Archive for May, 2012

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Even the Rain (Icíar Bollaín, 2010)

May 31, 2012

Originally written for Reel Time, now at Sound on Sight

Written by regular Ken Loach collaborator Paul Laverty and directed by a former Loach film star, it is perhaps unsurprising that Even the Rain is full of social-realist characteristics associated with the British filmmaker. Its focus concerns the intertwining of a fictional film production about Christopher Columbus’ legacy and the real-life events of a battle to prevent the privatisation of water in the Bolivian area where the production is taking place. The screenplay draws parallels between the 2000 water conflict of Cochabamba and the colonisation efforts of Christopher Columbus during his time as governor in the Caribbean in the late 1400s, and also those between the multinationals trying to control the population’s basic resources and the film crew attempting to exploit the residents of this cost-saving location choice. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Two Years at Sea (Ben Rivers, 2011)

May 29, 2012

The most appealing aspect of video artist Ben Rivers’ debut feature is its intentionally grainy, monochrome 16mm cinematography, providing a dreamy quality to a curiously beautiful visual aesthetic. Two Years at Sea immerses the viewer in the gentle rhythms of the life of hermit Jake Williams, who lives a life of solitude in a remote forest in the north of Scotland. Free of words bar Williams’ occasional mutterings and lyrics in recorded music he plays, the film slowly showcases the man’s activity and creates a unique portrait of a lifestyle of extreme solitude; we follow his daily routines, his chores in his derelict home, his wandering about the local land, his fishing aboard an inflatable raft and even his slow drifting off to sleep…

Full review at Sound on Sight

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Between Two Rivers (Jacob Cartwright/Nick Jordan, 2012)

May 6, 2012

Originally written for Reel Time, now at Sound on Sight

Partway through this documentary portrait of Cairo, Illinois, one resident addresses the various accounts of the city’s history: “There’s a little bit of truth in everybody’s story… there’s no literal black and white truth. You can’t boil us into a five second sound bite.” Part of Between Two Rivers’ success is down to its rejection of a narrative directing blame at single sources for the troubles of the historic town. It allows long unseen archive material and the remaining townspeople to present snapshots of Cairo’s tumultuous past, one of racial turbulence and economic decline, and of its community in the present. Read the rest of this entry ?

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My Month in Films: April 2012

May 1, 2012

Gregory’s-Girl

19 films, 11 first time viewings

Best first time viewings
1. Gregory’s Girl (Bill Forsyth, 1981, UK)
2. Les amants du Pont-Neuf (Leos Carax, 1991, France)
3. Gone Baby Gone (Ben Affleck, 2007, USA)
4. The Cabin in the Woods (Drew Goddard, 2011, USA)
5. Avengers Assemble (Joss Whedon, 2012, USA)
6. City of Life and Death (Chuan Lu, 2009, China/Hong Kong)
7. Damsels in Distress (Whit Stillman, 2011, USA)
8. The Guard (John Michael McDonagh, 2011, Ireland)
9. Young Adult (Jason Reitman, 2011, USA)

Best rewatches
Rear Window (Alfred Hitchcock, 1954, USA)
Titanic (James Cameron, 1997, USA)

Worst
The Monk (Dominik Moll, 2011, France/Spain)
Iron Man 2 (Jon Favreau, 2010, USA)
Like Crazy (Drake Doremus, 2011, USA)
Small Time Crooks (Woody Allen, 2000, USA)

Amants-du-Pont-Neuf,-Les