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La Weekend July 5

Ghostdog (1999)

One of those life changing movies, and continues to be my go to film from time to time, a small indie movie graced by some impressive names, just because it’s that darn good of a film. Ghostdog is a lonely character, is only friend is a French speaking ice cream seller, his passion is Bushido and his Pigeons. After being saved by a mob boss, his adapted the way of the Samurai and looks upon this man as his master and he is a retainer. The mafia uses his dedication and sends him out to do hits. One goes awry and the mob turn on Ghostdog, but they don’t’ know who they are fucking with. Forest Whittaker plays the main character and he’s perfect, RZA had a hand in it’s production and the soundtrack takes a facet from each style of black music, it almost started a movement, (black) urban samurai 9/10

Continue reading La Weekend July 5

Maggie (2015)

Director:Henry Hobson .
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Abigail Breslin, Joely Richardson, USA. 1h 35m.

One of the staple factors in any zombie film tries to answer what we would do with our loved ones, this is fully inspected and dissected in this unusual emo movie. All rational thoughts are out of the window and a deeply sympathetic view is adapted the traditional zombie movie into something quite unbelievable but it does raise some questions, questions we know we’d never have to ask. Continue reading Maggie (2015)

The Sweet Body of Deborah/The Body/Married to Kill (1968)

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Director: Romolo Guerrieri.
Starring: Carroll Barker, Jean Sorel, Luigi Pistilli. Italy/France. 1h 35m.

A couple return to Geneva from their honeymoon flaunting around various parts of Europe, the rich Deborah (Barker), and beautiful lover Marcel (Sorel) are only in town for one night before things start to become strange. Marcel notices an old friend, Philip, who totally blanks him in a nightclub, after catching up with him again during the evening, Philip announces that Marcels former fiance Susan is dead and it’s all his fault, despite her death being a suicide Philip still strongly blames Marcel for her death. Continue reading The Sweet Body of Deborah/The Body/Married to Kill (1968)

The Monster (2016)

the-monster

Director: Bryan Bertino
Starring : Zoe Kazan, Scott Speedman, Ella Ballentine. USA. 1h 31m

This American horror was written and directed by Bryan Bertino and i have to admit that  I haven’t paid much attention to him since his devastating brilliant debut, The Strangers (2008), it seems that his style is to meld together stark horror and gore with some raw emotions and it’s ever present in this unconventional creature feature.

A young girl, Lizzy (Ballentine) and her tattered mother Kathy ( Kazan) are en route to her father as it’s his turn for custody, due to Kathy’s alcoholism, Lizzy has to spend a lot of time looking after her mother and escaping her wrath. Through flashbacks it’s evident that Lizzy wants to stay with her father permanently and loathes her mother and her addiction. Continue reading The Monster (2016)

Młyn i krzyż – The Mill and the Cross (2011)

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Director : Lech Majewski
Starring : Rutger Hauer, Michael York, Charlotte Rampling. Poland/Sweden. 1h 36m

It’s always interesting for a art nut like myself to discover something about an era of art, an artist or in some cases just one single painting being extracted in the wonderful world of cinema. It’s not like someone ever sits down to paint something that’s going to take weeks or months or even years for the sake of painting, yet when you find out the details behind some of the epic masterpieces it can be quite breathtaking and you need to look at the painting again. While I’m hugely into art and it’s history, I’m still in two minds weather these make good movies or not!?

Without diving deeply into the artist’s personal life but with some quirky and lively anecdotal excerpts of family life, children squabbling, and tumbling out of bed, breakfasts being eaten and blessings over the family table, the film aims to details the features of the work, the drive behind it and ultimately expressions of divine intervention.

From the initial introduction the remarkable  accomplishment of the jaw dropping visuals  is very apparent and if you only see the  introduction scenes then the film will remain with you forever as they are exquisite.  The rest of the film is like watching the paint settle into the masterpiece, it’s not like watching paint dry, instead you are gradually walked through the initial concept sketches and inner musings of the artist and strife of every single character within it, each journey explained, including the tortured man (check out the painting here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Procession_to_Calvary_(Bruegel) ). The artist Pieter Bruegel the Elder, skilfully acted by  Rutger Hauer and is patron Nicholas Jonghelinck is sternly portrayed by Michael York and the feminine aspect of the movie is played by the most stunning Charlotte Rampling her steely eyes peer judgements at Rutger as the Virgin Mary giving advice to the artists throughout his journey through his own painting. Do masterful pieces of artwork demand such a film? The canvases of concern are The Mill and The Procession to Calvary,  the later depicts a Dutch crucifixion masterpiece created when Flanders was under brutal Spanish occupation. But it’s not a simple as painting a crucifixion painting, and without going into detail the film shows the symbolism of the characters in relation to the current persecution of the people of flanders against a similar strife that happened when Jesus was carrying the cross.

Every aspect of the film is enchanting it really does bring the entire painting to life although at times did remind me of the Storyteller series it’s obvious green screens and lots of CGI in order to create backdrops but they are very accurate and seem only enhance the practice of bringing the art to life. Like any work of art it comes together piece by piece which makes for a slow paced movie but it does build into this great crescendo as this masterpiece is solely piece together from the sum of its parts.

“This is like watching a painting dry” – but in a good way

Pieter Bruegel the Elder himself is mostly concerned; not with the main subject of Jesus being crucified But instead with the world that he is passing and the people who usually go  unnoticed and in spite their massive numbers are the actual  focal point and it’s not a huge canvas considering how many people are involved in the very end we see it right next to the Tower of Babel painting in a museum.

Exquisite  attention to the  minute detail to create the world around the painting but ends up in the painting the clothes are designed by  Dorota Roqueplo  helps bring this reality into existence.

Ultimately this isn’t going to be everybody’s cup of tea not everybody isn’t art not everyone cares about the history of a single painting but you can’t deny is the artistic qualities within the film. Even some of the “still” moments are totally consuming,  this should definitely be considered a breakthrough piece for the director and every moment of the film is extraordinarily spellbinding and wondrous it’s literally like having a dream with the artist while painting has been created.

AOFA07

Rating 7/10

R The Girl with the pearl earring (2003),
L  – Artist Biographies
5sRutger Hauer, Michael York, Charlotte Rampling

Martyrs (2008)

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Day 25 of 31

Director: Pascal Laugier.
Starring:Morjana Alaoui Mylène Jampanoï . Canada. 1h 34m.

This film comes straight out of left field and doesn’t ever give any real explanation for it’s bizarre and wildly disturbing nature and really crushes your guts at the end, but it’s a delight to muse over. On the outset it’s pretty forgivable to assume this is just another excuse for torture porn styled horror, without spending a lot of time thinking about the gruesome detail it’s easy to see how it all boils down to the persecution of women, so no brownie points there but simmering around the narrative are lots of other social and religious questions, most of which will turn anyone insane if you go into them in great detail.

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Midnight Meat Train (2008)

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Day 13 of 31

Director: Ryuhei Kitamura
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Brooke Shields, Leslie Bibb,Roger Bart Ted Raimi Vinnie Jones. USA. 1h 28m

I was quite happy to see this second renaissance of the British horror guru Clive Barker movies but then remembered how terrible the last wave became… so I didn’t rush out to see anything, but as time went on my curiosity peaked, Clive wasn’t ranting about how his work was being destroyed, and for part of it I think he should have. I managed to pick up Midnight Meat Train and the Books of Blood at the same time and settled down for a Barker Double Bill, starting with the later as it’s the story I remember the least about while reading his anthologies as a teen. The film started well but turned into some kind of day time TV romantic melodrama before remembering that it’s supposed to be a blood thirsty ghostly horror story, it was honestly pathetic, and I gave up for the night, shelving the second film…. So the fateful night arrived, I had nothing new to watch apart from the Midnight Meat Train, at first i was going to just re read the story instead but I gave it a spin and was strangely amused… Continue reading Midnight Meat Train (2008)

A Most Violent Year (2014)

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Director : J C Chandor
Starring : Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo, Elyes Gabel .USA. 2h 5m

This film kicks off with an amazing intro song Inner City Blues by Marvin Gaye as Abel (Oscar Isaac), possibly the only carefree scene in the movie, but it good vibes dwindle rapidly but are replaced by the smooth sounds of 1981 new york, and we’re treated to a rare intense movie that mimics the smooth ruthlessness of any classic crime drama. The grit of the movie is all to do with the business transactions, keeping on the straight and narrow while in a dog eat dog world. Continue reading A Most Violent Year (2014)

The Exorcism of Molly Hartley (2015)

 

Molly hartley

Director : Steven R Monroe
Writer: Matt Venne
Starring: Sarah Lind, Devon Sawa, Gina Holden, Peter MacNeill. USA. 2h 2m

Don’t get any hopes up for this movie it’s not out to break new grounds but it will entertain if you have a Exorcism Movie Cliche checklist and maybe sink a shot for every cliché ticked off the list, you’ll be very pleased by the end of the night. I’m being uber ciritical, it does actually have one unique “device” which adds an element of ancient ritual but it doesn’t save the film. For some reason after the first flop The Haunting of Molly Hartley (2008), some asshole decided to take the story one step beyond in the direction of boredom. Continue reading The Exorcism of Molly Hartley (2015)

Messiah of Evil (1973)

messiah of evil

Director/Screenplay/Producer: Willard Huyck, Gloria Katz
Starring: Marianna Hill, Michael Greer, Elisha Cook Jr . USA. 1h 30m.

Also known under the delightful title of Dead People this early 70’s horror co written, directed and produced by the husband and wife team of Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz is a often overlooked deeply atmospheric and psychotropic horror movie.

Starring Marianna Hill as Arletty who drives to Point Dune, California to visit her estranged father, an artist who has abandoned his home but upon uncovering his diary she finds vital information concerning the horrible nightmare that is consuming the town and ignoring her father’s pleas to NOT look for him, she continues her search and tracks down the owner of a gallery who sells her father’s work, but he vaguely remembers him and informs her about the vibrant “art culture” that thrives in Point Dune. Still searching for information she meets a visiting Portuguese/American aristocrat, Thom (Michael Greer) and his two extremely provocative groupie companions Toni (Joy Bang) and Laura (Anita Ford). Thom interviews Charlie (Elisha Cook Jr) an old eccentric who tells of dark and chilling tales of his mother and “the dark stranger” who will return after a 100 years hiatus, he also informs Arletty that her father is one of “them” and moments later he’s murdered. Continue reading Messiah of Evil (1973)