Posts Tagged ‘ Cineworld ’

YOUNG DUDES

Young Dudes

 

This fast paced film directed by DJ Chen takes its title from the David Bowie composed hit song for Mott The Hoople and tries to invoke some of the elements of the glam rock era which that song encapsulated so succinctly. It is not its only connection with pop culture however as the whole movie feels very MTV orientated and utilises heavy visual cut ups interspersed with a great soundtrack mainly performed by Soler. By leaning so heavily on such visual and aural devices however something of the narrative is sacrificed and the film becomes convoluted and hard to follow but despite this at only 76 minutes long it does not outstay its welcome and powers along to its own conclusion.

What can be derived from the narrative is that central character Adam –Wang Po-Chieh- is greatly concerned regarding an impending apocalypse and together with two cohorts Guy and Adele- Tsyuboshi Abe and Larisa Barukova respectively- he creates Klaatu some form of virtual spacecraft. It is around this juncture that things start to lose any sense of cohesion as Adam, somehow separated from his two sidekicks, embarks on some form of psychedelic trip into a virtual world. This disorientation leads him into various predicaments which he has to somehow escape from and in so doing finds himself back in the real world with a different perspective to the one he had at the beginning of the movie.

The real strengths of the movie lie in the musical and visual interludes and the long building intro to the Mott classic really is a highlight which the rest of the film tries to capture but fails to match. It is a film which will appeal to a limited audience- I’m thinking teenage boys of the geeky persuasion- but it is still an enjoyable enough ride for anyone else especially if you sit back and drink in the music

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DEMAIN?

Demain?

 This exquisitely crafted biopic, directed by Christine Laurent, of Uruguayan poet Delmira Agustini-considered one of the greatest Latin American poets of the 20th century-and her convoluted life and tragic demise is a lesson in expert cinematography, sparseness and timing. It is a sympathetic portrayal of someone who at various times comes across impetuous and overindulged. The two central performances by the doe eyed Laure De Clermont-Delmira- and the matinee idol handsome Marc Ruchmann-her husband Enrique- are understated but effective in capturing the tumult which hounded their engagement and subsequently their short lived marriage.

The story develops around the lazy lifestyle of Delmira as she composes her poetry at her parents tastefully designed house and gardens. It is a life which seems to revolve a lot of lazing around creating complications and problems as is the wont of those who are overindulged. Her suitor Enrique is considered unworthy by her parents-in particular her emotionally devoid and aspirant mother- and there is a sense Delmira only plans to marry him out of spite. They are overjoyed when she postpones the wedding on its actual day but this is short-lived and eventually she does marry him. Seemingly passionate in the beginning Delmira tries to leave him within the first month of their union but eventually returns with tragic results.

Demain? moves along at its own pace never feeling hurried or forced, in a way that is similar to the writings of Flaubert. The cinematography is astounding shifting from the greyish hues capturing the languor of her existence, subtly shifting into monochrome and eventually vivid colour when she experiences her sexual flourishing. The palette shifts back to grey as disillusion sets in and these shifts direct the feel of the narrative almost as clearly as the dialogue. It is a film which meanders along in its own time drawing the audience into the lazy lifestyles of the protagonists who despite all their wealth and beautiful surroundings cannot find happiness or love and instead create problems which contributed in leading Agostini to her untimely and premature end.

FUTURE MY LOVE

Future My Love

From the grainy opening footage of Maja Borg’s film Future My Love, which combines documentary footage interwoven with a fictional narrative, it is clear that this film has a point to make which goes beyond its ninety nine minute duration. It is a film which looks closely at a world which is killing itself and its resources by being so involved with monetary values it has created a learned process of greed and envy. It is not a film without hope however, and hope and a different form of understanding are what Borg tries to articulate through this insightful and emotionally moving film.

In essence the film is a continuation of themes from an earlier work-Ottica Zero- and inherits some of its pathos. Like that film Borg includes her own relationship and its subsequent breakdown –shot in black and white lending it an ethereal quality- and pits it against the world’s relationship breakdown with its inhabitants. The lushness of the Venus Project where much of the footage is shot contrasts vividly with the monochrome of the fictional sequences and the inclusion of carefully researched archival footage serves only to create another dimension indicating that Borg’s pronouncements and beliefs are not one dimensional and without proper consideration.

It is an interesting concept that Borg is addressing and notable that she realises society cannot be redesigned as if it were merely another piece of machinery. Interesting sound-bites and theories emerge from main interviewee, 93 year old futurist and social engineer Jacque Fresco, providing serious food for thought and consideration. Values have been learnt over centuries and a world functioning on a system utilising natural resources is a great theory- money not being what is needed but instead access to the necessities of life- but theories require the input of contributors and in this case that would be the world’s population.

A whole series of cultural values would have to be unlearnt and this is more difficult than learning new ones. As is noted at one juncture no society ever got rich by creating happy people and for many thinking is limited by income and those on the lower end of the scale are so limited it is almost beyond them to dream of a better existence.

In Future My Love Borg has created a work which requires thought long after the closing credits have rolled. It is a film with a message but the message is presented in an interesting and ultimately convincing format which should awaken its viewers’ conscience as well as their sensibilities. It is cleverly constructed and the beautiful soundtrack by The New Tango Orquestra furthers the ambitions of the film as it is simultaneously evocative and thought provoking. A film for anyone with a conscience then and it would appear we all need one of those.

Future My Love is showing at Cineworld Thursday 21 June at 6.05pm and Friday 29th June at 8.30

Future My Love has been nominated for the Michael Powell Award.

Click on link below to see trailer.

#trailer

LOVELY MOLLY

Lovely Molly

Lovely Molly is directed by Eduardo Sanchez who co-directed the Blair Witch Project and he deploys that films innovative use of hand held video footage and updates it and gives it a new twist as this time it is the central character Molly- Gretchen Lodge- who manipulates the filming and the carnage as she goes into mental and physical meltdown. The film is more than just another schlock mock horror though as the audience is involved-through video footage- in the breakdown of Molly from happy newly wed to psychotic killer.

An ex-junkie Molly’s marriage to Tim –Johnny Lewis- shows her well on the path to recovery and having gained the strength to build a new life she feels confident to move into her childhood home which harbours sinister secrets from her past which are not quite so dead and buried as she believed. The downturn begins almost immediately after moving into the house but Molly is initially resistant to the demons which haunt her. After a while though the forces become too strong and gradually she succumbs and eventually she loses her new found identity in a blood bath of carnage and sheer brutality.

The action is suspenseful and the audience is constantly moved by the lush whispers of the soundtrack which seem to be Molly through her journey from loving wife to psychotic murderer and the music swells in time with her behaviour becoming ever more irrational. The action is slow and unwinding and never falls into pastiche even if camcorder footage is now almost a pre-requisite in modern horror it is used here in innovative fashion and to maximum effect.

Sanchez does a good job with his direction and the cinematography is sparse lending the film the feel of life in isolation and surrounded by woodland. It is a more than engaging film and the outcome offers no solutions but only more questions unanswered. It does rely a little too often on the garish for effect and to lend it an air of suspense and this will prevent it from becoming the cult classic it is so obviously aiming to be.

PUSHER

Pusher

 

 Adapted from a Danish cult classic- Danish drama being all the rage thanks to BBC4’S Saturday night output- this reworking is the first English work of Spanish director Luis Prieto. Dealing with the spiralling out of control life of a drug dealer Frank- an outstanding and intense performance from Richard Coyle- who finds himself in debt through a serious of miscalculated and ill advised deals resulting in his falling further into the demi-monde of the seedy side of East London. It is a fast paced film with an original score by Orbital, who encapsulate the era it appears to try and re-create. If it is not wholly successful it is down to the fact that the relationships between the protagonists and his sidekicks- a mouthy loose-cannon best friend and partner and a coke sniffing escort girlfriend- it is because these characterisations are more clichéd now, having become almost synonymous with this sort of tale, than they were in the original version  which hails from the mid-nineties.

The action starts well enough with Frank and his friend Tony- Bronson Webb- indulging in the club scene and the alcohol, drugs and women which are part of that package. Determined to move up in status Frank arranges two major drug deals –one in London the other in Amsterdam- and through miscalculations, dodgy deals and rip offs ends up losing money, drugs and finds himself fifty five grand in debt to a major drug lord Milo- a brooding malevolent Zlatco Burik- who takes no prisoners and has a psychotic sidekick who derives great pleasure in inflicting pain upon others.

Attempts to raise the cash seem constantly about to resolve themselves but at the last minute something always goes wrong and Frank thus finds himself slipping further into trouble whilst adopting more desperate measures to rectify his situation. Time is running out however and unable to trust anyone he keeps his impending demise from his escort girlfriend Flo- Agyness Deyn- who has enjoyed the high life and status a drug dealer boyfriend has allowed her. Events reach a crescendo when Frank’s time runs out however and the film speeds along to this climactic moment with a great deal of skill, tension and a growing sense of unease.

What really sets this film apart from others of this genre is Richard Coyle’s central performance which does not always rely on him articulating his angst verbally but instead he dextrously uses nuance in his expression to communicate his inner turmoil and mistrust. He is ably supported by the rest of the cast however although it is hard to tell if Deyn is a good actress, as all her part requires is that she snort coke or look alternately gorgeous and vacant;  skills she could have picked  her styling- up from her former modelling career rather than acting classes. She does light up the screen with a luminous presence-Edie Sedgwick-like styling assists here- and is believable in her part. The score by Orbital also lifts the film up above its contemporaries and this attention to detail makes it worthwhile even if the drama follows a familiar and almost predictable path.

Pusher is showing at Cineworld :

Thursday 21 June 8.50pm

Sunday 25 June     3.05pm


EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2012

Edinburgh International Film Festival 2012

 

 Promising to be more memorable than last years understated affair-which I had almost forgotten about before I had even seen my last film- new artistic director Chris Fujiwara has assembled an interesting and diverse collections of films for EIFF 2012. There will also be a return to events likely to attract performers, directors, industry moguls and thus the attention of the public also. It also retirns to the three main cinemas involved being The Filmhouse. The Cameo and Cineworld.

This was one of the drawbacks of last years back to basics approach in that despite cries for more reality and less glitz, people are always going to associate the cinematic experience with a slight removal from reality and this in turn requires the presence of larger than life characters as epitomised by film stars and lesser forms of attendant celebrity. It doesn’t necessarily make the films you see any better but it does add an element of prestige to an event which needs to draw attention from more than industry insiders if it is to continue and succeed.

2010’s festival saw me seated next to Britt Ekland who was  heavily lip-glossed and sunglass clad-once the film stated rolling the shades were replaced by granny glasses but hastily repositioned and the lip-gloss expertly reapplied in the dark as the closing credits started rolling-at an early morning showing of ,what can only be described as art-house porn. To her left sat a miniscule Patrick Stewart –why are movie stars all under 5’7”- and their presence lent the whole proceedings a slightly surreal atmosphere.

I am unsure which stars are Edinburgh bound this year although director William Friedkin-The Exorcist and French Connection- whose film Killer Joe features at the opening gala is a definite attendee but I am unsure whether his film’s star Matthew McConaughey is attending. Edinburgh in June is probably too cold for him to appear without his shirt on as is his wont although this film actually apparently requires more from him than revealing his perfectly buff oiled torso so it will be interesting to see what sort of performance Friedkin coaxes out of him.

Other interesting films include a film about Anton Corbijn –of 2007’s Control and famous for his relationship as Joy Division photographer- called Inside Out showing at the Filmhouse on the 28th and 29th June. Pusher, Grabbers, Future My Love, Life Just Is, Young Dudes, Brake and Exit Elena are just some films on my list to see in the first week whilst updates and reviews will be posted on a daily basis before the films go on show to the public.

Already the festival is garnering more attention than last years unfortunately dull affair. The films are a rich mix with something likely to appeal to everyone whether it be shorts, animation, documentary or feature films. The retrospective season this year features the work of Gregory La Cava who was one of the great innovators of American comedy and includes classics such as Unfinished Business and Private Worlds. There is also an extensive retrospective of various works by acclaimed Japanese filmmaker Shinji Somai considered one of the great poets of adolescence in modern cinema. Here is hoping the weather improves- or at least the rain actually stops for a short period- to assist the 2012 EIFF in becoming a memorable event for those attending.

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