Monday, 3 March 2014
Like many other UK based cinephiles, Lovefilm has been my lifeline when it came to classics and rare films for over a decade. Even in a city like London and its diverse repertoire scene, you are still at the mercy of the arthouse cinema's line-up to get your fix (not to mention your budget). But thanks to my Lovefilm account, which I have held since 2006, I was able to do my filmic education, thanks to the 1000 films I have seen during that time.
A few years ago, Amazon bought Lovefilm, and very little changed at the time, apart from encouraging users to use the same account to log in with both. At the time, I thought it was just a way for them to connect each account to be able to personalise purchase recommendations. But without warning, last week, Lovefilm has disappeared for good. And become Lovefilm By Post. Or Amazon Streaming Video service. Or Amazon Live Video. No one is quite sure. There is a lot of confusion with the amalgamation of Amazon Prime, Amazon Live Streaming, Amazon Prime, Amazon whatever...
Saturday, 1 March 2014
The Césars (French Film Awards) ceremony was a disaster last night. An overlong, painfully unfunny ceremony (poor host Cécile de France lumbered with terrible jokes), whose awards seemed to have been picked at random (the only logical explanation). 2013 has been one of the most interesting years for French cinema in a while, and the rest of the world was baffled as to why both Blue Is The Warmest Colour and Stranger By The Lake went home nearly empty-handed.
Among all this, one sweet moment emerged. Adèle Haenel won Best Supporting Actress for Suzanne, she was visibly shaken once on stage (her body language said it all), and offered a heartfelt and moving speech, which ended on an unusual note. So rather to comment on the ceremony, which has been done elsewhere and better than I could have, I have decided to focus on this particular moment, and translate it.
Thursday, 27 February 2014
Bringing back memories of the execrable The Chernobyl Diaries, The Dyatlov Pass Incident is another found footage film which finds a group of American students exposed to some horrors in Eastern Europe, here on the tracks of a Russian expedition which vanished in the Ural mountains under mysterious circumstances 50 years ago.
This sad event actually happened, and have sent conspiracy nuts the world over come up with the wildest theories, even though the wildest takes on it have since been comprehensively demolished, and replaced with a more Cartesian explanation. But obviously the film enthusiastically chooses not to follow such a down to Earth route! And of course, things go wrong for the new expedition.
Friday, 21 February 2014
Yes, a second review for Only Lovers Left Alive. Both Laurent and myself loved it so much we thought we would both review it.
One of the benefits of being a vampire, is arguably the extra time one would acquire to really delve into the things that are of interest to you. Writer and director of Only Lovers Left Alive Jim Jarmusch, takes this aspect of the vampire and considers the modern world through the centuries old educated minds of vampires Adam (Tom Hiddleston) and Eve (Tilda Swinton).
As with all vampire stories there is the basics of blood, teeth, men and women. However, the vampires of Only Lovers Left Alive are refined, loving and deeply involved in their own education while displaying a respectful approach to blood, their required nutritious psychedelic drug.
I very rarely run competitions on my blog but this one I was offered is a perfect fit for the site. You get a chance to win a Championship Membership at the British Film Institute, which I couldn't recommend enough, simply because you will avoid the usual LFF booking meltdown by being able to book a day early, among other advantages. And the runner up prizes are some tasty morsels of BFI goodness too. All you have to do is predict the Oscar winners for this year. So to get you started I thought I'd have a go myself and give you my predictions for the main categories.
Framed within a setting of the aftermath of the Japanese tsunami in 2011, a Russian emergency response doctor who speaks German, calms a group of German students trapped under rubble with a story of his five fathers. The doctor's mother has told him the story of his 'five fathers' who she met during the siege of Stalingrad in 1942 when the warring madness of rival dictators collided with their respective Russian and German armies in the city of Stalingrad.
Wednesday, 19 February 2014
Stranger By The Lake took Cannes by storm last year, and became a sleeper hit in France in the summer, as well as on the festival circuit. It is in my top 3 of my favourite films of 2014, along side Under The Skin and The Strange Colour Of Your Body Tears, and I shall publish a glowing review within the next couple of days. The film is due to be released in the UK on the 21st of February, showing in several arthouse chains, as expected, such as Curzon and Picturehouses. Sadly there is one chain of multiplex that will not be showing it at all: Cineworld.
Sadly, multiplexes are proving to be less and less adventurous with their programming nowadays, especially since the studios are now polluting more of their screens with 2D/3D versions of the same films. So it is nothing new I hear you say? Well the difference here is that Cineworld had originally put the film on their schedules for a serie of one-off screenings, before brutally cancelling them all today.