Thursday, September 05, 2013

August Film Highlights

You can of course visit the blog.

Wadjda (2012) Waad Mohammed, Reem Abdullah, Abdulrahman al-Guhani, Sultan Al Assaf. Dir: Haifaa al-Mansour.

Wadjda 50 Word Film Review
A Saudi Arabian girl is determined to have a bicycle, no matter what convention dictates. A Middle-Eastern Bicycle Thieves. An appealing struggle against adversity and injustice with a feisty heroine you can really get behind. Superbly acted and very funny, but with real tragedy and serious issue at its core.

Edvard Munch 50 Word Film ReviewEdvard Munch (1974) Geir Westby, Gro Fraas, Johan Halsbog, Lotte Teig, Gro Jarto, Rachel Pedersen. Dir: Peter Watkins.

Life of the famous painter, his upringing, influences and the hostility his work faced. Using his pseudo-documentary style, Watkins presents not a biopic, but a dense expression of the elements that contribute to Munch’s works, from relationships to contemporary society. Fascinating exercise, but occasionally hard to follow and very long.


Piccadilly (1929) Gilda Gray, Anna May Wong, Jameson Thomas, King Ho Chang. Dir: E.A. Dupont.
Piccadilly 50 Word Film Review

A London club dance act is no longer pulling in the punters, so the boss decides to employ something more exotic. A decadent and lavish depiction of Jazz age London. Exquisitely filmed and tinted, it’s surprisingly sensual and admirably disapproving of racism, although story is touch stretched for run time.


Fear X (2003) John Turturro, James Remar, Deborah Kara Unger, William Allen Young. Dir: Nicolas Winding Refn. 

Fear X 50 Word Film Review

A security guard obsessively watches CCTV tapes in the hope of finding who killed his wife. Moves between paranoid thriller and more straight-forward conspiracy thriller, as if it can’t quite commit to either, before going completely Lynch at the end. Not without interest, but the story just isn’t that compelling.


(2013) Hugh Jackman, Tao Okamoto, Hiroyuki Sanada, Rila Fukushima, Famke Janssen, Will Yun Lee, Svetlana Khodchenkova, Haruhiko Yamanouchi. Dir: James Mangold.

The Wolverine 50 Word Film Review

The destitute hero is lured to Japan by a dying friend with a proposition. Suffers from the same issues as Marvel’s own productions – weak supporting characters and an over-complicated plot that should be interesting, but isn’t. Action keeps it lively through first half, but that too becomes irritating, and repetitive.


Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987) Steve Martin, John Candy. Dir: John Hughes. 

Planes, Trains & Automobiles

A businessman experiences disaster after disaster trying to get home for Thanksgiving. It works because it’s simple and relatable. We get the characters and understand their frustrations. Importantly, Candy and Martin don’t overdo it, knowing it can be just as funny to simmer. A professional work, sadly a rare one.