Sunday, 21 January 2018

Phantom Thread by Paul Thomas Anderson - Review

Set in London around a decade after WW2, Paul Thomas Anderson's Phantom Thread is loosely about the fashion world, but it's draped in a gothic graveyard that whistles in the distance, beckoning the characters to come closer. It's less an homage to the films of Hitchcock (particularly Rebecca with a dash of Vertigo) and more a perfect re-creation of your favorite TCM movies stirred up in a cauldron of black magic. 10 years after the monumental There Will Be Blood (arguably the century's greatest film), Anderson and Daniel Day-Lewis reteam for this film that fittingly is unidentifiable in its tone, or what it's even truly about.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

You Should See This: Jeanne La Pucelle (1994)

What’s It All About?
Jacques Rivette’s two part, five hour and twenty minute, epic documents the last two years of the life of Joan of Arc (Sandrine Bonnaire), from her initial attempts to meet with the Dauphin of France (AndrĂ© Marcon) and convince him that she was sent by God to lead his armies, to her capture and execution.

You Should See It Because
The story of Joan of Arc has always fascinated me; a young woman, just sixteen when she set out, of such faith and conviction that she would put herself not just in harm’s way but insist on being at the head of the army, so certain was she that it was God’s will, and that only she could win this war for the man she saw as the rightful king, and thus God’s representative on Earth. It is no surprise that the story has been repeatedly adapted to film, it is inherently fascinating, dramatic, and provides an irresistibly challenging role for any young actress asked to take it on.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

You Should See This: In A Valley Of Violence (2016)

What’s It All About?
Having deserted the Army, Paul (Ethan Hawke) is making his way to Mexico. He cuts through a town called Denton, where Mary-Ann (Taissa Farmiga), a young woman who helps run the hotel, takes a shine to him and he makes an enemy of and humiliates local troublemaker Gilly (James Ransone), who also happens to be the son of the town marshal (John Travolta). After he’s run out of town, Gilly and his friends show up for revenge, killing Paul’s beloved dog and leaving him for dead. But Paul’s not dead, and that’s not good for Gilly.

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

You Should See This: Barely Lethal (2015)

What’s It All About?
Agent 83 (Hailee Steinfeld) has been raised since she was a baby as part of a project known as Prescott, which trains young women to become undercover assassins. She’s always been taught to avoid any attachments but, at 16, 83 just wants a little normality, like what she’s seen in teen movies. When an op goes wrong 83 escapes, using a student exchange programme to become Megan Walsh, from Canada, and to try to have a normal high school experience. Prescott, however, has other ideas.

You Should See It Because
Barely Lethal came out around the same time as Violet and Daisy, which also toplined a talented young star (in that case Saoirse Ronan) as a teenage assassin. Often, when two similarly themed movies are released in quick succession, one will end up hitting reasonably big and the other disappearing. In this case, both movies essentially vanished, neither rating a UK cinema release. For my money it’s Barely Lethal that is worth digging up.

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Top 10 of 2017

The Twin Peaks The Return is a film/isn't a film furore, the Netflix Cannes drama, the Oscars mixed envelopes... 2017 has been anything but dull in the world of cinema. Forget the predictable "Cinema is dead" think pieces, cinema is alive and kicking, and it has been a particularly interesting year, where we revisited universes we never thought we would see again (Twin Peaks, Blade Runner), where a few established talents arguably made their best films, where kween Laura Dern slayed, and where a runaway indie film was in every conversation. We are giving you our favourite films of 2017:

The Anti-Star Wars of The Last Jedi

Posted by Andy Zachariason

SPOILERS AHEAD! Early on in Rian Johnson's Star Wars: The Last Jedi, we finally meet the reclusive and legendary, Luke Skywalker. Rey hands him his lightsaber and Johnson holds for a moment as we lean in to see how our hero will react. Luke comically tosses the lightsaber over his head down a cliff, and walks away. Star Wars: The Last Jedi is deconstructionist Star Wars; a film that rejects its past and the very idea of being a Star Wars film until it can find its way through the wreckage and forge a new future. The Force Awakens was an album of greatest hits that was about stumbling into the footprints of myth and then turning around only to realize you've become that exact myth. Johnson's The Last Jedi follows this thread of myths and legends in thematically exciting manner that breaks down the structures of Star Wars (the Jedi, the Sith, the Resistance, the First Order) and playfully subverts the moments and iconographies that make up this saga.

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

You Should See This: The Final Girls (2015)

A quick note before we begin. You’ve probably noticed that this feature is no longer going under its original name, Why Haven’t You Seen…? This is because a reader who is also a friend on Twitter pointed something out to me about that title. He said that it was making an assumption and that “I love this and think you might too” is a better message than “catch up”. He was correct. 

To be clear, WHYS was always supposed to be a series enthusing about things that I suspected readers might not have seen yet, but I never wanted that to come across as me scolding you. If it ever has I apologise. That’s why I’ve changed the title of the series; I want to invite you to movies, not tell you off for not having seen them yet. 

So, without further ado… You Should See This

The Final Girls (2015)
What’s It All About?
A parody of and commentary on 80’s slasher films, The Final Girls sees Max (Taissa Farmiga) and her friends sucked into Camp Bloodbath, a cult slasher film that Max’s late mother (Malin Akerman) starred in in 1986. Inside the movie they must survive being pursued by Billy Murphy while Max tries to rescue Nancy, her mother’s character.