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.
Continue reading Burton and Taylor (2013)
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.
Continue reading Personal Shopper (2016)
Director: Sabastian Lelio Starring: Daniela Vega, Franxisco Reyes, Luis Gnecco, Amparo Noguera Chile, Spain, Germany. 1h 44m
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.
Continue reading Una mujer fantástica / Fantastic Woman (2017)
Director: Yoshihiko Matsui
Starring: Naomi Hagio, Takahiro Hattori, Toshihiko Hino .Japan. 1h 31m
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.
Continue reading Tonkei shinjû – Pig Chicken Suicide (1981)
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”
“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.
Continue reading Fatal Attraction (1987)
Director: David Twohy
Starring: Steve Zahn, Milla Jovovich, Timothy Olyphant, Kiele Sanchez, Chris Hemsworth. USA. 1h 34m
There’s a lot to like about this thrilling mystery and there’s a lot to appreciate about a psycho thriller which delivers some really cool (hard to kill) characters set on the beautiful islands of Honolulu. Two couples are travelling and enjoying the Eden-like surroundings, fully aware that there are a pair of serial killers on the loose, each couple are highly suspicious of the other but it’s up to the audience to look for the subtle clues and piece together who just might be a pair of deadly psychopaths.
Continue reading The Perfect Getaway (2009)
Director: J P Valkeapää Starring: Pekka Strang, Ester Geislerova .Finland. 1h 45m
Sometimes those big life events can shake a person from one life into another, after moving through a period of massive grief and shock, J P Valkeapää’s lead Juha (Strang) finds himself in some sort of sado sexual purgatory, a surreal life path, which happens to become fantastically gripping in this somewhat violent dark comedy.
Dogs Don’t Wear Pants is one of the ultimate sad stories. It begins after the lowest part of Juha’s life, his soulmate had died after a tragic drowning accident. Struggling on with his crippling grief he does his best to look after his teenage daughter and keeps his head down at work. There are hints that Juha is already a bit of a perv, no idea what life was like before, we can only assume his creative adaptation of self gratification is new as he tries to find some kind of satisfaction alone.
Continue reading Koirat eivät käytä housuja / Dogs Don’t Wear Pants (2019)
Director: Adim Williams. Starring: Frederick Leonard, Peggy Ovire, Onny Micheal, Rita Arum, Philldella Yve, Adim Williams. .Nigeria. 5h +
Falling in love just might be the easy part in this explosive Nigeria classic, not only do a couple of friends both find the women of their dreams, they manage to lose them due to irrational reactions and lack of attention and empathy.
Frederick Leonard plays an attractive bachelor, who’s hooked up with an old flame and within months of reuniting they are getting married. The love is lost and all goes bad on the wedding night when his new bride wakes up, and before she’s got her faculties together and in a total daze, she’s asking to be paid for her nightly rate! Utterly shocked Frederick realises he’s married ex prostitute, disgusted and pained verbally beats the woman down, leaving her in their hotel suite with some cash, the message is clear, the arrangement is over. At her most vulnerable state her best friend also takes advantage of her and ashamed she moves on with her life.
Continue reading Love at 2nd Sight (2020)
It’s valentine’s day and I’m a post surgery nightmare so this list will be short and sweet..
A charming tale of sadistic romance from James DeCumber and Chris Lundy. When a young woman wakes to find herself tied to a plastic coated table begging for her life when her killer draws nears, but there’s more to this story than what meets the eyes. A tantalising story of a couple trying out something new will keep you on the edge waiting to see how it will all pan out, really entertaining and clever little short that highlights some real couple issues. The acting and setting is really spot on, a bit dreaming and a lot of mystery. Continue reading Short Movie Roundup 14 February 2021