Director: Karen Arthur Starring: Lee Grant, Crole Kane, Will Geer, James Olson, Budar. USA. 1h 42m Éric Westphal (play “Toi et les nuages”)
Ever so often, a film is made that’s so unique, strange and plain batshitcrazy that it sets itself apart from all the rest and nothing could be as true as this masterpiece from a seasoned director Karen Arthur. Starring two gorgeous American actresses Carol Kane and Lee Grant in their prime, set in a romantic home and alongside a primate or two it’s strange that the unspoken realisations are the key to the stroy when the visuals are so strong. Freud would stay up all night in cold sweats trying to define what’s going on are so very different it’s hard to define or digest, it is just simply great and very unsettling and utterly beautiful to behold.
Director: Peter Mullan Starring: Connor McCarron, Greg Forrest, Joe Szula, Mhairi Anderson,. UK. 2h 4m
There’s no doubt that whenever Peter Mullan is in front or behind the camera there’s some kinds of magic occurring, one of the least talked about and yet most cherished and influential actors/directors in the UK, this personal project about a young boys decent reom Academic glory to Violent Street Culture has to be one of his deeper shining titles.
NEDS is a tragic drama about a young and gifted boy who’s obsession is with the kids from the wrong side of the tracks and his own inner anger help carve his future. Directed and co-starred by the british Meistero Peter Mullan, who in my opinion can do no wrong, NEDs is one of his top films as Mullans nostalgic eye behind the camera sets the scene for the most realistic British coming of age drama, something a lot of people wouldn’t want to face but admittedly couldn’t deny is plausible and engrossing.
Director: John Schlesinger Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Laurence Olivier, Roy Scheider. USA. 2h 5m
John Schlesinger’s classic thriller, Marathon Man is the type of genre movie that makes a few faux pa’s but through many bizarre plot choices, for the sake of keeping an audience on their toes, the movie generates a lot of massive plot holes but whether you mind them or not, you’ll still be blown away by the sterling acting and gripping story that plunges lead Thomas, better known as Babe (Hoffman), a simple inner city student, into unpredictable situations that make your teeth ache.. if you know you know..
Director: Mike Leigh Starring: Katrin Cartlidge, Lunda Steadman, Mark Nenton, Andy Serkis. UK. 1h 23m
I do sometimes wonder what it would be like to spend time with Mike Leigh, sometime in the late 80’s early 90’s, is he this hyper thinking character he often portrays in his films, in this case the energetic Hannah (Cartlidge) who, in this femine tour de force is a lady version of Johnny Fletcher (David Thewlis) from Naked, at least with her quick wit and attitude, she’s no much of an awkward asshole.. thankfully!
4 years after Naked (1993) Leigh returns with a less traumatic but equally charming insight into the friendship between Hannah and Annie (Steadman), once best friends at university, the two awkward characters shared their adventures and possibly even a boyfriend at one time.. Annie’s psoriasis held her back. But after a rough start Hannah begins to see the real charm and quality of the girl and their union is one of strength and genuine caring for eachother. The third wheel, Clare (Byers), the original roommate to Hannah is shoon shafted from the apartment for her abrasive nature and the girls move in Ricky (Benton) a husky austic guy who has the hots for Annie, Mark Benton’s portrayal of autism for the time was really outstanding, there’s a lot more understanding of the condition and yet the character, while not entirely accurate as being autism really highlights a person with a mix of mental conditions that we recognize without putting a finger on it.
There has been a breakthrough in modern horror anthologies, from V/H/S (2012)to Southbound (2015), Dark Tapes (2016) to ABC’s of Death (2012), there’s been a highly dedicated sense of the bizarre and foreboding squeezed in alongside a curative surreal and darkly comic backdrop of horror. With Argentina becoming the forefront of genuine wholesome and brilliantly crafted cinema lately from superb freaky titles like Terrified(2017) and Cold Sweat (2010), there’s no wonder that this combination of short dark thrillers sets a new bar in the horror genre.
Like a rare and obscure borja wine, the history of Yoshihiko Matsui’s film making is sporadic but filled with really unusual gems, with themes of suicide, the understanding of love blended with cannibalism and genuine strange behavior you’ll always know who you”re watching and often question why you’re still watching. For me this unreal expression is one of the blessings of cinema, seeing something genuinely new that is al altered, heightened sense of the world around you. At times you’ll almost be able to feel Matsui’s message through the combination of imagery, a feeling of an idea that doesn’t need language for expression, or you might be left scratching your head wondering what the hell is going on.
Director: Robert D. Krzykowski . Starring.Sam Elliott, Aidan Turner, Bigfoot, Larry Miller, Caitlin Fitzgerald. USA. 1h m.
So we have a film with the title but seems to pluck headlines from clickbait news titles and you’d be forgiven for believing that this was going to be some fanciful psychotropic romp, but instead in Robert D krzykowski slightly downtrodden epic we find a very down to earth and grounded adventure/drama, but without pop characters, huge explosions and superhero’s there’s a lot of cinema gold here and it seems to work purely because of Sam Elliott’s total coolness.
You’ll also be forgiven for believing that this film is set in an alternate reality, but the movie is set in our reality, but back in 1987, where we find the now aged Calvin Barr played by he panty dropping silver fox and his infamous mustache, which should get as much credit as whatever David Bowie was hiding in his pants in Labyrinth (1986). Continue reading The Man Who Killed Hitler and Bigfoot (2019)→
Director: J.D Dillard Starring: Kiersey Clemons, Emory Cohen, Hanna Mangan Lawrene, Benedict Samuel, Andrew Crawford .USA. 1h 22m
I love the quote that goes something like, “you have to lose yourself to find yourself” and while it’s not the associated quote of this gripping horror, it seems to apply to the lead, Jenn a girl who doesn’t show much fear in her unusual castaway situation, but one who grows with the movie into something much stronger in this somewhat subtle new take to being stranded on an pewny island.
At first glance and in the opening, there’s not a huge amount going on in J D Dillards stomach churning thriller, but in reflection there’s a lot of social criticism a brilliant new monster and new heroine that with her faults is brilliant, brave and with some work could easily be the new Vasquez (Aliens). Dillard manages to make a lot happen on a really tiny island and with a minimal cast, but there isn’t a dull moment and he keeps a steady methodical pace. Continue reading Sweetheart (2019)→
Director: David Hugh Jones Starring:Robert De Niro, Kathy Baker, Ed Harris, Charles S Duton .USA/Canada. 1h 42m, Based On:Strange Snow (1982) Stephen Metcalfe
Only a mere 11 years after starting in the iconic Deer Hunter (1978) Robert De Niro is back playing another Vietnam War Vet adjusting to be an upstanding member of society while dealing with a turbulent past but there’s a deeper romantic edge poetic drama which highlights how people can change and that real friendship lasts forever but remains a complex and beautiful thing.
David Hugh Jones creates some memorable characters in his fairly light hearted approach at tackling the fallout from the Vietnam war. De Niro co starts with Ed Harris, two vets who’ve both sunk into their own personal depressions after returning without a dear friend after their tragic tour, Joseph “Megs” Megessey (De Niro) has found a new crutch to get him back into the flow of things, the once mad cannon is still lively but with a regular job, people to talk to hes slowly coming to terms in his own unique energetic fashion, but a good soldier never leaves a man behind, so filled with a new sense of pride and duty he attempts to connect with long lost bud Dave (Harris) who lives with his school teaching sister while wallowing in guilt and working on his alcohol dependence.
Sometimes I watch a movie and I’m left with a feeling of nostalgia hinted with the question of did I really just watch a dream come to life on screen? There’s a rare select group of directors who can achieve this unique atmosphere but the determined efforts of Lisandro Alonso and Viggo Mortensen have made a movie which starts out quite straight forwards eventually boils down to a crazy trip in the desert, akin to any modern classic but it’s set in the past and it almost fools you into thinking that such a step into the unknown is not plausible.