New Releases: 2nd July

THIS MEANS WAR: Trailer: http://youtu.be/NMi_SWlFEMk

JOHN CARTER: Trailer: http://youtu.be/pcV7aXL8txU

HIT AND MISS SEASON 1: Trailer: http://youtu.be/4loJKcwhYWs

JACK AND JILL:

Trailer: http://youtu.be/qHKTXrUnN58

PROJECT X:

Trailer: http://youtu.be/1Rl1TJG17Wk

WARRIORS OF THE RAINBOW:

Trailer: http://youtu.be/53QsTkZMV1A

MARGARET:

Trailer: http://youtu.be/POPLzI40Uiw

CLEANSKIN: Trailer: http://youtu.be/8dRZlLdO41E

Colour Me Kieslowski

Krzysztof Kieslowski (27/6/41 – 13/3/96)

For anyone who’s ever seen a Krzysztof Kieslowski film, it’s an experience they won’t likely forget. His style was idiosyncratic, full of tantalising visual clues, metaphors and references (think of the use of reflection and distortion in Double Life Of Veronique); his films were full of coincidences, parallel lives and recurring motifs, from the physical (the old lady who struggles to deposit her glass bottle in the recycling bin in both Double Life Of Veronique and, again, in Red – both starring Irene Jacob) to the metaphysical (the clash between cynicism and idealism and the passage from despair and solitude to redemptive compassion). He was a film-maker who, though often noted for being dour in person (one Guardian interviewer likened him to Samuel Beckett’s Vladimir – and to a Rubic Cube), was characterised by a supreme generosity in his work – the generosity of the film-maker who, rather than offering explanations for every action, allows the viewer to interpret for themselves – handing the film over, relinquishing authorship/ownership, inviting the audience to participate, to penetrate, to give and to take.

When he announced at 52 that he was retiring from the film-making world, he stated that he felt film was not only a dishonest profession, but that it had not the requisite intelligence to properly capture and portray the inner life: “Literature can achieve this, cinema can’t,” he said, “It’s not intelligent enough. Consequently, it’s not equivocal enough. Yet, at the same time, while being too explicit, it’s also too equivocal” (Danusia Stok (ed.), Kieslowski On Kieslowski). His films are rarely explicit, but rather they carry a transcendent sense of the bittersweet that stays with the viewer until long after the film is done.

Kieslowski died in 1996 at 54. Today he would have been 70. Here are some of his greatest – and most beautiful – works:

The Double Life Of Veronique (1991)

Winner of Best Actress and the FIPRESCI Prizes and nominated for the Palme d’Or at Cannes

Trailer: http://youtu.be/QmnNrgSuQfE

Three Colours Trilogy (1993-94)

Red: Nominated for the Palme d’Or at Cannes

Blue Trailer: http://youtu.be/FesMCxJi3xA

White Trailer: http://youtu.be/6fX7tyxBNsM

Red Trailer: http://youtu.be/r-o8vQdU608

Short Film About Killing (1988)

Winner of the FIPRESCI and The Jury Prize and nominated for the Palme d’Or at Cannes

Trailer: http://youtu.be/4jp6zdr_Rpo

Kieslowski’s top ten films (in no particular order), as requested by Sight and Sound:

La Strada by Fellini; Kes by Ken Loach; Un Condamné à mort s’est echappé by Robert Bresson; The Pram by Widerberg; Intimate Lighting by Ivan Passer; The Sunday Musicians by Karabasz; Ivan’s Childhood by Tarkovsky; Les Quatre cents coups by Truffaut; Citizen Kane by Orson Welles; The Kid by Chaplin.

Guardian interview: http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2011/nov/09/krzysztof-kieslowski-interview

posted by Dixie Turner

Gracing Our Shelves: Derek (2008)

A documentary on the late, great Derek Jarman (1942-1994), experimental film-maker and artist, a hugely influential and controversial figure in the British art, music and film scene. The documentary is by British artist Isaac Julien who curated the Derek Jarman retrospective at the Serpentine Gallery in 2008, and is written and narrated by long-time Jarman collaborator, friend and muse, Tilda Swinton.

Glitterbug (53 minute film posthumously compiled by friends from super-8  footage shot by Jarman over the course of many years, featuring music by Brian Eno): http://youtu.be/VqrMKcIk-mA

Guardian article on the eve of the release of Derek: http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2008/feb/14/art.margaretthatcher

Interview with Tilda Swinton on Derek Jarman from 400 Blows: http://www.400blows.co.uk/inter_swinton.shtml

At Your Own Risk

posted by Dixie Turner

I Like Freaks And That’s Why I Like You

Man Who Fell To Earth (1976)

By Rob Munday.

A space capsule detaches, real space footage, its jets blazing with brilliant colour. It flies down, burning through the Earth’s atmosphere, and splashes into a lake of glistening water.

We see the alien, also descending, feet unsure on a crumbling slope. A stick insect in a duffel coat, the sunshine bright behind his flailing silhouette. This is Thomas Jerome Newton (David Bowie), an alien Icarus come to Earth in search of the water to quench his parched planet.

Meanwhile we hear the classical sounds of Holst’s The Planets. In this solar system Newton is the Sun and those orbiting are stray oddballs lost in the American vastness. Candy Clark, Rip Torn, Buck Henry – America boiled down into imaginary landmarks.

Newton poses as an Englishman, the perfect cover for his general oddness. He is a classic Roeg lead, a stranger in a strange land. We see the landscape as he does, full of beauty and scope but also with memories of America long past and his own family many moons away.

This is a personal epic, kaleidoscopic in its visuals with a soundtrack that flips and flips like the many TVs that entrance Newton. John Phillips put together these tunes, a feast of Americana – but wait, Roy Orbison is playing, we know that all is not right in this world. There are temptations to battle, and a government suspicious of corporations that don’t play ball. That lake may still glisten but gin keeps on flowing ready to quench but never cure.

Mayersberg’s script is grand and tragic, an odd romance, a touching fable. Bowie is the alien, otherworldly but also with the intelligence and grace to be believable. But standing at the top of the slope with the sun behind him and the water below is Nic Roeg, the true visionary, creating a world as he sees it, full of possibilities but always unknowable. His ideas fly out of the screen to burn your retinas as Try To Remember plays on the jukebox.

Man Who Fell To Earth was screened across the UK as part of the Made In Britain season – (more films to be shown soon – check out the link): http://www.independentcinemaoffice.org.uk/films/madeinbritain

New Releases: 25th June

BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL:

British comedy with an all-star cast. A group of retired folk go off to India to stay at what promises to be a luxury hotel, only to find it not quite as advertised. For fans of Richard Curtis-style comedies… Starring Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson and Maggie Smith. Directed by John Madden (Captain Correlli’s Mandolin). Cert. 12

Trailer: http://youtu.be/dDY89LYxK0w

GHOST RIDER 2:

Acion-thriller based on the comic book series. Starring Nicholas Cage and Idris Elba. Cert. 12

Trailer: http://youtu.be/qtrLGZI9Ov0

THE VOW:

Romantic drama about a couple whose relationship comes under threat when one of them is involved in an accident and loses their memory. Once you’ve seen it, will you be inspired to be involved in an accident yourself, just to erase your memory of the film? Starring Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum. Cert. 12

Trailer: http://youtu.be/8swF2-R6X9A

HUNKY DORY:

Comedy-drama set in a school in Wales in 1976. Minnie Driver plays the teacher out to inspire her pupils through the power of song… Includes some musical numbers. If you don’t like Glee, flee. Cert. 15

Trailer: http://youtu.be/7_VxhrtMJCs

WANDERLUST:

Comedy about 30-somethings getting an extreme life make-over out in the sticks. Starring Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd. Cert. 15

Trailer: http://youtu.be/Oz7xMY1AbbI

DANGEROUS METHOD:

Allegedly true story about Freud and Jung and an extremely annoying woman who is – inexplicably – played by Keira Knightley… Also starring Michael Fassbender and Vigo Mortensen. Directed by David Cronenberg (Eastern Promises). Cert. 15

Trailer: http://youtu.be/664eq7BXQcM

YOUNG ADULT:

Dark comedy about a 37 year-old-woman who is desperate to win back her high school sweetheart upon learning he is married with a kid… More interesting than it, or the trailer, looks. Starring Charlize Theron. Directed by Jason Reitman (Up In The Air, Juno, Thank You For Smoking). Cert. 15

Trailer: http://youtu.be/Ar_-v7dEEoo

TANNER HALL:

Coming of age drama set in a New England all girls boarding school. Starring Rooney Mara (Girl With a Dragon Tattoo). Cert. 15

Trailer: http://youtu.be/SbSQZpWOWBA

posted by Dixie Turner

Get Your Cheese On…

A couple of slices of Monterey Jack for your viewing pleasure. Bust out your dad’s old moustache and don your leather trousers to view these newly added bad boys:

Cannonball Run (1981)

Road race movie with a massive cast, expensive cars, fast women, and sleazy men. Full of  80s alleged-hilarity. Starring Burt Reynolds, Farrah Fawcett, Roger Moore, Jackie Chan, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. The only movie, as the trailer proudly proclaims, to have sold 200 tickets before it even opened. 30 odd years later, it’s funny how totally unimpressive that sounds…

And this has got to be one of the best trailers ever….: http://youtu.be/I_7_y0HhAmY

Convoy (1978)

A film about a bunch of trucks. A true American classic. Watch with a hotdog and a Brewski whilst hanging with your bros.

Trailer: http://youtu.be/T5RI30RJIPk

posted by Dixie Turner

COMING SOON: July Releases – Highlights:

2/7:

THIS MEANS WAR

JOHN CARTER

HIT AND MISS

JACK AND JILL

MARGARET

9/7:

21 JUMP STREET

BEING ELMO

ONCE UPON A TIME IN ANATOLIA

RAMPART

THE SOURCE

16/7:

WE BOUGHT A ZOO

 CONTRABAND

DAMAGES SEASON 4

23/7:

BEL AMI

KID WITH A BIKE

30/7: 

MIRROR MIRROR

Video City A-Z of Film – Staff Picks: B Films (But Not Necessarily ‘B-Films’…) (Pt.1)

ALY SAYS:

Boyz N The Hood (1991) Directed by John Singleton

B is for Boyz N The Hood; one of my favourite films as it shows just how hard life can be “growing up in the hood”. The director John Singleton tells a ‘real’ but revealing story about the struggles of growing up and making adult decisions, maybe before you are ready to make them.

A memorable moment in the film that I will always remember is when Tre’s (Cuba Gooding Jr.) father tries to teach his son about doing the right thing and to take responsibility for his actions after he finds out that his son wants retribution after his friend gets killed in a gang shooting.

Definitely a must watch film if you look past the violence for the powerful life messages Singleton tries to portray.

Trailer: http://youtu.be/MVDl7k_xkpo

SIMON SAYS:

Biutiful (2010) Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu

B is for Biutiful. But B is also for Bleak and in Biutiful it doesn’t get much bleaker! Nevertheless don’t be put off because this is a remarkable film with a remarkable performance from Javier Bardem (of No Country for Old Men fame amongst others). Many of us are familiar with the magical city of Barcelona but this shows us a side of it that few will have ever seen.

Uxbal (Bardem) survives operating as middleman in business with illegal immigrant workers in the Chinese community. He also has the ability to communicate with the dead and is the father of the ten year-old Ana and the little boy Mateo. Their mother suffers from bipolar and is an unstable alcoholic. When Uxbal learns that he is terminally ill, he sets out to find someone to look after his children when he has gone.

The cinematography is exceptional, with some fantastic depictions of Uxbal’s troubled world. It’s a film that will stay with you visually and narratively – yet amidst the carnage of the storyline, the director still manages to portray hope and ultimately a chance of redemption.

Trailer: http://youtu.be/m_OrqZQV8p8

WILL SAYS:

Battleship Potemkin (19225) Directed by Sergei Eisenstein

B is for Battleship Potemkin.

Brutal and beautiful. This one’s about toppling the crooks in charge and taking the power back.

Dramatising the 1905 mutiny on the ship Potemkin, an important step toward revolution in 1917, Eisenstein’s masterpiece of montage presents a rigorous demonstration of his theoretical principles and findings, as well as a total surpassing of them in the creation of truly sublime film images.

Indeed, only through Potemkin’s dialectical unfolding did Eisenstein truly succeed in building a structure of images that enables us to comprehend and truly feel the validity of the communist position.

My two favourite sequences:

1) Fog on the water following the murder of sailor Vakulinchuk … Shots of empty waters flicked by reflections of light from the rising sun … Vakulinchuk’s death giving birth to popular support for the mutiny, coupled with a duration that trumps politics and revels in beauty for beauty’s sake.

2) A mass of sailors asleep in their hammocks, strong key lighting drawing alllll attention to their muscular backs … Revolution is for the strong, but as Eisenstein well knew, it’s also for the sexy.

Be a (wo)man, not a maggot – rent this and raise the red flag.

Trailer: http://youtu.be/kS5kzTbNKjs

New Releases: 18th June

WOMAN IN BLACK:

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPYMUnJGURI

 

CARNAGE:

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxX02-KdsXM

 

SAFE HOUSE:

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IfQY4fNcnw

 

DEXTER SEASON 6:

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9XOzVXRCe8

 

BRAQUO SEASON 2

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRwBnHhLxHI

 

ONE FOR THE MONEY:

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ld4x5aymjj4

Paint Me Brutal

Not unlike his paintings, this portrait of the celebrated artist Lucian Freud – constructed through interviews with those whose portraits he himself captured – is bold, beautiful and disturbing. Love him or not, the documentary makes for fascinating viewing as those who sat for him reflect on the artist and attempt to dispel some of the myths and inaccuracies that have crept up around him.

Clip: http://youtu.be/O-0HtdFohJI

The Madman; The Murderer; The Mistress… In a Lonely Place

In a Lonely Place (1950)

“I was born when she kissed me. I died when she left me. I lived a few weeks while she loved me.”

Humphrey Bogart is brilliantly cast in the pretty unheroic role of a scriptwriter with a mighty violent temper. When a young woman he is seen with is discovered murdered only hours afterwards, Dixon Steele (Bogart) becomes the chief suspect in a murder case. His alibi, however, comes in the form of a beautiful blonde (played by Gloria Grahame) who, once they start playing house together and she gets to know him a little better, begins having doubts about his innocence… (There’s nothing quite like seeing your lover nearly beat someone to death to make you wonder if he’s quite the man of your dreams.)

 An unusual film, Nicholas Ray’s noir masterpiece plays beautifully with the joys of new love whilst simultaneously undermining it with suspicion and doubt (it may be interesting to note that Ray’s marriage to his lead actress, Gloria Grahame, was unraveling and the couple split whilst shooting was in progress. Also, more intriguingly – and worryingly, Louise Brooks in her book Lulu in Hollywood, describes Bogart’s role in this film to be the closest to his true character…)

The film is laden with clues and suggestions that lead you astray as well as an unexpected – and initially unscripted – ending. With its character driven storyline that strips the players’ emotions bare, it isn’t hard to see why In a Lonely Place is considered by many to be one of the finest noirs ever made.

Trailer: http://youtu.be/CcMPHyOWjG4

Gloria Grahame – a very bad girl…

posted by Dixie Turner

Everyone’s Asking For…

Everyone’s asking for:

Everyone should be asking for:

For anyone who’s ever been in their early 20s, or adrift and at a loss, neither dejected nor jubilant; for anyone trying to carve out a space for themselves in the world. For anyone, really. Wonderfully understated, natural performances (including from Dunham’s own mother and sister) from an understated script about post-graduate adjustment and just generally trying to get a grip amongst others who already appear to have it… Lena Dunham is one to watch, as is her HBO show, Girls, currently airing in the States.

Trailer: http://youtu.be/PF_jWPJwKIE

Interview with Lena Dunham for the NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/10/magazine/even-lena-dunhams-dog-is-getting-frisky-with-her.html

twitter.com/lenadunham

posted by Dixie Turner

Happy 90th, Judy Garland

JUDY! JUDY! JUDY!

OH! MOST LOVABLE OF STARS!

NOW AMONGST THE HEAVENS, AND FOREVER OUT OF MICKEY ROONEY’S GRUBBY CLUTCHES!

OH BUT IF YOU WERE WITH US NOW, 90 YEARS FROM YOUR BIRTH, POURING YOUR HEART OVER A BLASTING REFRAIN, A SINGLE PEARLESCENT TEAR GRACING YOUR QUIVERING CHEEK, CARRYING US ALL OVER AND OVER RAINBOWS AND RAINBOWS FOREVER AND EVER.

http://youtu.be/nP6Px3wSKOc

posted by Tom Moore

New Releases: 11th June

MUPPETS:

Family comedy with a Frank Capra-style storyline. Amy Adams (Sunshine Cleaning) and Jason Segel (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) unite to help the fluffy puppets save their community theatre from a greedy tycoon. Directed by James Bobin (Ali G, Flight of the Conchords). Cert. U

Trailer: http://youtu.be/kVkla1N9tpQ

MAN ON  LEDGE:

Heist movie about a man on a ledge (Sam Worthington – Clash of the Titans) who draws the police to his aid whilst meanwhile something exciting is happening in another part of town… Also starring Elizabeth Banks (Next Three Days), Jamie Bell (Hallam Foe) and Ed Harris (Pollock). Directed by Asger Leth (Ghosts of Cite Soleil). Cert. 12

Trailer: http://youtu.be/YWSdm4K-9_0

 

J.EDGAR:

Clint Eastwood (Million Dollar Baby), directs Leonardo Di Caprio (Aviator) in this biopic about the man who was the head of the FBI for nearly 50 years. Feared and loathed by gangsters and politicians alike, Hoover had a few skeletons in his own closet – it will be interesting to see how far Eastwood explores these/tones them down for the mainstream palette.

Article from American Thinker website on the film and its alleged inacurracies. Hilarious, but troubling to see just how eager they are to discredit the homosexual implications of the film: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/../2011/11/the_real_j_edgar_hoover.html#.T9HV8nl2mPc.link

Trailer: http://youtu.be/DR6fCQ71xcY

 

EXTREMELY LOUD & INCREDIBLY CLOSE:

Extremely annoying trailer. But maybe the film is better… When his father dies in the world trade centre, a nine-year-old boy searches New York to find the lock that matches a mysterious key his father left behind. Starring Tom Hanks (Splash), Sandra Bullock (Speed), John Goodman (Speed Racer), and Max von Sydow (Seventh Seal). Directed by Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot, The Hours, The Reader). Cert. 12

Trailer: http://youtu.be/Z_quK9SEGYE

WOMAN IN THE FIFTH:

Romantic thriller full of romance and thrills. And scandals and murder. Starring Kristin Scott-Thomas (I’ve Loved You So Long) and Ethan Hawke (Before Sunrise). Directed by Pawel Pawlikowski (My Summer Of Love). Cert. 15.

Trailer: http://youtu.be/DU1b3ELNL-U

ALSO RELEASED:

WHITE LION:

Trailer: http://youtu.be/yyw-9qg97RQ

ARMY OF SAVIOURS AKA SAVIORS IN THE NIGHT:

Trailer: http://youtu.be/UzJli02g1SQ

HOUSEMAID:

Trailer: http://youtu.be/3Ayoaqh3SBs

MOMENT OF TRUTH AKA DON McKAY:

Trailer: http://youtu.be/cDJi2d_iSlk

FATHER OF INVENTION:

Trailer: http://youtu.be/znE5tTpHTM4

CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM SEASON 8:

Trailer: http://youtu.be/ynUHYh6Gzqo

ENTOURAGE SEASON 8:

Trailer: http://youtu.be/gu6_eIlbZu4

posted by Dixie Turner

Current Top Ten Rentals:

These are the current most popular rentals – not necessarily the best. Just saying.

 

1.

The Artist.

Everything you’ve ever wanted from film, life, the world, and more.

2.

The Descendants.

Everything you’ve ever wanted from George Clooney, and more.

3.

War Horse.

Everything that a mechanical horse can’t do (think about it), and more.

4.

The Grey.

Every pre-flight nightmare you’ve ever had, rolled into one, and more.

5.

Tiny Furniture.

Every ‘I’ve just graduated and have no job, no life, no love and odd friends so I’m just going to lie here for a bit and ooze slowly into a puddle of over-qualified goo’ fantasy you’ve ever had, and more.

6.

Martha Macy May Marlene.

Every reason you should stay away from those people who keep inviting you to live on their farm who say they’re into love, nature and free-living, but at night sit around a car on fire, cackling, drinking gasoline mixed with aftershave, and playing the banjo better than that guy in Deliverance – and more.

7.

Coriolanus.

Every reason Kenneth Branagh should move over, and more.

8.

Carancho.

Every reason Ricardo Darin is the only Argentine actor in the world, and more.

9.

Chronicle.

Every reason teenagers should be kept under lock and key in a safe house made of kryptonite, and more.

10.

Iron Lady.

Every reason young people can’t afford housing and are considering moving to Berlin instead, and so much more.

posted by Dixie Turner