Tag Archives: coming of age

England is Mine (2017)

Director: Mark Gill.
Starring. Jack Lowden, Jessica Brown Findlay, Simone King. UK. 1h 34m.

I never really planned on watching this biopic as I have no interest in Morrissey and only casually listen to the Smiths from time to time, obviously like most people born in the 80s and 90s at least, I’m aware of “that song” but overall I spend more time watching Morrissey’s own fans cringe whenever he opens his mouth about topical issues, and if they are cringey about it I am sure I don’t really want to get involved. Eventually I did, through more curiosity about the film than the man, and I am forever pleasantly surprised as the film distances itself Morrissey the man and somehow manages to find a modest insight into any misunderstood awkward Manchurian. This modest approach to such a controversial figure is both clever and has resulted in a poetically beautiful film. Continue reading England is Mine (2017)

Swing Kids (1993)

Director: Thomas Carter
Starring:
Robert Sean leonard, Frank Whaley, Barbara Hershey, Noah Wyle, Martin Clunes, Christian Bale, Kenneth Brannah . USA. 1h 54m

In Thomas Carter‘s bold coming of age melodrama, three friends find themselves having to become men in a world being ripped apart by hitler’s iron hand, when all they want to do is dance the night away to Harlem jazz. Sadly they are children of a world that they didn’t make, but the free spirits find themselves in trouble and soon swinging to the mantras of a fascist regime.

Carter seems to have this habit of working on lots of TV shows then cracking out a startling film usually entangled into a taboo or some kind of controversy like his later hit Coach Carter (2005). Continue reading Swing Kids (1993)

Hilarys Heart (2019)

Director: Reginald Ebere.
Starring. Fredrick Leonard, Nigeria. 4h +.

After a spate of gangland style Nollywood movies I settled into something a bit more tender, This mini series sees a father having to deal with a niaeve and rebellious daughter who has the ability to see ghosts but that’s not her biggest problem is a strange one but pulls on the heart strings as intended.

The series opens with Hilary being dropped off at her father’s house, her mother has decided that she wants to get married and is dropping off Hilary as it’s not her father’s turn to look after her, an unsuspecting bachelor (Leonard) who wasn’t aware that he has a daughter and the shock of the 14 year old instantly kills his current relationship with an unnamed flame (Uju Okoli). I have to give it to the Nigerians for introducing a movie in such a razzmatazz style. Continue reading Hilarys Heart (2019)

This must be the place (2011)

Director: Paolo Sorrentino
Starring: Sean Penn, Frances McDormand, Judd Hirsch .UK/Ireland/USA. 1h 58m

Italian director Paolo Sorrentino emerges with some triumph as one of the masters of modern cinema with this English Language film This Must be the Place, starring Sean Penn as a Robert Smith inspired aged rock star Cheyenne. Retirement doesn’t bring as much action as the rocker passes his time living a non existent life in Dublin spending his days alone in his mansion or with his best friend Mary (Hewson) while his American wife (McDormand) is content with her job as a firefighter.

The approach is superbly elegant and has a mix of looming camera movements and bursts of dynamic action mixed with Penns dry humor that sinks into a hallucinatory landscape, which at points is so massive swallows up the characters. Continue reading This must be the place (2011)

Ouija (2014)

Director: Stiles White
Starring: Olivia Cooke, Daren Kagasoff, Douglas Smith, Bianca Santos. USA. 1h 29m

This film is just constantly bad. I want to end the review there but I owe a full explanation, and here it is…

Ouija has become the in thing among teens and adults, that little edgy thing that divides groups of believers and non believers, those who see them as a parlour game and others who see them as elements of evil, every few years the mysticism about this “game” raises its head and creates more urban myths, believers and skeptical non believers. Along with this rise in fame comics, books, tattoos, movies and music are all heavily influenced by the spirit board and it’s planchette accessory. Continue reading Ouija (2014)

A Ma Soeur / Fat Girl (2001)

AKA: For my sister, Story of a Whale.

Director: Catherine Breillat.
Starring: Anais Reboux, Roxane Mesquida, Libero De Rienzo, Arsinee Khanjian. France. 1h 35m.

Catherine Breillat’s dark drama inspects the lives of two young sisters at a pivotal moment in their development into womanhood with all the graphic insights that Brielliat is akin to producing for her fans and mostly for her critics.

Anais (Reboux) and Elena (Mesquaida) are two sisters who are poles apart, the film opens with them walking into town from their families holiday home, discussing losing their virginity and sex, which is quite advanced for such young girls but Elena is firm in her beliefs that it should be between two people who really love each other and her huskier sister; Anais, is on the thought train of losing one’s virginity should be just done to get it out of the way, she’s convinced that any stranger will do then she’ll just get on with her life.

Be careful what you wish for. Continue reading A Ma Soeur / Fat Girl (2001)

The Wildling (2018)

Director: Fritz Böhm.
Starring: Bel Powley ,Brad Dourif, Collin Kelly-Sordelet, James LeGros, Liv Tyler. USA. 1h 32m.

Strangely this movie reminds me of Teen Wolf (1985), in a roundabout way it’s very much a coming of age Werewolf movie and yet speaks poetic volumes for a reawakening of feminity for anyone who feels a call for the wild.

Anna (Powley) grows up confined in a room in a remote house in the woods, looked after by her Daddy (Dourif) who is keeping her safe from the Wildlings, strange creatures with folklorish natures who stalk the woods. As Anna matures she starts noticing differences, as many girls do, although a dreaded fear sets in to her Daddy and he starts injecting her in the stomach with an unknown substance (although if I learnt anything from Ginger Snaps (2000) then this is a Wolfsbane concoction). This only slows down her development but doesn’t stop it, eventually it leads to Daddy attempting to commit suicide but it goes drastically wrong and Anna is rescued by mild and ever caring Sheriff Ellen Cooper (Tyler) while the authorities are trying to work out what do to Ellen adopts the girl temporarily and tries to give her a normal life. Ellen’s younger brother Ray (Kelly-Sordelet) is a similar age to Anna and tried to help out, but by the time the pair are ready to go to Anna’s first house party, the teen, without her miracle drug is starting to transform again, her human teeth are being pushed out by something much sharper but the only person who has some insight and who is willing to help her comes in the guise of a one eyed man wearing a wolf skin who lives in the forests surrounding the town played by the multi talented James LeGros . Continue reading The Wildling (2018)

El castillo de la pureza / Castle of Purity (1972)

Director: Arturo Ripstein.
Starring: Claudio Brook, Rita Macedo, Diana Bracho, Arturo Beristáin, Gladys Bermejo, David Silva, María Rojo. Mexico. 1h 41m

After seeing the epic Dogtooth (2009) by the cult director Lanthimos, I was mystified by the circumstances, the basis of the story is a man raising his family in such isolation,  their offbeat lifestyle seems so extraordinary to the eye of any outsider, the whys were never really answered the film just happens. But after a little digging i discovered that the film isn’t a remake but has a similar storyline to El castillo de la pureza, an excellent Mexican drama where a man isolates his family to protect them from “the evils of human beings”. While I thoroughly enjoy Dogtooth everytime I see it, there’s something deeper in this retro classic as it digs under the skin of the abnormal situation.

Gabriel Lima (Brook) and his gorgeous wife Beatriz (Macedo) have invented a brilliant homemade rat poison, their children all have roles in helping them manufacture this brilliant powder. Each day they get up and get to work, always in silence when working, then their father gets dressed in formal clothes and goes out to sell the rat poison to local shops and businesses, meanwhile the children have to exercise, learn and for a while they play.
Things start to breakdown, slowly at first, but as the movie builds pace it becomes a waves of crushing emotions for the disciplined and sexually driven father and more jail time for the children. Leaving their poor mother looking on at the madness. Continue reading El castillo de la pureza / Castle of Purity (1972)

Last night Movies 17.07.2017

It was a quiet night, I spend a bit of it pondering Romero’s career and obviously I’ll be writing a short list of my favourite films from him, trying to avoid any Zombie ones but damn that man made a huge impact and with a tiny amount of films under his belt, 20 credited to him on the IMDb but it’s not the quantity it’s the quality right. I nearly forgot how prominent a strong independent black man is to his formula.

 

So I got the old “of the Dead” boxset out but I just couldn’t watch any of them, I had to get my mind off from Ghouls and Zombie for a while, my twitter feed is like a rolling Romero montage at the moment, I’ve seen enough.. so I tried a golden oldie then something that’s been on the to- watch pile for a while.

30 Days of Night (2007) D: David Slade S:Josh Hartnett, Horror/Supernatural (USA) Continue reading Last night Movies 17.07.2017