Archive for February, 2014

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GFF 2014: Love Is Not What It Used to Be (Gabriel Ochoa, 2013)

February 28, 2014

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In one Spanish city, three couples of varying ages undergo differing experiences of modern love: elderly former lovers meet again after years apart, a middle-aged pair struggle with their diminishing commitment to one another, and a young man and woman take nervous steps into a committed relationship. The three narratives of Love Is Not What It Used to Be are loosely connected by the males of each pairing all working at the same hospital, though the tales never actually intertwine despite gelling well alongside each other within the narrative’s framework…

Click to read the full review for The Skinny/The CineSkinny

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GFF 2014: Ilo Ilo (Anthony Chen, 2013)

February 28, 2014

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Exasperation drives the actions of the key players in Ilo Ilo, a film that is both a vivid portrait of recession-struck Singapore in 1997 and a subdued, bittersweet affair that retains a natural feel.

When bratty ten-year-old son Jiale (Ler) finally proves too uncontrollable for the over-worked, heavily pregnant Hwee Leng (Yeo), she and her husband Teck (Chen) hire a Filipina live-in maid, Teresa (Bayani). The child spitefully rejects the nanny, but affection and complicity eventually manifest, though the situations for the adults quietly worsen as each keep their turmoil to themselves…

Click for the full review for The Skinny/The CineSkinny

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GFF 2014: Night Moves (Kelly Reichardt, 2013)

February 23, 2014

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In her follow-up to Meek’s Cutoff, Kelly Reichardt’s trademark languid, stripped-back style is maintained for her most narrative-driven film to date. The seductively shot Night Moves sees three activists (Eisenberg, Fanning and Sarsgaard) collaborate to destroy a hydro-electric dam in order to stir public consciousness, only to confront growing senses of paranoia, futility and remorse when their plan proves misconceived for multiple reasons…

Click for the full review for The Skinny/The CineSkinny

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GFF 2014: The Dance of Reality (Alejandro Jodorowsky, 2013)

February 23, 2014

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For a man with a huge cult following and clear influence on many filmmakers, the Chilean-French director Alejandro Jodorowsky has actually made very few films since his 1968 feature-length debut Fando and Lis; indeed, one of his most famous projects is his intended adaptation of Dune which ultimately never came to fruition. The likes of his El Topo, The Holy Mountain, and Santa Sangre are revered for their provocative and often violent surrealism…

Click for the full review for The Skinny/The CineSkinny

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Wes Cravin’: The Grand Budapest and its Cinematic Influences

February 23, 2014

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Wes Anderson’s latest opus draws from a wide array of cinematic ancestors, including some featured elsewhere in Glasgow Film Festival’s 10th edition line-up…

Click for the full feature for The Skinny/The CineSkinny

Note: This feature was written two days before I first saw the film. My review of The Grand Budapest Hotel for Sound On Sight can be read here.

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GFF 2014: The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014)

February 21, 2014

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More than perhaps any other director, the work of Ernst Lubitsch has been the most noticeable influence on Wes Anderson’s style. Though the great German-American writer-director, most prolific in the 1930s and 1940s, was never quite so aesthetically bold in the look of his sets, he too was preoccupied with meticulous staging for comedy within his chosen locales, be they the titular Shop Around the Corner or the Parisian hotel of Ninotchka; The Grand Budapest Hotel is set in a fictional European country, the Republic of Zubrowka, another Lubitsch trait from works like The Merry Widow and The Love Parade, though The Shop Around the Corner happens to be set in the city Anderson’s mountaintop lodging house takes its name from. He garnered the descriptor of ‘the Lubitsch touch’ thanks to the moving sincerity that always made itself evident within even his more broad comedic premises, and Anderson’s own best work is that in which a recognisable humanism always makes itself known and potent even within the stylised stiltedness through which most of his characters are written and performed…

Click for the full review at Sound On Sight

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Bastards (Claire Denis, 2013)

February 13, 2014

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Noir-infused tragedy Bastards sees director Claire Denis back in her more polarising mode as the dark queen of French cinema, with a work of bewitching atmosphere that veers between the sensual and repulsive. Its elliptical narrative concerns a ship captain, Marco (Lindon), returning to land when a series of hardships strike his sister’s family. The abuse of his troubled niece (Créton), the collapse of the family business, and the suicide of his brother-in-law all seem linked to a sinister businessman (Subor)…

Click for the full review for The Skinny