Director: Lisandro Alonso
Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Ghita Nørby, Viilbjørk Malling Agger. UK. 1h 49m
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. Continue reading Jauja (2014)
Director: Catherine Breillat
Starring: Amira Casar, Rocco Siffredi. France 1h 17m
Based on: Pornocratie by Catherine Breillat
This slightly strangely off putting art house erotica drama see the plights of man vs woman and slowly discovers what we always knew, and that the sexes really are planets apart.
This taboo sequel to the equally taboo shocker Romance X (1999) see Catherine Breillat boldly challenge many more darker crevices within the sexual psyche of a woman who, in Romance was shunned by her lover, seeking love and affection then sex and kink elsewhere, while in the Anatomy of Hell, we discover more about the boyfriend, adoringly known as Man and played by porn star Rocco Siffredi, we see his reasoning behind his unusual character.
A lonely and dejected woman, whose only known as The Woman (Casar) throughout the film stalks the streets at night looking for company, stumbling into a gay bar she drinks, bumps into all the gay guys and seemly out of it, hits a new low, her suicide attempt in the clubs toilets is thwarted by a concerned stud, after rescuing her she makes him a proposition, she invites him to visit her and watch her silently for four nights while she’s “unwatchable”. Begrudgingly he agrees to continue to help and the two being a strange journey. Continue reading Anatomie de l’enfer /Anatomy of Hell (2004)
Director: Georg Wilhelm Pabst
Starring: Louise Brooks, Fritz Kortner, Franz Lederer, Carl Goetz, Alive Roberts. Germany / Austria. 1h 49m
This iconic film is deeply based on Frank Wedekind’s play “Lulu”, and despite it not being popular at the time of release, it now remains; nearly 90 years after its release; one of Europe’s silent cinema’s crowning achievements. A catastrophic portrait of sexual obsession, that the American actress Louise Brooks provided an outstanding performance as the prostitute Lulu, a femme fatale who unleashes uncontrollable desires in the people around her. Continue reading Die Bülchse der Pandora / Pandoras Box (1929)
Director: Peter Fleischmann.
Original book same title by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky
Starring. Alexander Philippenko, Edward Zentara, Werner Herzog. Russia/USSR/(West)Germany. 1h 59m.
While trying to get hold of the second remake of Hard to be a God (2013) I noticed a resurgence of the earlier remake from the 80’s and managed to watch them in chronological order, not that it matters much as they are two extremely different movies which look at different fragments of a brilliant science fiction story, originally written by Arkand and Boris Strugatsky, this is a simplistic version of a deeper more complicated story but it’s easier to watch and at times stomach more than the 2013 version.
On another planet out in the vast universe a simple civilisation is going through their Medieval period and it’s quite similar to ours, this has sparked interest in the more advanced cultures, namely us! An employee of the institute of experimental history from Earth is sent to this planet disguised as a noble named Rumata of Estor and he’s tasked to observe the culture and find the previous person who was sent there to also observe, another spy who has perished while trying to raise an unlucky coup against the main palace and Rumata has to take his place as a resident. He soon discovers that many of the 30 others have also perished in this harsh society and is soon pulled into the next coup Soon he meets all the horrors of medieval society, war, palace coups, mass executions, peasantry and they prove to be too barbaric for scientist, and he’s disgusted to find out that people are slaughtered if they are considered to be too intellectual, and thus keeping the society in a permanent state of Medieval life. Continue reading Es ist nicht leicht ein Gott zu sein / Hard to be a God (1989)
Director: Kellie Madison
Writers: Nicky Hawthorne, Kellie Madison
Starring: Marguerite Moreau, Jack Davenport, Brad William Henke, Christopher McDonald. USA.
This film seems to be a poor relation to the inventive 400 Days (2015) which is a gripping science fiction movie, in this tepid thriller, a group are left in a bunker to simulate what it’s like to travel to Mars, sadly around the time they are to be released from the confines of their bunker, they lose communication and the crew start to break down mentally but that’s the least of their worries, as the paranoia seeps in the power cuts, have they really been left underground or have they really gone to Mars? Continue reading The Tank (2017)
Director: Susanne Bier.
Starring. Mads Mikkelsen, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Denmark/India/Sweden. 2h 2m.
There’s a strange sense of duty and a unique stiff upper lip with Scandinavian culture, often associated with bravery and wisdom, sometimes things get a little sharp and precise with the Northern European restraint, and it unfolds with a glorious and bitter results.
The film opens with Jacob (Mikkelsen) a good Samaritan who has cast off all the luxuries of Denmark and is running an orphanage in India which is in dire need of funding. A mysterious man Jorgen (Lasagard) insists on giving the a large sum of money to the cause but only if he gets to meet with face to face, at first he’s hesitant but then soon realises the fate of the children rests on his shoulders. Continue reading Efter Brylluppet / After the Wedding (2006)
Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddleston, John Goodman, Brie Larson, John C Reilly, Toby Kebbell, Corey Hawkins. USA. 1h48m.
When I first heard about this film I was shaking my head crying about Another remake, but I still headed out to see it, just because I wanted to have a sofa to myself at the new local Empire Cinema,so I booked those two seats baby!
So it’s not a remake but it is a remake, yet again we’re discovering Kong but he’s not King anymore, in the same was that Spider man is not just a spider man he’s the AMAZING Spiderman, so now that King Kong had been downgraded and a slightly different persona and his tastes for blondes has been abandoned.
Continue reading Kong: Skull Island (2017)
Directors: Pamela Romanowsky, James Franco
Starring: James Franco, Allie Gallerani,Tim Blake Nelson,Joe Pease, Lori Singer, Eric Roberts. USA. 1h 30m.
A grief stricken Isabelle (Gallerani) checks herself into the Rosewood asylum to find a cure for her melancholy, her dedicated brother Robert (Pease) is deeply concerned about how the death of their parents have affected her and checks in on her and the history of the asylum despite being urged by the trusted Dr Torrington (Roberts) that it’s the best hospital in the country. Isobelle becomes a patient under the highly talented and slightly eccentric Dr. Carin (Franco) and his creepy surgeon sidekick Dr. Lemelle (Nelson). As Isobelle starts to become aware that there are other women at the asylum who seem second class, injured and shabby the crawl the halls, but she’s promised that she won’t have to be around them and her care is seperate but she strikes up a friendship with them. Continue reading The Institute (2017)
Directors: Geoffrey Orthwein and Andrew Sullivan.
Starring. Maika Monroe, Matt O’Leary, Arnar Jonsson. USA/Iceland. 1h 44m.
Every now and again there is new renaissance of post apocalyptic films, most of them are pretty horrific, some rely heavily on sci fi and others are intense dramas, and then there is Bokeh which is just a bit dull..
Starting with a young couple, deeply in love and on a romantic trip to Iceland, the atmosphere is really warm and inviting, they seem amazingly bright and brilliant showing all the love and warmth that you’d expect when young love is on the cards. The couple make the most of their first day, going on tours and meeting a local priest, learning about the thriving history and culture. Continue reading Bokeh (2016)
Director: Abel Ferrara.
Starring: Harvey Keitel, Brian McElroy, Frankie Acciarito, Peggy Gormley, Victor Argo, . USA. 1h 36m.
The 90’s were the golden revival era of disturbing films, and while this isn’t your average cop film, it is a brilliant cop drama but the main character is so massively flawed that you often forget that he’s supposed to be the good guy.
Harvey Keitel plays the ultimate asshole of a cop LT, who shambles about the city, taking drugs, pulling over and intimidating young girls, he’s a mess, stealing drugs from crime scenes and on the odd occasion babysitting his kids and racking up huge gambling debts. Continue reading Bad Lieutenant (1992)