Posts Tagged ‘ Filmhouse ’

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.