Other People’s ChildrenNEW website review: Sherry Westley Film: Other People’s Children Country: France Category: Drama/Comedy Year : 2022 Writer/Director : Rebecca Zlotowski Stars : Virginie Efira Roschdy Zem Australian Release: 6 July 2023 Reviewer: Sherry Westley
This is an enjoyable and sensitive film with highly watchable stars. It explores the feelings of a childless woman who has a full and loving life, but is forced by circumstances to work through her emotional reactions to her childless state. Rachel,a forty year old French teacher in a secondary school,falls mutually in love with Ali,
the separated father and frequent carier of four year old Leila. Of course Rachel also falls in love with his child. Through the course of the story arc, she faces the emotional insecurity of not being the child’s mother, as well the pressure of her biological clock.
A radiant Virginie Efira gives us a laughing, dignified, polite and positive Rachel, dealing sensitively with a complex but common situation. There is some nudity, but the sex scenes are warm and gentle.
In the 2024 Lumière’s Awards, Virginie Efira won Best Actress and the film was nominated in the Best Film,Directer and Screen Play categories.
It was also nominated in the Venice Film Festival Golden Lion Award. Rotten Tomatoes gave it 92%.
There are no baddies in this film, just the complexities of dealing with life’s difficulties in a sensitive and positive way. Definitely worth seeing.
Saxo Scandinavian Film Festival 2023: LET THE RIVER FLOW NEW website review: Marina Sklyar
LET THE RIVER FLOW "The River Will Flow - Sami Protesters in Norway"
"The River Will Flow" is an extraordinary story based on true life events.
Timely exploration of the struggles faced by the Sami people who had no choice but to protesters in Norway to keep the heritage of their ancestors forests and river. This feature file shines a spotlight on an important social and cultural movement, leaving a lasting impact on its viewers.
From the opening scenes, the film captures your attention with simple life of living in outskirts of Norway.
The pristine landscapes of Norway, accompanied by a captivating soundtrack, serve as a backdrop to the unfolding narrative. Every shot is meticulously crafted, immersing the audience in the beauty and serenity of the Sami homeland. The cinematography alone is a feast for the eyes, ensuring an engaging and visually pleasing experience.
However, it is the film's powerful storytelling that truly makes it stand out. "The River Will Flow" delicately explores the struggles and challenges faced by the Sami people as they fight to protect their land and cultural heritage. The narrative gracefully navigates through the complexities of the Sami protests, shedding light on the historical context and the contemporary issues they face. The film skillfully blends personal stories, interviews, and archival footage to create a multi-dimensional portrait of the Sami community's fight for justice.
The documentary's strength lies in its ability to humanize the Sami protesters, allowing the audience to empathize with their experiences and motivations. It skillfully captures the emotions and resilience of the individuals involved, offering a profound insight into their struggles, aspirations, and determination. Through their voices, the film highlights the profound connection between the Sami people and their ancestral lands, creating a sense of urgency and importance that resonates deeply with viewers.
"The River Will Flow" is more than just a documentary; it is a call for social change. The film adeptly raises awareness about the ongoing issues faced by the Sami people in Norway, shedding light on the often-overlooked struggles of indigenous communities around the world. It sparks important conversations about land rights, cultural preservation, and the inherent value of diverse voices within society.
In conclusion, "The River Will Flow - Sami Protesters in Norway" is a captivating and timely masterpiece that deserves high praise. Its stunning cinematography, powerful storytelling, and poignant exploration of the Sami people's struggles make it an unforgettable viewing experience. This feature will leave you inspired, informed, and eager to learn more about the challenges faced by indigenous communities worldwide. It is an essential piece of cinema that demands attention and stands as a testament to the resilience and strength of the human spirit
It happens that the film is unbearable to watch from the very first minutes, because it immediately becomes clear that the script is not good, and the actors grimace, and the operator has a bit of a Parkinson's syndrome.
Here, on the contrary, everything is very good for the time being.
We are introduced to the main characters - a young family whose finances sing lyrical songs and 'happiness' falls on their heads - an inheritance in the form of a huge house on the sea coast in a very secluded and picturesque place.
This is where the real action begins.
I must say that the location for filming was chosen just perfectly. New Zealand landscapes in different films look amazing, and this one was no exception.
The ever-stormy sea, a deserted beach, a dark and gloomy forest through which the rays of the sun do not penetrate - it is immediately clear that these places are hiding some kind of secret.
During the first half of the film, the audience is slowly 'warmed up' and pumped into suspense. Howling wind, creaking floorboards, eerie sounds from the forest, flashbacks from the past - all this creates the right atmosphere of something mysterious and scary.
Moreover, for the time being it is completely incomprehensible what kind of 'something' hides the old estate. Either an evil spirit, or a maniac, or forest herbs act intoxicatingly - we are very competently prepared for the culmination. So...
the team of creators pushed for a long, long time and finally gave birth ... no, this is not the right word. Rather, she let out a whisperer, revealing to the world that very something.
I must say that it looks good, given the low cost budget of this creation but this miracle-yudo has been shown for a very short time, and it does not work very convincingly. Either it growls and pretends to be a kilometer away, or, on the contrary, silently sneaks through the window. Either it deals with an adult man without any problems, or it is powerless in front of a fragile and wounded woman. Worse, after the fall of the veil of mystery, the movie quickly slides down to the level of horror films on some spooky TV channel.
Everything is simple, uncomplicated and boring. You just don't give a damn about what's happening in the pictue and for the denouement of this film, too.
They overdid it with the light. It happens that the lighting of the set is made very bright even in night scenes. Here, on the contrary, it is always dark. Sometimes this is good, but in the end the darkness becomes simply unbearable. Work with the light of the film crew certainly failed.
In general, everything is not so bad but you could at least work a little on the script and on the lighting, and it would turn out to be quite a good horror movie.
For landscapes, for suspense, for work with sound, for acting by a girl and for the atmosphere of the 1970s - good work.
Exhilarating, surprising and a creative exploration of flash as a character ! Was over in a flash and I enjoyed every moment of this action packed, jaw dropping showdown! The Multiverse concept is well articulated and really well thought out. The Flash is a 2023 American superhero film based on the DC Comics character of the same name. Of course this mastermind of a movie was produced by Warner Bros. This film was directed by Andy Muschietti.Worlds quite literally collide and intercept when Flash uses his unique superpowers to travel back in time to change the events of the past. Barry Allen, also known as flash, wants to prevent his mothers death from ever happening but in doing so shifts the multiverse into complete chaos. Attempting to change history and save his mum he inadvertently alters the future becoming trapped in a reality in which General Zod has returned, threatening annihilation of planet earth. Stuck in the past, Flash will need to turn to a team of superheroes to help him defeat General Zod.
Barry Allen uses his super speed to recreate a reality where his mum is alive but his attempt to save his family creates a world without his band of super hero friends.
In the film Life of Madeleine (2022), Madeleine leaves a small suburb in France to enter a nursing home on the other side of Paris.
The taxi driver she calls is coming for her, but the driver is in no hurry to drive up.
Madeleine then asks the driver to drive through the places of Paris that she has counted in her life.
The storyline of this melancholic film unfolds during this road trip and dialogues between taxi driver Louis, frustrated by the little that society has to offer in the new insensible age, and his old aee gpassenger. In Madeleine's stories to an attentive stranger, a 94-year-old woman, at the end of her life, shares memories that randomly emerge from a dementia-suffering memory: regrets, anxious love, a son whom she had not seen for a long time. With her stories, she manages to awaken forgotten feelings in the driver’s soul, expressed in a well-felt final embrace between him, his wife and their young daughter.
Their dialogues are about the injustices against women in France and domestic violence but they are spiced with jokes at the right time with the right targets.
This is a true masterpiece, a brilliant story with comic elements and tragedy of the human experiences. Add to this the beauty of Paris and incredible acting.
David Tennant returns to the West End with Elliot Levy in a powerful and timely reimagining of a famous play by British playwright of C.P. Taylor, directed by Olivier Award winner Dominique Cooke.
A new revival of the play by K.P. Taylor's "GOOD" which follows music-loving late-1930s German professor and literary academic John Halder as he reflects on the philosophical underpinnings of the Nazi Party's shocking policies, takes place on the evening of October 12 2022.
The plot is about investigating the incidence of evil in one of the most highly cultured societies in the world. John Halder, whose best friend is a Jew, charts his move into active racist Nazism.
The production is extremely engaging, following Halder's inner psychology and deep thoughts via his mental dialogue with himself. Tenant's performance is extraordinary. The play shows the main character's transition from one cultured liberal man to a committed antisemitic fascist, pretty well. From good to evil. This is a good example of how ordinary people can be brought into the process of transition and become blind evil policies followers who never question the reality of what is projected on them , including mass murdering and genocidal projects.
The cast is led by David Tennant, Elliot Levy and Sharon Small, and also features Rebecca Bainbridge, Isaac Keiner, Jamie Cameron, Jim Creighton, Edie Newman and Lizzy Shenk.
The play was originally scheduled to premiere in 2020, but was delayed by two years.
David Tennant could be seen in Don Juan in Soho, and on the screen - in the TV series Doctor Who, Good Omens, Jessica Jones and others.
RED, WHITE & BRASS is an entertaining and heartwarming New Zealand comedy, a positive and optimistic story, directed by Damon Fepulea'i about two superfans, Maka (John-Paul Foliaki) and his successful cousin, Veni, Pacific Islanders who could not get tickets to the sports game. Then they come up with an idea to create a Tongan marching pre-match entertainment band - that way they could attend the Tonga-France rugby game at the 2011 World Cup in Wellington.
The band assortment of friends and family (most with no musical experience) is far from knowing anything about the marching brass bands whatsoever; the band is formed of misfits and scams and they run thier musical "practices" using everything around them including cans and bottles. They only have four weeks for this routine. The band of course gets disapproval of the conservative church minister father and the Tongan community elders. Maka's father manages to convince them to agree to a compromise where Makas' team will perform a traditional Tongan hymn. Do you think they will succeed or fail in fornt of thousands of people watching them?
But there is mor to the story that meets the eye. It will be a self discovery trip for the whole band as well as for Maka and Veni to know more about thier own culture.
An idealistic film student finds herself drawn into a shady and intoxicating world after befriending a mysterious performance artist.
It is quite a sophisticated and cryptic, extravagant, slow pace and 'surreal drama' by a Russia-born director, Alena Lodkina. Two young women get attracted to each other. Nathalie Morris as Eva brilliantly delivers the performance that follows the quiet and strange atmosphere of the whole picture.
This is Alena's second feature film she directs and screen writes. The film is quite difficult to catgorise and frame into a specific genre, nevertheless, I call drama. I also suspect this movie will be hard to enjoy by the wide audience as it is rather unusual. Let me explain this: the audience seemingly follows the film scene and suddenly thinks: "what?". It is closer to the blend of horror and drama but very hard to define. You just do not know where you will be taken the next minute. Unrealistic scenes blend in with the normal reality and you do not know what is going on.
At some stage you suddenly realise you do not follow the plot and feel alienated and captured inside your own thoughts.
The second girl, Mia is played by Hannah Lynch. Eva and Mia meet a couple of times before thy decide to live together. We can not see why it happens as there is no obvious attraction, nor there are definite lines on what is going on and why this happens. The connection seems a bit unrealistic. We are feeling balancing on the edge of reality and dream state as everything seems so uncertain. Both actresses perform very strong though I had a feeling that some chemistry is missing between them two (it is poetic and graceful friendship) - was it a director's move or was it part of the performance - it remains a mystery.
The overall impression from the film was: fresh breath, uncommon imagination and Bergman-like powerful picture.
SFF: PRISON 77 NEW website review by Marina Sklyar
"Prison 77" is a gripping film that delves deep into the human spirit, delivering a thought-provoking narrative filled with intense emotions and profound character development. Directed by Alberto Rodriguez, a visionary filmmaker, he brought to life an exceptional cast. The movie presents a compelling story which is based on historical true factors, that will leave audience captivated from start to finish.
Set against the backdrop of a bleak and desolate prison, "Prison 77" follows the journey of its titular character, played brilliantly by an outstanding lead actors, Miguel Herran and Javier Gutierrez. The film introduces us to a man who finds himself confined within the walls, this is not the place for an educated free spirit man, who has done no wrong. He demands for the prisoners rights amnesty. Prison 77 has a very strong sense of pride and will not give up on anything to provide for his fellow prisoners and himself amnesty. The character's transformation is the heart of the story. The script masterfully explores the depths of his despair, turmoil, and eventual redemption.
The cinematography is truly mesmerizing, capturing the harsh realities of prison life with a raw and authentic visual style. From the dimly lit cells to the stark corridors, every frame immerses the audience in the claustrophobic and oppressive atmosphere of the prison. The use of lighting and shadows enhances the intensity of the narrative, creating a palpable sense of tension and unease.
What sets "Prison 77" apart from other prison dramas is its emphasis on the psychological and emotional aspects of the characters. The supporting cast delivers stellar performances, each portraying complex individuals with their own unique motivations and vulnerabilities. Their interactions and relationships serve as powerful reflections of the human condition, exploring themes of remorse, forgiveness, and the innate desire for redemption.
The film's pacing is deliberate, allowing the story to unfold gradually and organically. While some may find certain moments to be intentionally slow, it serves to heighten the emotional impact of key scenes. The screenplay is masterfully crafted, striking a delicate balance between quiet introspection and intense confrontations, ensuring that the audience remains fully invested in the characters' journeys.
Moreover, the film's soundtrack is hauntingly beautiful, perfectly complementing the somber and introspective tone.
It explores the complexities of the human condition and offers a profound meditation on guilt, redemption, and the resilience of the human spirit. Whether you are a fan of intense dramas or simply appreciate thought-provoking cinema, "Prison 77" is definitely worth your time and will leave a lasting impression long after the credits roll.
Many scientists still believe that huge prehistoric sharks can live in the ocean and it's only a matter of time before people discover them. A couple of years ago, the blockbuster The Meg, starring Jason Statham, came out on the screens and this film brought back the fashion for big sharks in cinemas. Now the premiere of "Megalodon: The Black Demon" has taken place and I can say that the movie turned out to be quite interesting, spectacular and tense.
In the center of the plot is Paul Sturgess, an oil company inspector who is sent by management to a small town near the ocean with an important task. Paul needs to check the operation of an oil station while his family, wife and two children, will be relaxing at a local resort. But when the man arrives in the town, they find that it is practically empty. There are no tourists here, and the locals are scared and unfriendly. Nor, one way or another, his work must be done and Paul goes to the platform, after which a real nightmare begins for him.
It turns out that a huge shark, a megalodon, has wound up in the local waters. It destroyed almost the entire staff of the oil rig and now Paul himself has to save his own life from an angry predator. The worst thing is that his relatives arrive on the platform, which means Paul will have a doubly difficult test, because just one mistake is enough to lead to an irreparable disaster.
The film has tense atmosphere and it is quite entertaining. It would seem that it is difficult to surprise a modern viewer with something, but the authors of Megalodon competently pump up suspense, imprisoning the characters on an oil platform, and this adds serious tension to the story. It is impossible to call for help out there, you can rely solely on your own strength, and the megalodon turns out to be not at all such a primitive predator as it might seem.
In addition to the issues of survival in critical conditions and everything connected with it, Megalodon also features quite interesting arguments on the topic of ecology. After all, oil rigs are a big problem for ocean life, and this movie is kind of a warning to all of us about what not to do in any case.
There are also quite colorful mythological notes from Latin America. It was interesting to learn a little more about the culture of the inhabitants of this region through the prism of belief in ancient monsters. And who knows, what if they actually saw something terrible in the sea and what is shown in the movies is not such a fairy tale.
Bottom line: "The Black Demon" turned out to be a very interesting and tense thriller that withstands serious intrigue until the very end. If you don't mind tickling your nerves, then this film is definitely worth your attention.
THE NARROW BRIDGE NEW website review by Katherine Kelly
The Narrow Bridge
Directed and Produced by Esther Takac
The Narrow Bridge charts the course of four people who have suffered immense losses in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Bushra Ayad, Rami Elhanen, Meytal Ofer and Bassam Aramin from both sides of the conflict who have lost a child or parent in the violence. They’ve had enough of the violence and seek another path towards peace and reconciliation.
The loss of their loved ones has changed their lives forever, leaving them with all the various stages of grief and trauma. With Rami and Bassam’s daughters being shot going about their daily activities, the two fathers have bonded together as “brothers”. Meytal’s father was axed to death in his own garden. She deals with her trauma with producing art depicting her anger and grief. Bushra, whose teenage son was shot is finding another path through her grief amidst family opposition. The documentary shows interviews with these four people along with footage of their loved ones. They are part of the ‘Israeli Palestinian Bereaved Families’ movement who strive to forge a peaceful pathway through their sorrow at a grassroots level. They’ve made concerted efforts through workshops, speaking tours and a and the Memorial Day Ceremonies to achieve solace and peace.
The film opens with an event attended by thousands of participants commemorating terror victims in Tel Aviv’s Ganei Yehoshua Park. An annual event started in 1995, the Memorial Day Ceremonies comprise of addresses, live music, a combined Arab Israeli choir and footage of Leonard Cohen performing The Anthem a few years back. The last stanza of this work is very poignant:
“Ring the bells that still can ring, forget your perfect offering, there is a crack, a crack in everything that's how the light gets in. That's how the light gets in, that's how the light gets in. Ring the bells that still can ring, forget your perfect offering, there is a crack, a crack in everything that's how the light gets in.
That's how the light gets in, that's how the light gets in.”
Narrow Bridge is a very moving, emotional documentary which brings the hope that through movements such as ‘Israeli Palestinian Bereaved Families’, peace can be achieved and maintained in this very long-standing conflict.
When a father is the entourage of his daughter's autobiography
The plot in short: her husband died, she is a single mother for 5 years, her father suffers from a progressive neurodegenerative disease, she decides (with a rather diverse family) that her father can no longer be a capable person - he needs constant care in those institutions that do not inspire confidence. She meets a new friend, a married friend, who for some reason immediately makes it clear that now among the problems there will still be feelings.
This is the introduction to this autobiographical film by Mia Hansen-Löw, who recently admitted in an interview with IndieWire that she tried to finish the script of her story before the death of her father.
After a uniform skimming of introductory data, the film continues to rush to tell us about "itself". We see one broken scene after another, there is a screen Mia in each of them, we are always either at the 5th minute, or at the second hour of the next event. You have to put a comma and understand that this is a simple but long sentence, without a complex plot variety. Mia was in a hurry to write the script in life, and on the screen Mia is in a hurry to finish this difficult time.
We see how she juggles her father and married friend-lover, finding an outlet in this passion, and perhaps a new, different milestone in her life, which, by the way or inopportunely, began parallel to the end of the past one.
Her father was a philosopher, a seeker of certainty, of meaning. He thought of writing an autobiographical book someday. As a result, his daughter, looking for herself, found his notebook with the phrase 'One fine morning'.
This film is an ode to the "self", no matter how she hides behind all the other characters and, in particular, his father. It seems that having replaced her father, having invented a different end story for him, we will still remain in the same scenery of his daughter’s search for herself.
I note that Leia Seydoux - the on-screen Mia - turned out to be a sincere woman, genuinly living as it turns out, wanting to be loved. She wants to be the right mom, although, like any adult child, she has problems with parenthood. She - honestly loves her father in any way, but admires only who he was. She needs his reason, because she needs a father's love. But his oblivion too cruelly makes it clear his priorities, when he gradually ceases to recognize her and wait only for his most beloved person - his second wife.
Mia Hansen-Löw did not set Leia the same tasks that Michelle Williams performed in Fabelmans, reincarnating as Steven Spielberg's mother. Leia was herself, she experienced all the moments of sadness from the scenario of the director's life with the help of her sensitivity, and maybe her experience.
"Bank of Dave" is a British movie about "fools who dream.", a brief instruction on how to go against the system, open a bank and not lose yourself
Dave (Rory Kinnear) is a businessman from the small town of Burnley. He owns a minivan rental service, which is especially needed by local entrepreneurs. And what about those who were hit by the 2008 crisis, but need a car to make money? Dave believes in people and starts lending to residents out of his own pocket. When the number of transactions increases significantly, it becomes clear that opportunities need to be expanded. Then Dave thinks about setting up a local bank, and the London law firm sends an employee (Joel Fry) to help with the collection of documents.
Bank Of Dav is a movie based on the true and unique story of how one man who cared about his hometown and its people decided to open a bank for the first time in 150 years. Dave Fishwick challenges the authorities: if everyone wants to open a bank, what will become of the system? Expecting that the opponent will give up, responsible persons come up with more and more new problems, either by taking the entrepreneur to court for past loans, or by demanding multimillion-dollar contributions. Each obstacle seems to only increase the confidence of the “caring dreamer”.
It is curious how the director shows the contrast between a small town and the capital. In Burnley, everyone knows each other and is always ready to help anyone who is in trouble. And in big London, everyone gets used to achieving everything alone, sharpening their teeth: only forward, even if you have to step over a loved one. The viewer is invited to feel the value of a local bank that helps those who cannot prove themselves, but strive for a better goal, as opposed to a centralized financial monster.
Dave is very much loved by the inhabitants of the city, and we see universal recognition, especially in the scenes in the karaoke bar, where everyone present to thank the main character or listen with rapture to his performance of another rock hit. And the musical track in "Bank Of Dave" really has a special place. The Def Leppard group is featured on the movie poster, and it is worth noting that the performers not only sound on the soundtrack, but are also mentioned in the dialogues of the characters, appear in the key scene, and in general on the lips of each of the participants in what is happening. In fairness, thanks to Dave's passion, the audience will hear their favorite hits, and one involuntarily wonders how much of the budget is spent on this alone.
As part of the actors, Chris Foggin grabs the jackpot: Rory Kinnear is always able to attract the audience, and here he is joined by one of the mastodons of British cinema, Hugh Bonneville, who slightly caricature depicts an expert in the banking system. Joel Fry also copes with his role as a naive, but charming, kind and purposeful young lawyer, who was surprisingly pleasant to watch even in romantic scenes, which seems impossible after his goofy images in Yesterday and Cruella. I would also like to mention Paul Kay, who does not take up much screen time, but will definitely be remembered by every viewer, like any of his heroes.
"Bank Of Dave" is a feel-good movie that won't make you cringe in a chair on steep turns of the plot or hold your stomach with laughter. The tape doesn't go into battle with Air, Founder or Ford v Ferrari, and yet it tells a success story. Success is not global, aimed at capturing the world market and becoming bigger, stronger, better, but as human as possible. The effect is transferred to the audience: this is not a blockbuster, but a movie that allows you to relax and smile. The story of Dave Fishwick returns faith in people and reminds that there is kindness, care and mutual assistance in the world, and everything is possible, even if the goals seem outrageous.
YOU HURT MY FEELINGS website review by Yuchi Huang
"You Hurt My Feelings" is a subtle and introspective film that artfully explores the profound impact our words and actions can have on others. With its naturalistic approach and authentic performances, the movie captures the emotional complexities of everyday interactions. Though lacking in traditional elements like violence or suspense, the film offers a thought-provoking glimpse into our own lives and serves as a poignant reminder of the unintended consequences of our behavior. Well-executed and beautifully filmed, "You Hurt My Feelings" is a noteworthy exploration of human fragility and the power we possess to shape one another's experiences.
A toxic relationship with the ultimate twist. Renfields world comes crashing down when he soon discovers he is wanting to cut ties with his narcissistic boss after centuries of servitude. Renfield seeks a life away from his lunatic asylum routine where he continues to procure his master's prey and accept all unholy daily tasks. A man trapped in his own guilt navigates and builds a life outside the shadow of Count Dracula.
Renfield is a 2023 American comedy horror film directed and produced by Chris McKay. Interestingly Renfield is inspired by characters from the 1897 novel Dracula by Bram Stoker. This film stars Shohreh Aghdashloo, Adrian Martinez,Nicholas Hoult,Ben Schwartz, Awkwafina and the much loved Nicolas Cage.
The demonic duo reside in New Orleans, where Dracula takes refuge in an abandoned basement of a creepy hospital. Renfield must help Dracula build to full power whilst ultimately using his own minor-league vampire abilities to target local hoodlums instead of Dracula's desire for good samaritans.
Renfield develops unlikely friendships and self esteem that help empower him to take down Dracula and seek final redemption. This film is so wildly entertaining with its extreme action packed, mixed martial sequences. The gore elements of this film are cleverly intertwined with comedy making it such an enjoyable watch. Dracula is brilliant, showcasing his delirious, dangerous and deranged personality. Hilarious, ghoulish and wildly entertaining and relatable.
Grace and I enjoyed the press screening of St Omer at the Kino Cinema in Collins St on Monday 8th of May.
St Omer is a French legal film that is based on the true story of Fabienne Kabou, an African immigrant mother who abandons her 15 month old daughter on a beach at high tide.
Our film covers the story of a young novelist who is forced to confront her own complex family history as she finds herself identifying with the murder accused.
Much of the film takes place within the courtroom itself as the story unravels. It is gripping and confronting. Just as you think you know something, the next witness sheds new light on the events and the story changes. Issues touched upon include race, gender, culture and class, not to mention colonial history and power.
The film tells about Philip Marlowe, a private detective who is in a difficult situation: business problems and loneliness do not bode well. But suddenly a blonde appears who wants him to find her ex. It turns out that this is only a small part of a complex story.
Glamorous fortune owner Claire Cavendish (Diane Kruger) hires private detective Philip Marlowe (Liam Neeson) to find out about the fate of her lover, a props master at one of the studios. The situation immediately takes an unexpected turn, since information about the life of the disappeared person varies: some recognize him as dead, while others see him alive the next day. The investigation sends Marlowe into the dark corridors of elite clubs and the Hollywood backstage, where an elderly detective will have to use his wits and fists.
Every year,, there is a new film with Liam Neeson. This time not just in the wrapper of action with a week expiration date (usually it really is), but with a sensible cinematic tradition. Detective Philip Marlowe, penned by Raymond Chandler, once enriched film noir quite well: from the cynical and cold-blooded Humphrey Bogart in the 40s to the ironic deconstruction by Elliot Gould in the 70s. In today's time, when fan fiction has become commonplace, Marlowe, like Sherlock Holmes, has lived many different and parallel lives - one of them was suggested by the writer John Banville, whose novel "Black-Eyed Blonde" became the basis for a new film adaptation. Liam Neeson, although he shortened his talent with retirement action films about an aging specialist, nevertheless, he always remained a rather textured actor. He's wearing a vintage suit and a fedora hat, and the camera admiringly freezes a moment in the frame when Neeson ... just lights up. He can convincingly grumble about how “old for all this shit”, change boring postmodern irony to frontal seriousness, and also say a lot about morals - in the new Marlow, for example, there is no romantic tension (so our new detective is not a womanizer ). Neeson paints a portrait of a weary detective going against the winds of change. No wonder the action takes place in the late 30s, when the entire historical proscenium changes, affecting, among other things, the life of a relaxed Los Angeles.
At first glance, Marlow painstakingly models the noir universe: the aforementioned hats, the mysterious women, the Venetian blinds that cut through the sunlight, and some undercover intrigues of the elites who have settled in the prominent industries of the City of Angels. Yes, the film lacks tonal and genre definition - in places Jordan seeks strength in good old conservative noir (which is why the characters here keep a serious face), and in places - in excessive revisionism, based on the legacy of "Chinatown" and "The Long Goodbye". But to match up with Polanski and Altman, unfortunately, Marlow lacks glibness and atmosphere: the frame is a puppet, almost lifeless policy for the production of films and money. It’s nice to glide over it with a camera and walk around, but perhaps he doesn’t add points to the history of Marlow itself - Chazelle in the recent Babylon looked into the underground paths of the city with much greater excitement.
At the right moment, the plot follows a strange trajectory, trying to confuse the audience (in addition to Diane Kruger, another femme fatale played by Jessica Lange appears), and the mystery suddenly acquires a double reference - through references either to Alfred Hitchcock, or to John Huston's textbook detectives. In this sense, "Marlowe" is a detective without properties, quite often stuffed with borrowings. The bravado of the elderly detective played by Neeson seems to have completely migrated from his latest action-thrillers, where he recognizes his declining years. The slow and unhurried pace seems to work for immersion, but by and large there is nowhere to immerse - Hollywood of the pre-war era here looks like an unassuming pavilion. All in all, "Marlowe" is a controversial and definitely optional return to the life of a hero who is not in much demand by the era. To lay down a trio of bandits - both with fists and chairs - to cause romantic excitement in the hearts of women, despite their advanced years, to find an explanation for the ongoing crime and unravel the gangster networks: Neeson continues to remind that he is old, but with the prefix "super". Vintage and gloomy detectives of the 40s have long turned into a simulacrum and nostalgia for a non-existent past, and there is a feeling that Marlow was too lazy to go somewhere further, singing this simple feeling.
Detective Travis Hurley travels to a small Australian town (the fictional town of Umoona (Coober Pedy; South Australian region) to investigate the murder of an Aboriginal woman 20 years ago. The hero plunges into the bloody history of the indigenous people, who were forced out by ruthless colonizers to the sidelines of life.
It is a feature film by Australian director Ivan Sen, starring Simon Baker, Rob Collins, Natasha Varganin. The film premiered at the 73rd Berlin Film Festival on February 23, 2023.
The black and white picture , lack of words, almost meditative state close to surrealistic paintings and Travis' squeaky 60's Dodge, add to the film overall impression. It is all about the old loss pain whileTravis discovers a little about himself.
This joyful, electric American romantic comedy is a real treat! The sequel to the 2018 film Book Club did not disappoint. Written and directed by Bill Holderman, it stars Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen, Jane Fonda and Mary Steenburgen. There was a phenomenal collaboration of personalities! I was mesmerised with the cast, location and plot line! All these factors tied in nicely with the themes of friendship, love and trust. Four best friends go on a spontaneous trip to Italy for a surprise wedding and in turn have the trip of a lifetime solidifying their friendship post covid. This film captured the bonds of friendship and the nature of friendship when plans go astray. Pure bliss from the beginning to end of this film with the audience laughing inconsolably. There are so many parts of this film that all women can relate to, regardless of age. Seeing constant footage of Italy, really gave the audience a sense of adventure and appreciation for Italy. Truly sensational ! Hands down one of the best romantic comedies I’ve seen. I hope the book club franchise travels once again. A magical, heartfelt and enjoyable film for all ages to enjoy.
Directed by Elegance Bratton Written by Elegance Bratton Produced by Effie T. Brown & Chester Algernal Gordon
Starring Jeremy Pope Raúl Castillo McCaul Lombardi Aaron Dominguez Nicholas Logan Eman Esfandi Andrew Kai Aubrey Joseph Bokeem Woodbine Gabrielle Union
Battling the streets whilst homeless is a stand alone challenge but adding a young, gay man into the mix creates a depressed and dangerous lifestyle that only has limited outcomes. Drawn in within moments of the film commencing, you as the audience instantly feel empathy for his circumstance. A gruelling realism sets in when Ellis French decides to succeed in a system that casts him aside. Joining the US. marines becomes his salvation and his second chance to seek validation he knows he may never receive from his mother who banished him for being gay. Failure is not an option for Ellis who faces the judgement of his marine squad once his sexuality is out in the open. This is an incredibly emotional, empowering and heart stopping demonstration of the length an individual will go to prove they belong in a community or family that doesn’t accept them. The harsh routines of basic training test Ellis’s strength of character and resilience. What he ends up finding is a new family that supports him as a marine, regardless of his sexual identity and this shapes his identity and forever changes his life. The celebration of bond, brotherhood and motivation grow amongst fellow cadets demonstrating that family is built.
The Blue Caftan is an LGBTIQA Moroccan romance film. It uses the creation of an ornate, embroidered caftan as a metaphor for all that occurs within the story. The Arabic setting itself adds further interest to the setting.
This is the second film by writer/ director, Maryam Touzani, and it is a brave one. Homosexuality in Morocco is against the law and carries a penalty of anywhere from 3 years in prison to execution. Likewise, all those within the cast and crew must have believed strongly enough in this film to have taken such risks.
Saleh Bakri plays the part of Halim, a master tailor, who still does his sewing and embroidery by hand, despite the fact that many of the tasks could be done more quickly via a sewing machine. He believes in the art and feels that one should take the time and that it is a work of love.
Saleh is secretly gay and is falling in love with his young apprentice, Youssef, played by Ayoub Missioui. His wife, Mina, played by Lubna Azabal, suspects and treats Youssef badly. Mina has her own problems though because she is dying of breast cancer.
This is a story that takes its time. Every stitch Halim takes comes with instruction to his apprentice, and each instruction is a metaphor of the emotions behind the events that are taking place. The film does not shy away from depicting the dangers of living in a repressive country, nor does it hold back from depicting the poverty and struggle.
The new film of the actor and director Nicolas Bedos was another change of genre for him.
After the chamber "Belle Epoque" and the adventurous comedy "Agent 117: From Africa with Love", the audience will see a gloomy thriller in the scenery of the sunny Riviera. It has the intrigue and caustic wit of Hollywood classics, as well as a whole scattering of fine French actors.
Cast: Marina Vacth, Isabelle Adjani, Pierre Nine, François Cluzet, Emmanuelle Devaux, Laura Morante, Charles Berlin, James Wilby, Nicolas Briancon, Marie Fabre.
EXPERIENCES AND ACTORS Based on an unpublished novel by Nicolas Bedos and his personal experiences, "Masquerade" draws heavily on Hollywood classics for its inspiration.
The caustic wit of Billy Wilder in Double Indemnity (1944) and Sunset Boulevard (1950) is combined with the tension of Alfred Hitchcock's "To Catch a Thief" (1955). Even the one-word title evokes wild adventures of the 1960s such as Charade (1963) and Arabesque (1966).
"Masquerade" begins by recalling Somerset Maugham's quote that the French Riviera is "a sunny place for dark people". Adrian and Margo then appear on the screen, trying to disable the complex alarm system. Suddenly, an enraged Simon (Francois Cluzet) bursts into the hotel room, pulls out a gun and shoots Margot...
Nicolas Bedos then invites the audience to figure out what's going on here with enough flashbacks, explanations, motivations, and deceit. Adrien (Pierre Ninet) is a former dancer who is seriously injured in an accident. Now he spends his days as a booze-soaked toy-boy for ex-movie star, the fidgety and demanding Martha Duvall (Isabelle Adjani).
There are few signs of love between them. She is a subscription to a satisfying life, and he is a handsome gigolo.
Everything changes when Adrian meets Margo (Marina Vakt), a beautiful, headstrong girl who seems to be as lost a soul as he is. Her reckless thrill-seeking tricks him and seems to awaken him from his slumber. Lust turns into love that develops despite all their failures in life and past love disappointments.
They decide to embark on a lucrative scam, and real estate broker Simon (Francois Cluzet) looks like the perfect target for this.
Director Nicolas Bedos spins a dizzying intrigue in which it is difficult to separate real emotions from skillful deception. Adrian must woo Martha with renewed vigor, but how do you make it look authentic? Margo uses her feminine charms on Simon, but she faces a dilemma - the rich man seems to have fallen in love for real and is even ready to marry.
The way this couple plays with human lives makes them not pretty, to say the least, but their desire for a happy ending looks quite convincing.
The same people are involved in the new film by Nicolas Bedos as in Belle Epoque, including production designer Stefan Rosenbaum. Largely thanks to him, the director created an elegant, rich in appearance, detective picture.
Also, with such a strong cast, the supporting characters can be more likeable and attractive than the main character couple. François Cluzet perfectly conveys the delight of an old fool, fascinated by the attention of a young woman.
Laura Morante is adorable as Giulia, the abused, cynical hotel owner who relishes the chance to get revenge. Emmanuelle Devaux makes the most of his cameos as Carol, Simon's distraught wife, and Charles Berlin delivers some funny one-liners as Jean-Charles, Marthe's caustic assistant.
As a screenwriter, Nicolas Bedos writes out great roles for his actors, and Marina Vakt gets the most interesting, but also the most difficult. Margot is a dazzling demonstration of strength, combining the whole gamut of accents, emotions, fragility and cold calculation.
SUMMARY Unfortunately, serious cinema no longer attracts viewers to cinemas - they go to action films, science fiction, and sometimes, in company, to comedies. In France, Masquerade failed at the box office... but the international distribution is just beginning, then the release of the film on streaming platforms will follow, as well as TV broadcasts... so let's see...
CAIRO CONSPIRACY website review by Katherine Kelly
Cairo Conspiracy (aka a Boy from Heaven) A film by Tarik Saleh
When Adam (Tawfeek Barhom), a lowly fisherman from a remote Egyptian Province wins a scholarship to a prestigious Islamic University in Cairo, he feels like he won the lottery. Nothing can be further from the truth.
Busy with acclimatising himself with his new life at Al-Hazar University, the Grand Imam suddenly dies, and prospective grand imams begin jockeying for position. Enter Colonel Ibrahim (Fares Fares) who uses students at informants; Adam haplessly finds himself caught in a web of intrigue, an intrigue which is ruthless, clandestine, and extremely dangerous. The new University Imam needs to be aligned to the State, and Adam mercilessly becomes a pawn in this initiative, which could end in his untimely demise.
Cairo Conspiracy is definitely suspense ridden where the protagonist finds himself in a web comprised of not so silken threads. Not just one conspiracy but numerous conspiracies combine to make this film such a compelling cinema experience.
Tarik Saleh, a notable Swedish director, displayed none of components of the very popular Scandi Noir genre. He was awarded best screenplay at Cannes 2022. His film not to be missed.
Cast Jean DujardinFred Anaïs DemoustierInes Sandrine KiberlainHéloïse Jeremie Renier Marco Lyna Khoudri Samia
This gripping movie tracks the efforts of Paris Police and the SDAT (anti-terrorist sub-directorate) during the five days following several suicide bomber attacks across various areas in Paris on 13 November (namely the Rock concert at Balaclan, surrounding bars, and an international football match at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis). Casualties amounted to 131 with over 400 injured.
France had been on high alert since the attacks on the Charlie Hebdo Offices and a Paris Jewish Supermarket. And following the November attacks, it had not seen such an onslaught since World War II. While not showing the actual attacks, sounds of the blasts and shootings were heard, along with brief scenes of police interviewing hospitalised survivors. Police and SDAT task force were swiftly mobilised with orders not to fraternise with their families – only colleagues, and to strictly follow orders. However, Ines (Anaïs Demoustier), a young maverick recruit undertook her own investigations, only to receive a severe rollicking from her coordinator Fred (Jean Dujardin). Predictably there were mistakes and also group tensions, but they tackled the problem to the best of their abilities. The focus was to find the whereabouts of Abdelhamid Abaaoud – the Mastermind of the atrocities; to neutralise him; and to prevent further attacks. Abaaoud had slipped through the net on previous raids such as what occurred in Greece, prior to the Paris onslaught. With news (albeit fake) of his death in a raid in Syria, it took some sleuthing to locate him in a camp under a Paris bridge. Prospective suspects were taken into custody and numerous interviews took place, and Samia (Lyna Khoudri) though not initially trusted, provided valuable information.
Though November was set over five days, repercussions are being felt to this very day.
POLITE SOCIETY website review by David Black and Grace Liu
Grace and I loved seeing “Polite Society” at the press screening at Village Cinema’s, Jam Factory on Wed 26 April. If you’re into a British made Pakistani Karate movie with a hint of sci fi … then this film is for you. The tagline of “Big Trouble. Little Sister” immediately tells you that this is going to have shades of “Big Trouble in Little China.”
This action comedy drama is unique. I can’t ever recall seeing a Bollywood kung fu movie before, although a google search tells me that they do exist. The writer, Nida Manzoor, grew up in a Pakistani Muslim family that moved to England when she was 10, so she brings a wealth of experience to the story, which centres on Ria Khan (played by Priya Kansara), who is a Pakistani Muslim going to school in Britain.
Priya plays the role of the little sister well. Her character loves Karate and is close to her big sister, Lena Khan, played by Ritu Arya. But life is going to change soon and Lena is in danger of losing her big sister as she is going to get married. Priya is determined to do anything she can to stop her big sister from leaving.
I can’t give away more without giving spoilers, but what I can say is that the movie gets more absurd and action packed as it rolls along. We have karate fights, Bollywood dances and some strange sci fi scenes straight out of a mad scientist film. The British Pakistani setting brings further interest and makes this a refreshingly different offering to the usual fare.