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: Richard Lowenstein Starring: Michael Hutchence, Kylie Minogue, Paula Yates, Helena Christensen. Australia/USA. 1h 42m
For all of their creative lives, Richard Lowenstein and Michael Hutchence, spent a great deal of time together being best buddies, and they experienced their highs and lows. So it’s only apt that after dedicating the movie He Died With A Felafel In His Hand (2001) to him, Richard should make a documentary about his bright and troubled life.
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.
Director: David Lowery Starring:Dev Patel, Alicia Vikander, Barry Keoghan, Sean Harris, Joel Edgerton, Ralph Ineson, Sarita Choudhury, Kate Dickie .USA/Canada. 2h 5m
With everyone and the dog wanting to reboot classical literature and and give it some kind of modern twist, we can be thankful that David Lowery didn’t take easy route of , yet another, King Arthur retelling, as I find it hard to find anything that comes close to John Boorman‘s glittery Excalibur (1981) Instead Lowery casts his poetic eye over an equally aged text that, for some reason, is more enchanting but remains lesser known. The adaptation of the 14th century chivalric romance Sir Gawain and the Green Knight into film has masterfully crafted into one of the more memorable films of the year.
Director: Richard Laxton Starring: Helena Bonham Carter, Dominic West .UK. 1h 30m
This glamorized TV movie is the love child of director Richard Laxton, who cleverly used a poignant part of life and relationship between Liz Taylor and Richard Burton to highlight their turbulent relationship and striking personalities.
Set in 1983, the film revolves around Burton and Taylor as they attempt to join forces to star in Noel Coward’s stage play “Private Lives”. After years of marriage, their own addictive personalities and the pressures from the press, they begin to lose their stubborn protective barriers and find some kind of path to recovery together.
Director: Olivier Assayas Starring: Kristen Stewart, Lars Eidinger, Sigird Bouaziz, Nora Von Waldstratten. USA/UK/France. 1h 45m
At times it’s easy to forget that Personal Shopper is a horror movie. If you’re into something which burns slow but delivers a whack at the end then this might feel like it’s let you down, but there is a huge revelation at the end but it might not be what you were expecting. At times it’s mundane and even dull, but Assatas’ genius technique is to force the viewer to not to see what’s coming so when something does stand out it has a larger impact. It’s not hard to connect Kirsten Stewart to keywords such as “Blank” and at times it’s a perfect emotion for the film that deals all too honestly with grief, alienation and death.
There’s a necessary moment near the end of Sabastian Lelios eye opening movie where the lead is jogging with her dog, a carefree run as her favourite track plays and she can finally take a deep breath and attempt to just live the best life, like anyone else. It’s at this moment where we, as an audience, can also take a breath as the entire film is just filled with small minded petty people who do nothing to wind up anyone with a rational thinking mind as the film zeroes in on intolerance and unbiased love.
A Fantastic Woman is a strangely lighthearted take on a pretty deep and complex story. And there was definitely a vibe going on at the time as it almost duped with Disobedience an equally challenging love struggle but with a heavy religious setting. This thought provoking movie will drag you to places that you wouldn’t imagine a person would need to go based purely on their choice of gender.
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: Michael Cimino Starring: Robert De Niro, John Cazale, John Savage, Christopher Walken, Meryl Streep, Georeg Dzundza, Chuck Aspegren. USA. 3h 3m
Michael Cimino is a fairly laid back director, with only 8 titles under his belt he seems to only get out of bed to make a groundbreaking movie if and when he has something poignant to say. So 4 years after Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974) he returns with this dark cult classic that will forever be etched in the minds of many cinema enthusiasts.
There isn’t much I can say about Deer Hunter that hasn’t been said already. It’s impact has been massive, but even with the parodies, tributes and deep analysis, what is the film trying to say? Is it anti war, is it purely dealing ? It is purely about the male bond of a few good friends? Whatever you get from the movie it starts with a wedding and ends with a funeral and there’s a lot of pain and torment that happens in between, which sounds like a nihilistic analogy for life itself. I think I knew more about the movie before watching than any other film
Director: Adrian Lyne Starring: Michael Douglas, Glenn Close, Anne Archer,Ellen Latzen, Stuart Pankin, Ellen Foley, Fred Gwynne, Meg Mundy, Lois Smith. USA. 1h 59m
“So Andrew’s new girlfriend is turning out to be a right bunny boiler” “A what?” “You know.. Fatal Attraction.. “
This was the conversation that made me realise how influential movies have been on the English language. The term Bunny Boiler, referring to a person, usually a woman who’s a bit psychotic and clingy, was born from this literal potboiler that, when it really gets going, is hard to look away from.
Adrian Lyne went straight from 9 1/2 weeks (1986) to Fatal Attraction and then straight into Jacob’s Ladder (1990). He’s often quoted to be intrigued to make moves that create a discussion, a movie that’s not forgotten by dinner time and still arguing about it the next day is a winner for him and it’s safe to stay that this run of movies all hold a powerful grip on their audiences many years later. His ability to pull the carpet on an unsuspecting audience and touch on surreal symbolism is quite masterful.