Seeing as I never have time to write about half the films I’d like, I thought I’d try keeping a weekly list of all the films I’ve watched during the week – mostly first time views with the occasional old favourite, plus anything else that crops up. I’ll just write a few words about each of them and expand some into full reviews.
BFI – Passport to Cinema screening
I haven’t made things easy for myself have I? Bresson’s tale of redemption through love reads like a mid twentieth century French Crime & Punishment but is full of Bresson’s usual spiritual complexity. The pickpocketing scenes take on a sort of balletic quality and almost glamourise the crime being committed but leave the audience in no doubt that it is also a violation. Elusive but essential.
The Family Friend
L’amico di famiglia
Curzon on Demand
Not as beguiling as The Consequences of Love or as studied as Il Divo, Sorrentino’s The Family Friend is a modern day fairy tale with a central character so loathsome it’s difficult to see how the audience is expected to endure a whole film in his company. Certainly a very strange film but very Sorrentino and all the more welcome for it.
Battles Without Honour and Humanity
Jingi naki tatakai 仁義なき戦い
An out and out classic, Fukasaku’s Battles Without Honour and Humanity is a landmark Yakuza movie that shows the gangster lifestyle for what it really really is – senseless violence fuelled by pride and greed. It was so successful it spawned FOUR sequels (and I can’t wait to watch them all)!
!I’m sorry about the weird aspect ratio and the German subs but it seems like there’s no other footage around!)
Odeon Leicester Sq, HFR 3D
Full review already up, short story – eh, it was OK.
Life of Pi
Odeon Covent Garden
I’d heard really mixed things about Ang Lee’s latest but actually I was pleasantly surprised. Nowhere near as profound as it seems to want to be but the visuals are truly astounding. Look out for a full review soon.
Came up as Mubi’s film of the day and having heard quite positive things about it I decided to give it a go despite my misgivings – unfortunately my I should listened to my intuition, this film did nothing for me and I’m baffled by some of the critical praise.
HK Blu Ray
Hilarious movie about a Roman bath architect who accidentally time travels to modern Japan, steals all their modern bath technology and so ends up having to design baths for Hadrian and some of his cronies. Full review coming soon but this is so much fun!
35 Shots of Rum
Channel 4 HD
Claire Denis’ homage to Ozu’s Late Spring set in a French lower class tower block – to quite as moving as Ozu’s film but brings its own lyrical sense of transience with perhaps more of a political component than you would generally find in an Ozu film.
An oscar winner much trumpeted in its time that helped to jump start Alan Parker’s career but more than thirty years on it’s starting to feel its age and its extremely harsh view of the Turkish people is quite difficult to take.
Apparently the full version of this film was close to three hours long but studio execs were so unhappy with it they hacked it down to 90 minutes! It’s quite obvious a lot of material is missing and the film doesn’t really make that much sense but then how much sense do you really expect a movie about a strange rubbery monster accidentally let out of its cage by a bunch of greedy nazis to make?