Browsing Tag

review

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Scotland: Thanks Paula

9th February 2017

In the 1980’s I decided to pursue a romantic liaison with Paula Rogers. Not being one to rush things, and desperate to avoid rejection, I hoped my telepathic skills would suffice and eventually she would realise the man of her dreams had been me all along. In just three short years my stealth seduction technique worked and we embarked on a spectacularly eventful and ultimately disastrous five-day relationship.

The Illusionist is an animated film that took six years to make and only eighty minutes to consume – a ratio of effort to output that makes my amorous adventure with Paula seem like instant gratification.

In todays on-demand, same-day delivery, microwavable world it is easy to see why such a film will remain a rare cinematic treat. Patience is no longer a virtue and speed is king. Modern animation is to The Illusionist what Tinder is to my technique of romantic wishful thinking.

The film is a melancholy tale of change and ultimate obsolescence. Beautifully hand drawn with every frame an authentic watercolor that captured the essence of Edinburgh – from the milky light to the stark gothic architecture. The story is one of an old school, vaudevillian style magician who is facing the changing tastes and diminishing size of his audience and his relationship with a young girl who he forms a paternal bond with (incidentally, following Jimmy Saville, Rolf Harris, et al, it is hard to see an aging entertainer shower a young girl with gifts without raising an eyebrow – which rather pollutes the inherent innocence of this heart felt story, thanks fellas)

The melancholy is tempered by the comic relief of an alcoholic ventriloquist, a suicidal clown, a troop of hyperactive acrobats, a new wave rock and roll band and an anti social rabbit. The fate of the ensemble cast remains unknown, save for the rabbit, which was abandoned on a remote hillside to make his own way in the world in a sort of Watership Down remake.

It is telling that I felt more sympathy with the rabbit than with the ending of the father daughter relationship at the heart of the narrative. I guess I find complex human relationships difficult to empathize with. Thanks Paula.

SW

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Germany: “political correctness”

This black comedy docu-drama draws you in immediately, curious to witness both real and acted reactions to the emergence in contemporary Berlin (initially) of a resurrected Adolf Hitler! The styling and acting of JB in the part is convincing enough to command attention from…

26th January 2017
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Ireland: A brutal and brilliant portrayal

Taken at face value, Hunger is a brutal and brilliant portrayal of the IRA hunger strikes in Northern Ireland. It is a compulsive watch, because it brings to life the depth of privation that the Maze protestors were prepared to experience in order to…

12th January 2017
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Romania: Up the Junction – Romanian Style

This brilliantly crafted film is based upon a true story of an incident that occurred in Romania during the war in the former Yugoslavia in 1999. A train carrying NATO military equipment to Kosovo escorted by US Marines was held up for several days…

22nd September 2016
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Brussels, Belgium: Man Bites God

As I was third choice to review this film I’ll try and give it some effort… God is alive and he lives in Brussels… with his daughter. I went to Brussels once myself, it was REALLY GOOD! But geography aside, this was a film…

8th September 2016
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New Zealand: A Sunday drive with the Blondini gang

Goodbye Pork Pie’s launch onto New Zealand’s silver screens in 1981 not only became the nation’s first ever local blockbuster hit, but on many accounts kickstarted the tiny Pacific Island’s entire creative industry, which considering New Zealand is the world’s remotest country, punches well…

25th August 2016
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Argentina: The cost of winning

The English language title “Wild Tales” doesn’t do this Argentinian double-triptych justice. There’s more than just a little lost in translation. A more literal interpretation of the original Spanish title – Relatos Salvajes or “Savage Stories” – along with it’s tagline (which implores you…

11th August 2016