After the disappointment of Inception and the incredible arrogance of Interstellar, it was by no means certain that we would automatically troop off to the cinema to watch the latest Christopher Nolan film. I can’t express how heartened I was when I heard that its running time is only around an hour and forty minutes, meaning that it isn’t the overbearing epic that is typical of his more recent work. After that the excellent reviews and the recommendations of Broken Forum members was enough to get to watch it in an IMAX cinema.
Continue reading Dunkirk (2017)
This is the first film I’ve watched by a Chinese director of some renown, Wang Xiaoshuai. He is apparently considered a member of China’s Sixth Generation of filmmakers, and while I am skeptical of such labels, I suppose it does have some relevance here as one of their defining characteristics is more individualistic films that highlight the tensions in the country’s rapid modernization and urbanization. I’m also amused that the two male leads in this film are nobodies but the two supporting actresses are huge stars today, though their roles here are relatively minor.
Continue reading Beijing Bicycle (2001)
This is billed as a documentary but it’s debatable whether it’s more of a film than a documentary. Its original Italian title makes more sense, Fuocoammare, in reference to a song that a woman requests on the radio in honor of the men who work as fishermen in the family. Apparently the Italian Prime Minister liked it so much that he gifted a DVD of it to each of the EU’s heads of state.
Continue reading Fire at Sea (2016)
Any film made by Martin Scorsese is guaranteed to be among the year’s most notable works due to the director’s reputation alone. It duly went straight to the top of many critics’ lists though it met only middling success on the awards circuit. I thought it was intriguing, about the travails of Christians in 17th century Japan and so put it onto my own list.
Continue reading Silence (2016)
Almost all of the films that we actually watch in the cinema are superhero action movies, a fact that I find to be both somewhat embarrassing and depressing. I wasn’t particularly enthusiastic about this one either after so many superhero movie cinema outings so far this year and the fact that we’ve seen so many different iterations of the character already. This is why I’m far more enthusiastic about characters that have never been made into a movie before. In the end however the excellent reviews and great word of mouth on Broken Forum drew me to the cinema anyway.
Continue reading Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
Both this and Elle which I wrote about a few months back were released last year and star Isabelle Huppert. She may not be that well known outside of France but she is the most nominated actress for the César Award, France’s equivalent of the Oscars. Indeed she was nominated for multiple awards for both of these films. Of course the two films were made by different directors, the one here being Mia Hansen-Løve, and she plays very different characters in them.
Continue reading Things to Come (2016)
After the near perfection of Arrival, I find it easy to forgive director Denis Villeneuve for how impenetrable Enemy was or how contrived Incendies was. Whether you like them or not however, you can’t deny that each of his films has been very unique and interesting in different ways. As my wife, his work so far defies being typed into any one genre and he looks to be continuing with this trend with the upcoming Blade Runner 2049.
Continue reading Prisoners (2013)