Thursday 27 February 2014
Bringing back memories of the execrable The Chernobyl Diaries, The Dyatlov Pass Incident is another found footage film which finds a group of American students exposed to some horrors in Eastern Europe, here on the tracks of a Russian expedition which vanished in the Ural mountains under mysterious circumstances 50 years ago.
This sad event actually happened, and have sent conspiracy nuts the world over come up with the wildest theories, even though the wildest takes on it have since been comprehensively demolished, and replaced with a more Cartesian explanation. But obviously the film enthusiastically chooses not to follow such a down to Earth route! And of course, things go wrong for the new expedition.
Friday 21 February 2014
Yes, a second review for Only Lovers Left Alive. Both Laurent and myself loved it so much we thought we would both review it.
One of the benefits of being a vampire, is arguably the extra time one would acquire to really delve into the things that are of interest to you. Writer and director of Only Lovers Left Alive Jim Jarmusch, takes this aspect of the vampire and considers the modern world through the centuries old educated minds of vampires Adam (Tom Hiddleston) and Eve (Tilda Swinton).
As with all vampire stories there is the basics of blood, teeth, men and women. However, the vampires of Only Lovers Left Alive are refined, loving and deeply involved in their own education while displaying a respectful approach to blood, their required nutritious psychedelic drug.
I very rarely run competitions on my blog but this one I was offered is a perfect fit for the site. You get a chance to win a Championship Membership at the British Film Institute, which I couldn't recommend enough, simply because you will avoid the usual LFF booking meltdown by being able to book a day early, among other advantages. And the runner up prizes are some tasty morsels of BFI goodness too. All you have to do is predict the Oscar winners for this year. So to get you started I thought I'd have a go myself and give you my predictions for the main categories.
Framed within a setting of the aftermath of the Japanese tsunami in 2011, a Russian emergency response doctor who speaks German, calms a group of German students trapped under rubble with a story of his five fathers. The doctor's mother has told him the story of his 'five fathers' who she met during the siege of Stalingrad in 1942 when the warring madness of rival dictators collided with their respective Russian and German armies in the city of Stalingrad.
Wednesday 19 February 2014
Stranger By The Lake took Cannes by storm last year, and became a sleeper hit in France in the summer, as well as on the festival circuit. It is in my top 3 of my favourite films of 2014, along side Under The Skin and The Strange Colour Of Your Body Tears, and I shall publish a glowing review within the next couple of days. The film is due to be released in the UK on the 21st of February, showing in several arthouse chains, as expected, such as Curzon and Picturehouses. Sadly there is one chain of multiplex that will not be showing it at all: Cineworld.
Sadly, multiplexes are proving to be less and less adventurous with their programming nowadays, especially since the studios are now polluting more of their screens with 2D/3D versions of the same films. So it is nothing new I hear you say? Well the difference here is that Cineworld had originally put the film on their schedules for a serie of one-off screenings, before brutally cancelling them all today.
Monday 17 February 2014
The Child Play franchise is certainly not among the best among horrors (but then which long running one has managed to stay on top?) but it has earned a special space in the heart of genre lovers, mostly thanks to its central character, the mischievous (ok, evil!) child doll Chucky and the talent behind the voice: Brad Dourif. It has valiantly been been going for nearly 25 years now, with a fairly subpar sequel then threequel, before becoming really out there with The Bride then The Seed of Chucky.
Curse Of Chucky is at once a sequel and a reboot. Creator of the serie and original director Don Mancini is back behind the camera, and the new film takes into consideration some of the storylines (but not all) that have happened before but streamlines the proceedings greatly. As much as I enjoyed some of the recent sequels, I must admit it had gone a bit too post modern, meta, all over the place...
If there is a genre in cinema which is grown from strength to strength, it is the documentary. From the blockbusting success of Michael Moore a decade ago, to the recent groundbreaking and frankly mental The Art Of Killing, it has shown versatility, invention, and proven to be as entertaining and gripping as any work of fiction. I have reviewed two recent documentaries which are both worthy of our highest accolade, a 5 stars rating: The Square and Muscle Shoals.
Sunday 9 February 2014
I am a big fan of Jim Jarmush, and despite having seen only a handful of his films (including the fantastic Dead Man, his black & white existential western with Johnny Depp, seen in Cannes back in 1996), I love the way he has remained a true independent director, faithful to his own vision and style. And it is truly fitting that he has finally made a film featuring vampires, considering he is obviously one himself. I mean, have you seen him? Have you ever seen him in the daytime? I thought not. Also, he hasn't aged in three decades.
Monday 3 February 2014
I have always been very fond of a certain kind of more cerebral science-fiction, such as Solaris, 2001... Science, nature and space are mind-boggingly strange as they are, dizzyingly so the more we learn about them, and therefore a fertile matrix that is not exploited as well as it should, bar the usual overused sci-fi stereoptypes.
Sinkholes (Les Gouffres) follows a French couple in an unnamed foreign country. The man, a scientist (played by Mathieu Amalric) is sent over to explore some growing sinkholes under some mountains nearby who seem to have come out of nowhere. His wife (Nathalie Boutefeu), an actress, is left waiting for him in a rather strange guest house, as more frequent small earthquakes are shattering the tranquility, and her mental state is threatened, especially when her husband vanishes.