Out Now – 22nd February 2013

Cloud Cloud Cloud Atlas Atlas Atlas

Cloud Atlas
Six stories spanning hundreds of years and half a dozen genres. What connects the stories? You’ll have to find out for yourself. Opinions are split but for what it’s worth I gave the film five stars.

Song for Marion
A pensioner joins an “unconventional” choir in order to honour his dead wife’s passion for performing. The film is PG so the unconventional nature of the choir is limited to pensioners singing about sex.

Mama
All I will say about this film is that its ad on IMDb keeps expanding and getting my way. You have pissed me off Mama!

Lore (limited release)
“As the Allies sweep across Germany, Lore leads her siblings on a journey that exposes them to the truth of their parents’ beliefs. An encounter with a mysterious refugee forces Lore to rely on a person she has always been taught to hate.” Stephen is totally reviewing this for us… right?

To the Wonder (limited release)
A new film from Terrence Malick which promises to have 100% fewer dinosaurs than his most recent output. The plot seems to involve people experiencing emotions and a relationship getting complicated.

Breath of the Gods (limited release)
Documentary tracing the origins of modern yoga. I wouldn’t bend over backwards to see this one. lol

Fire In The Blood (limited release)
Another five-star film according to silly old me. This documentary exposes large pharmaceutical companies protecting their patents to such a degree that they prevent access to live-saving medicines for those who can’t afford it. This is an IMPORTANT FILM™

Crawl (limited release)
“A seedy bar owner hires a mysterious Croatian to commit murder, but a planned double-crossing backfires when a young waitress is taken hostage.” Australian horror. IMDb trivia includes: “The film was shot on location in 25 days.” Truly trivial.

The Road: A Story of Life & Death (limited release)
Documentary about people who, like me, live near the A5 in London but weren’t born in the city. Is this enough of a theme to tie the film together? No. Or at least I didn’t think so.

Kai Po Che (limited release)
“Three friends growing up in India at the turn of the millennium set out to open a training academy to produce the country’s next cricket stars.” Indian cricket cinema is such an overlooked genre.

Before Dawn (limited release)
British horror about a couple whose holiday is disrupted by the living dead. Center Parcs has really gone downhill recently.

The Road: A Story of Life and Death – LFF Review

Ever wondered about the people who live along the A5 in London? Their hopes? Their dreams? Their bitter disappointments? If so then The Road: A Story of Life and Death will be right up your street. For me the film literally was right up my street living as I do just off Kilburn High Road (which is part of the A5 in case you weren’t aware of the geography within 1 mile of my flat). The Road is a documentary dipping into the lives of people who have moved to London from foreign locales and now find themselves residing somewhere between Marble Arch and Cricklewood. An intriguingly niche subject but one ripe for human stories.

With nothing linking the various subjects beyond a stretch of tarmac and their previous relocation the stories told are varied and documentarian Marc Isaacs has a knack for making his subjects open up more than they potentially intended to. As a result we have a documentary filled with diverse and revealing stories. An elderly lady reveals the relief she feels now her husband is dead while a former air stewardess describes her husband’s infidelity and an Irish immigrant displays the extreme extent of his alcoholism. The Road is not a glossy documentary but shows its subjects with all their flaws and eccentricities.

Intriguing though it may be The Road is lacking something. Lasting for little over an hour the documentary is too lean to get properly in-depth with any of the interviewees. We see a small snapshot into the lives on display without ever getting far enough into their lives to really connect with their stories.

Coming soon to a TV screen near you The Road is an interesting if unsatisfying film about people who have moved to London and found themselves living on or around the A5. Maybe I’m just bitter that I wasn’t asked to be in the film (and that one of the film’s subjects sat in front of me at the showing and filmed the screen on her mobile phone).

56th BFI London Film Festival Line-up Announced

It’s that time of year again. Yesterday was the line-up for the 56th BFI London Film Festival was announced. The festival runs from 10th – 21st October 2012 and we will be covering it more than you could possibly want. I will be trying to beat my personal record of 20 festival films and living off Starbucks and quiet cinema snacks for a week.

The full list of films can be seen on the BFI website but who needs that when below is my initial pick of films that might be worth a look along with a five word summary for each. It may not be comprehensive but this list is at least alphabetical:

The Body Corpse goes missing. Hitchcockian thriller

Celeste and Jesse Forever Can exes become best friends?

Frankenweenie Tim Burton animation – re-animated dog

Hyde Park on Hudson Bill Murray is Franklin Roosevelt

Kelly + Victor Passionate and transgressive love affair

Kiss of the Damned Estranged contemporary vampire sisters reunite

Love Story Documentary/fiction blur for love

My Amityville Horror Exploring the truth about Amityville

Paradise: Love Middle-aged sex tourism in Kenya

The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology Documentary essay on cinema’s ideologies

The Road: A Story of Life and Death Stories of London’s many immigrants

Robot and Frank Jewel thief and robot butler

Room 237 What does The Shining mean?

The Sessions Iron lung hires sex surrogate

Seven Psychopaths In Bruges in Los Angeles

Sightseers Perfect holiday: caravanning and murder

West of Memphis Documentary about teens killing kids