Just watched The Song of Lunch on BBC iPlayer. Catch it before it disappears. An excellent little mini-film, starring the classic and highly-talented Alan Rickman and the beautiful Emma Thompson, it is based on a poem by Christopher Reid. It’s almost entirely sensuous: based around the sights, the sounds, and the baser senses of revisiting a former lover. I really enjoyed it, and it didn’t bore me for any of its 45 short minutes.
I haven’t written a film review in some time, but having just come back from seeing Kick-Ass, with it still fresh in my mind, here goes… Kick-Ass is definitely a comic book movie. It’s been portrayed in some circles as the anti-comic book movie, and that’s certainly the impression I had going in: the first ten minutes or so leave you in no doubt that the protagonist isn’t a professional, well, hero.
Been to see two films in almost as few days recently. Slumdog Millionaire was entertaining; perhaps not the classic it could have been - I think it lacked a little clarity in storytelling - but still great. Frost/Nixon was more compelling, certainly for me: I was not expecting Frank Langella’s performance as Nixon to be as good as it was - in the end, it perhaps beat Anthony Hopkins’s classic performance from Nixon.
Went to see Burn After Reading with plv last night. It’s a bit of a slow starter, but when it gets going, there are some real solid comedic moments. It’s not laugh-a-minute, and is a little disjointed, but it’s sure entertaining as the plot gets more and more mashed up, and could almost be classed as a farce if it were a little clearer. Indeed, as the CIA boss says at one point:
Pixar have done it again. WALL-E is their best film since Monsters Inc. The industrial cityscapes are amazing. The rendering detail is stunning. The story is robust, and the emotion deep. The pre-film trailer for Madagascar 2 looked amateurish in comparison. WALL-E is a wonderous film. See it.
Corriere della Sera said of Dog Days: ‘Those who have seen this film will never forget it, whether they loved it or hated it’ Well, I certainly didn’t like it, but I also think it is ultimately forgettable. The various stories within the film (whose only common thread is that they happen during a heatwave in Vienna) are vague, directionless, and mostly uninteresting. The characters are tedious. The hitch-hiker who seems to be suffering from some form of autism is by far the most interesting character, but even her scenes become repetitive after not too long.
If you’ve never had a chance to listen to the director’s commentary for Die Hard, I can wholeheartedly recommend getting hold of a copy - John McTiernan’s comments are fascinating, and complement the talented acting of both Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman. It rapidly becomes obvious that McTiernan takes action film very seriously, as an artistic genre - not something to turn a fast buck. This is clearly one of the reasons why Die Hard is such a polished film and is a canonical example of the action film genre.
I’ve just watched Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will. I wasn’t as moved as I expected to be; perhaps precisely because the film shows only ‘positive’ messages, which I’m not greatly influenced by because of the benefit of hindsight. All the negative connotations of Hitler, WWII, and the Holocaust are absent. In fact, after some time, the film becomes rather repetitive and I skipped several sections. Nevertheless, Hitler’s closing speech to the Party Congress at the end of the film is well worth watching, as a striking example of just how good oratory can get (ironic from a man that’s so hard to admire in most other respects).