to the political thriller sub-genre.


Loosely based on Beau Willimon’s stage play, Farragut North, the film arrives under the guise of The Ides of March.  It is a cue for a metaphorical style Julius Cesar assassination attempt, but rather than drawing us to a conventional closure, the end forms part of a wider continuum, just like the Roman calendar upon which Shakespeare based his clever wordplay.  The Ides of March, the 15th of that month, is no different from any other in this rancid game of consequences where contaminated decisions made one day force compromises on another, which, in turn, form the basis of further decisions that lead to more compromises and the odd silver plated political knife thrusting towards the chest as often as the back.


Ryan Gosling plays the post-post modern mock idealist, an apparent pastiche of the wide-eyed optimist but, in reality, it is a persona that he ruthlessly adopts for his own manipulative purposes.  A product of our times, where presentation rules the roost, he is a sub-publicity agent to a Democratic governor fighting to be his party’s next presidential candidate.  Gosling sidesteps one way and then the other with such finely tuned panache, we believe, for a while, that this is a modern day Joseph Turner/Condor.


The governor is a throwback to Bill McKay/The Candidate, but Clooney reprises the role at the point where he has already turned.  This is not a film about politics corrupting its characters but one where the already corrupt work the system, operate between the rules.


Paul Giamatti and Philip Seymour Hoffman expertly portray a couple of hard boiled political old pros in opposing camps treading that dangerous thin line between being in complete control and succumbing to an arrogant complacency.  In one remarkable scene, we see Hoffman enter and leave the governor’s car from a stationary camera fixed outside where a slow and ominous Hitchcockian zoom shot provides brilliant filmic short-hand for the ‘thanks for everything’ conversation taking place inside.


An intricate political web of their own making ultimately traps these characters; the inevitable consequences of an institutional corruption that is systemic.  To this extent, Clooney’s impressive fourth feature as filmmaker has something in common with another film competing at Venice, Tomas Alfredson’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.motilium online pharmacy purchase domperidone onlinesildalis buy onlinesildalis pricesildalis for salesildalis costo

Simple Life, A

October 22nd, 2011 - admin

Sebastian Silva’s The Maid was an intriguing exploration of an ageing domestic servant on intimate terms with her Chilean family employers whilst simultaneously remaining on the outside.  The maid within the latest film from Hong Kong veteran, Ann Hui, which premiered in competition at the Venice International Film Festival, is very much a family insider who moves onto the outside following a stroke.


Loosely based on the real companionship between a maid and the film’s co-writer and producer, Roger Lee, it stars the distinguished actress, Deanie Ip and her true-life godson, the popular Hong Kong pop singer and movie star, Andy Lau.


It is a touching tale of a master and maid reversing roles and the convincing portrayal of their very tender friendship, which is all the more affecting for a genuine chemistry that exists between the two leads.


There is a selflessness here, a generosity of spirit in the way that the maid adopts an almost motherly concern not to burden her middle aged employer and the ease with which he adopts the role of attentive son.


Their conversation has an effortlessness of the kind that only comes with years of familiarity.  Silences are very comfortable, unforced teasing is always respectful and their general conversation has traces of earlier exchanges that could only have had their origins in his childhood.  It is quietly realised but very true, cinema going beyond reproduction to provide meaningful encounters for our contemplation.


Set in a real care home where its actual residents are extras going about their daily business, it serves as a counterpoint to the devastating scenes that Ulrich Seidl filmed in a working geriatric ward for the outstanding Import/Export.  Undramatic moments become interesting and the inevitable traumas pass without fuss; ambulance men carrying a stretcher mark the odd passing away.


The maid embraces her new environment with a willingness and graceful dignity that new friendships and associations amply reward; a gentle slice of elderly life that almost offers us some dramatic therapy for the future, a humane look at a world that many of us fear.


A strong supporting cast augments well-judged performances from the leads with Deanie Ip bagging the best actress award at Venice.domperidone cost usbuy domperidone canadasildalis buy onlinesildalis pricesildalis for salesildalis costo


And Jia Zhangke’s cinematographer, Yu Lik Wai shoots it all with a simplicity wholly appropriate for the subject. writing on a paper

We Need To Talk About Kevin

October 21st, 2011 - admin

Lynne Ramsay’s first film for 9 years, an adaptation of Lionel Shriver’s best-selling novel of the same name, marks a triumphant return for the hard-hitting Scottish filmmaker with a knack for transforming literary sources into a truly cinematic experience.


Warmly received at its world premiere at Cannes but surprisingly overlooked in the major prizes, Ramsay provides a superb companion piece to a previous Palme d’Or winner, Gus Van Sant’s Elephant.  Reflecting on possible motives for an otherwise inexplicable act of absolute malevolence, Van Sant’s late modernist masterpiece probed into the mind of a teenager on a psychotic Columbine-style rampage.  Now Ramsay, even more daring in the employment of non- linear narrative and an array of modernist cinematic techniques, focuses on the mother of a teen sociopath, coming to terms with being a public outcast whilst rationalising a terrible reflected guilt.  Both films owe a debt to the autonomous film form innovation of Derek Jarman, whom Van Sant selected for a mini retrospective at this years Edinburgh International Film Festival where he was a guest curator.


A mesmerising opening scene establishes the tone; a confused daydream, vivid nightmare or distorted memory, we are not sure which, takes us to a strange ritual with the participants saturated in a bizarre tomato mash.  Unsettling, disorientating from the off and introducing us to one of the film’s dominant motif’s, the colour red, we know what it symbolises.


Moving around in time, random snippets reflect her fragmented memories, an obsessive search for clues, possible mistakes, avoidable conflicts.  We enter her mind and share the pain; her turmoil becomes our focus.


We see Kevin as an impossible infant, rejecting potty training and refusing to talk, drawing the battle lines with his mother, going way beyond normal testing of the boundaries.  She finally snaps, breaks his arm and Kevin seizes his chance, supporting her cover story as a controlling device and subsequently pointing to his scar in a crude form of blackmail that works.


Even more sinister as a teenager, very smart, lending an ominous twist to everyday conversation, he sneers knowingly, plays the same games but with a supercool new edge.  When his mother opens the bathroom door at the wrong moment, he carries on masturbating with his glare fixed on hers in the ultimate act of contempt, an unleashing of dark domestic undercurrents in a horrific moment for his mother and the audience alike.


All of which is intermingled with scenes of the present, her new life in a run-down bungalow, which the angry neighbours routinely spray with, yes, red paint.  She takes a lowly paid office job, stoically accepts abuse in the streets but is devastated when a seemingly compassionate male colleague sees her as prey for easy sex, a social leper whom nobody else would touch.


Telling cracks appear in non-linear juxtapositions that draw comparisons between the previous family home and her even earlier pre-Kevin existence as a successful travel writer.  Her resentment is palpable with sacrifices made grudgingly; could Kevin have detected the bitterness?  Possibly, but not enough to account for the extremes of his behaviour and for me, Kevin sits alongside Miles from Jack Clayton’s Innocents as the child with an inherent evil trait but others may disagree.


Kevin knows that his parents fail to do the one thing that the film’s title suggests. His father buries his head in the sand allowing Kevin to lure him into a fabricated Buddy, Buddy father-son relationship destined to backfire horribly and turn Jacque Lacan’s assumptions on their head.  With his belligerent inclination for blurting out the things that are usually left unsaid, “I am the context” he tells his parents as they discuss separation.


A common thread emerges as a prelude to the key moment, that trigger for all which came before but withheld until the final moments;  Robin Hood bedtime stories feed into Kevin’s archery hobby, which, in turn, becomes the means for his mass school execution.  We see Kevin propelling the arrows with ruthless efficiency, we see and hear the chaotic murder scene but there is less red/blood than we might expect, a de-dramatising of the act, carefully orchestrated not to distract us from the film’s main focus on the grievous secondary consequences.


Tilda Swinton achieved moments of non-verbal intensity as the nurse in Jarman’s film version of the War Requiem that we have seldom seen before or since.  Here, Swinton plays the mother with a similar intensity but sustained throughout with a devastating poignancy, a realisation of a permanent state of shock and alienation, almost reduced to a shell, an apparition.


Ezra Miller delivers a performance of astonishing maturity and control as the teenage Kevin, allowing a certain natural mystique to colour his portrayal, catching us off-guard, placing doubt in ‘the who created whom’ debate, which, with the benefit of hindsight and post-screening reflection, defy reason.  There are also strong supporting performances from Jasper Newell as a frighteningly convincing aggressive infant and the always reliable, John C Reilly as the father.


Ashley Gerasimovich plays Kevin’s ultra-sweet little sister/victim, which jars a touch, one binary opposite to many perhaps but this is a small point that does not detract unduly from a mighty impressive whole.


The award winning veteran, Seamus McGarvey provides the cinematography with a painterly eye and Joe Bini, who did a superb job editing Cave of Forgotten Dreams earlier this year, knits together the assortment of fragments.


This is very much a visual experience, an extension of Ramsay’s experiments in subjective character analysis that we saw in her previous feature, Morvern Callar, which completely overrode its literary source.  Ramsey based her debut film, the Ratcatcher on her own screenplay and her subsequent conversion to book adaptations/transformations seems odd to the point of unnecessary unless it is purely a funding motilium 10cheap domperidonesildalis buy onlinesildalis pricesildalis for salesildalis costo

Sound It Out

October 15th, 2011 - admin

Jeanie Finlay captures much of the sadness and nostalgia of a passing era in her affectionate look at Sound It Out, the only remaining vinyl record shop in Teesside, North East England.


A throwback to an earlier time, a high point in music reproduction according to connoisseurs, when the large tangible form of the gramophone record became an obsessive target for males satisfying their strange but seemingly inherent urge to collect, order and display.


Once cool, coinciding with the emergence of 70’s rock, a symbol of anti-establishment hostility but, looking back with the benefit of hindsight, every bit a powerful commercial sector, the bug was at its zenith; record collections became badges of honour, NME approved, with proud owners being insiders within an outsider group that was really on the inside.  Now a victim of dematerialisation, records are thing of the past leaving diehard collectors on the outside of even outsider groups, often alone clinging on to their passion.


Sound It Out is fighting a rear-guard action, surprisingly successful against the odds, feeding the habit of tenacious net-resistant collectors opting for the sense of community that genial and extremely knowledgeable owner, Tom Butchart and his DJ assistant, Dave provide.


Finlay patiently befriends some of these regulars, always respectful, piecing together portraits from their banter, preoccupations and, of course, record collections; carefully providing an insight into their lives on the fringe and discovering their antidote to harsher realities, their way of finding a purpose.  It may not be the mainstream way, but it is their way, and that is all that counts.


The soundtrack is every bit as a good as you would expect moving across the spectrum with vinyl mixing with the occasional in-store live gig including one from local girl Saint Saviour remembering her roots.


And there are some judiciously chosen shots, hinting at the rundown surroundings without labouring the point.


It is somehow appropriate that Finlay funded the project through private donations made to IndieGoGo with all participants receiving, amongst other things, an associate producer credit on Amazon’s subsidiary film web database, IMbD.  There is a possessive quality about this participating process that feels rather motilium tabletsorder domperidone from canadasildalis buy onlinesildalis pricesildalis for salesildalis costo


A festival hit following its successful premiere at SXSW, it has something important to say in a very quiet way.

Kid With a Bike, The (Le Gamin au Velo)

October 15th, 2011 - admin

The two-time Palme d’Or winners, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne are auteurs in the very pure sense, possessing that extraordinary knack of developing themes across films with similar story lines, familiar locations and a uniform style that is always instantly recognisable and, yet, each new film is compelling, fresh and strikingly urgent.


Their latest feature implicitly recalls the Bicycle Thieves, Vittorio De Sica’s masterpiece of Italian neo-realism.  More of an affectionate nod than an homage, the Dardennes neatly rearrange the pieces, and an abandoned pre-teens son with his bicycle in tow, frantically searches for his absent father.


We fully engage with his plight, struggling to come to terms with an appalling and absolute parental rejection and caught between a metaphorical guardian angel and fake mate surrogate but without the maturity to see the forest from the trees.


Thomas Doret delivers the kind of convincing performance in the lead role that we have come to expect from newcomers in Dardennes’ films.  Obstinate to the point of being pig-headed but ingenious in a street-cred sort of way, he escapes from his care home seemingly at will and holds onto a deluded hope of a reconciliation that will never happen.


The Belgium actress with a growing international reputation, Cécile de France, returns to her homeland and subtly portrays a kindly hairdresser that takes the boy under her wing.  Magnanimous to the point of sacrifice, she follows an instinctive maternal responsibly, which in the wrong hands could jar, but here feels absolutely right.


Dardennes’ regular, Jérémie Renier, appears briefly as his uncaring father.  He urgently prepares food as a chef for hire at a cheap food joint, resenting every second lost when confronted with his total abdication of parental duty.  There is something in his manner that hints at embarrassment but it is a momentary humiliation of the kind that will disappear as soon as he is out of sight.


Egon Di Mateo is another impressive debutant and plays a young small-time hood, who ruthlessly tempts the boy into an ill-conceived criminal scheme destined to fail, potentially ending in tragedy.


It is gripping and fervent, a version of social realism that sits at the opposite pole from the mode that we regularly encounter in the equally valid slow cinema.  A Loachian economy and attention to detail blends with a sharp eye for that almost indefinable point where social objectivity and individual psychology collide.


Our response is complex, held in perfect balance, where the tightly controlled scenes guide our emotions but not so as to compromise our active involvement in the process.  The effect is not contradictory but rather to double the intensity without ever drifting towards schmaltz.


The camera of the Dardennes’ long-term cinematographer, Alain Marcoen, pursues the characters with a sense of urgency but allows breathing space, lending a less oppressive atmosphere to the townscape than we have seen in some of their back catalogue.


And there are grounds for hope here, not a redemption as such, but a sense that the boy could learn from his mistakes and take advantage of being in a better place than where he started.  It is the closest that we shall come to a feel good factor in a Dardennes’ film.


This perceptive look at child abandonment shared the Grand Prix at Cannes with Once Upon A Time In Anatolia, the latest film from fellow auteur heavyweight, Nuri Bilge Ceylan.where to buy motilium in the usbuy domperidone from canadacost of domperidonemotilium costomotilium buy onlineorder motilium online

POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold

October 14th, 2011 - admin

The charismatic and very watchable Morgan Spurlock charms a hatful of advertisers into funding his latest film, POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, a sardonic send-up of the product placements that the funders receive in return for their investment.


This is not so much an exposé but an elaborate one-liner, an audacious prank but it is not always clear whether the joke is on the corporates or the audience.


The advertisement executives are alive to the risks, they seek assurances that Spurlock will not give their products a negative spin but they would have done their homework, watched the McDonald’s demolition job, Super Size Me.  There is no such thing as bad publicity right!


Spurlock does a smart job working his caper for an hour juxtaposing footage of the executives stipulating their product placement requirements alongside the absurd/ridiculous final versions, which strictly speaking, at least, are fully compliant.  We laugh wholeheartedly at real examples from film & TV, which are almost as preposterous, but it is the integrity of the production team and not the products that is in question.  And there is a rare moment of genuine irony when Spurlock turns the tables on documentary filmmakers with a tongue-in-cheeck interview with the King of Kudos, Noam Chomsky.


A sudden change of tack in the final third jars.  No longer allowing the product placement process to shape the film, Spurlock heads off to São Paulo, Brazil where the authorities have banned exterior advertising and to a cash strapped Florida school forced to sell advertising space to survive.  This is the stuff of an altogether more serious documentary and the return to the mocking fun for the film’s climax falls dapoxetine priligydapoxetine online ukcost of domperidonemotilium costomotilium buy onlineorder motilium online


POM paid a cool $1m for lead advertising rights and comes out the other end with its reputation in reasonable shape.  It would be interesting to see what kind of return it received on the investment.


Needless to say, McDonald’s refused an invitation to participate. go over there

Four Days Inside Guantánamo

October 9th, 2011 - admin

Damien M. Corsetti, aka ‘the Monster’, served as part of the US military intelligence squad, infamous for employing controversial interrogation techniques at Bagram air base.  Although acquitted of various torture related offences in the US courts, Corsetti is astoundingly forthright in Patricio Henriquez and Luc Côté’s new documentary in alluding to the brutality that he inflicted upon the prisoners under his control.  He looks back now with a degree of shame, whether genuine or convenient is a matter of opinion, but it is clear from his own account that he was there to do a job, one that upheld a secret form of justice that had no regard to the niceties of real evidence.  It is surprising, therefore, that his victims now testify to what appears to be the one exception that proves the rule and Corsetti’s uncharacteristic compassion shown to one prisoner.  So compelling were the surrounding circumstances that even this sadistic man of professional violence, with a sinister tattoo of his nickname proudly emblazoned across his stomach, discovered a tiny crumb of latent human instinct, perhaps a throwback to his infancy, lurking somewhere deep below his rock-hard outer crust.


The prisoner was Omar Khadr, a 15 year-old Canadian citizen, caught in a four hour shoot-out in a remote Afghanistan village during 2002.  Photographs of his bullet ridden body lying partly concealed in the dusty gravel make a mockery of US military claims that he had murdered an American serviceman in cold blood after the conflict.  But the die was cast, he was a branded man in these parts and Corsetti’s colleagues did not hold back, using his injures to inflict further pain in what proved to be the start of a War on Terror detention nightmare that is still ongoing.


Henriquez and Côté’s film focuses on four days during the following year when Khadr was in Guantanamo Bay detention camp, unlawfully held as a juvenile soldier.  Smartly edited, it is principally a compilation of a crudely filmed interrogation that, unsurprisingly, the Canadian authorities did their level best to suppress forever but the courts refused to play ball.


Enter an officer of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, a friendly sounding protector from the homeland who proves to be no more than a Bagram style psycho with chocolate coating.  His instruments of torture are words, which he administers with devastating effect to break Khadr in the absolute sense but for no return.


No words could adequately describe Kadir’s silent despair upon realising that this man bearing gifts is here to seal his terrible fate.


Sickening is the interrogator’s sardonically knowing superiority when ironically he seemingly knows nothing.


And almost unwatchable are scenes between sessions where we see the solitary Kadir wrapped in a foetal position repeatedly calling for his mother.


This a film that forces us to lift our heads from the sand and watch a vicious abuser turning the verbal knife very slowly in our cialis with dapoxetinebuy dapoxetine 60mgcost of domperidonemotilium costomotilium buy onlineorder motilium online

London Film Festival 2011(12 & 27 October)

October 8th, 2011 - admin

The 55th edition of the BFI London Film Festival will be the last with Sandra Hebron as artistic director.  Hebron, who had seen attendances increase during every year of her reign, elected not to throw her hat into the ring for a new position after the BFI merged the artistic director roles of its cinema operation and the LFF.


Fernando Meirelles’ 360 will open this year’s festival after debuting at Toronto last month.  Starring Rachel Weisz, Jude Law and Ben Foster, it reflects on globalisation and class as an extension of Arthur Schnitzler’s controversial play, La Ronde for the 21st century.  With Peter Morgan (Frost/Nixon, The Queen) providing the screenplay, all the ingredients are in place for an awards season campaign at the end of the year.  Meirelles (City of God) opened the 2005 edition of the LFF with his The Constant Gardener.


There are 13 world premieres including new features from Hans Weingartner (Edukators), Marc Evans & Amr Salama.  Tinge Krishnan’s Junkhearts, starring  Eddie Marsan, is amongst a number of debut films already attracting a buzz ahead of their first screenings.  Krishnan won a BAFTA for her short, Shadowscan.


Many high-profile titles arrive from Venice & Toronto including Alexsandr Sokurov’s Golden Lion winner, Faust alongside George Clooney’s The Ides Of March, Alexander Payne’s The Descendents & Roman Polanski’s Carnage.  There is strong UK interest with screenings of Steve McQueen’s Shame & Andrea Arnold’s screen adaptation of Emily Bronte’s classic novel, Wuthering Heights, both shown in competition at Venice.


Cannes’ Grand Prix joint winners, The Kid With The Bike & Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Once Upon A Time In Anatolia (Nuri Bilge Ceylan) will receive their UK premieres alongside Lynne Ramsay’s We Need To Talk About Kevin, which received a warm reception from critics but left Cannes empty handed.


There is also a high-profile screening of Jeff Nichols’ buzz second feature, Take Shelter, which recently won the best international feature at Zurich Film Festival after bagging the top awards at the Cannes Critics’ Week and Deauville.


The programme is consistent with LFF’s reputation for screening ‘the best of other festivals’ notwithstanding that both Cannes’ Palme d’Or & Berlin’s Golden Bear  winners received UK theatrical releases this summer and denied it high-profile gala screenings for these titles.


Terence Davies will close the festival with The Deep Blue Sea, an adaptation of Terence Rattigan’s controversial 1950’s play of the same name.  It also premiered at Toronto and provides a timely reminder of the destructive nature of prejudicial judgements in all their forms.



World premieres:


Sket (UK)

D: Nirpal Bhogal


Bhogal’s debut feature looks at the impact of gang culture on women, a subject that the wider media sometimes overlooks.



How To Re-Establish A Vodka Empire (UK)

D: Daniel Edelstyn


A potentially intriguing documentary where the recently discovered journals of Edelstyn’s grandmother lead him on a trail to pre-Bolshevik revolution Ukraine and an attempt to re-establish his family’s former vodka distillery.



Hunky Dory (UK)

D: Marc Evans


The Tempest has already inspired an interesting mix of filmic responses including Derek Jarman’s absurdist camp interpretation, which culminated in Elisabeth Welch breaking into song with a wonderful rendition of Stormy Weather.  Evans (Patagonia) has gone one stage further with his new coming-of-age comedy drama, Hunky Dory where teenagers perform a musical version of the Bard’s final play.  Starring up-and-coming star, Aneurin Barnard, it is set during Britain’s 1976 heatwave and draws on classic songs from David Bowie, Lou Reed and many others from the period.



Wreckers (UK)

D: Dictynna Hood (aka D.R Hood)


Siblings’ secrets destabilise a new marriage set in a picturesque village that gradually appears more sinister.



The Somnambulists UK)

D: Richard Jobson


Jonson’s keenly awaited semi-documentary sets testimonies of service personal in Bastra against poetic, possibly Jarman style, images in an attempt to look between the cracks at undiscovered aspects of the Iraqi war.



Lawrence Of Belgravia (UK)

D: Paul Kelly


Kelly’s documentary on the former lead singer of cult band, Felt is already attracting a buzz for its portrayal of failed ambition and everlasting hope of success.



Junkhearts (UK)

D: Tinge Krishnan


The debut feature from the maker of the BAFTA winning short, Shadowscan sees Eddie Marsan lead an impressive cast in an a drama depicting urban crisis.



Strawberry Fields (UK)

D: Frances Lea


Rivalry between sisters provides the pretext for an examination of gender issues from a female perspective.



The First Born (UK)

D: Miles Mander


A world premiere of the BFI’s restoration of Mander’s 1928 British silent, which includes the reinstatement of previously lost footage.  Made for Gainsborough studios, it stars Mander alongside Madeleine Carroll and depicts gross hypocrisy amongst the upper classes.  Mander co-wrote the screenplay with Alfred Hitchcock’s wife, Alma Reville.



Dreams Of A Life (UK)

D: Carol Morley


An investigation into the mysterious Joyce Vincent, whose dead body remained undetected in her London Flat for three years.  Morley sets out to piece together her identity and understand why she slipped from society so completely.



An Da Union: From The Steppes To The City (UK)

D: Tim Pearce, Sophie Lascelles & Marx Tiley


An intimate look at An Da Union, who keep alive the music of ancient Mongal tribes, at a time when globalisation threatens the traditions of their local communities.



Asmaa (Egypt)

D: Amr Salama


Salama’s second feature depicts the real life story of a HIV infected woman’s courageous fight against prejudice and ignorance on a huge scale.  Acclaimed actress, Hend Sabry stars in the title role.



Hut In The Woods (Germany)

D: Hans Weingartner


A key player in the German New Wave of the last decade, Weingartner (Edukators) returns with a portrayal of the stigma associated with mental illness and the complications of escaping mainstream society with an alternative dapoxetine paypaldapoxetine cheapwalmart cialis pricegeneric cialis tadalafilcost of cialis without insurancecialis cost walmart

Midnight In Paris

October 7th, 2011 - admin

Sparkling with Woody magic in a way that even his diehard fans would have thought impossible, Midnight in Paris reminds us of his wonderfully inventive heyday; combining the playful fantasy of The Purple Rose of Cairo and the gentle nostalgia of Radio Days and serving it with a knowing charm that is a pure delight.


Drawing on his own Golden Age to deconstruct others’, but always with a genuine fondness, Woody yearns for a past that did not quite exist, gently mocking idolisation, exposing fallibility in greatness and contextualising all within shifting perceptions that consigns our understanding of cultural history to the realms of escapism.


A very smart opening montage, a sly pastiche of Manhattan, marries tourist board style images of contemporary Paris to an evocative jazz score, conjuring romantic notions of the city as we might remember it at some time in the future, looking back with a false affection, idealised memories.


Owen Wilson plays the sensitive, charming and easily fazed Woody alter ego, a screenwriter inspired during a stay in Paris to write the novel that has always got away, fulfilling his destiny, following in the footsteps of the canonical figures of American literature.  His fiancée is having none of it, a sexy uptown girl intending to stay rich, using his script proceeds to maintain her lifestyle but she prefers the company of her former lecturer, a pretentious irritant that fully embraces academic cultural readings.  Her interfering parents come along for the ride, old school and ultra conservative, little more than caricatures, a butt for Woody’s sardonic jokes at the expense of the Tea Party.


A delightful conceit sees a vintage car transport him to his paradise, a bohemian party for Ernest Hemingway, F Scott Fitzgerald & many of his heroes.  The Parisian 1920’s Jazz Age is in fall swing; Cole Porter plays on the piano, Zelda freaks out and Kathy Bates’ masterly Gertrude Stein presides over all, just as Picasso’s portrait would suggest.  Carefully depicted, stripped of the iconic status that history has bestowed, we witness a subtle demythologising, a slight adjustment to preconceived notions, nothing too dramatic, but enough for Woody to make his point.


Marion Cotillard provides the mid-film love interest that does not quite work out.  She has been around the block, mistress to Pablo, Braque & Modigliani, an It Girl for modernist greats, she is weary of the scene, craves for an earlier period, la Belle Epoque.  Cue a time lapse to the Moulin Rouge and Toulouse-Lautrec, Gauguin, Degas et al and a realisation that a Golden Age is no more than than a Platonic antidote for a touch of ennui.


Owen Wilson does a fine job as the Woody substitute, capturing his essence but not so as to be a distraction.  The rest of the cast provide strong support with plenty of well judged comic asides and watch out for Corey Stoll’s fabulous show of controlled masculine arrogance as Hemingway.dapoxetine genericobuy dapoxetine online australiawalmart cialis pricegeneric cialis tadalafilcost of cialis without insurancecialis cost walmart


And Darius Khondji & Johanne Debas provide the high standard of cinematography that we come to expect from a Woody feature. watch full report

Two In The Wave (Deux de la vague)

October 3rd, 2011 - admin

A nostalgia trip for those of us who have enjoyed the Nouvelle Vague (the French New Wave) for more years than we care to remember.  Plenty to enjoy also for those who have come to it during more recent times and a solid enough introduction, for anybody wondering what all the fuss is about, to the two filmmakers who define the revolutionary movement at its opposing extremes, François Truffaut & Jean Luc Godard.


Not that we should forget the other filmmakers who have made significant contributions.  Eric Rohmer especially and Claude Chabrol to a certain extent sometimes receive a rough deal.  A recent trend of comparing Truffaut & Godard to famous double acts is particularly irritating and has done nothing to retain a sense of genuine historical context.  Nor should we overlook the close similarities with Agnès Varda whom film historians more usually associate with Alain Resnais and the more literally Left Bank group.


But it is François Truffaut & Jean Luc Godard who have grabbed the headlines both on and off the screen.  There is their early friendship that pushed cinephilia to new obsessive extremes, the sneering attack on the cinéma de papa as budding young film critics, the 1968 declaration of war against the Cannes Film Festival, their undoubted influence in setting new agendas for film style and filmmaker attitude with a capital ‘A’ and, of course, the dramatic and very public falling out.

All of which is neatly brought to life in this busy documentary.  Antoine de Baecque, a former editor of Cahiers du Cinéma, where Truffaut & Godard had earlier plied their trade as rebel critics, provides an insiders’ narrative that complements filmmaker, Emmanuel Laurent’s intelligently selected clips, interviews and archive footage.  Particularly good is the focus on the iconic actor, Jean-Pierre Léaud, who was a favourite lead for both filmmakers, and if the film provided any new insights over and above all that had come before, it was at that juncture.


Slightly rushed is the period between the end of the New Wave and the dispute.  There was scope, even within this format, for greater reflection on Godard’s extreme avant guard anti-cinematic experimentation and pursuit of a fully formed Brechtian vision for film.  And, likewise, some additional thoughts on Truffaut’s modernisation of mainstream cinema – including commercial independent film within this context – would not have gone amiss.


Laurent closes with invaluable footage of the young Léaud auditioning for Truffaut’s debut feature, 400 Blows (Les Quatre Cents Coups).  His spontaneous laughter and youthful innocence mirrors the carefree innocence of the filmmakers and the preceding 90 mins of the film’s record of its dapoxetine in australiabuy generic dapoxetine ukwalmart cialis pricegeneric cialis tadalafilcost of cialis without insurancecialis cost walmart