Posts tagged with ‘films’

London Film Festival debrief, 2013

So, I saw five films this year. Some quick notes: Story of my Death [Història de la meva mort]. The LFF said: Albert Serra’s teasing period-piece sees Casanova and Dracula meeting as Enlightenment reason gives way to the dangerous passions of the Romantic era. Which sounded like it might be fun, if perhaps a bit […]

London Film Festival 2012, personal roundup

I do enjoy the LFF: interesting films, cinemas full of largely well-behaved audiences, and no ads or trailers. I went to five films this year, this is what I thought of them. Obviously. Reality An Italian film about a Naples fishmonger and petty criminal who becomes dangerously obsessed with appearing on the reality show Big […]

The Artist

I’m just back from seeing The Artist. I was keen it see it just because the idea of someone making a modern silent movie was a fascinating one. In the end, though, it’s not modern, it’s just new. Because it’s a generally light-hearted film about the early days of Hollywood, in a lovingly recreated pastiche […]

London Film Festival: Target and Tahrir 2011

The last two films I went to see at the LFF were Target, a Russian film directed by Alexander Zeldovich, and a documentary abou the recent Egyptian revolution called Tahrir 2011: The Good, the Bad, and the Politician. They don’t have distribution for Target in the UK at least, so I don’t know how likely you are […]

The Monk

More from the London Film Festival. Le Moine is a film of the 1796 gothic novel The Monk by Matthew Lewis. It’s a long time since I read the book, but I remembered that it was an overblown, melodramatic, sensational novel, so naturally I was keen to see a film version of it. It lived […]

On The Ice, London Film Festival

The London Film Festival is going on at the moment, and I went to see the first of the four films I’ve booked, which was On The Ice, set in Barrow, an Alaskan town which is the most northerly in the US. It focuses on a pair of Inuit teenagers, and in some ways it’s […]

Afghan Star

Just a quick mention for this documentary, which I’ve owned on DVD for ages but only just got round to watching. It follows season three of Afghan Star, an American Idol type show in Afghanistan. It’s a brilliant idea for a documentary, because the glitz and bombast of those talent shows seem like the very […]

Cave of Forgotten Dreams 3D

This is the Werner Herzog documentary about the Chauvet cave paintings in France. It was definitely worth seeing, but mainly, I think, for the incredible paintings themselves, rather than anything Werner Herzog brought to the project. It is probably the best use of 3D I’ve seen, because although I’ve seen photos of the paintings at Chauvet […]

Black Swan

I have been looking forward to seeing Black Swan for months; I don’t think I’ve ever been so certain I wanted to see something based solely on the trailer. If I’m sure I want to see a film, I try not to read any reviews beforehand, and it was getting difficult to avoid encountering people’s […]

The King’s Speech

I can’t say I was excited by the prospect of seeing The King’s Speech, because I think the British film and TV industry is usually at its least interesting when making middlebrow costume dramas about posh people in country houses. The genre seems to have a completely unearned prestige which serves as a substitute for […]

Books [and films] of the year 2010

I’ll keep this brief, because if you want to know what I thought of them you can read what I said at the time, but glancing back over the books I read in the past year, I would pick out these five as ones which, for whatever reason, stand out in my memory: Cities of […]

The London Film Festival

I went to the last of three films I had booked at the London Film Festival yesterday (notes on which at the end of the post). The LFF, for those who don’t know, is the antithesis of a festival like Cannes: instead of being a big jamboree for people in the film business and the […]

The First Movie

Just a little plug for The First Movie, which I went to see on Friday. It’s a documentary by Mark Cousins; he visits a Kurdish village which is remote enough that none of the children have ever been to the movies, and puts on a showing of a selection of films in a makeshift outdoor […]

Skeletons

I went to see Skeletons, directed by Nick Whitfield. The IMDB blurb says ‘two exorcists literally remove the skeletons from the cupboards from people’s homes’, which is a particularly daft thing to say since there are no literal skeletons involved — though there are some literal closets. And ‘exorcists’ isn’t quite accurate either, but it gives […]

Kick-Ass

So I went to see Kick-Ass, the generally well-reviewed superhero film. And I enjoyed it, it’s a clever, well-made film. But it did remind me of a quote I posted to Salmagundi the other day: ‘And then I realised that Watchmen was in no way extraordinary but perfectly symptomatic: we are, after all, living through an […]

Un prophète

I went to see Un prophète today, which is, as you can see below, un film de Jacques Audiard. Though obviously I saw the subtitled version. It’s a gangster/prison drama about a young French Arab, played by Tahar Rahim, who arrives in prison at the start of the film and is immediately approached by a […]

The Wah-Wah Diaries by Richard E. Grant

This is Grant’s account of making Wah-Wah, his first film as director. Grant grew up in Swaziland and the film is about growing up there, so I read it as my book from Swaziland for the Read The World challenge. For me, the book is mainly interesting for its portrayal of film-making, which is fascinating but sounds […]

Cabaret

I watched Cabaret again tonight. First thing: it really is a very good film, and if by some chance you haven’t seen it, hurry up and do so. I was struck by how grown up it seems: it touches on serious subjects (Nazis! homosexuality! abortion!) but does so, mainly, in a stylishly, darkly humorous way. It […]

Tippety-tap

In celebration of this very amusing put-down of President Bush, here’s a bit of the master himself:

In The Mood For Love

I watched In The Mood For Love on DVD yesterday. It’s an absolutely gorgeous movie, set in Hong Kong in the 60s. One of the cover blurbs says it’s ‘like Brief Encounter remade by Kubrick and Scorsese’; I’m not sure about the Kubrick/Scorsese thing, but the comparison to Brief Encounter is very apt. It’s a […]

Hwaet?

A big-budget Hollywood version of Beowulf is obviously going to either be a travesty of the poem or commercial suicide. When you hear that Angelina Jolie is embarrassed about her nude scenes in the movie, I think it’s pretty clear which one.

Amusing advertisement

I saw this in the cinema the other day when I went to see Helvetica, and I thought it was worth sharing:

Helvetica, the movie

I went to see Helvetica today. It is, as the name suggests, a documentary about the typeface, which is 50 years old this year. I enjoyed it. My usual feeling with factual-type documentaries like this (as opposed to narrative-type documentaries like, say, Spellbound) is that they are very slow; that given the same amount of […]