This film follows the 12-year-old boy Shaun during part of the year 1983, when Thatcher invaded the Falkland Islands and skinheads rubbed shoulders with new wavers. Everything starts with Shaun being picked on for wearing flares. Desperate to find something warming, Shaun is found by Woody, a leader of a local pack of skinheads. Little Shaun’s life is changed as he’s let into the bunch. I think this is a little masterpiece on human relations, reaching far on subtleties rather than trying to convince and guide the viewer using brutal and crude methods; the thinking is left over to you, up to and including the grand finale. The colours, cinematography, dialogue, music, script, acting and altogether poetic style used by the director/writer is massive. I love this film.
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A review of "The Bridge" — 5 years ago
As I watched this documentary about suicide from the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco (USA), humanity dawned on me. Every person in this documentary was for real. I mean, humanity through suicide is a fact, rather than treating it like it’s never supposed to happen: I believe that suicide is one’s own decision, having drained all other options. Somewhat paradoxically, I’m also for preventing suicide, within certain boundaries. This film shows interviews with the survivors, i.e. families and friends of people who have jumped off the bridge. One person who actually survived his jump tells what he experienced. This documentary doesn’t analyse much, but lets people tell their own. The film pulsates gently through these motions, through letting me cry my eyes out and think about life and death in solemnity. The documentary is influenced by the article Jumpers, by Tad Friend.
Low-budget, effective, scary, bad rhythm — 5 years ago
This is a quite fine film based on the real story of backpacker killer Ivan Milat. Despite problems with rhythm, especially during the first half of the film, it gains momentum due to stylistic simplicity and cinematography. The acting and directing isn’t overly dramatic, which really helps the film; even though I sometimes felt lack of substance, the film compensates this by adding a sense of fear that I seldom see in films. You will find few Hollywood-esque effects here, like strings whenever the killer is close to his prey. The script could have used one more once-over, but given the low budget I say I’d definitely see another film by the same director.
Lucid, hellish, avant-garde — 5 years ago
I expected this film, permeated with the sense of human downfall through means of legal and illegal substances and methods, to be more in-your-face, but no. Instead, this film is heart-felt, warm and lucid, at the same time as it’s living Hell. The direction is radiant with audacity and calm; there’s nothing here to indicate that director Darren Aronovsky is trying too hard or, indeed, too little. The absolutely brilliant soundtrack (yet again delivered by Aronovsky’s long-time cohort Clint Mansell, this time with The Kronos Quartet) delivers a massive backdrop to the unpredictable scenery. Avant-garde quick clips between iconographic imagery are used to punctuate movements in time (e.g. person getting high on drug). The acting is acute and good. This is like a story you want to end, but when it has, you keep it in your heard and mind forever. Please, see this.
Masterful piece on old life and psychopathy — 5 years ago
Brilliant film co-produced and starring Albert Finney as Danny, a psychopathic killer who works helping an elderly woman while suffering with existence itself. Quite like Antonioni’s “L’Avventura”, this film distances itself from much kitchen sink from the same period, while holding its own due to a stellar performance by Finney, which just gets better as the film goes on. A character-based masterpiece of acting, and I’ve got the feeling this film will get deeper and better with repeated viewings.
A disappointment, despite handing out the best rendition of the American national anthem that I’ve ever heard/seen. This is a film mainly based on the individual relationships of two couples. The couples, individual of each-other, convene at a swingers’ place called “Shortbus”, where they experiment, break out and break down. Outside of this dome, human relationships are dealt with as would be expected of John Cameron Mitchell, who directed and wrote this film. It initially received its fair share of publicity because of the authentic (shock!) sex-scenes (of which there are many), but to Mitchell’s grace, they’re not really what’s most interesting about the work. This film is fair, but falls flat in comparison with “Hedwig And The Angry Inch”.
Wonderful, great, horrid, brilliant — 5 years ago
Wonderful dogma-film about a family that assembles to celebrate the head dad. Christian, the oldest child, holds the first speech in front of a flawed, detailed family, and lets his father choose between a green and a yellow speech. The father opts for the green and after this, the family never recovers. Many a secret is unraveled and much is learned in this brilliantly directed, written and played film.
True epic, tripping the light fantastic — 5 years ago
An epic drawn from legendary samurai stories and Shakespeare’s “King Lear”, this is an immense tale of treachery, envy and greed, and what becomes of those parts when intertwined. Kurosawa spent a decade on this film before filming it, and I’m guessing every second of it was worth the effort. Flawless direction coupled with a marvellous script, breathtaking cinematography and use of colours, wide-angled shots and full use of symbolics, this is a must-see.
Reinventing film grammar, beyond stereotypes — 5 years ago
Brilliant film driven by very few major events, in a real world where the characters do unexpected things and the synopsis of the film does it no real justice, in comparison with most other films: “A woman disappears during a Mediterranean boating trip. But during the search, her lover and her best friend become attracted to each other.” This is way too simple, and I think the most interesting thing is that the film is controlled by the absence of the missing person rather than when she was physically in the picture, not to mention the subtle twists and turns. Brilliant direction, cinematography and script.
A question I have about "Proof of Youth" — 5 years ago
Why haven’t they really evolved?