Saturday, 4 July 2020

Selah and the Spades

 At Haldwell Boarding School there are five factions. Each faction plays a role within the school, for example the Prefect faction makes sure the teachers aren’t aware of the students’ partying. The main faction are the Spades, led by Selah (a superb Lovie Simone), and their main role is to supply everyone with the fun stuff (drugs and alcohol). Selah is in her final year and is looking for a successor to lead the Spades. The search is a tough one, but when Paloma (Celeste O'Connor) joins the school, Selah strikes up a friendship thinking she has found her successor. 

Artemis Fowl

 
One of the many affects of the COVID-19 pandemic was an increase in the number of movies, that would have had a cinema release, which went straight to VOD or had a shorter run in the cinemas. Artemis Fowl is one those movies that skipped the cinema and went straight to Disney’s streaming service. It was probably for the best as it has all the makings of a box office disaster for more reasons than simply being really bad. Simply being good wouldn't have saved the film as it’s part of the genre (young adult fiction) that has decreased in popularity since the Hunger Games and Twilights days, and it’s start of a franchise rather than being one that’s already established in the movie industry (plus this has been in development hell since the early 2000s).

The Invisible Man

After the lukewarm reception, both critically and financially, to The Mummy, Universal’s idea for a Dark Universe based on their horror characters of the past was put on hold before it had even begun. This included The Invisible Man in which Johnny Depp was tipped to star. However, this version of the story was left on the wayside and was picked up by Blumhouse Productions who hired Leigh Whannell to direct and rewrite the story.

Never Rarely Sometimes Always

When I lived in Ealing, I used to live near an abortion clinic which found itself in the news frequently. It was often a site for anti-abortion protestors to sit outside and harass women going in making, I imagine, an incredibly difficult decision in difficult circumstances. The circumstances of each woman are going to be different woman to woman and whilst there is now a buffer zone in place the presence of those protestors mirrors a later scene in Eliza Hittman’s Never Rarely Sometimes Always.

Da Five Bloods

The Vietnam war was the first televised war for Americans. Granted, Americans could see the horrors of the Second War World in newsreels, but for the first time horrific images of the victims of war was beamed directly into the home of every American with a television set. It’s one of the many reasons why the anti-war crowd was so strong and numerous and their clashes with the heavy-handed police so vicious.

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Portrait of a Lady on Fire


Since the release of a Portrait of a Lady on Fire a lot of discussion has been generated about the differences between the male and female gaze. Portrait of a Lady on Fire is directed by Celine Sciamma who is female and also a lesbian. What this does is give the film an entirely different feel and gaze to the likes of Blue is the Warmest Colour and The Handmaiden, both of which were directed by men. Even having not seen Blue is the Warmest Colour I know it’s quite famous (or infamous) for a very long sex scene whilst The Handmaiden was more graphic than your usual period drama.

Underwater

 
A few people have been a little sarcastic about this much delayed underwater creature feature by calling it The Abyssmal. A little harsh on a decent, if perfunctory, film but you can’t really deny the obvious parallels between this and the likes of Alien and The Abyss. Set seven miles below the ocean surface, a ragtag team of survivors fight for their lives following a deadly explosion at an underwater station. It’s believed that an earthquake caused the explosion, but it appears human activity 20000 fathoms under the sea has awakened something unknown to humanity.