Category Archives: Historical

Brimstone (2016)

Director: Martin Koolhoven
Starring: Dakota Fanning, Guy Pearce, Kit Harington, Carice van Houten  USA 2h 28m

Holymoly! I actually bothered to watch the trailer for this as Guy Pearce has actually become an amazingly versatile and seasoned actor who astounds me more and more as his career grows, and he has a particular edge to him when playing “the bad guy” and it was very evident that he is the ultimate bad ass in this film and continued to out do himself until the very end. Also there was a consolation prize that Datkoa is mute in the movie (sadly not all of it) but a majority and actually had to act which was a mad change. Continue reading Brimstone (2016)

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Silence (2016)

Director: Martin Scorsese.
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Tadanobu Asano, Ciarán Hinds, Liam Neeson. USA/Japan. 2h 41m.
Based on: Silence by Shūsaku Endō
Remake of : Os Olhos da Ásia (1996) and Silence (1971)

Probably something that should have been released closer to Easter there was a slightly early release for the Scorsese epic Silence that sees two young Portuguese Jesuit priests follow their beloved leader to Feudal Japan when news that he’s turned his back on his faith and is now living as a Japanese citizen. Sebastião Rodrigues (Garfield) and Francisco Garupe (Driver) leave without much consideration for their safety as Christianity has been outlawed and all followers of the faith are  being punished/killed in Japan . After hellish introduction scenes, the torturing of christians continues throughout which is used a tool to pluck the heartstrings. The two priests are; at first harboured by a few loyal converts who live on the fringe of society, mostly to protect themselves as they secretly live as Christians, but not content with living in a communal shed (with a priest’s hide). Rodrigues is obsessed with leaving, finding Father Cristóvão Ferreira  (Neeson) and discovering the truth, could his teacher and personal hero really have denounced christ to save himself and now be living in Japan as a citizen? But on embarking out into the world they are soon captured and the truth isn’t quite what he was expecting. Continue reading Silence (2016)

Trolljegeren / Trollhunter (2010)

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Day 15 of 31

Director : Andre Ovredal
Starring : Otto Jespersen Hans Morten Hansen Tomas Alf Larsen Johanna Mørck Knut Nærum Robert Stoltenberg Glenn Erland Tosterud. Norway. 1h 49m.

From the moment I saw the bold blue and yellow poster I was immediately drawn to this strangely stylised movie. Looking like a special shiny rare card from a collection of Monster In My Pocket I knew that this was going to be a different kind of film, just literally from its approach to it’s advertising techniques… yeah I’m that finely tuned.

So after being astonished by a poster alone I was thrilled to find that this is a found footage horror.. With TROLLS! I was so psyched I was nearly ready to explode. Continue reading Trolljegeren / Trollhunter (2010)

Haxan (1922)

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Day 8 of 31

Director: Benjamin Christensen
Starring: Astrid Holm Anna Jean-Luc Ponty (William S. Burroughs 1966 version) Benjamin Christensen as Satan/The Doctor Elisabeth Christensen Karen Winther. Sweden. 1h 31m

haxan

After reading a copy of the Malleus Maleficarum Christensen spent two years researching the history of Witchcraft and the hellish witch trials and after securing the funding he produced the most expensive silent movie of all time. Haxan is split into 4 plays, the first play details the primitive concept of the cosmos and using ancient artifacts it depicts the solar system and hell. Continue reading Haxan (1922)

Frida (2002)

Frida

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A lavish biopic, half artistic masterpiece half Spanish soap opera, this historical account of the life of Frida Khalo is a stunning as her work. I’m a little bias here as I’ve always studied artist and art literally for my whole life. And i wish there were more artist movies like this when I was school as it would have saved me a lot of reading.

It’s never easy to try and sum up an entire life in one film, it’s hard enough to summarise in it in a book, and there is always more in the book than a movie.. but this film does a great job at detailing a lot of the great features in this unusual diva’s life. Continue reading Frida (2002)

The Witch (2015)

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Director: Robert Eggers.
Starring : Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, Harvey Scrimshaw, Wahab Chaudhry. Canada. 1h 32m.

In this conscientious and terrifying horror, the age old concepts of witchcraft, magic and possession and brought together in this bleak forest folklore film. A family are exiled by the church and forced to scratch a living on the outskirts of an ominous forest where evil is believed to lurk. Strange and devastating things begin to happen. An infant goes missing, crops fail, and the livestock starts taking on strange personalities. The family are taken to the limits of their faith and sanity as they are starved and tormented on a daily basis, the mother (Kate Dickie) seems to become possessed by an evil spirit and suspicions fall upon the eldest daughter Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy) who is suspected to be a witch but denies the charges. As loyalties become frayed and each family member is tested in unforgettable ways, the true nature of the haunting becomes apparent but at what costs to his pious family!?

A New England Folktale

Continue reading The Witch (2015)

Seraphim Falls (2006)

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A tortuous, violent and heartbreaking revenge film, superbly acted by two of Ireland’s best. This movie was a pivotal point in my life and actually got me watching westerns again.

Starting out in the snowy mountains, Gideon (Pierce Brosnan) is running for his life from a pack of inexperienced bounty hunters headed by the relentless Carver (Liam Neeson). after being shot he evades escape and heads down into the warm valleys while the group are constantly hot on his trails until they encounter a couple of very unusual characters in the hot desert who tempt them into their destruction or salvation. It’s brutal throughout it really doesn’t ever let up the violence apart from some strong dramatic scenes.

Both leads in this film are charismatic in their own rights and seeing them play off powerful emotions was very impressive. Neeson as the quick tempered and domineering Carver was akin to having Captain Ahab on a horse chasing down the one single thing that destroyed his world. in this instance the white whale is a hardened ex soldier, Gideon who got caught up in one mistake and brought down the wrath of Carver. Once you discover the backstory you can understand things from the points of view of both men and it’s a case of righter and wronger neither are right in their actions but both are doing what they feel is right by doing wrong. Continue reading Seraphim Falls (2006)

Carandiru (2003)

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Director: Hector Babenco
Starring: Luiz Carlos Vasconcelos, Rodrigo Santoro, Wagner Moura. Brazil. 2003. 2h 27m.

It’s going to be hard to try and keep this brief as I obsess over every detail of this movie as often as I can. I remember the tragic events sprawled out in the news when i was a youngster and the defiant song from Sepultura that followed.

Bittersweet and spicy, Carandiru digs deeps into the prison system in Latin America and humanises the inmates at one of the most controversial prison riots ever. Following the induction of Dr. Drauzio Varella (Luiz Carlos Vasconcelos) and through his fresh and sincere eyes we meet a host of wasted lives, thieves, junkies, whore and hitmen, all flourishing in the this uncanny citadel. Continue reading Carandiru (2003)

The Danish Girl (2015)

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Director : Tom Hooper
Writer: David Ebershoff (novel) Lucinda Coxon (screenplay)
Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Alicia Vikander, Matthias Schoenarts, Ben Whislaw UK/USA/Belgium 2h 7m

I couldn’t wait to see this film!! I saw it advertised ages ago on YouTube constantly for some time then it vanished, completely no adverts no “hype” then suddenly it was being ushered out as fast as possible!? I’ve no idea what happened but I’m so happy to have finally seen it. It’s a treat for the eyes as much as pulling at all the heartstrings while it centres on the viewer’s moral fibers and grows.

Elegantly portraying the mental and physical transition of Einar (Eddie Redmayne) and the frantic struggles  of a confused and extremely loving wife Gerda (Alicia Vikander) and supportive best friend Hans Axgil (Matthias Schoenaerts). Danish Girl is one of those films that paints itself dramatically across the screen in subtle muted tones, Lili is an extremely quiet and shy creature who had developed; over time into Lily a female alter ego who is taking over. First therapy is sought, radiation treatment and psychiatrists give damning advice and pills, but eventually a doctor is willing to try some experimental surgery to finally give birth fully to this new girl and lay Einar to rest. Continue reading The Danish Girl (2015)

Nordwand – North Face (2008)

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One of the few historical movies that still has living witnesses and existing evidence as well as many documented accounts of the events, is retold in this light hearted and dramatically tragic masterpiece.

Toni Kurz (Benno Fürmann) and Andi Hinterstoisser (Florian Lukas), a team of Bavarian Climbers, make an attempt to scale the murder wall of the Eiger, along with a few other specialists in 1936 after pressure from the (nazi) German government and in the run up to the Olympics, they are out to do their personal best to climb the imposing Ogre (Eiger) and be the first men to do so. During their attempt they are re united with an old friend who’s now working as a photographer for a newspaper covering the biggest story in European sporting history. Continue reading Nordwand – North Face (2008)